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    • I have never had to leave my country but I did leave my home province when I didn't really want to. I was pressured to move due to the lack of jobs. It helped that I had one sister living in the place I wanted to move. It was still however one of the hardest things I've done in my life even though there were many jobs where I went, I spoke the same language as most people, I had some support in the new location and I didn't have any dependents that relied on me. In the past I've seriously considered moving to the USA but I didn't and at this point I'm glad I didn't. I'm able to go visit the USA frequently if so desired so I have the best of both worlds. I have the utmost respect and empathy for people who leave their home country. As a teacher I'm regularly exposed to kids and families who have left their homes because they either wanted to or were pressured to do so. It is incredible the resilience people have. Most people anyway.

    • My wife and I sailed away from St. Petersburg, Florida in April 2001. We wanted to see some other places and have some adventures, and we did. We did not have any firm plans to stay gone or come back "home" at some point. It was really easy to keep going - there were many interesting people to meet and beautiful places to visit. There were challenges and defeats, and also great triumphs. We went seeking such and were not disappointed. We have quit sailing, but the boat is now converted into a guesthouse on our farm in the Dominican Republic. But this isn't home - we are strangers even after living here for almost nine years. We will move again some day to another country, but having visited the USA a few times I have to say I don't feel a bit homesick for it.

    • I did up and go from Russia to Israel at the age of 44, carting with me my partner, our daughter, a cat and a dog (and a bunch of books). It wasn't technically a difficult decision; I could have left pretty much anytime starting in mid-90s, had legit and possibly lucrative job offers every now and then, but I didn't want to. I love the country, the land, the people. I like what the current powers at the top are doing to all that not a single bit, though. So only when the inescapable stink in the air reached certain concentration, we left. In terms of privilege checking, our case is far from difficult - we both had portable jobs, speak decent English, had some savings. Most of the shock is cultural and adjustment to local realities. I'm lucky in that I have somehow inherited or developed quite a stable personality and am not much riled up by changes, including social; moreover, I'm a long time digital native and feel perfectly fine with a halfway decent internet connection :) working in hi-tech also insulates you from the harsher necessities of learning a new language quickly, at least here (for good or bad - we do want to speak the local tongue and we do NOT want to live in ghetto-like bubble)

      Three plus years onwards, I like to think that we are doing fine, and there's one more little kid now (who doesn't know what snow looks like). Can I say that we will stay rooted here? Hardly. We will definitely spend time here to allow kids to get their bearings and to learn to be explorers themselves. Then - who knows?

      P.S. I do slightly resent being technically landlocked in a country with all-year riding season though :) but hoping for the best there as well.