I moved from London to the the Florida Keys 6 months ago now, and island life has finally taken me over. It has been a big shock to the system, going from clock watching on the tube at rush hour to cycling everywhere. These are the lessons I have learned over the past 6 months, which will hopefully help any other Brit making their way across the pond to the hot and humid, quirky and unusual Florida Keys…

BBQ’s are not a special occasion.

The American language is a tad over simplified and you just have to go with it. For example, where one might say ‘twice’ they say ‘two times.’

Everyone goes fishing.

Other than neon t-shirts with ‘Florida Keys’ on the front you cannot find anything to wear.

Iguanas are the equivalent to squirrels and are everywhere, including squashed on the road.

london to florida differences

One of the biggest causes of concussion is an iguana falling from a tree.

And coconuts… be very aware of falling coconuts.

Tipping in restaurants is absurd. If you do not tip 20% you are a tight ass.

Also ‘ass’ is used instead of ‘arse’.

Whilst the rule of thumb with dogs in doors remains the same, if you wish to take your Chihuahua/Corgy/Sausage dog into a restaurant you can. You just have to say it is a ‘service dog’.

london to florida differences

Everyone watches the football and is wildly passionate about it.

Most post boxes are in the shape of a manatee.

Public toilet stalls have wide gaps in them, meaning should they wish to, people can see you doing your business.

‘Well’ liquors are the equivalent of own brands and should only be drank when drunk.

Beer is extremely cheap, and drank in bottles with ‘coozies’ rather than pints.

london to florida differences

Daytime drinking is totally acceptable, and heavily encouraged by the 3-hour ‘Happy Hour’.

Do not order shots unless you are prepared for the worst – they are twice the size of shots in the UK.

If you leave the house in anything with sleeves you will regret it.

But if you don’t you might freeze to death indoors in the air conditioning.

Good coffee is hard to find. If you order an Americano, you will be looked at strangely.

london to florida differences

If, when asked for the time, you say ‘half past four’ you will also be looked at strangely.

No one drinks bottled water in restaurants. This means the slightly awkward requesting of ‘tap’ that happens in the UK never happens here.

There is no point spending too much time doing your make-up. The humidity will of evaporated it within ten minutes of leaving the house.

The same goes for your hair.

Everyone has some kind of weather app on their phones, and refers to it frequently.

london to florida differences

Hurricanes are scary and to be feared by everyone, except for the locals who don’t bat an eyelid.

If you have a bucket of water sitting outside your house you will get in trouble from the mosquito police.

If said water is poured into the canal, a manatee might come to drink it.

london to florida differences

Despite common misconceptions, there really aren’t that many beaches.

Shoes are optional.

What are your most peculiar London to Florida differences?


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