Are you happy in the USA?

Hello everyone!

According to the 2016 UN World Happiness Survey, Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland are the happiest countries on earth.

How about you? Are you happy in the USA? Do you feel happier today in your host country than before in your home country? What has contributed to the change?

In your opinion, are locals in the USA happy? How can you tell?

Please share your experience!

Absolutely. I left school very young, was trying to be a self-entrepreneur in France and was constantly finding myself in a dead-end and broke. Over here, my career took off very fast and I was making a descent living within a few years. I found a lifestyle that fits me perfectly and I can practice my hobbies easily. I found the perfect woman and a family (hers), have a great social life and we live on a small ranch in the mountains with lots of wildlife and few people. Hard to beat.

My friends, my GF and her family seem to be quite happy. They have jobs and a good social life, raise kids for some and enjoy life in general. We all have ups and downs in life, but we definitely feel blessed and fortunate to live where we live and to work hard for it.

So yes, I'm happy everyday.  :D

I'm happy , I work , I have. To fun to travel. Financial happy I'm  owner. My home

When I was 1st time in USA, in the year 2000, I took a ferry from NJ to NYC. I have never ever saw so many tired and sad people in my life before as on that ferry. There was absolutely no joy in their eyes.
I am back to USA now and perhaps I am not as depressed as those people I saw, but certainly not that happy either. I was living in Europe, Asia and Africa and my life there was happier than here. I feel lonely here. Americans aren't friendly people. Everyone just minds hers/his own business. It's all about making money in USA, not friends.

I lived in a few countries before I moved to USA. Four years in States and have lived in New Orleans, Maryland and now South California. New Orleans from my experience is far more friendlier than other places I have lived. I wasn't happy because of the weather. I was happy in Maryland because I lived an hour to DC to enjoy Smithsonian's  with great job. Winter wasn't great although it didn't makes me depress.

Almost two years in Irvine, South California. I am happy to live here. The safest city in America for 11 years. I could go for walk alone at night without worry might get kidnap and such. What am not happy is the earthquake might hit soon, taxes are high and everything is expensive than most places.

As a conclusion, yes I am happy most of the time in States. It gives me opportunity not only to travel but explore places especially National Parks. Kid in a good school. If am not happy, that's nothing to do with that place, just me being unhappy.

Politically, I think people in the US are way less happy than they are in Australia (keep in mind that I'm basing this on the Australia in my memory, not necessarily the current one).

I live in California, which I find to be really similar to Sydney anyway. So I can't say that I'm any less happy for living here. I think I'm just happier in my circumstances here than I was back home.

I think it depends about where you come from and where one lives in the US.  I come from downtown Paris and live now in a suburb in the Deep South.  It also makes a difference if one is young or mature.  The US is not interested in older people.  It seems my French friends from way back are still there when I go home to Paris but in the US it is difficult to make “real” friends.  They are friends for a while then they move and forget you.  I read many reports from foreign people in the US unable to make lasting friendship with US people.  I had at least 8 friends from France living in Georgia and they all went back home – could not take the US culture of greed, anti-intellectualism, and racism.  I had a French friend from Martinique who came for a visit and rented a luxury car to travel around.  She was a tourist but stopped at least 4 or 5 times by the police in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee because she was black.  I never was stopped.  I guess they did not believe she was a rich businesswoman.  She cut her trip short and went to Canada.  I know now about 3 other mature French women, and none of them have American friends – I mean “friends” not acquaintances.  As long as one has an accent around here they are considered “alien.”  After all those years I am used to living here, but I would be happier if I had left when I was in my 40s, I would much rather be back living in Europe where I could talk about art, books, etc., here there is very little interesting conversations, only about business, money, sports, etc.  But when one is young, it is hard to imagine being older.  Here, they know and care very little about other countries and cultures.   Maybe in large cities like New York or Los Angeles it is different, but it is not easy for a European to live in mainland US, or the Deep South.  My daughter had several “au-pair” coming to help with the children – all the European ones left before their year was up – unable to be happy in a suburb in the Deep South – a couple were French Muslims, and they became scared – do I need to say more?

