European Mom Lists All The Reasons She Wants To Leave America After Living Here For A Decade

If American life is getting you down, you're not alone — take it from one who knows the alternative.

european woman thinking about the reasons she wants to leave america Jupiterimages / Photo Images |  Anastasia Shuraeva / Pexels | Canva Pro

These are tough times in America — economically, politically, socially — but even the worst of times eventually come to an end, right? 

But for many, it's begun to feel like the United States has some intractable issues that are becoming untenable. The very "Americaness" that makes America America has a lot of people feeling isolated, anxious, unfulfilled, and disappointed, and the perspective of a red-state mom who grew up in Europe gives a glimpse into why. 


After a decade of living here, the European mom listed why she wants to leave America.

We often hear nowadays about how the fraying of America's social fabric and our ongoing turmoil has many people feeling alienated and isolated — and may even be contributing to things like our country's increasing rates of mental illness and the "loneliness epidemic."

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This mom's experience is perhaps the most perfect example of how this is happening. Having grown up in a place that does things entirely differently in just about every way than the U.S., she's ready to escape her 10-year stint in America despite all the work she's had to put in to make a life here. 

She and her husband have basically achieved 'the American Dream,' and many think she has a 'dream life.'

"I moved to the U.S. from a larger European city a decade ago when I married my husband," she wrote on Reddit. "I was madly in love with him, and I didn’t care where we lived."

The effort she put forth to become an American — the "long immigration process" and going back to school to find a career — was worth it to her, and it has paid off handsomely in ways many Americans can only dream of. 

"[We] bought a house in the suburbs, had a kid, and eventually got a good job," she wrote. "Everyone seems to think I have the perfect white picket fence life because I have a house in the suburbs and a big car." 


The economic, social, and political realities of America have her feeling burned out, hopeless about the future, and wanting to go back to Europe.

The mom goes so far as to say she's "miserable" and wonders if she made a "huge mistake" coming to the States. "Americans have zero work-life balance," she said, and the workload, coupled with only two weeks of vacation time a year, has left her burned out. "My mental health has started to suffer," she wrote.

The financial strains of American life have only exacerbated this and dashed some of her and her husband's dreams. "It’s unclear whether we can afford a comfortable retirement," she says, but even more near-term goals have become impossible.

"There is no paid maternity leave, no low-cost childcare, my child’s daycare costs an arm and a leg; my delivery cost thousands, so even though we make okay money, we can’t afford another kid," she wrote. 




All of this is exacerbated by the lack of sense of community in America, which is, in turn, worsened by being hemmed into an area of the country that feels increasingly unstable. 

"We unfortunately live in a red state where every other building is a church, abortion is illegal, and school shootings and everyone owning a gun is a norm," she said. But they cannot afford to move anywhere else due to the cost of living. 

"I will make less money in Europe," she said, "but I will have good schools, safety, a social state, better food, culture, art, and easy travel." It's becoming harder and harder for her to justify the trade-off. 


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Her feelings touch on many of the factors contributing to America's mental health crisis.

Lambasting the American way of life tends to raise the hackles of many (I can hear the "so leave then!" comments many have probably been yelling at your screens while reading this). 

But what she outlines is very real and has genuine mental health impacts. America's hyper-individualistic culture, instead of focusing on communality has always been a thing. Still, in recent years, it's ratcheted up a notch, in part because of the effects of the pandemic.

The business closures and safety concerns of the pandemic have eliminated many so-called "third places" — places other than work and home where social interaction happens


These places and the communal culture they foster are intrinsic to European life but were already comparatively rare in America to begin with. Now, even when they do exist, economic forces mean they're often budgetarily out of reach for many people. It's hard to justify spending $15 on a coffee and croissant to chat with a friend when you can barely afford your grocery bill.

So what, boo hoo, right? But scientists have studied how this has a very real psychological impact by making people feel even more isolated and lonely than before — and it's important to remember that America's rates of loneliness and mental illness were already skyrocketing long before 2020.



These forces combine to fuel a wave of people leaving America for other parts of the world that are cheaper, more accessible, safer, and more secure. Some are leaving for a better quality of life, while others are leaving simply to flee the unmanageable load of student debt payments to have some semblance of hope for their financial future. 


America still has many benefits and opportunities that other parts of the world lack, of course. But with the basics of a secure, enjoyable life increasingly out of reach—and leadership with seemingly no political will to do anything to make it better — it's hard not to question whether the trade-offs are worth it anymore.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.