20 Americans Share A List of Reasons Why They Chose To Leave Their Country For Good
America is a developed and economically evolved country with advanced technological infrastructure but unfortunately, it has failed to keep many of its citizens happy- so much so that some people have left the country for good. And they all have genuinely strong reasons for it.
This Reddit thread explains why some people chose to bid adieu to their country. From expensive healthcare systems to crazy student loan debts, there are many reasons that compelled some American citizens to move abroad. Scroll below to read some of those reasons.
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“Because practicing medicine here feels dirty. I was never in it for the money or prestige. I’ve already started working on my exams to go to the UK. There are pros and cons to the way healthcare is handled in the UK, but I’d rather be able to treat a patient and sleep peacefully knowing that I haven’t financially crippled someone for life. Medicine as a career is much better in the US than anywhere in the world, but I’d rather make much less money and have a clear conscience.”
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“You won’t be bankrupt for being sick, your kids won’t end up with serious student loans (in most of Europe) or be funneled into a for-profit private prison system. Less chance of a maniac shooting you. You aren’t afraid of losing health insurance after a layoff/firing.”
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“My SO and I moved to Greece in 2016. I eat mostly vegan and the quality and price of basic raw ingredients are incredible.”
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“Because Italy has some of the best food in the world.”
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“Because I’m so tired of constantly living in fear. Fear of medical debt. Fear of any kind of overwhelming debt. Fear of getting screwed over by a landlord. By a mortgage lender. By a bank. By a corporation. Fear of getting screwed by an employer. Fear of losing my job or getting sick and getting in over my head with expenses. Fear of getting shot. Fear of getting covid due to lax regulations. Fear of getting hurt by a radicalized anti-vaxer. Fear of losing access to civil rights protection (ahem, Texas). Fear of the out of control housing market. Fear of the ramifications of our own civic, economic, and social policies. Fear I’ll finally give in to the despair. Our way of life is… it’s so completely irrational. And it’s seemingly inescapable. I think about this every day.
And generally speaking, I align with contemporary European values more so than contemporary American values (are these even a thing? What are contemporary American values?) Education, culture, a well-rounded life fully lived, travel, prioritizing social good over economic growth. These are the things that I want for myself and everyone. I’ve lived in the US all my life. There are so many things I love about it. Truly. But the older I get, the more it feels like a trap. A trap with a really effective marketing campaign.”
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“Being poor in the US is worse than being poor in Europe.”
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“My partner and I moved to Sweden two years ago. We were both working extremely long hours in the US and it was killing us. We were both making a lot of money, but it was coming at too great a cost. There’s also the political and social situation. Society is extremely polarized in the U.S. Now, we have six weeks of vacation, guaranteed healthcare, and a political system that isn’t a complete sh*tshow 24/7. There are also a lot more opportunities here. America is actually extremely toxic for non-unicorn small businesses, so industries are getting consolidated into fewer and fewer firms. Stockholm is internationally known as a tech hub, but unlike the Bay area you can actually afford to buy a house here. Hell, for 18 months we were living comfortably on a single income, which would be impossible in the states.
We don’t ever want to move back. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our citizenship in 3 more years and we’ll never have to.”
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“I moved to Europe 7yrs ago. Our motivation at first was having children without going into debt. After living here a few years we were able to buy a house with property. Live a lifestyle that was once considered the American dream.
I important distinction is that we/I found that life was more basic here. Less materialistic. People still have gardens, walk to places they want to go. Christmas is about family and not about how many gifts you got. I just find it to be a more sustainable environment for my family.”
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“I moved to Spain from the US 6 years ago (initially through a program to teach English, now I’m married to a Spaniard). As much as I deeply love and miss the US — the nature, the food, friends, the VIBE — I have no plans to move back.
Healthcare in America scares the bejeesus out of me, especially as I age. I just had surgery on an injury that cost me nothing — I still feel like I’m getting away with murder.