It's true that one must make a difference between acquaintances (people you know and socialize with but who you may not count on) and close friends who will be there for you no matter what.
Because of so many different people coming from so many different walks of life in a country as wide and diverse as the US, you can easily make close friends here. But it takes time and efforts, like anywhere else. You have to go get them, they won't come to you. It may seem harder for an expat/immigrant because you compare the previous life where relationships grew from an early age with a native culture to starting from scratch, often at adulthood, with a different culture. You need to be very open, otherwise, it's gonna be even more difficult to make true friends. You need to be there for them too. It's valid for every country and I strongly believe that the US is one of the easiest because initial contact is so easy.

Personally, I can count 10 people who would be here for me no matter what, and it had been proven many times. 4 die-hard friends from work, 2 outside of work, all 3 of my girlfriend's brothers and my girlfriend, of course (she was the 5th very close friend from work for 8 years before we ended up together).

From there, your happiness can only increase.

Well where do I start? Nothing like your home country, if we have our choices home is where we all belong. The good thing is I came at a younger age so it was much easier for me to adapt with the culture and learn the language quicker.

I have seen people struggle to cope up with the life style here. Even though there are a lot of means of survival opportunities but survival is not what people should look for. They should put up the fight and make things work in their own home country where they know the in and out. After living 25+ years I am actually preparing myself to move back where my real home is. I rather struggle there and contribute toward common good than live in fear in the host country.

I hope this answer your question.



The word "happy" is loaded. I prefer "contented". Yes, I'm contented in Texas. I lived and worked in Holland, Ireland, Scotland, England, Guam, Angola, Congo, Papua new Guinea, and I travelled (flying helicopters) all around the East Pacific. (see my 'chopperstories' blog). In the US, I have lived in California, Wyoming, Arizona, Louisiana, and now, Texas. I'm now a US citizen, grateful for that, from Irish descent.
1)  America has given me great opportunities for career and investment. I enjoyed tremendous job opportunities I would never have had elsewhere. I also invested in real estate (rent houses) which is still affordable here. In the UK, forget it, unless you have millions spare.
2) I like Americans, by and large. The Media skews the view of the 'average' American, as to being a violent, gun-toting, drug pushing, child molesting, wacked out, raving sicko. That's our corrupt and Clinton-loving left wing so-called "liberal" (ha!) Media for you. In fact, most folk are friendly, helpful, well meaning and hospitable.  In the big cities, there are just too many bodies pressing around you, and it's hard to be open. Everybody is on guard. Away from all that hub-bub and trouble, people are more relaxed. East Texas here is very friendly. Old-style America. 
3)  It's wrong to see it's all about the money here in the USA. Sure, there's a tremendous pressure to 'succeed'. Aided by 24 hour in-your-face advertising. Many of us see money as just a tool. It's important, but it's so far removed from the essence of life, it's almost a joke. 
4) Away from the glaring headlines, and the America you might think is the norm (if you only consult the Mass Media) you have a durable, ongoing counter culture. People like me, not the brightest, but who nonetheless cheerfully indulge in pondering the Meaning of Life, the Universe, spirituality, Buddhist & Taoist thinking. I like to scribble and blog, and I encounter a great number of like minded, searching souls. Online, and in the flesh. We may not have many answers, but we sure have found some of the Questions. I have written two novels, hundreds of short stories (see 'Smashwords') and I regard myself as fairly typical of many Americans. We know there is much more to it than house plus job plus car plus big fat IRA.  Living has a one hundred per cent fatality rate, and the trick is to drive that buggy, ride that donkey, drink the cup dry, and get your ticket's worth.
5)  The notion of 'success in the USA' needs re-defining anyway. Chia Tao died, leaving behind a zither and a donkey. ("And the donkey ill at that"). It can't have been an easy life, but he left behind a volume of thinking, that has earned him steady readers down the centuries. Here's one that sticks in my mind:
"Not having to be alone
is happiness
we do not speak
of failure or success."

