Ever since I last wrote about our ongoing decision-making process to pick where to base ourselves, I have struggled. My mind just wouldn’t give up stressing about it, and that’s usually an indicator to me that I know the answer and just need to move forward.
As I continued to argue with myself ponder the situation, I had to agree with some of the comments I received—It really comes down to what matters most.
In doing more research about the area in the US we had selected, looking at rentals again, checking the job situation, etc., it helped me lock onto what mattered most.
And that is quality of life. Really, no further discussion was necessary at that point. We’re returning to Romania.
Quality of life
One thing became glaringly obvious, and that was the fact that I would have to work many more hours to be able to afford just the basics if we remained in the US. It makes no sense to me to willingly put more energy into working than living just to get less out of it.
Even though Tigger spends most of his time in his man cave, I’m here for him whenever. He will still go out exploring, go on walks, etc., with me. If I’m spending my time working, though, I will greatly reduce the amount of available time we have together. Our spontaneous outings would greatly diminish.
I simply refuse to give that up.
I relish being able to take advantage of a break in bad weather to go for a walk, or to simply close the laptop and head out because it’s a gorgeous day. I’m getting so much more out of life by not having it filled with other things. Why would I surrender all that?
I’ve also noticed that Tigger’s anxiety has increased. It began once we were getting close to leaving Mexico and has remained while we’ve been here. There could be other factors, but I can’t ignore the coincidence.
There are some other factors as well.
Obviously, Tigger will probably have an easier time finding friends in the US; however, he really isn’t going to go out and do that on his own. He has enough anxiety left that he uses me as an anchor in new situations until he’s comfortable, then he’s perfectly fine forging ahead on his own. If I’m spending most of my day working, the opportunities for us to be involved in things that will give him the venue to meet new people will be greatly reduced.
The fact he’s a foreigner might also make him more interesting to local kids. So being elsewhere could actually boost his chances.
The initial concern that I would have to live in the closet was removed by chatting with some gay Romanian friends. The concerning issues really only exist if you’re Romanian (family & job being the big worries). Foreigners don’t have the same issues.
Yeah, it could be a little more difficult to date there, but it isn’t like I’ve ever had that much luck dating in the US! PDA isn’t recommended there, but I’m careful with that everywhere.
Romania is also one of the few places that just felt like home when were there.
While Tigger is over the constant movement, he does still want to travel. He’s thinking a situation of being home for 3 months, taking a short trip, returning home for 3 months, etc., will be great. That isn’t so easy if we stay in the US. It’s tough saving up enough money for starters, especially if you aren’t working full time. Plus, anywhere else really interesting internationally involves long flights.
If we live in Europe, “Let’s go to Germany for the weekend” is much easier to pull off, especially if we have a home we still have to pay for.
Not to mention how much easier it is to fly in Europe. TSA just sucks here.
The lack of good public transportation in most of the US is such a frustration. All over Europe it was never a concern to get from point A to point B. There was usually a train, bus, tram, etc. Just going between two cities in the US can be frustrating and expensive.
I like driving, but I’d rather not have to have a car.
It’s so much more complicated in the US. In almost every country we’ve visited, I can go to the pharmacy and refill my medications without a prescription, and they are generally much cheaper than even an insurance copay. Travel medical insurance is much cheaper for the big things than even basic insurance coverage here. When you can go to urgent care, be treated, and walk away with meds for $35 USD total. . . Remember my $220 emergency room visit in Australia?
There are many factors we’ve considered, but I have to say the bottom line is quality of life. We can’t “live without regrets” and ignore this category. It’s just too important.