After some time living down here so far…
There are things I like about Latin America and things I miss about the US.
After all, we don’t forget where we came from..
While it is equally important to acknowledge the benefits of living abroad as well.
So this article will cover over 50 things I miss about the US and over 50 things I like about Latin America.
Keep in mind that there were more things I could have mentioned but I kept it at 50 each to keep it as short as I could as this article is long as it is.
Also, since we are talking 50 things each for both sides, keep in mind that many of the things listed here are pretty small and relatively unimportant.
Despite having more things I could have mentioned, I did feel like I was scraping at the bottom of the barrel.
Though, if I put this vodka bottle down and give it a few hours, maybe I can think of even more important things.
But these are the things that came to my head first.
And the factors that are most important will have a * next to them so you know what I find more important and not just stuff at the bottom of the barrel.
Either way, enjoy this article.
And if you have any of your own things you miss about the US or like about Latin America, let me know below in the comment section.
Things I Like about the US
Here are, as of this writing, at least 50 different factors I miss about life in the US. Both small and big!
Factor 1: Family & Cats
One thing I often miss about the US is family and cats.
I grew up with cats all my life and I miss the cats I have back home.
Plus family as well of course.
Factor 2: Missing Important Events Up North
Some months ago, I had a grandpa die from the Coronavirus.
Around the same time, I had a cat die that I had for a good deal of my life.
About 2 days ago as of this writing, I had an aunt die as well.
Thankfully, I was able to show up to my sister’s wedding.
But living abroad can make it difficult to show up important events like weddings, funerals, etc.
Factor 3: Friends
Obviously, this is another one of those factors that is important as well.
If you move abroad, you will be leaving behind any friends you got behind.
Though you would be making new friends abroad and can always meet your old friends whenever you return…
It is something to remember…
Factor 4: Gas Stations
It might seem odd to miss gas stations…
But hear me out…
The reason I miss gas stations in the US is not only because you can buy so much shit there…
Chips, condoms and all…
But also you got so much black ice tea.
Like a liter of tea for 99 cents.
That’s shit you ain’t gettin at no Oxxo for that price or any price really.
Factor 5: Unsweet Ice Tea Everywhere
One thing I miss about the US is being able to find unsweet tea basically anywhere.
In the gas stations or any restaurant.
While in Mexico or anywhere in Latin America, finding unsweet tea is difficult.
You basically have to make it yourself.
If you find it at restaurant, consider yourself lucky.
And if you do, order ice because it will be hot.
Factor 6: Portion Sizes at Restaurants
As said in this article here…
Portion sizes with the food in restaurants in the US are always bigger than what you get outside the US.
And sometimes I miss it because some places down here have portion sizes like they expect you to be a kid or some shit.
Something that gets annoying after a while.
Factor 7: Re Fills
One thing I miss about restaurants in the US are the re fills.
Where you walk in and sit down to eat.
And there is no question to being able to re-fill your drink for free.
While in Latin America, that costs money.
In only a few places abroad are free re fills allowed.
Usually at chains of large companies down here – like Chilis or Burger King.
Factor 8: The Food
As of this writing, I have been to 30 different countries around the world.
And so far, no country I have been to has tastier food and more international food than the US.
Though tasty does not often correlate with healthy, I am not talking of which country has healthier food.
If I wanted shitty tasting healthy food, I’d go to Bolivia.
And on top of being very tasty…
The US has plenty of places that offer food from all over the world given the amount of immigrants it has.
Be it Indian, Chinese, Colombian, Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Argentine, Italian, Egyptian, etc. food….
The US has it all and in more quantities than most countries.
Something I miss….
Factor 9: Specific Food Joints
There are specific food places I miss.
Be it local mom and pop shops from my home town…
Such as two Mexican food and one Chinese food restaurants that come to mind….
To also fast food joints like Taco Johns, Jimmy Johns etc…
Factor 10: How Clean the Streets Are
Years ago, I went on a date with a Mexican chick in Mexico City…
Who spent some years in California state…
One thing she told me about what she liked about the US…
“How clean it was.”
Every time I revisit, I’m happy by the fact I don’t see piles of trash on the street.
Or homeless people shitting in the street..
Granted, I ain’t from shit ass ville California so I guess my experiences in the US are different from others…
Factor 11: Less Homeless People
Overall, I have seen far more homeless people in Latin America than in the US.
It’s one negative that comes with living down here for sure.
Factor 12: Less Visible Drug Use Outside
Although most of the drug use has to do with pot users…
I’ve seen a fair amount of crack heads in the street also down here.
Mostly in more shitty areas of Latin America like certain areas of Mexico City.
For sure, most people ain’t doing that.
But it comes with living in less touristy areas down here in my experience….
