Thursday, July 26, 2007

Welcome to 245 AND COUNTING...

Idly browsing a little while ago I came across a Wikipedia article, as one does, stating the number of countries in the world as 244*.

Apparently, this includes full United Nations member countries (currently 192) and many others with, or claiming, the status of "country". Looking through the list I noticed, to my horror, that my own country of birth, Wales, is not actually listed but rather grouped under the United Kingdom entry! So, with patriotism stimulated, I have to make that total at the very least 245 - and counting...

That is a lot of potential destinations - and ever changing.

As a Brit relocated to the warmer climes of the South of France (a country enjoying full status on the Wikipedia list!), I often reflect in idle moments on the challenges and attractions faced by those of us who live in a country other than that of our birth. How do the experiences of others compare to my own? What are the reasons for choosing to change environment, culture, language, etc.? How does reality compare with our expectations? Would we go back? Or would that be the last thought in mind? Or perhaps such a move has been forced on us in which case how do we adapt and accept it?

Do we in fact need to shift countries to experience great cultural differences? There is surely huge diversity within vast countries such as Australia, India, the USA, etc., so this now gives more such destinations than we can contemplate!

Perhaps I want to find out if I am making the most of my move. In any event, I hope that the reflections and questions here will be more than a "diary of a Brit in France", although there are sure to be incidents and anecdotes to share. However, I hope that readers around the world will help this exploration of being somewhere else...

* source: Wikipedia -

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