15 Best Things About Being An Expat In The USA

15 Best Things About Being An Expat In The USA

Yesterday I posted about the things I dislike about the USA. To balance it out, I needed to tell you about my favorite things about this country too. Every place has its good and bad things. So here are my best things about being an expat in the USA.

1. Driving

We borrowed D's convertible VW bug to go get the part.

Driving around is fairly simple compared to my hometown, Mexico City, and other countries I’ve lived in like England and India. Blocks make sense here and nobody honks, which I’m not sure is a good thing or not, but in general it is.

2. Internet Community

I love the fact that I can get almost any business or product information on the Internet. I have a strong dislike for phones and phone calling (I don’t even own a mobile), so this is a big plus for me. Also, pretty much anything is available to be purchased online, it is very convenient.

3. Cleanliness

Sign in Ohio. image source

People work hard to keep this country clean. I love that. These are things that people take for granted and I really appreciated when I lived outside of the US.

4. Some Foods

Bagels, Trader Joe’s, a good burger, Thanksgiving dinner, New England clam chowder, and extra sharp cheddar cheese.

5. NFL

The American football culture is a blast. I grew up in Mexico but with a family that was a fan of American football, my older brother even played when we were young. I’m kinda glad I never got into cheerleading though. The love for American football didn’t peak in me until I moved here for the first time in 2009. I love how fair it is too, unlike FIFA! Which I’ll watch anyway cause the World Cup is a blast too. When you are watching your team play, it is very emotional and exciting. I really enjoy it.

6. Friendliness

Even though I mostly prefer to be in my own world and it is why I fit in real well in London, I really appreciate that Americans can just start talking to strangers about anything. From complimenting something you are wearing, from commenting about a present situation that you are both encountering. Americans will just randomly start talking to strangers about anything. They will also smile at you for no reason. They will also offer their help if they see you struggling with anything.

7. Online Streaming

Cable companies are terrible nowadays and websites like Netflix and Hulu provide a much better service and at a better value for my tv/movie watching pleasure.

8. Feeling Safe

I see kids walking around by themselves from and to their homes to the bus or even school. I feel pretty safe when I walk the streets of America and I know I can trust all policemen around here. You can just go take a walk or go for a jog (not that I want to) without the fear of being mugged or kidnapped. Unless you are in a dark, lonely place, odds are someone will help you if you are in trouble.

9. Free Water

Bird perching on glass of iced water image source

Any food or drink establishment offers free water and refills for water and soda. Anywhere else in the world I’ve been to you have to pay for each of your drinks no matter what it is. Also, it is kind of amazing that almost anywhere in the US you can drink tap water without getting sick.

10. Separate Checks At Restaurants

I can’t tell you how many times it took my friends and I (outside of the US) forever to come up with the math to pay separately with only one check for all of us.

11. Geographical Diversity

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon image source

There are so many different climates and sightings within the US that you can travel without leaving the country and experience some incredible scenery and exciting activities. From beaches, to rain forest, to mountains, canyons and desert. You name it. Road trip anyone? There is a lot of beauty here.

Related: Breathtaking Scenery At The Dalles, Oregon Bridge and Dam

12. Creative Expression and Hollywood

Yes, there are many movies that only focus on violence and action, but I’m talking about the quality of the American film industry and the inspiring, artful and meaningful movies that touch the human spirit. It’s truly the best in the world and as a film buff myself, I really appreciate this.

13. The US Navy

11 aircrafts fly over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. image source

Maybe I am biased because my husband was a Navy man but I really like them. I think they are the best branch of the military followed by the Air Force. And there is no question that the US Military is the best in the world.

Related: Tour: On Board The USS Normandy

14. Disney World

Magic Kingdom – Walt Disney World image source

Because there is no happier place in the world.

15. My husband

wedding1

Well, I ended up marrying an American who is very American if that makes sense. So I must like America.

So what do you think are some of the best things about being an expat in the USA?

14 Comments

  1. About #6 (Friendliness), in particular, this sentence: “They (Americans) will also smile at you for no reason”. That actually made me break out into a big smile/grin.

    Let me explain.

    I have a few Russian co-workers – it is a multi-national mix where I work, actually. One of them told me that when he first arrived in US, he could not understand why people seemed to smile for no reason at all. Especially when it was in a transactional situation with complete strangers, like the woman behind the cash register ringing you up or anyone behind a service counter. I guess he was used to dourness from back home 🙂 Anyway, the way he framed it, “Back in Russia if someone smiled for no reason at all, people assumed that they had mental issues. Like seriously” 🙂

    Reply
  2. Completely with you on friendliness and helpfulness, free water, and bagels—all things I miss in Switzerland! Love the geographical diversity too—can never see it all! Cleanliness is good too, but to be honest I think the Swiss have us Americans beat 🙂 I would add NAFTA—there’s all sorts of mysterious tariffs over here that hurt the consumer and I sometimes miss living in a NAFTA country.

    Reply
  3. Other great things I like about the US: open minded people who don’t comment about foreign accent, stores and services (including medical) that are open late and pharmacies that look like a supermarket that are open non-stop! (All of these unlike in Switzerland ?)

    Reply
  4. Hahaha I bit my tongue on the other post, as you would imagine I would being an American. This post, I’m happy about 🙂 I agree with all of these, especially your mention of Thanksgiving. The late October through New Years portion of the year is EASILY the best. (And not ONLY because my birthday falls within this time frame 😉 , but it does help!)

    Thanks for this post, it made me smile.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Reply
    • Hey Alex! I’m glad this one made you smile. There were others, well, especially one person who definitely didn’t bite their tongue in the last one telling me to get the f*** out of their country if I don’t like it.
      I’m staying though. 😉
      Cheers!

      Reply
  5. Great list to contrast the other one 🙂 You win some and you lose some, right?? When we travel, we always find a gazillion things that we love about Sydney. And then when we are back here… we can find a gazillion things that we dislike!! Your posts have totally inspired us to do something similar for Sydney… stay tuned 😉

    Reply
  6. Well, you read my rant on “12 things I dislike” So here is my view of the “good” things. Driving I agree, cleanliness, not so much. Foods have made us the most obese country in the world, bad. Internet, not going there. NFL = greed. It depends on where you are and what you look like. 9, 10 and 11, yes, Aannnd……then there is Hollywood. Here starts the rant. Hollywood in the middle of the century (in my opinion) has done more harm than good. It has caused races to be stereotyped. Native Americans were more respected before “Cowboys and Indians” movies and the line “The only good indian is a dead indian”. Afro-mericans and hispanics have been stereotypes and hoods, drug dealers, and thugs. That’s a small percentage because most are loyal, hard working, law abiding citizens. Don’t even Make me go to the tall, fair, slim and young place! And you better not admit you are from Russia, because Hollywood has made it clear that that all Russians are “Commie Pinko Spys”. Military? There is a disconnect between the Pentagon and the troops. “nough said.

    Reply

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