I've been speaking with some friends recently about immigration. Not the immigration debates that have been going on here in the States for a while, but immigration in general. For a while now I've been seriously considering retiring to Micronesia.
Fifteen years ago I'd have never though about leaving the US except for a vacation or long trip, now, with the way this country is heading, I'm very seriously considering immigrating to that tiny archipelago in the South Pacific to while away my Golden Years, if not for anything else, to get away from an ever increasingly oppressive Government.
And it got me thinking. What is it that drives the human soul to leave everything they've ever known behind and start a new life?
From history I know what drove my ancestors to leave Ireland on my father's side of the family and Germany on my mother's side. There was a time when everyone in the world wanted to come to the US, and for good reason.
Several of my friends here now talk of Costa Rica, Belize, Brazil... And me Micronesia.
I also have several friends in Australia... They're quite content in Oz... As well they should be. Australia is a fantastic place. But on the other side of the same coin I have new friends in South Africa. The talk there is getting out for good... To the UK, Canada and Australia. I'm just now learning of the true political turmoil there and I really see their point.
But what really drives people to do this? I moved from Philadelphia over 12 years ago. That was hard enough as it was. Move almost 2,500 miles away from everything I've ever known, family, friends... But you make new friends, settle in and start a new life.
But I was still in the same country of my birth.
To pick up and leave a country, and I don't care who you are, your birth country is in your blood and always will be.
Even as I think about it and plan for my retirement, it's a little scary. To pick up and move over 12,000 miles away to the middle of the Pacific Ocean?
Yet I still think about it almost daily.
Is the grass really greener on the other side?
I really can't tell you... But life is one big adventure, or so I've been told.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden