My post is probably going to be lost in the endless sea of replies, but I'd like to add my opinion as well.
You know what you're doing? You're trading one problem for another. Pick your poison. Europe is not a Utopia. It's not an artist colony where
everyone is highly intelligent and free from a warped mind. They are people just like here,.. with needs, prejudices, ideas and pride... except that
since everything is more expensive over there they had to learn to live on less. An incredible few there chose to have less on purpose in order to
lead "cleaner" lives. Most will never admit it, but hey, it's fun to hold it over Americans' heads.
I just love listening to Europeans bash
America, and love listening to Americans agree with them even more.
I was born in Europe, lived in Germany for a couple of years, and still go visit about once a year (In fact I'm going there this December for two
weeks to visit my family). I've been living in the US for the past 18 years or so.
Having been here all these years I've noticed something about both Europeans and Americans. Some Americans seem to have this -grass is greener on
the other side-
attitude while some Europeans have the -America is the source of all evil-
attitude. This usually comes from those who
haven't been to the other side and haven't had the opportunity to experience each other's countries to the fullest. The smart ones know to reserve
judgement until they've done so.
OP, I think it is good and brave of you to have decided to travel to see for yourself what the world is like. It's not easy arriving in a place
you've never been before and trying to fend for yourself. Europe is rich in history (so much incredible violence and drama!). It's a great place to
visit for an artist, historian, musician and writer. Some places are very inspirational and I would recommend that all Americans make a trip out there
at least once in their lifetimes. You have to see it for yourself.
However,... if you are looking for a better government and better people, you may end up disappointed. There is a very good reason why so many
Europeans, Asians and Easterners (among others) have fled to America (my family included). The terrible bureaucracy, limited freedoms, racism and
corrupt politicians are just as bad there (if not FAR worse) as they are here. You may even find rudeness more common there than you will here in the
U.S. I know I do! I remember when I lived in Germany. Though I had blond hair and blue eyes, some of them (not all of course!) still disliked the fact
that I was there, simply because I was not a German. They did not like immigrants. They especially disliked the Turks. I remember frequently hearing
about Turks being attacked in the street by German youth gangs. Luckily Germans these days don't feel that way about Americans. In Eastern and other
parts of Europe you will find open racism against the Romana (Gypsy) people. Often they live in hideous conditions at the edges of town, comparable to
some of the slums and shacks you might see when entering Tijuana. Some of them have no electricity or running water.
I realize that Americans here view Europe in a very romanticized way, and certain Europeans want it to appear that way. Some people there (dare I say)
posses an inferiority complex to the U.S. and love to bash Americans for just about everything. They sometimes enjoy blaming America for their
political and economic problems. I think it makes them feel better about themselves. They love throwing the "culture" and "rich history" in
Americans' faces as well. Their view of Americans is that they are loud, rude, fat, lazy and uncultured. Fact is there's plenty of Europeans with
those same characteristics. People there are not much smarter than here. Sure they have better schools, but as you may know,... book smarts don't
always equal high intelligence or superior powers of reasoning. Their schools brainwash their students to think a certain way just like schools here
do. The smartest people are those who have traveled and experienced the world for themselves, who don't allow themselves to be completely sold on any
particular idea before experiencing it.
So why do I go back once a year? Simple. I was born there, most of my family is there and I love the geography. Despite the fact that I am now an
American citizen, the land still has a strong hold on me. Since it has gotten better over the years and the political climate has eased somewhat I've
considered living there for a while just to get it out of my system, but the truth is that I love America and what it stands for. Even if I can't see
a castle from my kitchen window, I like my freedoms here, and I like that I can become or do anything I want if I work hard enough to get it. I think
I'll stick to 'visiting' Europe and living here as long as this Government doesn't begin to resemble Europe too much.
Despite the fact that at the moment it looks like it is falling apart, I have faith that the U.S. will come back strong again as long as people fight
to get it back. How can a great country survive if the people who see something wrong with it, flee? Funny thing for me to say since we fled our
country for similar reasons, but in our case... my father was threatened with 10 years jail time for his outspokenness against the government and his
unwillingness to turn others in who held the same beliefs he did. When they accused him of trying to start a revolution, he knew it was time to get
the hell outta there, and that was not an easy task.
OP, good luck in Europe. Have a great time out there. I wish more people would travel to get this kind of experience. I think it would make them
appreciate what they have here. I hope you find what you're looking for.