Factor 13: Driving Down the Highway
One thing I miss about the US is the fun I used to have driving down highways at high speeds in a truck while listening to the radio.
Granted, I could do that in some countries down here also..
But corruption is more common and people being pulled over for bribes is also..
Plus, I wouldn’t get a vehicle anyway until I get residency in some place like Chile or Argentina…
Years down the road…
Factor 14: Not Having to Leave Every 6 Months
One benefit of living in the US is that I don’t have to leave the country every 6 months to get a new tourist visa.
Of course, I could handle this by getting residency down here but for now, this is a drawback to living down here.
Factor 15: Not Missing the Fucking Noise Outside
Waking up at 7 AM in Latin America…
Because some dick outside won’t stop yelling “SE VENDE SE VENDE TACOS!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I get fucking sick of that quick enough.
Or whatever the noise might be outside that wakes you up.
Eventually, it gets fucking tiring.
Factor 16: Can Be Less On My Guard
Another benefit to the US is being able to be less on my guard to protecting my stuff.
Because there is less crime in my experience and you can feel more comfortable bringing more expensive laptops or phones out in public and not have it stolen.
And not having to watch your back as often.
Though if something does happen, probably the police will work well enough to fix the issue.
Which we will get to in a later point…
Factor 17: Electronics Cheaper
Another thing I miss about the US is that electronics tend to be cheaper up there than down here in Latin America.
My laptop that I have now is a bit shitty and I need to replace it eventually.
I’d rather replace it up there though than down here because the deals are much better.
So it’s a waiting game until I can get back into the US…..
Factor 18: People Seem Smarter
This largely depends on what country of Latin America that I am comparing the US to.
If I am comparing the US to more developed countries like Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, then this point doesn’t stand.
But compared to poorer countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, Dominican Republic or Bolivia?
In my experience, people in the US tend to come across smarter than the average person in countries notably poorer.
This isn’t to say that the US doesn’t have its share of idiots – of course it does!
But I have noticed that generally speaking countries with poorer development have dumber people on average.
Even though there are smart folks in those countries as well…
The reasons for this could be a variety of reasons – including poorer public education perhaps.
But it can get annoying spending time in some of the countries down here where the average person seems dumber than back home.
Again, no offense to places like Guatemala – where people I found were often very nice at least.
But it is something I noticed.
Factor 19: Efficiency of things
Generally speaking, the US is much more efficient at getting things done than in most parts of Latin America.
This again really has to do with how developed a place is in my experience.
The more developed a place is, the more efficient everything is done.
The less developed, the less efficient.
Factor 20: People Walking Slowly
Another thing I like a lot about the US is how people are better at walking funny enough than in most parts of Latin America.
Trust me, I’ve tried to walk like the locals in Mexico and I can’t fucking stand it.
I never get how people can walk so slowly down here.
Not only that, but it’s more common for people to not be aware of their surroundings or perhaps they just straight up don’t give a fuck if stopping randomly will piss off the people behind them.
After a while, this gets annoying.
Factor 21: Xenophobia?
Outside of the occasional racist in the US who has a thing against white people and wants to start shit with some random white person for no reason like these fine ladies below in this video…
Generally speaking, you will experience a lot less xenophobia or hatred of other groups in the US than in places like Mexico or Guatemala or wherever.
I find most people in Latin America to be a little bit less accepting of foreigners on average than people in the US.
Not to say we don’t have our own share of xenophobia to be fair…
We have plenty of it.
But I would argue the US is a more open place than a lot of countries down south of the border given the amount of foreigners who make up the overall population.
And in my experience, given that I am American, I don’t experience any xenophobia anyhow really in the US.
Outside of any racial tensions that exist up there though…
Factor 22: American Women
I know, i know…
Some of the readers of this blog might be very interested in meeting women abroad because American women are so so evil to them…
“How dare they not fuck me!!!!”
Well, here’s an unpopular opinion among that crowd…
But I actually do miss some aspects of American women…
Obviously, that they speak English and that is kinda nice.
Also that they come from the same culture as me and it is easier to understand where they are coming from.
Factor 23: Sex With American Chicks
On top of that, American women seem more down to fuck generally speaking in my experience – especially with more online tools available up there in my experience for finding chicks to fuck as well.
Plus, when it comes to sex, they generally are more communicative as to what they like.
Also, American women tend to be more diverse in terms of what types of women you can fuck compared to women in most Latin countries.
In Mexico, it’s mostly going to be brown chicks with some white and some black here and there from what I have seen.
Argentina? Mostly white.
Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala? Almost entirely brown.
The DR? Mostly black and some brown as well.
But the US?
Plenty of everything – white, brown, black and asian!
With plenty of foreign chicks from all over the world traveling to the US.
