Am i mad?!

Old Aug 20th 2012, 9:36 am
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Default Am i mad?!

Hello,

I am 25, from Scotland, and engaged to my fiance who i met while studying in North Carolina for a year. I was issued a k1 visa last month and i'm looking forward to moving over to be with her.

But i keep wondering if i'm mad! I'm drawn to the idea of living in the US again, it was a great experience and i'm sure it would be again, a great place to be while we are young.

But here's the thing. I am an atheist and very liberal. I find American gun laws bizarre, i am pro-choice, pro-gay rights and can't stand the US education system (or lack thereof!). I currently receive 34 days PAID holiday, i have access to free health care and Europe is an hour or two away. My experience of the US is costly healthcare and few holiday days.

Despite all this i/we are DRAWN to the 'American dream'. We can't help it. We don't intend to stay in NC for long as although im sure its ideal for some its maybe not best for us (could you guess?) but i suppose my question/point is, can anyone else get where im coming from? Has anyone felt/thought the same? How are the realities of life in your respective cities in comparison to your expectations?

Any opinions would be very much appreciated. Our decision is made and i am obviously excited, but i'm just curious as to the way others felt about the experience.

Many thanks


Jamie
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Just to clarify, i by no means intend to make this a political issue, these are my opinions and only my opinions.

I am merely seeking a reassurance that others had major concerns, yet still felt the same draw to the US that i have always had.

Thanks.
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

I feel the same way, and am in the same boat as you. All I can say is that I love my wife, and she is there. So I go. Nothing else really matters.
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Originally Posted by jiggy55 View Post
I am an atheist and very liberal. I find American gun laws bizarre, i am pro-choice, pro-gay rights and can't stand the US education system (or lack thereof!).
The area in which I live is pro-Christian, pro-guns, pro-life, pro-US education, and anti-gay. Alas, except for the pro-gun lobby, this area is everything that I dislike! We shop at Walmart on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings - because that's when everyone except us heathens are at church. But, like civilservant, I love my wife... so this is where we live and work.

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Old Aug 20th 2012, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

The USA is a huge place. Is your fiance so set that he/she can ONLY live in NC?

Again, the USA is a huge place. Massachusetts or Rhode Island is a far cry in political culture to say New Jersey, for example, and they aren't too many hundred miles apart. And within North Carolina you'll find a range of political cultures, so as with any marriage/relationship, your fiance will have to compromise as well.

And even within each place, there are pockets of like-minded individuals for you to associate with. Like here in Texas, Austin has pockets of non-liberal, whereas here in Houston, we have pockets of non-conservative.

That said, we DO miss Europe. We DO NOT like messing with health insurance and the strangeness of it. We DO miss the cultural feel of 'home.' And I'm the USC! (Who knew we'd actually miss haggis or a down-home Burns Night?)

But you can protect what you can when you come here. Hubby (UKC) gets 30 days paid vacation a year plus 9 paid national holidays. So that is the same as UK for us. We get health care provided (although we pay, starting now, $500 a family deductible this year.) And we fly to UK minimum of 2x a year. At least the additional paid leave you should be able to negotiate in if the firm hiring you really wants you.

Unsure about this whole "American Dream" thing though - you may want to really talk this through if you think the streets are paved with gold here. Its a tough time to find work in the USA now, unless you are highly specialised or have unique skills. I'm not at all saying you won't find a job, but prepared that it may not be as easy as say in the early 2000s. And a lot (politically) is in limbo due to the presidential election this year, which means nothing will happen all this year plus next year, as no one likes to change much when they even do get elected re-elected. American are accustomed to this and don't plan much.

And at least where we live (Houston and Vegas), the cost of living isn't dirt cheap, just some things cost more here than in UK and the other way around. However housing is definitely cheaper so depending on where you live, you can very much do well in this category.

And - NC is beautiful. Great nature. And there are great towns/cities, such as Asheville. A good friend of ours lives there and she's liberal, agnostic and gay. She'd never move. Talk it through with your fiance and you'll both work it out. If you are worried about finding like-minded folk, you WILL find them. But you can also enjoy the debate and banter with the other-minded folk too!!!
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Yes you are mad.
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Originally Posted by jiggy55 View Post
Despite all this i/we are DRAWN to the 'American dream'.
This bit jumped out at me - I wonder what you mean by it?

Like others have said, the US is a huge place with massive variety and there are large liberal enclaves found all over.

My wife (USC) and I (British citizen) are moving to the UK next year for exactly the reasons you've said you'll miss - healthcare and (to our way of thinking) fairer holiday allowance.

