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Old 06-25-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Washington State
15,355 posts, read 8,025,596 times
Reputation: 13165

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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereibelong View Post
Please move my thread if there is a better board for it.

I'm wondering if anyone in the US feels like I do. I'm an American, born and raised here. But I'm beginning to feel so separated from the rest of the world. Not many people in my area travel more than a few states away, let alone travel abroad. Of course that doesn't matter to my personal life because I am "free" to travel abroad if I so choose (see more below). But I still feel isolated living in a place that isn't in tune with the rest of the world and doesn't seem to care about other cultures.

I'm tired of the American working culture too. I currently sit 40 hours a week at a desk and don't make enough money to live on my own. I commute on dirty public transit nearly an hour each way that is late by at least 15 minutes more than half the time. No one seems to care about having time with their family and friends. The people I work with are very nice and I am thankful for that, but it's weird how they rush through their lunch in 15 minutes then get back to work. One coworker recently had a baby and she was back in 3 weeks, while the child has been put in an all day day-care (her husband and her both work full time). It's just sad to see that this is the necessary lifestyle here because people need to work long hours to afford a living. It's so sad that a newborn child is spending more time in a daycare facility than with at least one parent. Why bother having a child if you have no time with them? Only to work more hours to afford having a child? I don't blame the individuals workers. I blame the companies taking over and using people just to make the CEOs pockets fatter. The cost of living is insane and it's becoming worse.

I've been learning that in Europe, it is more relaxed, public transit is more reliable, and there's more vacation time and more easy going lunch breaks. I know in a lot of European places, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, whereas dinner is here in the US, which is just a simple cultural difference and I get that. There's a lot of people here who think that is "lazy" but I personally see that as more productive. There's no reason for me to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, when my work load can easily be done in 4 hours. It is a frustrating lifestyle to live. Growing up, my father worked for a bank in their administrative offices from 1pm-10pm plus the commute time. He worked every Thanksgiving and Christmas. We lived check to check and still do. It's just no way to live and I am scared for my future that it will be nothing except working 40 hours+ per week and earning only enough to pay bills and do nothing else, plus getting only one week of vacation. One week is not enough to travel abroad (actually maybe this is why many people in my area do not go abroad, plus the money issue).

It has been weighing on me lately. Does anyone else feel the same? Is there anyone out there (or boards that you can direct me to about this topic) who has relocated to Europe and what the good and bad is about it? I'm new here, so thanks for reading

I've lived most of the last 15 years abroad (currently in Kuwait and about to move to Baku, Azerbaijan) in europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
Couple of thoughts:
- Whether you know it or not, you are very fortunate to have been born in the USA (this also applies to most Europeans)
- I agree we are pretty isolated from the rest of the world
- I agree that the work/life balance is skewed more to work in the USA compared to most European countries
- You should endeavor to at least travel abroad.
- To work abroad, you most likely need to go back to university and get a skill in demand
- reality check, life is hard...very hard
- I wish for you the best
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:03 PM
 
3,280 posts, read 4,602,411 times
Reputation: 3069
Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
In the 18th and 19th centuries USA drew immigrants from world's most affluent nations like Germany and Japan. Today they mostly come from the poorest nations like Guatemala or Somalia.
i don't think Japanese were affluent in the 19th century. They lived in flimsy paper houses over there, susceptible to earthquakes. Why would thousands emigrate to Hawaii to do stoop labor on pineapple plantations ? (Likewise the Scandinavians weren't affluent then, either).

Millions of U.S. doctors - and Silicon Valley I.T. workers today - come from India, Pakistan, etc. Thousands have medical or engineering degrees, but are relegated to driving U.S. taxicabs due to difficulty with licenses/ credentials.
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:47 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,665 posts, read 18,211,833 times
Reputation: 11164
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereibelong View Post
I'm wondering if anyone in the US feels like I do. I'm an American, born and raised here. But I'm beginning to feel so separated from the rest of the world. Not many people in my area travel more than a few states away, let alone travel abroad.
Do you live in Pittsburgh? Although it has some nice qualities, I agree it does feel kind of isolated.

I would suggest that you try out more major and connected U.S. cities before you move to another country.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
9,865 posts, read 8,003,412 times
Reputation: 11215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
Question, were you born in the USA? If yes, what is the emigration process to emigrate to Denmark and how easy/hard is it?

Denmark seems like a fabulous country, thinking of taking a vacation there sometime.
Yes, I was born in the US and lived and worked there many years before I left

It was relatively easy for me to get temporary residence for a job and also when I went through the family reunification process to get permanent residence. Now, about the only way for a citizen of a non-EU country to get into Denmark is for a job. But getting permanent residence afterwards has become very hard.

