Wednesday 3 June 2015 - Three years in and the verdict?
Three years after arriving in the US we're settled in our own house, kids are at daycare and school, my self employment is going well, and my wife's employment is going... okay. It's a nice location, a little remote which has its good points and bad points, fantastic sunsets over the mountains, and hot, dry weather most of the time.
However, we're not realy happy. Not sad, not annoyed, not upset, just not living the kind of life we thought we would have. Life in the US is very much work, work, work, and that really takes a toll. Taxes are relatively low yet we never seem to have much money - it all goes on healthcare, food, fuel, taxes, electricity, cable,... We've really cut back and are starting to slowly save, but just can't seem to stem the flow to a point where we can enjoy the money. I feel sorry for the kids too, because we have to work so much. Theoretically my wife does three 12.5 hour shifts a week, nights. But what usually happens is she leaves for work at 6:30pm and arrives back home at 9am or even later - because she is overwork during her normal shift, which means she has paperwork to do after her shift. True, she's paid for the extra hours, but it's tough only seeing your kids for maybe an hour per day as they would have already gone to school/daycare by the time she comes home. Even that hour is spent with her getting ready for work and eating dinner. Then it's the sleeping and adjusting back to days on her days off.
So we had a long talk last night where I started by asking if she was happy in the US. Her answer was no, followed by a flood of tears. The answer wasn't a surprise: the strength of the reaction was. And I'd already made my mind up that enough was enough, had dropped hints, but last night was the first time I'd asked directly. So at least we're in agreement.
The plan now, since we're 3 years into a green card, is to stay for 2 more years or until such time as we have citizenship. That gives the kids an opportunity to return to the US later in life if they want to. The only real issue is that we'd have to file taxes every year, but that's a set of online forms taking maybe a day out of our lives, so not really a problem at all.
So where will we go? My wife is a Filipino, I have my own job and income which doesn't vary depending on the location, I have no strong urges to return to the UK, so the logical choice is the Philippines. Some might say "why go to a 3rd world country?". Well, it's not as simple as that. Yes, infrastructure is poor compared to the US/UK, there are some very poor areas (and also some very rich areas), but life is so much more relaxed there. I'd rather grow a fair amount of my own vegetables than go to a supermarket where their origin and life history is unknown and somewhat questionable (genetically modified, pesticides, transported hundreds of miles, etc). Their healthcare system is similar to the US but there are better safeguards for the poor - and it's extremely cheap, and efficient. Employment has significantly more safeguards for employees, such as guaranteed paid time off, minimum meal breaks, etc.
The US has been fun, I'm not denying that. I don't think we've "failed". We've tried it and simply decided it's not for us. Not everything would be fixed by moving again - but carrying on living here is certainly not going to fix anything.
Sunday 7 June 2015 - Untitled Comment
|Posted by Sugarmooma |
|Sorry to hear that matey but your plan sounds good and who knows in another couple of years your outlook may change.
The main thing is you are giving yourself choices and not burning bridges.
Good luck in whatever you do👍
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Friday 12 June 2015 - Interesting update
|Posted by BEVS |
|I found that a very interesting update & also wise.
We all hope that our new country of choice will fit us perfectly , however that is not always the case is it.
Good luck with your plans . I do hope they work well .
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My attempt to get an EB1a visa for the US, a person of extraordinary ability, which gives a green card pretty much immediately, and there is no waiting period unlike most other visas.
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