Interesting thoughts, David. As a North American expatriate of 35 years, I concur with much of what you’ve experienced. My purpose in commenting, though, is to add a caveat to readers. I know a couple of people who haved moved to a new city (let alone, country) in order to be happier. After a year or two, they realize that it isn’t entirely where you live that makes you happy, it’s what you do there. While the attraction may be strong, you can’t really know what it’s like to live somewhere without testing the water. Even then, I’ve known people who have regretted the move, and in one case, they bought an apartment in the same building they’d left a couple of years before. That sense of dissatisfaction you evoke, even if it becomes deep, will not necessarily be cured by a radical move.
For the right people, the ones who can embrace the change successfully, it’s beautiful. The question you have to ask is, “Am I one of them?” If you can rise to the occasion, it’s a positive experience.