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Re: Any ideas on a haven?

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  • Tue, Feb 17, 2009 - 02:25pm

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    Re: Any ideas on a haven?

This has been a recurrent topic in our home (my wife and I discussed it again yesterday afternoon), much to this displeasure, or at least, confusion, of our three sons. Whether to stay in the United States, or leave, and if we leave, what destination would be a better choice?

The fact that this topic keeps coming up means that we, obviously, haven’t found our answer. But, I’ll share with you our thought process, thus far.

Our reasons for considering leaving, like others, is partly out of concern for physical and fiscal safety, to include a major concern for the long term well-being of our children, but I have to admit that there is a certain self-indulgent escapism involved; the romance of a new and potentially more "exotic" locale. Sipping a Corona on the beach may not be the best reason, but I understand the motivation.

Our reasons for staying in the United States include familiarity, closeness to family and friends, and an admittedly strained allegiance to my fellow citizens. If ever there was a time for good leadership, commonality of purpose, and closeness of community, this is it. It is an exciting time, albeit a scary one, and I don’t yet know whether or not we want to be as active a part of the needed change.

While we haven’t made a decision, our leading contenders for places to potentially relocate are New Zealand and Canada. We also toy with Hawaii repeatedly (specifically, the Big Island), as my wife and I have both lived there, and still have friends there. New Zealand and Canada are both attractive for the same reasons others have mentioned, so I will not repeat those. New Zealand is a long way from family, so that is its principle drawback. Canada, and in particular, British Columbia, is probably our current favored "escape plan". Some of the South America countries are also appealing, although I would have to drastically improve upon my two years of college Spanish. I have participated in medical missions in Bolivia, and have friends there, but the political environment and burgeoning civil unrest is concerning.

As a physician, I have a skill set that is appealing to most countries (Costa Rica, however, will not accept physicians who want to actively practice, not wanting them to displace native physicians), so our options are not as limited as they might be for some others. Still, I will be needed here, also. Tough choice. In the end, I suspect we’ll stay in Iowa.