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Old 06-24-2018, 11:22 AM
 
7 posts, read 2,824 times
Reputation: 35

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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
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:35 PM
 
3,315 posts, read 1,823,892 times
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For starters, most office jobs have more vacation time than that. One week is absurd.

Not making enough money to live on your own, with an office job? What about living closer to work, with a roommate? You'd have more time and I bet you'd be around people who travel more.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:04 PM
 
Location: City of Atlanta
2,541 posts, read 1,431,714 times
Reputation: 3311
Yeah America has turned into a meme at this point.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:21 PM
 
7 posts, read 2,824 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
For starters, most office jobs have more vacation time than that. One week is absurd.

Not making enough money to live on your own, with an office job? What about living closer to work, with a roommate? You'd have more time and I bet you'd be around people who travel more.
Yeah I only get a week vacation where I am and actually I live less than 5 miles away from my job, but the traffic is so horrendous that it takes almost an hour each way. I feel like a good starting point would be for me to move away from the city I'm currently living in because the whole situation here is ridiculous, but I'm unsure of where else in the US is "better". (I can't walk to work either because the few miles is mostly a highway overpass and interchange)
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:24 PM
 
Location: southern california
54,773 posts, read 71,515,257 times
Reputation: 46827
I lived overseas
Many years
I don’t think you have a realistic perception of the rest of the world and are not very grateful for the opportunities here
I’m just saying
The sweetest words I ever heard after 7 years was by us customs
Welcome home huck
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
9,765 posts, read 7,766,105 times
Reputation: 11078
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereibelong View Post

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 started to feel that way in the US in about 1994. In 1996, I immigrated to Denmark (for a job). What you hear about the quality of life in Europe is true, but these benefits come at a high cost in terms of higher income taxes and the higher prices of goods and services, due to the value added tax and higher production costs.

I'm still here (in Denmark). It has been worth every penny I would have saved to endure staying in the USA.

One of my sons has followed me. He has been living and working in London for almost 7 years.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:41 PM
 
655 posts, read 936,707 times
Reputation: 720
I think you've hit on it in your post - many people simply can't afford to go overseas.

Traveling is a luxury that many people simply can't afford (even if they stay in America). In a lot of ways, traveling overseas is a status or work thing because America is still geographically isolated from a lot of the world. Especially if you come from a working class background (like I did). Most of my family has never been overseas. International is going to Canada and they never do that either. I've been overseas, but I did it through school, not independent travel. Now that my husband and I are older and we aren't paying off so much debt, we travel more. (We took our first cruise last year! Wow! That was amazing!)

American culture isn't ideal in "work/life" balance, but the thing is often people don't want to move away from their friends and family and start over somewhere else completely new.

I'm a SAHM, but my husband and I planned things out so I could stay at home once we had kids. We downgraded our lifestyle to fit the fact that we'd only have one income. We also made the decision to support him in his career (going back for training, certifications, college) and I didn't go back and get a masters (which would be more college debt and crazy if both of us had lots of college debt to pay off and only one of us was going to work).

Personally, I hate going back home because everyone is poor and living on their social security/medicare. Which means they don't travel much, they don't do anything super exciting - especially if it costs money - and their lifestyle and habits reflect that. That's why I got out of there and don't visit often.

However, yes, I agree that it's hard to meet people who have similar interests if you are working all the time. That's doesn't make America a bad place to live, but it says a lot about the culture we live in.

I don't think moving to Europe is really going to the problem being lonely. However, you might need to move closer for work or move to a different city for work in order to find people you are interested in being around.
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
7,658 posts, read 7,643,901 times
Reputation: 6030
Life in America is what you make of it through your own choices.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,293 posts, read 25,104,393 times
Reputation: 7967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
I lived overseas
Many years
I don’t think you have a realistic perception of the rest of the world and are not very grateful for the opportunities here
I’m just saying
The sweetest words I ever heard after 7 years was by us customs
Welcome home huck
It's pretty impressive that a random customs person knew your city-data nickname!
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:41 AM
 
2,116 posts, read 1,326,121 times
Reputation: 1272
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 .
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