When I tell people I’m leaving the grand ole USofA to hang with some sheep and kiwis across the world, I usually get one of two responses:
- Wow! That’s awesome. I’m totally jelly.
The first one is more common, but the second pops up enough that I’ve developed a mental list of responses I draw on at random based on who I’m talking to. There are a million reasons, some are simple, others are complex, some are trivial, others are important. In no particular order, I’m traveling to get away from:
- sitting inside an office at a desk all freakin’ day
- car horns and ambulance sirens
- drivers trying to kill me on my bicycle
- a government that doesn’t treat all of its citizens equally
- the inevitable zombie apocalypse
- a broken agricultural system
- taxes funding wars I don’t believe in
- neighbors that don’t hold the door for me
A note on the last point: New Yorkers are very nice to outsiders. I think this comes from years of people portrayed as assholes in the media. However, they continue to embrace the stereotype of brash, apathetic, and rude behavior to their fellow New Yorkers. The city instills an extreme tendency to be competitive, whether its in a race up the corporate ladder or the escalator from the subway. Mostly, I want to get away from the constant rush to the top. We all have our own definition of happiness, and that isn’t mine.