In conclusion, I am contented in America. Grateful to be here. I hope you'll visit me on 'Chopperstories' some day. Peace.

Nice post, Francis. Indeed, happiness has little to do with money. I met miserable wealthy people and cheerful folks living on minimum wage.

Happiness can come from simple things in every day's life. Saturday was one of my best friend's birthday. I took him and his girlfriend to the shooting range and we stopped by an Irish pub for a brew on the way back. They then joined us in the evening on our ranch for cleaning guns, BBQ and enjoying the late night hours with good friends around a bonfire telling stories and tasting my homemade limoncello under the stars with the howling of coyotes and the hooting of barn howls. No talks about money, success or careers. Now that's happiness.

Exactly. I'm in the middle of the Texas woods here, at the end of a leafy cul de sac. I'm the only house. I can step out the back door, unload with any of my guns at some unlucky piece of cardboard, and nobody cares. The coyotes howl, lots of deer, and the occasional prowling Bobcat. The contact with, and reverence for Nature is important, and it's something many have lost. I'm not sure if it's even possible to be wholly at peace, if you are trapped in concrete, marble and neon lights. Listening to the constant din of traffic, sirens, and TV (umm..) 'experts'.  I have a couple of scribbles you might relate to:
Beauty and the Wind
All our Mother
The Road of Light
You'll find them on my blog, 'Chopperstories'.

I also think you might enjoy this book: "The Clouds should know me by now". (Red Pine and Mike O'Connor).  Here's a quote. From Pao Hsien.
"On freezing nights
You arrange to meet me often
Silent talk beyond
Human space."
Written eleven centuries ago. Not much changes. We remain human. I hope.

@ Parigotte
(quote)  "...could not take the US culture of greed, anti-intellectualism, and racism."

That's a sweeping statement.
1)  I would suggest the US does not have a monopoly on greed?
I have seen that peculiar, insatiable monster in the driver's seat all over the world. Including in France, which I visited many times. I speak French, and I love French Art and literature.
I would see greed, and the associated short term, grasping, worldly thinking as a world-wide problem. A reflection of a materialistic, shallow spirit. Uniquely American? Hardly. I also see evidence of the massive reservoir of goodwill and compassion among Americans. So what you say is kind of 'harsh'?
2)  "anti-intellectualism".  I had to google that one.
"Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible."
I ponder that. I am at least educated, University level, and I speak multiple languages. I read voraciously. I've not personally ever come across anything like this.  We read about it, for sure. Some of the academic imbeciles and intellectual idiots that are so beloved by our left leaning Media, for sure come out with statements that would fit that description. Standards of education are lower, mostly, and the ignorance of the average American High School student is frightening. They are several years behind their European and Asian colleagues. But I don't see a systematic culture leaning that way. It's more the absence of learning, than the presence of hostility to learning. That there is a problem with education here in the US, I readily admit. It's a huge one. But in my experience, people are quite fascinated by education. Provided it's humble. So many intellectuals I have met (especially, it seems, in France) have a peculiar, haughty, snobbishness about them. A superior arrogance. That will grate on the average American.  Remember, France has very distinct classes in society. Those distinctions have blurred in the US.
3)   "racism".
Ah. Well. Pandora's Box. And France is immune, also, in this department?  Your nation is tottering on the brink of all-out civil war. As we write, the attempts to clean out the squatter's camp in Calais seem to be nothing more than a Band-Aid. Distributing the exact same problem to other areas. It was the mayor of Calais, who in a famous interview declared that she was the witnessing "the death of civilization". French Civilization.
I smile. I don't wish to be unkind.  But again, respectfully, the malaise of racism is not restricted to these shores. Europe is on fire. With no-go zones multiplying furiously, and joining together. Your accusation is not without merit. Unless, you claim that France is somehow morally superior and immune. In that case, we who have travelled widely, shall just chuckle. And hold our peace.


