I went to London for my first time a few weeks ago, and I can't stop thinking about going back.
I absolutely loved it. Having lived in NYC for almost two years, London didn't seem all that overwhelming or intimidating. While we were there, my boyfriend and I were actually more interested in non-traditional touristy things (Read about it here and here). However, I've found myself daydreaming about returning several times, so I've decided to make an unbiased as possible comparison of NYC versus London.
First of all, this is a given for most girls, but the English accents are just so cute. Their accents make the Brits seem more aristocratic and chipper. Accents aside, the men also dress more refined. It's not like they were all
walking around in Prada suits or anything, but they seemed more put together. The majority of the men wear dress pants or slacks, and if they do wear jeans , they aren't baggy and don't have holes in them. NYC houses the majority of the same designer stores as London, but for men I noticed more custom-made suit shops. I didn't notice the women as being anymore fashionable than New Yorkers, but again, similar to the men, their casual clothing does not mean hoodies and sweatpants.
Secondly, I enjoyed the sense of royalty surrounding London….or at least by Buckingham Palace. I suppose you get a feeling of patriotism in DC near the White House, but for some reason, all of London seems more regal. Other observations include the following: the streets are cleaner in London, and this includes the trains and train platforms. BUT, the tube is much smaller than the NYC trains. There is no personal space; you're all like packed in sardines. Also, London's population is 7.8 million and NYC's is about 8.2 million, but London seems much less crowded. It could have also been due to the fact that Kevin and I didn't flock towards the touristy areas though.
Additionally, London seems slower paced
than NYC. Kevin, who was there for a week beforehand for work, doesn't think the Brits have the same work ethic as New Yorkers. They don't work as long of hours and his observation is that they don't work quite as hard during work hours either. I'm sure it varies by industry and doesn't ring true for all Brits, but I did notice that even the pace everyone walks seems slower in London. I kind of liked it though! It can be stressful rushing through each day at a high intensity level, so I appreciate the slower pace to stop and smell the flowers so to speak.
Along with enjoying life and the company you're with, my absolute favorite part about London was having afternoon tea. Tea tastes better in London, especially when you actually have time to sip
and enjoy it. Afternoon tea for Kevin and I would stretch to two hours. In addition to the tea, we would
have a selection of pastries and warm scones. The scones there are delectable. I ate more scones in London than any other food. Afternoon tea is the most enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
I enjoy London so much I would honestly consider moving there. The only three things preventing me from up and moving across the pond are: 1. Getting a Visa to work in London seems like it would be a complete hassle. 2. My family is in the U.S. 3. It is expensive–even more so than NYC. The exchange rate is horrible. I was only there for four days and it definitely put a dent in my wallet (even more so for Kevin who foot the hotel bill).
London and NYC are very similar, but they have different appeal. I do love living in NYC, but I enjoy fantasizing about life in London. I guess I will just have to start saving for my next trip to London. Everyone has to have something to look forward to anyway, right?