I love my friends and family, but sometimes they don’t make it easy.
You share your dream of living abroad and their first response is, “Why would you want to do that? Aren’t you afraid of being a victim of violence?” Many of you have similar stories. It is quite common.
Let’s set the record straight.
Despite what many ill-informed people think (many of whom have never stepped foot outside the US), Europe, and indeed, much of the world, is a more peaceful place to reside than the United States. The latest supporting data comes from the 2017 Global Peace Index.
Every country in Europe ranks higher than the US.
In fact, the lowest ranked countries in Europe (Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus and Moldova) all rank higher than the US!
I’ll let that sink in.
Most European countries rank significantly higher than the US, which comes in at 114th (between Rwanda and El Salvador) out of 163 ranked countries. That’s right, the US is less peaceful than countries like Algeria, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Haiti, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Cambodia and the Dominican Republic.
“Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, with eight of the ten most peaceful countries coming from this region.
Much of the media is to blame. Their job is to make money. They do this by having more listeners and/or readers than their competitors. Many accomplish this by unabashed sensationalism. Stories of good often don’t make the cut. With near constant bombardment of news stories about violence in other places around the world, it is natural to think that where I live is more safe. And, yes, it is difficult to generalize levels of peacefulness for an entire country, but that is as true in small countries as it is in large ones.
Let’s educate ourselves and get the facts, instead of perpetuating our often unfounded fears of the unknown. Better yet, get a passport and get your butt on a plane to some far-away place. I promise your life will be richer for it.