Today is my 9-year anniversary of living in London! Time has flown since I got my first visa and moved to the UK in 2007. But I’ve learned a lot about life in Britain since arriving in England. In celebration of the milestone, today I bring you my 19 expat tips for living in London. Or visiting. Either way, you’re set.
Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re like me, you’re in Britain and feeling a bit let down that today is just another day. You’ve been invited to a million work events tonight, declining them all politely while wondering how someone could possibly be so crazy as to plan an event on the best holiday of the year. And then reminding yourself that it’s not actually a holiday here. And then thinking it really should be.
It’s an exciting day for me: I’ve been living in London for 8 years today! It’s hard to believe so much time has gone by since I quit my job, got a visa, and moved to London to see where life would take me. It’s been a great adventure, though, and writing the A Lady in London blog throughout my time in the UK has been one of the biggest highlights.
Thanksgiving can be a minefield for expats and foreigners. From too-small ovens that can’t hold your giant turkey to confusion as to why your American friends don’t remember every detail of the first Thanksgiving, cultural differences can cause a lot of stress. So to help people from both sides of the Atlantic navigate the holiday and avoid the slippery slope of social awkwardness, today I bring you A Lady in London’s Expat Thanksgiving Survival Guide.
The week I moved to London I noticed a strange phenomenon: everyone I passed on the street wore a red paper flower pinned to their coat. Being new to the city, I wasn’t sure what to make of this. Was it a fashion trend? A local tradition? Somebody help a foreign girl out! After much observation, I learned that these pins were poppies, and they were worn in honor of Poppy Day.
It’s hard to find a proper cup of tea in San Francisco. I’m here visiting family, and every time I try to get a cuppa, it’s not quite the same as it is in the UK. Which is funny, because I never drank much tea when I lived here. In fact, I had a lot to learn about British tea culture when I first moved to London. It’s a (very embarrassing) story from my early expat life…