That ain’t bad in my book – the US is almost like a baffet in terms of the chicks you can fuck.
Pick which one you prefer and take your shot.
Among other things..
So while I do enjoy Latinas down south of the border..
There are things about American women I like as well.
Factor 24: Snow
Funny enough, I got tired of the snow the older I got before moving to Latin America.
But I guess we all end up missing what we grew up with.
And you can more easily find snow in the US than Latin America – though there are spots that have it as we will get to later.
Factor 25: Outdoor Scenery
There are some things I like about the US – including the outdoor scenery that I remember growing up with.
Again, you miss what you are raised with.
Though there are some parts of Latin America that look like home.
Particularly around Chile and Argentina area.
Factor 26: Customer Service
Generally speaking, customer service is much better in the US than anywhere in Latin America.
It’s something you miss when after the 1000th fuckin time you can’t get what you want done properly.
Even if it is something simple down here…
Factor 27: Less Hustlers and Scammers
Some places of Latin America are full of hustlers and scammers like the DR, Colombia, etc…
Other places, less so…
Either way, it’s nice to live in the US where it doesn’t feel like literally everyone and their grandma is trying to fuck you over.
Factor 28: No Cold Water Showers
One thing I like so much about the US is that almost guaranteed every shower I take is going to actually fucking feel great.
With nice water pressure and hot water as well…
While in Latin America, if I can get both of those things, then fucking great fucking luck do I have that day.
Not to say you can’t find showers that have good water pressure and hot water…
The shower I have now has that in Mexico City!
After, let me think for a second…
Oh, that’s right, 5 other bathrooms I have taken a shower in that didn’t have both of those things in Mexico City.
Not to mention some areas of Latin America where I lived like Xela, Guatemala or Quilla, Colombia had cold fucking water that made me hate taking a shower.
So, suffice to say, I really appreciate the US where, at least in my experience, it ain’t a fucking question if I’m going to have a nice shower or not.
,I just fucking have one.
Factor 29: Areas Off Limits?
As talked about in this article here..
Sometimes there are areas of Latin America that are basically off limits – entire states almost really that are ravaged by crime and violence.
In the US, we have areas that can get fucked up but nothing like what you see in specific relatively large pockets of Latin America where organized crime is quite rampant.
Factor 30: Less Sketchy
Overall, the US is less sketchy than Latin America by far.
No crack head homeless people harassing me or shitting in the street.
No starving children in the street either that are sleeping on the concrete with no parents nearby.
And no seeing any dead bodies like here in Cuatro Caminos.
Overall, the US can be quite nice in this regard.
Depends on where you are, I suppose…
Factor 31: Better Enforcement on Regulations
One other thing I like about the US is that there is better enforcement on regulations concerning things like building code, business conduct, etc.
Where, if I am living in an apartment in the US, I probably won’t worry about the building catching fire like I did here in Mexico…
That is kinda nice…
Factor 32: No Questioning
Over the years of living in Latin America, I constantly get questioned by others about my choice to live down here.
After a while, it gets fucking annoying.
But it comes with the territory.
If I were to live in the US, I wouldn’t have to deal with that but it is what it is.
Factor 33: Holidays
One nice thing I like about the US are the holidays.
Thanksgiving with all its food…
4th of July with the fireworks…
In all honesty, I don’t really give a fuck about holidays in Latin America that are not celebrated in the US.
Like Day of the Dead in Mexico…
It’s cool and all but I ain’t Mexican and it doesn’t really excite me….
Factor 34: Gun Rights
One thing about the US that is amazing is our defense of gun rights relative to Latin America where it can be much harder to get a gun in most countries.
And the restrictions and regulations down here can often make things more difficult.
Not to mention at times the relative lack of gun stores to get a gun for self defense.
And also that we are one of the only 3 countries in the world with a constitutional right to bear arms – US, Mexico and Guatemala.
As you can read about here…
Factor 35: More Trust in Cops and Judicial System
As shown here…
I once got robbed by the cops in Mexico.
It happens when you spend enough time down here…
Overall, I trust the cops and judicial system much more in the US than anywhere in Latin America.
Though it may not be perfect, it’s more trustworthy in my opinion.
Less corruption all around.
Factor 36: Not Being the Foreigner
After a while of being the foreigner in Mexico or anywhere in Latin America…
It can get a little bit tiring.
Again, comes with the territory of living down here.
But it is nice to escape back to the US once in a while to a country where I am not the foreigner.
At the end of the day, no matter how much time you spend in Latin America, I don’t feel you will ever truly be accepted entirely down here.
Or at least assimilating is a bit more difficult.
But it comes with living down here.
Factor 37: Understanding the Culture
This goes along with the last point…
Which that it is easier to understand the culture in the US than anywhere in Latin America obviously..
