8 Reasons to Raise British Children in America

Kids in America find an appreciation for food. (Photo via WeHeartIt)

Kids in America find an appreciation for food. (Photo via WeHeartIt)

Possibly, it was around the time you had babies — or were contemplating it — that you last considered moving back to the U.K. And that’s totally understandable. Healthcare is free and adoring grandparents are readily available for date night babysitting. That said, there are plenty of positives to bringing up children in the U.S.

The extra space
The estimated size of an average American house is 2,438 square feet. Compare that to the measly 925 sq ft of the typical British new build home. If you want your children to have room to romp about then you’re in the right place.

Proximity to different landscapes
Stimulating your kids by varying their surroundings and demanding that they appreciate nature is good for them, surely. And America contains virtually every vista known to man. Of course, you may have to drive for two days and survive multiple family rows to get to those stunning mountain views or that swamp tour with guaranteed alligators.

Kids get to see a specialist for a sniffle
If you’re a neurotic parent then the notion of taking your children straight to a pediatrician instead of an all-purpose GP (as is the norm in Britain) will sit very well with you. Also, a lot of doctor’s offices have a policy of separating contagious kids from bug-free nippers to limit the spread of germs. This is so smart, yet I’ve never seen it done back home.

Children grow up to believe they can do anything
The idea that every American child is raised to think they could one day be president is a bit irritating. But I applaud the deeper message: that you can achieve your goals and nothing is out of reach. (Although, obviously, it is. Sorry kiddos!). Children brought up in the U.S. have a positive attitude and present themselves with a confidence and articulacy not seen nearly as much in Britain.

Americans love children
Walk down the street or sit in a restaurant anywhere in the U.S. (even curmudgeonly NYC) with a baby and be prepared for constant cooing and unsolicited cheek pinching. Back home, it’s just old ladies who do this and you’re much more likely to get sneery looks from the general populace should you have the gall to take your child to a public place. But Americans, bless them, are kid crazy.

Childcare is (marginally) cheaper in the U.S.
According to this survey, Brits spend on average slightly more on childcare than Americans. Okay, arguably, when you balance this with the appalling maternity leave most working moms receive in the U.S., you’re still financially better off having kids in Britain. But let’s overlook that because it’s depressing.

You might actually see more of your family than you would at home
(Note: I’m assuming here that this is a GOOD thing. If not, skip this.) One of the big benefits of all that extra living space (see above) is that visitors will stay longer. And when you have kids, guests who settle in for a fortnight go from mildly aggravating to, “Woo hoo, free babysitters!” Grandparents in particular don’t need much encouragement to stay for weeks or months at a time. A quick calculation might reveal that you’re the recipient of more grey labor than your friends back home whose parents live locally.

Kids grow up loving food
American children have a hearty appetites and relish telling you about their favorite things to eat. Adults here are much the same. Despite all the negative stereotypes surrounding Americans and food, evangelizing about edibles has to be healthier than the puritanical eat-to-live attitude of so many Brits. Growing up to regard food merely as fuel is so much less common here. On the flip side, if you’re not careful your children will end up wider than they are tall.

See more:
Gosh, Sorry: Over-apologetic Brits in America
Love Me, Love My Child
10 Things to Consider Before Getting Pregnant in America

Ruth Margolis

Ruth Margolis

Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.

See more posts by Ruth Margolis
  • interested

    I heard that in USA a pediatrician is a GP for children not a specialist as in the UK. All the food children learn to enjoy seem to result in heavier children. Looking at food packets the amount of sugar and salt seem to be high.

    • http://expatmum.blogspot.com/ Expat Mum

      The pediatricians here are general doctors but they specialise in children’s health issues. There are also pediatric specialists in every medical area eg. orthopedics, oncology etc. In fact, where I am, if my kids needs any inpatient or outpatient treatment at a hospital, the adult hospital I go to won’t even take them. There are specialist children’s hospitals up an down the country.

  • dw

    There are plenty of different landscapes available from the UK, too: the difference is that you’ll have to cross international boundaries to get to them.