As of my experience :
1) The jobs in the US have hard work conditions.
2)  The tax on the income is really high specially
      if your income goes up and if you are single.
3) The housing is really expensive with low quality.
4) The neighbors and the car drivers turn on the music loud and the police doesn't care.
5) The health care is absolutely terrible and the access to the doctors is really hard and that if you have health insurance which is not affordable to tens of millions of people.
6) The education is terrible in many schools and it is expensive in the colleges.
7) The food is affordable if you live in a poor neighborhood and if you know the right place to buy everything and if you don't buy organic food.
8) You not gonna save money if you live a high standard.
9) The transportation fares keep going up.
10) Many people don't clean after their dogs.
11) A lot of public miss order conduct.
12) It is extremely hard if not impossible to have
a girlfriend in the US. The American girls are so picky and demandant and they are hard to welcome a guy for a relationship. Also American girls are too busy (at work) to have a boyfriend.
13) The law in the US makes it dangerous to any
man to live or deal with a woman because any
woman that gets angry at any man may throw him in jail by any bullshit false accusation.

I have been here 11 years now. Just one year living in Portland, OR.

Before coming to US, I lived in Paris, Lisbon, Oporto and in my country of birth, Brazil, besides other places. From all my globe trotting  can tell quality of life in US does not surpass that in Europe. Even in Portugal with economical crisis, live is better. I lived in the working class 12 arrondissement in Paris while studying at EHESS. I have never been happier. Paris has everything you need, it's fully walkable, aromatic (sometimes stinky when sun hits the collateral sidewalks covered on dogs stuff), some rude people just like you can find in NY, São Paulo ou freaking Houston.

I decided to move to PDX for its characteristics and personality. The city is very different for an average american city. Good and dependable public transportation, support of local small businesses, incredibly good food scene, tons of parks, mild winter (but it can be freaking rainy!); most areas having their own commerce (compare that to Houston, Dallas or even Miami!), super bike friendly, very walkable...

Portland, somehow, makes me happy. It's a city I really like and feel good to be in.

Of course, being happy depends of different things for different people. Fore those who watch too much TV and dream about an easy money paradise, this can be quite frustrating. for those looking for more safety, depending where they come from, like, let's say, Rio or Recife, most cities in US are fairly safe. For people dreaming of quality of life better than what they had home, well, it depends of their goals.

I never understood why a French, German, Swiss, Dane, Portuguese, Spaniard (out of economical crisis) would come here or Canada. Of course, every person has a reason to have done or considere doing so. My idea was that TV is the main driver and people get to believe all they see in the movies.

Since I never wanted to come here, but accepted the job back then, convincing my wife to leave Paris after three nice tears, I believe not having US in mind as a place to live makes me a better sourer than many other people.

Moderated by Julien last year
Reason : vulgar post

I have lived in the USA for six and a half years now and I do like my life mostly. Luckily I live in a very pretty town and in a very beautiful part of New Jersey. Unlike much of what is said about this state, it is actually extremely pretty, especially in fall.

I would not have chosen to live here normally as as an Australian, I have more similarities to the British and Europeans. That said, I have found the US to be extraordinarily interesting culturally and there are many, many wonderful places to see.

I would not say my husband and I are happier here-it is just different from home. There are some things we prefer about Australia but there are also things we love about the US.

Some things that are very good here include public education (in NJ), lifestyle, access to NYC and its many wonders. We still love the seasons which include fall, spring and winter. Summer is a bit humid here but Sydney is extremely hot in summer these days.

Some things we don't like personally are the lack of worldliness in the media and sometimes amongst the population. Also there is a much higher level of conservatism - devotion to religion plays a much higher place in the community versus home. Interestingly, the US is a land of much bigger extremes than Australia with a more whole-hearted embracing of gay marriage and sexuality outside the standard 'old' norms (vs home), while at the same time very conservative elements exist that cling to ideas that seem very archaic such as refusal to recognize evolution as the most realistic explanation for the human history.

We are 'left-wing liberals so we like where we live and this helps make us content. if we lived in the deep south or a white, rich elitist town, we would definitely not be so happy.

