I did this posting on my other website but the answers are apt for this blog as well.
People keep asking me that so I’ll answer it here.
The answer has a strong economic angle so I’ll talk about that first.
I pay taxes in Canada to support the systems that have supported me most of my life (socialized medicine, subsidized education, good standard of living) and spend my discretionary income in India where, in some small way, it may help a few people lessen the divide between rich and poor in this world. The simple fact of my residence there provides approximately 8 jobs cumulatively in an area with chronic underemployment, serious social problems and impoverishment. And the money I spend in Canada on visits and taxes provides a certain amount of employment there as well. And I do make a certain amount on investments that gives me the income to choose to do this. The investments are generally ethically focussed such as alternative energy and the like.
Additionally my absence from Canada provides an affordable place to live for a family with immigrant members who are then able to pursue higher education and a better standard of living than they had in their country of origin. That they are great people that I love dearly and my roommates when I visit is another bonus for me. It also helps me to defray costs of maintaining property in my country of origin so that I will have a place to live and some equity in my retirement and not be too much of a burden on the social services system when that time comes.
And though it is challenging at times there is much to be learned and much happiness in living according to one’s principles. I have sought a win-win situation for myself and those around me. For I do gain a lot from living in a foreign country. Cost of living is cheaper so my standard of living is reasonable and I gain a lot of knowledge from the local situation that is useful for my writing. Half of these blogs I do would not exist were my situation different. I am quite aware that I am gaining in many many ways.
Don’t think I don’t gripe about stuff and get angry about it and all as well. So don’t be all taking me to task if in my other blogs or even here I make a complaint or two. Just a human being like anyone else.
In facing the apparent divides between cultures, classes, languages, religions and ways of understanding there is a depth and a wealth of understanding that cannot easily be fathomed by clinging within those accoutrements of security that we are told are necessary to have a “good life”. One can find a balance between considering one’s self and considering others. I don’t buy into being a martyr or saint nor do I buy into the necessity of egotistic greed and self-serving indulgence. I have only this life at this moment. I took a decision to try to make it as useful of a life as possible given my background, interests, personality and circumstances. This is a start. Writing is another way I try to do that as well.
I don’t necessarily recommend this to everyone. Each person has to decide for themselves if “home leaving” in one way or another is right for them. There used to be this slogan “Act Local Think Global” . That’s pretty good advice. I choose to “Act Global. Think Global” and have the opportunity at this point in my life to put that into practice.
And these are the things I share with those who care about such things and even those who don’t. If someone can vicariously get some sense of this through my work then that’s something that may be useful as well. And if they just enjoy the pictures or stories or poems or articles without all the subtle subtext then that’s fine too