    • jonasv

      So true. I live in Virginia and I drive south for a day I am in Georgia. It looks pretty much the same. if I drive south from Colchester for a day I am in south-central/southern France.

    • declan casey

      Cairo is on another continent. Stop. We actually have desert in our own country. We don’t need to travel outside to see it.

      • dw

        So what? You still need to fly for hours, or drive for days, to get there. The only difference is whether you need to bring your passport.

        • declan casey

          Not necessarily. And besides, I’d rather have a vast country with almost every type of climate, topography, and landscape available, than have an extremely small country with almost no natural diversity to speak of. I could drive through the UK in a little over four hours. In the US, that won’t get you out of a single state. It’s highly likely you won’t experience all the US has to offer in a lifetime.

          • jonasv

            I drove through most of New England in 4 h. Utah and Nebraska…take “a bit” longer :-)

          • declan casey

            You cannot drive through the whole region of New England in four hours. It takes multiple weeks to drive the length of all 50 states. I’d say you, if you wanted a thorough drive through of each state, it would take about 2 months or more. Most people don’t experience half of what the US has to offer in their lifetime. I’m sorry, but you are clinging on to straws. You have reached the point where you are stating obvious untruths for the sole purpose of besting me in this silly argument. I repeat, you cannot drive through the WHOLE region of new England in four hours. If you go on a thorough drive through of the New England states, it should take you multiple days. It doesn’t seem you’re that traveled when it comes to the US. I suggest you do a lot more travelling in your own country first. It would take more than a few days to thoroughly drive through Nebraska and Utah.

          • jonasv

            I added a smiley at the end of that post. I must be making you angry, sorry. You wrote that one could not drive through most states in 4 h, and you drove through most of the UK in 4 (for me it takes 8 to drive from Southampton to Aberdeen….maybe I am a slow driver). I drove from central Vermont to Rhode Island in 4 h and crossed NH and MA. (I never intended to imply that I drove through the WHOLE of New England in 4 h) YES, It would take more than a few days to thoroughly drive through Nebraska and Utah (the smiley!). What I tried to illustrate was that Virginia is hardly the smallest state in the US, several of the New England states are not THAT big, especially NOT compared to states like Nebraska and Utah. I must be horrible at illustrating my points. Sorry.

          • declan casey

            Those are some of the smallest states in the country. And in any event, those are not the only states in the New England region. But yes, you could definitely drive through Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in a day. But there is still Delaware, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, which would take a much longer time to drive through. And by the way, Maine is definitely different than Vermont, if you didn’t notice.

          • dw

            You’re welcome to your own preferences. The original article made claims about “PROXIMITY of different landscapes”. “Proximity” means “nearness”.

          • declan casey

            Yea. Proximity, meaning “nearness,” meaning It’s all located within the same country. This article was a comparison of countries. You both tried to compare the US to Europe, which just doesn’t work. Even if this article was comparing countries to continents, the US still wins. Not only do we have pretty much every type of landscape in the world, but we are one of the only three countries that can technically drive to a whole other continent (South America.) The UK really doesn’t have the proximity to the amount of landscapes, climate, topography, and flora and fauna that the US does.

          • dw

            Right: “proximity” means “nearness”, which is not the same thing as “being in the same country”. Unless you think that St Petersburg is in the proximity of Vladivostok.

            And you can’t drive by road from North America to South American: the Darién Gap gets in the way.

    • declan casey

      There really isn’t. It’s really just rolling greenery, really small mountains, and coastline. Nothing compared to the vast diversity of the US.

  • jonasv

    I am sorry, but a lot of this is rubbish.
    I have lived in the US for 11 year and I have NEVER seen the separation of kids at doctors’ offices.
    Proximity to different landscapes??? What the heck? Sure the US has HUGE Mountains, deserts, arctic forests, swamplands etc. – but to travel to them takes a VERY long time. Heck driving from Miami to Boston is LONGER than driving from Birmingham to Stockholm, Sweden. Devon is different from Yorkshire and you can drive it in less than a day etc., etc. Scotland looks NOTHING like Essex. Saying that the US has different landscapes is just bizarre.