Some of our differences as people (Americans vs Australians) can be understood due to our different backgrounds and history. We started as a penal colony (read into that what you like:) while Americans fought for their freedom against an occupying force. Part of the local US DNA seems to include a major distrust of government and a high value placed on individual freedoms. In comparison, Australia has a more social-good approach with its free healthcare and more centralized government responsible for education, law and order and community services. We find it hard to understand for instance why anyone would  not want general healthcare for all. I am sure our different cultural values though make a big difference in how we see these issues. We don't get the need for guns however, and that is something we will never understand.

Americans are very friendly but as an expat I do find it hard to get to know the real people behind the initial friendliness. As Australians we tend to be more blunt and make fun of things that are not the usual focus for fun. We do this at home as well, and we have plenty to make fun of at home.

As an Australian we have no lack of things we could better- I don't like several things that are being or have been done at home. Equally though, I don't get racism here at all. I wish that this could be eradicated everywhere around the world including at home.

We have found it challenging at times adjusting to life here but overall it has been a very good experience. I think it helps you understand more why Americans have their own way of approaching things that on first look might not seem easy to 'get'.

Ironically, the US was never on my bucket list of destinations to visit, I wanted to explore more ancient worlds and civilizations.

I met my husband, Marie and relocated to the USA as he refused to come to South Africa.

During the first six months I cried every day, I thought I had made the biggest most irreversible decision of my life, but it was not because of the US or her people, rather the reality of learning who I married was very different to who I dated. I gave up a stable 21 year career and employment  to arrive to financial uncertainty, a total loss of independence and dependency on a man with good intentions but little determination to fulfil his promises.

Then I started working and started regaining my independence, I bought a car, started Nighy School and hopefully will start Nursing School next year.

Almost three years later, I have roots and many oppprtunities to not only get my lifestyle and career back, but to retrain and change career direction completely.

My son is in one of the best State schools get all the support he needs for his developmental challenges and I could not be happier or more proud of the country I call home.

Americans are friendly, genuinely helpful and invested. Americans are the most benevolent people I have ever encountered.

I love these people and I love this country, I am safe, I am happy, I have support and I have opportunity, Gd bless this land and her people.

Yes very happy. I do miss my family I left behind in South Africa. I enjoy my life because I have oppurtunities and I am safe. I do not have to be concerned about petty crime or any kind of crime where I live. I do not regret my decision to move. The other countries you mentioned experience very cold harsh winters. In the US you can choose a warmer climate very much like Durban.  Best wishes .

A response to Member Polrad: You wrote: "When I was 1st time in USA, in the year 2000, I took a ferry from NJ to NYC. I have never ever saw so many tired and sad people in my life before as on that ferry. There was absolutely no joy in their eyes.
I am back to USA now and perhaps I am not as depressed as those people I saw, but certainly not that happy either. I was living in Europe, Asia and Africa and my life there was happier than here. I feel lonely here. Americans aren't friendly people. Everyone just minds hers/his own business. It's all about making money in USA, not friends."

I have lived in so many places in the world before I decided to choose the U.S. I'd lived in Japan, Norway, France and Singapore.  Many people think of the U.S.A. as an "unhappy place" and my answer to that is you could be anywhere even in the happiest place and still be unhappy.

Happiness is relative to one's expectations". A Masai gentleman for example would never find the happiness in NYC or Tokyo unless he changes his expectations and ready himself to that transistion if he ever moves.

I have my own "Life Advancement Scale" that I observe:  I got an aim in life and I studiously and fervently followed every step I make.  I am very cautious especially when one moves into a different country and a different culture.  I study the government, the temperament and the outlook of people in their country as I make my decisions.

The thought of the U.S. as an "unhappy place" is not true. One cannot put "inside their box" a country they choose to settle. Why did I not settle in Japan despite my work? Because although I love the Japanese culture and their people: It is not a country that will allow me to advance if I have to look at a lifetime.  Why not Norway?  I find the Norwegian people (as long as they are your fiends!) warm but socially: I find them "cold".  Singapore is a wonderful place: but not for me (again for personal reasons). Plus I will forever and always be a "foreigner" in the country.

