It’s a Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining through a beautiful sky and I am alone in an Asian country. Sitting on a bench on the side of a small square eating my grilled corn, observing my surroundings, listening to the activities around me; and I go in deep thoughts.
On top of me there is a beautiful display of red umbrellas hanging, creating a roof in the midst of long trees with unique leaves. On my left, stand a couple of funny looking statues and behind it is the Main Street with cars, buses and tuk-tuks passing. On my left, a couple of boutiques and cafes attached to a heritage hotel. At my 10 o’clock position there lies a beautiful collection of hand made paintings and a lady sitting on a white chair with a tablet in her hand and a bottle of water on the floor next to her. At my 12 o’clock, there is this guy who had been sitting there for the past God knows how long, even before I got there. He’s been on his phone the whole time. My guess; he is stealing the free wifi from Starbucks right behind him. The other two benches, people come sit down for a bit then leave. Some read, some eat, some use their phones, and some sit and stare at their surroundings. This makes me wonder, I’m probably not the only one sitting here and observing. Maybe one of those people are thinking the same about me as I am sitting here writing this article.
I’m sitting right in front of Starbucks and I notice that only Asians are sitting there and having their coffee. Earlier, as I was walking on the street, I passed a couple of Asian restaurants and I noticed then that the majority sitting and eating are westerners. Interesting isn’t it? The western people are curious and they want to experience everything about the eastern culture. And the eastern people are dying to try the western life. Only a few manage to go out of their countries to see and experience this other life they dream of. Little do both sides know, it’s all the same. No one is better than the other. And the proof of that is evident. Western people leave their home and they vacation in the Asian territories. Some even start a life here and build businesses and live for years. And when you ask them why: “I love the food, the weather; not too cold not too hot, little humid for my liking but still nice, beautiful beaches, great night life, amazing massages .. “and the list goes on. You ask an Asian why they want to go to the western world: “it’s been a dream to go there and make a new life, a proper life, I want to have better future for my kids, I want to be in the land of the free.” I chuckle and I think to myself, this is the greatest example of people thinking the grass is greener on the other side.
I wonder why people are so blinded by the reality, that there is no perfect place. I agree in some cases, when you move countries, you may have several opportunities open up and you can change your life forever and make some of your dreams come true. But no one has it all. There is always a price to pay. You gain some and you loose some. You have to weigh it out and see if it’s worth it. One day you may wake up and realize you sold your soul to the devil. Sometimes when we chase a dream, we forget to live our reality and we loose sight of the blessings we were gifted while we put our energy in the things we want to posses and the mirage life that we want to create.
No one is saying not to dream big and to go after what you desire. This is to be encouraged. No one is saying to give up when times get tough. No one is saying to accept bad circumstances just because you are born in it. You can always change your life. You can always get out of the hole you found yourself in. At the same time; be real. Don’t chase a dream just because you hear about it from others. Don’t go the same path someone else did and succeeded and you expect a replica for yourself. It doesn’t work that way. You need to make your own goals. You need to have your own dreams. You need to follow your own paths, not someone else’s.
That’s what I feel these days. I am discovering more and more that a lot of people are moving around and leaving their home and everything they ever known, and take a chance to start a life somewhere else, thinking it will be better than what they have now. They think they are in control of their lives, but unfortunately, they allow themselves to be influenced by other people’s opinions and even more affected by what they hear and see in the media. It’s natural to be blinded and to get fooled. That’s why I say, educate yourself, ask questions, dig for the truth. Don’t believe anything you hear and see. We are living in some crazy times right now. So it’s best to question before we find out the hard way that we have been fooled and lied to. And remember this fact, the grass is NOT always greener on the other side.