As that is where I am from.
And that is another thing I miss about the US which is always understanding everything in the culture.
Factor 38: English
Though it seems like another funny thing to mention that I miss…
“But Matt, of course they don’t speak English down there!”
That’s true – and nothing wrong with that!
But no matter how good your Spanish gets…
And I feel mine has gotten pretty good over the last 5 years down here and almost 10 years learning Spanish…
English will always be my native language and it is always nicer to speak English than Spanish.
And is something you miss over time.
Factor 39: Better Produced Products
One nice thing about the US is that I can more reliably buy something and not have it turn out to be complete shit.
Not to say that doesn’t happen in the US..
But things I buy in Latin America turning out to be complete shit is more common down here than in the US.
As you can read about here as an example when I was in Argentina…
Generally speaking, the quality of products is usually nicer in the US than in Latin America.
Factor 40: More Entertaining Sports
Though I like soccer…
There isn’t really any contest here.
Sports in the US are generally more entertaining than in Latin America in my experience.
Factor 41: Better Concerts?
One nice thing about the US is that it tends to have nicer concerts and musical performances than most places in Latin America.
Though, to be fair, this isn’t the strongest factor on this list.
As some Latin cities like Mexico City or Buenos Aires have plenty of concerts and similar entertainment!
So it depends more on the city…
But the US generally speaking has more to offer in this regard from what I have seen…
Factor 42: Raising Kids
Compared to most of Latin America…
I’d rather raise kids in the US due to concerns regarding public education and also safety.
I have less concern about my own safety as I know how to handle myself.
But I don’t think I’d want to raise kids in Mexico for example.
Though, similar to the last point, there are places of Latin America like Chile or Argentina where public education and safety are much nicer and suitable enough to raise kids in my opinion.
So it varies here but the US does seem like a nicer place overall for raising kids in my opinion when compared to a lot of places south of the border (though not all).
Factor 43: Political Stability
Though you may not have liked Barack Obama when he was in office…
Or Donald Trump now…
Despite your political opinions…
I’d argue that the US generally has more political stability as of now compared to most of Latin America.
And is another nice thing about living up there.
Factor 44: Easier to Do Business
Though some states in the US might not be as business friendly due to taxes or regulations….
Generally speaking, I feel the US is more business friendly than most of Latin America for a variety of reasons.
But this is not from my own experience…
More from other people I have read about who have gone down this route..
Such as you can read here…
Factor 45: Debit Card Issue
Given I don’t have a local job, I don’t earn local currency.
Meaning I earn all my money online.
And am entirely dependent on my debit cards working.
If all of my debit cards were to stop working, it’d fuck me over for a day or two until I can reach my bank and get them unblocked.
Where, if I was living in the US, I wouldn’t need my debit cards to pay my expenses necessarily.
Which is nice.
Factor 46: Organic Food?
I know some will disagree with me on this…
But in my experience, it has usually been easier to get organic food from where I am from in the US than where I live now in Latin America.
Granted, I live in Mexico City and maybe it isn’t the best place for it..
But getting something like grass-fed beef seems easier in my experience in the US than say Mexico City.
Though you can get that in Mexico for sure – but as you can read here – it doesn’t seem to be as popular here.
But it depends of course and you can definitely find it in either country or other areas of Latin America.
So this is a minor point I suppose and one others might disagree with based on their experiences.
Factor 47: Fewer Bugs
One thing that gets annoying about living in Latin America is the amount of bugs I have to kill in any apartment I have been in.
Be it ants, mosquitos, flies, cockroaches, etc…
One guy I know had to handle a scorpion down here.
Either way, it gets annoying and is not something I ever had a problem with up north in the US.
Factor 48: Internet Speeds.
Though you can find good internet in really any country down here..
I have always found internet to be much better in the US than really any part of Latin America I have been to.
Which that’s important given I work online…
And you can check out this non-academic source here on the countries with best internet speeds.
Backs up my point I suppose…
Factor 49: Supermarkets
Just the other day I went to Soriana in Mexico to buy me some black tea...
And they only had 3 boxes of the brand I was looking for!
3 small boxes and that was it.
Walmart only had 1 for some reason.
The thing I like about supermarkets in the US is that, based on my experience, I've never had issue getting what I want.
That isn't to say that supermarkets don't run out of stuff up there either...
But customer service and the quantity of stuff that supermarkets has up there has always seemed better than down here in Latin America.
Which is a minor thing to consider to be fair...
But one that is nice since it can be annoying when you are trying to find what you want.
And on top of that, I've had a few more experiences down here finding rotten or moldy stuff in some of the markets down here like I wrote about here.
Doesn't happen often but has happened more down here than up in the US.
