Expatriation as a survival option? Not at this time. I’ve spent the past ten years looking and haven’t been able to find any place better than America. That’s why I came back: For all it’s warts, it’s still the prettiest girl at the dance.
You can find countries that have individual things that are better than we have (better weather, friendlier women, less expensive restaurants) but when you factor everything in… America is still hard to beat. Plus, there’s so much stuff culturally that we take for granted. Once you get away from the inner cities in America, our culture is actually pretty strong.
For example: There was a pot hole in the sidewalk in front of my house and the neighbor’s house. Both the neighbor and I got together and said, “This needs to be fixed before somebody gets hurt. I called the city, but they told me it would take two weeks before somebody could come out and fix it. So, my neighbor and I fixed it ourselves, out of our own pocket. That’s culture. I just haven’t seen that type of thing living overseas (at least not in Latin America).
Another example: We were living in a high-end, wealthy area in Bogota, Colombia. But our condo was a house or two down from a cute commercial area: Bookstores, coffee places, sushi, etc… Guards/doormen standing around, delivery guys running around, cops, military, etc… And some low life stops and squats down on the sidewalk and takes a dump. WTF? Nobody says anything. Could you imagine that happening here? Maybe in some areas, but not typically. If there were people standing around… especially cops… he’d get arrested.
American culture is something we frequently take for granted but it matters. Most of the web sites hawking the benefits of expatriating are secretly run by real estate agents and land developers– so don’t be fooled by their descriptions of the high life on a budget: Nothing in life is free.