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7 tips every American must read before moving to the UK to live and work
Categories : Living in the UK
I am an American expat who lives in the UK with my spouse for nearly 20 years. An alarming recent trend I have been noticing is the increased interest by Americans who want to move to the United Kingdom and over the years, I have met several Americans who shared their journey with me. As a result of their journey and interest in immigrating to the United Kingdom, I am putting together a few blogs to help in the decision process.
This blog is a high-level blog that focuses on tips to consider before deciding to move to the United Kingdom (UK).
Please check below for more blog articles and if you wish to help support us, please feel free to make a purchase since we ship world-wide.
1) Your passion for living in the UK will quickly change to animosity if you do not integrate into British society:
I find many American ex-pats isolate themselves with other Americans or no one, instead of trying to integrate into British society. This leads to feelings of loneliness, distress, anxiety and a strong feeling of wanting to return to the United States. The secret of resolving feeling of animosity of being in the UK is by participating in British life.
2) It is not a catastrophe if you cannot find Tide or other American products:
It can be terrifying to live in another country that seem familiar but different. The world will not come to a screeching halt if you cannot buy your favorite American product in the United Kingdom. The secret is two fold. First, understand that brand names are cultural and sometimes companies change names to be more appropriate for the country. For example, American Tide laundry detergent equivalence in the UK is Ariel. Second, supermarkets will carry American products and web sites like Amazon also have them.
3) Beware the United Kingdom is not the United States:
It is frightening to move to another country that will challenge your understanding of who you are and moving to another country, can force you to wanting what is familiar. I will be the first to admit customer service in the United Kingdom is strongly lacking and standing line can take forever. However, the United Kingdom is a sovereign nation with its own language, culture and beliefs. It is important to learn the complaint policy for each company and research consumer protection laws. There is a lot laws to protect you but you will have to know where to look to find the information and how to use it.
4) Leaving America is distressing but for your well-being you need to make a break:
From my own experience, I find about 70% of the Americans I meet, hate the UK? Why? The ones who say they do not like the UK are those that fall into one of two categories. The first category is they are enmeshed with the United States and frequently travels back. It can be devastating to leave friends and family in the United States. Making living in the UK very hard. However, for your own well-being you need to make a break. If you enmesh yourself in your family's politics and have to know everything that is going on with your, then it can harm your overall well-being. When you live in another country. adjusting to exotic and foreign ways means, creating a distance. By creating a distance, it means taking step back from the family politics. Instead, take time to integrate into British society by taking time to visit the country, work, and meet others. By striking a balance, it will help with your adjustment.
5) Be prepared to face horrific and disastrous family drama:
When my spouse and I moved to the United Kingdom it caused a lot of family drama and backstabbing. Based on conversations with Americans I have met all of them faced some sort of family drama that devastated them. How you handle the change and how you communicate the change to your family members will greatly impact their reaction. My advice, when planning your move plan how to deal with backstabbing family members who are trying to undermine your happiness by trying to make you feel guilty about your move.
6) Don't have a conniption if the UK is not what you are expecting:
In #4, I mention there are two categories of Americans who do not like the UK and in #4, I mention the first category. Now, I will mention the second group of Americans that do not like the UK.
The second group of Americans who do not like living in the UK are those who believe the UK would be much different either based on their ideas or based on what their UK spouse sold them.
I find I am a part of a minority. My spouse and I met in the United States before moving to the United Kingdom. Most Americans, who are married living in the UK, are those who met their spouse online. They may travel once to the United Kingdom before marrying and once they move to the UK they find it is not what they were expecting.
In my opinion, it is irrational to meet once or even a few times, and base a life changing decision based on an idyllic image of what they believe life in the UK will be like. They are miserable in the UK and miss living the United States. A lot of the time, they will discuss returning to the United States with their spouse.
7) Avoid resentment by understanding what is involved with moving:
Brighter Tomorrow has information regarding life in the UK and if requested Brighter Tomorrow can provide more on a more personal level. Likewise there are several Facebook groups that discuss life in the UK. Before undertaking a major life stress that will forever alter your relationships take time to understand the full impact of your decision and what will mean for you.