When you’re travelling long term you’re sure to miss a thing or two from home, and I don’t mean your dog or sister. The rest of the world does things differently to England. It’s great, it’s one of the reasons you’re travelling, but you’ll soon come to realise there are a few aspects of life that only England can get right.
We’ve already discussed 11 things only travelling Brits will understand. Now every time I leave England, these are the things I realise it does better than anywhere else.
A bed is made up of the frame, a comfy mattress, a bottom sheet and a duvet in a duvet cover, with two to three pillows, agreed?
In other countries they just sleep on some kind of mattress under a sheet. A sheet! Or when its cold, a sheet with blankets on top. Oh gawd, I hate blankets. You just know that they don’t wash them and with all the different layers I’m all in a tangle when I wake up.
Duvets year round are hands down the best thing about living in England. You’ll see.
I remember sunning myself somewhere fabulous, probably drinking cocktails by the pool or something similarly magnificent and my friend put a photo of a perfectly crafted big mug of tea on her Facebook. Youuu bitch. All I wanted was that hot mug of goodness.
At the peak of my tea consumption, when I had an office job, I was probably on about six a day. Now I only ever drink it in England. It doesn’t surprise me that a reported 50% of English people take tea bags on holiday, but it’s the milk in other countries that I don’t like.
You can’t beat coming home to a hot steaming mug, with semi-skimmed milk.
Tipping is for great service. That’s the whole point of it. I hate, hate, hate having to tip a dollar for a drink in the US. Why don’t they just pay their waiters properly?
Everyone there is so passionate about it too. “Tip your waiters, guys!” is just a normal thing to say to strangers in bars over there.
Can’t the price you pay just be the price listed and if they were extra good then you treat them with a tip? That’s how we do it in England.
Fish and chips
New Zealand reckon they know a thing or two about fish and chips, but after a disappointing first try I was willing to give them another bash, and yet, they failed me again.
Proper fish and chips feature soggy chips made from potato in the shop, covered in salt and vinegar alongside a crispy battered cod. And you know where you can find that? Yep, England.
Run up to Christmas
If December’s not dark by 4pm, people aren’t drinking Baileys for breakfast, and all anyone’s talking about is “how Christmas starts earlier every year”, it’s just not Christmas in my eyes.
In the past I’ve spent the Christmas run up in both Belize and Florida, and as glorious and exotic as both sound, neither felt right. It’s just not Christmas unless it’s cold, grim, and everyone’s wearing a reindeer jumper to work.
Over the past few years I’ve basically been on an unofficial chocolate tour of the world. I’ve tried chocolate in 60 of the 60 countries I’ve been to and can honestly say it’s best, by far, in England.
In the Caribbean it’s usually a whiteish colour out of the packet, thanks to the harsh conditions. In America it’s just grim. In Spain and France they put some ingredient in it to stop it melting. In Belgium it’s too rich and milky.
In England, you can’t beat a tasty bag of Cadbury’s milk buttons. Yum.
Why are plugs so different around the world? So annoying. You never know if you need the circular two prong, the pronged two prong, or something different. And then even when you plug the right one in it just doesn’t feel quite right in the socket. Why don’t they feel sturdy like a good English three prong? Why do they jiggle about and make you feel just a few seconds away from an electric shock?
Coming back to England and being able to plug in without searching high and low for the adaptor is an absolute dream.
And when I say pigs I’m not talking a visit to the farm to see their cute little pigtails, I’m talking proper English bacon and sausages. The breakfast necessity is just not the same in any other country I’ve visited.
Most places serve bacon super stringy and super fatty, while their sausages are full of chunks of fat. Ew. I was even disappointed by the bacon in Denmark, despite its reputation as the king of all the bacon.
No doubt about it, England’s piggy products rule.
Other countries might take the mick out of us for it, and you might not even think we’re that polite, but compared to other nations, we’re just delightful.
Bang into someone here, you apologise. Get in a queue, you stay behind the person in front of you. A shopkeeper hands you money, you say thanks a minimum of three times.
I’ve been to countries where getting on a bus is a scrum, I’ve seen people knock others over in a crowd without a second look and I’ve seen the cashier’s change hastily grabbed without even a look in the eyes.
Sorry if you found any of this offensive and thanks for reading. Really, thank you, and sorry.
Anything you miss about home I haven’t mentioned?