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"I Don't Think I Can Ever Go Back To The Old Way": 15 Things Germany Does Better Than The US, According To Someone Who Has Lived In Both Places

Three years after moving from New York to Berlin, I'm more confident than ever that I made the right decision.

Hi! I'm Michelle — and nearly three years ago, I decided to move from New York City to Berlin.

The author drinking a German beer

While there are a ton of things I'll always love about the US, I've learned that there are an equal number of things that good ol' Deutschland does a little better. Here are some!

The Cathedral, the TV Tower, and the Schlossbruecke in Berlin at dawn

1. Generous paid time off and vacations.

Two women sitting on a cement step, talking while drinking water, near a beach

2. There's excellent maternity leave, too.

Tattooed woman holding a newborn close to her chest

3. The variety of grocery stores, including lots of affordable ones.

4. The social welfare programs that protect people.

Person waiting in line at the German unemployment office

5. Top-quality playgrounds for kids.

A group of children posing in front of an elaborate playground full of swings and ropes.

6. And so many public spaces to relax in.

A strip of the boulevard of Frankfurter Allee, shaded by trees

7. And of course, the great beer.

Glass of traditional German wheat beer, with checkered blue towelette in background

8. And the most delicious bread.

Eight rolls of various bread on top of brown paper bag

9. So many people are bilingual.

Two men looking in each other's direction, engaged in deep conversation in streets of Berlin

10. They are expert recyclers.

Woman throwing out trash in one of six trash cans in her backyard

11. An overarching respect for privacy.

12. Better gun control laws.

13. A wonderful relationship with nature.

Cabin in front of a Bavarian crystal-clear lake

14. Clearly marked, flat bike lanes all over the city.

Man on bike waiting to cross the street on his protected red bike lane

15. And finally, the affordability of higher education.

Woman raising her arms up in front of the university of Munich.

What's something you've experienced or seen abroad that you wish the US would adopt? Tell me in the comments!