We have a timeshare in Orlando that we have been trying to sell for over a year now.  Of course, the recession doesn’t help, but timeshares are notorious for not retaining their value.  More people are trying to sell them than there are buyers.  Makes you wonder, then, how some resorts manage to rope people into their resorts when private sellers can’t get rid of their property fast enough.[ad#ad-1]

I’m sure other Britons have the same issues with timeshares, whether in the UK or internationally.  Timeshares are not “bad”, they’re just not for us.  We have a wonderful 2bed/2bath condo that can accommodate 8, is extremely spacious, overlooks a lake and Disney beyond.  We can see the fireworks display from our balcony.  The kids loved it.  In fact, Buppa doesn’t want to give it up.  But, we didn’t use it last year – partly because we were moving.  And partly because we’d rather not sit around a swimming pool all day, or go out to the beach.

Now, the last time we used it, we went to a wonderful dinner show and horseback riding.  But we’d rather that the resort can offer those things to us for free.  We had to drive into or out of town for these events.  Of course, at that time, the resort was starting up with plans to build a waterpark for the free use of the owners (whereas, guests had to pay an entry fee).

We’ve (the adult portion) learned that we’d rather spend our holiday camping out or doing outdoorsy stuff.  We also didn’t like the heat and humidity – very appealing to some, but not good for me.  Had we been of a different disposition, we might consider holding onto the timeshare.  Everyone in my family has a timeshare somewhere.  But it is just not part of our lifestyle, so we’d like to sell it and get some money back.[ad#ad-1]

I just wish there was an easy way to sell it without getting ripped off and scammed left, right and center.  So, if anyone is interested in a timeshare, please let me know before you accept any deals directly from the resorts.  (Oh, by the way, the week is perfect for holidays whether you’re in the US or UK – August.)

One of the differences I have noticed between the US and the UK is the social attitude.  On the whole, middle-class America is very conservative.  People in the UK show a more tolerant, or “liberated” view.  Which is better is left to the discretion of the reader.  I’ve seen this attitude reflected in three ways: 1.) church-going, 2.) same-sex marriages, and 3.) assisted suicides.

These issues can be sensitive and I suppose that I am experiencing this because the UK is a small country, so you have all these attitudes presented directly to you.  Whereas, in the US, the population is scattered and if you live in one community, the attitudes there might not be representative elsewhere.  Whatever the case, I believe there is still a difference.

1. Church-going.  Attendance at church has declined worldwide.  There are many reasons for this, but I’m not going to go into that.  I’ve seen many churches close, both here and in the US.  But, it is worse here.  Statistics show that about 10% of Britons go to church regularly (this is just the Christian population).  In the US, some communities report 80% church attendance.  Though that is not typical, I would say that about 50% nationwide attend church services regularly.  There are some strong atheist views here.  I’ve known agnostics in the US but not atheists.  Again, that may be the distribution of population.  As a result of the decline in attendance, many churches are closed or being sold.  Many have been turned into homes or council accommodation or other uses.  While it is good that some have been used for other purposes rather than to be allowed to deteriorate, it is such a shame to see these old buildings desecrated.  England has some of the most beautiful churches in the world, but only the most famous ones escape dereliction.  It seems that people here have very little time to explore religion or care about it.

2. Same-sex marriages.  Yes, we have those in the US, but many have been overturned and only a few places allow for gay marriages.  Britain has allowed for it outright and many profile Britons have taken advantage of this.  Gordon Brown even took it upon himself to criticise the US for not recognising gay marriages.  However, I don’t feel he has a right to dictate what he believes to another country.  Though the US is a First World country, it does not necessary mean it has to adopt liberal attitudes that other First World countries choose. It is for the people of the US to decide that.

3. Assisted suicides.  It has not been long since Kevorkian was released from prison.  Had he practiced in the UK, the Britons might have been a little easier on him.  Though I will not say assisted suicide is well-accepted over here, there is this trend in thinking that it is OK.  I’ve heard so many stories about Dignitas and there’s even a report that half of the British doctors approve of assisted suicide.  You wouldn’t find that in the US.  Even the politicians want to discuss changing their laws regarding this.  An Australian doctor recently came to lecture some elderly people about their options for assisted suicide.  There have been numerous reports on suicide pacts being carried out.  I suppose that part of the relaxed attitude towards this may be because suicide is legal, even if assisted suicide is not.  In the US, suicides are illegal.  It may sound strange, because no one can be charged if they succeed, but they can be if they fail.  Perhaps, that is why Americans, for the most part, don’t see suicide as an “option”.  Or, it may be that Americans, in general, view death negatively.  I’ve known terminally ill people refuse Hospice because they associate it with death.  On the flip side, Britons reject Hospice because they want to take their own lives when they choose.  This suggests they fear the dying, not the death.

My conclusions might be flawed, but my perception is that Americans tend to go to church more, believe in the conservative and traditional idea of marriage and family, and they fear death.  Whereas, Britons are more open-minded about sexual orientation and “equal rights”, are Bible-blasting, and want to take control of their own lives, rather than live by someone else’s dictates.  Mind you, I’m not classing everyone on either side of the Atlantic into these categories, but it is a general perception.