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Moving for good (sivers.org)
28 points by dhruvkar 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments



There are jarring contrasts that go too far. You very well could wind up socially scorned and unwelcome in many places. So you’ve moved away from everyone you know and the people near you inherently don’t welcome you. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

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 I’ve met people who just discard where I live is the way it is as out of date or backwards, etc, instead of dignifying the culture and history that proceeded them.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.


> You very well could wind up socially scorned and unwelcome in many places.

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.


Hence the suggestion to vacation before making a move...


What I'm saying is that in my opinion, this worry you have is overblown.


This may be reasonable advice for extreme extroverts, but many humans value stability and predictability over new experience, particularly when forming families.

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.


Brilliant! I've lived and worked in five countries, and I can recognise the impact this had on my personal and professional life.


My issue is that I'm curious with my professional life. So traveling and dealing with the hassles of that took time away from my professional life.


(Disclosure: this comment is more critical than I really mean it to be, but it's late and I'm too lazy to edit it into a more docile tone. I thought the article was interesting but simply wanted to raise the counterargument)

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.
I'm not sure how one could "Form deep friendships" without staying in one place for a significant period of time. Maybe we just disagree on what makes for a "deep friendship", but it almost certainly wouldn't happen if you keep moving on a regular basis.

    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 
    environment.
The uncharitable reading of this statement indicates the author is a moral relativist, which is a wrongheaded and pointless belief to hold. Is the author really arguing for respecting the beliefs of a "local culture" which disapproves of interracial marriage, for instance?

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.


This advice is good only for certain kinds of people. It's not for me.




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