Americans Who Moved To Europe Share Their Reasons For Leaving, And Some Are Heartbreaking 

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The American way of life can be overwhelming even for Americans, but recent developments only made more people consider moving to Europe. Those who already made that step shared their reasons online, and most will be relatable, if not heartbreaking. The rise of Americans relocating to Europe is well-documented, and after an initial spike in 2016, a new wave is expected as the elections are nearing the finish line. Here is what Americans in Europe had to share across social media. 

Time is not a luxury


Time is a luxury for many Americans, who work longer than Europeans. As some people explained, after moving to Europe, they have more time to be with their families, eat, socialize, go on vacations, and still get to do their jobs with great benefits. The work-life balance in Europe is what most Americans crave. 

Gun control 


One of the most common reasons for moving out of the States is gun culture. One person who moved in 1980 shared that in European countries, guns are outlawed, while another cited that they are no longer afraid of getting shot while doing everything chores. Some shared that Americans became desensitized to gun violence, and one mom who lives in France added that she is no longer afraid that her child will get shot in the classroom. 

Americans vs. politics 

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Eurostat reported that after the 2016 elections, more Americans relocated than in previous years. This trend repeated in 2020 and 2022. Those who left the States cited a polarized society, storming the Capitol and harmful political division. Some also don’t believe politicians are working for the American people but protecting the wealthiest. 

Better food 


One person commented that Europeans have actual farmers’ markets. Another said that food in Italy is the best, while many praised Europeans for not adding hidden sugars everywhere. Additionally, products are fresh, and prices are lower than in the United States. People are aware that additives that are legal in the States are illegal in the EU. 

Healthcare reasons 


Some people confessed that they were scared of getting ill while in their home country. Many praised inexpensive or free healthcare and how you would still have health insurance if you lost your job. Medications are also quite less pricey than in the States. Moving for medical reasons is especially important for retirees, and people are surprised to learn they have to pay zero euros after surgery. 

European vs. American values 


One person shared that modern European values better fit them and even wondered whether modern values exist in the States. They asserted that Europeans are more culture-oriented and enjoy traveling, prioritizing socializing over economic growth. A couple who lives in Sweden complimented how the EU promotes small businesses.

Having children 


One family stated they moved seven years ago to start a family without going into debt. They are now living the American dream in Europe, yet they enjoy the fact that Europeans are less materialistic. Others shared how Europe has better education, and some added that maternal and paternal leaves left them astonished. 

Quality of life


Life is slower in Europe, and people are not bound to their cars. Many praised public transportation and were surprised that locals weren’t pleased. Overall, some people believe that the move made them happier and healthier. One person who lives in Berlin is still trying to adapt to having five weeks of paid vacation. 

Traveling opportunities 


Many Americans who moved to Europe are amazed at how quickly they can go through various countries and learn about their traditions and cultures. Getting to another country is easier and cheaper than expected, so people enjoy exploring other countries because they have enough days off work to do as they please.

Soaking in the culture


One American was stunned by European culture and how people were open to music and the arts. If you want a new experience, you don’t have to travel for hours on a plane. Museum and theater fees are cheaper, and one person commented on how culture and education make for a well-rounded life. 

Where are Americans moving inside Europe?


Poland is considered to be one of the friendliest countries for American expats. Portugal is the most popular destination, while France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy are timeless. One former Santa Fe resident compared Portugal to California-like retirement without the Californian prices. 

Most are not thinking about returning to America 


People acknowledged that some countries offer excellent living conditions, but due to climate, they relocated, in one case, from Sweden to Spain. They know that money is tighter, but they enjoy the climate, food, and people. Most do not want to return to the States, mainly due to healthcare, education, and other US systems. 

Moral decision 

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One doctor stated that practicing medicine had always been their dream because they genuinely wanted to help. They moved to the UK despite knowing they would earn less. Their decision was moral – they prefer clean concerns to a full bank account. While they know there are pros and cons of working in the medical field in the UK, they refer to practicing medicine in America as dirty.   

Americans in the US share most of these values 


Many Americans criticize materialism, anti-intellectualism, lack of culture, politics, healthcare system, and gun control. They are also dissatisfied with car culture, work obsessions, and food quality. Some mention false patriotism, lack of empathy, and education expenses. 

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.