Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How green is your grass?

We are told that the grass is greener where we are not. Just like the color of the sea which gets bluer the further away you move from the shores, the grass seems greener the further away you drift from your home.
Undeterred by Dahmane Elharrachi’s song  and the tales of those older than us who tell us that leaving one’s  home is not for the faint-hearted, we embark on a journey of discovery and adventure,  leaving everything familiar behind. We follow our dreams, which we later realize they are not even ours. We taste the different flavors of each land and we keep moving in search of that perfect place to finally realize that it only exists in our hearts.
Some wise people exercise discipline and convince themselves that whatever they have is perfect and that the only way to be content is to accept what is there, deal with it and improve it. This is the case of those Algerians who enjoy their life back home. The case is also true for citizens of other countries who never complain about the bad weather, the high taxes or the dirty and polluted cities. They will just live in their little town or big city never yearning to know what if feels like to be somewhere else.
I came across people on my various trips who are just like me, they have lived in various countries, and are always willing to move, this gives me reassurance. But, I have also met people who stayed in one place all their lives, and worked at the same company for as long as they have been employed; life abroad does not tempt them in the slightest. These people have travelled but they have always come home. I feel jealous of them sometimes. They have found satisfaction, and are confident that the land where they are offers just as much as anywhere else.
Along my trips, I met so many people each with their own story of leaving their land. For some, it is the search of freedom. A roommate of mine in college told me once that she could never imagine herself wearing a bikini in England (on a hot day), but she would gladly do it in Egypt because there she feels free(er). Many other expats also re-iterate the same feeling of being free,  away from the eyes of those who have come to know them very well; as if ones’ homeland becomes a confinement and freedom is only to be found away, anywhere but at home. For those of us who come from conservative societies, we think that our society is suffocating because of customs, and religion; we flee to get away but even those from the free world seem to be fleeing. Some flee taxes, others flee the cold weather, for others it is just the experience to put in a CV to get promoted and earn more money. For a few, it is the love of adventure.
Beacuse you have lived in multiple lands, people think that you are an authority on the best places to live; I personally think that there is no perfect land but that which exists in your heart and that the grass is as green as your eyes make you see it. If one’s heart is content and happy, it will always be happy no matter where it lives, and if you are miserable grumpy soul, you’ll always find faults with every country that you have called home. I belong to the latter category I am afraid.


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