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motivations for travel...? Emigration?

sz

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  • Added on: December 4th, 2006
Hi all,

There must be as many different reasons to travel as there are readers here. My love and I are planning a RTW trip - and it's going to be a big jump, leaving our jobs, pulling up stakes, and just *going*. A lot of the dream is just wanderlust - the desire to see the world before we end up too tied down to make it happen. We're enough past typical college age that this doesn't just fit in as a year between classes or a "finding yourself" gap year after school, although I guess in a lot of ways it is.

I'm wondering how many other people also travel with their eyes open, thinking: "Could I move here? Would I want to live here? What would it be like to emigrate to this place?" I'm long past any fear of not living in the US, and liking where I live is very important to us. Yes, I know that the devil is in the details (cost of living looms as the major barrier in any such move).

We're really, really, really burned out on the white-collar money-burning american dream. I never really had any appetite for the rat race and now I have downright revulsion for it, even though I work at what I would consider to be a great job. Life in an office seems a slow, painful death.

To that end, we plan on travelling around the world, (hopefully) staying on lots of farms (woof, helpx, etc.), and meeting like-minded people who have also chosen to find their way outside of the typical paths of the western career oriented. I know it may sound corny, but I'm really hoping that meeting other people living outside of the constraints that we've gotten used to will help inspire us to figure out our own path.

So really, how many of you reading this find yourselves travelling around the world actively thinking: "Could I live here..."?

Cheers,

sz

Landire

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  • Added on: December 4th, 2006
I am about to go on my 4th trip to Ireland next week. Ever since the first time I went in 2003 I have been absolutely in love with the Dublin area in particular. Before I had been to Ireland I'd never left the country, though I always knew I wanted to live somewhere that wasn't here. I've never felt a need to take part in American culture. Many things about this country make me sad. But Ireland, its my new home. I may only get to go there once in a while, but when I do its not going on vacation, or taking a trip. I never feel out of place there, but here, everyday I'm out of place. I just dont fit in. Maybe someday I will finally get to leave this country behind and move home.
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Sean

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  • Added on: December 5th, 2006
quote:
So really, how many of you reading this find yourselves travelling around the world actively thinking: "Could I live here..."?



SZ - I do all the time. Smile Nick did it and actualy moved to Bali 4 years ago.

Everytime I do think, Could I move here I remember the following: the grass look greener on the other side of the fence frequently. Not saying that you shouldn't do it, but living wherever had it's issues as well.

Talk to the expats. Some love it, some that have been there are while are salty. Listen to them and relate.

Anyway, isn't it kewl that we have choices like this?

elAdi

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  • Added on: December 5th, 2006
Traveling and living abroad have to different motivations with me.
As for traveling, I do it to expand my horizon and get a good reality check of what we consider 'the real world' in the west. I think partially I also go traveling because it immediately snatches me away from any danger of being sucked in by the 'normal' life (which I detest and I'd rather be dead than realizing that I am living a 'normal' life and can't get out of it anymore because of commitments - I guess, basically I have issues with commitment anyhow).
As for living abroad. I simply don't want to live in Switzerland anymore. I'm trying to not bad-mouth it now, so let's just say: I've seen it. It doesn't make me happy and the pursuit of personal happiness is something that I believe makes us fundamentally human. To be honest, haven't really found THE place yet. I've been in Oz for about 2 years now and I'm getting to the stage of being fed up with it. Got to hang in there for one more year though...

So, keep those eyes open for a place that'd make you happy. You might very well come across it during your trip.
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braslvr

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  • Added on: December 5th, 2006
The thought of "could I live here" occurs to me in every new place I visit. So far it's about 25% yes and 75% no.

sz

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  • Added on: December 5th, 2006
I've been on several short term visits to different places - Bejing for 6 weeks in 1995, Indonesia/Bali for 2 weeks in 2003, Vancouver for a week in 2004 - and I have to admit, in many ways, I fell in love with all of them. So I expect to fall for multiple places around the world. At the same time, I intend to be very pragmatic about the realities of living somewhere else.

Part of the positive experience in these places was just the stimulation of being somewhere very different - which I think is a large travel motivation for most of us. In the case of the Vancouver area and Indonesia/Bali, there was also a lot of natural beauty that enchanted me. There is also the fascination of exploring different cultures and histories. But the totality of it is really not definable, in the same way that no experience can be completely captured in words.

