1. Everyone back home (a.k.a England) thinks your life is now all beaches, sunbathing and eating kale.
2. You will loose the ability to walk anywhere. Driving is life.
3. Prepare to spend too many hours of your life stuck in traffic.
4. Get used to answering the question “where about’s are you from in England?” with something that has to be related to your home town’s distance from London or Manchester. Any other attempts to explain your origins will be met with blank stares.
5. You will immediately want coffee as soon as you step out of your front door and will feel incomplete without a Starbucks cup in hand.
6. You will be able to spot a British person a mile off. And you immediately have to smile and make eye contact, and ask where they’re from, in your most English accent possible (think Downton Abbey, Hugh Grant, Prince Charles).
7. You will spend your time in shops constantly saying ” …but that would cost you twice as much/half as much back home!” Swings and roundabouts, people.
8. Get excited when you see a roundabout. And definitely point it out several times to any passengers in the car, while reminding yourself how to use them.
9. Be prepared to be asked: “are you Australian?” 😶
10. Become a wine expert within 2 weeks of moving. Living so close to “Wine Country” will have you looking at the bottles on the higher shelves in Trader Joe’s and examining the pairing options, before looking at the price and selecting the same paint stripper you bought last weekend from the second-from-bottom shelf (come on, I’m not that cheap).
11. You’ll crave real weather: rain, thunder, lightening. You’ll miss the mornings of looking at the weather app on your phone, to help you decide whether it’s a jumper and scarf kind of day or if you can brave leaving the house without a coat. My decisions nowadays revolve around how long I can sit inside without the air con switched on before I give in.
12. Learn to call it “soccer” or run the risk of offending any true American in a conversation where you end up arguing which sport is the real football.
13. Any glimpse of English food has to be purchased. Even if it’s something that you wouldn’t waste the calories on if you still lived in England.
14. You will get very good at working out what 109% of prices are. It helps so you don’t get flustered at the till, trying to work out if you have enough money in your bank account when you’re asked to hand over more money than the tag says.
15. Get used to having to repeat yourself several times when trying to order water in a restaurant.
16. People from home tease you with “I’m going to be visiting your area next month, fancy a coffee?” Nope, sorry. The distance between LA and San Francisco may look like a hop, skip and a jump on a map, but really it will take me 8 hours to drive. I miss you friend, but not that much.
17. Don’t expect to meet any true Californians. It’s a town of immigrants and anyone who was born here has packed their bags and moved on to a cheaper city.
18. You will constantly moan about house prices. Yes, I could buy a nice 4 bedroom home in rural Norfolk for under £300,000 but here it won’t even get me a studio apartment above someone else’s garage in the bad part of San Jose. Here’s to renting for life ✌🏼️
19. Accept that England does so many things better than America, including making chips (not fries 😠), chocolate and respectable drivers.