Looking Back at the Old Life in the USA

I was raised in the USA and lived there my whole life. I’m sure that describes a lot of you too. I’d barely been out of the country and I believed what we were taught, that the USA is the greatest country in the world and it’s people are the best of the best.

It has been very interesting to look at the USA from the outside, through the eyes of my Panamanian friends. Many things are different here, but not worse and many things are better, in my opinion. I love how the locals don’t stress nearly as much, and how kind and respectful they are of everyone regardless of the many things (looks, age, ethnicity, economic status, etc etc) that we often use to evaluate people in the USA.

But, we are still aware of what happens in the USA. Even if I don’t follow the news (on purpose) I hear about it. Why are people in your country shooting people? Why is your president doing (insert news of the day)? Why do they want a Wall? Why do they hate Mexicans? Muslims? Guatemalans? Why this? Why that?

Why are there people living in the streets? This is a problem that especially tugs at my heart. Some thoughts from my bike trip – https://silverwheelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/the-homeless-traveler/ Or for a number of past posts https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/?s=Homeless

Even those who aren’t homeless, so many struggle. The American dream – work hard, get an education, get a good job, make sensible decisions, and be set for life – that doesn’t work for more and more people. A classmate of my daughter with a PhD in Physics looked for a year before she found a job. I recently came across these articles. Crushing student loan debt – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/student-loan-debt-poverty_n_5d40a81be4b01d8c9782b727. And an endless unsuccessful search for a job – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/unemployment-poverty-america_n_5d387f32e4b004b6adb9a15e?ncid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__073119

Then, of course, there is the recent news about yet more mass shootings and I worry. I may have left the US but my children, grandchildren, and many people I care about are there. I am thankful every day for this life we have here. Yes we have made good decisions but we are also incredibly lucky. I just hope things in the USA will turn in a better direction and good people who are doing their best will have it a little better.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to Looking Back at the Old Life in the USA

  1. Scott Saunders says:

    The US government is now the #1 employer in the country. When that happens you are already upside down. I wouldn’t count on it getting better any time soon – regardless of who the sitting senate, congress or president is

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    • *sigh* not what I want to hear but unfortunately, I think you are right. It will take a long time to turn things around even if everyone is pulling in the same direction, which they most definitely are not.

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  2. oldsalt1942 says:

    I have conflicts with a lot of the people I’ve been meeting here in the good old U. S. of A. in the two years since I repatriated. They aren’t all Trump supporters, either. But I’m just saddened by the insularity of American citizens.

    All together I have lived a dozen years outside of the United States. . . 3 in France, 8 in Panama, and almost a year cruising around on my first sailboat in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. LIVING, as opposed to simply visiting other countries, gives you a completely different perspective of what this place actually is.

    Not surprisingly Twain had a few things to say about travel: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

    “It liberates the vandal to travel — you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction.”

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    • Wise words from Twain.
      Of course living somewhere gives you more, but even travel can make a big difference. There is going to a resort or some tourist thing, and then there is actually experiencing the country from the streets, talking to shop keepers, restaurant staff, and anyone else you see. It was a life changing experience for me when I spent 10 days in Italy. Those “foreigners” are just people like us, and super nice people too.

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  3. CAMILO QUELQUEJEU says:

    THE USA HAS BEEN IN FULL RETARD FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS, AND NOW, WITH THE HELP OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS TRADE WAR WITH CHINA, WHERE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WILL LOOSE THEIR ECONOMIC WELL BEING, YOU CAN SOON EXPECT A REAL DEPRESSION, TOGETHER WITH A GALLOPING INFLATION, TO PUT US IN A “MAKE AMERICA BROKE” SITUATION, FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS !

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