For some, the American way of life can be exhausting, frustrating, and difficult. Because of the divisive social climate, long working hours, and expensive cost of living, some US residents are looking to live abroad. So when Reddit user u/FrozenChair asked people to explain why they left America for Europe, they gave some eye-opening reasons.
1. "I moved to Europe seven years ago. Our motivation at first was having children without going into debt. After living here a few years, we were able to buy a house and live a lifestyle that was once considered the American dream."
2. "I live in Berlin. I'm still trying to get used to my five weeks of vacation. All vacation is paid vacation, and it's standard everywhere. I also get a two-hour lunch and have a 32-hour workweek. This is is literally going to add up to years more with my family. It just makes the quality of life so much better."
3. "I hated having to drive everywhere in the US. There still seems to be more of an appreciation for the slow life in Europe. Plus, being able to walk more and use public transport — I just feel happier and healthier with this lifestyle."
4. "I moved to Spain from the US six years ago. As much as I miss the US, I have no plans to move back. Healthcare in America scares the bejesus out of me, especially as I age. I just had surgery on an injury that cost me nothing in Europe."
5. "My partner and I moved to Sweden two years ago. We were both working extremely long hours in the US and it was killing us. We were both making a lot of money, but it was coming at too great a cost. There's also the political and social situation. Society is extremely polarized in the US. Now we have six weeks of vacation, guaranteed healthcare, and a political system that isn't a complete shitshow."
6. "Not only does the majority of food taste better in Europe, but it's also more nutritious. Food additives that are illegal in Europe are abundant in the US. Crops have been so modified that they have a fraction of the nutrients. Even baking ingredients like flour and sugar are way less healthy here in the US because of how they are processed."
7. "I moved from the US in 1980 and live in England now. There are hardly any guns here. Handguns are outlawed."
8. "It comes down to the fact that the US does not care about its people — only protecting the capital of the wealthy. There's expensive healthcare, a car-dependent infrastructure, a lack of public transportation, increasing homelessness, etc."
9. "I moved years ago for marriage. My life is immeasurably better here in so many ways. My children don't know what an active-shooter drill is, I don't question taking them to a doctor when they need it, and I don't have to buy school supplies."
10. "My S.O. and I moved to Greece in 2016. I eat mostly vegan, and the quality and price of basic raw ingredients are incredible."
11. "To better reconnect with my father’s family in Germany. One of my cousins reached out to me, and from there I felt like I had a family who actually cared about my well-being for the first time in a while. It feels like they actually 'get me,' in a sense."
12. "I moved five and a half years ago because there are better job opportunities in my field of music here. Also, I'm able to afford living in a nice, big city without working two to three jobs."
13. "I moved from the US to Austria nearly 20 years ago. I don't regret it and can't ever see myself moving back. Here, both mothers and fathers can get up to two years of paid parental leave."
14. "We recently moved to Europe for my job. Some of the benefits include lower crime in most places, inexpensive or free healthcare, inexpensive or free higher education, lower costs for cellphone and internet services, and more cultural diversity."
15. "I moved to France 10 years ago and will never move back to the US. I have a better quality of life, and I'm not worried my daughter will be shot by a classmate."
16. "It's easy to get somewhere completely different. In America, you have to travel a long way to get to a place with a different culture. In Europe, in just a few hours I can drive to France, the Netherlands, or Germany. And in a few hours on a plane, I can be in Italy, Greece, Spain, or Portugal."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.