Sometimes I complain about the US government. A lot of the time, especially over the last 7 years or so, I am absolutely horrified by the decisions our “wise leaders” have made. But in the end, I have to say that I am glad I am American. I have the freedom to travel where I want, when I want. I know I can decide to become a lawyer, IT consultant, professor, plumber, wall street banker, or whatever I can imagine; tomorrow, and if I set my mind to it, I can do it. There is nothing stopping me, and no one would question my decision to drastically change my life as long as I had a reason.
The reason for my sudden appreciation for the luck of my birth is twofold:
First of all, I was reading one of my favorite blogs last week, On The Fringe, where I discovered the Global Rich List website (thanks Global Gal!). After inputting my salary, I came out as in the top 0.98% of the worlds richest people. Boy, that really puts things into perspective. I certainly don’t feel like I’m living in the lap of luxury here, and I definitely don’t feel like I’m rolling in the dough. But think of the other 99% of the world…
Second of all, my wonderful friend, Susan (on the left), whom I have been friends with since she was an exchange student (from Italy) in my high school, was recently lamenting the “soul crushing” nature of her job. She works in an office in Milan and is struggling with the pointless daily tasks she is forced to do. On top of that, her boyfriend lives in Torino and would like to move to Milan to be closer to Susan. He’s been searching in Milan for a job for over a year now. No one will hire him because they can not understand that he would want to move for personal reasons. Susan wrote to me: “in Italy basically you go where your job takes you, you have no power to decide on a different base.”
Here I sit, in Malaysia, after having lived in Italy, Germany, Connecticut, Virginia, and Washington DC; and I’m only 29. And I’m not stopping there. Next week we’re going on vacation to Vietnam and Thailand. Maybe next year we’ll be living in a totally different part of the world. And maybe someday I’ll decide to change careers or go back to school. I don’t expect anyone to stop me from doing these things. I am truly privelaged, all thanks to the passport I hold… Talk about the luck of the draw.
Image from: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/
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