People used to tell young writers to write what they know but I am certain they should write what they long for, because the most important element in any novel is longing. I have written about places and times where I long to be. And that is why my second address will always be Wood Street, Cripplegate Ward, London, 1593. Turn up from St.
I think this explains why I personally enjoy reading and writing about people, places, and events outside the US and where I live. For me, it's easier to go to those places in mind and get into the mode of world building.