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Dreaming of Leaving the States... Am I Alone Here? - Page 2

post #21 of 94
I guess the grass is always greener on the other side...
post #22 of 94
I can't say I'm dreaming of leaving yet, but I would like to and have given it serious consideration. I agree with many of the other posters here. I'm tired of America's attitude and role its playing in the world. But I also recognize that each country in the world is going to have its failings making it a matter of picking and choosing what you can live with and you can't. The places my husband and I have talked about moving to are Canada, Germany, Austria and Australia. I'd like to travel more places first though because maybe there are other places we haven't considered.

To qaulify my response, I'm also one who hasn't lived out of the United States because I don't count the month I spent in the Bahamas doing research. I learned that I do not want to live on the island of Bimini though. I like having access to locally grown produce and hospital services without taking a plane ride for them.

There's also a part of me that feels a responsiblity to affect change in my country of origin before I defect. I feel like there's something I can do about the problems I have with American culture and policies. I feel with my drive and education I can do something about child abuse and neglect, dsyfunctional families, early childhood education, the public school system the maternity care system, and civil liberties. In my free time...but at least I know that any job I get will be working on one of those issues.
post #23 of 94
It would depend on what country you are talking about. I have been to India and spent a total of about 6 months there over 4 visits. When I was a young married and childless I thought I could probably do okay living there and raising kids there. Now that I have children and have traveled there with children, I just don't see myself being able to do that. It would be hard on many levels.

Now if I was moving to Canada or France or someplace that supports mothers and families, I would feel a little better about it (especially considering healthcare options here vs. there).
post #24 of 94
nope, you are not alone. i am in the same boat. i have traveled pretty well over the years and i often think about how to pack up essentials and set myself down somewhere to start all over.
post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I would love to live in Mexico.
I'm sorry to say this but you dont know what you're saying Sure some areas of Mexico are beautiful. My mom is Mexican(moved here asa child). Why do you wonder so many mexicans come here?

We went there this summer, the first time in years. And I'm telling you, I didnt had a good experience. Everything is way different, and yea I encountered racism, not to mention the verbal sexual assault. The only thing I liked was the food.

The payments are awful, unless of course you work for the government or know somebody important, etc. You have a comfortable life there if you are rich (my grandpa's words). Going there made me realize how thankful I am to live here.

We're not moving to another country. I love America, I cant see myself living anywhere else. I'm too used to all of this. I love my house. I love my neighborhood,etc.

Dh doesnt want to move. He's french(even though he considers himself spaniard) and moved here when he was 18, he's lived most of his life here. He says he wouldn't like to raise ds in France or Spain . He likes it here.

Seriously, I miss my hometown and it's just a couple of hours away. How will I feel in another country? eek I dont even want to think about it.
Sure its very nice to travel, but that's it.

So, I will not move. And besides, I think it will be unfair to DH, he moved here to look for better opportunities and now that he has them


just my two cents.
post #26 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
Hi all,

I dream everyday of leaving the States, even though I've never been out of the country.

I have many reasons but I just received company into my home I'll have to explain them later.

Are there any other MDCers around here that want to leave the US but haven't yet, or are not able?

Please post! I feel like I'm the only one sometimes. Everyone asks me, "WHY would you want to leave the greatest country in the world??!"
I'm here to have my babies and be around my mom for the time being. But long-term I'd love to live elsewhere. I prefer it. But for now I am SOOOO enjoying having a car, electricity, and family around. Family is a big thing right now.
Quote:
the tortilla car that come by at 5:30 am yelling ahyyy..tortillaaaaaa.
Dude, I totally miss waking up to the guy selling puffed corn, or the woman selling milk! I loved that!

My dream, I think, is to live with an American passport, or Canadian or similar, but in someplace exotic but not TOO exotic, say, Turkey, and send my kids to a really fancy international school.

I don't mind living among poor people because then I fit in more. I don't expect it to be easy. All I want is cheap bakhlava, fresh fruits and vegetables, public transport, and charming architecture, but not in San Fransisco, which is too self-conscious for my taste. Anyone who can suggest another American city in which I can get all that, please do!
post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
I just really hate living my life like the average American, staying home with the kid doing laundry all day
Laundry here would take you longer, both because the machines are smaller and because they are slower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoliMum View Post
The consumerism, the suburban sprawl that is slowly infecting every place like cancer, the oppression of every group that isn't White Male, the absence of quality in our food, land, goods, and general lifestyle... it just feels so impossible to live the way I'd like.
Racism and sexism are definitely not American-only phenomena. I have seen people here stop and stare, like they've never seen a black or Asian person before and had no idea they existed.

