Nowadays, perfectly curated feeds and glossy filters make it easy to get lost in the fantasy of life. But when the camera stops rolling and the filters fade away, a hint of reality can creep in. The same is true for the United States. It’s a country full of promise and potential, but there’s a lot more to it than what we often see online or in the news. A group of people online uncovered these hidden realities: the highs and lows, the everyday struggles, and the moments that make it all worthwhile to live in the US.
1. Can’t Live Without a Car in Most Cities
From coast to coast, most cities are built mainly for automobiles, making one respondent miss “walking places and living without a car.” Public transportation systems, while available, can often be a hassle with limited coverage and less frequent schedules. Whether it’s running errands or simply commuting to work, having a car becomes a practical necessity in most cities. So, if you’re planning to live in the US, be prepared to hop behind the wheel and embrace the open road as you navigate your way through daily life.
2. It’s the Best Place To Live
For many respondents, America is the best place they’ve ever lived. For them, it’s a land of unlimited potential and opportunity, and living here is unlike living anywhere else.
3. Lucky To Have Been Born Here
An American acknowledges their good fortune while recognizing that not everyone shares their experiences, writing in part, “I consider myself fortunate to have been born an American and to have the opportunity to be gainfully employed, support my family comfortably, and we own some property.” They continue by saying they wish Americans from different walks of life could connect free from judgment.
4. There Are Two Americas
America is a place of beauty, opportunity, hope, and privilege, while it is simultaneously a place of greed, pain, extreme selfishness, oppression, and danger, opines one user.
5. Socioeconomic Status Matters
Money matters regardless of where you live, but your net worth directly affects your quality of life in America. A user states that the U.S. is “Great if you’re rich. Horrible if you’re poor.”
6. Americans Are Friendly
The approachability of Americans stands in stark contrast with the aloof nature of people from other countries, says one globetrotter, who appreciates how people in the U.S. acknowledge his presence with a nod or a wave as they walk by, unlike people from other countries who aren’t necessarily rude, but they’re not very friendly, either.
7. Life Is All Work and No Play
Some voice their belief that life in America is all work and no time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, with one user writing, “Work and stress so you can afford a home you have no time to live in and a family you don’t get to see,” and another user saying, “Work. Eat. Sleep. Stress. Get one or two days off per week. Rinse and repeat.”
8. Variety Is the Spice of Life
The variations in climate from coast to coast and the numerous amenities available to U.S. residents make a good impression on at least one individual on the thread.
9. Blessed and Ashamed
Prosperous Americans often live in a bubble, insulated and isolated from the unrest occurring in other parts of the country. This self-aware individual recognizes their privilege and reveals that this is something they struggle with: “I am both blessed and ashamed that, while my situation is better than most of the country, the fact that the next town over is reeling from economic devastation, just never sat right with me.”
10. America Is Just Like Other Countries
A visitor who travels extensively around the U.S. praises the country’s diversity but claims it’s just like any other country but under a different name.
11. A Land of Opportunity
At least one commenter feels America is the land of opportunity, remarking, “I live in a town where I can do what I love and get paid decently for it. It’s a land of unlimited opportunity everywhere. It’s not perfect, but I and those around me have it nice. And we are considered on the poorer side by most.” That is what the American dream is all about.
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Her articles have appeared in publications such as Wealth of Geeks, MSN (US), MSN Ireland, Flipboard, The Facts, The Cents of Money, A Dime Saved, The Times (Frankfort), Invested Wallet, Chronicle-Tribune, Mama of Five Blog, Lafourche Gazette, The Herald-Press, Kinda Frugal, Peru Tribune, and Financially Well Off. Stephanie Allen got her start in writing by teaching college writing and technical writing courses. She transitioned to working as a contract technical writer specializing in information technology. Her love for writing on various subjects led her to Wealth of Geeks.