I think all of us gypsy souls have a place that we yearn for. Even if we've never been there, it pulls on our heartstrings. Fills up our daydreams. Tugs us across the world. There are a lot of practical things you can do when you’re considering moving to a place, to figure out whether it’s a right fit.
Reach out on the Network of Nice and ask for advice. Are the day-to-day life and dominant culture going to help you thrive, or are they fundamentally opposed to what you’re all about?
Look into the job market – do you have the language, skills, and experience you'll need to find work?
What are the practicalities of getting a work visa to go there?
But in the end, when you know, you know. Those whisperings in your heart aren’t for nothing.
I used to have incurable itchy feet. Everywhere I went, I thought: “I love this; I want to live here!”
But once I settled on London, and especially since I moved here, it’s been different. Now when I visit somewhere new I think “I love this; I can’t wait to come back and visit again!”
Because I’m already exactly where I want to be, I don’t dream of living somewhere else.
Sometimes I imagine alternative realities for myself, like one where I live in LA and live a Weetzie Bat-esq existence, hanging out with surfer dudes on Venice Beach and roller skating along the strip to get cheesy fries at a 50s-revival diner in between writing lush, electrifying young adult fiction.
I think these kind of fantasies are part and parcel of having an overactive imagination.
But they’re just fantasies.
They don’t draw me in and compel me to write endless lists and do research and create action plans and open savings accounts to get me there.
Just like there's no perfect lover, no city is without its pitfalls. There will always be sacrifice and compromise. But when our hearts know, we find a way to make it work.
So trust it.
There's a whole world of adventure waiting for you. Home will always be there to return to. If the dream of being an expat is calling to you, answer it. Say yes.
Tell me: where are you dreaming of? I'd love to hear.
Photograph via Boot Themes. Original source unknown.