I chose the U.S. because if you look closely at their population: everyone is here.  Every color, every religion, every shape and form and height and yet as you zoom out and look at it from a distant view of being a country: they are a colorful quilt that is banded together and closely stitched. 

Yes, we have different opinions: and our politicians (just like politicians around the world and their scheming agendas) divides people.  We subscribe to the Consitution and although many of us are not happy with government, we do not slide into anarchy and chaos.

From the outside, people look at us as a country with a repressive government. But we are a democracy and in a democracy it is always the "Voice of the People".  And that voice demands that our cities are peaceful and our communities are safe.  Law enforcement is very strong against criminals and criminal activities.  We can go to church and worship and not fear that when we go out we will be harassed. 

What do we do with a crazy world around us?  Even in Sweden or London or Buenos Aires crime happens. But we hold on to hope that parents in the morning kiss the kids goodbye as they watch them board the school bus and expecting them to be home walking from the school bus stop safe. And int he night as we sleep, no one will come to break the door and harass us inside.

The news that everyone hears outside portrays our country as evil and descending into chaos. That is not the case.  We are a big country and there are places where people dont even have the perception of civil disobedience happening in big cities except in the news.

I came to the U.S. alone.  Today I am married with 3 beautiul sons. I started a business and made a good living and at the peak of that business I sold it for a very good price!  My sons graduated in universities except the youngest still in college. All of us have jobs.

My answer to Polrad for the happiness level is: "it doesnt matter where you are;  as long as you enjoy the freedom of travel inside your that country, study, work, build a business, and participate in a democratic government.

Another key is having friends because friends can wrap us up and insolate us from the insanity of this world.  There are happy families you will agree with me even in Pakistan, the Philippines of Peru. And you will agree with me that even in Denmark with the highest happiness index there are sad and lonely people.

So let us all be happy and seek happiness and not love this world. Loving this world means we make ourselves slaves to the dictates of commercialism.  Because when we finalyl go: we dont bring anything except a wooden box 6 feet below the ground. Meanwhile, I enjoy the happiness with my family and friends and in a country where I can be myself. What I make of myself is not anyone's business but mine alone and I wake up everyday as I drive around thanking God that we are still a country working hard to make things better for ourselves and others.  Thanks!!! and all the best to you in life.

Not really,  This country is a great country, but has significant drawbacks.
we are deep in debt and keep printing more money, eventually someone has to pay the piper.Guess who? taxpayers.

Politics is dirty, senators and congress don't care, they have fat pensions and life long health care.
They are all fraudulent including Hillary.

The stock market is always manipulated.

Hello Kprakash:

I am not paid to solve the country's problem. I am just an ordinary person that works everyday and go home at night to my family.  I am very keen with what is happening around me in politics and social issues.

But at the end of the day, as I wrote it doesnt matter where we live: unless of course I live in the Sub Sahara where I will have not access to many things that can make life easier.  My family is safe and secure and I have a fat pension. I can get old easy and my health is good.

Yes, the U.S. has so many problems: but so to is England, France, Canada or any country.  The same with people: there are happy ones and sad and sorry ones.

Thanks for your reply.


where do you live in sub-sahara?
I guess you are retired.
Must be nice living there with amnities.



hello kprakash:

i visited the SUb Sahara in the course of my job some 28 years ago. today I am settled in the U.S. and summers we live in Montreal. We have a son there,

thanks and be well.

Hi folks,
my Wife and I have been living in the States for over 5 years now.
We spent our first year in Kansas City MO,and for over 4 years now we have been in San Francisco California...
I am still in a kinda culture shock since leaving London in 2011;life here seems so much more hectic,everyone is in a hurry,many people have 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet; or I guess that's just the cost of living in San Francisco;a very expensive place to live!
Next year we hope to get our own house,as most people here rent,since  property prices are extortionate,but we will be moving elsewhere as we have family in different states...having said that,the climate in San Francisco is very European;never too hot or cold,which I enjoy.
All in all,I feel I have not been too happy since we left the UK,but seeing the way things are going over there,perhaps the "American dream"will eventually materialise!
Everything in the states is fast,loud and has to happen yesterday...Of course the medical bills are something we are not used to in the UK ,thanks to the good old National Health,which didn't help me much when I was mugged here a few years ago...
Perhaps I am just being a "grumpy old man"in my outlook,but I am confident that the future here looks good.
My Wife is a Filipina,so her outlook on life is always looking on the bright side;it's just up to me to follow her lead and try to overcome my dour Scottish traits!!!...given time,I know we will get there...

