I get asked this question all the time. Why don’t we just move back to America? Well there’s more than a few reasons I choose to live in Poland rather than in America. It’s a hard decision, obviously. Sometimes we wonder whether we couldn’t have a better life in America, as many people do. But our quality of life is so high here that I’m not sure it’s worth the risk to try. Read on to find out why I choose to live in Poland… for now.
Well, we already live in Poland. We met here, we have a house here, mutual friends here, jobs… it’s hard to just pack up and leave all that, especially with a kid. Ok, sure, it’s doable, but it’s also kind of a pain in the ass. We’d have to sell everything, which is a pretty big risk, and just move there. But where? To Orlando where my family lives or to a different place where we find work? Do we want to start over in a place where we know no one? I certainly don’t considering the fact that I know what it’s like and how hard it is. That makes me tired to even think about. It takes years to get comfortable in a place (for me at least) and I’m not sure I have the energy to go through that again.
Not only that, I’m not sure I’d want to put my husband in the position I’m in here. I mean he speaks English, so that’s not an issue, but it’s hard to be different and to be away from your family. I don’t know if I’d want to him to go through that. I know I can handle it because I’ve done it for years, but it would probably make me sad to see him feel the same way and having to deal with all the annoying bureaucracy. But then again, who knows, maybe he’s stronger than I am and would adapt faster than I was able to.
This is the number one reason I choose to stay. My husband and I both have great jobs here. Mine, frankly, I can’t do America, so I’d have to change careers. I really don’t wanna do that because I have the coolest job I can imagine having. So, because of that, it would take a lot for us to move to the States. Polish people would have to stop needing English lessons completely and I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future. I certainly hope not 🙂
The fact is, however, that salaries are a lot higher in the States. My husband could probably earn 2-3x there what he earns here for the same position. That’s a tough one to swallow. I suppose if he received a great offer, we’d be tempted to take it. But we won’t worry about that until it happens.
Proximity to other countries
One thing I love about living in Poland is that it means I live in Europe, which means other countries are just a stone’s throw away. I can travel to a number of countries in under 10 hours and that’s super exciting. Each state is also like a little country (some are even bigger), but the culture obviously doesn’t differ quite as much as with different countries. BUT America also has incredibly beautiful landscapes and interesting cities to visit. Tough call.
Which country is safer? Hm well I guess it depends on the situation. But when was the last time there was a massacre at the hands of an armed gunman in Poland? In America, it’s nearly a daily occurrence. Guns are a hot issue at the moment and I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon. Sorry mom, but I don’t agree with this. I don’t really want to live in a place where every idiot on the street can legally own a gun. I just don’t see the sense in it and it seems to do more harm than good. We live here perfectly fine without guns and I actually feel safer here because of it. However, I do have to say that I think the States might be safer during a time of war. For geographical reasons, Poland isn’t the safest in that case.
This is the hardest one for us as we have great families in both countries. So this doesn’t help us choose one way or another, but we at least we know we’ll have family to depend on no matter which country we choose. I don’t think I’d ever choose to live in a country other than one of ours because of this reason. It’s just better to be near family.
Taxes and social benefits
This is a tough one as well because there are some pluses and minuses in both corners. Taxes are higher in Poland, but there are also a lot of social benefits. Obviously, we don’t get all of those but e.g. a year of maternity leave pay has been a godsend for us since my son was born. Or the fact that we have public healthcare and can afford to go to the doctor. Having had some health issues, this also is a huge perk. It’s hard for me to say whether I’d prefer one way or the other. I’d like to pay less in taxes but I also appreciate the benefits I’ve received from those social programs, so it’s a toss up.
My ultimate goal is to live half the year in Poland and half the year in Florida. I’m sure you can guess which halves 🙂 That way it’ll be more fair to our families and I won’t have to suffer through winter, but only the more pleasant Polish seasons. Is it achievable? Well, I’d say for me it’s definitely possible. I could always just teach online. However, it might be harder if I wanted my husband to join me and obviously it would be a problem for my son once he starts going to school.
So what would you choose in my situation? Would you rather live in Poland or in America?