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How is your life in the US better than the UK?

How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Old Jan 14th 2015, 9:09 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by transatlantic_chap
Feel free to be as general or specific as you like -- what are the things you and your family are finding beneficial about life in the States? (Maybe indicate whereabouts you are and how long you've been in the US.)
I am in San Diego, and I have been here 10 years.

I have beautiful wife and daughter, with another baby on the way. I stop to surf on the way into work. I have a detached house. The weather is amazing. I can drive to the mountains in 2 hours.

All in all, my life is pretty good. But it just depends on your background and expectations. I grew up on a farm outside Belfast. I had an hour commute on a bus each way to school. It was pretty miserable.
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Old Jan 14th 2015, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by bewildering
I am in San Diego, and I have been here 10 years.

I have beautiful wife and daughter, with another baby on the way. I stop to surf on the way into work. I have a detached house. The weather is amazing. I can drive to the mountains in 2 hours.

All in all, my life is pretty good. But it just depends on your background and expectations. I grew up on a farm outside Belfast. I had an hour commute on a bus each way to school. It was pretty miserable.
Living the dream!
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Old Jan 14th 2015, 11:07 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Detached house on an acre of land set way back from the road, which cost us $50k less than house half the size in crappy school district in the UK. Chance of kids getting into the local excellent schools: 100%. Skiing, beaches, mountains, forests, lakes all nearby. Healthcare much better than the healthcare we got in the UK (eg we go for a doctor's appointment and the doctor is actually there, every time - that still makes me smile each time it happens). Friendly polite people. You can ski wearing Carhartt without anyone batting an eyelid. Um.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 2:52 am
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

i like the space we have here, both in the house interior, and on the roads and driving around. i felt like i spent all my life in England sat in a car queue to go to the nursery, then to work, then to the supermarket and then on and on. i lived far closer to these things than i do now but the journey would be a long succession of traffic queues.

and we struggled with house size in England. we had a detached house that was 3 bed and a 'decent' overall size but as per typical uk house - the bedrooms were crazily uneven with one huge, one medium and one you could barely fit a single bed in. we were struggling with how we could 'fix' to accommodate the young child and newborn we had then by moving walls, going into roof etc but it was a pain. we solved that issue in one go coming here and could get a house and go on to have another kid and still not be worried for space.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 3:23 am
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
No trouble, they are protected and mostly I leave them alone in my yard, just occasionally moving them to safety.

Protection doesn't stop people driving over them when they get on the road though! On all but the interstates and major highways I usually stop and carry tortoises off the road whenever I see them.
Hopefully you pull off to the side before rescuing the tortoise, unlike the duck lady in Canada.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 3:24 am
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

We've lived in the USA for over 27 years, Texas -> Louisinana -> Texas.

It's different, life has been great in the USA and we have earned and saved enough to retire at 55 and for the last 5 years enjoy splitting our time between the U.S. and other places. 2013, 6 months in several countries including UK, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Spain and France. Last year we spent 5 months in Australia (my brother and other relatives and friends live there), and New Zealand, this year will be 5 or 6 months in Canada, Alaska, and various other States (National Parks mostly). Next year back to UK to set up a permanent place and reduce our time in the US to 4 or 5 months a year.

If we'd stayed in England we'd have been happy enough but the move to the US in '87 has really broadened the horizons of us and our 2 kids who have good jobs and enjoy joining us on parts of our travels. In the US we always lived in big houses with swimming pools etc, traveled as much as US vacation days would allow, and were still able to sock away enough to retire early. (We were both EE's working in the Chemical industry, although my wife wasn't eligible to work for the first 5 years over here).

The initial move was a temporary secondment for 2 years with work, so we were able to try the waters while still wearing a life jacket (kids were aged 4 and 6 at the time).
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 4:13 am
  #22  
 
