across the pond

A Mom Explains The Central Reason She Left The United States For England

"Leaving America is not for romance; it's for survival."

TikTok / @lazydarlings

While many still hail the U.S. to be the “best” country in the world, a few pieces of statistical data would beg to differ. First off, America’s health care costs are the highest out of 48 countries. Life expectancy in the United States ranks 46th out of 193. In terms of happiness, America’s rank is 24th out of 95. When it comes to safety, America ranks 71st out of 134.

And don’t get anyone started on parental leave, the maternal death rate, or childcare.

Reports in recent years have also shown the U.S. to have among the world’s highest rates of gun-related deaths, including mass shootings — which the U.S. has been an outlier for as far as numbers go for over a decade. The United States is the country with the most mass shootings in the world, by far, with 101 mass shootings involving 4 or more people killed between 1998 and 2019.

The US accounts for almost half of all of the world’s mass shootings over this timeframe.

One mom on TikTok told her shocking story about how a chance happening of missing a mass shooting by mere minutes while out and about with her infant child was the catalyst for her and her family to pack up their entire life and move to England.

TikTok user @lazydarlings stitched a video in which user @americanbaron remarks that maybe the new American dream is “to leave” America. She then revealed her shocking motive for leaving the United States.

“We moved to England because my baby and I missed a mass shooting by five minutes,” she began. “I was taking him into Manhattan ... and we got on the train and it stalled. And the conductor came on and turned out some guy got on the train ahead and started raining bullets down and shot 30 people. Miraculously, nobody died.”

Due to running behind (as mosts moms toting around a baby are), she missed the train.

The OP then clarified that she knows her story is nothing new. “Americans deal with this all the time, every day, to horrific ends,” she said. Though her happenstance moment was something so many other people living in America have experienced, she took it as a sign to leave the country.

She continued, “I came home that day and I looked at my husband, and I said, ‘You have British citizenship, and I think it's time to leave.’”

The OP went on to say that she has been reconciling with the reality of higher-than-normal chances of being part of a mass shooting in America. “Now I learned when I was 12 that, you know, when Columbine happened that someone might want to come into my school and shoot me, and I've known that every day since,” she said.

However, now that she is a mom, she does not want that same reality for her child. She continued, “But truly, my American dream is for my kid to not have to know that. I mean, we left behind our families for this. We're incredibly privileged that we're able to take the leap.”

“... I just want to say that leaving America is not for romance, it's for survival.”

Other American-born transplants chimed in on this mom’s honest clip, noting that moving out of the U.S. was one of the best decisions they had made. “American living in the UK. The feeling of safety is a level of peace I am immensely thankful for,” one user wrote.

“Left the US for the UK ten years ago, left the UK for Ireland three years ago, people keep asking when I’m coming back and the answer is never,” another said.

Other users noted how, growing up, they dreamed of visiting the United States, however now it’s the last place on their list. “This is why I don’t go to the US anymore. I live 30 minutes away from the border and no desire to go, no thank you,” one user wrote.

Another echoed, “Yooooo this is why I always tell people hell no when they ask if I’ll ever leave the UK to go back to California 😳”

While there are obviously pros and cons to living anywhere, @lazydarlings noted in a follow-up video that banking, health care, and car size were three of the biggest things that she thinks England gets right that America is just way behind on.

One other thing: England has had one mass shooting this year with zero reported deaths. As for America, so far just this year, 199 public shootings (in which more than four people are killed or injured) have occurred. That’s just math.