It's good to be an American outside of London

It's good to be an American outside of London

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Tom Carroll discusses the benefits of living outside London and shares his observations of rural life in Britain

By and large, Americans are welcomed in the UK, or at the very least well-tolerated. A lot depends on the local saturation level; where there are lots of tourists, or lots of Americans who have settled into local communities they can find their welcome a bit thin, although most Brits are way too polite to be openly hostile.

But while London may be a bit fatigued by American tourists (and tourists in general), the smaller towns outside of London are another story.  Again where there aren't large American settlements (Surrey, I'm looking at you), there's a lot more open interest in Americans.

It's quite common for locals in these places to ask where you're from and strike up a conversation as soon as they hear you speak, and if they see you on a regular basis they make a point of trying to draw you into a conversation, just so they can hear you.

There's a cashier at a local grocer that my wife runs into periodically, and while he's fairly formal with the people ahead of her in the line, he lights up and gets quite chatty when it's her turn (maybe I should be worried).

Just recently we went to a farm that had opened itself up to the public during lambing season, and an older gentleman (a vendor selling local sausages) was apparently quite captivated by my exotic accent, going so far as to leave his post at the grill to come over and visit us more where we were eating lunch.

We've lived this experience many times, at restaurants, pubs, shops, etc. This has gone a long way in forming our opinion that Brits are actually a pretty warm bunch.


Tom Carroll is from Chicago who has been living in the UK on and off since late 2000. He resides on his farm in the country between London and Cambridge, and lives with his wife, son, two cats, and a garden full of chickens. Tom is a software architect/ developer, expat, family man, cultural observer and in his words a ‘curser of garden weeds’.  Republished from Tom's blog The Transplanted Yankee

Photo by Miss Claeson (flickr)

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1 Comment To This Article

  • Debra posted:

    on 5th July 2013, 16:15:14 - Reply

    Hello Tom,

    Read you article on the internet about living as an American outside of London. I am a Nurse whose always been interested in the English Countryside and for one thing have always admired the spirit of the British people. I am a highly sensitive gal and sometimes want to get away from all this keeping up with the Jones's life. I just like the simple things in life and I want to keep it that way. I love being an American but as I get older I wonder if Americans have the wrong priorities in place. Happiness to me is an English Garden! Good Luck with living in the UK.