I do remember Durban SA

I had a pen pal when I was in my teens, her name was Swasti Doorga and we use to correspond
in postal mail as we dd not have internet at that time.
Perhaps you know her.



One thing I love about this site is that we get so many different experiences and outlook on life.
My advice on this topic is to take the time to learn and pick the right place to live. The US is so huge and diverse. I really love the place where I live, my friends and my adopted family, all the things I can do. But I know that there are many places in the US I would be miserable, like pretty much any large US city. There's always nice places to live in for everyone. If you're not happy where you're at, look for another place to go to.

Hello Needy 58:

You are right:  people here are always in a hurry. And the reason is America is a consumer society that feeds on gross and crash commercialism!  It's always buy this and buy that and this culture have invaded the world that even in the remotest part of Burma, people wants the latest iPhone and gadgets.

My wife is from Cebu and I am from Manila. We are very frugal. Since living in the U.S. we buy only when "we need it". Because of that our life is easy and we always have something on the side. Except that I dare not open my mouth when she buys another pair of shoes!

The thing that I love about the U.S. is the analogy that we maybe a chaotic society because of so many cultures coming together. But many of us will agree that a peaceful community will make us afford to go on with our lives without becoming refugees to Canada or Mexico!

Look at Syria, Palestine and other countries in turmoil.  I believe there are good people out there but they cannot go on living a decent life because they always have to worry about bombs and missilies and being attacked or robbed at night. Something which can also happen to us here in America but having a very strong and pre-eminent law enforcement is a way of keeping the peace. Besides my automatic weapon and a Glock 9mm keeps me sleeping good at night but also worries my wife.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts about living here in the U.S.  We recently met a couple: He is from London and his wife is also a Filipina from Palawan.  We have a lot of friends here which we have kept for some 26 years and it makes life a lit bit of fun knowing and seeing their children grow and having families themselves.

I dont dwell on the bad side of the U.S. as all other countries have a bad side too. But being this is an Expat Website: i just want to say that whatever country we chose to live we try to make the best out of the situation and continue our lives in a way we want it to be. We actually design our own life and I am glad: I did mine and about 95% of it I realized. Things could have been more different if I was in the Phils.  But the question is: "Am I happy if I was back home?"  Of course because my relatives are there but then the issue of personal security and the presence of abject poverty is so upsetting.

Having been raised from an upper middle class family: we always had what we wanted. But it is so disconcerting to be seeing some people without any hope.

America is a land of opportunity. Some were born to privilege and silver spoons in their mouths. Some were average. Many are poor. But one already became an American President, Obama and a daughter of a single mother trying to make ends meet is now a United States Supreme Court Judge Sonia Montemayor. There are so many opportunities here in America even for us who immigrated here.

That is the story of our lives here in the U.S. Besides it is so big a country, I havent even been to a lot of places, some places I already added into my bucket list.

Enjoy your day and have fun the the wonderful California weather. Wishing you the best: for you and your wife. Congratulations for becoming an American citizen.  Now we can all be proud of this great country. So let's get out and vote Nov. 8 and make this country great again!

I know I am happy living in Florida, I saw not unhappy in the UK but I do believe I have had better opportunities in life by making the move.

Hello shellyfreeman:  As I said in my posts anyone can be happy where they are: but for us who moved and made that choice to be in the U.S. I am sure that many of us have wonderful stories to tell.

Unfortunately, there are some of us who moved here and they express their unhappiness over the way life is over here.

We cannot change a country. We change ourselves and adapt.  For those who are so unhappy here in America I am very sorry.

