Leaving Score: Feb 4 2017

A couple of weeks in for the new administration, and I’m checking my list. I’m not great with charts and graphs, but I thought I could at least do some basic counting.

Each item on my “if this happens, I should consider leaving” list is worth 10 points. No weighting, to make it easier, although you can imagine that beer drinking might reasonably be weighed a little higher!


Feb 4 2017 Leaving Score

A few people have asked where I might go. I started my list like this:

What placed have I already visited that I like?

Thailand: Fantastic food, welcoming people, lovely climate. And yet . . . now under the control of a military coup. There is a lot of nuance here – but leaving here includes having hopes for arriving somewhere better. And not just better for me, but better for everyone. I think a well-functioning democracy is the start of that, and Thailand is missing that right now.

Thailand does not make the list.

Turkey: Fantastic food, welcoming people, lovely climate. Since my visit there in 2007 though, there has been an alarming shift to an authoritarian government. Teachers and journalists have been locked up en masse. And the current president is consolidating his powers and changing the constitution. Turkey isn’t a well-functioning democracy right now.

Turkey does not make the list.

Germany: Hmm. Lots of friends there. Currently holding tight to the center. Speaking out for democratic institutions. There is a growing neo-conservative movement there, but thus far – I think Germany is doing quite well.

Germany stays on the list.

Austria: An unsettling level of neo-conservative stuff going on right now.

Austria does not make the list.

London: Brexit? Theresa May? Boris Johnson? I’d have to start my list again over there, plus learn how Parliment works.

London makes the list, but barely.

Ireland: Hmm. See London, above. A bit nervous about the agitation in the North. But common language, lots of culture, friendly people.

Ireland stays on the list.

Netherlands: Gert Wilders.

Netherlands does not make the list.

France: Marine Le Pen.

France does not make the list.

Hungary: Victor Orban.

Hungary does not make the list.

Canada: I have family there. Seems trite, yes? The “we’ll all go to Canada!” line. Lots to like, especially with their current prime minister, their immigration policy their participation in trade, and much more.

Canada stays on the list.

I’ll note that I haven’t thought much about the “how” of it all. One of my friends mentioned that an aspect of a successful move for her would include not paying taxes in the US, which would mean earning an income elsewhere. I appreciate that sentiment and also think – wow. That makes a departure much harder.

But it also begs the question of a temporary or a permanent move. Haven’t thought that far ahead yet.  Maybe I need to adjust my scoring mechanism to include learning a new language. And other locations to follow!

Patrick Shaw, Feb 4 2017




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