A colleague was once involved in a project that enabled her to live in New York for several months. At that point in time, many of her contemporaries (including myself) in London had only been to the Big Apple for short visits. We were interested to know what the experience of a protracted stay felt like.
Our friend was honest and straightforward in offering her opinion. It was a nice opportunity to be in New York, but after a couple of weeks, she felt it wasn’t that different to being in London.
After that time, I also worked in NYC for a fair amount of time. I reached a point where I could say something similar. Obviously the culture is different and the demographics of diverse communities give New York an ambience that is not the same as London’s, but at the end of the day, they are both major cities of the world and one is not more advanced or sophisticated than the other.
I met up by chance with someone who used to be a successful club deejay. He was one of the folks in London who contributed to the story I had in my head about New York before I lived there. The timing of our meeting was peculiar, because I was going to make the trip shortly afterwards. In our conversation, he disclosed to me that he had never been to the USA. I was truly surprised by his revelation.
There is no doubt that travel broadens the mind. It is good to actually know the truth about places many of us hear about. But there is not much use in creating stories for ourselves about life being better somewhere else. Feeling good has a lot more to do with how we experience things inside rather than what we perceive around us.