I came across this article in the New York Times about people who choose to live by themselves in remote spots.It's not an easy choice; one of the men interviewed for the article ate (among other things) nettles and rats. It also takes lots of labor and planning, and even the men who are used to living like this can get lonely. A couple of the men said that women generally don't like such an isolated lifestyle, especially if there's a child involved. Child-rearing is hard enough in civilization; I don't blame other women for not wanting to do it in isolation. (Of course, one of the men said women don't like the lifestyle because of the lack of shopping. I wonder what he would say about the men who prefer civilization?)
The reason I mention this article is because it makes me think about colonizing a new planet, which is something I have in mind for a future project. What kind of motivation would drive people to leave their home planet and start from scratch somewhere else? Would the motivations be different for each gender? I think things would have to be pretty bad on this planet to make another one look appealing. I do intend my future Earth to have some serious problems, though my characters would be less affected than most people due to their position in society. The main reason I plan to have them leave the planet is to search for something (I won't say what so as not to spoil anything); the question is if it is possible for them to return to Earth, why stay on the other planet? I think they may choose to stay when they discover something else--but I can't say what exactly here.
How far would you be willing to move, and why? What parts of your current lifestyle could you give up?