When I was a kid, all I used to dream about was living life outside the US and exploring the world. This desire grew only stronger during my college years, and I finally got the opportunity to study abroad for longer stints in Scotland and Asia.
To me, at the time, very little about life in the US made sense or could be appreciated. The grass was most definitely greener pretty much anywhere else.
In 2004 I finally had the opportunity to move to Scotland and begin an expat life in earnest. Since then, I have never regretted my choice to live abroad, but I can honestly say that with each year the reality of living away from family and friends has gotten a little harder to bear. And life in another country has brought all the things that I actually do like about the US more sharply into focus. Slowly, things have begun to look a little more verdant stateside.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not yet ready to pack our bags and move back to the US, but I can also now say with certainty that I’d never trade in my US passport, either.
What I’ve learned is that there will always be good things about a life lived anywhere in the world, and there will always be drawbacks, too. The trick is to just appreciate life wherever you’re living it.