Factor 50: Possibly Could Make More Money
If I were to live in the US, I could possibly make more money than what I do in Latin America.
Though what I do now pays pretty similar to plenty of jobs up north…
If I were to be an accountant or something and get qualification, I’d imagine I’d make more money even when compared to the cost of living..
Though taxes would be higher for sure…
But doing that would also require being employed for someone else and working more hours at the sacrifice of using those hours to enjoy life.
Which we will get to below under things I like about living in Latin America….
Things I Like About Latin America
Here are some things now – both small and big – that I like about my life in Latin America.
Factor 1: Cheaper Cost of Living With Better Bang For Your Buck
Down here, I can live comfortably at around 600 to 1000 bucks a month in Mexico City.
With a better bang for my buck in terms of what I get for what I spend as well given the exchange rate…
With earning USD while spending in pesos…
Factor 2: Not Having to Stress About Money
One nice thing about living down here is that I don’t have to stress about money as much as long as I work hard enough.
Which doesn’t involve a whole lot of work anyway given the low cost of living.
All around allowing for more time to enjoy life and have a nicer balance in life between work and fun.
Factor 3: Higher Savings Rate
Given the lower cost of living, it isn’t as hard to have a higher savings rate if you work hard for it.
Like a 1,000 bucks a month or whatever it may be.
Factor 4: Easier to be Self-Employed
Given the lower cost of living, it is easier to be self-employed for those who work online.
Where the cost of living may not exceed 1,000 bucks…
It isn’t as hard to figure out how to make that money online…
Allowing you to not have a boss, collegue, commute to work, etc.
Which is pretty nice.
Something that you could have in the States but where cost of living is higher and you’d have to work harder to achieve that.
Factor 5: Easier to Be Owner of What I Do
Given that it is easier to be self-employed down here in my opinion…
It also means it is easier then to own what I produce and to be paid for my results than the hours I put in.
Especially with more so called “passive income.”
And then to diversify what I do and scale it up.
Where, if a recession were to happen, I’d be less impacted and wouldn’t lose my job due to, let’s say, some state government saying that everyone has to stay inside due to a pandemic.
Well, I work from home, so that wouldn’t be an issue.
And I’m not at the mercy of some employer who can fire me after I put so many hours into his company.
Instead, I own what I produce.
Factor 6: Work Specific Hours That I Want
Another thing I like about living abroad is that I can work the specific hours that I want.
Preferably at night where I can wake up around 11 or 12 PM.
And not have to worry about an alarm clock waking me up at an earlier hour that I don’t want to.
Which is nice.
Factor 7: Minimal to No Taxes
I know several guys down here who don’t pay any taxes.
No federal or state taxes.
I don’t have to pay any state taxes myself given I don’t live in my state…
And federal taxes I don’t have to pay either as of now but could in the future…
But my tax obligation is overall much less than what it would be in the US given that I live abroad.
Factor 8: Cheaper Liquor
A few days ago, I bought about 5.25 liters of vodka for 13 bucks roughly in Mexico City.
And liquor down here is pretty cheap compared to how it is in the US.
Which is a minor benefit but a benefit nonetheless.
Factor 9: Nicer Personalities in Women
Though I wouldn’t say all women in the US have bad personalities…
And the women I remember from where I grew up were fine.
I would agree with most men who say that women in Latin America generally have nicer personalities than those in the US.
One of the reasons for that is that it feels that men and women are more often in competition against each other in the US, which can make things seem more antagonistic.
Factor 10: Sexier?
Though there are some things about American women that I like – such as the diversity.
One thing you will enjoy in some areas of Latin America – though not all of it – is that some countries have sexier women overall.
In part due to less obesity and also how people dress as well as some reasons…
Places in Latin America that tend to have nicer looking women include places like Colombia, the DR, Brazil, etc…
At least in my experience.
Factor 11: Escape Identity Politics
As hinted at before, there is some racism against white people in the US.
And there is racism against other folks as well up there like in any country.
As well, in the US, you have issues regarding SJWs, cancel culture and more PC orientated folks.
Though, not to bullshit you, that stuff does exist in its own form and degree down here as well.
But for the moment, it does feel to be a bit less severe than how it is in the US.
Factor 12: Unlikely to Get Cancelled or Lose My Shit
In the US, it’s not unheard of for people getting cancelled for having an unpopular (but not terrible) opinion or for having a bad encounter with some crazy nut.
The nice thing about living in Latin America is not only is it easier to avoid some of that shit…
But also it is harder for anyone to really “cancel” me for my opinions or for some personal beef with me as my income is more diversified than just coming from one random job…
And also because much of my income comes from different sources that is not publically available.
So all around, it is easier to shield yourself from that nonsense.
