Americans Who Left The U.S. For Political Reasons Explain What Made Them Leave
Expatriates living abroad have a slew of reasons for doing so. Spoiler: living in the wealthiest country on Earth and becoming bankrupt while trying take of your own health is NOT a feather in the nation's cap.
Plenty of Redditors are living across the pond as we speak, and plenty proud to be there.
One Reddit post prompted expats to reflect on the moment life in the U.S. became to much. Of course, the decision to do so is a thoughtful one, full of a variety of considerations.
But most did report an identifiable moment, a tipping point which prompted only one next possible step: book some flights.
"Americans who left the US for political/cultural reasons: what was the final straw? What moment made you go "Okay, I want/need to leave?''
And the List Goes On
"American in Germany here, really, so many things."
"Work environment: 28 days paid vacation and pretty much unlimited sick leave, better work culture."
"Cheaper groceries and services."
"Health care here is the same, but actually covered by my insurance."
"Public transportation is actually usable."
"Long maternal and paternal leave. You get a stipend per child to cover their expenses when you have them."
Giving Too Much to Have Too Little
"Working 4 part time jobs at once. Had no healthcare. Got hit by a car while on my bike 6 weeks before leaving the country to go teach debate at a private foreign academy."
"Lucky all I got was a concussion."
"Leaving was the best decision I ever made. I still work crazy hard, but at least now I have something to show for it."
First World Problems
"Medical debt. Paying $8k for a simple out-patient surgery even with insurance was so infuriating. We left in 2012. We live in Taipei now, where a hospital visit is a couple of dollars and I can have a child without declaring bankruptcy."
Starting to Fresh
"College. I realized I could never afford it in the States and didn't want to spend the majority of my adult life paying off a degree I wasn't sure I wanted in the first place."
"Improved my foreign language, ended up switching my major at a European school twice and I'm on my way to graduating soon."
"Will be the first one in my immediate family to graduate with a Bachelor's degree and will have $0 in student debt when I am finished."
Seeing a Myth for What it Is
"I love the idea of America, I just don't like its execution. Way to stressful of a place for me to live and raise my daughter. I'll gladly pay 50% taxes and drastically reduce the chance of accumulating more money than I could ever need in exchange for a far more equitable and moral system."
The Orange Tip of an Iceberg
"I decided to leave after Trump was elected. Trump is a symptom, not the disease, but it just represented everything that frustrated and saddened me about the country. It was also good timing for me, as I graduated from college about 5 months after Trump was inaugurated. So, I used my grad money to buy a one-way ticket to Taiwan."
Not All Expats Cross an Ocean
"The so-called 'election' in 2000 and the fact that Bush killed over a million civilians in Iraq. I moved 7 miles and after a long series of events became a proud Canadian citizen. (I'm an ex-Detroiter.)"
Foot Soldiers Too Important to Leave
"I wish I had the ability to leave. My last straw was having Trump elected president knowing that he had no respect for females, the disabled, and many other groups that I have spent my life working to protect."
"It's hard to be a social worker in a broken system that shows no intent or motivation to change."
A Punch in the Gut
"The 2017 Las Vegas shooting did it for me. All the mass shootings actually, including the one at my university (UCSB), but Las Vegas was the final straw."
"I stopped feeling safe doing everyday activities (going to bars/clubs, attending concerts, shopping at malls). It prevented me from living my life the way I wanted to."
A Difficult to Verbalize Difference
"Maybe I can sum it all up with an experience I had yesterday: I went to a few stores to stock up on some basics. I live in a very diverse city and the stores were packed with people from six continents, every imaginable shade of color."
"Everyone stocking up, everyone with heavy carts. The checkout line in one grocery store stretched across entire store."
"And people were so. goddamn. friendly. Smiles. 'Sorry.' 'After you.' Patience. It was incredible. It was legitimately enough to bring a tear to my eye, and I'm an a**hole."
Rid of the Bootstraps
"The problem was that every job I had, no matter my insistence, I was expected to go above and beyond, work overtime, constantly seeking promotions, etc. Basically, making work my life. The expectations became exhausting."
"I knew from frequent trips and a network of European friends through studying abroad, that the work-life balance in many European countries is better."
