I moved to the United States in October 2014. Traveling to the USA came with a shock on a few levels that I did not expect. As I wrote about flight preparations for moving to America, I noticed that something needs to be said about what I should have considered when coming to America.
1. People. Our impressions of Americans come from TV shows and movies. Reality is way more complex. You should expect a lot of different races. If you are from a place where everyone pretty much looks the same, this may take some adjustment. You may find it difficult to build new friends and relationships around you because people look so different. But just remember most people have all the basic wants and needs that you do no matter what they look like.
2. Culture. The culture and etiquette is totally different. You may have a culture shock if you cannot adapt quickly. Things like people saying hello or suddenly starting a conversation with you is normal in some states. Its not normal in the Philippines. America has a culture of convenience created by the prosperity that corporate success brings. On the positive side, you will not find better customer service in restaurants and stores in many other countries. On the negative side, many Americans get complacent with their health. So you see a lot of very obese people walking around.
3. Weather. Coming from a tropical country and moving to a cold, arid climate in the mountains has been really hard. You have to be tough to fight against the cold! I’m not kidding. It gets really cold here in Colorado and when the snow starts, its like sticking your face inside the freezer. The weather in the US varies from state to state. So you should read up on the climate of the place you are moving to.
4. Food. The variety of fast food in America is unmatched. But what you might not expect is the variety of food from different cultures especially in places with a large mixture of people like LA where there is so much diversity. There are Asian markets here but you cannot expect to get all the items that you need in preparing your food if it’s specific to your country and culture. You have to explore new cuisine and try American food. The most noticeable here are that you get your food in can or frozen. You cannot get a fresh coconut milk here.
|Indices Difference||from numbeo.com|
|Consumer Prices in Colorado Springs, CO are 89.95% higher than in Cebu|
|Consumer Prices Including Rent in Colorado Springs, CO are 97.94% higher than in Cebu|
|Rent Prices in Colorado Springs, CO are 123.61% higher than in Cebu|
|Restaurant Prices in Colorado Springs, CO are 217.78% higher than in Cebu|
|Groceries Prices in Colorado Springs, CO are 110.11% higher than in Cebu|
|Local Purchasing Power in Colorado Springs, CO is 418.13% higher than in Cebu|
5. Prices. The cost of living in the US is different. Honestly, somethings are cheaper in the US than in the Philippines. Gas, for example, is cheaper in the US (as of 2014/2015). Some foods that are specific to the Philippines are harder to get in the US so they will be more expensive. Things like Dorian and jackfruit are pretty expensive. Overall the cost of living in the US is 100% higer so cars, homes and clothes do have a higher price tag. But since the average American has a higher local purchasing power is than the average Filipino it is much easier to live in the US even with higher prices.
6. Family. One of the biggest issues for Filipino nationals moving to America has to be family. If you are very attached to your family living in the Philippines, you should really think about how much you will miss them when you decide to move. It is not easy to be away from the family you grew up with and it is not cheap to fly back and forth between the US and the Philippines.
7. Transportation. America is a huge place. In many cities there is a lot of space between your home and all the places you must go such as the hospital, the grocery store and government facilities. Most people here have cars to get where they need to go. It is not practical to catch a taxi or bus to do things like get groceries. Its too expensive to do it by taxi and the bus will not run often enough or close enough to your home. Those who do get groceries or go to medical appointments via bus and taxi do so because they really don’t have any other choice.
So far, moving to America has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. Americans totally take for granted the freedom of access they have to living a pretty comfortable life. The level of opportunity given to you just by being in the boarders of the United States is amazing.