Life in USA and Canada - A perspective

By Yeswanth on Feb. 4th, 2024

There just might be an alternate universe. There just might be people on the other side that are like us, living a different life.

With life, I have often wondered about the choices I made and the choices I didn’t. Joining a startup after college and not doing my masters degree in US were a few of the choices I made. And sometimes I wonder if they were good choices for me or not. I never found out about the life on the other side of these choices till now. The two-month long trip to USA in November ‘23 enabled me to do so.

This November, as I travelled to US, I decided to call upon my friends, some of them I haven’t met in a long time (more than 10 or even 15 years). And these friends have made the choice I didn’t: To pursue their masters and live their lives in US. It gave me an understanding of how life would have turned out for me, had I made those choices. Now I know! :)

Here’s what I understood after meeting friends and family living in US and Canada. Some of them living there for many years and some who have shifted in the recent few years.

Life in USA

Life in USA can be characterised as busy when you work for one of the big software companies. You would wake up in the morning, eat your breakfast and start working. And for people with kids, it would involve dropping their kids at the bus stand or picking them back from school. In the evening, most of them, bar a lucky few work hard to meet their deliverables. It’s a hectic and a busy lifestyle. You could get a US salary, and live a private life (free of nosy neighbours or ever-demanding relatives). The roads are smooth (without any potholes) and the systems are simple, unlike in India. Most people are polite and friendly and this alone can make living here a lot better. On the downsides, you will have to do your chores all by yourself, including buying groceries and maintaining your house. There is also this eternal anxiety of visa for an immigrant. For most Indians, it could take an average of 15-20 years to get a green card. This means, life revolves around the visa schedule. Work visa has to be renewed every few years and there are also some restrictions on what one can do and travel if they are on a visa. Healthcare is also expensive and if you have chronic issues, it can become difficult.

Life in Canada

Life in Canada is harder as there are only four or five cities where you can live for your work. These cities are crowded because of a huge influx of immigrants in the past 10 years. This means, inflation is rampant and commodities and housing are becoming more and more expensive. The winters are gloomy and will stop you from stepping outside your house for a few months in a year. Salaries are not as high as USA and because of rising inflation, living in the cities might feel expensive. There are many positives too. Canada can appeal to people who want to move to another country and get a new citizenship. After one gets their PR (Permanent Residency), one can get their Canadian citizenship within 5 years. They can decide to leave the country after these 5 years. Work life balance is good if you work for a Canadian company.
Healthcare is free, but this also means that it is hard to get appointments, especially if you want to talk to a specialist doctor.

These views are from many discussions with my friends and a few family members (over 30 of them) living in the US and Canada.

This makes me wonder back to all those times when I (along with most other people living in India) thought that life in the west is easier. I think again, after my recent exposure to life in US that maybe life in India is easier. It is definitely a life that I am used to.

What do you think ? Do comment and let me know :)