We All Remember that Confirmation Hearing...
"When Betsy DeVos became Secretary of Education. I was in my last semester of college to become a teacher and began applying abroad." -- Ethel12
GOTTA HAVE IT
"It wasn't a primary driver by any means, but holy f*ck it didn't realize how much time and energy it was eating up in my daily life: rampant consumerism. Not from me, but from witnessing people doing it and trying to tell them about how spend within their means."
"I was just surprised on the nonsensical nature of it, and how it was everywhere. I moved to London, and I legit didn't see a pickup truck for 4 months. And when I finally saw one, there was sh*t in the back."
"Compared to Atlanta rush hour traffic where pickups are just as common as cars, and almost all of them aren't carrying anything."
When Individualism Feels More Like Selfish
"I find my countrymen to be kind of insufferable. Even the good ones. I just think Americans are generally not very conscientious people."
"I left for pretty much all the same reasons everyone else has listed. Near free healthcare, better quality of life, very straight forward interviews, and I've been able to get a master's degree here for free. Even the dating scene is better."
"I have no plans on returning. I do miss doing outdoorsy stuff in the US though."
"I left towards the end of the Bush administration, but his reelection is what made me realize I had to go."
"I'm gay, and seeing someone win reelection in large part because he campaigned on a constitutional amendment to ban me from marrying was too insulting to take."
"I left for Canada after I realized how much the War on Terror was costing the US. This was around 2006-2007."
"It occurred to me that that level of military expenditure is unsustainable, and that sooner or later Americans would pay the price. Bush was borrowing the money to shift the costs into the future."
Because of Guns. Nuff Said.
"It was my mum's decision. I was held at gunpoint by a neighbor, at the age of ten. Because some boys knocked on his door and ran away. He came out of his house packing heat, and took the first children he saw hostage."
"He rang our parents, we lived just round the corner. When the police came my mum assumed he would be arrested. Nope."
"My mum was threatened with arrest for swearing. We moved to England soon after, it's lovely here."
It Sets In
"Working in field hospice in rural Louisiana. I was like 'I can't die here.'"
"Honestly I'd rather die in prison than in a Medicaid nursing home in rural Louisiana."
History is made on a daily basis.
Indeed, there is little more exciting than having witnessed the accomplishments of people like Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams, and Greta Thunberg knowing that they have firmly reserved a space for themselves in history books.
Of course, most of the people who paved the way to make the world what it is today have long since passed away.
Not all of them, though!
It may surprise you to learn that there are people who made an indelible impression on history who are still much alive today.
Some of whom even continue to make a difference to this very day
Redditor enginearz was eager to hear about historical figures people were surprised to learn were still alive, leading them to ask:
"What famous person from history is still alive?"
Forever Leaving His Name In Science
"He's the only currently living man with an element on the periodic table named after him."- snowflake247
Quite The Story To Tell
"Last human to hold the title of Tsar, as leader of the Kingdom of Bulgaria."
"He was exiled along with his family when the Soviets invaded Bulgaria in 1944."
"In 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Simeon returned from exile to Bulgaria and July 2001, was democratically elected prime minister."
"The private citizen is now 85."- DirectionNew5328
Making Nature Cool For Decades
"David Attenborough."- random_username_96You Can Do It Uoftartsci GIF by U of T Faculty of Arts & ScienceGiphy
The Fought For Freedom And Justice
"The last surviving airman of the battle of Britain."
"He is 103 years old."
"He helped with the liberation of Auschwitz."
"He is 99 years old."
"He was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials."
"He is 102 years old."- Ashtar-the-Squid
"The last living member of the german anti-nazi resistance group 'White Rose".
"Most well-known members were the sibling Sophie and Hans Scholl, who were executed by the Nazis when they were identified."- ChrisTinnef
The One Who Made One Giant Leap For Mankind
"Buzz Aldrin, and I’m not even American."- mukaltinState Of The Union Salute GIF by MSNBCGiphy
Opening Doors For So Many Others
"She was one of the first black kids to go to an all-white school."
