Some of you are Anglophiles, ex-pats or live in the United Kingdom, so I hope you’ll allow me this indulgence to write about a topic that has nothing to do with the English Premier League but has everything to do with the country where the matches are played.
I’ve lived in the United States for 27 years. I love the country, and appreciate all of the opportunities and pleasures it has given me. But while my body and mind are still in the States, my soul still belongs to the United Kingdom. I don’t miss living in Britain as much as I used to, but I still miss it. I know a lot of Brits living in America who hate England (or so they tell me), but sometimes it feels like that hatred is more of a badge of honor that they wear to validate why they moved to the States in the first place.
The point I’m trying to get to is that while I love living in the United States, there are things about the United Kingdom that I miss deeply. Some days I dream about moving back there. But sometimes weeks fly by when I don’t even entertain the notion. For all of the years I’ve lived in the States, my dream has always been to buy a house in the UK so I can spend the summers there and rent it out the rest of the year. But the prices of homes are scandalously high and the awful exchange rate makes even a small home an exorbitant price.
So here are my seven reasons why I sometimes miss living in Great Britain:
- People. I miss my relatives and friends who get my sense of humor (few people understand my jokes here). In Wales, where I grew up, the people are a lot more personable than where I live now (South Florida). Most of the people I know here are very private, but I realize that people are different throughout the country, so that isn’t a reflection of the US of A in general. It may be more a reflection of Florida where there is no-to-little feeling of living in a local community.
- Vacation time. I love how most Brits I know love to travel abroad and spend time with their friends and family on vacation. There seems to be more of a sense of adventure, while most Americans I know (myself included) work too hard, take too few vacations and even when they do take time off, it’s usually for short bursts of time (a three-day weekend here, a one-week vacation there, etc).
- Food. The stereotype that Americans have about British food being awful is starting to become an urban myth. While different, British cuisine can be incredibly tasty. If I had to single out one type of British cuisine that I miss the most (out of many), it would be the splendid food served by the off-the-beaten-path pubs who serve up a mix of traditional British dinners (especially on Sunday) such as roast beef (with all of the trimmings) and various other delectable dishes.
- Less censorship. This one may be controversial for some readers, but I enjoy watching British television without having a lot of the censorship that permeates American television. I like being adult enough to hear adult language (without it being bleeped out), seeing nudity (without it being blocked or edited out) and watching adult topics that may be too controversial for free-to-air television in the U.S.. While I realize that Britain as a whole is no angel in regards to censorship, I do prefer that British television treats its viewers as grown-ups who are able to make their own decisions.
- Scenery. Florida is a beautiful paradise, but the southern part of the state is flat as a pancake. I miss seeing mountains, hills, castles, rivers and the beautiful green fields of Great Britain.
- History. I’ve always been a big history buff, so it’s no surprise that I miss all of the history that you can find lurking around most corners in Britain. The architecture, old bridges, historic buildings and the sense of knowing that so many civilizations have traveled the same land where you stand in that country.
- BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation gets a bad rap from a lot of people including many Brits, but I love it. The quality of programming on BBC television is superb. Whether it’s documentaries, thought-provoking news or interview programmes or comedies, the Beeb still is a force to be reckoned with. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I enjoy watching most BBC shows and take a lot of pride in what they’ve accomplished (again, at taxpayer’s expense, but well worth it in my opinion).
Don’t worry, I’m not about to set sail back to ‘ol Blighty. But I do, at times, miss the country. One of the other reasons why I miss the UK is because of the sport of football. While I love watching games on television, going to see a game in person is a completely different experience. And, if anything, the part I miss the most is the incredible choice that Britain provides. On any weekend, there are 46 professional games being played from the top four divisions in England, and that doesn’t even include the large number of non-league matches (which are just as enjoyable to watch).
And before some smart aleck posts a reply in the comment to say “Well move back there, then,” let me reemphasize that there are a ton of reasons why I love living in America. I’m not saying that Britain is better than America. It’s just different. As the world has gotten to become a much smaller place thanks to satellite and cable television as well as the Internet, the physical distance between places on earth remains the same. Going to Britain is a completely different experience than being in America. While Britain is becoming more Americanized as each year passes, it’s still a different culture. And differences are what makes this world an interesting place to live in.
So, don’t take offense. It’s nothing personal. It’s just the opinions I have that are influenced greatly by where I grew up and the things I have experienced in my life.
Your results may vary greatly.