Where I live and how it inspires and affects my thoughts and mood is very important to me. elAdi, Landire - I think maybe we are in similar positions, although I'm not sure there is A place for me, so much as one of many that I would be happy in. I've had varying degrees of "I'm home" feeling in many different locales. On this trip, my eyes are going to be open; I'm very serious in thinking: "Where do we want to be?" As we'll be completely pulling up stakes here, there'll be no incentive to return, and as the real estate market is mad, it will probably be nearly impossible.

Sean - I know new places may seem more appealing just from unfamiliarity, and from the experience of visiting them while travelling and not while living an earthbound, everyday life. But I have expats for inlaws, and talking to them, along with my previous visits overseas, has pretty much obliterated any fear I had over moving out of the US. To be sure, each place will have its own challenges and disadvantages.

Still, it's a grand adventure and my feet itch whenever I think about it. We're totally not ready yet, and at the same time I wish we were already on the road.

sz

FemaleNomad

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  • Added on: December 6th, 2006
Looking for "home" is why I travel. I've never been at home in the US, which may be part of why I keep moving around it so much: looking for a place to settle without having to change my citizenship.

On the other hand, I like living Elsewhere. I lived in Bangkok for awhile after college, and, except for the fact that it's way too much like Houston (different language, but everything else smacks of here), I could probably move back tomorrow. The same goes for the time I spent in Ireland. Also, Jamaica. And UK. And Italy. And possibly Australia, but that's weirdly like Texas, too.

I do most of my travelling with the intention of seeing if it might be a good place to stay. Forever. Or at least until it's time to pack up all my belongings and head for some other corner of the globe.
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braslvr

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  • Added on: December 6th, 2006
Wow. Bangkok is like Houston? I never thought I'd hear that, and I've spent many weeks in both...

Anne-Sophie

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  • Added on: December 6th, 2006
Bangkok and Houston? Except for both being big cities and having too much traffic, I can't see the similarities either. Bangkok is full of people, full of life (not all good, admittedly). Houston is full of... well, cars.

I suppose it must depend on what you look for.

FemaleNomad

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  • Added on: December 7th, 2006
Okay, so I'm a little bit odd. But when I moved to Houston, my first impression was VERY similar to my first impression of Bangkok. Urban sprawl, signs in another language, standing out in a crowd as an Amazonian white woman, and the peculiar sprawling city odor that (so far) is common to only these 2 cities. Also the 2-hours-to-drive-30-miles phenomenon.

Also, being from the North, the seasons are awfully similar: the hot season, the rainy season, and the season in between. It's just a matter of degrees.

ANYWAY. I digress. Back to the discussion at hand?
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sz

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  • Added on: December 7th, 2006
Many days I would say I'm not really at home in the US. But I guess I should be honest and admit that I don't know for sure if I'll feel home anyplace else. Even so, I can't stop looking. It's hard to put down concrete characteristics that a place would have to possess to be "home". In the end, it's the gestalt of the experience that succeeds or fails in seducing you. Guidelines you can apply after you fall in love with a place to help you determine whether you can live there or just visit.

I feel least at home in cities here, which is easy enough to put down to growing up on a farm. Probably the closest I've ever felt to home in a city was in Tucson, where the sheer visual *space* of the far-off horizon cut my claustrophobia down to a manageable size, and the cradling, undeveloped mountains reduced the city to a finite creature, and therefore a bearable one. Infinite suburbia is a kind of nightmare for me. The year-around sunshine also helped keep my mood up.

Yeah, I'm psychologically a lizard, lolling on a rock. That's probably not going to change. Vancouver Island was *gorgeous*, but I saw it in early July. I have a distinct suspicion the endless chilly/grey winter of the northwest would make me suicidal.

In any case, it's cool to hear other experiences travelling with the same idea. Some days it kind of daunts me a bit, this idea that we're really pulling up an anchor and setting sail with no home port waiting at the end.

But....gah! (I'll reserve the real grumbling for the "cubicle life sucks" forum) I can't spend another 40 years withering in an office. You can't buy time, and the bit of me that's left at the end of each week is barely the dregs of what I started out with.

sz

whalewatcher

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  • Added on: December 8th, 2006
You echo my feelings, sz. I'd give anything to move away from the icky, rainy, grey, windy UK winter to somewhere sunny!

Yes, I'm shallow, but the effect that sunshine has on my mood is nothing short of scary.

Currently working on the hubby to (hopefully) emigrate to Australia!

rafo

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  • Added on: December 8th, 2006
motivations for travel?? exotic women. hehe
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