"There is a famous picture of that first day."- mumwifealcoholic
He Continues To Surprise Us
"Ozzy Osbourne."- CaptinDerpI
Admirably Defying So Many Odds
"98 years old."- Back2BachJimmy Carter Drilling GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy
We've Still Got Two Out Of Four
"Paul and Ringo"- HMKingHenryIX
Inching Close To The Big One Double Oh...
And Still Practically Perfect In Every Way
"Julie Andrews."- aslrulesjulie andrews snap GIFGiphy
Who Could Forget About Dick Van Dyke ?!?!?!?!
"Everyone just forgetting about Dick Van Dyke, he's like 97 and still going."
"If you've never heard of him, he played in Marry Poppins, along with a bunch more movies"- Longjumping_Drag2752
And Still Stunning
"Sophia Loren is still kicking."- The_REAL_McWeasel
Continuing To Go Where No Man Has Gone Before
"William Shatner doesn't look it but that dude is in his 90s wtf."- flubberF*ckWilliam Shatner Fun GIF by Shark WeekGiphy
Perhaps what's most admirable, is that even when these astonishing people do eventually pass, they will continue to live on and change the world with the remarkable work they did.
We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.
There are several movies I've watched so many times I think the viewings outnumber the days I've lived.
And much like a favorite tv series or movie, who wouldn't love to start again anew?
Experiencing that first time but with that feeling of... "I'm gonna love this forever."
We never appreciate the first time enough.
But that's life.
Warning: there are spoilers below.
Redditor Jacale1 wanted to discuss all the movies we wish we could experience new all over again, so they asked:
"What is one movie that you wish you could watch again for the first time?"
There are a lot of mystery movies I'd love to redo, just to figure out the killer sooner.
Gasps!Raining The Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The Shawshank Redemption."
"A great nominee. Will never forget gasping when that rock went through the poster, and again when the warden pushed his arm through and ripped it down.... wow."
Over and Over
"Edge of Tomorrow."
"Is it bad that I got enjoyment knowing Tom Cruise died a lot in that movie. Never on screen, but it happened. Over and over. I hate that guy. How the hell was he the same height as Nichole Kidman in the movies they acted in together. Rhetorical question."
"Honestly the whole reason I watched the movie to begin with is that he kept dying over and over."
“'Stardust'- if you don’t know you’ll never know."
"I’m surprised that a fantasy romcom can be so enjoyable, for a straight guy. It’s just the right balance between fantasy, comedy, drama, and romance. Most of the female cast are very easy on the eyes too."
"I swooned when Yvaine glows while dancing on the ship, and when she talks emphatically to the mouse in the caravan. This movie has a lot of A listers, and they deliver. I’m not gonna lie, I have probably watched it half a dozen times."
"The book has so much more in it, even having seen the movie you'll feel like a child again."
"I watched this with my wife, who has never seen it, and that's about as close as you can get to watching it for the first time. It really displayed just how good the movie is. Also I love Aliens just as much for different reasons."
"Came here looking for this! I watched it for the first time with my dad when I was 11, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Amazing movie."
Hey Arnoldsci-fi GIFGiphy
"I first watched this as a kid when I knew Arnold was the good guy in movies, and I had not seen T1. I wish I watched T2 for the first time after having watched T1. The mall scene would have been even more mind blowing."
T2 was definitely bada**!! I'd redo that.
"Bro, I'll go further. If I could watch the Nicholson covered in blood scene or the final scene between Damon and Wahlberg, I would be so freaking happy. The sheer acting clout on display for the first is near a masterclass while the last scene was just so business like, I'd love to relive that scene with fresh eyes. I love this freaking movie."
"The original Star Wars. Man, that blew our minds! It totally changed movies from then on. We'd never seen such incredible special effects. The story was so fun and the experience was amazing."
"Even though I’m not a franchise fan, I can get behind this answer. Because when I saw it first run, I was fourteen, and nothing like it had ever been done. I think it was the first movie where the special effects were the movie? Now that’s standard. It’s a reason people see many films now."
"So, for sheer originality, I’d watch it again, but only for the first time. I barely recall the second movie."
"The 6th Sense. I audibly gasped in the theater. All the clues are obvious on rewatch but that first time, before anyone knew M. Knight Shyamalan was a twist guy... wow."
