Europeans Explain What They Imagine Life Is Like In The United States
specphotops on Unsplash

As tourists, we enjoy exploring foreign cities and seeing famous sites in person.


When we're on hopping on and off touring buses that take us from one tourist attraction to another, however, it's hard to get a sense of how the locals really live in their country.
Curious to hear from those who don't live in North America, Redditor DerpDerp3001 asked:
"Europeans of Reddit, what do you imagine life in the United States to be like?"

One thing is certain. Americans are full out.

Everything Big

"Big. Big country, big cars, big buildings, big voices, big personalities, big ambitions, the Big Apple, the Big Sky Country, Big Sur. Big portions."

– HoneyGlazedBadger

So Much Pride

"Shopping malls and big cars and sports games and lots of national pride."

– foxmachine

The "Loud" European

"Moved to the US from Europe 5 months ago. What's most noticeable to me is that you have to drive everywhere and that everyone calls me soft-spoken... In Europe I was perceived as loud."

– un-BowedBentBroken

They Have It Made

"All my American friends are highly educated and middle to upper middle class, they have it ever so good. I know they are far from the norm, but if you have skills in high demand, the opportunities are almost endless it seems."

– D-Rez

Decent Aesthetics

"Generally good, the roads are wide, It’s very spacious and it’s a land that stands for freedom, Quality of life seems good, the only downsides that I probably would not like is a lack of a NHS, and the fact that you have less annual leave, you should get way more then you all currently do that’s for sure."

– The-Rare-Road

Things that needed room for improvement were pointed out.

Work Rights And Healthcare

"I’ve been to the US a few times and never had a bad encounter. A lot of really nice people, genuinely nice interactions.
As an outsider looking in, the working rights and the healthcare is absolutely insane to me and a crying shame for some of the kindest, most giving people I’ve come into contact with as a foreigner."

– Sylviabutler04

Land Of Opportunity

"All my American friends are highly educated and middle to upper middle class, they have it ever so good. I know they are far from the norm, but if you have skills in high demand, the opportunities are almost endless it seems."

– D-Rez

Positive Perception

"It ain't perfect, but I think more people are pretty decent off than most think."

"I grew up in poverty. I had free public schooling (which was quite alright), subsidized school lunches, free healthcare, free transport to and from school. I was also blessed to have a vehicle my parents could use to get me from sports practices/activities, and a warm place to live with cheap but functional clothing. All while my parents never made more than 30k a year combined whilst I was growing up with my sister. There are plenty that have it WAYYYY worse, and there are problems to be solved, but it isn't all as terrible as everyone makes it seem."

– derrickmm01

"Every Good, Every Horrible"

"Impossible to generalise. To the best of my knowledge, it varies enormously place to place, between socio-political and economic backgrounds, and between various groups."

"It seems to have every good and every horrible thing thinkable of."

"Overall, I'd say the standard of living is comparable, and in the grand scheme of things world class, but if things go bad, life becomes hell, and when things go well, they go brilliantly ."

"If it helps, I really found visiting America great fun, and found out most Americans are nice people, and you have this sense of optimism and hope, which I really appreciate."

– PayNoNoticeOfMe

Different Social Ladder

"Seems like the social ladder is just overstretched. It's better to be a cashier in Europe than in the US, better to he a software developer in the US than in Europe."

"I definitely prefer Europe in that regard, even if I know for a fact that I'd be making three times as much in the US. imo It's just part of the social contract that those at the bottom of the ladder should be able to live life in dignity, even if it's at the 'expense' of those at the top. It's not the only reason, among other things american work culture would overwhelm me, 8 hours of work, 8 hours of leasure, 8 hours of sleep is how it should be. And I'm not about to burn the midnight oil and burn out and not have a life outside my job just because "that's how things work around here", too depressing of a prospect for me. (at will law is insane by the way)"

"That said It's on my bucketlist to visit it one day. Seems like a lovely country to do tourism in, but working and living there isn't that enticing."

– AndyBales

Others, however, saw chaos.

Walking On Eggshells

"Uncertain..the fact that you can get fired just like that, the lack of paid sick leave or paid absence due to giving birth, the cost of health services...I don't know how you guys do it, without having a panic attack every week."

– StopIntegral

Stresses

"its such a f'king mixed bag of everything. The united states values libertarian thought to such a degree that youll find literally every cultural subset, political idea, food, and religion. Even the legal codes vary INSANELY across state lines. I could theoretically buy semi auto rifles and huge amounts of marijuana legally in one state then travel across an arbitrary open border and the people will treat you like a terrorist there if caught. This is totally what the founding fathers wanted mind you, just a perfect amount of nuts i guess."

"Honestly this country is really f'king stressful as f'k and you have to have a lot of context and reasoning and awareness to not piss people off and see the good parts in america. Living in a blue state is totally different than living in a red one. Definitely a lot to sh*t on for sure."

– Artistic-Wolverine16

A Sad Reality

"Guns. So many guns."

– taaadaaa

Money Buys You Peace

"It's all peachy as long as you have money. The pressure to keep up with your neighbors and the credit card payments must be immense. And damn you must be scared the SH*T out of cops. And other people in general, but especially cops. And Jesus not having 28 paid days of vacation, as well as paid sick days, that's just uncomfortable. Also do you deal with the homeless situation, the fact that basically all mentally ill live in the street and that half of the population seems to be fascist religious nutcases? Also do you have any hope for your children given the state of your educational system?"

"Disclaimer: lived in CA and VA for a few months. Good times."

– TAastronautsloth99

Pure Satire

"Pretty much any episode from South Park."

– coppers_pencil

There's Room For Improvement

"It's all peachy as long as you have money. The pressure to keep up with your neighbors and the credit card payments must be immense. And damn you must be scared the SH*T out of cops. And other people in general, but especially cops. And Jesus not having 28 paid days of vacation, as well as paid sick days, that's just uncomfortable. Also do you deal with the homeless situation, the fact that basically all mentally ill live in the street and that half of the population seems to be fascist religious nutcases? Also do you have any hope for your children given the state of your educational system?"

"Disclaimer: lived in CA and VA for a few months. Good times."

– TAastronautsloth99

It's interesting to hear from the perspective of those who are not from any specific country commenting on other nations.

While many observations are spot on, others seem to be very much influenced by the movies and the media.

Which of those would you say are portrayed as most accurate?

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