Knowing Chile, Knowing England

International relationships mean that you are not only getting to know somebody but you get to know their whole culture too.  DSC08020

Carlos and I have had a long while to get to learn about each others cultures over our seven years together; Carlos lived in England for four years and I’ve lived in Chile for a total of almost two-and-a-half years (across two different times).  So, I thought it would be fun to think about our most favourite and least favourites things about Chile and England.

I wrote my answers first and then asked Carlos for his, so we didn’t influence each other 😉

Favourite thing about Chile

M: Without a doubt, the natural beauty. Chile has to be one of the world’s most beautiful countries and the nature is so accessible. We are making the most out of all of Chile’s natural beauty by exploring it as much as we can.

C: The climate and landscape diversity. If you want to go to the beach and eat seafood you can, if you want a mystical experience in the desert you can, or you can go on a peaceful trip to the lake or an active trip to the south; a day trek or several days. Also the health & safety is not as strict in Chile compared to England so you can use that at your advantage and probably explore places that wouldn’t be allowed in England.DSC07924dsc07819

Favourite thing about England

M: Diversity! Growing up in London, diversity was a very normal thing to me and it’s something I love!! I think it’s the best thing about England as it has given so much to English culture; it influences the arts and food as well as hopefully creating a tolerant and diverse place to live.  I just hope in this climate of Brexit, Trump etc, that that doesn’t change.

C: The train system. It works well, you have a range of options from the urban trains to night sleepers. Despite what British people say, I think it is very reliable, apart from when it snows! The service is good and you can eat and drink onboard (I rather enjoy the drinking part hahaha). I also like the history and heritage of England, there is nice old architecture. We don’t have that in Chile because it’s such a new country and often the earthquakes reduce old buildings down to ashes.DSC06683DSC06676

Worst thing about Chile

M: Inefficiency. Paperwork and errands can take so so much longer than they need to. Often you can’t do simple things online or on the phone, you have to go to the office which tends to only open Monday to Friday until 2pm, making things frustrating.

C: Wow, I have a long list. Customer service is probably among the top 3. Even though Chilean people are really friendly, customer service is really bad. I didn’t realise it was so bad until I went to England! Another problem is that because we are a relatively small country in terms of economy, the offer for services (from mobile providers until airlines) is quite reduced, which means in the end you can’t choose what you want but what you can get instead.

Worst thing about England

M: I would probably have to say the unreliable weather. It’s hard when you don’t have a clear cut season of summer and the grey days make the winter hard!  Having said that, I couldn’t wait to go home to London in December when the weather hit 36 degrees here in Santiago!

C: The weather, by far. It’s grey!… I mean always grey hehehe

Favourite place in Chile

M: My favourite place to live is definitely Santiago as I am a big city lover. As for a city to visit, it would be Valparaiso for its colour and art. It’s hard to choose a favourite place for natural beauty, but so far it would be Cerro Castillo as I loved our 4-day trek there!




Cerro Castillo

C: I don’t think I have a favourite place in Chile. It would be any place in the mountains with a lake.

Favourite place in England

M: This answer is so obvious for me: London. It was my first true love, and it always will be.

C: Probably London. It’s a very lively city that has everything. The only problem is, it’s so expensive!DSC06752

Favourite food in Chile

M: Avocado, avocado!  It’s the best here in Chile, it’s so fresh and creamy… I am actually eating avocado on bread right now.

C: Pastel de Choclo – a sweetcorn pie made with sweetcorn, ground beef, olives, hard-boiled eggs and onion.

Favourite food in England

M: Indian food is my very favourite!  I have found a few places here in Santiago, but I’m used to having an Indian restaurant on almost every road in England!DSC08424

C: Fish and chips of course with a pint of ale.

Favourite weekend activity in England

M: My most favourite way to spend a Sunday in London is to go to Brick Lane, wander around and admire the street art before heading to The Sunday Up Market to eat food from around the globe.  IMG_7265

C: Going to the countryside or an old town and trying a local beer.

Favourite weekend activity in Chile:

M: Every Sunday, Santiago closes 37km of road to cars, opening it up to bikes, runners and skaters.  Carlos and I love to cycle around on Sundays and it has such a community feel to it.