There are good quality food and goods here… and that's about it. Might sound awesome, but sometimes you just want a bowl and it doesn't have to be a $100 bowl (+ 25% tax). Or newborn onesies she'll outgrow in a month anyway. Plus it's harder to find used. Everything is expensive here, even before the 25% tax. (Did I mention the 50% income tax on top of that?) And don't even get me started on eating out here. I really miss those mom n' pop joints in the States. There are lots of Turks here, but I got better and cheaper Turkish food in the US than I ever could here.

Even though it's totally fine to show a full, bare set of boobs in an ad at the bus stop, people still have a problem with NIP.

Oh, and there's no cold medicine. People here seem to think all you can do is take chamomile tea and suck it up for a few days. I don't get it.

Don't get me wrong… I love it here, and I don't plan on moving back. But I see far too many starry-eyed Americans thinking everything is sunshine and puppies over here, and it's just not. Not saying you are one of them… it's just a pattern I see.

I definitely agree with you regarding consumerism, though. There's just no comparison to here at all.
post #28 of 94
Quote:
I just really hate living my life like the average American, staying home with the kid doing laundry all day
Quote:
Laundry here would take you longer, both because the machines are smaller and because they are slower.
LOL, I was just going to say, when I lived abroad (in Eastern Europe) we didn't even have a washer. I had to HANDWASH everything! Now THAT is really doing laundry all day. Sometimes more than one day

In general, I don't think moving abroad gives you an easier life. It just gives you a different life. One that some people--such as myself--prefer for whatever reason


Quote:
Racism and sexism are definitely not American-only phenomena. I have seen people here stop and stare, like they've never seen a black or Asian person before and had no idea they existed.
This too. I have lived in some REALLY racist places that make America look like the most tolerant, open minded place on earth. I'm talking about places where blatantly racist humor is accepted and even appreciated by the majority of people, and where what we call "hate crimes" are seen as more amusing than shocking. Yes, America still has a lot of racism, but it is NOTHING compared some other parts of the world.

....
post #29 of 94
Thank you for posting this! I love what America stands for, but I don't love what it has become.

We have a beautiful home in N. Africa where I'm going to spend 6 months this year into 2010. If I'm preggo then, I might even give birth there. Kinda ironic that people are coming HERE to give birth and I'm thinking about leaving...
post #30 of 94
I have felt this way ever since I studied abroad in college. I then lived abroad as well after that as an aupair. My dp is from another country. I am very disillusioned with the US. A lot of people don't understand where I am coming from. We are fortunate because we both want to move and we will be within the next 6 months.
post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen View Post
Thank you for posting this! I love what America stands for, but I don't love what it has become.
That's how I feel. A friend and I expressed this on another board and people acted like it was treason to criticize our government and what our country has become.

I thought the whole point of our country was the freedom to do just that. In the past several years I've joined those who are embarrassed by what our country has become, and forced patriotism feels way too Hitler-ish to me.

I may not be able to leave yet, but nobody can force me to like what's been going on.
post #32 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
LOL, I was just going to say, when I lived abroad (in Eastern Europe) we didn't even have a washer. I had to HANDWASH everything! Now THAT is really doing laundry all day. Sometimes more than one day

In general, I don't think moving abroad gives you an easier life. It just gives you a different life. One that some people--such as myself--prefer for whatever reason




This too. I have lived in some REALLY racist places that make America look like the most tolerant, open minded place on earth. I'm talking about places where blatantly racist humor is accepted and even appreciated by the majority of people, and where what we call "hate crimes" are seen as more amusing than shocking. Yes, America still has a lot of racism, but it is NOTHING compared some other parts of the world.

....
We have lived in the same neighbourhood, so of course I have to that: your post. Although racism exists everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. Depends which race is dominant.

I also had to hang-dry and therefore IRON much of my laundry. Try cloth-diapering with water on a schedule when you have to line-dry in sub-zero temperatures.
Quote:
A friend and I expressed this on another board and people acted like it was treason to criticize our government and what our country has become.
Yeah, but they don't literally kill you for it. Listen, I have a lot of issues with American culture. But lack of freedom of expression is seriously low on the list. My husband recently asked me: "But aren't those comedians afraid to make jokes like that?"

Even in South Africa, artists are being jailed for things that are a lot more tame than what we EXPECT to see on SNL here.

