Several years ago, I was in the midst of online dating. I kept meeting all of these guys who had never left the Seattle area. Well, they did leave and travel to other places. But, they never lived anywhere else. More importantly, they had no desire to move. For them, Seattle was great. Why would you want to leave?
This really turned me off on these guys. They seemed very narrow-minded. To me, it’s important to live somewhere else–because you gain a different perspective that you can’t gain from traveling. You can always move back home–but it’s hard to really learn how another community lives until you live there yourself. I think it makes you appreciate home more–but it also allows you to see that there are other ways to live (better and worse ways).
Then I thought I was being a snob. It’s expensive to move. Not everyone has the resources. Not everyone is willing to make sacrifices to move. But as I continued thinking about it–I realized that if you really wanted to move. If you really wanted to try another place out. You would find a way.
What’s interesting now, having moved to Sydney, Australia, is that almost everyone I’ve met has moved here from somewhere else (even my dentist). And while there are some wonderful things about Australia (and Sydney in particular), all of us can’t help but compare it to home. Sometimes, Sydney doesn’t compare favorably to home. Not because Sydney is lacking–but because home has an unfair advantage.
I suppose it’s different if you move to another country when you’re younger. But, if you move as an adult, do you ever get to a point where your new country becomes home?
I was thinking about my parents, who moved to the United States from Taiwan. They left a country that was practically under military control. They have lived in the US for 20 years longer than they have ever lived in Taiwan. They have been US citizens for more than 40 years. Despite that, Taiwan is still home for them.
Maybe this is the danger of moving to another place. Home still beckons. Home becomes idealized. Home loses all of its flaws. That is, until you move back.