The guest-speaker at my undergraduate convocation was a relatively-famous* radio personality and science popularizer. He had some advice for the gathered students:
Get the heck off of North America. Throw a dart at a map of the world and just go there.
Now, of course, the obvious problem with this bit of advice is that seventy percent of the world is covered in water. But I agree with the general principle, which is why it galled me that this was never really an option for me.
Not until now, that is. You see, there’s a certain multi-disciplinary summer school in France which specializes in the study of everything to do with space; not just the science of astronomy, or the engineering used in space travel, but the economics, sociology, literary significance and so forth. It seems that, on the strength of my research, writing ability and interest in many different fields, the European Space Agency is willing to fund my attendance to the tune of eleven thousand Euros. Unfortunately, the rest of the tuition is still rather steep, but I’ve decided that I’m going to get a loan and just bloody do it.
I cannot turn down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this.
*The old joke is that Canadian celebrities have to wear name-tags. This pretty much applies with the individual in question, but I recognized him.