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Americans Who Have Moved To Another Country Share The Pros And Cons Of Their New Home

Americans Who Have Moved To Another Country Share The Pros And Cons Of Their New Home
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Deciding to leave one's home country permanently and begin life anew in another place is a massive life shift.

Sure, modern technology has marginally decreased the impacts of geographic separation. But let's face it, becoming an expatriate in another country changes nearly every facet of daily life.

As smooth the change of geography and national identity goes, it depends on so many factors.

Did someone move because they love that place, or simply for work? Is the person wildly social and good at making new friends, or a bit more reserved and struggles with that sort of thing. How culturally open-minded is the expatriate?

All these factors surely played into Redditors' answers to a recetn question on the site.

biasedNeutrality asked, "Americans who moved away from the US, what are the pros and cons of where you live now?"

To Begin, a General Sense of the Move

"One thing you gotta consider is that you'll never be a local. Your history in that country begins when you arrive. When you meet someone your age, you didn't have the same tv shows, music, toys etc. You will always be an immigrant."

"Also, your life in the US, or your homeland, ends. Pauses really but you're no longer living that life either. You can email your buddies and spy on their Facebook but you slowly drift away, from friends and the culture."

"I love it, but it can be lonely at times. There's nothing that's exactly like home. Even coke and snickers taste different, better, but not what you remember."

"You become an 'international,' and most of your friends are too because they're the ones who understand the ether you're drifting around in."

-- mrstipez

An Exhaustive List



  • Very beautiful,
  • hiking trails everywhere,
  • excellent fast and reliable public transportation, goes everywhere, usually extremely punctual
  • Everything is very clean
  • Good pay, high salaries
  • Pretty fast internet
  • Central location, travel to other countries is fast (normally, except COVID)
  • Good healthcare
  • Heated floors
  • Low crime rate"


  • Expensive
  • Variety of food and shopping not as varied as the US (But travel to other countries is fast)
  • Driving behavior is not at all as relaxed as in the US
  • Making close friends with locals is harder (But there's LOTS of friendly expats)
  • Dreary foggy in many areas for most of the winter
  • Expensive"

When the Pros Outweigh the Cons

"Living in the Netherlands nearly 11 years. In no particular order..."


  • Good public transportation, both in cities, throughout the country, as well as to other European countires.
  • Affordable Healthcare
  • Affordable cost of living (city dependent, of course)
  • Decent wage
  • Overall more financial and social stability
  • Here in NL I don't need a car
  • More financial and social equality
  • Nightlife and party life is amazing. Much more underground culture here than in the States"


  • Far from family and friends
  • In the beginning it was hard to integrate (I took me like 5 years to really learn the language, then everything was OK).
  • More hierarchy in professional life"

Changes in Wildlife

"Moved to Australia"

"Pros: Universal healthcare, preferential voting, no community transmission of COVID in my state for more than a month, very generous legally mandated annual leave and long service leave for permanent employees."

"Cons: Its hot, like super duper hot. We keep changing leaders as often as we change our socks. I keep getting geo-blocked when I try to look at cool things on the internet (yes I know VPNs exist). Video games cost $100."

"I once found a big spider in my bra when I went to put it on and I once found a venomous snake in my bathroom at 5am when I had a sleepy pee."

-- rakshala

Weird Fellow Expats

"Moved to Japan in 2018."

"Pros: Affordable healthcare, healthier and more active lifestyle due to walking and running for the train, sushi, people are polite and helpful if you need help, lowish cost of living, always something to do, even if you live in the countryside."

"Living in Kansai region means easy access to cities, historical areas, and awesome nature scenery to hike in. Vending machines on every block is a godsend in the summer heat with cold drinks for a dollar."

"Cons: Creepy other foreigners (had a guy from NZ try to kiss me at a club and tried to make me touch his bare chest), creepy Japanese people exist too, many people running to Japan thinking it's like anime..."

"...COVID support could've been better and not enough testing, earthquakes, typhoons, murder hornets, some aspects are too militaristic, people are almost too passive sometimes."

-- almostinfinity

Simpler Criteria 

"Pros: Amazing food, kind people and no covid."

"Cons: Can't complain. Pollution is bad in the bigger cities."

"Though I really do love Vietnam."

Geopolitical Concerns

"Been in Taiwan since 1999. I go back to visit every two years or so."


