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To ask you to tell me the bad things about living in America?

(413 Posts)
Witchofzog Mon 25-May-20 20:18:58

Ever since I was a child I thought I would live in America. Any visits I have made there reinforced how much I love it there (I am aware a holiday is not real life) but for various reasons it never happenned. I am now early forties with a mild heart condition and I am aware it is probably too late for me now.

I went to uni with a lovely woman who has literally got the life I wanted. She now lives in a sunny state with her husband who is handsome AND kind and has made lots of friends out there. And I am both happy for her and envious as hell. I know comparison is the thief of joy but today I have been unhealthily fixated on how her life compares to mine and I find mine sadly lacking. I will pick myself up tomorrow, re-evaluate and am already thinking of what I can do to make my own life better but still I feel sad that I never achieved my dream.

Please be kind. My uni friend is beautiful inside and out and she deserves everything she has - and she worked hard for it. But I really need to snap out of this somehow hence asking for the bad things about living stateside. I am aware my spectacles may be rose tinted so some perspective would be really helpful

OP’s posts: |
BMW6 Mon 25-May-20 20:25:36

Um, sorry, but with any kind of heart condition could you afford the medical insurance premiums? I have no doubt they would be astronomical.

What is your earning potential?

BMW6 Mon 25-May-20 20:28:18

Having re-read your opening post, do you want to live in the USA or do you want to be her? (Very different things)

HerRoyalNotness Mon 25-May-20 20:29:16

It’s a lot more expensive than you’d think. Property taxes, school taxes, housing association fees, social security, Medicare, car insurance, house insurance, health insurance, health copays. It never ends. We Only get to exist here.

mynameiscalypso Mon 25-May-20 20:29:30

Trump. Guns. Healthcare.

TinyBarista Mon 25-May-20 20:30:04


longtimecomin Mon 25-May-20 20:32:53

University for kids costs like £100k, guns, there are lots of bad bits in America, like anywhere really.

Witchofzog Mon 25-May-20 20:34:10

I am a qualified hcp but would need to do a Masters first to be able to apply for work out there. Also I work in the third sector so it is likely I would need NHS experience on top to boot.

I don't think I want to be her. I feel the same about an old school friend who met a guy from New Jersey and also appears to have a lovely life there (though this is only through the lens of social media and I am aware real life may or may not be different). I just can't shake the idea that this is also what I was supposed to do (live in the states- not marry a US citizen grin)

The huge health premiums is just the sort of thing I was looking for though. I haven't needed treatment for years but do take beta blockers so my premiums are likely to be massive.

OP’s posts: |
HavelockVetinari Mon 25-May-20 20:34:56

Trump. Health insurance (you lose it if you lose your job, and it's v expensive if you pay yourself, especially with a heart complaint). Sugar in bread. Crap chocolate. Almost zero maternity leave. People drive EVERYWHERE.

Blondiecub0109 Mon 25-May-20 20:35:16

I lived in Texas for a time.
Guns, narrow mindedness, bad traffic, everything had sugar it in, hire and fire at will employment, complicated medical and tax system, if you scratch below the surface grinding poverty. Everything is on credit so you have to keep your job to pay for it and keep your medical insurance.

Met lots of people who’d be never left the US, a few who’d never been out of Texas confused

hennybeans Mon 25-May-20 20:35:37

I grew up in California: drought, wildfires, earthquakes, terrible traffic, astronomical housing prices, very little paid time off work and sick leave, many public schools underfunded unless you live in a very nice area, university costs are high, cost of living in general very high.
If it's Florida that your friend lives in then your also have the humidity ( unbearable) and hurricanes.

Witchofzog Mon 25-May-20 20:35:42

Is house and car insurance higher in the states then?

OP’s posts: |
OnSilverStars Mon 25-May-20 20:35:58

Hi. I'm American and have lived in the UK for 10 years. Life is the same anywhere you are after the novelty wears off. The only difference for me here, than in America, is that my family are missing. It's hard.

And America can be a really hard place to live, very few vacation days, expensive health care, you can be fired or laid off for any reason, no sick pay, etc.

I think you're really romanticising the US. It can be a great place in a lot of ways, but it's not any better than the UK

What draws you to it specifically?

