Going West, it’s the Best!

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“Going west” has always been a good idea. The history of moving west goes back to when the Mayflower sailed west from England, bringing the first settlers to the east of America. From there the stories continue of successful western movement with California being the limit for most as the wagon trains met the Pacific Ocean and that seemed to stop them from any further westward movement would require a boat and few were going that way back then. Hence, San Francisco and LA are certainly testimony of how successful going west and packing up there resulted in big cities. Maybe too successful so further west makes sense now that you can fly in one hour what took nearly a month to cover not that long ago.

Going West, it’s the Best!

“Go West young man” was coined in America, but it was Europeans mostly that were doing the westward movement and coming west from Europe to America. Imagine the grief some of them got from their friends and relatives, especially when moving over a body of water back then was no 12 hour trip like it is today; weeks and months maybe and then by horse weeks more to where they settled. Today the world has shrunk so you can practically commute from most places in the South Pacific, and some do, every six months. New opportunity, more freedom, prosperity and adventure were always the magnetic draws of the compass point with the big “W” on the left.

Evidence of the “go west” concept being popular in spite of the number one hold me down; family, is all over the freeways on the West Coast today. That go west concept actually started in Europe before the sixteen hundreds. Things really got going west in the mid eighteen hundreds when gold was found in California. Those with foresight and wisdom who could think for themselves that weren’t under the mental control of their families stuck in the Eastern mud and snow, packed up and took the next wagon train west. Some were on a mission scouting places for their families and friends to come join them and some were just running from family and friends hoping they would never find them; either way their motivation to move out of stagnation before 1861 managed to escape the never anticipated scope of the “Civil War.” Stuff does happen in our homelands and the luck of our being out of harm’s way is not all luck when you plan for it. Many a German left for Tonga before the two world wars and boy are the glad they did. There are many Tongan families there now in Vava’u with German surnames.

How many Johnnies in California were spared because they were safely out of reach of the Government’s Civil War way of handling disputes within their own borders? Who would have thought in 1859 that 10% of the nation’s population, or more than half of the recruitment age men would be fighting in a war, literally brother against brother and with more than a third of them dying? That was then, but there are conditions brewing now that may dwarf that scene.

Mother’s pulling on their son’s shirt tails with friends and relatives barring the door, begging the driven with plans to go west not to go and be happy sitting on the couch. “Want me to change the channel?” And they probably succeeded with 95% becoming permanent couch potatoes. The other way to see a family member or an entire family’s going west leaving the rest behind is, they will assuredly report back and with a surprisingly grand report. They might even motivate their mentally handicapped, stuck on the couch family and friends to join them.

I hear it all the time from people who want to have a life in paradise with a perpetual view of the ocean, but their family under the ether of TV can’t see past the liquid crystal screen. They are comfortable to look out their windows at the view of the house before them; this rather than the sunset over the South Pacific Seas? What is even more strange to me is why wouldn’t one want to sell their house in Uglytown and use the net proceeds to live in a billionaires ambiance and luxury, taking advantage of the two-to-one money exchange rate and lower cost property (no taxes) of which most of it comes with the ocean views because that is what is most available—why?

Those on pension incomes have no excuse unless they are babysitting their grandchildren and that obligation cannot be changed. I know of one family that grandma’s pension was enough to support her son’s family of five in Tonga, as long as they lived in paradise where renting a 4 bedroom house (with a view) cost less than $250 US per month and food from the local market cost less than $400 per month. No property taxes and cheap food from the open market are the reason everyone could live off Grandma’s fixed income.

Soon the grandson found a business to get into and was making more money, net, than he made back home—surprise. In time the family had their own home with Grandma just down the road.

Moving can make the difference between existing and living. Life is too short and precious to just exist.

So move, go west and south to the south pacific, you will be glad you did and you won’t be alone.

Regards from the south seas,
Robert Bryce