Factor 13: Avoiding the Craziness of Some American Cities
This is really a very minor factor and is a bit “on the bottom of the barrel” so to speak.
As you can avoid much of the crazier shit like CHAZ of Seattle by living in some more rural area of the country.
And, of course, we have some of this crazy shit down here also in places like Mexico City.
But, to a degree, I suppose it is easier to isolate yourself and forget about some of the crazier trends in American cities by moving down to some quiet area of Latin America.
Factor 14: Cheaper to Buy a House
It can often be cheaper to buy a house in Latin America if you really want to.
Like 50k from what I have seen in some parts for a decent enough house in a nice area.
Though I am no housing expert…
From what I have seen, it seems like there is better bang for your buck in regards to buying property down here.
Factor 15: Alimony and Divorce Issues
The older I get, the more men I know who get divorce raped in the US.
Mostly people from high school or college by this point.
And while divorce happens in Latin America also…
From some of the research I have done…
And from other expats I have talked with…
It seems like it can be easier to minimize your financial risks in case divorce were to happen.
Where it is not as costly to get divorced down here as in the US relatively speaking.
Though we are comparing all of Latin America to the US here and it does vary quite a bit by which areas we are comparing to..
But this is a broad generalization as you know.
Something worthy of an article down the road but this is what I have noticed about alimony and divorce in Latin America.
Is that it seems to be less financially costly down here relatively speaking.
Will be writing up more on it at a later point in another article…
Factor 16: Easier to Stay Healthy
Every time I go up to the US, I always gain a pound or two.
Generally speaking, it is easier to stay healthy in Latin America in my experience.
Healthier food and all but it does depend on your lifestyle of course.
Factor 17: Cheaper and Easier Healthcare
As written about here, getting TRT in Mexico is not the hardest thing to do.
And from what I have been told, it is often easier to get plenty of different types of medications down here than in the US.
With cheaper healthcare overall as well.
Which might explain why so many people come down here for medical reasons….
Factor 18: No Costly Services For Your Children
One benefit to raising children down here, from what I have heard and noticed, is that there are two main expenses down here that are not as costly as up in the US.
No 20k to 30k a year in college tuition when they get older.
And no insane healthcare insurance for children either that is not as pricy as what it can be in the US.
At least from what I have heard…
Factor 19: Natural Scenery
One benefit to living in Latin America is the natural scenery.
Though the outdoor scenery in the US is something I like because it reminds me of home…
You have some areas of Latin America like that in places like Chile and Argentina…
And so much more from the Amazon Rainforest to Patagonia to Salar de Uyuni to the Guiana Shield to everything else….
In short, I’d say the natural scenery in Latin America is more impressive to me personally down here than in the US and so much more to see…
Though there’s plenty of nice places to visit in both areas to be fair!
Factor 20: WW3
If WW3 were to ever happen, I wouldn’t want to be in the US.
As we all know, the Cold War happened and it almost led to a conflict between the US and Soviet Union where both countries could have blown each other away.
Do you want to be in the middle of that type of conflict?
And with the US involved in so many world affairs…
If a world war were to happen, very likely the US would be involved.
At least if you live in Chile or Uruguay, you probably won’t be in harms way.
Call that being paranoid but I call it being safe just in case…
Factor 21: Climate Change
As talked about briefly in this article here…
There are some regions of Latin America that are better positioned to withstand the impact of climate change than others.
Now most of Latin America looks like it will do worse than the US.
But there are some specific parts that look like they will do well and are interesting to me…
This is a complex topic obviously and deserves its own article as I will write about at a later point.
As it is something that I keep in mind…
Factor 22: Easier to Protect Your Privacy
Generally speaking, I find that it is easier to protect my privacy in Latin America than in the US.
Granted, I’m not the biggest expert on that but I make some efforts here and there to do so and am still learning on how to better protect my privacy in the future.
But this goes into the next point…
Factor 23: Easier to Go Off the Radar
From what I have noticed, it is easier to get off the radar in Latin America than in the US.
In case you were ever interested in doing so for whatever reason…
Something that is interesting to me and I find to be a benefit.
Factor 24: Easier to Focus On Hobbies
Perhaps hinted at before…
But because it is easier to be self-employed and also easier to pay the bills given how low they are…
It is easier I find to have more free time doing things I enjoy with more free time..
But this leads us to…
Factor 25: Easier to Monetize Your Purpose
As I wrote about here…
One important thing to have happiness in your life is to monetize your passion in life.
Now that can be difficult if your cost of living is high…
And especially if your passion is not necessarily so easily profitable at the start.
But with a low cost of living…
It is easier to spend more time trying to monetize it to where it can cover most or all of your monthly cost of living.
