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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Where Could You Live Your Best Life?



There’s a new style of wanderlust afoot these days. A real urge that many people feel to go to new places and have different, meaningful experiences – or even reinvent their lives entirely. We’ve written about this in a number of posts on here of late.


Maybe the need to be someplace new is a natural response after living through a pandemic or the result of the geographic freedom that remote working has suddenly given to wage earners. And perhaps the reality of living in sometimes chaotic, uncertain times is opening folks’ eyes to the YOLO realization – “you only live once." Finding the best place to thrive and enjoy life is a now top priority for many.


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?” is a consistent theme on social media. Over the past few years, that question has been asked in many different ways of readers on Quora.com.


Enjoy reading this small sampling of posts from Quora, where members share their personal opinions on the subject. Perhaps they may inspire you to pack up and head off to someplace new that you’ve always wanted to call home. If you could uproot and replant yourself, where in the world would you go to live your best life?

 

Alaska


JLS Photography – Alaska/Flickr

I've traveled far and wide on 15-hour flights, but to me, there isn't anywhere as wild and wonderful as Alaska!


Rugged snow-capped peaks and grizzly bears wading the rapids of a whitewater salmon run.

Gravity-defying mountain goats clinging to the sheer cliff faces (by merely a toenail…)


The whiskered captains of fishing boats, whiskey-breathed and swaying on their land-legs; the most harrowing tales to tell are the ones collected at sea.


Wood-heated stoves, comforting, warm, fragrant and scented with wild split-wood.

Fresh sourdough bread kneaded from 150-year-old live cultures.


And baseball games at midnight (because the sun never goes down in the summertime.)

Aurora borealis lights and the refreshing chill of clean, crisp air.


Hearty people. Mountain people. Genuine people without an ounce of superficiality.


Refreshing children who play with sticks, and use their imaginations to turn them into swords, and don't know what Twitter is, let alone store–bought toys.


Yes, I love Alaska…


-- Wendi Tibbets

 


Mexico


Lucy Nieto/Flickr

Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. I was happier there than at any time in my life.


-- Heather



Right Here


ApartmentTherapy.com

Nope. I’ve worked hard, sacrificed, saved, waited, and built my life stick by stick and stone by stone. I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ve missed some opportunities over the years, but I’m happy. My wife (of 46 years) and I live in the perfect little ranch house on some country acres, and we have all we need. There really is no place either one of us would rather be than here, together.


-- Al Nolf


 

So Many Places


Olivier Bruchez/Flickr

My brain just fritzed. (bzzzt… bzzzt)


There are so many places…


The States? It’s so freaking big, we could just travel for years and years (we’re going to that anyway but with a visa, not residency). There’s so much to see and do there that it’s crazy. Regardless of what sort of weather you want, America has it somewhere. Trees? You got it. Moutains? F#ck yeah. Various sized murderfloofs? Absofreakinglutely.


Canada? How aboot it? In a heartbeat. The people are gorgeous, the landscape is incredible… but I’ve never been there in winter. Apparently, it’s a little different... but it has moose. And maple syrup. And universal health care and other cool stuff.


Australia? Nah mate. Done that. It’s a cracker place (just bigger than NZ and stuffed full of things that will kill you) but I’d be looking for something different away from Oceania.


…Europe? Yes, I’m aware it’s made up of various countries, but I can’t choose. I’d just wind up listing them all and we’ll be here all day. But probably Sweden. or Norway. Or Denmark. Italy? Spain? …But there's loads of history in England too. Damn it.


How about I just make a shortlist? If I’m forced to live there, then it has to have:

  • Universal Healthcare.

  • Strong social policies.

  • Score highly on gender equality.

  • Consider religion to be a private matter.

  • Rank highly on the Cato Freedom index.

  • Be a functional democracy.

  • Good housing options.

Chuck all the countries that meet that shortlist into a hat and I’d live in the one that was pulled out of it.


-- Michelle, Mad Pirate Queen



Everywhere


Window-swap.com

As a digital nomad and founder of a company that is completely remote, this is a real question I think about often! :)


My answer is “everywhere for a limited time.” Most countries and cultures have something great to offer, so you can have fun in, learn/grow from, and of course get tired of any place. Every new and exotic place gets old and familiar after a while. For each person, the answer needs to be based on their life desires and what is most important: outdoors / active lifestyle, family and friends, intellectual center, progressive culture, laid back and friendly mindsets, good food, nightlife, diversity, etc. For me, the priority is to learn, grow, and experience the world… so therefore I can’t pick just one place and why I have been to almost 100 countries.


Recently, I moved my home base to Cario, Egypt (so is that my answer for right now?) while I travel most of the time from there. Many people (especially Egyptians) think that I must have been crazy - and it’s certainly not as nice as many other places I could have chosen -- but it’s teaching me a lot about myself, a fascinating city, and the world, and is a great experience… so it works for me!


Not sure yet where I’ll move next though…. Any recommendations?


-- Konrad Waliszewski



A Greek Village


Urban Grammar/Flickr

My world is not my immediate, familiar surroundings, but the entire world without boundaries.


