Wednesday, 19 October 2005
Are we better off, and if so, what are we sacrificing?
So many of the Americans I know who have moved to the UK (either for work, relationships, uni, or a combination) have sited quality of life as the reason for a permanent move. Yes, things do move at a slower pace here, and depending on where you live (certainly not London) and what you do, it is easier to have a work-life balance which makes one happier and healthier. On the other hand, I spent about two hours in total today getting from home into the city center, shopping for a 5-subject notebook (eventually buying a notebook with 200 pages and some post-it notes to make divisions), going to the health food shop to get some echinacea tea, and finding a place that would unlock my new (well, new to me) mobile phone then waiting 30 minutes for them to do so, then back on foot to the university to do homework, as that is where the internet is. If I settled here permanently, I could have the internet at home and buy a car, which would speed things up a bit, but of course there is still the laundry to do which is going to take 2 days to dry unless I purchase an ‘American dryer’ at a possible cost of £800 (I still can’t believe they cost that much, then again I don’t know the cost at home, never having had to buy household appliances). So, is the trade off worth it? Granted, there are more differences than I’ve just mentioned, or maybe just more detail as to the differences in attitude which bring about the differences in lifestyle. But, what is the trade off? Again, is it worthwhile? I know quite a few of you have had the opportunity to live in or are from other countries. What do you miss about them now that you’re back in the States? What do you appreciate more about the US (or your home country)?