So Husband and I have been talking lately, seriously talking, about moving to a different country, moving out of America. Our top choices currently are Holland or Canada, but I would entertain the idea of moving to many of the European countries. So I spent some time today actually looking up universities and research in Amsterdam, Groningen, and Leiden, where there are some major dutch universities and research institutions. It seems like there may be lots of opportunities, and we even found that the country is actively trying to make it easier for scientists and their spouses to immigrate to Holland.
The more we talk about moving, the less it sounds like a pipe dream and the more real the idea becomes. We imagine moving upon the completion of my doctorate, so that I might get a post-doc in our new country. Husband already is self-employed, so as long as that continues, we imagine him finding new clients in the new country and continuing to work for himself. The problem about the idea becoming more real is that I feel less and less able to deal with how fed up I am with living in America, and I begin to be unable to imagine remaining here for another 4 years.
Things we consider essential in a new country:
- Universal healthcare
- Better parental leave policies
- Shorter workweeks and more vacation time
- Better educational system
- Country is more environmentally conscious
Things we really want in a new country:
- Legal same-sex marriage
- Legal abortions
- Legal euthanasia
- Libertarian policies on drugs, prostitution, and alcohol (NO war on drugs!)
- A more ideal climate for us – such as those found in Vancouver and Amsterdam (or even in San Fran).
- College/University are available from the government for free or low prices
- More egalitarian policies and less discrimination in all areas
- Healthcare is government run instead of privatized
Among other things, we recently watched Michael Moore’s Sicko (it was leaked online), and it made us want to get the h*** out. Mostly though, it’s just that I’ve been realizing lately how extremely disillusioned I am with American life, and that I don’t see it getting better even if the democrats get the presidency back. These democrats are still conservative to me. None of them talk about ending the war on drugs. None of them are likely to enact the kind of tax laws necessary to help lessen monetary sex discrimination, and I’d be surprised if any of them managed to get universal health care on the table. And although things are slowly seeming a little better, there’s little hope that America will trust an atheist leader any time in my lifetime. Mostly, it’s all about quality of life. Some things affect us every day; others don’t. But even those that don’t (not allowing same-sex marriages, for example), just watching the fight and the suffering over this and being part of a country that makes these grossly ridiculous moral judgments regarding things that aren’t even their business, just being a part of that is not ok. I can’t stand for it anymore, but I’ve lost the enthusiasm for change through democratic processes in America, because so many of my fellow citizens are hopelessly guided by the ruling class into believing that we need to spend our time punishing people who are different from us instead of working to keep our poor fed and healthy. Americans are scared of the government, and no one pays attention when we march by the hundreds of thousands. I’m fed up, and I want to leave.
*Added June 18, 2007: something I forgot that we definitely want – the country is not involved in America’s “War on Terror”