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Democracy

American abroad tells family why he can't imagine moving back to Texas

Who needs the "turmoil"?

spain, texas, american expats

Jeronimo Noriega loves Spain.

The rising cost of living in the United States, combined with new technologies that make it easier to work wherever you like, has made it much more attractive for some to live and work in another country. Over 50 countries have made it easier by easing visa restrictions to encourage digital nomads to work within their borders.

Further, many people simply don’t like the rise-and-grind corporate mentality pervasive in the U.S. and prefer places that offer shorter workweeks, more vacation time and robust support systems.

They're tired of the hustle and bustle of the American work culture and are looking for a life that values personal happiness, family and relaxation.

Jeronimo Noriega is an American expat showing zero interest in returning to his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. The 27-year-old student has been living in Oviedo, Asturias, in Northwest Spain for the past 14 months after his family decided to pack up its bags and explore a new lifestyle.


In a viral TikTok video that has been seen over 5.4 million times, Noriega makes the case for why he has no interest in returning to Texas after falling in love with the Spanish way of life and cost of living.

@jeronimoooo0000

Who needs to be rich anyways give me some culture boiii

The first thing that Noriega admits is that salaries are better in Texas. However, everything balances out when you consider the cost of living. He says that people who make around €30,000 ($33,000) a year in Spain are “middle class” and that if you make €90,000 ($98,000) you can live like a king.

“Listen, if you're making 90 grand in the north of Spain, where I live right now, you're going to work in a limo. You're getting drinks at the Tennis Club after work,” Noriega said in the video. He also enjoys having 3-course meals with wine and coffee for “like 20 bucks.” In an interview with Business Insider, he said he routinely eats “delicious” dinner for just $11.

But what he really doesn’t miss about life back in Texas is the rise-and-grind lifestyle.

“What am I supposed to be in Dallas 2 hours a day and the car to get to work it back and never have time to do anything? No way,” he said in the video.” I love the work culture in Spain,” he told Business Insider. “In America, I felt like my only options were to rise and grind and get beat down by the machine, but everything is different here. In Spain, they seem to value their lives over their work — it's not even a work-life balance.”

He also says that in America, there is a deep dread within the culture that he doesn’t feel in Spain. “I love the US, but even the mood is different here,” Noriega admits. “In the US, there's turmoil going on underneath. No thank you.”

So, Noriega has no plans of returning to the U.S. anytime soon.

“Now that I've had a taste of what life is like outside the rat race, I'm not eager to get back on the wheel,” he told Business Insider. “Life is long, and you never know what will happen, but I'm staying here for the foreseeable future. All I have to do is take a walk to the coffee shop, have a delicious dinner for $11, or take a break in the middle of a weekday to remind myself why I'm staying.”


@racheleehiggins/TikTok

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