3 answers to a frequently asked question

So what’s the question? I guess I won’t leave you hanging like some of those annoying recipe blogs where you have to scroll for 15 minutes before you get to the actual recipe

Do you ever want to move back to the US?

Or, if the person asking is more presumptuous ‘When are you moving back to the US?’ As if it’s the only logical choice…but in that case it’s usually an American asking who loves where they live. 😀 

Why this is in the repertoire of standard questions to ask someone when you find you’re a foreigner in a different country, I’m not really sure.

 

Short-term (in 6 months - 1 year)

No. Something pretty sudden and drastic would have to happen for that to be a possibility. 

Of course that could go in a negative or positive direction. So if anyone knows of any amazing opportunities *cough cough* like a writing or editing job paying 6 figures will full benefits *cough cough* let me know.

Mid-term (in 2-3 years)

Unlikely. I’m about to age myself with this next statement but…I have doctors here I like and I’ve gotten used to the socialized medicine. (Life is good when you don’t have to pay 30 bucks just to have a discussion with the doctor.) I have a lovely friend group that’s fun and makes me feel good about myself. I’ve fallen in love with the city of Hamburg, and I easily have access to an airport where I can go anywhere from. I want to continue building my career here and using my American charm to get places (but not too much of it or they find it annoying).

Long-term (in 5+ years)

Who knows?? Never say never, but my partner is not too keen on living and working in the US. He would have to do some things to transfer his work qualifications, which would cost time and most likely money. And then to probably get paid less than he does now.

 

But at the core, you have to weigh life in both places you’re considering, and here’s what I know.

Germany
+ socialized healthcare (i.e. you won’t go into debt if you have an accident, have a baby, or need an operation)
+ public universities are free to attend
+ easy access to traveling within Europe
+ well-maintained and connected public transportation (save money on car expenses)
+ requirement that companies give 25 paid holidays to full-time employees (however most companies give 28-30)
+ it’s possible to afford a healthy diet on a small budget
+ safety

the housing market is outrageously expensive
it’s expensive and tedious to own a car
behind on digitalization (e.g. some bars/restaurants/stores still take cash only)
people tend to be less friendly than other cultures (however they do mind their own business)

USA
+ salaries tend to be higher
+ career opportunities (Potential work opportunities worldwide if you can transfer from here to other locations.)
+ top universities
+ front-runners in various fields
+ probably best digitalization in the world (aside from one point below)
+ it’s possible to afford a home (dependent on area, of course)

 

safety (loose gun laws, majority of mass shootings occur in the US)
expensive university fees
scam calls (Were you expecting that one? lol)
making wire transfers with your regular bank is complicated (I never tried Venmo or the likes, to be fair.)
health insurance (god forbid you have an accident and go into debt for the next 20 years)
America-centric mentality 
– sustainability commitments and green initiatives are lacking behind (think about how many pre-cut foods you see packaged in plastic at the grocery store, as one example that enrages me)

What are your thoughts? Are you also asked this question when you visit your family or hometown? And what’s your response??

This post was inspired by Bag Lady Meredith’s article about why she’s not considering moving back to the USA any time soon. She has such fun and relatable content, so I would definitely recommend checking out her blog and instagram account! 

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