Day 5, a little late:
I’ve traveled a fair amount in my time — less than some but more than most. I’ve actually pinpointed two places I would love to live, but I’ve been to both of them (Virginia Beach and the southern coast of Spain, outside of Málaga). The criteria used to pick these two spots was simple: near or on the beach and within driving distance of mountains. It’s harder to come up with another place I would live, let alone one I’ve never seen in person.
What are my deal breakers?
- Living near the ocean is exceptionally important to me. I derive an enormous sense of peace and serenity from the sounds and smells of the sea. There is a tranquility about the beach that I can’t find anywhere else.
- I need clean, fresh, breathable air, and loads of sunshine.
- The local food choices must be simple, clean, and unprocessed. I want to eat well and not travel miles away or go broke doing it.
- I want friendly neighbors. I find I have a lot of surface level friendships where I am now, but not many deep and abiding friendships like those I had in NYC or at college. I come from a family where hospitality was deeply ingrained and extremely important. I miss that element in my life now, and I’m looking for a place to recapture it.
- I need cultural, racial, spiritual, and gender related diversity. It’s not just a concept to me. I don’t do well with homogeneity in anything other than milk. I need to see people who look like me living in harmony with folks who don’t, and I need my kids to see it too.
So, where exactly is this mythical land? I’m not sure if it exists. The most cosmopolitan places I can think of are not always on the sea coast, and many coastal communities are not particularly diverse. Maybe I need an island…?
This may seem like a total cop out, but I really can’t say for sure. I love big cities like NYC, Paris, London, and Madrid, but they aren’t on the ocean and I’ve been to them all. I have always been fascinated by West Africa, the Middle East, East Africa, and India, but I’m not sure I could get used to the differences of culture and language — food would NOT be a problem, however!
Australia has a lot of coastline, but far too many sharks. Eastern Asia looks interesting, but language would be a significant barrier.
Where would I go that I haven’t already gone?
I don’t have a clue.
Thankfully the point of the prompt, as I’m choosing to read it, was to discuss the idea and not necessarily to come up with the answer. This one’s just going to remain a cliffhanger, at least for now.
I’ll keep thinking