Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Second Thoughts

If you’re American, or from anywhere outside of the British Isles, you may not quite understand our obsession, our great tradition, the English ritual or fascination and reliance, on what our small but influential and historically-dominant nation has been built upon. I am no connoisseur, no doctor, no health physician, no nutritionalist or holistic therapist but I am English and this means one thing, there is a high chance I will struggle significantly in the USA without the typically soul-saving, mind-balancing, order-restoring, bowel-settling, emotion-cradling, creativity-advancing, though process-accelerating, relaxing, cockle-warming, medically-prescribed, kick starting and thirst-quenching cupful, that makes you feel like you’re always home. For those Americans that aren’t familiar with how small the UK is, it’s tiny. We all know each other and the first thing we all do when you arrive at our house, is put the kettle on.


It keeps us sane
(Photo by Acid Poptart)

Men drink tea at the start of the day, then again when they begin at work. Children are given it from birth and the elderly enjoy it as their staple liquid source. It sees teenagers through school studies and students through the toughest, life changing times at university. Parents never dare to leave the house without having one before hand and if there is ever a problem boiling water at home, you don’t invite guests round. The poor live on it, the rich live on it. Our dignitaries make speeches about it, it has its own shopping aisle at the supermarket and we conquered countries for it. It’s part of everyone’s daily grind and we all, every English person stops whatever they’re doing mid afternoon, not to siesta like those lazy Europeans, but to enjoy it and fuel our bodies.


Every English lady, at 3pm every day looks like this. It’s the law.

You Yanks, so I’m told, don’t hold the sacred cuppa so dearly in your hearts and don’t stock the weary-travellers saviour in your under-floor shelters. I’m not sure how well-prepped for a zombie-apocalypse you can be without it. You don’t have it available at the drop of a hat in your kitchens and this worries me. Supermarkets don’t sell it quite so liberally and for the English adventurer who requires a moment alone, pondering life, love, home and the pending challenges ahead, it is an essential. The possibility of not being able to have a proper cup of tea, means I’m now rethinking this whole trip.


2 comments on “Second Thoughts

  1. Rick
    March 13, 2014

    You, my as yet unmet friend, are screwed.


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Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

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