Don't go abroad with any illusions. It can be wonderful to have a first-world income in a third-world country and to have household help, to be immune to and unaware of vicious and deadly local politics, to not understand the petty, rude, and stupid things that everyone around you is saying, to be the exotic expatriate, and to have a change of pace.

But as so many have pointed out, you still have to do laundry, and if you don't, you have to worry about your white sweater and new linen pants with your laundry lady who has never washed linen, or whatever.

You almost have to want to live a HARDER life to really want to live abroad. The life of an immigrant is really hard even if you are in France (especially if you are in France?).
post #33 of 94
Quote:
with water on a schedule
Oh yeah, I forgot about that! One place we lived only had water for about an hour and a half in the morning and another hour or two in the evening. When you have a newborn at home, that is AWFUL.

I still liked it there, though
post #34 of 94
I have lived out of the country and it was a very eye-opening experience. I think that, regardless of how you feel about the direction popular culture and politics is taking, you will be surprised how hard it is to live outside your own country. I am talking about everything from daily living (yes, those washing machines DO take forever and try doing your laundry that way when you only have 4 hours of water each day), economically, politically, socially, etc.

I have met many people who idealize European countries for their egalitarian social policies, but many people don't realize that many of those countries are also very racist and bigoted against people who are not like their "approved" people.

Last year a new mom moved into town and joined our mom's group. She immediately latched on to me because, it seemed, I'm Muslim and I wear hijab so she figured I was also probably really anti-American. Well, I'm not and she proceeded to spend an hour ranting on about how bad she thinks our country is and how she wants to leave-- but she has never been outside the country before herself. With all due respect to those of you who might sympathize with somebody like that, I wanted to smack this woman! I was extremely offended both by her rhetoric as well as the fact that she stereotyped me as a person who would be receptive to her "America sucks and can never be redeemed and Europe is utopia" nonsense.

I managed to stay civil and I told her this: People are people no matter where you go. The powerful and rich always will try (and succeed in times and places) to take over the means of powerful to use it for their own ends. But if we care about the place where we are from, it is our duty not to abandon it but to stay there and try to change it as long as our life and basic well-being are not threatened. Yes, there are people who immigrate from country to country, and that's okay on a small scale. (My dh is an immigrant and will not likely return to his native country, although like all immigrants he does sometimes dream it might be possible.) But if people in large groups get the idea that "this country is going to hell so I'll just leave", well then what will become of the country when all the people (especially in democracy... hello, do you vote?) who are concerned about its direction just leave it to the people who don't care? Especially with the US being so powerful, it is our responsibility to stay here and make as much noise as we can, and try to gain as much influence as possible to change things. If we are upset at the way our foreign policy treats other people, then we need to do something about it. Leaving the country to the people who think the direction of our politics and society is just fine will only result in more of it. And look how many people around the world suffer when that is the case!

This is exactly what happens in countries under totalitarian rule, like Iraq, and what causes the people there to lose their ability to function as a coherent society. Why is Iraq such a mess? Because people lost their sense of responsibility to their country and greater society. I see this in other countries in the region too. When the government is corrupt and rules by dividing and frightening people, people no longer have a sense of civic duty, honesty, decency, anymore. It becomes every man for himself. Lying and cheating and stealing in order to get by become normal and ingrained into peoples' psyches. They're not bad people at all, but they have been socialized to behave that way and I think it takes generations to re-inculcate a sense of civic duty in people. Are we going to allow ourselves to lose that (we already have started losing it to a degree) simply because some shady dudes have taken over the government?

I see bumper stickers that say "proud to be an American". I would change that to be "humbled to be a American". We live a lot better than most of the world does, and that has come by the exploitation and harming of a lot of other people in the world. We need to fix that. I believe that with sustainable environmental practices, we can allow the rest of the world to live as comfortably as we do (and I'm talking about basics here, because I also disapprove of consumerism) without the high cost and the exploitation. It is only by God's will that we happened to be born (or allowed to immigrate) here and enjoy this kind of life. With the way the environment is going (i.e., global warming) we may also not be able to live this way forever. So I am humbled-- humbled by the great gift it has been to be an American, humbled by the fact that our forefathers did some not-so-nice things to get us to where we are, and moreso humbled by the responsibility it all carries. You can only be proud of something you have accomplished, not by something you are by virtue of birth or, for that matter, something that is simply handed to you by another country. You can go abroad and brag "I now live in a neutral country that doesn't bomb anyone" but what did YOU do to accomplish that?