Making it easier for you to make money doing something you love to do.
Factor 26: Not Having To Worry About Idiots on the Road
Though this is ironic to say given I mentioned before how I like to drive down the highway listening to music like The Doors.
And how there are, of course, idiots on those roads too.
Suffice to say, having the roads to myself would be nice but that’s not possible usually.
But given that I don’t have to use a car to get anywhere down here..
It is easier to avoid the daily stresses of driving around and dealing with idiots on the road who do dangerous stuff.
Which is nice.
Factor 27: Friends Down Here
Given the time I have spent here now, I have made enough local friends in Latin America that it would be a shame to leave them behind.
So that’s one benefit to living down here…
And goes into the next point…
Factor 28: Accustomed to Life Down Here
After a certain point of living down here for a tiny bit now…
5 Years so far…
And more counting…
My experience is you get accustomed to life down here after a while.
And with all of my stuff down here as well…
And given I haven’t had a “real job” in quite a while…
Plus I haven’t had an apartment up there in a while in the States and don’t have a vehicle…
And given I have adjusted to the flow of life down here in Latin America…
It would be a pain in the ass to relocate to the US and readjust to life up there.
Which is one thing that holds me back from ever making the move back up north.
Factor 29: No Legal Issue Defending Yourself
Though you can definitely face legal issues defending yourself if you are too aggressive in Latin America…
I generally have noticed that the police are more relaxed when it comes to it.
I remember years ago some guy I knew caught his wife cheating on him back in my hometown.
He ended up beating the shit out of the guy who was fucking his wife and was taken by the police after.
Down here, I have seen guys beat each other up for more minor issues.
With the police walking by and not arresting anyone for the night.
Generally speaking, it seems that laws from what I have seen are more relaxed in enforcement when it comes to this sort of thing.
And more common sense too.
Factor 30: Less Sue Happy
Generally speaking, people in Latin America are a lot less sue happy and less likely to take you to court over any little thing.
Which is nice in my opinion.
Factor 31: Certain Business Opportunities
As said before, doing business is not always easy in Latin America.
But there are certain business ideas that I feel can be profitable down here.
One common thing you see some folks do is try to market a product or service to other foreigners.
You know, those with more money and more access to online payment services.
Something to keep in mind if you are thinking about making money down here…
Can be a good business opportunity and is one benefit to living down here.
Factor 32: Bribing the Cops
Though I complained about corruption before…
This is one type of corruption that is not the worst thing in the book.
Which is bribing a cop when you did something stupid.
And instead of going to jail or whatever…
Give the guy 5 or 10 bucks and the issue might be resolved if he takes it.
Not encouraging it of course…*wink wink*
Factor 33: Benefits of Being the Only Gringo in Town
As said before in this article here…
There are some benefits to being the only gringo in town.
Though there are xenophobic people..
There are also people who will treat you nicely for being the gringo in town.
Which can have its advantages in my experience.
Factor 34: Visiting Rural Communities
One thing that interests me is visiting rural communities in Latin America not ever really visited by outsiders.
Just to see how life is like outside the typical tourist hotspots.
It’s interesting to me to see how life is in these areas as I come from a more rural area also in the US.
So it’s nice to check out down here.
Factor 35: Get to Travel
Another obvious benefit to living in Latin America is getting to travel in general outside of your home country.
Not really much needs to be said here…
Factor 36: Second Passport
Venezuela used to be one of the richer countries of Latin America.
Imagine how nice it would be to have a second passport if you are Venezuela.
Any country in the world can fall apart.
By living abroad, you are getting closer to getting your own second passport if you do things right.
Which brings its own benefits and more security in my opinion.
Factor 37: A Second or Third Language
Similar to the travel abroad point…
This is also a bit obvious in that living in Latin America makes it easier to learn a second or third language.
Which is pretty cool as it exposes you to meeting more people, learning new music, etc.
And all around is cool to know another language anyway.
And is one thing I appreciate about my time down here.
Factor 38: Entertainment of the Crazy Homeless People
As mentioned here….
Someone you meet crazy homeless people in Latin America.
Who have an issue and they want to tell everyone about it!
By yelling out a bunch of unintelligible words to anyone passing by…
Sometimes this can be scary to see..
Other times it can be entertaining and wake you up.
Either way, it’s an experience that, oddly enough, I sometimes find humorous.
The crazier the homeless person seems, the more entertaining it seems to be.
Factor 39: Politics in the US is More Entertaining Abroad
When you don’t live in the US…
And you don’t have crazy folks yelling at you for your political opinions…
And the policies up north don’t impact you as much…
Watching politics in the US is almost like watching some game develop.
And it is more entertaining to watch from abroad than when you are living over there.
