Where would you live?

I’m off out tonight to have a few drinks with an ex-colleague who is about to head to Merika, for life (well for a while at least). He’s sold up, got his paperwork in order and he, his lovely wife and their still new son will fly over to Texas and setup a home and life there.

It’s an intriguing thought, leaving the UK permanently and one I’ve toyed with a few times. Some times I think it would have to be an English speaking country with Australia and the USA being the main candidates, with Canada not far behind, but occasionally I harbour desires of heading somewhere completely alien to me, where I don’t know the language or culture and really jumping in at the deep end.

Birmingham, perhaps?

It would be a big step but in many ways it’s no different from changing jobs or buying a new house. Obviously the scale and implications are different but ultimately it’s a mindset thing. If I was of a mind to do it I would’ve already. So I’m presuming I’m not.

But then wanting and desiring something like that, something that is a ‘big step’ and quite scary when you sit down and think it all through, is one thing. Doing it, is another.

A few of the blogs I read are by people who have done just that (Fuddland, Little Red Boat, Autoblography, and Plasticbag for example) and I really do admire them hugely for it.

Ultimately I guess I’m either a coward or at some point I’ll run out of excuses to NOT do it.

So, if I rock up at your door in San Francisco, New York, Adelaide, Sydney, Toronto, Wellington or anywhere else outside the UK, do be kind. No doubt I’ll be a complete nervous wreck!


  1. Lyle said:

    I’ve thought about this a few times.

    I have to say there’s a certain appeal to the US – but it does have the disadvantage of being full of bloody Americans.

    Other than that, I’d probably go for Australia or New Zealand for preference.

    I’ve thought about other places too – but they’re the three I keep on coming back to as a preference.

    February 13, 2009
  2. David said:

    Cor, I had no idea you were still reading [bloody RSS feeds], let alone swooning with admiration at my every move. Or did I read too much into that paragraph? 😉

    If you do decide to take the plunge and up sticks, don’t be at all surprised if you end up staying a lot longer than you first imagined you might. I thought I was going to be here in China a year — tops — and in four days I’ll be entering my fourth year. [Gah, I just realised that!]

    February 13, 2009
  3. Peggy said:

    I moved here from Merika and have never been happier. Grass is always greener mate. . .

    February 13, 2009
  4. Armin said:

    In the age of planes and internet it’s not such a far journey, the world has shrunk.

    But it’s really a mindset thing. You need to be clear about why you’re moving and if you’re willing to open to the new culture you’re moving to.

    I made the (first) move 13 years ago and have never really looked back, moving from Germany to the UK. While I was moved back to Germany for a while by my previous employer I’ve now lived in the UK permanently for 8 years. I think it more than likely will become permanent, simply because Germany has almost become a foreign country to me by now.

    But that’s because I decided to integrate, because I wanted to live here and because I still like it. Over the years I’ve seen quite a few other Germans (and other nationalities) who didn’t really want to move here but the job or the company “forced” them to, or they thought they wanted to do it.

    They always tried to bring Germany over here, were comparing it to Germany, spent as much time as possible with other Germans. They frequently travelled back to Germany, probably at least once a month (I typically only go once a year). Not surprisingly pretty much all of them have sooner or later returned to Germany, mostly because they weren’t happy with their new lives.

    February 13, 2009
  5. bigrab said:

    I like the sound of New Zealand. I had a friend who went there about ten years ago. Climate not too warm and relaxed lifestyle. He said (at that time – don’t know if it’s still like that) all the shops in Wellington closed on a Friday night until Monday morning. Sounds good to me.

    February 15, 2009
  6. Natalie said:

    Hello Gordon! Definitely considering moving overseas. It’ll probably be the US as that’s our ideal preference at this point and it would suit both of our careers. Hopefully we’ll do it in the next year or two. In latter life, we’ll probably go and live in Sierra Leone (where bf from) – ah the dream of early retirement!

    February 16, 2009
  7. I can definitely recommend America, and particularly New York. Takes some getting used to (two years in, and I’m still amazed by the number of cultural differences), but definitely gives you a different perspective. To be fair though, if you can live in London (as I did), you can probably live in New York. The frozen wilds of Ohio might be a little more difficult to come to terms with…

    February 23, 2009

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