People are naturally curious to find out why you are living in their country. It’s usually followed by the question, “And when are you going back?”

I have noticed that some people believe that living in another culture means you couldn’t hack it in your own. There is the suspicion that you may have been ‘chased out your of your village’, that you were escaping criminal prosecution, that you are dysfunctional in your own culture or you are running away from something. It’s OK if you say your stay is only temporary but if you state your intention of staying forever, people start to look at you with suspicion.

People want clear pragmatic reasons why someone would choose to live elsewhere and philosophical or ideological reasons are not strong enough motivators for most.

A poll in the UK detailed the top reasons the English wanted to live somewhere else were sun and a slower pace of life but this gives the option of a whole range of countries of which Spain is the most popular destination.

It is acceptable to go somewhere just to make money, because it is a ‘grab-the-cash-and-run’ situation which does not involve any real relationship with the country you’re in. Escaping conflict or persecution are good reasons and it is understood you will go home as soon as the situation improves. I was once accused by immigration of coming to Ghana ‘for our women’. But even here is the assumption you have come to rescue them from Third World Ghana and take them to Paradise.

Money, romance and political asylum seem to be the best reasons for living somewhere else but unfortunately these are not my reasons. So people default to the list of negative things.

It seems there can be no other reason for choosing to live elsewhere!

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