Factor 40: Can Pull the “Don”t Understand” Card
Imagine you are in a bad situation in the US.
Being American, you can’t say “no entiendo” to anyone.
They very well do know that you do “entender” what they are saying.
But in Latin America, your fluency in Spanish (or Portuguese) can drop to 0 in an instant when a cop is trying to scam you or whatever the issue may be!
“Oh shit, sorry cop. An hour ago I was speaking Spanish just fine. Ahora no entiendo…”
Which is a small little benefit you don’t get in the States….
Factor 41: Climate
People often talk about how nice the climate is in Latin America as a reason to live down here.
Granted, there are areas of the US with nice climate also.
But some places like Medellin or Pereira of Colombia and other parts really do have nice climates.
And given the immense scale of this region, there’s a climate for everybody’s taste!
Factor 42: Avoiding the “We Don’t Accept Cash” Crowd
Going through an airport in St. Louis years ago…
A lady at a Starbucks told me “we don’t accept cash.”
Annoying, to be sure.
Fortunately, I have never seen that happen in Latin America and it will probably take quite a while for it to happen anyway…
Factor 43: Maids for 10 Bucks a Visit
Too lazy to clean your own shit?
In Mexico City, you can get a maid for 10 bucks a visit in my experience.
Or 200 pesos is what I have always paid.
Other areas of Latin America probably have similar prices…
Factor 44: Cheaper Gyms
Now I haven’t been to a gym in the US in some odd years now….
And truthfully, I didn’t really take going to the gym too seriously anyway until just a few years ago.
Still got some work to do on that anyhow!
But, according to Google, the average monthly gym membership in the US is 58 dollars.
The gym closest to me is about 15 bucks more or less and it’s not bad.
If I had to guess, gyms are probably cheaper down here than in the US as I know other guys who don’t have to pay much.
But it depends obviously.
Either way, another minor benefit.
Factor 45: Apartment Hunting is Easier
No need to give a credit score.
No need to give an application to live at some apartment.
In my experience, the most I have ever had to give to rent somewhere was the first month deposit and the first month payment.
And tell them what I do for a living.
But never needed to give proof.
Suffice to say, apartment hunting is easier down here than in the US from my experience.
Factor 46: More Welcoming
Despite some of the xenophobia you might encounter once in a blue moon down here..
People generally seem more welcoming and friendly down here than in the States.
More often I have seen people leave their doors open to their homes in whatever neighborhood in some city in Colombia…
To just people being friendlier and more open all around.
I guess there’s a little bit of truth there that people down here are a little bit less cold to be sure in my experience.
Factor 47: Easier to Meet Interesting People
You have to ask yourself what type of person does Latin America usually attract…
Though it attracts many kinds, it definitely requires a bit to move to Latin America.
And so the people you meet down here, in my experience, tend to have more interesting stories.
Though sometimes those stories are bullshit as people like to sometimes pretend to have a history that they don’t have.
But that’s ok!
Even bullshit interesting people are still interesting – just have a beer and nod away to their story!
Factor 49: More Interesting Experiences
If I was living in the US all this time, I’m pretty sure my life would be a hell of a lot more boring.
Granted, it’s not exactly a CIA story either but still…
Compared to how my life would have rolled out had I continued living up there..
I definitely have done a handful of things or two that have really been memorable down here.
Among all the interesting people I have met and had a good time with also.
And because of my life down here, that has all been more possible to experience.
Suffice to say, I’ve had a really fun and interesting time down here that I’ve enjoyed to this day despite the flaws of life down here.
Which brings us to the last point….
Factor 50: Easier to Live Life
No bills outside of rent, food, liquor and tea.
No real responsibilities.
Life can be pretty easy down here.
And mixed in with the low cost of living as well with some USD earning income…
And it is easier to feel free in a sense.
Whatever that means.
But the overall quality of my life, when you factor everything I have said together so far, really does seem higher here than what it was back in the States.
Which is the a good point to end on for something I like about living in Latin America.
The higher quality of life.
The Final Verdict
As you can see, there are a wide variety of things I enjoy about life in both the US and Latin America.
Though, to be fair, I felt I was looking for stuff at the bottom of the barrel with a handful of these since 50 factors for both isn’t really needed.
But I wanted to be all encompassing and include everything I could think of.
If you read this entire article, I’ll buy you a beer since it’s quite long by this point.
Either way, I think when comparing the factors for both sides…
It’s quite clear for why I live in Latin America – as you can read more about regarding my thoughts on that here.
Though there are other benefits to living down here outside the finances – that’s by far the biggest one as it has many other benefits that come with it.
But that’s that.
If you have anything you like about living in the US (or Canada, Europe, Australia, etc) or Latin America…
Let me know below in the comment section.
And follow me on Twitter here.