I've been a critic of England for the last few years. Ever since I visited Florida in 1993 in fact! It's no secret I've always wanted to move to the states...................................or South Africa, Australia, Portugal, anywhere else in fact!!
This wasn't helped by having a multicultural group of friends from hockey; Finn, the Coach and Bleeker to name a few who came from other countries! Stories they told of other lands would leave me feeling jealous and wanting something more from my home country. This was then reinforced by my best friend Merlin emigrating to NYC 2 years ago.
For years I just wanted to pack up and ship out. Everytime I opened a newspaper, something else disgusted or annoyed me. Whether it was crime, the government or people in general. To me, my country was a let down. I felt this could be solved simply by upping sticks and hopping across the pond.
Now, I'm not blind to the problems other countries have, but when you live in your own space in your country, you live in a microcosm of the environment - a sub-level to the overruling government - so bigger issues do not always filter down and bother/affect you. It's when they do that you start getting itchy feet and wishing for elsewhere.
It's been like this with England. You all know enough about the state of the place, politics and government, that I don't need to recap. But it just seems to be getting worse, not better. Inner cities are becoming no-go zones and it isn't just the media creating a moral panic. I only need to walk through the town centre keeping my gaze up for a few seconds too long, to have some 12 year old start swearing and cursing asking me what my problem is! That bothers me!!
Going back to my original thread of wanting to emigrate. After a 12 month delay (!), I've just made my 3rd visit to NYC. I spent 2 weeks there over the new year and had the time of my life. I visited places tourists don't normally go. Hung out with friends and lived as a local would. Again, I didn't really want to come home. The city holds a special place in my heart and has a vibe I have never experienced elsewhere. I walk the streets and I feel alive. Again it got me thinking about moving.....
But you know something? This time, I actually felt pretty good once I got home. It was nice to step out of the hectic pace and relax. Don;t get me wrong, I can't wait to visit again, it's already planned for June.
My point is though, there are many amazing places in the world that we hold dear for whatever reason. They will always spark off memories or feelings and transport us back to that time. But rather than think the grass is always greener on the other side, just don't pour weedkiller over your own patch! Nurture and appreciate what you have, rather than always longing for something else.
Maybe that way you learn to appreciate both sides even more.