I dreamed a dream of foreign shores

A dream for me has always been to work in another country. There are a few places on the list San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Barcelona, Zurich and many many more.

When I was younger I travelled a lot with work, mainly within Europe, but also to the US and some other more ‘interesting’ locations. Thankfully most of my travel these days is within the UK, no more do I have the ‘glamour’ of airports and anonymous hotels for work travel.

When I travel for pleasure, there is something about some places that you enjoy as you pass through, but know that it is just a fleeting flirtation, and you are unlikely to return. A nice place to while away a few days, but no more than this.

The flip of that is that you also go to places that instantly feel like home. San Francisco and Bruges are two that spring to mind. Step out of a cab in the city and instantly feel like I have come home. The sights and sounds, the familiar places. Just that way that you relax into life as if you haven’t been away.

Explore a little to see if your favourite places are still there, that restaurant, the coffee shop, the bar with the live music, etc. Wandering around familiar areas, looking at changes and developments since your last visit.

There is however still a hint of romanticism around all of this. It is still just a holiday, a few days from life spent in another world. The every day reality of shopping, commuting, paying bills etc doesn’t exist in this space.

With the growth of services such as Air BnB and serviced apartments there is a middle ground now between the two. Rather than the distance of a hotel from real life, living in an apartment means that a holiday can feel more living in a city.

There is still a huge part of me that thinks it would be worth the risk, applying for roles, working somewhere that would allow either a sabbatical, or with the possibility of transferring to another country for a secondment.

But, as much as it is something that massively appeals to me I can’t help but feel that I would still end up disappointed. The encroachment of every day life into my dream. The drudgery of commutes and bills. The reality of being in a favourite city but only exploring evenings and weekends. Not being able to take off for a few days etc.

Do you have any dreams that are long held, but you know you will never make them a reality?

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