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scotlandI like the saying: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” To me, it means we tend to believe life in places different from our residence is for some reason better. Considering this, I have tried to be content with the place I resided in throughout my life: a regular city in the center of the United States. However, due to various circumstances that would take too much time to describe here, I started to think about changing my life and moving to another area. And, to start with, I attempted to figure out where I wanted to live, in all sincerity.

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While living in a city, I discovered that perhaps the most irritating factor for me was the rush and the amounts of unnecessary information I encountered. Every morning, I witnessed crowds of people hurrying, having quick snacks while leaping from one office to another, glancing at their watches frantically. Every day, I was seeing placards, billboards, TV commercials, and advertising products I had completely no need for. There was no escape from it, because commercials were seemingly everywhere: in search engines, in my mailbox, in YouTube clips, in every printed or electronic material. Whenever I browsed on the Internet for information on topics of interest, I had to wade through tons of informational garbage.

“The place I choose to live will be calm and won’t cause me stress,” I said to myself, and kept on thinking.

From my early childhood, I loved mountains. When I was taken to the Yellowstone National Park by my parents for the first time, I was literally shocked by the greatness of nature and the amazing feeling of freedom and height. Since that time, I kept on visiting Yellowstone annually; I have also traveled to several mountainous regions of the U.S. and Europe. Every time I was walking up or standing on the top of a mountain, I wondered: do people living in such places have the same problems as city dwellers? Can a person who can witness the enormous misty mountain silhouettes in their window each morning really be miserable and petty?

“Mountains—that is where I need to live,” I said to myself, and kept on looking with my intuition.

I was making my decision for a couple more months. During this period, I made solid efforts to recall the most pleasant memories about places I have been to, and to realize my needs concerning a way of life, occupation, communication, geographical location, and so on. I would stop on a certain variant as the final one, and the next day I would reconsider it. Among the places I thought of were Italy, Norway, Peru, and even exotic countries for a westerner to live in, such as China and Nepal. But, after a period of intense consideration, I had finally stopped searching and chose Scotland—Aberdeenshire, in particular. It looked exactly like what I needed: mountainous region, nice people, suitable climate (well, suitable for me, since Scottish climate is rather fickle), the English language being spoken, and both modern civilization and countless opportunities for seclusion and resort.

“Well, seems like I’ve found a perfect place for myself to live,” I said to myself, and started to arrange the formalities. But that is a completely different story.

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