QuestionableMouse Mon 25-May-20 20:37:27

Gun violence
Home owner associations
Weather can be really extreme
Crazy traffic (depending on area)
Getting stuff like a driving licence can be a huge pain and take a long time
Racism can be really bad
The health care system is a total mess and can be extremely expensive
It takes fecking ages to get anywhere unless you fly

AbsentmindedWoman Mon 25-May-20 20:38:49

What do you have in mind when you think of living in America? Why did you always want to live there - since you mention a sunny state, if it a California lifestyle you like?

It's a big place, so experiences will vary a lot from state to state.

highmarkingsnowbile Mon 25-May-20 20:43:10

There are LOTS of other states besides California and Florida where it's sunny.

Jokie Mon 25-May-20 20:43:35

Healthcare costs
Wide disparity between rich and poor
Little employee benefits or support (e.g. unions/contracts etc)
Awful work /life balance
Drastic weather
Needing more than 1 job to just afford rent/food
Gun regulation
Police brutality/corruption.

Just a few to consider.

shiningstar2 Mon 25-May-20 20:44:56

Guns, guns ...did I mention guns?

rawlikesushi Mon 25-May-20 20:45:08

Do you have a partner or children, op?

If not I'm going to go against the popular view and suggest that you do some proper research and make it happen.

You don't have to close the door on the UK, and could easily come back if you don't like it.

I have two friends who emigrated in their 40s. One in Oz and loving it - now a permanent resident and has sold her house here. One went to the US with the intention of staying for one year. She ended up staying for 3, but is back now.

You only live once. If you do everything you can and it still doesn't happen, at least you've tried. Who wants to be 85 and full of regrets?

Witchofzog Mon 25-May-20 20:45:27

I think I probably am romanticising it to be honest. I really can't explain why I feel so drawn to the States. But I have been since I was about 8. This is flimsy I know blush but I have visited a few states and loved all of them despite them all being very different. I used to work for an American company in my 20's and have stayed in touch with a few colleague's. One moved to Florida following a promotion and then returned after a year saying she missed the UK too much. So I guess the grass isn't always greener because she was incredibly enthusiastic when she left.

OP’s posts: |
Witchofzog Mon 25-May-20 20:47:50

I have a dp who knows how I feel. He wouldn't come with me but said if I wanted to go desperately he wouldn't stand in my way. And my ds is an adult now. So theoretically I am free to do what I like now.

OP’s posts: |
DrDreReturns Mon 25-May-20 20:51:25

Personally I couldn't cope with just a fortnights annual leave.

Travelledtheworld Mon 25-May-20 20:52:58

Lived in the NE USA for 10 years. Always in small towns. I loved the open spaces, lakes and mpuntains and the Friendly people. I like the spirit of "you can achieve anything as long as you work hard" and the way that responsibility for getting things done is devolved to the local level. Enjoyed the customs and traditions.
Downside. Extreme weather, too cold in winter too not in summer, kept my liberal political views to myself for a long time until I was absolutely sure of people. I think can be quite hard to fit into a smaller community if you don't go to church. Gun control. Education is very expensive and elitist. Health insurance is crippling. I found people very inward looking and lacking in world experience. Also people can be very materialistic. I didn't fit in with most of the women in my community who spent a lot of time on hair, nails, make up, shoes, cars etc.
Easy to put on weight due to all the snacking and junky food.

Don't forget what you see on facebook isn't real life.

WhoWants2Know Mon 25-May-20 20:54:19

Do you go to church? If you don't, one will practically be assigned to you, because it's important that everyone be saved.

Also, do you remember the last time you had some sort of near miss in the car or someone cut someone else off and rude gestures were exchanged? No biggie, right? Now replace the rude gestures with guns. Seriously, I knew a man who who died in exactly that way.

Then there's the racism. People who are openly members of the Klan.

And poverty. Not like here. The begging is much more forward, and you know that the people really don't have any alternative.

Don't get me wrong, there are beautiful places and wonderful people there. But you also have to close your eyes to a lot of soul destroying shit during your day to day life.

Travelledtheworld Mon 25-May-20 20:55:23

PS You can't just rock up there and get a job. It's very very difficult and expensive. to get a green card these days. And going on holiday to a place is nothing like actually living and working there. Oh and the bureaucracy is terriblenad their systems can be very quaint !

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