Green Envy

Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

My name is Caroline and I suffer from grass-is-greener syndrome.

I’ve heard that acknowledging your problem is the first step to solving it, so today I’m coming clean.

My case of grass-is-greener syndrome (shall we call it GIGS from now on?) is the textbook kind. Unlike others who covet their neighbour’s plasma television or designer handbag, I have my eye on their quarter-acre block. Despite coming from Sydney, Australia, where this form of GIGS is practically an epidemic, my affliction is not strictly limited to local real estate; The grass I envy covers almost every corner of the globe.

It’s both a blessing and a curse to be a global citizen. On one hand, you can travel the world either physically or virtually, sampling its delights while enriching your mind and soul. One the other, you may feel your sense of belonging to any one place slip, and always be searching for the next destination and experience.

A saying I heard recently goes something like this: Even new things get old. This is especially true for GIGS sufferers like myself. No sooner have we unpacked in our new destination than we start fantasising about other paces and our feet itch to move on again.

In 2009 I went to study in Tokyo, Japan for two years. I returned to my hometown of Sydney for 6 months in March 2011 and then relocated again to a city two hours north (Newcastle) for a new job. I have been in Newcastle for over a year now, and although I love it here, I can’t help feeling restless.

I have realised that my GIGS symptoms (searching for jobs and places to live elsewhere, feeling pangs of jealousy reading blogs from overseas) are not due to the shortcomings of my current location, but just a part of who I am. And although living with GIGS means constantly peering over the fence and dreaming of a different existence, those are also traits that lead me to seek out new experiences and pursue a richer life.

I hope that by contributing to Herb and Lace and sharing the delights of my new home with readers, I can balance the negative aspects of GIGS (envying other people’s lives instead of appreciating my own) with its benefits (expanding your horizons and learning new things). I may even make contact with others living with GIGS, and catch them admiring my lawn too.


  1. Natalie says:

    Brilliantly put. I’m also a GIGS sufferer and have only recently understood that the ‘maladies’ associated with this syndrome should be celebrated more than rued!

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