As an international teacher it can sometimes be hard to narrow down where you want to live long term. For Tuesday’s Writing 101 course assignment we were asked to describe where we want to be.
Perhaps anyone reading this can help me find the place I’m looking for!
My top 10 requirements for an ideal place to live:
- Teachers everywhere are always looking for resources! I want to live in a city where I can find books, cultural events, paper products, art supplies, field trip locations, and other free events.
- Culture is important to me. I’m not just talking about food, music, and art events, but instead the ideal attitude toward life. In Beijing my principal from my school gave my personal phone number to a parent who proceeded to call me late at night. I want to work and live somewhere where there is a good work/life balance and where teachers are respected.
- Water! Maybe it is because I grew up in a city bordered by two rivers, with the Pacific Ocean only an hour or so away, and 9 months of rain, but I love the water! If I could live near (20-30 minutes away would be fine) a beach, riverfront, or even a mountain stream I would be happy. I could also skip the nine months of cold rain (though a warm afternoon rain isn’t sooo bad).
- Pretty to look at. I love old crumbly buildings, shiny new skyscrapers, and thatched roof huts. I just don’t think I could live in suburbia in a cookie cutter house. Walking down cobble stone streets, finding street art in a narrow alley, and enjoying brightly colored houses all sound like great ways to spend my time.
- Walkability– I love to walk places. When I lived in Italy one summer, I was able to walk along the waterfront after an evening meal and I wasn’t the only one. I want to live somewhere where I can walk to the grocery store, restaurants, cafes, and work in the mornings.
- Food– Oh how I miss having a variety of food! I love cooking my own food and trying new recipes, but sometimes half the fun is eating in a restaurant and enjoying the ambiance. Hamburgers, hot dogs, arepas, and fried cheese are the most common foods where I live. Sadly, unhealthy food like this is not something I enjoy very often. One day I would like to live in a place where I can find tofu, yogurt, and ethnic food options like Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Mexican. Yummy!
- Wine– Oregon has great wine. I’m not picky about wine, but I do enjoy drinking it with dinner…and maybe even lunch on the weekend. Also Sunday brunch with mimosas is one of my favorite weekend activities (that I haven’t been able to enjoy in the past two years!). I am perfectly happy with a five dollar bottle of wine, but as long as I can find it easily and for $10 or less per bottle I will be very happy.
- Internet– This past year I have lived without daily internet access in my house. I really need to live in a place that has high speed internet access! I can do without cable tv, and I have even learned to live without a nearby movie theater, but reliable and fast internet is non-negotiable.
- Salsa– Of course I also need a place where I can find at least one salsa school and places to go out salsa dancing. While I haven’t had reliable internet this past year, one thing I love about my current city is that salsa music and dancing is EVERYWHERE. I know that salsa on this level will be hard to find again, but the ability to go out dancing twice a week is easily attainable.
- Safety– As a single female I don’t want to feel like I can’t go out alone. I know this is silly to say while living in Venezuela, but in the city where I am currently living I go out alone all the time during daylight hours. I am fine with that. However, I really miss the freedom I had while exploring by myself in Japan and China.
So there they are!
These are my top ten things that have become important to me while living overseas for the past four years. Buenos Aires and Barcelona come to mind right away, but I am sure there are lots of places that meet all of my requirements.
Does my top 10 list sound like a city you know or have heard about? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
How about Riga? 😉 I’m leaving so they need another strong female to take my place! But the cold might get to you a little 😉
Well, I’ve signed on to another one-year contract here in Venezual, and I think I will want to stay another year after that, but I haven’t read a lot to persuade me that a move to Riga would be good for me. Maybe I should go back to read your beginning posts about Latvia when you may have painted a rosier picture!
Hmm, I don’t think they were that much rosier 😉 I’d already been here 2 and a half years when I started writing it! 🙂 Germany – that will be a positive blog 😉