Today I did a quick survey of nine close friends and family with this question: if you could live in one city or country for 2-3 mos. which one would it be?
Of course my dad was a smart-ass and replied “right here, in my house”. His answer aside, the votes included: Japan, Rome, China, Australia, New York City, China/India, Japan (again), Barcelona, and Paris. Pretty diverse. Most notably, there were less “western” oriented answers, and not one person mentioned South America.
The reason I asked is because I’m at a standstill in my trip planning. Next spring I have an open block of time (January through March) that I’ve been unsure of how to fill. My first idea entailed getting a job (too boring). Another idea focused on getting down to South America and touring Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos (so much to see, so little time).
Last night, unable to fall asleep, I started mulling over this conundrum. I’ve been so focused on planning my movement through places, towards destinations and away from home, that it didn’t occur to me to think about just visiting and living in one place. Sort of an “Ah-ha!” moment, if you will.
My first thought: Boring.
My second thought: Kim, you’re being stupid.
Rolling over in bed, I decided to let my mind stew on this notion for a bit: traveling emotionally, by staying in one place. Creating a home somewhere, and seeing how it suites me.
But what would I do? It sounds romantic to spend three months sipping coffee and looking at art, but surely, that must get old. Perhaps not though. Perhaps (I thought to myself), I could shift gears. I could snap out of my research-intensive, science-direct, studious lifestyle. Maybe, I could learn Spanish (always useful), or actually have time to learn photography, or read.
I was starting to convince myself that maybe, just maybe, static travel wasn’t such a bad idea.
But where should I go? What city is so unique and fun, and also not already on my itinerary? My boyfriend (who I helpfully poked awake), voted for Barcelona. I’ve never been there. It looks nice. My dad’s girlfriend voted for Australia. It’s warm there during our spring. My Broadway-loving friend for New York City. She suggested staying in America, and seeing the sites here.
But I’m not sure…about any of the cities. Living in Buenos Aires sounds romantic and Barcelona is convenient. Paris would be absolutely to-die for, but I don’t really know a lick of french.
I am excited though. Imagine being able to really see the Louvre? Or actually learn how to wine taste in Italy? I don’t think I can really dance, but I sure would love to learn – maybe salsa? I’m hoping that once I do some research, my city of choice will just pop out at me, although with thousands of interesting places to visit, one can only hope.
Out of interest: if you could live in one city or country for 2-3 mos. which one would it be?