C: A day trek to the mountains or a sunday barbecue with friends and/or family.

So, there you have it!  Which other questions would you ask?  And if you are living abroad, what have you learnt from the experience?

Marcella xx

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42 thoughts on “Knowing Chile, Knowing England

  1. I love that both of y’all answered all of the questions, especially since either country is y’all’s home country! It’s funny how both of y’all have similar answers that align across both countries, like both loving the outdoors in Chile. And avocados are seriously no joke! I don’t know what I’d do without them!

  2. Marcella, you always have the most fun and unique styles of posts!! I loved reading about both your perspectives and now I want to make my boyfriend do one with me…. although he only lived in the USA for two 3-month stints so I don’t know if that counts…

  3. Awww I love this and hearing your different views! And some of your answers are the same hehe. I miss the avocado in Chile too… they’re so good! Aside from that, i would say I like the Peruvian food there..mmmm… lomo saltado is so delicious. And I didn’t know you can drink on the train in London!

  4. What a fun idea for a post. It’s fun to compare perspectives. My husband is the same nationality as me but it’s still cool to look back and compare our different opinions. #wanderfulwednesday

  5. This is so interesting! Chile and England are both so different from each other and they both have some major wins – and fails! I think I would love the weather and nature of Chile but I hate bureaucracy so I’m not sure how well I would cope with everyday life there – apart from not speaking enough Spanish 😉 I’ve yet to visit London but I know that I would love the energy of the city but the prices there would definitely annoy me too. Such a tough call!! Are you two planning to stay in Chile for good now or will you move back to England eventually?

  6. Aww! I used to live in London so I can relate to some of this stuff, especially the “always grey” part. I remember it being the middle of August and wondering when Summer would actually arrive. It’s so cool that you both got to live in each others’ home lands and experience them for yourselves! #WanderfulWednesday

  7. I feel like I learned so much about both places! Two big takeaways: I clearly need try try Pastel de Choclo – sounds amazing…. and that tidbit about Santiago closing the roads on the weekends is pretty cool (maybe not so much for drivers, though).

  8. Loved this! As a non-Englander, I actually agree with Carlos in so much of his answers about England. I also agree with you about the diversity being one of the best things about it. I really miss London. I’ve been missing it more lately.

  9. This is a very fun post! From your answer’s about Chile, I can see that it is a little bit like Puerto Rico. The systems are inefficient and the customer service is not the best. But, there are other positive that outweight the negatives. #wanderfulwednesday

  10. This is such a fun idea for a post! I love the comparison between your answers – it also gives an insight into you guys! Yay for avocados, diversity, and overall the joys of sharing each other’s cultures.

  11. Loved reading your guys answers and seeing how they were similar in some ways and differed in others! It’s so true that any international relationship (whether it work, friends or love) is such a learning experience. Living abroad in two countries now has taught me so much about myself and other cultures! I think I’d have to agree that I’m happy to live in Santiago, as there is always something to do, somewhere new to try and it’s the easiest place to travel from, but it’s definitely not my “favorite place” in Chile. I think Valparaíso stole my heart as far as a vacation destination, but I also don’t know if I’d want to live there. And we’re definitely on the same page with the Chilean avocadoooooooo! YUM! 😀

    • Thanks Lauren!! We learn so much for really experiencing a different culture, I also never realised how much I would learn about England! I really do like Santiago, I think I’m one of those only ones who doesn’t dream of living the countryside 😉

  12. Great idea for a post – that’s very true about getting to know a whole new culture if you have a partner from a different country, and Chile and England are pretty different!! I like the comment about the inefficiency of paperwork etc. In Italy it is much the same and beaurocracy is a complete nightmare. It’s good that you’ve both tried living in each other’s countries, do you think you’ll ever move back to England together?

  13. Love this post! It’s so cool to see both countries through different eyes – especially how Carlos experienced England! It’s bright blue skies today tell him – ha ha! Man, I miss those avocados… 😉

  14. Hola, it was great fun to read your views. I am an Englishman living in Valparaiso and my wife is Chilean, so I can empathise with your views. We are very lucky to have this opportunity to experience life in these two countries.

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