It is easy to romanticize, but you've got to remember at the same time that different people have different desires in life. When I lived in SoCal I was far more likely to go out to the Anza Borrego desert and spend a day photographing nature than go to a jazz club. It's like the perception of primal as a "strict diet"...it is, if you think it is. Was it Frost who said, 'If a society fits you comfortably enough you call it freedom"? I think that's right. Anyway, the same is true for environment, for diet, for just about everything. If living in a city fits you comfortably enough you call it good...but your neighbor may not be such a tight fit though she lives nearly the same life.
In a semi-funny coincidence, my employer chose today to send me to training on "motivation" (among other subjects). The general thesis was that motivation = dissatisfaction, that the size of the gap between your current state and your wants was the measure of your dissatisfaction, and that as you close that gap (e.g. via success, whether complete or partial) you naturally lose motivation. I thought about this thread (and this forum in general) a few times during the attempted reprogramming session. If you are dissatisfied with your current life you will be motivated to make a change. If you lack any means of attaining even partial success, that dissatisfaction could build until you have sufficient motivation to make a major life altering change. If that major life altering change works (even partially) then the dissatisfaction-driven motivation engine runs out of fuel. It was a really motivation-inducing day for me.