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Beaverstate
Hopefully you pull off to the side before rescuing the tortoise, unlike the duck lady in Canada.
My own safety is a high priority, but on secondary roads with sufficient visibility (not near a bend or blind crest) I usually stop in such a place as another vehicle doesn't drive over the tortoise before I can move it. E.g. If it is on my side of the road I might stop close enough to it that a vehicle that passes my stationary vehicle can't swerve back in front of my vehicle and crush the tortoise. ..... And it's a fairly rare occurrence, I doubt I've moved more than five or six in twelve years.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 8:56 am
  #23  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Thanks for all your thoughts -- my own situation is that I am staying put in the UK for now. There are lots of pros and cons, and there have been nice long stretches where I have managed to silence the 'what if?' part of my brain -- to stop comparing and just get on with living. It's not always easy to do. I think if the US ever got its healthcare and guns situation sorted out I might be more tempted to move back. The UK is fine, and it's especially nice to be in Brighton, but I do get the occasional 'what if?' twinge -- especially since I just took the kids for a holiday to the US (Chicago and Boulder) last year, and they really loved it.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 9:53 am
  #24  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by transatlantic_chap
Thanks for all your thoughts -- my own situation is that I am staying put in the UK for now. There are lots of pros and cons, and there have been nice long stretches where I have managed to silence the 'what if?' part of my brain -- to stop comparing and just get on with living. It's not always easy to do. I think if the US ever got its healthcare and guns situation sorted out I might be more tempted to move back. The UK is fine, and it's especially nice to be in Brighton, but I do get the occasional 'what if?' twinge -- especially since I just took the kids for a holiday to the US (Chicago and Boulder) last year, and they really loved it.
Presumably this isn't one of those times?
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 9:59 am
  #25  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by Pulaski
My own safety is a high priority, but on secondary roads with sufficient visibility (not near a bend or blind crest) I usually stop in such a place as another vehicle doesn't drive over the tortoise before I can move it. E.g. If it is on my side of the road I might stop close enough to it that a vehicle that passes my stationary vehicle can't swerve back in front of my vehicle and crush the tortoise. ..... And it's a fairly rare occurrence, I doubt I've moved more than five or six in twelve years.
I slowed for a squirrel twice, once successfully
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 10:26 am
  #26  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by dunroving
Presumably this isn't one of those times?
Haha. Seemingly not. I dunno, I just always like hearing from and speaking to people whose experiences might overlap with or shed light on my own.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 11:06 am
  #27  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by transatlantic_chap
Thanks for all your thoughts -- my own situation is that I am staying put in the UK for now. There are lots of pros and cons, and there have been nice long stretches where I have managed to silence the 'what if?' part of my brain -- to stop comparing and just get on with living. It's not always easy to do.
I know exactly how you feel. I have just turned down a job transfer after ages of agonizing one way then the other, and it feels kind of like mourning - knowing that the US chapter of our lives will now never have a satisfactory ending. And those "what could have been" feelings.

Life is good here in the UK, its just so easy to forget that, particularly when you hit something frustrating in the UK that would be so much easier in the US, but then have to think of the things that are better here than there.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 12:29 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by fozzyb
I know exactly how you feel. I have just turned down a job transfer after ages of agonizing one way then the other, and it feels kind of like mourning - knowing that the US chapter of our lives will now never have a satisfactory ending. And those "what could have been" feelings.
Just being nosey but why did you turn it down?
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 1:30 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

In direct comparison to how my life was in the UK (not a nostalgia-ridden, I want it to be 1997 again comparison), things actually are better for me here.

I own my own house, where I lived with my mother in the UK. This is a reasonably large, 3 bedroom detached house with a large basement. Much bigger than the small semi or end terrace that would be within my budget in the UK. I have a good job (my title is manager) compared with my low level clerical officer position in the UK and I now make about 2.5 times as much money as I did in the UK. That's just in a direct convert-into-pounds comparison - adjust for cost of living and I'm probably more like 3-4 times better off.

All the things I enjoyed doing, or shows I enjoyed watching in the UK - my recreation, it can all be done here. Do I wish I was 18 again? Of course I do. Do I miss living there? Yes. However, when I ask myself if I would ever consider moving back there with my family, in the last 2-3 years, that answer has changed from a resounding 'yes', through a 'maybe' to an actual 'no' now.
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Old Jan 15th 2015, 1:46 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: How is your life in the US better than the UK?

Originally Posted by BunnyGirl
Just being nosey but why did you turn it down?
I just couldn't come up with a good enough reason to move. Similarly I couldn't come up with a good enough reason not to. Lots of little reasons to stay and lots of little reasons to go, but I just no killer reason either way. So in the end inertia wins.

Whenever I try to compare our lives in the two countries the pro's and con's come out pretty equal. Some aspects of life are better in UK, others better in California, overall neither is better - just different.

I loved my time in the US, it was probably the happiest 2 years of my life, but then it probably would have been a pretty good 2 years if we had stayed in the UK. My first child was a 2yo when we moved to US, so it was that magical time of seeing your first kid develop into a personality in his own right, and California provided a beautiful backdrop to that. And then my daughter was born out there.

But I'm also very much aware that that was then and this is now. That 2 year old boy is now 13 and his sister is 9- life is very different - and I just don't know what it would be like, but it wouldn't be the same as it was. How can we justify giving up a life here which is pretty good (although some frustrations), going through all the disruption of moving, and then finding that we just have a different set of frustrations that we just can't deal with...

And I'm very much aware that we were pretty cushioned when we lived in the US. On an expat package so housing, healthcare, car, accountant to do the taxes all sorted for us. A lot of the normal worries of life were hidden behind an expat package. Living somewhere forever would be different.

Also I must admit I am pretty paranoid about being utterly at the mercy of my employer. Last time round things were going swimmingly in the US, then there was a company reorganisation, and my new boss decided that there wasn't a business case for sponsoring me to get a US greencard and so that was it - we had to move back. I don't want to ever be in that position again where someone else has so much control over my life.
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