Where to Land Continued: USA

Last post, I discussed the various pluses and minuses of relocating to the UK as the non-EU spouse of a UK citizen who is currently living in France. Today, I’m clicking my heels and asking, “Is there really no place like home?”

I’ve lived in the US my whole life. Though I’ve been lucky enough to do some traveling, I’ve never been gone for long. In fact, the longest trip outside the US was actually to the UK with my sister in the 80’s. We stayed 3 months, and I’d never been so happy to see the backside of a country upon my return. But I’m a different person now…happier, more mature, more cultured…I hope.

I love America and the ideals for which it stands…or at least stood. Let’s face it. It isn’t what it once was. It has entered a rather ugly adolescence of violent crime, political bickering, biased media, and corporate greed. It is tainted by an absolutely dreadful educational, health, and corrupted financial system with imbalances and senses of entitlement bordering on the insane. Will it continue the plunge into the shadowy depths  of overweight, undereducated sheeple led by a government of bullies, manipulators, and liars before it re-emerges as an adult nation with a better sense of responsibility and the intentions of our forefathers…which I’m sure it will…one day?

That said, it’s home to me and therefore “the devil I know”. Here I have a house, a business, friends, and family. I live in a great city, one of the best, which has isolated me from a lot of the worst parts of US living. My life has been good.

The question is, if we were to go through the 6-9 month process (the longest of all three possibilities) of applying for a CR1 visa for Stuart, would it be worth it?

Yes: Stuart could eventually become a US citizen (and despite everything I’ve written so far, this is still a pretty awesome country). That would make things a lot easier legally and financially should something happen to either of us. Eventually, Stuart and I would both be able to come and go as we please, too.

No: I alone cannot meet the financial requirement to bring him here. It would involve getting a sponsor, which we do have, but I’m not crazy about the idea of burdening a loved one.

Yes: Because of current exchange rates and the fact that Stuart’s income is the Pound, our standard of living would be significantly higher here…and wow, wouldn’t I like to experience that for once!

No: Enter US taxes…on worldwide income. As it is, because we married this year, I will no longer be getting what would have been an over $500 tax return unless we choose to file jointly…and we can only elect to do that once in a lifetime. But frankly, I can’t see dragging Stuart into the US tax system prematurely.

Yes: I’d be near friends and family. Business relationships and musical collaborations would go on as before.

No: Obamacare. As a single, poor person, I was really excited about Obamacare. I would have had health insurance for the first time in 12 years for a whopping premium of FREE. But now that I’m married, that premium has jumped to over $4000…and that’s just for me. And if we don’t buy, we face increasing penalties. Compared to the healthcare systems of our other options, the US doesn’t stand out.

Yes: From coast to coast, America can’t be beat for landscape, cool cities, an abundant lifestyle, and all the things that make America the amazing melting pot it is. And…we both understand the language. And…I already have a driver’s license.

There’s always culture shock to consider too. But of course, that will happen for one of us no matter where we go.

So…now that I’ve summarized the pros and cons of life in our three countries of choice, what do you think? Where would you go? France, the UK, or the US?

9 thoughts on “Where to Land Continued: USA

  1. Suck it up, go to France learn the language, pass their driving test, what more of challenge do you want at the moment? There are a lot of English speaking folk living there now, both yanks and brits. It would seem to be the easier option if you do not cloud your mind with lots of ifs and buts and whys and wherefores.

  2. Dielle, I had been reading FB posts of your engagement and marriage with interest. When You went across the pond to get married, for some reason, I just assumed you were staying there and I thought, “Wow, how gutsy, how much in love she must be, how amazing this love story is.” I never thought of all the complications of where to live. Now after reading all your posts, my rational mind is still confused, but my intuitive side and my romantic heart say, “France.” Especially, and importantly, if that is where Stuart would most like to be also.
    You’ll learn the language. You may never drive ( a gift to our planet Earth), you can visit your family in the US, you can use the internet to continue communicating with English speaking folks, maybe Skype for your business (don’t know if that is feasible, actually). I have no idea what you should do about your house.
    Sure this wasn’t much (or any) help, but here it is. Have the adventure of a lifetime in France with your soulmate.

    1. Hi Jan, thank you for taking the time to post your comments. Writing the blog has really been helping me, but not in the way one might expect. The fact is, the more I “think”, the more muddy things become. The mind can hash things tirelessly…what if? But…but… What it has helped do is clear me out so I can feel my heart better. It has confirmed to me that some decisions don’t come from the mind. And my heart is definitely in France…for many reasons. Part of me wishes that weren’t true, but there we have it. I’ve only been posting once per day, so the blog has yet to reveal what I’ve already concluded. I guess I want people to understand the process I went through…and maybe be helped or inspired by it. Peace

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