    Sure Americans love kids, but when our children were small I used to dread going out to eat, as my American wife or my in-laws would always fuss at the kids (“be quiet, what are people in here going to think”).

    That “Children grow up to believe they can do anything” is something that only applies to upper middle class American kids. Working class children and those raised in rural areas are raised in a VERY different way.

    • Proud Yankee

      How your wife treats your children reflects on your choice in wives, surely, not on America.

      • jonasv

        I have seen plenty of other people act like that around their kids, at least around here (central Virginia)

        • Proud Yankee

          Do British people not care how their kids behave in public?

          I’m not married, but if my British husband’s and in-laws’ behavior was so bad I dreaded going out with them I wouldn’t be blaming a nation for that. I’d be blaming myself for not picking a classier caliber of Brit. Sorry.

          And I sure as heck would be standing up for my children. He wouldn’t be treating them dreadfully in public, private or anywhere under my watch.

          (Sorry if this ends up being a duplicate post, but right now it looks like the system rejected my first post because I used a different word in place of “heck.”)

          • jonasv

            I am not blaming anyone, but in my experiences here in Virginia and North Carolina people do keep after their kids in a way that THEY become more annoying than the kids. The other weekend at my sons soccer/football game, a little girl was playing with another girl her age. They were about 5 or 6. The mum was on her like white on rice. They were just to little girls. I am NOT blaming a whole nation, but it is a pattern I see around here.

          • Proud Yankee

            Hmmmm. More annoying than the children?

            Green card marriage?

          • jonasv

            OK, maybe that did not come out right. What I mean is that the kids are most of the time the children are not bothering anyone, the one thing that is annoying is the parents.
            “Green Car Marriage” – - yes, my wife is American as I have stated before. What do you mean by that?

          • Proud Yankee

            I mean that you’re on a public forum dissing your wife, which is not the behavior I would expect from a man I married. But that’s me. To each their own.

    • Proud Yankee

      Why is it bizarre to say the U.S. has different landscapes? We do. The writer did mention the distance between them in her article.

      And flying from Boston to Miami might be cheaper than driving around Europe because of the cost of gas, there, no? So comparing flight time to drive time might yield a more accurate comparison. I don’t think many people would drive from Boston to Miami unless they were doing a road trip or moving there for the season.

      • jonasv

        It is not bizarre to say that the US has different landscapes by itself. Louisiana looks very different than Alaska. Kansas is different from Virginia. With the large distances you do have to travel VERY distances, right? It is strange to say that raising ones children here is better because of it. The distances here are ENORMOUS, and that can be quite charming. The UK itself has more varied landscapes than most states I have driven through (I have not been to all, far from it) and apply the same distances to Europe, the landscapes changes just as much. I am not saying you should be ashamed or sorry for being an American, please do not think that is what I am saying. Obviously I have upset your patriotic feelings and I do apologize for that.
        Airfares in Europe are generally cheaper than in the US, so I do apologize, I do not really get what you are getting at here. You can fly with Ryanair to Spain, or France etc, for less than 80 USD. It is hard to find flights like that here. It is hard to get that kind of deal from central Virginia to let’s say Boston or Kansas City.

        • Proud Yankee

          Don’t worry, I never thought you were saying I should be ashamed or sorry to be American. Even if we didn’t have varied environments I wouldn’t see that as anything to be ashamed of! Geography is not something within my control! I would be proud of America even if we all had to crowd together on Plymouth Rock.

          You compared driving from Boston to Miami to driving around Europe in terms of proximity, so I just raised the point that since few people would drive between those two cities the proximity would actually be much closer by plane, which would yield a more realistic time comparison. And for $80 of gas in a car that could hold four or five people (therefore much cheaper than buying four or five $80 airplane tickets in Europe), many Americans could indeed drive to a much different landscape.

          Also, there are actually a lot of states you can see different landscapes in within a very short drive. In the Northeast we have the ocean, marshes and bogs, stone quarries, farmland, forests and mountains practically right next to each other. I think the only thing you would have to travel far away for would be desert.

          I don’t know that much about U.K. terrain, so maybe it’s the same there. Even if it’s not, no need to be ashamed of it! I know that the U.K. has its own beauty.

