Hi everybody. This thread is about something that I've been thinking for a long time and I don't know what to do about it. Hope you friendly talkbassers give me an honest opinion. Here's the scenario: The city in which I live isn't a good place for music as a profession. Music isn't a part of life here. The only musical shows that really pack venues here are about styles that I really hate, most noticeable the one called vallenato. In spite of that, I was really lucky because after I graduated from the university, I was asked to work there as a teacher, and then the other university that offers a music program also called me. So right now I work as a teacher in two universities. Besides, I'm the musical director of the tropical music band in which I play, I also play double bass in the only symphonic orchestra and in general, I'm very recognized in my town among musicians. The thing is that I live in good conditions, but that's not because I'm well paid, but because of my current workload. I say I'm lucky because the unemployment rate here is very high and most of my classmates, for instance, are in a very difficult situation, which fortunately isn't my case. But I feel I'm done here. I mean, without being unrespectful, to me is hard to grow more as a musician in this city. In fact, many musicians here see me as a super star, a big master, but I'm not. The actual situation is that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. The musical knowledge that universities give here is what a serious high school gives in Europe or North America. I've heard amateur and teenagers' bands from those places which sound a million times better than so-called "professionals" here. That's why I think so many times of going to another place, but I don't think of my country. I'd like to try the U.S.A. because I know that I can learn so many things there and if I'm lucky, have even better conditions than here. But luck is the name of the dilemma. I'm not expecting (and it would be absurd) to get the same recognition I have here from the first day, but I don't want to starve either. The best way to try would be with an scholarship, at least to see how things are, but I can't aspire to one because of my age, as far as I've seen. If I decide to go abroad, it would be at my own risk. So that's my point: On one side, I'm in my hometown which is a nice place to live (you can see some pictures here), no known relatives in the States, feel scared about moving, I have a decent job, good reputation and lots of things which I wouldn't like to lose. Besides, I know that one of the secrets of success is creativity and I'm not a creative person. On the other hand, my city may be a nice place to live but it's not exactly the land of the opportunities, I'm not married, I have no kids, I have a decent English language level, average bass skills, can read and transcribe music, perfect pitch, I'm a computer power user, I like to teach (and I think I'm good at teaching youngsters/adults - not children) but I want to play in a really good band in which I feel like the less knowledgeable member (and earn better money than now, of course)... I think you understand my situation. Of course I know that getting an american visa is almost impossible for colombian people right now, but that's another story. Solving that problem is the next step after taking the decision. Anyway (and please excuse my ignorance) I don't know how the average american feels about a third worlder trying to "make it" in his/her country, but I hope that what I'm exposing here won't be seen as wishing to occupy the space of a native american. I also know that it's my sole decision and nobody can tell me what's the best for me. Again, I'm just looking for sincere opinions. This is a very personal stuff and maybe some of you won't find it interesting, but anyway thank you for taking some time to read this.