10 Ways To Spot A Brit Abroad

I know that I have been in South Africa for a few months now, but it is still easy to tell that I am not in my native country. It is quite clear that I am British. Now, I reckon that there are things that identify me as British and these things can make it quite easy to spot a Brit abroad. So, to help you be able to spot a Brit in the crowd, here are 10 ways to spot a Brit abroad:

  1. Sunburn.
    Okay. So there are some Brits that can tan nicely and look wonderful when they are abroad. But when I say some, I literally mean about 10% of the population (not quite accurate). Pretty much all other Brits will burn like there is no tomorrow. For example, I was out in the sun yesterday morning for about an hour, with suncream on, before anyone suggests otherwise, and my nose turned red. Like, it is literally glowing. No matter how hard we try, us Brits will burn and will look absolutely ridiculous. Considering that we are only just going in to Spring here though, imagine how much suncream I will need on when it gets to summer! So, if you see a sunburnt person in a country that is not the UK, the likelihood is, they will be a Brit.
  2. Queues.
    Even when there doesn’t need to be a queue, we will find a way to make one. I have noticed that here in South Africa, hoards tend to work better than queues. But if there is a Brit in the room, you can be sure that they will get in a queue and will be really angry if someone gets to the front by pushing in. Yet, they won’t vocalise this. They will stand there, silently fuming and plotting your death in 20 different ways whilst slowly turning a very bright shade of red.

  3. Tea.
    You only need to ask for a cup of tea twice in the space of an hour and you will be asked if you have British relations, no matter where you are in the world. And it is true; I have not discovered a country that drinks as much tea as the UK and uses it as a calming technique. So, if you come across someone drinking tea somewhere, they could be – probably are – British.


  4. Punctuality.
    African culture doesn’t really mind if you’re late. In fact, most people are late so it doesn’t really bother anyone. However, the thought of being even a second late strikes fear into the heart of the majority of the British population. If we are being honest here, being 10 minutes early is worryingly close to being late. So, moving to a country that does things at it’s own speed has meant that I have had to adapt to my surroundings. I have never struggled more with something as much as when I had to purposefully make myself late for things…

  5. Photos.
    Brits have a habit of documenting every little thing when they go abroad. I mean, you could say that I am carrying on the trend by having my own blog. But, and there is a very big but here, a true Brit will take a photo of literally anything and make up a story to go behind it so they have this awesome anecdote to share when they go back home. It can get extreme. If you see someone taking a picture of a railing at the beach, they are most likely a Brit trying to get an arty shot so that they don’t just show their friends a picture of sand when they get home.


  6. Accents.
    A Brit abroad becomes the master of all accents. I am not lying. They believe that they have the ability to ‘pick up’ an accent if they are around the people long enough, and trust me, are they good at it! (Please note: sarcasm.)

    Watch Michael McIntyre’s sketch on accents here.
  7. Water Temperature.
    Us Brits have a weird fascination with water temperature and find it a very interesting conversation starter. It will go something like this (imagine I have dropped all the t’s):
    “Dave, are you gettin’ in?”
    “I dunno mate. Seems a bit cold to me.” (Dips big toe in the water only to confirm worst suspicions.)
    “Mate, I think I am just going to have to brave it.” (Proceeds to edge ones-self into the water making increasingly loud noises, particularly when it gets to the waist.)
    “I’m just gonna have to go for it actually. I’ve just gotta swim!” (Screams as fully emerces self in water and swims a length of the pool.)
    “D’ya know what Dave? It’s better once you’re in!”

  8. Words.
    To the rest of the world, us Brits use a weird version of the English language apparently. When we say tea, for example, not only could we be referring to the lovely beverage. Oh, no! We could also be referring to the last meal of the day, otherwise known as dinner or supper. I know. We even confuse ourselves!

  9. Food.
    Brits are home birds at heart. So, the thought of eating a cuisine that is not native to the UK actually scares some of them. Of course, there will be a few who will dive right in and eat every bit of local food as they possibly can. But there will always be one craving baked beans on toast. Either that or they will have found a place that serves fish and chis and will dine there every night until they return home.


  10.  Patriotism.
    But we have to save the most obvious one until last; you will know there is a Brit abroad if you see the Union Jack on their person. I don’t know what it is about going abroad but it definitely makes a Brit feel so much prouder of the country they are from. When they are in the UK, all they can do is complain how rubbish it is and how much they wish they were someone else in the world. But when abroad, if someone says something rude about it, there will be one heck of a commotion… Seriously. Us Brits can get very defensive of our little country.



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