I ask myself the same question every time I take a trip. Could I see myself living here?
It’s not that I don’t like Chicago. Chicago is a great city—it’s got great architecture, a nice lakefront, a quality food scene, and character-laden neighborhoods for every ethnicity and subculture you can list.
It’s just that I’ve always lived in the Midwest. Going away to college meant a whopping two-hour drive south. Not exactly the out-of-state adventure I insisted upon as a senior in high school. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere else. How come I haven’t?
So everywhere I go, I think, will I move here some day? Maybe it’s a question that everyone asks and I just don’t know it. It seems like a pretty natural thing to consider.
Recently Mercer released their 2012 Quality of Living Rankings. They take a look at cities around the world and evaluate them for things like political and economic stability, rising living standards, and urban infrastructure (which, considering that I lose power if I sneeze too hard, is not to be underrated).
I think of this list as an inspiration for future travels, since every destination is a possible future home.
Most surprising to me was the number of German cities on the list. You’d think Germans would be a little giddier, considering they hold seven of the top thirty spots.
I was reassured to find Vancouver at number five, since my “Demise of the United States Escape Plan” (come on, you know you’ve thought about it) now places Canada over Mexico.
I reluctantly accept that Chicago made the list, at spot 42, but vehemently disagree with it beating out Seattle, which came in at 44. I mean, I’m sorry, can you really put Lake Michigan head-to-head with the Pacific coastline? Or mountains against a former swamp that smelled like onions? But that’s an argument for another time.
What do you think? Where are your best cities?