This may sound a bit silly, but I’ve always felt like I never belonged in the United States. I have mentioned that to a few people throughout my life and it seems I always get the same response, usually something along the lines of being lucky to have been born in the U.S. or ‘FREEDOM!’. While I do agree that being a natural born U.S. citizen has it perks, it doesn’t mean that I have to stay there for my entire life. This is why I’m never moving back to America.
At a young age, I was already aware that there was more to experience in the world than the cities around me. Being half Filipino, I had visited the Philippines over 5 times by my 10th birthday. I’ve seen how it is to live in a third world country and you may think that sounds sad and all, but people living in those conditions are more than happy. After realizing that, there’s just something about America that bothers me… everyone seems to be raised to want to always achieve something greater, materialistically. Climbing the corporate ladder all your life or buying a house by the time you’re 25 seems to be the norm. I don’t and never have seen myself living the ‘American dream’. I want to be richer in experiences rather than things.
The last time I visited the Philippines, I was 15. Since then, I didn’t leave America until I was 23. That was last year when I travelled to Canada. That’s 8 years of not seeing what the world has to offer! During those years, I had big dreams of destinations that I wanted to visit, but thought they were unattainable. Money being a huge reason why. But that trip to Canada changed my mindset and I decided that you cannot live life with excuses. Next thing I know, it’s a whole year later and I’m in Europe.
Which leads me to explaining why I’m never moving back to America. On a small scale, it’s comparable to when you move out of your parents house. To put simply, you just don’t want to go back once you’ve experienced being independent. For me, leaving the U.S. gave me a sense of true freedom. Even though I still have student debt, I don’t feel tied down anymore. I don’t have a job I have to wake up early for 5 days out of the week, car insurance, or an apartment lease. It’s the never-ending cycle that people get stuck in.
It’s been an endless vacation for me since I boarded my flight at O’Hare, and moving back to America has been out of the question. One day, I’ll settle down and buy a house… but I have the entire world to choose where that will be.
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