I’ve lived in, worked in and/or visited 44 countries in my career as a US foreign service officer, and just returned from six weeks spent in a pair of currently unpopular - even feared by under-traveled Americans - countries. I would have no problem living anywhere from Singapore to The Gambia. To me, The Gambia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia (both of them) and Ohio are all kinda the same.


Any country I spent (or spend) any time at all in, I begin to notice for rent and for sale signs, and long to buy or lease the house or apartment, to return to whenever possible. I have only one such place, in a Greek village, and as rarely as I go there, it feels exactly like home as soon as I walk in the door.


-- Kathryn Berck



Sweden


Chris Ebbert

I currently live in a place that I find very hard to improve on. A little village in Mid Sweden that has everything in terms of infrastructure I need - bus, trains, supermarket, car repair shops, pizza place, petrol station, and, much more importantly, heaps of scenery.


Sort of a Swedish version of Twin Peaks. The smell of lumber in the air, a sleepy atmosphere, everyone knows everyone.


The only place that really tempts me, and I may well buy a place there in years to come, is the Baltic Coast between the cities of Sundsvall and Umeå, a landscape referred to as Höga Kusten, the High Coast. It would still permit me to commute to my workplaces, and I quite fancy having a slightly bigger house there, with ocean views.


These are ideal places for a really Swedish lifestyle, I figure. Nice, long winters with crazy amounts of snow, and long, dry summers with lots of sunshine.


-- Chris Ebbert



Himalayan Foothills


Publicdomainpictures.net

I would like to get enrolled as a student to learn the Vedas and want to live in the Himalayan foothills in eternal peace.


Understanding the ancient culture of the Sanatana Dharma is something I always thought of as an important part of self-realization.


-- Venkatasubramanian Meenakshisundaram



Canada


Cdn.cnn.com

Likely Canada. Close enough that I could visit family in Oregon and Washington states.


Civilized enough that everyone has healthcare and not every nut case can get firearms. The native language in British Columbia is English. What’s not to like?


-- JudiG



Tampa, Florida


727area.com

I’ll answer this question in retrospect. Tampa, Florida is the place.


Let’s go back to the year 2014. I was living in Ohio. I lived in Ohio since the 1970’s. All I knew where the four seasons...winter, spring, summer, fall. Who really gives seasons much thought? Not I. I will say “not I” until 2014.


My favorite season was always summer, when I reflect on all of the years I’ve enjoyed life the most it was during the summer. My birthday is in the summer, we’ve always had family gatherings in the summer, and I LOVE the fact that summer is the time that I enjoyed being outdoors the most.


So, my brother moved to Florida in 2011 and that’s when I started noticing a subtle envy that was growing as time progressed. Our phone conversations would go like this:


(Me) “hey man, what are you doing?”


(Brother) “driving with the top down, on my way to play some tennis, what are you doing?”


(Me) “well, it’s freezing outside so I’m going to be in the house watching tv again.”


(Brother) “Yeah, that sucks, wish you were here because we are having an outdoor barbecue later today then going to the beach for some ice cream.”


(Me) “Must be nice, I’ll be in the house all day, how warm is it there?”


(Brother) “it’s 80° right now and we’re having a high of 86°, what is it in Ohio?”


(Me) “yeah, it’s a crappy 28° and not getting any warmer for weeks on end”.

That was my breaking point. I was FED up with freezing and dull/drab weather. So, the ONLY place that made me want to move so bad WAS Florida.


As I’m typing this answer today (03/04/2021) it’s sunny, warm 74° and beautiful. I’m in my backyard typing this while it’s snowing in my former hometown. Christmas is LONG gone and so should the snow.


-- Daran Jackson


 

The Ocean


Pixabay

I know this is not the sort of answer you wanted but this is what came to mind…


The ocean, and I’d be a dolphin…. I would keep leaping in and out of the water just for the joy of living…. (hopefully nothing hungry is chasing me).


--Mandy Wessen



Trieste, Italy


Graeme Churchard/Flickr

Trieste, Italy. I would buy a coffee shop and work typical Italian hours serving the folks of Generali and Allianz and other banksters.


Finally finish that fucking book I've been writing for such a long time.


Good life.


-- Ross Lederhman



Sintra, Portugal


Husond/Wikipedia Creative Commons

I would take my loved ones and live in Sintra, Portugal. It’s a quaint town with friendly people.


I am about to turn 35 and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the richest men are surrounded by those that truly love them, and a man that eats from the land.


I do not need a big castle on a hill, a tiny shack will do as long as there is a window to let in the ocean's breeze.


I do not need riches to speak of, but a helping hand when I fall down.


This would be my happy place and I would feel like I was on top of the world.


I would fish in the sea, dance away the night and write while sitting on the cliffs of Sintra and staring out into the sea.


-- Kate Held



At the End of a Long Dirt Road


Pxhere.com

Go buy a house just outside of civilization; close enough for shopping runs but far enough for it to be “over there”.


Make sure it’s approachable only by a series of dirt roads, so the only people who show up really want or need to be there.


Find a source of income that precludes working at an actual daily job.


Get a cat. Then a dog. Then another cat because cats don’t normally play with dogs. Then get another dog, because of the “third wheel” thing.


