In the United States a man builds a house to spend his latter years in it, and he sells it before the roof is on: he plants a garden, and lets it just as the trees are coming into bearing: he brings a field into tillage, and leaves other men to gather the crops; he embraces a profession, and gives it up; he settles in a place, which he soon afterwards leaves, to carry his changeable longings elsewhere.
If his private affairs leave him any leisure, he instantly plunges into the vortex of politics; and if at the end of a year of unremitting labor he finds he has a few days’ vacation, his eager curiosity whirls him over the vast extent of the United States, and he will travel fifteen hundred miles in a few days, to shake off his happiness.
Death at length overtakes him, but it is before he is weary of his bootless chase of that complete felicity which is forever on the wing.
—Democracy in America, Volume 2 by
Alexis de Tocqueville
Chapter XIII: Causes Of
The Restless Spirit Of Americans
In The Midst Of Their Prosperity