I'm selling everything and moving to the US

$ whenFebruary 2023

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I have big news to share.

I’ve been granted an O1 visa for extraordinary abilities, and I'm moving to NYC this spring.

Who would have thought that a random guy from a small Italian town would end up living in the US? And yet, here we are. It's dizzying.

I once read a beautiful article that argued that no one understands European values better than the immigrants putting their lives on the line to live there. I sense something similar in the US: some may say that the American dream is dead, but for many of us out there, it's alive and well.

The way I see it, there’s no perfect place in the world to live. We live in an environment with scarce resources, and billions of people competing for them, creating endless coordination problems at an unimaginable scale. We must constantly make compromises.

You might want security and a stable future, but that will make your life stuck on a rigid path, frustratingly dependent on the skills and decisions of the administrators managing your life trajectory for you. Want to start a company? Retire early? Switch jobs fast? Try different things until you find "your vibe"? Tough luck. It's not going to happen so easily.

Or, you might want freedom and self-determination. But that will come at the cost of risking losing everything – your future, your stability, your safety, your health, your relationship – if you happen to screw up.

I don't want to be fatalistic and just accept the glaring problems of the US system as a matter of life. But there’s nuance, and always another side to the coin. For me, for the person I am today, these compromises are acceptable – a net positive improvement compared to where I’m living today.

There’s simply no better place in the world where sheer will can create things that were unimaginable before. It’s a land to dream, build, try, make. The US is a country where you’re expected to dare. With all the consequences that it entails.

When I was a kid, I once told a friend of mine that one day I would have attended Harvard. It was the biggest dream I could imagine. She laughed, and mocked me, not because it was the wrong thing to aspire to (and wrong it was), but because I “didn’t know my place”. “Leave the big things to the big guys.”

This is where I live, today. The Land of the Middle Class, where everything is average. A place where daring is illegal, dreaming is forbidden, trying and failing is condemned. You must know your place and never diverge from the median course someone else set for you.

Europe might be a wonderful place for me to retire, but definitely not where I want to be today. I’m safe, but I’ve never felt free.

And I want the freedom to try. The freedom to dare.

So, see you soon in NYC.

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© Gianluca Segato 2023