6 Things I’ve Learned From Living In England


On the 5th of March I had my 4th anniversary with England.
I still can’t believe it has been that long already. It seems like yesterday that I landed in Heathrow Airport, nervous and excited about what was going to happen in the near future.

A 6 month stay turned into 4 years, and as my time here in England is slowly coming to an end, I have begun to look back at my time here and I came up with this little list.

So here goes: the things I’ve learned from living in England.

The posh British accents you hear in films doesn’t exist in real life

… well, I have never met a person with that kind of accent, anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I love British accents (although you stop noticing them after a while), but I’m still waiting for that very posh accent from films that always makes my heart melt. You can always dream, right?

living in england

They really do have Postman Pat scenery

You know what I mean, right? I’m talking about small English villages with the most adorable cottages. Green grass, rolling hills, cobblestone bridges. It does really exist.
On a trip to a safari park once, we took a longer route so we would drive through several small villages, and I think I fell in love with just about all of them and started planning my life there.

There are some really creepy looking places and towns in England as well. Actually, way too many, which I was very surprised about when I first came here. But you only have to drive a few miles out of the towns and you will be surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

British people talk more about the weather than Danish people

Yes, this is actually true. And even I have started doing it. It’s the first thing I mention when I get to work in the morning. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a great conversation starter. And when you are living in England, you gotta do what the English does, right?

living in england

British people are the most friendly people I’ve met

I know a lot of people will disagree with me here, but I really believe this to be true. I have had very few bad experiences with English people while I’ve been living in England.
The majority of people are friendly, caring and helpful. Like the man at the supermarket a month ago who fixed my bag for me after the chain had come off, or the lady who offered me a lift home when she saw me walking in the pouring rain.

I can do anything

I have learned that after having the courage to say goodbye to my old life in Denmark and move to another country I had never been to before, I can now do pretty much anything. 

Granted, it has been tough sometimes. But it gets easier and you learn how to deal with bad situations along the way.
I have often heard people say: “I could never do what you’ve done.” But I think it’s all about wanting something enough. Because if you want something so much, you’ll find the courage somewhere.

living in england

I appreciate time with my family much more

Don’t get me wrong. I have always appreciated family time. But it’s different now. You know you only have limited time before you have to catch the plane back to England and you don’t know when you’ll be back again, so you always try to make the most of it.

Of course I have been homesick sometimes while living in England. But thanks to modern technology I never feel like I’m far away. My brother and I can sometimes sit on Skype for up to four hours. We don’t talk the whole time, we just have each other in the background while we do other things.

If you are interested in reading blogs about what it’s like being an expat, I recommend checking out Do You Speak Travel. Danka is from Slovakia, but is currently an expat in China.

Have you lived/do you live the expat life? What have you learned from it? Leave me a comment below. 

9 thoughts on “6 Things I’ve Learned From Living In England

  1. “There are some really dodgy looking places and towns in England as well. ”

    Definitely. And very often so close to really beautiful places; the juxtaposition can be impressive (“awesome”‘s probably not the right word!). For instance, the town I live in (population 25,000) has a large dodgy-looking council estate at one end and, less than 2km away, a designated conservation area around old stone houses. It’s an old coal-mining area and parts still have that ‘LS Lowry’ vibe about them, yet it’s only 20km from both Matlock in the Peak District, and in the other direction, from Edwinstowe in the heart of Sherwood Forest.

    England’s too small not to have its quirks and mish-mashes so close together. 🙂

    (On a completely different note, you are the first non-Brit I’ve ever come across to use the word ‘dodgy’! You very definitely have eased yourself into British society very well. Do you know the word ‘naff’ as well?!)
    The Barefoot Backpacker recently posted…The F*cket List, or Places To Die Before I GoMy Profile

    • Zascha

      Haha, the last part of your comment made me laugh.
      I have been told before that I have become “too British” now, whatever that means. I even have my tea with milk (never did that before I came here, and my Mum tells me off for doing it whenever I visit her, because according to her milk in tea is not real tea ….) and if there’s no milk, it’s just a bad day really! 😀

      • Oh I make a really awful Brit on that score. I don’t really like tea anyway (except for Arabic mint tea with like 6568923423985342 tons of sugar!), and I *really* don’t understand why anyone would put milk in it! All you end up with is a warm milky watery drink that tastes vaguely of … something earthy!

  2. I used to work for a British call center and had the pleasure to hear that stereotypical posh English accent several times a day. Sadly those were usually the people who were the rudest as well!
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  3. I am just about to leave my home country of New Zealand to live in London for two years. I am a little bit scared but I liked how you said that afterwards it made you feel like you could do anything, I feel a little bit better now.

    • Zascha

      Aaron, don’t worry! (Although that’s easy for me to say, I know). But you’ll get used to it quickly and it’ll be an amazing time 🙂

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