Life here is so boring. It fills me with ennui, Weltschmerz, and other sad emotions written in italics. Or Italian.
Other countries, however, are fantastico. Wunderbar. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Which country am I talking about? Any of them. All of them. Every other country on the planet is superior to where I am now, probably. I bet they don’t suffer from the problems found in my current location. They have different problems. Cooler, better problems.
I imagine that if I move abroad, everyone will be very welcoming to me, even if I don’t speak the language, know anything about the culture, or have any specialized skills their economy requires. When I first set foot in the country, the first person I meet will invite me to dinner at her house. She is the passport control agent at the airport. She’s super-friendly and speaks perfect English, and her house is perpetually overflowing with other people who have also just come off international flights and been invited to dinner while getting their passport stamped. The house has a rooftop terrace and a view of Stonehenge to the north, Mt. Kilimanjaro to the east, and Angkor Wat to the southwest (I haven’t quite decided which continent I’ve moved to yet.) We dance, drink, and eat something that represents the soul of the country but is not too spicy or made of an unfamiliar meat. Something like a roasted chicken with two umlauts in its name.
Abroad, it’s easy to find an affordable, stylish place to live. All the properties are 13th-century monasteries, futuristic high-rise apartments, or 13th-century monasteries renovated into futuristic high-rise apartments. Everything is within walking distance, but sometimes I take public transport just for fun. It is very clean and travels at the speed of light.
Due to the low cost of living and stringent labor laws abroad, I only work six hours a week, at a company where everyone is super-friendly and speaks perfect English. The rest of the time, I sit at a quaint seaside café overlooking the Galapagos Islands and watch the albatrosses fight over croissant crumbs.
On my way home, I run into my neighbor in the elevator of our high-rise monastery apartment building. Like everyone else in this country, he is super friendly and speaks perfect English. He invites me to go hiking, only it’s not called hiking here. It has a cool name like shinrin yoku or friluftsliv and is therefore much more enjoyable than walking around outdoors would normally be. I do not worry at all about meeting a stranger at a deserted trailhead on the outskirts of town at 9 PM, because crime here is nonexistent. We hike up a small mountain in the Alps, Andes, or Himalayas by moonlight. The moon here is way better than the moon back home. It’s rounder, yellower, and there are at least three of them in the sky on any given night.
Unfortunately, when clouds roll in and cover all the moons, I can no longer see the trail clearly and accidentally fall down a ravine. My neighbor calls emergency services and a medevac helicopter airlifts me across the Great Barrier Reef to the nearest hospital. Medical care is not only free, it is provided by a team of super-friendly doctors who all speak perfect English. One of the doctors shines a little light in my eyes and waves it around, checking for signs of head trauma.
“Do you know where you are?” he asks.
“Paris,” I mumble. “Also Shanghai. And Casablanca. And Buenos Aires. The best parts of every city I’ve ever watched a movie about or gone to on vacation, with absolutely none of their downsides. That’s where I am.”
“Exactly right,” says the doctor as the midnight sun streams through the curtains. “Now let me give you something for the pain.” He injects me with a drug that’s way better and cheaper than anything FDA-approved. It takes away all my pain and makes me experience simultaneous enlightenment and orgasm. I look out the window at the cherry blossoms floating against the Pyramids of Giza and drift off to sleep, dreaming about how wonderful life is now that I’ve moved abroad.