I know I likely won’t live in Vancouver forever. Don’t get me wrong, I really do think Vancouver is one of the best places to live in the world. It has everything I need – beautiful scenery delicious food, work opportunities, and culture. It’s a paradise for someone like me who loves spending weekends skiing, hiking, or exploring local beaches.
For now, we are content on staying in Vancouver, but who knows where we’ll end up in the future. Maybe (likely) it will always be Vancouver … or at least the west coast – but I know that we both have a desire to live somewhere else (likely abroad) for at least a couple of years. I think the year we spent in Europe makes me want to continue to explore.
So just for fun (it is Friday after all), I’ve compiled a list of 5 cities I would consider living in. I took into consideration everything from job prospects to culture shock to proximity to other countries. :)
This seems to be an obvious choice for most English-speakers. :) I’ve always had a fascination with London. And after spending some time in the city last summer, I can honestly say that I would love to live there – despite how expensive it is. There are affordable (cute) suburbs, the transit system is fantastic (except that there doesn’t seem to be air conditioning), there’s lots of culture, and there’s so much to see and do. Plus, they have field hockey teams (which is ideal for me), and it’s easy and cheap to access the rest of Europe from London.
And as much as I think it would be interesting to live in London, if we lived overseas, maybe I’d want to move somewhere more bold – somewhere that would be more of a culture shock. I’d want to take a risk and move somewhere completely different from what I’m used to.
While my favourite city in Germany is Munich, I think Berlin would be a much better place to live and work because of how modern it is. It’s a great city for young professionals, and I liked the urban vibe I got from it. There would be so much to do, and it’s a great central place to be to have access to the rest of Europe. Plus, even though we’ve already lived in Germany for a year, we didn’t get to explore much of the Berlin area, or the northern parts of the country.
That being said, I’m not sure I’d want to move back there again. For a variety of reasons, including what I think of London. Germany like the UK, is a safe choice for us. We are comfortable with Germany. We understand the train system, know a tiny bit of the language, and it wouldn’t be much of a culture shock. Still, the economy is stable, there would be (some) jobs available to English-speakers, and rent is affordable (although from what I hear, it’s getting pretty expensive).
3. NEW YORK CITY
Okay, I really don’t want to move to the USA – even though there are some amazing cities to choose from. I’m scared of the health care system, gun control, and government. But moving there short-term would be okay with me. And if I had to pick somewhere in America to live for just a few years, it would be NYC. Followed closely by Seattle (except that it’s basically Vancouver), and San Francisco (except I’d like to live somewhere completely different than the west coast).
It’s where we could both find jobs, it’s super fast-paced, and I would never run out of things to do there. Plus, the subway system destroys Vancouver’s SkyTrain. However the downside is that NYC would be pretty expensive to live. Although Vancouver is the priciest city in North America, I live in the suburbs. And if I ever moved for a short stint in NYC, I’d probably want to live in the city.
There’s just something about Copenhagen. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I do. It’s the architecture. The history. The people. Everything. And if I had to choose one city in Europe to actually settle down and live permanently, it would probably be there. If the language wasn’t a barrier to finding a good job, that is.
Being from Vancouver, I have a little eco-friendly hippie in me. So I really, really appreciate the green transition that Copenhagen is going through. The city is undergoing an amazing transformation – making its harbour waters swimable, investing money into wind turbines, and making its goal to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. I also love that the city is doing its part to make it so that 50% of its citizens are commuting by bicycle by 2015. Not only does this cut down on air pollution, but its making everyone healthier as well.
I also adore the quirky buildings, the maze of cobblestone roads, and the fairy tale history. Plus, the city has character and life. That’s what I found was missing when we were in Stockholm – beautiful city, but it was too clean. Too safe in how it looks, and how it presents itself.
Despite all the negatives about living there, Dubai really appeals to both of us in a strange way. I think we would both be able to find jobs, and probably save money more easily than other places, the biggest draw for me is its proximity to all of the countries and areas of the world that I really want to explore. And obviously living there would make it more cost-effective than trying to get there on vacation from Canada.
Dubai is also the only city on my list that we’ve never been to before, but for some reason it’s #1 on both of our lists. We both really like adventure and trying new things, so perhaps this little dream could become a reality in the future. It would be a big culture shock. Who knows. It would be a really interesting experience, although I definitely wouldn’t want to live there for more than a few years.
(image from sxc.hu)
If you could live and work anywhere else in the world for a few years, where would you go?