"I never got to see it the first time. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) inadvertently let slip the ending thinking I had already seen it. I have never seen the point in watching it knowing the ending. But I did enjoy The Village."
"I watched it again and it was more of a sad film than a thriller."
"Spirited Away. I was blown away by how beautiful and bonkers it is."
"Saaaaame! Every single Studio Ghibli film, but Spirited Away especially! I’ve still watched it a million times though, and it’s always special. If I’m in a bad mood that film always cheers me up!"
"Also, Avatar-the last air bender. I know it’s not a movie, but I felt like it deserved a mention. I’ve watched the whole thing several times, and it’s always great, but I do wish I could forget it and rewatch it. I’m 35 btw... lol."
Great Scott!Doc Brown Shock GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy
"Back to the Future."
"I'd love to watch that in the cinemas... Now from the future."
Now I want to go to the movies.
There is no one way to anybody's heart or libido.
Sexy doesn't always have to equal raunchy.
I've known people turned on by music, books, nature, and even funerals (don't ask).
What starts someone's engine is a mystery.
Redditor asexyjohn18 wanted to hear about all the things that get people in the mood, so they asked:
"What is a non sexual trait that turns you on?"
I love a walk. A little strut. Nothing like getting the heart racing.
Tingleshair GIF by SB NationGiphy
"Getting my head scratched or having someone run their fingers through my hair."
"Same. It’s so pleasant when the tingles run down your spine... ;-) "
"When a girl genuinely laughs at jokes I make."
"I remember being on a first date with a beautiful woman and I made a bit of corny joke/comment and she laughed at it. I remember thinking, damn, wait till I get to my good stuff. I did get to my good material apparently as we were married. She gives me as many laughs as I give her."
"Kindness. When I see someone going out of their way to help others for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do… that is some truly attractive vibes."
"Apparently it's vanishing from this world really fast. People who show kindness often end up in losses (of course not everytime but most of the time yes). It really breaks my heart."
"Probably the sexiest thing out there. Someone can be smoking hot, funny, talented, etc. But if they're not kind, they're unattractive."
"Smiling right at me, and men stretching. LAWD HAVE MERCY!!"
"I have trouble smiling at women. Is this a turnoff for them? And ones I like are really hard to smile at. Because I know it's always going to be some really weird big smile if I am crushing which makes me feel like a super duper creep."
SimplicityHappy I Love You GIF by Warner Bros. DeutschlandGiphy
"Sorry if this is too kinky but i like it when they care about me."
"Too far man. You need to rethink your choices."
Sometimes it's all about the heart.
Eye 2 Eyei see you GIF by VH1Giphy
"When a guy explains something to you in a calm and understanding voice. Bonus points for gentle eye contact."
"Being crazily intelligent. Screw dirty talk, I want you to explain some unexplainable s**t in my ear."
"Heck yes. My best connections have been with a philosophy/history professor turned chancellor, an environmental engineer, and a neurosurgeon, all 3 Summa cum laude grads and conference speakers in their fields. The downside to genius though is complete absorption in their fields leaving little time for in person connection."
"Everyone should know how to cook. Hunger knows no gender. I like to eat good food so I learned how to cook. I asked my mom one day and she reacted surprised. She was more than grateful to have an opportunity to teach me the ‘finer’ aspects of cooking, as she called it. Lol. I love food."
"My girlfriend, now wife, likes to jokingly say I got her into bed with a well seasoned steak and homemade fries. I mean we did sleep together almost immediately after we finished dinner so maybe she’s right. That old saying comes to mind. 'The quickest way to the heart is though the stomach.'"
"When I ask my husband for help when I repot my plants and he delicately cleans and moves the leaves. He is a mechanical engineer and he works with huge pieces of industrial equipment, seeing him so tenderly caring for my plants just makes me melt."
Limbs A LotExcited Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Men doing intricate work with their hands."
"I second this, also someone who can play guitar/bass real real well... just watching their hands, whoa mama."
Well, it seems that just about anything can get someone in the mood, especially if you're kind, courteous, and especially a good cook.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!