Talking Wanderlust | US vs UK - Do You Know The Main Differences?

Who has never heard the phrase: “England is just like the USA”? Ok, not all of us have. But, at least some doubts about the differences between those two countries might have shown up. First of all, I think is important to say that England is a country that has its cultural independence, unlike most of places in the world that inspire their habits and costumes in others. For example, a big amount of countries all over the world have a strong influence from the USA, but it doesn't mean they aren’t authentic, it’s more like an historical domination matter.

But this influence doesn't get to England. What I’m about to say its based on my own experiences in both places, where I lived and studied. Furthermore, I would like to begin saying that usually when we are going to travel abroad, we buy dollars instead of buying directly the coin of the country we are visiting. Traveling to England, it doesn't happen, it’s more worth it to buy pounds already, because sometimes, when you compare the two coins, the british coin tend to be more expensive than the american one.

Of course those things might change really fast. But unlike the economy, I found some pretty intense characteristics in both countries that are more likely permanent. For example the architecture, the food, the accent, and the intercultural experiences. If you really want to know the difference between them, just keep reading. 

Architecture

It’s clear that the cities in the US have no tradicional shape like in Europe. When I visited England, I saw a pattern in the shape of houses, streets, buildings and even on the buses. A big example of that is London, one of the most famous cities in the world. There you can find pretty similar traces of a normal metropolis, like traffic and busy people. However, in addition to all of that, you can see everywhere the typical british house: basically a door on a wall.

And this particular way of constructing the cities is present all over the country. Places like Cambridge and Oxford are almost the same in visual terms. But please, don’t think I’m an expert on architecture, I’m just a normal person that ended up finding a lot of coincidences in buildings terms on theses places. But if you want to really see something different in England, there is also Bath and Brighton, both cities have a historical past that changed the tradicion in a way.

That being said, it’s time to think about the USA. The american country has no such a thing as traditional shape of anything. For example, California is nothing like New York or Texas. Each part of the US has its own particularities. In my opinion, they received more influence from their neighbor countries, like Mexico, while the cities and States where being constructed. So when you go there, try not to look for patterns, because in the end, you will always be surprised with the variety.  

Food

When we travel to the US, the only thing that comes to our minds when we talk about eating is: Fast Food. And I must say, it is real. Traveling to North America and don’t even get to taste a fast food is almost impossible. First of all, it’s cheaper, and second of all, it’s everywhere. I can guarantee to you that you won’t be starving, because places like McDonalds, Burguer King, Starbucks and many others are spread all over the country.

Image Source: StockSnap

But when it comes to England, I can’t say is that easy. Of course a big city like London has everything that you want. Yet, the smaller ones don’t have that amount of possibilities. One thing that is really comum in the British country are the convenience stores and small supermarkets, where you can find some snacks and quick eating.

And is not like they don’t have fast food, is more like they have their own fast foods. So the McDonald's brand isn’t found in every other corner, but if you want to eat an hamburguer, sure, you will find pretty easy a restaurant that has it. Another thing that I noticed is that if you enjoy having more natural and healthy meals, England is better than the US, because they have more options around the towns.  

The Accent

Yes, I had to mention the accent. But I promise is just a quick mention, actually, is more like a warning. When I was studying in the USA, I noticed that the people used to talk more “clearly”, and you might have a better understanding, especially if you are still learning the language. But, they also tend to talk faster, and if can’t keep up, don’t be afraid, just say “hey, please, slow down”. They will get it.   

In England is not that the people don’t talk “clearly”, but I think if you are not used to the accent, you might get a little confused, because the words are not spoken so distincting one from the other. Of course all this depends on the person that is talking, but I’m generalizing what I most experienced.

Image Source: StockSnap  

Intercultural experiences

Traveling to both places might end up offering you cultural benefits more than you expected, because the two of them have strong immigration relations. In case of the US, the Latin America expression is all over the cities. For example, the south part of the country has a predominance of mexicans, where places like San Diego, Los Angeles and many others were named after.

In England that also happens, but not that much with latinos, more with asians and arabs. Getting in touch with those different tribes is possible in the British country, because most of them go there to study or to work, so they presence is all over the towns.