There are some places you can travel to, that you'll find you like well enough. You'd probably happily visit again and again, if so inclined and able to. And that's enough. No matter how much time you do or don't spend there, you're always happy to eventually head back home.
Then, there're other places that somehow manage to steal your heart. You find yourself wandering the streets of these new cities, imagining what your life would be like if you lived there. This café is where you'd take your weekly Sunday brunch. That pub would be your local watering hole. And that beautiful house is where you'd like to live if you had all the money in the world.
It happens now and then. As someone who is more inclined to expat life than long-term travel, I'm always storing ideas and impressions away in my mind, for later contemplation.
I love traveling, but I also like to have a base – one that's preferably near the part of the world I'm most interested in seeing at the time.
So just for fun, here are some cities around the world that I'd happily live in if land boundaries were a thing that didn't exist.
1. If I were to live in the UK again, I'd pick Edinburgh, Scotland
I've loved my time spent living in London – however, if I were to move back to the UK, I'd probably head north to Edinburgh.
There's something about the Scottish capital that makes my heart swoon. The Georgian terraces, the cobblestone streets, the close proximity to nature… the general vibe of the city itself.
Plus, I love that you can travel an hour north and find yourself completely devoid of human company. As anyone who has lived in London knows, this is a thing that needs to be respected and cherished.
2. For travel around Europe, I'd live in Berlin, Germany
Edinburgh is a great landing platform for traveling both around the UK and to far-flung places like the Faroe Islands. For easy access to Central Europe, I would choose a life in Berlin.
Berlin already has a thriving expat scene and is undeniably a cool place to visit in its own right. You could spend hours wandering around this vibrant city, soaking up its culture and history.
Should you ever get bored with that (yeah, right), you could easily board a bus or train and soon enough find yourself in Munich, Prague, Warsaw, Dresden – or anywhere else in Europe.
The hardest decision you'll face in Berlin is choosing where to visit next.
3. For North American Explorations, I'd base myself in Vancouver, Canada
As much as I'd like to experience a spell within the USA, acquiring a visa as an Australian is no easy feat.
However, being part of the Commonwealth means that our Canadian brothers and sisters will welcome us with arms wide open!
Vancouver is one city in Canada where I feel right at home. It reminds me of Sydney 15 years ago. It's staggeringly pretty. It's got a strong café culture. These are important factors to consider.
Plus, everyone is just so darn nice. I was shocked to hear people thanking the driver as they stepped off the bus – more a testament to the fact that I've spent way too much time in London, more than anything else.
4. When traversing Asia, I'd base myself in Kyoto, Japan
I admittedly haven't seen much of Asia, but Kyoto in Japan was one place I really felt at home.
It had the same energy as Tokyo, without the hordes of people. I could easily imagine riding a purple fixie bike around the city, a wicker basket fastened to the front handlebars.
Perhaps I'd acquire a small puppy – maybe a pug, or French bulldog. It could nestle into my wicker basket and go with me on my jaunts around the city. We certainly wouldn't be out-of-place.
5. I'd search for Pura Vida in Monteverde, Costa Rica
I fell hard for Costa Rica – no place more so than Monteverde.
Monteverde is a mecca for nature lovers. The town lies near the Costa Rican cloud forests. These are areas that feature persistent cloud cover, keeping the forest evergreen. Only 1% of the global woodland can be classified as cloud forest, making this a very special place indeed.
This particular town is also a hub for adventure activity – you can go white water rafting, horse riding, ziplining, bungee jumping. You name the terrifying experience, it will surely be on offer in Monteverde.
Costa Rica is ideally situated for further travel around Central America – a region that is only going to become more and more popular for backpackers.
6. If heading home to Australia, I'd move to Melbourne
I'm a Sydney gal at heart, but Melbourne has been in my sights for a very, very long time. In returning home, I would do everything in my power to establish myself in my own country's second biggest city.
I would spend a lot of money on events and shopping. I'd probably gain more than several pounds from all the food I'd consume. Yet, I'd be happy.
And that's the main thing we're gunning for in life, right?
Which cities have stolen your heart, while traveling?
LC is an ex-expat who is currently re-exploring her home country of Australia. Follow her adventures at home and abroad via her blog Birdgehls, where she writes about travel, expat life, gushes on about various animals and bemoans her often futile attempts to go completely green. Or, you can look her up on Facebook.
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