Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is the grass really greener?

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

12 comments:

Edison said...

G'day Tom.

Yes, packing up your kit to move to another country is a big step.
But ya need to ask yaself where you'd be happiest.
All ya need to do is get on a plane, enjoy a few on-board drinks, get some sleep, step off the plane, and here ya are.
"One small step for Tom, one giant leap for his sanity".

Australia awaits ...


Cheers mate.

Ed

Ranger Tom said...

Eddie: I hear ya' mate! I'll be there at least for a month next year and you know we'll have one huge pissup!

Edison said...

PS: Do the move, you'll love the adventure.

Ed

Ranger Tom said...

Eddie: But will they let me keep my M-1?

Edison said...

Only if ya promise not to shoot the local apes. hehe

Ed

Ranger Tom said...

Eddie: I will! Just point them out to me!

cmk said...

I have a cousin--older than my mother--who moved to Finland after her divorce. She has dual citizenship and doesn't seem to have any plan to come back to the US. At least Finland would be no different--in terms of what it looks like, climate, etc--than what I already am used to. I wouldn't mind living there, but would have to visit first, to make sure it is all that I think it is. It is a place where I think I could fit in comfortably.

FishEagle said...

Hi Tommy, I really enjoyed this post. These are the same thoughts that are going through many South African's minds at the moment. The prospect of leaving one's country of birth is truly scary and I don't think it is a decision to take lightly.

Gary said...

The grass is always greener if you work to make it that way!

Ranger Tom said...

cmk: I never really thought about it before the last few years. I figure a tiny little island with snow-white sand beaches and coconut palms suits me just fine.

FE: Thanks again for stopping by! It is a huge undertaking, one I'll not be taking lightly. It is a very scary proposition.

Gary: I'll let you mow it! I'll see you in a few weeks I'm led to understand?

Exzanian said...

Ranger, you need to think carefully about it. For many in SA, such as myself coming to the UK, it was a positively fantastic adventure, and fairly easy to leave (looking at what I left behind; SA is a piece of shit now, sorry to say) but USA is such a HUGE big country, still so much potential, and you guys have got it all. You still have got it all.

Ranger Tom said...

Exzanian: I'd like to think it's still has a lot of potential, but looking at what's happeneing these days I'm really not sure that'll be around much longer.