THE BLOG

When Escaping Abroad is the Only Option

"If only you could escape it all and fly away somewhere..." It's a phrase -- and its various versions -- that I've heard plenty of times by my friends. But few people would seize the opportunity if they had it.
08/17/2015 10:54am ET | Updated August 17, 2016
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

"If only you could escape it all and fly away somewhere..."

It's a phrase -- and its various versions -- that I've heard plenty of times by my friends. But few people would seize the opportunity if they had it. I know of one friend from Northern Ireland, who decided to take his chances and left his native Belfast for Montréal. He left his friends, his family, his seemingly brilliant lifestyle and comfort zone, and booked a one way flight from Dublin. He's one of the few friends I know who just decided to leave home for a new adventure, instead of other Irish friends I have, who left their home country for work.

Such travel is probably a luxury, in some ways.

Still, the values of traveling and seeing the sights other countries have to offer is so worthwhile, and the practical side of things come together if you want it enough. For ages, I was certain that I would leave Ireland's grey, rainy skies for the blue skies and golden sands of Costa Rica (after becoming besotted with the country by watching a travel show) and find an apartment by the sea with the help of a friend. As the great Irish poet, W.B. Yeats, wrote; "And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow," and take some well-needed time out from often-dreary Dublin.

That getaway still hasn't happened. Even as I write this, I'm in a café in rainy Nottingham, England; avoiding the storm that's coming north from France and Italy, and day-dreaming of getting onto a plane to a sunnier place. It was only on the plane to England from Dublin, did I really relax after a busy and stressful working week. But was the trip across the Irish Sea enough? Not really, after visiting this part of the world more times than I can recall.

In many ways, I envy those friends of mine who decided to leave home and start a new life for themselves in far-away places, like Australia, Canada or the U.S. There is something exciting about leaving your comfort zone, grabbing your passport and going somewhere you've never been, and know little about.

The next such journey for me is Cuba, when I fly there with my partner in the fall. I know about as much about Cuba as the next European, but I hope to learn a little bit more over the coming weeks! It's only the first country in that area that I want to visit, as I still want to see Costa Rica, and maybe Mexico and the rest of Central America, too.

Would I end up moving abroad, though? Yes. In a heartbeat. It took me a while to develop the self-confidence to do so (in comparison to friends who moved abroad in their early twenties) but I can feel the time approaching where I need to spread my wings.

The question now is: Where? Maybe I need to start checking flights.