Saturday, June 5, 2010

Must Read From Escape From America Magazine!

I can't believe I didn't know about Escape From America Magazine before last night! I've been trying to escape from America for about a year so I wish I had come across this online magazine sooner. Thank you once again to the Angry Future Expat and MedicineSux for alerting us to this magazine and the article called America-The Grim Truth!

The Angry Future Expat has already pasted the best excerpts from the article in his latest post, so go read that along with the article in its entirety on the Escape From America website. I just can't resist including a few more excerpts for you to read here. There are ways to escape from a life of massive student debt, slave labor and wages, unemployment, and expensive health insurance without the health care. Sallie Mae & Friends would rather have you indebted to them for life by staying right where you are now, but you do have options. You still have a chance at a comfortable, healthy, happy, and debt free life!

You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by a wide margin.

If you had any idea of how people really lived in Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many parts of Asia, you’d be rioting in the streets calling for a better life. In fact, the average Australian or Singaporean taxi driver has a much better standard of living than the typical American white-collar worker.

I know this because I am an American, and I escaped from the prison you call home.

I have lived all around the world, in wealthy countries and poor ones, and there is only one country I would never consider living in again: The United States of America. The mere thought of it fills me with dread.

Consider this, you are the only people in the developed world without a single-payer health system. Everyone in Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand has a single-payer system. If they get sick, they can devote all their energies to getting well. If you get sick, you have to battle two things at once, your illness and the fear of financial ruin. Millions of Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills, and tens of thousands die each year because they have no insurance or insufficient insurance. And don’t believe for a second that rot about America having the world’s best medical care or the shortest waiting lists: I’ve been to hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore, and Thailand, and every one was better than the “good” hospital I used to go to back home. The waits were shorter, the facilities more comfortable, and the doctors just as good.

This is ironic, because you need a good health system more than anyone else in the world. Why? Because your lifestyle is almost designed to make you sick.


If you’re young, you’ve got plenty of choices. You can teach English in the Middle East, Asia or Europe. Or you can go to university or graduate school abroad and start building skills that will qualify you for a work visa. If you’ve already got some real work skills, you can apply to emigrate to any number of countries as a skilled immigrant. If you are older and you’ve got some savings, you can retire to a place like Costa Rica or the Philippines. If you can’t qualify for a work, student or retirement visa, don’t let that stop you – travel on a tourist visa to a country that appeals to you and talk to the expats you meet there. Whatever you do, go speak to an immigration lawyer as soon as you can. Find out exactly how to get on a path that will lead to permanent residence and eventually citizenship in the country of your choice.

You will not be alone. There are millions of Americans just like me living outside the United States. Living lives much more fulfilling, peaceful, free and abundant than we ever could have attained back home. Some of us happened upon these lives by accident – we tried a year abroad and found that we liked it – others made a conscious decision to pack up and leave for good. You’ll find us in Canada, all over Europe, in many parts of Asia, in Australia and New Zealand, and in most other countries of the globe. Do we miss our friends and family? Yes. Do we occasionally miss aspects of our former country? Yes. Do we plan on ever living again in the United States? Never. And those of us with permanent residence or citizenship can sponsor family members from back home for long-term visas in our adopted countries.

In closing, I want to remind you of something – unless you are an American Indian or a descendant of slaves, at some point your ancestors chose to leave their homeland in search of a better life. They weren’t traitors and they weren’t bad people, they just wanted a better life for themselves and their families. Isn’t it time that you continue their journey?

Read the entire article now!


  1. The irony is that some outsourced work is coming back because, as these companies complain, Indians have "too many holidays." Apparently even third world countries have better quality of life.

    Sure they only get $100-$200 a month or something, but if you're paying something like $10 a month for your own home and another $5 for utilities and you work maybe 20 days at most out of every month, you're living like a king. Don't let the low wages fool you, it's what the money buys that matters.

  2. The more I read these posts, the more I am thinking of packing my bags and leaving. Sign me up!

  3. Good riddance to you all! Have fun in the third world, lol. Don't expect to be welcomed with opened arms.

  4. i think all ppl should set aside their patriotisms for a bit and think about what their gov is providing them in terms of public services in exchange for the taxes it collects. if you find another gov that is a better deal, go. forget about voting. just go. the fact is, our gov sucks. our public education system sucks. our medical system sucks. if you're a minority, the criminal justice system sucks. we're spending way too much fighting bullshit wars around the world that benefit only a few. and frankly, our political system does not work. time to go.

  5. anon @ 5:55pm: Compared to a lot of countries in Europe and Asia, the US is considered the third world. I don't think you read the article or else you'd realize that.

  6. Thanks for the mention! I thought it was a brilliantly written article myself. I am quite perplexed why more Americans don't consider moving abroad especially considering present circumstances.

    If you are single and have no cosignors on any of your loans and owed a ton of loans with no hope of paying it off, I would seriously consider doing this. You can take a 4 week CELTA course and teach English abroad wherever your heart desired. This would also allow you to get a visa to reside abroad when hired by an overseas school. It is also a very portable certificate allowing you to jump from country to country (this is key and I will explain below). Here are a couple reasons to consider jumping ship:

    1) No more harassing phone calls to your phone or your employer. Instruct relatives that you put down on your promissory note to say you moved to Brazil when you are in fact living in China or Thailand. Go to the Sallie Mae website and put down Neptune as your new permanent address. Go to your email account and have all SallieMae email directed to your trash folder so you never see it again.