          • Proud Yankee

            I would also mention California as a state that lets you enjoy ocean, desert, wine country and skiing within fairly short distances.

          • jonasv

            Never been there but I take your word for it.
            I am sorry that I seem to have upset you. I simply found the authors examples a bit weird, and very hard to relate to, not that there was anything wrong with the US.

          • Proud Yankee

            Don’t worry, I’m not sitting here crying. I’m just debating your points.

            And it sounds like you should see more of the U.S. Get in that car/train/bus or plane! Or watch Steven Fry’s documentary on visiting all 50 states on YouTube. Even as an American, I learned a lot about America by watching that.

          • declan casey

            You are trying to promote the idea that the UK, in some way, has more natural diversity…really? The UK has one climate, and the scenery consists of forests, rolling green hills, very small mountains, and coastline. Not much, especially considering I could see all that and WAY more in the US. There are also a remarkable variety of landscapes in a single state. And it really doesn’t matter how long it takes to travel to a different landscape or climate, (in fact, I would think that would give us an edge if it did), it matters how much diversity exists. I could take a road trip across the whole of England, Scotland, and Wales in a matter of about five hours, and experience more or less of the same culture, landscape, topography, and climate. That is definitely not the case in the US.

          • jonasv

            Aha, here is the problem. You write “You are trying to promote the idea that the UK, in some way, has more natural diversity (than the US)…really?” NO I AM NOT TRYING TO PROMOTE THAT. I am saying that I am used to shorter distances between different sceneries (and I doubt I am the only one). The UK is roughly the size or 2 mid west states.
            If you found Snowdon with lakes like Llyn Llydaw similar to Cotswolds, and these two areas in turn similar to forests of Nottinghamshire, and all of them more or less the same as the city of London (The City of London is a city within London) and ….well, I just find that odd. I find Virginia too very similar NC. West Virginia is not as flat as NC, but compared to central Virginia. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? Virginia vs West Virginia?? London IS however very different from Lille. (YES CALIFORNIA IS DIFFERENT FROM VIRGINIA so is Alaska,and so is Texas…the many different parts of Texas…)

          • jonasv

            Sadly I have only been NYC (back in ’93) and I think it was Westchester, NY in the Northeast, but I would like to experience it. Here in the Southeast, I have found that it more or less looks the same, sure there are areas that are flatter than others, and some have hills/mountains, but not the difference I am used to.

  • MPBulletin

    I think I’d be fine trading the proximity to different landscapes for easy access to all the cultures and history of Europe.
    And as far as child health care, at least in the UK one doesn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and going to the doctor.

  • MPBulletin

    “an average American house is 2,438 square feet. ”
    That’s extremely overblown. A family of 3 might be able to afford a 2400 sq foot home in the Midwest but any other place, you’re lucky to get an average place with 1000 sqft. along with much of a yard.
    Yes, you get more for your money here than in the UK as far as housing goes BUT that home size is very skewed. I’ve never lived in a house that big my entire life.

    • Angie Poole

      The size is likely for new homes. Quick internet search results were that this number is high, but only by 300 square feet at the most.

      • MPBulletin

        May be true but I’d say the affordability of such homes are highly variable across geographic regions.

      • MPBulletin

        May be true but I’d say the affordability of such homes are highly variable across geographic regions.

    • PauperPrincess

      I live in the Midwest, and my home is less than 2000 sq ft (though I do have a rather large yard for a suburban house).

    • declan casey

      There’s nothing bad about liking big houses. No need to criticize the US for it, especially when you can get a 2,438 sq ft house with less money than you would be able to get it for in the UK.

  • Proud Yankee

    Why would it be irritating that children are raised to believe they can become president? I don’t get it.

    • jonasv

      Who said that was irritating??? I have never heard it though……but if I did I would find it charming. (Not trying to be ironic)

      • Proud Yankee

        The author said that.

        “The idea that every American child is raised to think they could one day be president is a bit irritating.”

        • jonasv

          He, yes she did say that:-) Never heard it though.