All kinds of possibilities open up after that, as I’ve found out….


-- Gregory Rush



Spain


Esf.ma

I’d choose Spain, specifically the south coast. Beautiful climate, excellent food, wonderful people, my “style of life” attitude, reasonable costs and good infrastructure.


Just a wonderful place. I’d have to be on the coast, because it gets too hot inland, but the south of Spain is my choice.


-- Sean Griffin



Quechee, Vermont


New-england-vacations-guide.com

I have often thought of this.


I would cash out everything (if possible) change my name and identity and move to Vermont, probably Quechee and buy a small farmhouse on a couple of acres and have a dog and a cat and sit out on my overgrown fields that maybe I would let someone hay for me and I would read books and smoke cigars and drink tea and never, ever worry about the life I left behind, the people I’ve fucked over, the jobs I lost, the money I lost, the opportunities I lost, the love I lost, the ever-growing mountain of failure after failure and just feel the warm breeze over the pasture in summer or the heat coming from the woodstove in winter and drink more tea and read another chapter.


The older I get the more attractive the entire idea seems.


-- Jay B.



Ireland


Historichotelsofeurope.com

I live in the United States with my family. When I was born, 20-something years ago, I was born in India.


Due to the nature of my mother’s work, my family and I have traveled to more countries in the last 20 years, than many people do in their entire lifetimes. I can boast that I have traveled to and visited India, Dubai, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Mexico, France, England, Iceland, Italy, etc., but nothing compared to my visit to Ireland.


My mother and I traveled to Ireland 2 years ago, and to this day, it is the most breathtaking and exquisite land I have ever been to.


As a kid, I loved reading The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. I always imagined visiting a place where the land was alive and animals talked. Of course, I never got anything like talking animals in my adventures around the world, but two years ago, I did find myself lost in a world where even the wind and grass seemed alive.


Ireland was this place.


Growing up in the United States, I grew up thinking of Irish people as lazy and drunk…I could not have been more wrong! From the minute we stepped in Ireland, we were surrounded by people who were polite, kind, and even world-weary. Hard-working people who spent their entire lives looking outside the window at the engorged ocean and mountainsides that seemed bigger than entire cities. In an island where wind and air bring with it stories of the past and speaks of the struggles of humanity, I have never found a land more humbling than Ireland.


Something about looking to the mountains that seem to gobble up the land reminded me of how small and insignificant I was and how minuscule my problems were. The feeling of the fresh wind on my face at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher and egging my mom to drive over to the other side of the Gap of Dunloe soothed me and quieted the chaos in my soul. No longer did I feel sad or angry, Ireland’s beautiful nature was a balm for me.


For the first time in my life, I fell in love. I fell in love with the noises of the water crashing against the side of the mountains, and the puffs of white sheep that sprinkled the land, like polka dots. I fell in love with the quiet and unassuming people, who treated everyone with the same aloof politeness despite of race and color. I fell in love with coffee and dark beer, and eating beans with my eggs. I fell in love with how beautiful and majestic the world can be. How a land that is all blue, gray and green can make me happy to live the rest of my life without seeing another color.


To this day, nothing calms me down like closing my eyes and feeling the way I did when I looked out over the edge of the mountains, with just a rickety wire fence keeping me from falling, and the misty fog creating a dream-like quality of the world around me.


When I get older, I would happily move to this country and live my last days here, where I would need nothing to sustain me than the enlightening views of nature.


-- Shannon Sharma



Rural Minnesota


Minnesotamonthly.com

Exactly where I live now: Rural Minnesota. I'm biased but having traveled a great deal I'm pretty certain this is the most beautiful place in the world.


Beyond that, the people are nice, the housing is affordable, and the economy is exploding. I couldn't ask for more. I hope I live to be a hundred, die here and am buried here.


-- Sonnet Fitzgerald



Costa Blanca, Spain and Herefordshire, England


Kingfishervisitorguides.com

Propertyguides.com/spain  

For all practical purposes, I am fortunate to be in this position.


Before deciding upon location, I drew up a specification being very mindful that novelty can wear off quickly, so concentrate on the long-term practicality and ignore the exotics. If you need your fix of exotics, then go visit somewhere for two weeks.


Irrespective of the money, actually making the change from “working” to “retired” is in itself a stressful and emotionally expensive process, so getting it right first time is important.


The main points of my specification were:

Mild climate winter & summer

Generally quiet and peaceful

Politically and economically stable (relatively)

No significant language barrier

Easy access to recreational activities (cycling and walking in my case)

Easy access to all necessary services (incl. medical services)


And after careful research I chose Costa Blanca Spain in the Winter & Rural Herefordshire England in the summer …. and I’m very happy :-)


-- John Smith



Haven’t Found it Yet


Peter Fazekas/Pexels

I am actually currently in this predicament. I have enough money, my stuff in my car and trying to figure out where to live. I’m American. But I can’t find anywhere I like. Drove from TX to MA where I'm at currently. Making a decision is way harder than you would think.


-- Maxine Liongino


Header video by Dimitris Mourousiadis/Pexels.com


:-) Please like, share and comment. Where could you live your best life?

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