    2) No jurisdiction to garnish your overseas wages, seize foreign bank accounts (do not leave ANY money in US based banks or you may return one day to find it gone!), or to put liens on property abroad (it is dirt cheap to rent abroad so I don't know why you would buy but I digress). They would have to find you first and go through foreign courts to get a judgement (see reason number one). If this were to happen (highly highly unlikely unless you owed a million dollars), you could just move to a nearby country starting the process all over again. Good luck with that Dear Aunt Sallie!

    3) No seizure of tax refunds since you pay no US taxes if you make under 80-90K a year abroad

    4) Would cost Sallie Mae an exorbitant amount of money to hunt you down. And even if they do locate you (see number 1), they can't do crap at all. Not cost effective.

    5) When we finally get bankruptcy rights returned to student loans, you could return to the States. Dump all your assets you ever accumulated overseas in a homestead property(Florida and Texas), live there for 2-4 years and declare bankruptcy utilizing your unlimited homestead exemption.

    6) Move on with your life having a decent nest egg saved that would've gone down the Sallie Mae toilet if you remained state side.

  7. I love America, and I also think some other places are fine.

    Honestly, if you hate your life here that much, then it's probably time to pick up and leave.

    I find the reverse migration idea to be interesting. I will say that sometimes the idea is rosier than the actual thing. So I would spend time overseas on a temp basis first before planning a permanent one-way trip.

    Even if you are willing to leave your family and friends, there are a few things that come to mind which you would have to adjust to.

    1. Laws may be "draconian." This was actually one of the things that students were warned about when I studied abroad. thank god I never got in trouble. (this was Europe). But yea, we apparently have more rights here in America. Things like how long we can be questioned by the police, we have to be charged with a crime within a specific timeframe, we can be bailed out, etc. A lot of other minor things but those were the ones that stood out to me.

    2. Living quarters are tiny. Very tiny. Perhaps some of you guys from Manhattan might be somewhat adjusted to this. I have relatives in Hong Kong, and have also visited Singapore. We're talking apartments that are so small that they don't have enough space for doors that swing outward. (though, i do think it was super-cool that their doors slide into the walls. very star trek like).

    3. Culture shock can be an adjustment. Some places are a lot more conservative than you might think even if they are technologically modern. Singapore comes to my mind, but other Asian places like Japan and South Korea are similar. One of the laws I found amusing while I was in Singapore was the prohibition against oral sex "unless prelude to vaginal intercourse." This was apparently a thinly veiled prohibition on same sex relations.

    4. Europe is collapsing in front of our eyes. So you might want to hold off on the whole "escape" at least until the situation stabilizes. I doubt it'll descend into chaos, but I guess you never know. Austerity measures may very well collapse economies and when economies are weak, native borns blame immigrants. You see this in France against the Arab/North African immigrants.

    5. Somewhat related to #4, if your primary concern about remaining in America is your debt load, you may want to hold off to see if any of the current pushes in the Congress can help you. IBR has already helped out a lot of people. In addition, there is some push to make private loans dischargeable in bankruptcy. So my advice is to maybe wait it out another year or see and see what unfolds. I mean, you can always move back and all, but i think 2 moves is a bit of a hassle.

    In end, I say do what your heart desires. If you really can't stand it here in America, then go for whereever you think is better.

  8. Research the laws. Its not as hard as you imagine. Dual citizenship is possible.

  9. I will check out Escape From America magazine. One of my friends just returned to the U.S., after teaching English in South Korea. He was gone two years, and now the damn fool wants to go to law school. What a world we live in!

  10. Hahaha yeah, let me just pack up and move to the Philippines. Gettin' right on that.

  11. I've taught English in Korea for 4 years.

    It's the easiest job in the world. I worked at private schools (hogwans) for 3 years and now I work for a University.

    I have 12 teaching hours per week - I get 4 months vacation (Winter/Summer).

    If you are young, get a state college degree in English or Education and set sail for someplace else.

    Absolute best thing that's ever happened to me.

  12. I want to say anyone who wants to leave the USA ... leave!!
    before you do.. ( if you plan on not coming back) make as much debts as you can and turn them in cash,, stop paying rent etc for a few months,, max out your CC cards,, max out all you can into CASH! get a passport.. dont say to much,,
    pay cash for a flight to Canada or Mexico-- pay cash then for the next flight to.. where ever.. presto... gone

    all collections agencies have no clue what to do when you are are overseas,, they have to file thru different govts laws and courts and in other languages.. and have to find you.. they normally drop everything...

    I had so many debts in the US i counldnt function anymore,,
    I did study German ( YES language is important )´so i settled in a German speaking country.. use to find places to stay.. jobs .. without a work permit you can find jobs for cash at pubs, bars, laundries, teaching english babysitting.. I donated blood to pay my rent the 1st year,,

    for those a bit afraid.. try US territories like Guam Samoa and the US Virfgin Islands and Puerto Rico-- no work permit is needed,,

    escape is close.. if you want to!

    more tips ??``



Blog Template by - Header Image by Arpi