  • Affordable healthcare
  • A healthier diet (on average)
  • Better public transportation
  • Cost of living (outside of Taipei)
  • A safer place to raise my kids"


  • The constant threat of China
  • Ambivalence about Taiwan's national identity
  • Summer heat when I have to work
  • Good hamburgers and pizza hard to find
  • Worrying about my kids' future (see: #1)"

Some Conservative Social Vibes

"Rural Ireland for 5 years"

"Pros: Affordable and non-defensive healthcare, beautiful nature, pretty much no dangerous animals, small enough to make day trips to the big cities."

"Cons: Very little diversity, high cost of living, the government only cares about Dublin and Cork, a lot more sexism than I was accustomed to."

-- Cats_Waffles

A Current Take

"I live in China"

"Pros: Virus is gone = normal life, Cheap af, Earn lots, Super convenient transportation/payment methods, Good food"

"Cons: Well, I probably shouldn't write them. They might be watching..."

"But one for sure is being a foreigner. Everyone thinks foreigners have the virus still and they really make you go the extra mile to prove you don't."

-- HoboMoo

Head on a Swivel

"Moved to Mexico."

"Pros: The people hate trump as much as I do if not more. The cost of living is super low. Public healthcare (a private option is available if you can afford it). Eternal summer. The locals are incredibly friendly. The food is amazing. Acquiring resident status is VERY easy."

"Covid restrictions (masks, health screenings etc) are mandated by the government and no one argues. Mexico is not all poverty and remote desert as is commonly believed in many places in the US."

"Cons: the bugs (never been bitten by so many mosquitoes in my life). The president actively and unapologetically advocates in favor of communism."

"While the people are friendly it is a legitimate concern (more so in certain states over others) that some people have ties to very dangerous people which makes it difficult to trust people."

-- CourtClarkMusic

Just a Quick Jump Over the Pacific

"tokyo vs portland, or..."


  • easy/affordable public transport, route to/from work is covered by employer
  • socialized medicine, clinics everywhere
  • cheaper rent & cost of living
  • low crime, no gun violence
  • majority of people wear a mask"


  • pay is lower, harder to move up payscale
  • sexism and racism
  • language
  • far from family"

New Home Up North 

"Canadian (now):"

"Pros: Free or very Affordable Health care, 12-18 month paid maternity/paternity leave, Affordable college education (vs. USA), Glaciers, Rainforests, Kind and passionate communities"

"Cons: Not many hot climates"

-- coconutlover300

Lotta Walking, Lotta Working

"South Korea. I'm a recent graduate teaching English here."

"Pros: I can find afford more than 1 pair of glasses I can afford to go to the dentist I can afford to get checkups regularly I walk a LOT more. (10k to 15k steps just on work days) Busses and subways are very clean Quick and easy to get to another town/city"

"Cons: My Korean is bad so I get frustrated at times. Also hard to make friends because of my lack of Korean. I miss my dad I miss: fried cheese curds, Culver's and Chick-fil-A..."

"...Korean work culture is stupid (50 hour work weeks are the norm) Korean educational norms are stupid. I'm so upset when I hear my students stay up till 1am doing homework.. they're 11"

-- BlackMesaEastt

Good Fruit, But Robbery 

"Lived in Colombia for a long time. I was able to be there because my wife has citizenship so immigration was no big deal."

"Pros: people are nice and friendly, fruit and veg are always in season, the jungle and mountains are beautiful. For the single dudes lemme tell you. Some of those girls were just downright unfair beautiful."

"Cons: them cops are about as crooked as they get, foreigners get robbed a lot, most 'girlfriends' have a real boyfriend or husband back home and only want a gringo for the money, everyone thinks you're rich. Oh, the air pollution was worse than China for about a week so that sucked."

"I loved it there but we hit a point where it was time to come back to America (at least for a w years)."

-- Saarlak

A Taste of Both 

"Lived in the US for 6 years but moved to India about 2 years back (Am Indian citizen not American)"

"Pros: Better but tougher education in India. Cheap street food, so many good snacks (just my opinion but American snacks are more about quantity than about taste, except cheez it's)."

"People I can genuinely have a good conversation (in the US, I felt very very excluded and alone).Better healthcare system."

"Cons:Tech prices are outrageous, literally anything from TVs to Cars, any technology is overpriced cause of taxes. Anything imported, even something like a very cheap cheese made in the US will be overpriced (taxes strike once again)."

"Terrible timings for football(soccer), really annoying but I can understand why."

"Overall, there are benefits in living in both the countries."

-- HeroDGamez

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.