Travelers Give Their Thoughts on England: “We mainly see the cliché aspects of English culture…”
“My perception of England has always been red phone boxes, cloudy skies, and tea shops everywhere. You know, that cliche stuff the movies show you. I was quite young when I first went, so I never really cared much for traveling. That being said, I never took the time to look up what England was actually like, and I don’t think many people do.
Upon arriving in England, I was taken away by the amount of green I saw everywhere. Being from California, you see that very rarely. The skies were cloudy like I had expected, but not in a gloomy sense. It was so much more beautiful than I had once thought it to be. So yes, my perception was changed quite a bit when I moved there – and I’m so glad it was, because England is one of the most beautiful countries to me. But no, there are not red phone boxes everywhere. Haha.
You know, when you really think about it, only a few cultural aspects are similar to America. I suppose the one I noticed the most when living there, was that no one left the house dressed in slacks or pajamas. No matter where I went, even if someone had to run in the shop and get something quickly, they would still look decent and put together. In America (or at least California), it’s much different. I don’t often see people who care about their appearance — if they have to make a quick stop somewhere, that is. There are a few, but not in comparison to that of England.
Besides that, there are a few others that are worth mentioning. Every Sunday in England, we would have a roast dinner. That’s extremely traditional there, where, as in my family, we never really gathered to have dinner unless it was a holiday.
Every night after work is tea time, which I didn’t grow accustomed to until I moved. And I suppose the way of living there is a lot more laid back. Although the job opportunities I feel are less varietal there, I never felt too stressed out during my stay. It was just more relaxing; things like going to the pub now and then, or going on hikes just made life feel a whole lot better. Where, as in California, I always feel the hustle of the town which tends to make you on edge a little bit.
We mainly see the cliche aspects of English culture and everyone tends to believe that they’re true. Allow me to explain a few: (And don’t worry, I am guilty of thinking most of these things before I met my husband.)
Firstly, the queen does not run the country. It’s the prime minister. A lot of people think the royal family does a whole lot, but I can assure you it’s the opposite. Yes, they are very important, but it’s not like in the old days. Not everyone has a thick, heavy accent. There are different areas with different sounds. Just like in America, how the south sounds different. The further North you go the heavier the accent. Just remember if you go there, don’t expect everyone to sound like Tom Hiddleston!
As for teeth being ‘messed up’, it’s not a common thing. Everyone in the world has teeth problems at one point in their life. It’s not just England.
For me, I don’t really think there was just one thing that was impactful. Being so young, in a new country for the first time, I had to take in a lot and learn to adapt over 6 months. I grew as a person, and I became an adult quite quickly; I got married and learned to fall in love with my surroundings. Historical art and architecture have always been something I was passionate about, so being able to travel to a place full of that stuff really made me appreciate the world a bit more. It helped me to forget the cliche’s and stereotypes of every country, and just go there and find out for myself.
I think moving to England helped me grow into the person I became today, so the experience as a whole impacted my perspective of life, culture, and people.
It’s difficult to imagine me being different from who I am today, but if I were raised in England, I think that I probably would’ve grown up faster. I probably would’ve also appreciated traditions more at a younger age, where, as now I’m just learning to bring up traditions in my own household. Other than that, I’m not really sure how I would be different. I’m just glad living in England helped contribute to the person I am proud of today.”