Places to Call Home

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

There is no end to the list of places I want to see in my life. I could close my eyes and point to almost any spot on a map and be thrilled to leave for a trip the next day. As wonderful as traveling is, and as much as I love the places I have visited, there are only a few I would want to live. For the most part, trips are sweet and made all the better by an eventual return home, but there are a few hallowed places which simply feel so beautifully and intangibly right that I feel I'd like to stay forever.

Here are some of the places which have captured me.

NUMBER 5: BALESTRAND, NORWAY


When my brother and I visited Norway two years ago, we were instantly enamored with Balestrand. My brother, who is rarely effusive, wondered aloud why anyone would choose to live anywhere else, and I felt just the same. This miniature town, tucked deep into Sognefjord, feels like the heart of Norway. And there's something about the light that makes it feel almost unreal in its beauty. Although the hard winters would be a struggle, they might just be worth it.

NUMBER 4: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY


Budapest is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. My roommate and I travelled there on a whim during our break, literally picking destinations by searching for the cheapest flight from Pisa to anywhere in the world. I am forever indebted to the travel gods for dropping this city in my lap. Budapest's architecture makes it feel like a fairytale. And the kindness of its people speaks volumes for the city and its country.

NUMBER 3: LONDON, ENGLAND


Like most Americans my age, my earliest introduction to British culture was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as a child. I became hooked on the series, and the country, and spent many years telling everyone who would listen that I was going to go to Cambridge for university. Although I eventually abandoned that plan, I continued to love London after visiting for the first time in middle school. Although I've been back many times, I've never tired of the city, and I don't think I ever will. At least, not so long as King's Cross Station still stands. (One day I'll get through that barrier!)

NUMBER 2: NORTH CAROLINA

Source: Great Smokey Mountain Railroad
Sometime in the middle of my first winter in the city I realized that New York might be a bit too cold for me. While Texas fell decidedly into the category of too hot. I went searching for places with a climate somewhere in the middle: one that had four seasons but few extremes. Somehow I landed on North Carolina. I've visited the state a few times, mostly passing through on road trips, and I've found it pleasant in a way that could be very comfortably home. (By the way, how cool is that train?)

NUMBER 1: FLORENCE, ITALY

Florence. No matter how long I've been away, looking at pictures of Florence always make me feel homesick. Florence is my favorite place in the entire world and it remains the only place I've ever lived where I felt completely at home. There are no words to describe how much I miss it. I would have been happy to live there my whole life. Alas, an unfortunate combination of naturalization papers and old Italian laws keep me from becoming a citizen. Perhaps one day the laws will be overturned, but until then I will have to be content as a frequent visitor.

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5 comments

  1. I find that everyday my mood makes me long for a particular place that I've been. It's amazing how deeply you can connect with a place in such a short time. Love your choices!

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    1. And it's so hard to pick just one! There are at least three places I want to live at any one time.

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  3. I also lived in London and have to agree with you.. it would be hard to dislike this city! Great list x

    —————————————————————–
    20 year old traveller with a thirst for adventure
    http://globeetrotter.blogspot.co.nz/

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