After 8 weeks out of the country, albeit just north of the border in 6 of 10 Canadian provinces, I find myself reluctant to return to the USA tomorrow. There are numerous reasons but the main one is the continuing division and polarization in the political arena and the toxic fallout from so much flak (or shit) from the Right and a too moderate response from the Left. It is not that I feel caught in the middle nor that I yearn for a remembered, more peaceful time of union and common sense. There is no going back.
Our Canadian friends have their own political disagreements and accusations directed toward what may be flawed leadership but I did not sense the vitriolic diatribe that seems to be spewing and spilling out everywhere at home. Granted, I have been a visitor without the benefits or burdens of Canadian citizens but overall, they seem to be a much happier and more cheerful lot than those remaining in the United States.
We know a number of people in the U.S. who have become ex-pats in Mexico, Costa Rica, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. For them it was a personal choice after weighing the pros and cons of staying versus leaving. Some of the factors besides the political miasma were life style, cost of living, medical care and costs, weather, and job opportunities. Some continued to work remotely. Others made connections with their chosen business or profession to continue having an income stream.
We have traveled frequently to other countries besides Canada and although we have plans to go back there again next summer, we do not see it as a viable option for long term residence.
Summer is exceptionally hot in southern AZ so it’s a good time to go north in the summer and AZ is a good place to be in the winter. I can mentally opt out of the debates and discussions, avoid the news that doesn’t seem particularly helpful these days, more sensationalism and entertainment than in-depth reporting and investigating. I know there are some exceptions although there are few and not widely supported except perhaps NPR and PBS. The NYTimes and Wash Post are ok and I suppose if you’re going to read “all the news that’s fit to print” you might as well know or read all the news that’s not fit to print to understand what’s really going on.
What if I no longer care about what’s going on and am willing to leave it to others? God knows I have paid my dues, contributed what I could to the common good and have lived a life mostly serving the needs of others. I am grateful and glad to be who I am, where I am and am fortunate to live with love and a great life partner. We’re a good team, she and I, so instead of her leaving me here on the shore in Yarmouth, N.S. I will get on the ferry tomorrow morning and speed across to Bar Harbor, Maine to begin the trek home.
On the way and once home, I’ll sort through more thoughts and feelings about hope for a better future, knowing full well it takes all of us to help make positive change, one person at a time and that it begins with me. Thanks for indulging my own little rant and rave. Let’s keep the faith and labor on to preserve what we began here as this Great Experiment as I see none better anywhere else. Well, maybe a few if you use Gross Happiness instead of GDP as a measure of success. The U.S. ranks 19th. Canada is 14th.