          • Irené Colthurst

            It’s an idea whose aspirational quality has *always* been at odds with reality, and the message that is more commonly stated at American kids is “you can be whatever you want to be if you work for it.” (And have certain socio-economic and racial advantages.) Hence the confusion.

          • http://www.teaparty.org/about-us/ Nixys

            Yeah, but I find that so cynical. In a perfect democracy it would be true. And children are young enough that they still have unlimited possibilities. Several U.S. presidents have in fact been “nobodies” and “self-made men.”

    • dw

      It’s Ruth Margolis. Being irritated is one of her special talents.

  • Linda Edwards

    To Jonasv: The pediatrician I used for my children from 1980-2005 ALWAYS had a separate room for sick children. She wasn’t the only one. I don’t know where you live, but it’s fairly common around here.

    For the poster who said that 2400 square feet is extremely overblown, once again, I don’t know where you are, but it’s certainly the norm here. My house is 2600 square feet, and it’s an average size. There are many homes in my town and surrounding towns that are way larger than that, and there is a sprinkling of smaller homes, mostly built 50+ years ago.

    I live in New Jersey, and within two hours or less are mountains, beaches, wildlife areas, New York City and Philadelphia. We are less than 4 hours away from Washington DC, Baltimore, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and amazing ski areas in the Catskills. About a 4-hour drive would put you in the Boston Area. We can, and do, visit many of these places regularly.

    • jonasv

      To Mrs. Edwards, I take your word for it. Only one of my kids have been hospitalized du to asthma and that was that, so I probably have not spent enough time in hospitals.

      I cannot relate to the house sizes around NJ but it sounds nice :-)

      Question, when it comes to varied landscapes, do they really differ than much more than if you drove 4 h in the UK? I bet skiing in the Catskills is nice and all that, but when it comes to the variation and distance? I live 4 h south of D.C and no matter where I drive in 4 h it looks pretty much the same, well North Carolina is flatter than VA, and towards West Virginia/Tennessee. I

      • declan casey

        YEA, THEY FUCKIN’ DO! Let’s list the climates, landscape, and topography you could find in a 5,000 mile road trip of the US:

        Tundra
        Desert
        The Tropics
        Mediterranean
        Plains
        Beaches
        Coniferous forest
        Boreal forest
        Meteor craters
        Tropical rainforest
        The third highest mountain in the world
        The (technically) highest mountain/volcano in the world
        Glaciers
        Geysers
        Volcanoes
        The highest temperatures in death valley
        The fifth coldest temperatures in Alaska
        Poisonous snakes
        Alligators and Crocodiles
        Sharks
        Other fascinating marine life
        Big mammals (cougars, bison, black, brown, and polar bears, jaguars, etc…)
        Deadly, creepy, and fascinating insect life
        Hot springs
        Fjords
        Ice caves
        Rolling greenery and brilliant fall colors in the east
        Amazing coastline
        Various american cuisines
        Multiple languages and up to a 1,000 different dialects
        The largest canyons
        The tallest trees in the world
        Petrified forests
        Salt flats
        One of the world’s largest waterfalls
        The Brightest, worldly, and most upbeat cities

        …The list seriously goes on and on. Don’t even TRY to beat out the United states on a diversity contest. You will surely lose.

        • jonasv

          This discussion is getting “just a tad silly”. Of course the US has LOADS of geographical differences. If I drive 1 hours 30 mins heading north from London, I am in Manchester…..and things look quite different. If I drive the same distance south east I am in Lille, France. If I drive the same distance north, south and west where I live now, it more or less looks the same. (Heading east I do get Virginia beach, and that is a bit different :- )

          A 5,000 miles road trip around the UK & the EU will present a quite varied selection of topography, geography and climates. As far as I am concerned, this is not a UK vs. US. This is about the reasoning that there is a wider selection here, and in my experience that really isn’t the case. (Yes, I know that North Dakota is very different from Miami, etc, etc)

