I fall in love easily. I land in a foreign city and within the first hour I’d be checking out the housing situation, looking for job opportunities and planning my move there. I would imagine myself walking its streets as a resident, not a tourist and dreamed about what I would do in such an exotic place (wherever it might be).
I’ve been doing this for ages, yet I haven’t moved yet, because I know in reality, what a visitor sees is not all that the place will turn out to be.
Take Sydney for example. Millions of tourists visit its harbour every year, jealous of the glamorous outlook, the beautiful beaches and the seemingly careless lifestyle. I say seemingly as it isn’t always apparent that Sydneysiders also struggle with everyday worries such as bills and rent, employment, education and the cultural and religious divides that is kept out of sight out in the west.
Of course, Sydney is a relatively safe and stable society. We are not in a war zone like Kabul, nor is our football culture as violent as that can be seen from the English Premier League, but living in it does come with its own challenges.
Not that any tourist ever think about these things, and just like them, when we go to other places, all we see and experience are what the place wants us to see, and until you start to having to deal with rent and mortgages, bank accounts, finding a job and paying its taxes, you’ll never know what lurk beneath all that glitter a destination present itself to be.
I suppose a similar question could also be asked: This place sucks, but people seem to really enjoy living here! Why?
A while ago, my cousin was offered a job in Hong Kong. When she told me the news I felt concerned and had to ask “Are you sure? You know living there is not like visiting, you won’t be spending hours shopping for shoes, but to live in a tiny little apartment and have to commute in crowded trains to get to work every day.” At the time, she was a little nervous too, but two years later, when she eventually returned, she revealed that she grew to love the place so much, that she is considering going back for a second round.
I suppose that’s why I love travelling, and love getting to know all the different places. You never know what’s around the corner and what would make you fall head over heels, and while there are still opportunities for me to explore, I am going to continue to look at the windows of real estate agents and plot my escape.
You never know, I might end up somewhere near you! Don’t worry, I love being on the move so much I won’t stay long ;-)