And the work-life balance is so insane once you see it from the outside. I stopped being able to understand how my mom was slaving away for a company that really didn’t pay much for 2 precious weeks of paid vacation a year (and I would describe my family as privileged). COVID really changed my view, seeing everyone in my city dutifully wear the mask even after it’s not required, whereas my state in America devolved into a culture war. “Devolving” is, unfortunately, the best word I have to describe the US in the last decade(s).”
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“I moved from the US to Europe (Austria) quite some time ago (nearly 20 years). I don’t regret it and can’t ever see myself moving back to the US. A couple of my friends are still trying to figure out ways to move over where. Just a few things off the top of my head regarding why:
5 weeks of paid vacation
up to 2 years of paid parental leave (including for dads as well)
no such thing as a copay at the doctor
price cap on prescription drugs (like EUR 6)
low crime rate
more well developed social safety net (ie. less poverty)
I once spent 10 days in the hospital and needed emergency surgery. My bill: EUR 0.
Excellent and well-funded public schools
No tuition for college”
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“Quality of life – I hate having to drive everywhere in the US, city parks are usually way worse, and my friends thought I was crazy for not wanting to default to spending money as a way to hang out (restaurants, bars, concerts, nail salons, shopping). I know that exists in Europe but there still seems to be more appreciation for the slow life. That plus being able to walk more and use public transport, long vacations, better social safety nets…I just feel happier and healthier with that lifestyle.”
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“I moved years ago for marriage. My life is immeasurably better here in so many ways. My children don’t know what an active shooter drill is, I don’t question taking them to a doctor when they need it, and I don’t have to buy school supplies.”
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“Because we let idiots storm our own capitol. That was the turning point for me.”
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“I live in Berlin. I’m still trying to get used to my five weeks of vacation. All vacation is paid vacation, and it’s standard everywhere. I also get a two hour lunch and have a 32 hour work week. This is literally going to add up to years more with my family. It just makes the quality of life so much better.”
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“Less likely to be shot by a crazy person.
Easier access to medical care.
Easier access to education.
Higher quality education.
Most European nations aren’t ebbing dangerously close to a civil war.
About half the US is champing at the bit to install a dictator, and usher in a new age of fascism. They might succeed.”
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“It comes down to the fact that the U.S. does not care about its people — only protecting the capital of the wealthy. There’s expensive healthcare, a car-dependent infrastructure, a lack of public transportation, increasing homelessness, etc.”
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“I moved from the US to Denmark in 80 and since then have lived in various European countries, for the last 30 in England.
Culture is better. Not saying that some Americans are not cultured (I am American after all) but things are so much more oriented to enjoying music, theatre, and arts. I had relatives in the US that mocked university education, modern art, and pretty much anything that was not simple patriotism and religion.”
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“It’s easy to get somewhere completely different. In America you have to travel a long way to get to a place with a different culture. In Europe, in just a few hours I can drive to France, the Netherlands, or Germany. And, in a few hours on a plane, I can be in Italy, Greece, Spain, or Portugal.”
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“American who moved to Europe 15 years ago. There are pros and cons. Lived in Barcelona for 5 years and very much enjoyed the lifestyle. Moved to Gothenburg, Sweden after for 7 years. Actually gained dual citizenship there, which has made being in Europe much easier. A lot of things are great in Sweden, but I couldn’t handle the cold, wet, dark… It gets very hard with the 7 to 9 month long winters (in 2 of my years there summer did not come). I’m back in Spain now, 3 years. Money is much tighter. But life and food suits me better. I always thought I would return to the US, but not so much anymore. Plus, my Italian wife is not interested…”
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“I did about three years ago. I was mentally tired from living in a state of near catastrophe all the time. I had a good job but one medical catastrophe (of which I’d already had a few) could have bankrupted me. I wanted kids but again, it’s one catastrophe away from homelessness WITH kids. And no social support for kids either, like parental leave after the birth, subsidized childcare, subsidized higher education. I hated never having job security despite being excellent at my job.
Basically everything about all of the systems in the US terrified me. My quality of life is incalculably improved by living in a country that cares about its citizens.”