I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the original poster has never been outside of the USA for an extended period of time, or lived in a single other
country for 6 months.
I suspect that you are looking at the rest of the world through 'rose-tinted spectacles' and so anywhere else
seems more alluring.
I have traveled extensively in Europe and Mexico, and lived in the Middle East for a while, but moved back to the and am happiest here. You might be
different, but I'd recommend traveling first, and "sampling" life in various environments before stating point blank that Americans are the most
savage sheep on the planet.
Here are some things I missed about the US (specifically Texas).
1. Outside of the urban areas, the US still has truly massive wilderness areas. My experience of outdoor Europe was that it was much more "managed,"
and more like a US state park that is a tourist attraction.
2. Game laws. I love to hunt and fish. Hunting in many foreign countries is plain impossible unless you are part of the ruling elite. I have heard
that this is changing as states seek American tourist investment. So my experience is definitely dated. That said, what other country (besides
Canada!) has 40 million deer?
3. Cost of living. Food and housing in the US (west of the Mississippi) is about a third of what it is on the East coast or in Europe. You can buy
a 3 bedroom with a large yard in a nice neighborhood in the outside of california for less that 250,000. In Texas, more like 150,000. My friends
from the UK are always shocked at how even modest earners live in a "castle" in the US. Gasoline there is 9 bucks a gallon as well. I know a lot of
Americans (and the OP) believe that the US 'has blood on its hands' because of manipulating the oil market. You ought to seriously read up on
Europe's blood soaked record in the middle east---they are the main customers of Iraqi and Libyan oil---not the US! We have oklahoma....
4. Less Bureaucracy. Especially in Latin America, you need permission to buy a house, or even to rent an apartment! I don't know about now, but in
Germany you had to "register with the police" when you moved into a neighborhood. What's up with that?
5. Dependable infrastructure. Go for a drive in Honduras in a sedan. Or heck, just Mexico. I hope you brought your own manhole covers. Streets
change names every few blocks, or several streets have the same name(!) Roads may be marked but not graded or paved. And people don't pull over to
park---they stop in the middle of the street and wait for police if there has been a wreck! I could write a whole thread on this topic. Suffice it
to say that if you've never traveled outside of North America and Western Europe, you are in store for a real shock. Perhaps literally, since in
China the utility poles are often strung with what we consider to be ....extension cord! Ever seen a fusebox for a home made out of wood and canvas?
That's standard in developing countries. Oh, and get used to not drinking any water you didn't personally boil first.
6. Lack of corruption and violence. I have never been asked to pay a bribe in the US, or needed to offer one. I HAVE done that in the ME and Latin
America. To get my passport back from a cop, to cross a bridge, to visit a museum that was "closed to rich americans," etc. And violence. Someone
mentioned South Africa; but you need to know that Capetown was the murder capital of the world for several years, and may still be. Remember how
difficult it was for the government of Aruba to investigate a murder? Did I mention that in a lot of the world, you are guilty
innocent. Or that you have to pay for your own food in most foreign jails. If no one on the outside buys food, guess what happens to you. Go on,
7. Less racism and xenophobia. I know, I know, Americans are the most horrible racists---TV says so. But I've never seen anyone beaten and
hospitalized here because they spoke with an accent. Happens all the time elsewhere. I refrain from ranking other countries, because such a
sweeping generalization would be pointless. Suffice it to say that if you are Anglo, you will never be accepted in Mexico. I mean that you will
never be able to legally become a Mexican citizen, and will not be allowed to own property---you'll have to pay an attorney to own it for you. If you
spend time in France on business, prepare for verbal abuse if you speak with what they consider an american accent. They wont care how much you hate
your homeland; you'll always be an American in their eyes, regardless of how long ago you burnt your passport.
And that's just for starters
Again, why don't you take a couple of vacations, instead of risking your life and future on a decision where you don't know many of the
edit on 1-3-2011 by dr_strangecraft because: (no reason given)