Here’s the link:
Warning: If you take offense at constant of mention of Jesus or New Testament quotes, you might not want to read this. It’s interesting that a group of people whose reasons are totally different than mine seem to be coming to similar conclusions about the USA. I am sure not Christian but respect where these folks are coming from. For whatever reason, the religion works for them.
Of course, I read the article reminding myself that the writer, Alexandra, had tons more money than I could ever dream of having. Anyone else out there who is thinking of relocating for reasons I did most likely cannot afford extensive country-hopping. There are Expats here who actually “try out” countries, spending years of their lives in limbo, trying to make up their minds. I’m not envious of them.
Is life too short to spend years flying around the globe like that? I know some people think nothing of jumping onto a plane the way I might take a local bus to the next town. Why does that kind of thing seem so frivolous to me? Some people spend half their lives on planes, shuttling around on business trips. Oh, the luxury of employment…..
Is relocation the Big Escape? Is it running away from some kind of Devil at your back? I’m guessing that Alexandra is in the minority. Most people who do a drastic relocation are refugees who are fleeing for their lives. Most people I knew, both immigrants in the USA and here, save up forever for that ONE flight ticket. Who can afford 20 or 30?
Most people who relocate aren’t doing it for fun or headed for the latest luxury spa, but I suppose some are. Alexandra mentions that there are plenty of “affordable luxury apartments” here in Uruguay. Sure, yeah, I suppose, but who can really afford them? Or even wants mini-USA?
I laugh now, looking back on the times I met with Expats in Montevideo who seemed to think living elsewhere in UY was crazy and backward, oh, with the exception of Punta del Este. The feeling was that “nothing happens” out here. They seemed to think that outside of the capital city, there’s no “culture,” such as concerts, fancy restaurants, museums, shopping, and the usual touristy stuff. I remember Boston had all kinds of that upscale life. But did most folks in Boston, that is, the 99% of those I knew, spend all their days going to art galleries and taking in the latest fancy restaurant?
Yes, I know museums open their doors to the “poor,” offering free kiddie days and the like. So many of us were far too weary to spend our time that way. Many were hoping, and perhaps praying, for another scrap of bread to come their way, and were struggling to pay for tomorrow’s bus fare.
Not having enough money to live in USA is exhausting. But I got a few things to say about money: If you get away from oppression, you will be better off, even if that means having very few material possessions and are living on a shoestring. To me, it’s a joy.
Everything I own, I can pick up and carry. It’s not hard at all to live without a stove, refrigerator, microwave, TV, air conditioner, and oh, let’s see, what else? A Wii? Whatever the hell that is.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. I didn’t come here seeking Paradisio or Nirvana. I literally fled the USA. I know immigrants all over the world who weep for their families “back home,” asking if they will ever see their loved ones again. Many are caught in immigration traps or fear being stopped at a border, even though they’ve never committed a crime. Sorry, Alexandra, somehow, the idea of seeking that perfect haven doesn’t resonate with me too well. It seems like one of those USA values I gladly left behind. All I wanted when I came here was to stay alive and not be separated from my beloved Puzzle.
What I got, really, was so much more. I feel blessed because I never expected nor believed I’d truly be happy. My goal was survival, and I kept my eye on that, and that alone. But gradually, and barely perceptibly, something is happening here.
I find myself smiling every day. I feel more healthy and energetic. I can even use the word “joy” in a sentence, and do so daily. It wasn’t long ago that I felt seething anger when I heard or read that word. “Why do you push this on others when so many are suffering?” I’d often say.
I’d never want to be pushy, shoving joy into a suffering person’s face. When a person is truly down, I doubt that’s what they want nor need. Instead, whatever joy comes my way, I want to shine it outward and spread it far and wide, quietly, for your sake, and for us all. Please don’t give up.
Happiness isn’t a place. I can’t imagine spending years chasing that Paradise that doesn’t truly exist. I do know that relocating was the best thing I ever did for myself. I think it’s essential, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, to remove yourself from any oppressive situation that is causing pain and grief. If you have to flee for your life, do it, and live. Life is precious.