          • declan casey

            1) You are attempting to compare a country to a continent. You cannot take a continuous road trip around the EU. The separation of the UK from the rest of Europe makes it hard to go on a road trip through Europe. The name road trip rose into fame in the US, because you can drive to 49 of the 50 states and see pretty much every type of landscape, topography, and climate in the world. You cannot compare the US to a whole continent.
            2) Europe, even as a continent, severely lacks in the tropical, desert, plains, arctic, and many other departments on my list. Iceland is NOT really that similar to even more so arctic places like Alaska. Not even the northern European countries represent the arctic landscape well.
            3) I have been to the UK. There really isn’t THAT much of a difference between Manchester and London, nor is any part of France that different than any other part of France, although there are some notable exceptions. The vastness of the US allows you to many extremely different climates, topographies, and landscapes. You can’t really experience as much diversity even in the whole of Europe.
            4) The whole of Europe severely lacks in the flora, fauna, and insect department. Not much diversity there.
            5) The US is commonly considered one of the most beautiful countries on earth. It is the only country to contain two of the natural wonders of the world in its borders, and it is the only country to have 12 natural UNESCO world heritage sites. The US has the highest temperatures, the tallest trees, the (technically) highest mountain, the third tallest mountain, the fifth coldest temperatures, the windiest places, the snowiest and rainiest places, and the largest variety of climate and severe weather. The US has landscapes so otherworldly, it makes the jaw drop. I can’t really say the same about many other places in the world. That is why the US is number one in beauty for me.

          • jonasv

            I think I have really trampled on your patriotic feelings. I never said the US had nothing to offer in the geographical and climate department. This country is as you say huge and has a lot to offer. This discussing becomes a lot like comparing apples to oranges.
            I live in central Virginia, if I drive 3.5 h in almost every direction, things really do not look THAT much different.
            I am not interested in slugging it out, you raise some good points (such as that the shape of this continent makes it easy to drive around it), and others I really cannot agree. I have lived in Gällivare (Swedish Lapland), and it is very much different from Marseille. Iceland look nothing like Alaska (but northern Scandinavia does). The landscapes of Manchester/North West England sure looks motre different than central Virginia compared to central North Carolina.
            I am glad you are so proud of the USA, and I never intended any insult.

          • declan casey

            North carolina and Virginia are two rather small states compared to the rest. They are known to have a similar topography, because they are right next to each other, and they are in the same geographic region. But the UK only has one climate type and one geographic region. The US has more than eight geographic regions and about 15 different climate types, aka, every single climate type that is mentioned in most atlas’s. No joke. Manchester to London does not yield the diversity that even Chicago to Peoria does in the United States. (Chicago and Peoria are located rather close to each other, and they’re in only one state.)

          • declan casey

            AKA, Scandinavia still isn’t very representative of the topographical features you can find in Alaska. The state of Alaska alone has a huge coastline, Multiple Volcanoes, Barren Tundras, Extremely high mountains, ice caves, a thousand or so glaciers, and sand dunes that can reach up to a 100 degrees fahrenheit. The coldest temperature was -80 degrees fahrenheit. There are even climate variations within states. Stop suggesting the UK, and even the whole of Europe, is more diverse than the US. I’m sorry, but really, it just doesn’t work.

          • jonasv

            I NEVER said Europe was more diverse than the US. (I am re-reading my previous statements) My original comment was that while the US does have lots of diversity you have to travel HUGE distances to take an advantage of that. (at least being based in Virginia) In the UK/Europe, I have traveled less than 3.5 h and seen more of a difference than here (Lill is very different from London, seriously, Lynchburg is NOT that different from Abingdon or Blacksburg). That might be different in your experience, right?

          • cuteoo0oo0oo

            Actually its a 40 minute ferry to Calais from Southhampton. As someone who travelled through at least six European countries on school trips, how can you say it’s hard to travel in Europe from England? And how can you say that travelling through Europe doesn’t offer the same kind of variety as travelling through America? I’m sorry but I laughed at that- the difference is at least in Europe you can travel and see different cultures, hear different languages, I could go on. Europe is a melting pot of diversity and in my mind America cannot compete. You probably feel differently from me. No offense intended.

