Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Is the grass greener on the other side?

I've had enough of *insert country here*! The weather is shit, the government is incompetent, there are no jobs, the rents are too high, I can't afford a mortgage, childcare is too expensive, education is getting worse, I hate the mentality, I pay too much taxes, I can't afford healthcare... The list goes on and on.

If you read this and you're French, you might think I'm talking about France. If you're Irish, you'll probably think I'm talking about Ireland.

You know what? No country is perfect! And most of the time, you only realise how lucky you were once you go abroad and discover how things are done somewhere else.

But if you are in a negative state of mind before moving, the chances are every little set back in your new country will irritate you and you might find yourself reacting like many expats I came across: "In my country, we do it this way. It's a lot better." or "I was told I could come to Ireland and find a job in two days without speaking a word of English". Newsflash: You'll never find a job in 2 days without at least being able to have an interview in the native language. Unless you're incredibly lucky (which could happen too, you never know).

My point is, if you think that moving to another country is the solution to all your problems, you're making a big mistake. And if you think that everything will be easy and better in your new country, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee!

Living abroad is going to be different. Sometimes it will be harder than at home, sometimes it will be easier. But you will need to embrace a new culture and way of life. Yes, some things will be worse than in your native country but other things will be better too.

In France, childcare is affordable, food is not expensive, there is a lot more social protection, and more holidays. In Ireland, finding a job is easier once you speak the language. Recruiters hesitate less about hiring someone with little experience, once the motivation is there.  People are relaxed (sometimes too much and it can become frustrating) and generally friendly. There is less social welfare than in France, but believe it or not, Irish people think there is too much of it! (They obviously never lived in France!).

In short, there is good and bad about every country and how you fit in depends a lot on the individual. I love Ireland but not everybody does, for different reasons. Some countries would be crowded if we all loved the same places!!

I think the key to happiness is to appreciate what we have and come to the fact that, no, the grass is not always greener on the other side, it just has a different shade.