If your friends are giving you grief then maybe they aren't the good friends you thought they were. Friends back the decissions you make. If they think you are making a mistake they would suggest another course of action but never make you feel bad.
To me reading your post it smacks of jealousy and a bit of selfishness on their part. They don't want you to go as they will miss you and haven't got the guts to do it themselves. Stick to your guns and be strong. When you are lapping up the sun and they are sweeping snow off their car to get to work who will feel they are in the right place??