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American who moved to London reveals what surprised her most in regards to the UK mindset


Kalyn Franke, who runs GirlGoneLondon.com

A couple of surprises lay in wait for Kalyn Franke before she moved from Florida to the UK. To start with, not everyone seems to be like a Mary Poppins character.

‘I feel as Americans, we’re brought up considering that British persons are essentially straight out of Mary Poppins, with that very same form of accent,’ she tells MailOnline Travel. ‘Being exposed to a wide range of British people and culture definitely helped me see that that is only a small segment of society here. The accents vary a lot across the UK, as a starter.’

Kalyn, 30, is originally from Florida but has lived within the UK capital for 10 years and now produces blogs, videos and online courses about life within the country full-time. She has a web site called GirlGoneLondon.com and there is even a Girl Gone London book – ‘a frank and honest have a look at the differences between the UK and America’.

Kalyn moved to London via her U.S university’s ‘study abroad program’, ‘fell in love with the town and never looked back’.

She reveals that one of the vital memorable first impressions was how clean the UK seemed.

She says: ‘I remember being incredibly impressed by how clean every part felt in comparison with some major US cities.’

And he or she was pleased about feeling secure, too.

She continues: ‘It felt secure. And I loved that I could travel around by myself as a solo female traveller without much worry, including worries that I actually have in the usregarding guns.’

Kalyn was also surprised by how muted the locals were.

She says: ‘I used to be surprised by how quiet it felt to me in certain situations. As an American, I’m used to a more boisterous culture – you may normally hear us coming from a mile away – but within the UK I used to be struck by how quiet it was on a commuter-hour train, as an example.’

Kalyn has noticed that Britons are likely to be quite self-deprecating, but says that Americans see through this.

She says: ‘I feel the self-deprecating culture of the UK doesn’t easily translate to the U.S. I feel Americans perceive Britons in a better regard than most Britons would discuss themselves for this reason culture.’

Kalyn reveals that she’d like to inject the British with that renowned American ‘can-do attitude’.

She continues: ‘I’d wish to bring over that sense of American optimism and enthusiasm. We’re brought up in the usto imagine that “we will turn out to be anything we wish to” and while it will not be entirely grounded in point of fact, I prefer it to the more British mentality that always seems like it’s best to “know your house” and maybe “dream, but not too big”.

American visitors shouldn't miss Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament (above), says Kalyn

American visitors shouldn’t miss Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament (above), says Kalyn

‘I often think this pertains to the differences in the category system and ruling in each countries as well. Within the U.S, when you are a U.S-born citizen, you technically can turn out to be president at some point. Within the UK, irrespective of how hard you tried, unless you were born into the royal family, you won’t ever be on the very “top” of the UK system.’

Nonetheless, Kalyn believes there’s something the British have that Americans may benefit from. Britons comprehend it because the ‘Blitz Spirit’.

Kalyn says: ‘From the UK to America, I’d wish to bring over the “we’re on this together” spirit. We saw during Covid what number of Americans definitely didn’t view the pandemic as something to band together about, whereas within the UK, there was a sense of doing the suitable thing by your neighbour and others locally and banding together to all work towards a standard goal.’

The author can be a giant fan of the UK’s healthcare system and its ‘far superior work-life balance’.

A must-visit outside London is the Lake District, says Kalyn. Above is the area's stunning Buttermere lake

A must-visit outside London is the Lake District, says Kalyn. Above is the world’s stunning Buttermere lake

Kalyn’s book ‘weaves practical advice about life within the UK’ along with her ‘funny anecdotes and experiences to assist Americans who need to move to the UK know what it’s really like’

What bits of the UK does she tell Americans they need to make their priority to go to?

She reveals: ‘Obviously London, since it is the heartbeat of the south of the UK and is such a global city. Visitors shouldn’t miss Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, the British Museum (where Cleopatra and the Rosetta Stone could be found), and Borough Marketplace for its thriving street food scene and electric atmosphere.’

Her personal go-to haunts in London are Da Mario in Kensington, one in every of Princess Diana’s favourite Italian restaurants – ‘I find it irresistible there’ – in addition to Camden Market ‘for its quirky shopping’, Regent’s Park ‘for that stunning view of the town from Primrose Hill’ and Ben’s Cookies (there are kiosks spread around London), that are ‘genuinely the most effective cookies I’ve ever eaten’.

Outside the capital, Americans, says Kalyn, should make a beeline for the Lake District, ‘for its stunning beauty and natural scenery’, the coast of Wales ‘for a few of the most effective UK coastline you’ve got ever seen’, Edinburgh ‘for its charm and that gorgeous castle’ and Belfast ‘for its incredible history, museums, and insight into the history of the UK and Ireland’.

For more, buy Kalyn’s book, which ‘weaves practical advice about life within the UK’ along with her ‘funny anecdotes and experiences to assist Americans who need to move to the UK know what it’s really like, from visas to homesickness to crying within the food market – supermarket within the UK – because you may’t determine what that vegetable is named’.

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