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NY Post
New York Post
16 Dec 2023

NextImg:Influencer declares that the ‘new American dream is to leave’ US as they feel burned out by hustle culture

People sharing their emigration stories online are saying “the new American dream is to leave America,” and they’re encouraging others to do the same.

The increasing number of TikTok videos tagged #expatlife #digitalnomad #leavingtheusa posted in the past year are convincing some people that their dream life could be outside U.S. borders.

Americans living abroad are documenting their new stress-free lifestyles outside the U.S. on social media and explaining why they think the American dream has a new meaning. One of those people is Andrea Elliott, 37, who lived in Houston, Texas, her entire life until she decided to move across the world to Indonesia in January.

Elliott got married at 20 years old after having her first child and said she “was always busy taking care of somebody else” up until a few years ago, when she began traveling. After her divorce in 2019, she started traveling with friends and eventually taking solo trips.

“Once I got a taste of solo travel, that was it. I had the bug,” she said.

Elliott said she immediately knew she wanted to move out of the U.S. but planned to wait for her sons, ages 12 and 16, to turn 18 before selling her home in Houston. But after she returned from a summer trip to Bali in 2022, her sons said they wanted to live with her ex-husband.


Replying to @Zena Rodriguez De Sandoval the new American dream is to leave & have a better quality life elsewhere #expatlife #americansabroad #leavingtheus #balitravel #americandream

♬ original sound – Andrea BoldBody | Solo Travel

“They’re happy, all parties are happy,” she said. “I come every quarter to see my kids, and they also come and travel with me.”

The belief that anyone can succeed in America, regardless of background, with enough time, hustle and grit is waning among its citizens. Americans are dreaming less about upward mobility and more about a less stressful lifestyle where they can enjoy time with their family.

An October WSJ/NORC survey found only 36% of people said the American dream described as “if you work hard you’ll get ahead” still held true, down from 53% in 2012. The poll found 45% of people said the belief “if you work hard you’ll get ahead” once held true, but not anymore.

The cost of living in America makes it harder for the average citizen to achieve the American dream. TikTok / @andreaboldbodytravels

“The new American dream is to leave America,” Elliott told Fox News Digital. “It used to be to stay here, to have a job, to retire when you’re 60, to have a house, to have a family, and now we’re not even able to live.”

She said the fast-paced hustle culture in America has people feeling burnt out, especially when many Americans are struggling to stay afloat with the high cost of living in the U.S.

In 2022, the U.S. had the 17th-highest cost of living compared to the rest of the world, according to

Tiktok video of expat

The constant hustle of American culture leads to chronic burnout TikTok / @andreaboldbodytravels

“They’re struggling paycheck to paycheck, they rack up debt on their credit card bills, they’re paying the minimum and that’s not living to me,” Elliott told Fox News Digital. “Living is being able to shut down work a few hours a day, go to the beach, go relax, go do yoga.”

She said she experienced being a part of the American workforce for 15 years in the U.S. energy sector. Because of Bali’s lower cost of living, her expenses are a fraction of what they used to be, and she can support herself through social media content creation and hosting spiritual retreats for women.

Moving to remote work during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic allowed many Americans to experience a healthier work-life balance for the first time, Elliott said. Coupled with the growth of platforms like TikTok, Americans were exposed to new places, lifestyles and the idea that they didn’t have to be tethered somewhere they didn’t want to live.

“There’s a life beyond work. There’s a life beyond corporate America, she said. “You can actually live a very quality life.”

Despite her distaste for the American lifestyle, Elliott said she still appreciates the “perks” of U.S. citizenship.

“I don’t see myself revoking my citizenship or my passport or anything like that,” she said. “”I can depend on my government still for any help from overseas.”

“That being said, I don’t see myself coming back. It’s a dead end for me,” Elliott added.