Let me begin by saying that I love America. There is nothing like that American kindness, friendly faces and cute small talk in Elevators. I appreciate America for being my home for a large part of my life, for making me the person I am today. Opportunities are endless for you in America, that’s a fact.
It’s been almost two years that I’ve lived in Spain (and a lifetime to go in Europe) So, many people ask me that all time annoying question ” So when are you moving back to the US?”
Answer: Never. Explanation: none of your business (first of all) but if you just yearn to know, I prefer Europe –aside from personal career and family related things–here are 3 simple reasons why:
1. Quality of Life
A ” good” quality of life is relative I suppose, but to me it consists of spending more time enjoying your life rather than planning your next “escape”. I find that people here are genuinely happier. I don’t mean kinder because they are not nicer than Americans! Americans are just so kind (unlike most Europeans). People tend to embrace the moment more, whether it’s sitting down for a cup of coffee instead of taking it to-go. When I request coffee to-go they look at me weird and have to go to the back to get a ghetto styrofoam cup that has no lid, that’s how rare it is to take coffee to go. People like to sit, chat, take the morning in then head out.
The Millennial generation has noticed the poor quality of life in America and that’s why the digital nomad movement began and is still going STRONG! People want to love their life, not work vigorously– breathe for the weekend — and repeat. Millennial Americans are all over the world now, earning the same — if not more– from the bungalow in Tulum. Quality.of. Life.
I’ve learned to sit, take the moment in. When I first moved here I would tell my classmates, “come on, hurry up, let’s go!” Their responses were always, you gotta stop being so American!
Ouch. It’s true though. Its always go, go, go in the US! Too much hustle, burns.
In Spain, it’s VERY common to close your clinic, practice, restaurant, shop, etc for 4-6 weeks during summer time. That would be the weirdest thing to see in America! I would say everyone prioritizes family time over money here in southern Europe.
It’s no secret that Spain and some parts of Italy have siesta. From 2pm – 5pm everything closes. Yup, smaller grocery stores, shops, restaurants, clinics… all close. At this time everyone goes home to eat with their families and probably take a nap after lunch. I still have not adopted this. I usually study, call my family in the US or answer emails while Spain has a siesta, lol. I know some will ask so let me just answer it now, after returning from siesta they work until 8pm.
2. Center of the World
Travel in Europe is the best travel, don’t @ me.
I’m a 1 hour flight away from Barcelona, 2 hour away from Milan, 2 hours away from Paris, 7 hour flight from Dubai,9 hours to Miami.
I know it’s hard to believe but not everyone enjoys travel as much as you think. The average American takes ONE travel vacation a year (probably because of their employer–not because they don’t enjoy it), for just two weeks and I guess that’s okay for them!
You and I just have to respect that some people just do not prioritize travel and that’s 100% ok! To each his own, people!
Well, Europe is conveniently in between The Americas and Asia. Lucky for us, my homeland is to our left and W’s is to our right. Neither are a hassle to travel to and the time difference is so doable.
3. The Future
For lack of a better term, shit has hit the fan in the US. Without getting too personal (I do a good job of separating my career/ family and social media) The reason I looked at Spain is because I don’t agree on having a 6-figure debt after professional school, schooling here is 1/5 of what it would be in the US and University in Germany is free, so there’s that.
2. GUN CONTROL.
Gun control is EXCELLENT in Europe, incase you didn’t know. Are you kidding me, America? Get it together. I’m afraid of my little cousins who are still in middle school to attend class. Well, now the shootings happen in grocery stores and in places of worship, so my family is constantly on my mind. This disorganization on the goverment’s behalf is messy and will not be fast to clean up. This will take minimum 5-7 years. I don’t want my future children being fearful of going outside.
Hispanics in the states think they are the cutting edge for speaking 2 languages, that’s not even the minimum in Europe, let’s exclude Spaniards because their language system here is awful. Any other country, the new generation speaks 3 languages. Having Italian classmates has allowed even me to be able to speak an additional romance language. You are constantly exposed to different languages from neighboring countries and it’s incredible how much it helps.
I hope you find your place. The place that doesn’t need escaping from.