The grass isn’t always greener

Sel and I just arrived home from a journey that saw us traverse the vast landscape of the United States for almost two months. Culturally, it wasn’t the smack in the face that we received multiple times in Burma several years ago, but in the way that traveling always does, it opened my eyes to something that contradicted the seemingly long plane trip to get over there.

The world is so much smaller than it appears.

This may be hard for my American readers to comprehend, but in my mind, cities like New York and Los Angeles were fantastical wonderlands that existed in a world far, far, far away. Where the rich and famous played, and where the finest musicians and the most gifted of athletes showed off their envious talents. A world seemingly out of my reach. Almost incomprehensible! Urban landscapes that provided me with the backdrop for classic movies, cool television shows, and famous songs.

After stepping foot on the hallowed sidewalks of New York and Hollywood, and staring wide-eyed at the famous landmarks around me, I realised my view had shifted. Flying across the globe has a way of changing your perspective and allowing your imagination to gently return to the ground.

New York is an incredible city bursting with life. The rich, athletic, famous and musical were all there, exactly as I imagined. But what hadn’t entered my imagination was the vast amount of very ordinary people, who go about their daily chores in the exact same way I do at home. They buy groceries, they pay bills, and they get caught in traffic. Just like me. They aren’t supremely gifted, rich, or famous. New York is just another city. So is Los Angeles. So are New Orleans, Miami, and San Francisco. These cities definitely have their own unique charm, but for the most part they are full of ordinary people just like me. But despite cramping my legs in several plane cabins across a timeframe that almost extended to 24 hours, I realised New York and Los Angeles weren’t really that far away. Nowhere in this world is ever that far away or that far out of reach.

And while it may be a sobering thought that these wonderlands are more like home than I wanted to believe, I’ve chosen to adopt a positive perspective from our adventure; home is a place I love coming back to after a long journey. Those far away cities were absolutely fantastic, and we’ll definitely visit again, but I’ve realised I’m not missing out by being down here in Australia. Sometimes it feels like Australia is too far from the rest of the world. Like the little brother shunted to the end of the dinner table to sit with the other children, away from the important adults.

The point is, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. No matter how amazing the destination is, traveling always makes me appreciate home and makes me grateful for what I have. It’s all about perspective.

perspective-boat-vs-land

15 thoughts on “The grass isn’t always greener

  1. It’s so interesting that you posted what you did. I just talked to one of my sister’s about WordPress bloggers and how I want to travel to a different continent and find beauty I don’t find here. Now your post has me ready to blog about home in America verses the islands I’ve visited. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When I left New York after 4 years and moved back home to the UK, British friends asked me why I left such an amazing city. Perception is so important, isn’t it? I told them after you live somewhere long enough, it just becomes the place you live. NYC is a great city of course, but it’s two different cities: the tourist one and the lived-in one.

    U.S. Friends on the other hand were jealous that I was moving to “such an amazing cosmopolitan city” in London. The contrasting views were startling to me, and really made me appreciate the value of perception and relativity.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice post. I’ve not visited the US but have visited a few places in Europe and the perspective you mention is very valid, what seems great and exciting to me is ordinary to the locals and I guess visa-versa.

    Liked by 1 person

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