Good luck Shelley and may you find your dreams: a happy marriage and a happy family. The job is immaterial.  I always tell my sons that some people deliver mail all their lives and are happy. Some people work as high paying executives in some companies but are not happy.

Happiness is what we make of ourselves and our aspirations in life.

Thanks for posting.

No one, except a few, can be happy in a competitive, capitalistic, consumer economy such as that in USA. In this country, every one wants to have more and more in terms of income and possessions. Regardless of how you define poverty, in USA, the poor wants for ever to better his financial/economic status and the rich wants to be richer and richer.

Happiness comes from contentment and such persons you can find among priests and academics because it is one's attitude and philosophy of life that matter for happiness, not how much you earn or how much net assets you have; of course basic biological necessities are to be met which require some money. It is of utmost importance to realise that happiness can not come from mere intellectual argument and analysis; it comes only through conviction and right living.

One opinion.
Individual happiness is self promoted.
Attitude in life is what makes one happy
A positive attitude always enhances health and well being
One must make attempts to be better and better all the time
Life is an occasion, we all must rise to it

Happiness for most people living in the US is indeed a state of mind. We do live in one of the most prosper and free society in the world. The "pursuit of happiness" is really up to you.
Personally, as I sat on my front porch last night after a long day of work, drinking a cold refreshing beer while watching the sunset over the hills facing west of my small ranch with the sound of barn owls, blue jays, starlings and crickets, followed by the howling of coyotes after darkness fell, I did feel happiness. Nothing about money or possessions (beside my cold beer).

If I could travel past our Sun   
beating Light and having fun                   
Would I turn around a lot
To ponder, wistful, our Blue Dot?

Or would I be content to stray     
Far beyond the Milky Way
And never wish to hear again
This strange cacophony of Men.

Are you a poet friend?  :cool:

(Shhh...)   a scribbler.  If you Google 'chopper stories' or 'helicopter stories' or even 'Francis Meyrick' I'm afraid you will end up shaking your head at the un-poetic assault on the Queen's English. Not that the daft bat doesn't deserve it (I'm Irish), but nonetheless you'd think there ought to be some decorum and etiquette where the creative Muse is concerned. I don't qualify....

I am the pin ball

In the machine

Paddled by forces

Seldom seen

Invisible fingers

Plot my way

At their mercy

I ricochet.

"The pursuit of happiness" is a valid concept, but care should be taken not to go overboard on the sensual. Many things are transient. Life is short. One might seek therefore - I hope- a philosophical frame of mind. A contemplation of the Universe, in all its immensity and breathtaking time scale, and the smallness of mortal Man. With his three score and ten years, (if he's lucky) and his eternal wars. I prefer the pursuit, not of happiness, which I believe to be impossible, (unless you hide yourself away in a cocoon) but of 'contentment' and 'awareness'. I rabbit on at great lengths about all sorts of stuff on my website, and I'm always surprised how many visitors seem to enjoy the spiritual wanderings. Reward in itself. Not 'happiness', but a sense of 'living' and 'getting my ticket's worth'.  In most un-poetic terms, I like to suggest we 'drive that buggy' and 'ride that donkey'. I also feel there is truth in this age old and ancient quote, that I made up a while ago:

"I am a child of the Universe
and I am loved."

Greed, anti-intellectualism, and racism: all alive and well in Texas, together with bigotry, un-friendliness, and non-connecting people. Superficial connections, yes; true inclusions and friendships - outside a very small family circle - no; not if you are from somewhere else, black or white. I echo the sentiments of others in this forum. America is fine for job opportunities if you are willing to forget having a real life outside working and give it 150%. Not good for connections, friendships, lifestyle, food, and overall well-being. Social networks and true comradie are lacking. You only understand this if you have been in other countries and experienced the difference; if not, I am afraid my post will not make sense to you.

Every experience you describe beats Africa therefore USA is still the place to be for me.


I am very happy where I am in the United States.
Amidst all the problems we have, we come out as a winner.
The resiliency of the people are beyond imagination.
If we elect the right people to run this country, there is no one can catch us.

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