<p>Why(some of these reflect a reality of my immediate pre-expat posting in Texas):
The income tax deduction for moneys earned overseas(to a ceiling) remains intact.
Your children can go to school where "all children get ahead".
Even though there is disagreement with and dislike of "America", in many places, people seem to still like Americans.
You may not be bombarded with inane TV in a language you understand, only in language you barely understand- which makes it much more tolerable.
You will actually appreciate JFK and LAX after you have seen...
Depending on your locale, yours will be a much less "material world."
Your children will grow up reading the International Herald Tribune and the Economist and will write interesting essays for college applications as a result of this, and other aspects of their lives.
Your children will be grateful for their lives and will never need reminders of their good fortune or of why so much is expected of them.
Your children never ask, why do I need to learn another language, they only ask which one to learn next!
You will be gradually unencumbered by the idea that all aspects of life are within your control or even always understandable.
Your children will be blind to race, religion, country of origin or a variety of other superficialities about others.
You can worship or not, in the way that is most genuine to you.
You may never have more meaningful, sustained or subtantial friendships than those you make in expat communites.
You can take home leave, and then leave again.
A more remote relationship with the impact of the current administration in the US.
Your family can travel in tiny boats, rain forests and monsoons and still have fun with one another.
You learn how to make your own fun.
No Chuck-E-Cheese birthday parties. </p>
Hook up with a large multinational and say yes.
Take a sabbatical- warning, you may not want to go back!
Work your way into the International School web of schools-which can take you everywhere.
Get a TOEFL certificate and teach English somewhere.
Find an NGO that suits and get on board.
Get a degree in Public Health.
Become a missionary.
Become a development economist- the best in International job security..
Go for 2 years, stay for 12.
Be a trailing spouse to someone who does one of the above!</p>
<p>What you might miss:
Sisters and others whom you love.
Red Sox games.
Regular celebratory events with family and dear friends.
Over the counter medications for so many needs.
Consistent quality of medical care.
The optimistic generosity characteristic of so many Americans. </p>
<p>What I haven't missed:
Competitive wrestling for 1st graders.
Cut throat admissions to preschools.
Keeping up with the Joneses.
Shopping in the same stores everywhere in America.
Laci Peterson and all the other "pseudonews" which seems to fill so many broadcasts and magazines.
High schools with 4000 students.
Beltway traffic (though we certainly have our own).
Ads on TV and in magazines for Ritalin, Prozac and incontinence products. </p>
<p>Well,there is just a start, Patient.</p>