This week we interview English blogger Lakeland Jo who posts about her life in idyllic Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District. Jo has travelled to the USA many times and gives us her impressions:
Where have you been to in the States?
Chicago, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Orlando, Miami
What were your preconceived notions and how (if at all) were they different from your experience?
All I can say in brief is I expected to love it and I do. When I first started visiting I loved how fabulous the malls were, but UK is catching up fast. I also loved Starbucks but we have that too now! I expected everything to be on a big scale, but I was overwhelmed by the size of everything and how a big distance to us is a small distance to an American.
What do you like most about the States?
I like the attitude to success. It’s ok to be good at stuff, it’s ok to succeed, it’s ok to talk about succeeding and being good at stuff. I think the prevailing attitude is positive and upbeat.
Anything you dislike?
I am not sure dislike is the right word for this, and I can’t say that I am terribly well travelled in the US, but I was surprised that there seems to be such strong cultural similarities across such big distances. There appears to be a much more ‘conservative’ attitude to life than here in Europe from my perspective. Europeans seem much more cosmopolitan and liberal.
I really dislike the health care arrangements in the US. It really frightens me how it works over there. I hope it never gets like that here in the UK. I think the NHS is a diamond. It has flaws and it needs improving, but it is so worth maintaining and investing in. I will fight to protect it all my life. Bottom line- I am alive because of it. In the US I would either be dead, or bankrupt. Not right. It’s the bit of the American dream that doesn’t work for me. I once met a waitress in IHOP. Her teeth had fallen out at the front. She told me she couldn’t afford dental insurance. Folk have to sell houses when they have cancer. Nightmare.
We haven’t had much happiness on US airlines generally- the service is very poor and rude in our experience.
And also son't like the gun culture there.
What do you think the USA could learn from the UK?
See above- the NHS.
I think the British have a fairly international perspective on life- that doesn’t seem to the case in the US.
Portion control on food- so much goes to waste!
And what could the UK learn from the States?
Celebrating success, being proud of our country, attitude to service.
Describe Americans in one sentence (of less than twenty words.)
(I hate to generalize..it’s a big country!)
Positive, friendly, helpful, patriotic, conservative, extroverted ( in comparison to Brits). There are very few Americans I have met or worked with that I haven’t liked.
Thank you Lakeland Jo.
Spring in the park
5 hours ago