When I left my family home in Essex and moved up north to the bright lights of Liverpool last summer, I didn’t know what to expect.

I had visited the city a couple of the times in the past but only to see Liverpool FC play, or for a short weekend trip.

Leaving my friends and family and moving to a completely new city where I didn’t know anyone was a daunting prospect.

However, I quickly came to love the city that I am now proud to call home.

There are a number of notable differences between my home in Essex and Liverpool - and it's been a bit of a learning curve trying to take it all in.

Reflecting on what my first few months in the city have taught me, I decided to list some of the things I learned when I moved to Liverpool.

11. Scousers are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet

11 things that moving to Liverpool taught me.

Having spent quite a lot of time in London in the past few years, the prospect of someone you didn’t know talking to you in public was something most people tried to avoid at all costs.

So imagine how shocked I was to find that in Liverpool, people will happily to chat to strangers in public places.

Whether you’re out on the street, down the pub, on a bus or train, or at a football match, you can expect to chat to all sorts of interesting people who you’ve never met before in your life.

10. Do not eat in public, the seagulls will find you

11 things that moving to Liverpool taught me.

The ferocity of the city’s seagull population is something I learned the hard way.

I made the mistake of eating my lunch outside while walking back towards the office.

As I was about to tuck in to my sandwich, an absolute unit of a bird swooped in and caused me to spill coffee all over myself and drop my sandwich.

Even the pigeons in the city centre will go after you if you have food in your hands.

A different breed.

9. The restaurants here are something else

11 things that moving to Liverpool taught me.

Eating within an enclosed and bird-free environment is a completely different story.

The city boasts the best range of restaurants anywhere I’ve ever lived and the culture of independent restaurants and shops in the city is amazing.

Whether you want to go out for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, you’re spoiled for choice.

8. The nightlife is unique

When I first moved to Liverpool I was taken on a fairly touristy night out in Mathew Street and it was great.

The range of thriving venues and live music at bars and pubs throughout the city is an essential part of its character.

Whether it’s at Concert Square, the city's gay clubs, the Baltic Triangle or one of the dozens of pubs in the city - you’ll never be bored on a night out.

7. Loyalty to the ECHO

Ever since I started working at the ECHO, I have been amazed by the loyalty and the trust people place in us.

Readers get in touch constantly to tell us what's happening in their local area and ask us for help when they need it.

I've worked for other publications before, but I've never experienced anything like the trust or the bond the ECHO has with its readers.

6. I now know what scouse is

Before I moved to the city I had no idea that scouse was a food - let alone a delicious stew.

I first tried it in pie form at a Liverpool game and then at Maggie May’s on Bold Street, and I’m a big fan.

I now know that if I’m out on a cold winter’s day in town, I can always get a bowl of Liverpool’s favourite dish.

5. The city breathes football

As a big football fan, I had some understanding of how passionate people on Merseyside are about both the Reds and the Blues before I arrived in the city.

However, having lived here for over six months now it’s clear to me that football is embedded in the very fabric of life in Liverpool.

Town on match days is noticeably busier with the pubs and bars crammed full of supporters and life seemingly revolves around the next Liverpool and Everton games.

4. The institution that is Home Bargains

While Home Bargains, or Home and Bargain as it’s called round here, is a thing across the country it has a certain mythical status here.

The shop is a family favourite and unsurprisingly too because, living up to its name, you can't argue with those bargains.

The Home Bargains policeman is now a familiar face to me and a hallmark of the high street.

3. A rich history

11 things that moving to Liverpool taught me.

The city is home to some absolutely beautiful buildings in a mix of different styles from the neoclassical St George’s Hall to the iconic Albert Docks.

Liverpool’s prosperous past as the second city of empire is still visible today looking at some of its grand buildings.

I’ve never been anywhere else where you can stand on one street with a cathedral at either end as you can on Hope Street.

2. I’ve learned a lot of slang

Boss and sound are now words that I hear everyday in nearly every conversation I have.

Going for a drink has become ‘going for a bevvy’.

I’ve learned what a ‘wool’ is and where you can find one - although that seems to be quite a contentious subject.

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1. The Merseyrail is great

Having grown up relatively close to London, I would use it’s underground system regularly.

I’d say that Merseyrail is probably a close second to the tube and is a much more pleasant experience.

It was also voted the UK’s most reliable train operator in 2019, how could you argue with that?