There is a site, https://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-GB, that describes all this.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Australia
285 posts, read 100,580 times
Reputation: 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by euro123 View Post
I'd say the ones in the world who should feel the least isolated gotta be: Italians, Greeks, Israelis. They're in the middle of everything, close to 3 continents.

My country may be a close contender as it borders greece. The most isolated are central Asia or Africa and Australia is on a different planet .
I can assure you that Australia is very much on this planet! Australians are some of the most travelled people in the world. If you google why do Australians travel so much, you will see it is because we have the money, the time and the inclination.

I am a retired teacher so have been on a steady but moderate income all my working life. We travel overseas about twice a year and that is pretty typical of my friends. This year we just had six weeks in the US and Canada and are off to Europe later in the year.

We tend to regard eight hour flights as short and although we do not especially enjoy the fourteen hour flights, we still front up again as we enjoy the experience.

Yes, we found Americans friendly but insular. As I have noted elsewhere, quite a few do not even know that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.

By the way, we have distant relatives in Italy and they rarely travel. When we are there people almost always say, how many hours ie was the flight over? When we say about 24 they just shudder. Our very well off Italian second cousins have been to Australia once. We have been to Italy seven times and another visit coming up.
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:10 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,564 posts, read 51,767,813 times
Reputation: 82988
Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
In the 18th and 19th centuries USA drew immigrants from world's most affluent nations like Germany and Japan. Today they mostly come from the poorest nations like Guatemala or Somalia.
Yes, and for a reason. The quality of life we created here, and the current "American dream" is appealing only to the Third World - it might be still a little better to what they have back home.

At the same time emigration from the United States is on the rise.
The US government chooses to remain in the dark on this basic question by not systematically and rigorously collecting data, although many other countries do. Think about that for a second. We know how many people immigrate to the US, to within a reasonable margin. But we barely have a clue how many leave.

Last edited by elnina; 06-26-2018 at 02:19 AM..
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:30 AM
 
5,799 posts, read 4,812,198 times
Reputation: 17499
OP, I'd strongly suggest that you LEAVE WHERE YOU ARE and move someplace different. Yes, you can do this with minimal money. No, you don't have to already have a job in place. Lots of places are hiring now, so if you live frugally and take advantage of every opportunity to gain new skills you can really live anywhere. I spent my professional life job hopping, and never had a problem finding work.

Why don't you just up stakes and go someplace else in the USA? There are lots of cities and towns full of people from different cultures, like south Florida or most university towns anywhere in the country.

Or look up how to find a job on a cruise ship, or maybe even in a resort in another country.

Or you could always stay in your current low paying job and try to save up for a trip to another country, but that seems pretty boring to me.

You really are NOT stuck where you are, you know (unless you have small children or sick family members.)
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:20 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
2,170 posts, read 797,279 times
Reputation: 4348
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
For starters, most office jobs have more vacation time than that. One week is absurd.
.
According to this site, there are 98 countries in the world where it is mandatory for workers to get 20 or more vacation days, not counting public holidays.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ave_by_country

How many Americans do you know who get half of that (ten days/two weeks) per year, and how long do you have to work to qualify for even that much?

I don't think I ever got more than two weeks in my life, in the US, but every job I had in Canada, I got three weeks the first year.

There is no US law mandating vacation time. From the above site, " The average number of paid vacation days offered by private employers is 10 days after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years, and 20 days after 20 years."

Last edited by cebuan; 06-26-2018 at 04:31 AM..
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Old 06-26-2018, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Kuwait
3,038 posts, read 1,180,317 times
Reputation: 2326
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
According to this site, there are 98 countries in the world where it is mandatory for workers to get 20 or more vacation days, not counting public holidays.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ave_by_country

How many Americans do you know who get half of that (ten days/two weeks) per year, and how long do you have to work to qualify for even that much?

I don't think I ever got more than two weeks in my life, in the US, but every job I had in Canada, I got three weeks the first year.

There is no US law mandating vacation time. From the above site, " The average number of paid vacation days offered by private employers is 10 days after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years, and 20 days after 20 years."
It's whatever you can negotiate....I get 6 weeks off per year paid.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:20 AM
 
5,501 posts, read 3,355,263 times
Reputation: 13917
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
1) How many Americans do you know who get half of that (ten days/two weeks) per year, 2) and how long do you have to work to qualify for even that much?
1) Virtually everyone I know who works full-time (and is not self-employed).

2) The standard is that one year after employment, you qualify for two weeks' paid time off.

My husband, who worked as a mechanic at an independent repair shop, was up to four weeks' vacation and every third Friday off, but he's now self-employed.
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