What If the Grass Was Greener on the Other Side?

Written by Pauline Viaud

Sometimes you get sick of everything, and you start looking for change thinking the grass might be greener on the other side of the fence.

As for me, I wasn’t running from anything when I started travelling. Yet, I wanted to see something else, to take a step away from my daily routine.

I discovered beautiful sceneries, and I met wonderful people in some thirty countries. My most memorable trip was travelling Australia, solo style. I needed this time, this adventure on my own, and I knew I could do it.

But on top of it all, I found myself! And since then, I realized I could be happy anywhere!



Most of the time, you idealize the unknown since when on a trip or vacation, you enjoy within a few weeks all of one country’s best attributes. To live in another country is also to realize that there are as many advantages as inconveniences. When you work, be it in Paris or Sydney, there surely will be some obstacles.

As a matter of fact, I have never been as aware of how much I love my home, my city, Nantes, as I do now. Since I left to see the other end of the world, my desire to know France, to know Europe has never ceased to grow!


The Working Holiday Visa allows young citizens of different countries to work and acquire new experiences, to learn a new job.

It can be a new start or the perfect opportunity to follow a long-forgotten/pushed aside dream. In any case, to work overseas is to get out of your comfort zone. Canada and Australia are quite used to the new workers, sometimes not well qualified. They adopt a different approach than France as they give the newcomers a chance to work even though they have none of the required qualifications or experience.

For French people, other policies exist like the Volontariat International à l’Étranger (VIE) that allows salary-earners to transfer to a different department overseas…



All of this allows you to understand who you are, what you want, and what are your values. In your home country, you live to go to school, work, settle down with a partner, and, ideally, have children. When you step away from the most travelled path, you soon realize that you can do anything, it’s not necessary to follow that straight line, and in that specific order. You’re free to wander, challenge, try, leave, return…

To gaze upon what’s going on in another country is also to open your eyes to what’s asked of you to do in your own home.

I grew up in France, I spent a year in Australia, 6 months in Guyana, and I have been back in Canada for 7 months now. I closely observe what goes on around me, how people live, how they work, raise their kids, and where happiness is settled…


My objective is to understand all of this, to mix it all up, and to figure out what matters the most to me to reproduce it wherever I end up.

It probably will be in France, but my plans will be, at least I hope, enriched by all of my past experiences.

So, no. It isn’t greener on the other side. It’s just different.

Everything is better where you chose to be. ?

This post was translated from French to English by:

Sophie Dumais
My name is Sophie, a passionate language learner, and a full-time dog mom. Long walks, soothing cups of tea, Japanese learning and the search for beauty are my everyday life. Slowly but surely is how I do things, contemplating the peaceful ways of time and the enchanting notion of living the moment.

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