If you’re like me, you will have experienced at least once in your travels abroad, some location — it may have been a picturesque village; a hotel room with a ‘to-die-for’ view from the balcony or indeed even a whole country — where you said to yourself: ‘I could imagine myself settling down and actually living here’. I regularly experience that sensation when I’m abroad but is it realistic or is it simply naive?
Spending an idyllic few days (or even a few weeks or months) somewhere whilst you’re abroad tends to create a reality distortion field where the totality of the destination or country is measured purely on the strength of a relatively small number of boxes that one mentally ticks. Beautiful weather? Tick! Affordable wine? Tick! Friendly natives? Tick! Decent accommodation? Tick! But important and all as these things are, they surely don’t go very far in representing the totality of what a country is all about. Take Italy for example: I know a young Italian couple who have been living in Ireland for several years now and who come from one of the most beautiful parts of that beautiful country and I was curious as to how someone could leave behind all that culture, history, architecture, food, wine, olive oil and amazing weather to come to live under semi-permanent grey skies and incessant rain? Whilst they admitted that they did indeed miss all those things about Italy, what they didn’t miss was the rampant corruption, dysfunction and the fact that it is nearly impossible for young people like them to try and start a business from scratch. The costs of starting one are prohibitively high and take way too long. In comparison, Ireland was like a breadth of fresh air to them in terms of its open economy and the ease with which they were able to set up their own business.
Yes, we don’t have the weather and yes, many of our politicians are bumbling idiots and yes, no civil servant is ever held accountable for their incompetance but then again, we haven’t cornered the market in such things and indeed, bat way above our weight when it comes to many other metrics by which whole countries tend to be measured and evaluated. According to the following website, we actually rank number 1 in the world! So before you go packing your bags with thoughts of heading off to the limitless sunshine of Western Australia, just take a moment to reflect on what we do enjoy and indeed take for granted in this great little nation of ours! http://www.goodcountry.org