We are such a large country with many different cultures all mashed together. I know pop culture wants us to believe we are all the same, but we are not. I learned that first-hand when I moved from the NE to the SW of the country. Everything is different! So as others said, the whole of our country is not the vacuous suburbia consumerism pit that the media and pop culture might try to tell you it is.

So go abroad to visit. It will make you appreciate what you have here. Then come back.

Stepping off my
post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleo View Post
I'm sorry to say this but you dont know what you're saying Sure some areas of Mexico are beautiful. My mom is Mexican(moved here asa child). Why do you wonder so many mexicans come here?
Over 1 million Americans live in Mexico. So surely not everyone agrees with you.
post #36 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Over 1 million Americans live in Mexico. So surely not everyone agrees with you.
And fewer Mexicans are coming here than before.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...rossings_N.htm
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1230/p03s07-usgn.html

They seem to think it's a combination of the recession and tougher border patrol.
post #37 of 94
I lived abroad in two different countries for a year each - Israel and Russia. I kissed the ground when I came home. As much as I enjoyed the experience, it's not something I would do for the rest of my life.
post #38 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Oh yeah, I forgot about that! One place we lived only had water for about an hour and a half in the morning and another hour or two in the evening. When you have a newborn at home, that is AWFUL.

I still liked it there, though
Yeah, me too. Heh. Two hours in the morning and two in the evening. We had like, ten water containers and... but that is not the point.

Life is mundane wherever you live it. As for the Americans living in Mexico, yeah, sure. We lived in a country poorer than Mexico. But it didn't get rid of the laundry-cooking-transport to market and back-gossip about boring topics-surf the net routine. On the contrary, it just made us thankful to have things like that.
post #39 of 94
Eh, I really think it depends on what type of person you are. I, too, have traveled extensively and have lived in places beyond America.

I think I loved Amsterdam best - the city was gorgeous, the bike paths amazing, and drugs were still legal there (not that I do drugs, lol, but it's the principle of it for me).

South Africa I enjoyed immensely as well. Though, I did live in Cape Town, and not in the rural areas.

Japan - I can't get over their gardens! Amazing.

Bali - I think the nicest people live there. I learned to surf there with the kids. We taught each other, basically. It was great. For a long time, I lived 4 months out of the year there, and I never wanted to leave!

Now, our plan is to continue travel via a sailboat, but have our permanent base be one of the islands off the coast of Asia. There are tons of them, and they're all gorgeous. Plus, the government is mainly hands off in most of them (not all, but most). Plus, it's a tax haven - almost.

I really think it depends on why you want to move and how you do it. Both of us have jobs that can be done from anywhere, so we won't be needing to work locally. Our income source will be in American or Euro dollars - depending, which will go a long way in terms of exchange rate. Further, we have no debt as of last year.

I do love America, and will always come back for visits ... but there are things here that I can no longer support, politically. Not because other countries are better - many are worse, I know this. But because of what this country used to stand for. The constitution was such a great/radical document back in the day, and I hate seeing us moving farther and farther away from it.

I'll take handwashing my laundry (which I did in Bali and enjoyed it actually) over that. I just don't want to see "the decline", so to speak.

So, I think everything really depends on why people want to move. As ex pats, it will be a totally different take on living in another country than it is for the "natives." And I think moving and living in another country is an exciting experience. The adventure of that, for me, has always overshadowed anything else like handwashing laundry or having to use out house.

It's very dependent on your expectations in other countries and the reasons for leaving.
post #40 of 94
I must admit that i too fantasize about living abroad. But pretty much if dh and I were wealthy and could afford to live well in a larger European city like London, Paris or Amsterdam. I do love the netherlands, which is where my family is from originally and I think dh and I would both enjoy life there.
I would also like to live in South America. I LOVE Latin America (at least the 4 countries I've been there so it's a big generalization I know) but I think I would eventually have trouble with the culture. But heck I have trouble with southern US culture.
And a big YES to racism and sexism existing everywhere. OMG, I have almost never seen or heard overt racism (you know, on an individual level) in this country and have very rarely experienced overt sexism. But have seen or experienced both abroad. In my experience those things are not socially acceptable here.
To the OP, you might also think about relocating. I LOVE the Northeast. And my southern dh likes it too (despite the people being supposedly cold). And we need cool people who are critical of the US's policies abroad to STAY and keep speaking out.

As for consumerism. It makes me sick too. It's just so awful and the gov. does nothing for the environment.
To get away from that a bit more, dh and I are hoping to move back to Vermont. But again, we need Americans who fight against that being the norm.
(Sorry this got so long!)
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