Do your homework - visit a place on extended vacation first. Do yourself the favor of being open to vast differences as well. I’ve met people who just discard where I live is the way it is as out of date or backwards, etc, instead of dignifying the culture and history that proceeded them. We’re talking people who grew up one state away.
This is not true. Maybe you could argue a few places are like this, but not many. For the most part, from personal experience, especially if you are a Westener, you will be welcome throughout the world.
The majority of lifestyle-oriented media is produced with an extrovert bias and we tend to define happiness in extrovert terms, but for those of us inclined towards introversion much of this advice would make us miserable.
I've seen both sides of this, and this article paints with a broad brush without really considering any of the benefits of living in one place for an extended period of time. It's fine as far as opinions go, but if you're looking for life advice, I'd suggest taking it with a grain of salt.
My parents' families both moved around when they were kids, and so my family moved around when I was a kid. I married a farm girl who hasn't ever lived more than 5 miles from home, and we built a "forever home" on her family's land. Since being here, I've realized that the kind of urban living that is completely disconnected from any particular location comes at a cost. Namely, there are things which you can ONLY learn when you've stayed in one place for an extended period of time. Derek's article almost alludes to this...
Form deep friendships with locals. Ask lots of
questions. Ask them to explain things, and show you how
it’s done. When they state a fact, ask how they know.
When they state an opinion, ask for examples.
At first, their values and methods will feel wrong.
You’ll feel the urge to tell them how it could be
better. (Meaning: more like what you know.) But try to
understand a perspective where they are right, and you
are wrong. Eventually you’ll realize that your beliefs
were not correct — they were just the quaint local
culture of where you grew up. You are a product of your
Unfortunately, the more charitable reading is that he's not talking about "beliefs" so much as "cultural norms". That is, why do the Latin American countries take a siesta during the day? Or why do European countries drink so much tea? Or why does an Indian woman's sari reveal more skin than a traditional western woman's blouse? I say this reading is unfortunate because though it may be more correct, it's a much less interesting statement.
Of course cultural differences exist. Such differences must be fascinating for cultural anthropologists. And they are even interesting to curious tourists. But where did the "locals" get their cultural norms from? Was it from moving around every few years to a new place? Or was it from staying in one place, and having their ideas shaped by the land around them and their ancestral heritage?
The "fish don't know they're in water" metaphor is apt. Similarly, relocated fish may detect a difference in the water, but are unlikely to notice that even in their new environment, the "local" fish still eat plankton, and swim by moving their fins, and lay eggs to reproduce, just like the fish did in their old environment.
My overall point is this: don't dismiss your own culture as being somehow less significant simply because you didn't choose to be born into it.