I’m a fan of traveling. Now that I’m in the UK, traveling is a thousand times easier and cheaper than when I lived in the US and I’ve already started making my travel plans for next year (Montreal for when I visit family in the US, Belfast, Warsaw and Prague, and maybe Istanbul).
I knew Mr. LJ well when he lived in the US, and he traveled a lot for work which I found impressive. However, I’m now starting to get to know British Mr. LJ while living in England and it’s hilariously different.
Just like any British bloke, he’s extremely stubborn and isn’t up to trying new things. I’m not saying every English person is like this. I have a fair share of British friends who are nothing like this, but I’ve also met enough of them to know this stereotype is pretty accurate.
For instance, the other day while going for a walk, a random thought bubble floated into my head and I realized, during our two year relationship, I’ve never once seen Mr. LJ eat a piece of fruit. When I mean a piece of fruit, I don’t mean strawberries on top of a cheesecake, or chocolate covered bananas. I mean a good old fashioned bowl of grapes, apples, pineapple, etc. Not once. I approached him with this thought and how I found it super strange.
“You literally don’t eat fruit. I’ve never seen it,” I said.
He thought about this for a minute and he said, “Yeah, I guess not. I didn’t eat any fruit in the US because I wasn’t sure if it was safe.”
I started laughing hysterically and was like, ” Safe?! What do you mean safe?”
“I don’t know. I know English fruit is fine, but I didn’t know anything about the fruit produced in the US.”
“Because we’re all just dropping dead from eating fruit?” I asked.
I’m marrying a weird man, I know this. But I really got to know this side of him when we took a trip to Cyprus last week. We were attending a friends wedding and I have never been to Cyprus. I don’t even think I’d heard of the country until we booked the flights. All I knew is that we were staying on the Greek side of the island and not the Turkish side. We traveled with his friend Cody.
As soon as we got on the plane, Cody was balls deep in alcohol because he was on holiday! So he spent his first 30 quid on the airplane, loading up on vodka and sandwiches. I usually avoid drinking and eating at the airport or on the plane, mostly because it’s too expensive and I’d like to save my money for the trip, and secondly, because I’d like to not be hungover by the time I land.
We arrived in Paphos and the first thing I noticed was that everything was British. The food, the drinks, the people, even the damn outlets were English and not European. I was a bit confused. In the morning, we decided to go to breakfast and I noticed, every restaurant served a full English breakfast. I could barely find Greek food anywhere.
I asked Mr. LJ about this and he didn’t think anything of it. I saw more English people than locals and I couldn’t have been more disappointed. It actually made me a little sad. This is when I found out how the English actually spend their holiday.
It’s apparently a “thing” where they spend their money on an all inclusive hotel with unlimited drinks and food, and all they do is sit by the beach/pool and do NOTHING. They sunbathe, drink, eat, and go to a local pub with other British holidayers and that’s about it. They even made a hilarious sitcom about it called Benidorm, which you can find on Netflix.
I’m actually horrified by this knowledge. I’m also horrified that Americans are typically stamped as being “uncultured” but I honestly can’t think of a single American who would do this.
I told Mr. LJ that I am NOT spending my holiday like this and that I wanted to go see Aphrodite’s Rock and Tomb of the Kings, which he happily obliged. But if I hadn’t been there, he probably would have just sat on the beach and drank beers the whole time.
This concept truly baffles me. I don’t care how many countries you say you’ve been to. You didn’t go anywhere if all you did was hangout at the resort and eat carvery. I told Mr. LJ that when we have kids and start going on holiday with them, I refuse to holiday like that.
“Nah, it’s the best. We will do one someday.”
“Over my dead body,” I said. My kids are going to be cultured as fuucckkkkk.
Mr. LJ and I discussed the reasons behind this holiday culture together to truly understand the difference and I think I’ve come to terms with one of the reasons that made Mr. LJ understand completely.
Americans are bit more restricted when it comes to traveling, unless you have loose purse strings. Granted, we have a large country and depending on your mood, can find something different. You want something warm and tropical? Go to Florida. You want more colonial and homey? Go to New England. You want something exciting, rich and new, go to LA. We have many areas in our country, so we get to dip our toes into a lot. But it’s still not “cheap”. Flying from Boston to LA is the same amount as flying from Boston to London, unfortunately.
The English, however, have access to so many wonderful places and at a cheap cost! I could fly to Belfast for less than 50 quid. I can fly to Warsaw for 100 quid. I could fly to Rome for less than 100 quid. ITS. SO. CHEAP. I think because of this, and the simple act of traveling all over Europe is kind of the “norm”, they take it for granted.
Most Americans I know, (including myself when I was a wee lass), would dream about going to Europe, and the harsh truth is, many of them may never go due to expenses or simply life. So when an American goes on “holiday” somewhere new, we see EVERYTHING. We try EVERYTHING. Spaghetti with inky squid? YAWWP. Walk 24,000 steps around a city in order to cram everything in? YAWWP.
We see everything because we don’t know if we will ever come back again.
Now before you slam me with, “But I’m British and not like that!” I wasn’t talking specifically about you, girl. But this is a stereotype and it exists for a reason. Just like I know not all Americans are good travelers. I know one or two who would have loved to go to the same restaurant every single day because it was good the first time, so why risk it? BECAUSE THERE ARE A MILLION OTHER AMAZING RESTAURANTS YOU DOOFUS.
Will I go to Cyprus again? Probably not. If I wanted to eat English food and hang out with English people, I wouldn’t spend $1,000 to do it.