          • declan casey

            I’m sorry but are you kidding me? The US is, demographically and factually, way more culturally diverse than even the whole of Europe. Again, you can’t compare a whole continent to a country. No, not all countries in Europe are countries that you can just drive to. And please. If you think Europe is more naturally diverse than the US is, than you don’t know natural diversity. America has pretty much every climate, landscape, and topographical feature you can think of, and it has a huge diversity if cultures as well. Europe just can’t compete with the US in terms of diversity. I have traveled extensively through Europe, by the way. It’s more of a Salad bowl than a melting pot, unlike the US. And in terms of natural diversity, Europe just can’t compare, let alone the UK, which we really should be comparing to.

        • dw

          And if you drove 5,000 miles from the UK you could also find a lot of interesting places.

          • declan casey

            1) You cannot drive 5,000 miles from the UK
            2) A 5,000 mile road trip in the US can bring you within pretty much every landscape, topography, and climate on earth. Refer to my list. It is a matter of science. Go and look up the geography of other countries, like the UK, the whole continent of Europe, and even the whole world versus the US. There really isn’t a country in the world that boasts as much natural diversity as the US. And that’s not just me being patriotic. That is a fact. The US is the world leader in terms of diversity.

          • jonasv

            The US is HUGE, I never said it wasn’t.

          • dw

            There’s a ferry from Dover to Calais.

          • declan casey

            Again, you really can’t take a 5,000 mile road trip through Europe. The English channel, the Mediterranean sea, and the separation of the three northern European countries from the rest of Europe makes it really hard to do that. You can’t necessarily take a continuous road trip around all 50 states, either, as Hawaii is many miles out in the Pacific, but you can take a large enough road trip as it is, as 49 of the 50 states you can drive to.

          • dw
          • declan casey

            No, you can’t take a road trip like you can in the US. A ferry ride interrupts the driving, it isn’t a continuous road trip. You also need a passport, as you are trying to drive through many different countries. We are also comparing the US to the UK, not the US to Europe. Once you started trying to compare a country to a continent, you lost the argument because, one, the US is still more diverse, and 2, you just proved that you had to resort to using the WHOLE DAMM CONTINENT to try to beat us out on diversity. Stop.

          • dw

            Ummm — no, you stop :) Seriously.

            The starting point of this whole conversation was (I quote from the original article) “proximity to different landscapes”. Some of us have pointed out that you are just as “proximate” to many different landscapes in any one part of the UK as you are likely to be in any one part of the US.

            Sure, the US as a whole has more different landscapes than the UK does, but so what? It’s not as if I, living in California, can teleport myself to the Appalachians or Hawaii or Alaska in an instant because they’re all part of the same country. You can travel from London to Egypt in less time than you can get from San Francisco to New York. You can do road trips in the US, but you can also do rail trips in Europe (or indeed road trips, but rail is very popular in Europe because the rail service is generally so good there). That involves leaving the UK? Good. Explore different countries and cultures — something generally easier in Europe than the US, simply because there are more of them in a smaller space.

            I’ve emigrated from the UK to the US, I love it here, and wouldn’t move back for anything, but I don’t need to make spurious arguments about why the US is better.

      • declan casey

        The distances you mentioned of course, will not yield that much diversity. You are travelling to places already known to have the same climate and topography. You haven’t traveled outside of the Appalachian region yet.

  • ailurophile1

    Shucks, y’all want varied landscapes? You don’t even have to leave Texas (not that anybody WANTS to leave Texas). We’ve got mountains, prairie, desert, the Hill Country, even a salt-water coast. Why, we’ve even got two time zones! As a bonus, British telly got its start in the Younited States with Monty Python in Dallas. So we got used to the humor and the accents (although closed-captioning does help).

  • PauperPrincess

    After reading this, I sure am glad that I’m an American, and my children were born here as well.

  • MichaelH

    I’m an American, do I don’t think the “you can be whatever you want” thing is that irritating. There have been plenty of presidents, millionares, etc who have come from almost nothing. You just have to work a lot harder than other people.

  • Anglo-Irish

    As long as your child is raised properly, with love and is protected (Not overly tough) then it doesnt matter if they are raised in the UK or US.

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