Good luck with whatever you do - but personally I'm chasing my American dream in the UK.

Last edited by Egon; Aug 20th 2012 at 2:45 pm.
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Bomjeito, he mentioned a K-1 visa, not a job-related visa so this part doesn't really fit his scenario.

"But you can protect what you can when you come here. Hubby (UKC) gets 30 days paid vacation a year plus 9 paid national holidays. So that is the same as UK for us. We get health care provided (although we pay, starting now, $500 a family deductible this year.) And we fly to UK minimum of 2x a year. At least the additional paid leave you should be able to negotiate in if the firm hiring you really wants you."

My husband came over on a K-1 and had to completely switch careers after looking for almost 2 years when we were first married. My husband also makes substantially less than he made in the UK, so the OP needs to consider this. My husbnad and I would have made a different decision if we knew then what we know now.

To the OP, best of luck in whatever you and your fiance decide. Best wishes for your shared future!
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

There was an interesting article in Time Magazine - Keeping the Dream Alive - in June 2012. You should be able to read it online..
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

I'm the American in our family, husband is from Scotland and an atheist, liberal, but thankfully not 25!

Anyway, I went to the UK to be with him and after 5 years I wanted to go back to the US to be near relatives that needed me. So we moved to the Pacific Northwest. My husband acclimatises pretty well, so he has done very well here. He worked in telecoms in the UK and while it took him a while to find a job (10 months) he has done extremely well since then. His salary is much more than he could have hoped for in the UK and he's constantly grown in his employment. He did leave a job in the UK that had 6 weeks of paid leave, that was hard. His current rate of leave is 25 days a year, we somehow manage to take vacations on that limited time.

We live in an area that is pretty liberal, thankfully! The weather helps as well. I know my husband (and I as well) couldn't handle hot and humid climates.

I wish you the best and hope that your fiance understands the big changes that will occur for you. Marriage isn't always the easiest commitment, but even harder when you throw in marrying a person from another country. And I feel your mad only if you didn't have some apprehensions!

Good luck!
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Originally Posted by Egon View Post
This bit jumped out at me - I wonder what you mean by it?

Like others have said, the US is a huge place with massive variety and there are large liberal enclaves found all over.

My wife (USC) and I (British citizen) are moving to the UK next year for exactly the reasons you've said you'll miss - healthcare and (to our way of thinking) fairer holiday allowance.

Good luck with whatever you do - but personally I'm chasing my American dream in the UK.
Yes me too - meaningless phrase nowadays.
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Originally Posted by jiggy55 View Post
But here's the thing. I am an atheist and very liberal. I find American gun laws bizarre, i am pro-choice, pro-gay rights and can't stand the US education system (or lack thereof!). I currently receive 34 days PAID holiday, i have access to free health care and Europe is an hour or two away. My experience of the US is costly healthcare and few holiday days.
You're not really exposed to all of this all the time though. My wife goes to church; I don't; she sulks when I say no, and that's about the limit of (anti)religion I've had here in the US. Guns are a very unfunny joke but it's not as if they're waved in your face all the time or the neighbor stops for a chat about guns. Occasionally you see people waving placards beside the road about abortion. Point of all this is it's not in your face all the time.

Europe is now thankfully further away but I guess that depends on your POV!

I have to pay a lot for healthcare but in my limited experience with the equivalent of the GP and Kaiser Permanente, it is pretty good. NHS isn't free if you're a taxpayer, of course, and my taxes here are lower... I still prefer the NHS system on the whole though.

It was my wife that wanted to come to the US, not me. I was quite happy to go along for the adventure but there was no "dream chasing". Nowadays when I speak to my mum, she asks "how's it going" and my answer is "just the usual, plodding along" - it's regular life, just in a different place. Just accept the adventure as what it is rather than "the American Dream" and maybe you'll be quite happy!
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

What is the dream? It doesn't exist in this day and age, certainly for anyone from another first world country.

What makes you want to move to NC? If you're young and flexible with no ties, why not just make the break to a fresh part of the country you might be more comfortable with before having kids?

Welcome to BE though and congrats!
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
You're not really exposed to all of this all the time though. My wife goes to church; I don't; she sulks when I say no, and that's about the limit of (anti)religion I've had here in the US. Guns are a very unfunny joke but it's not as if they're waved in your face all the time or the neighbor stops for a chat about guns. Occasionally you see people waving placards beside the road about abortion. Point of all this is it's not in your face all the time.
You're not in the south though....
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Old Aug 20th 2012, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Am i mad?!

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
Yes you are mad.
Seconded.
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