Nine Things the U.K. Does Better Than the U.S.

The U.S. and the U.K. seem to have so much in common, such as both countries being predominantly English speaking, having similar cultural values, and being a mixed society. Having gone back and forth between both countries while growing up and having had the opportunity to live on both sides of the Atlantic, I’ve had lots of time to consider the benefits and the downsides to living in both countries. But they also have lots of stark contrasts, some of which can make the gloomy skies of Britain seem like Heaven compare to the states! Here are nine good reasons that would make lots of Americans absolutely adore the U.K…

 

The Free Healthcare

 

Yes, I said free. And it is absolutely free. No, there aren’t any hidden fees when you visit the doctor here. No hidden premiums, no co pays, nothing. You walk in, get seen within 15 minutes, grab your prescription (Which all medicines here have a generic cost of around $9 regardless of the type of medicine), say a Cheers! and walk out.

 

Healthcare is a Human Right – The NHS is a Godsend compared to the corrupt American system

 

No Guns

 

I can’t even begin to explain to you the comfort and ease I felt having moved from a gun friendly city like Miami, to a much more relaxed, civilized and gun free environment. Yeah, you might get your occasional pub brawl or stabbing over here, and it’s not like crimes don’t happen, but it’s just much easier to fall asleep in the night without hearing gunshots going off. It also gives me real peace of mind to be able to walk into a cinema without worrying if the person sitting next to me might be carrying a concealed gun, since that’s highly illegal here.

 

Proper Food in the Supermarkets

 

Not only is food in the supermarkets much cheaper here than in the U.S., but it’s much higher quality. Free range and organic foods cost significantly less here, and I usually walk away spending only a fraction of what I would have spent had I been shopping at Publix. They also focus a lot more on healthier foods, having fresh vegetables right near the checkout counters and near the store entrances, and not dedicating an entire aisle of the store to different brands of soda.

 

Environmental Friendliness

 

Everywhere I look in the U.K. it seems something is running on wind or solar energy, which I couldn’t say when I was living in Miami. It just seems like people are more conscientious about the environment here, what with more people taking public transport, recycling, and using alternative energy sources. So many people cycle here rather than drive, and heck, there are even lanes on the roads dedicated solely to bicycles, even in London!

 

The public transport rocks

The Price You See Is What You Pay

 

When something over here says it costs X pounds, it really means X pounds! Not so much in the states. Whenever you see a price in American stores, there’s always a hidden tax in the overall cost you aren’t aware of until you reach the checkout counter, which is why I always felt ripped off after shopping over there. So the price you see is definitely not what you pay for!

Not to mention the extra hidden taxes included in just about everything, and the many times mandatory tipping pretty much everywhere you go, whereas in most of the rest of the world, people don’t tip like they do in the states. It’s like, why don’t you just pay your employee a liveable wage, rather than forcing the customers to pay them their wages?

 

The Ease of Travel

 

The wonderful thing about the U.K. is it’s small, therefore travel is much easier and convenient than back in the states. You can hop on a train and be at the other end of the country, all in the same day! You can also hop on a bus and be in Paris in less than 8 hours.

 

You can be on the other side of the country in only a few hours!! England is so small

 

Europe is just a hop, skip and a jump away! Who wouldn’t want to be able to have so may diverse countries so nearby? Living in the states felt like I was cut off from the rest of the world, and I felt divided by excruciatingly long flights and a vast ocean. Also whether I was in Tennessee or New Jersey, I always felt like things are pretty culturally generic wherever I went in the states.

 

Proper Tea

There’s nothing better than tea time! In the work place, everyone halts what they are doing, no matter how “important” and stops to sit down and have a nice steaming cup of aromatic Early Grey with full fat milk added. No matter how busy you are or how stressed out, no one here doesn’t have the time to sit down for a fine cup of tea.

 

 

More Awareness of the World

 

The BBC is absolutely brilliant! Whenver I turn on the news over here, I get the latest on what is going on not only in the UK, but everywhere else in the world. In the US the news seems to be more ME focused, with a lot less emphasis on what is happening in the rest of the world. No wonder we Americans can seem like they are so out of touch with the rest of the world!

 

Laidback Working Culture

 

It’s almost as if people are treated like *gasp* people here, instead of mindless robots like back in the states. Especially in the workplace, where people here tend to leave work at work, and not take it home with them every day and work over time and weekends unpaid. This is what I always ended up doing back in Miami! I ended up putting so many hours in outside of work, that it was almost like having two jobs. Management here aren’t nearly as intimidating or in your face as in America, and they are much more laidback about deadlines. The mantra here is if it doesn’t get done today, it’ll get done tomorrow.

 

*Ring Ring*

 

Here in the U.K. it’s frowned upon to take your work so seriously. Not to mention there’s a national mandatory paid holiday of 28 days that every employer has to give you, no matter if you work at a supermarket or a corporate office (And no that doesn’t include weekends!). Instead of being slaves to their job, people here tend to take life a lot more slowly, and take the time to sit down and have a chat and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea, rather than always having everything to go.

Less Superficial

 

I don’t know about you, but it’s exhausting walking into any supermarket or bank or anywhere in the states and having three people walk up to you at once asking “How are you?”, when in good ol’ Blighty how that would go down is you’d be looked at like you’ve gone mad, and most likely be met with a “Piss off twat!” About the most extent of this you get over here is “You alright?” People here generally stay out of your business, as long as you stay out of theirs, which is refreshing. I always felt like wherever I went over there I had to force a fake smile, otherwise I would be met with hostility.

 

 

There also seems to be a lot more focus on genuine friendships rather than keeping up with the Jonses. The Brits definitely take a less materialistic approach to life. When I was living in the states, it was all about what you had or didn’t have, and if you didn’t have it, you were a loser. It is as if genuine connections and friendship are less important in American culture overall. I’m not saying people in the U.K. aren’t materialistic too, by no means are they not, I’m simply saying it holds a lot less importance and meaning.

Your thoughts? I hope you enjoyed reading this! Let me know what you think in the comments or by liking and sharing my article with the social media links. I’d love to keep giving you tips and advice so feel free to follow me by clicking the Follow box on the right. And don’t forget you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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Comments

  1. Ann Nguyen says:

    Hello Blossom, I really like this post and totally agree with you on the mandatory tipping culture and the ease of travel. I studied in the UK in 2016-2017, then travelled to New York & Boston for about 10 days. I was a bit shocked because of the mandatory tipping culture. I did ask myself exactly the same question that you put up there “why don’t these restaurants pay their employees a liveable wage instead of…”. I enjoy reading this post coz somehow I find myself in here. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Ann!

      Thank you for the kind words! 🙂 And yes it is a bit shocking, I think the US is one of the only countries that is like this in the world in regards to its tipping culture. I haven’t found this anywhere else in the world! I guess I didn’t realize how much I was really spending on eating out when I was living over there 🙂

      Xx Blossom

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