America…What’s to Like?

I left Germany earlier and I’m now in France.  Being away from home reminds me of a recent online conversation I had with a friend who is relocating; she’s leaving the United States for the next few years.  Her impending departure got us talking; I’m relaying here what I said to her about what it feels like to leave this country and what there is to like enough to want to return.

Having lived in and having spent significant amounts of time in other countries, I can honestly say that I still believe America is an incredible nation.  Think about it: just the fact that we can complain about America openly shows that this country has something great that many other countries can’t come anywhere near.  We certainly have our problems and issues in the States but, no matter how ridiculous the political squabbling becomes, America has proven itself to be resilient and able to come through all of its in-fighting and pettiness a little bit stronger and with some of us wondering what was it that got us so worked up.

If we’re talking about aesthetic beauty and people want to learn about beautiful places to visit, I’d tell people to simply look around.  Folks should pay attention once in a while to the words “Oh beautiful for spacious skies and amber waves of grain…for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain…”.  Maybe thinking about the song ‘America The Beautiful” sounds corny but I have travelled around the States and found that there are parts that are breathtakingly beautiful.  Venturing over to places like Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming (to name a few) or, for those of us in New York City, taking a trip to upstate New York has amazed me with all of the beauty that can be found in state parks, the lakes and from mountains views.

When we watch the news it’s easy to think that nearly everything that is good has been damaged beyond repair and nothing but ugliness remains. That simply isn’t true.   I wasn’t born here but I do live here — and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m glad I wasn’t born in nor do I want to live in some other countries.  Screw political correctness:  being in a place where women are treated as something worse than second class citizens who are worthy of contempt —  or living in a country where speaking one’s mind is to risk health and safety is not how I want to live.  I don’t even want to think about how it’s customary to remove parts of women’s sexual organs in the name of ‘tradition’; for the record, I’m rather attached to everything I was born with, thank you very much.

My friends and I ‘joke’ and complain about being ‘volunteer corporate slaves’ but I often consider the fact that in some countries I’d have to take the words ‘volunteer’ and ‘corporate’ out of that complaint.  Yikes… We are far from perfect here but, especially in a pinch, we can find out that despite all of our issues, even more beautiful than any mountaintop are many of America’s people.

I love spending time abroad and I think everyone who is given the opportunity should travel and get to know other people and their cultures…but I still think that there’s no place like America.



  1. True, there is a lot to like about this country, its natural beauty, its mixed people, its opportunities, and the fact that its citizens and residents have more freedom than many countries. But we should keep in mind that there are other countries that we could learn a lot from in which their citizens have even more freedom along with a high standard of living that is more uniform for their whole populations and governments more responsive to the needs of their people. Things are arguably good in this country, but could get better or worse… depending on whether or not we are willing to learn and strive to improve.

  2. The Brooklyn Dame says

    I fully agree with you; there is much to be learned and enjoyed in and from other cultures. It is solely ignorance met with arrogance that would allow us to believe ours is the only viable way to live.

    Thank you, JH!

  3. Anonymous says

    I agree with you about America being a great country to live in. I still think about living abroad for a couple of years sometimes, but realize even with all the political divisiveness going on among other issues, I know I want to keep America as my home.


  4. Anonymous says

    Okay BK Dame we just had this conversation and I state in my earlier post about keeping America my home, well now I dont know. I dont like what is going on in America and I think the political climate is so unreal that its hard for me to take us as a political power anymore. The nimrods who are running for the Republican party dont seem to me to have what it takes to take on America as a whole and not just what they believe. They want to force their way of thinking on us all and its not sitting well with me. I am afraid for us if another Republican steps into office because they fucked up everything the eight years they had office, they step back in, we are done. I feel as though we are already circling the toilet. They are against everything. You dont take care of your people they wont take care of you. They arent even really thinking of their own constituents. Well maybe the rich ones, I honestly dont see how there could be a working class Republican even a middle class one because it barely exist. Healthcare is my main issue with Rethugs. I recently had a patient who went to the ED at a hospital out here in my area. She didnt have insurance, well this hospital did not do a proper work up that you should do with they type of problem she has, this lady could not walk, but was walking the week before. This hospital sent her home on pain pills, still unable to walk. She goes to the state ran hospital and gets full treatment, diagnosis, and a plan of care. This is what I dont mind paying taxes into. A universal healthcare system that wont turn you away for something treatable because you dont have insurance. Are we going to just throw people away because that is the agenda of the republicans. You dont have money oh well in the trash you go. I have heard conservatives say that they dont want universal healthcare because they dont want to pay into a system so that just anybody can have the same access to healthcare as they have. So in other words these fucking assholes think there should be a class type of healthcare system. You make this much money you get this much treatment, you dont have a job, fuck you, you die. this is conservative thinking and it is cruel and unjust. I am dissppointed in Americans for thinking this is acceptable. You think this way you are not a human being. I dont go into a patients room and take care of a homeless person any different than I take care of someone who has an assload of money. Lets be human to each other. I know that is asking alot for a party who are Robots, but the rest of us need to work together to help each other and bring this country to a place where we can all live.