Note: Haven’t updated in a while because of the amount of essays I’ve been attempting to work/procrastinate on. In the next few weeks I’ll try updating as much as possible but exams are coming up and it will conflict with my updates. Stay tuned and subscribe to stay up to date with my posts!
Since my family escaped civil conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in late 1994, Ottawa has been a semi-permanent “home” for me. There were moments where I would picture myself living here forever, but most of the time, I dream of getting out. This city has just been a place for me to get through my education and some life experience before I actually step foot into something that feels more real to me. I plan on spending a year overseas in Europe for my third-year (unless, God forbid, anything happens to those plans) and as soon as I graduate, I want to move out of Canada.
I can scroll through travel blogs and read the National Geographic forever and just dream of the places I would love to visit, cities I want to live in, and adventures to add onto my growing bucket list. I enviously flip through Facebook photos of peoples’ travels and read about their stories. I desperately want to get out of Canada and see more of the world.
Below are ten cities (in no specific order) where I would love to live, be it a few months or several years.
1. Paris, France
It may be cliché that everyone wants to visit France at least in one point of their lives, but I actually want to spend my entire third year here. This is my first option, and my dream, for studying abroad. I want to absorb myself in the rich history, visit museums and the art galleries, and sit outside on patios drinking coffee and watch people pass by. I want to handle the “snobby French” and find my way around them. Another reason I want to surround myself around the French is so that I can finally master the language. I figure if I’m forced to speak it, I’ll have to become much better at it eventually.
2. Stockholm, Sweden
I’m not even sure where this strange desire for me to live in Sweden came from. I have no knowledge of the language, hardly any idea of the culture or history, and this is one of the European countries where I don’t have any family (I think). All I know is that their economy and social policies are amazing, and judging from my tours there (on Google Street View), it looks perfect. This is a city I can see myself staying for a long time, given that I get a long-term job and pick up on the language. A close tie with Stockholm is Oslo, Norway (which I won’t add on the list because the description would be the exact).
3. Cape Town, South Africa
A metropolitan area that is still inhabited by wilderness and serene views. I could be working away as an average city dweller, but still escape for for a day trip to the white beaches, or head out of Cape Town and do some African exploring. Maybe not the safest idea, but how else will I see things? There is amazing hiking available, a safari not too far from the city, sea kayaking, whale watching … and that’s only several of the things Cape Town has to offer.
4. New York, New York
“Concrete jungle where dreams are made of/there’s nothing you can’t do/now you’re in New York.” Thank you, Jay-Z for those inspiring lyrics. New York’s famous energy, exciting night life, and typical city dwellers is what lures me here. Big publishing companies are located here, and possibly any other company I would ever want to work with. I can imagine myself living in a typical circa-1950s loft in one of the boroughs, taking subway, and going for runs through Central Park (hopefully not pulling a Phoebe). Maybe it’s a just a dream, but let me live in my own thoughts.
Europe’s best estate may be in the tiny state of Monaco, situated in south-eastern France, near Italy, and along the Mediterranean. Getting a job in Monaco would pretty much guarantee me job security. It’s a wealthy state with a high cost of living, but well worth it. The average life span is in the late 80s for those who live in Monaco, so they obviously relish in a great lifestyle.
6. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Probably not ideal for looking for a job in journalism here, but I would love to retire in Dubrovnik. The coast along Croatia is the most beautiful thing ever. I was lucky enough to go to Novi Vinodolski when I went over to Europe to visit family as a kid. Hopefully next summer I’ll get the change to go back and visit the sea. Dubrovnik is becoming more and more famous as it is attracting celebrities to its beaches and nightlife.
7. Vienna, Austria
Going through several lists, especially those dating back to 2010, they named Vienna one of the top places to live. It’s a great place to live and work, according to viennareview.net. The Austrian government invests millions of Euros on the city’s infrastructure to maintain it. It’s also another European city rich with history and culture, so I would learn lots if I were to live here. It offers change in culture and experience, but not too much that it would be difficult to adjust to.
8. Sydney, Australia
Ideal for business and perfect for pleasure, Sydney sits on most top 10 lists of best places to live in the world. The popular beaches are bustling with activity, the city contains all you need for a quality life, and adventure never lies too far. Whether I visit Australia or come and live here, it’s definitely a destination I need to go to. This is one of my back up options for studying abroad if Paris doesn’t work out.
9. Zurich/Geneva, Switzerland
Both are highly proclaimed as great living conditions, next to Vienna. I have an uncle who lives in Zurich for several years now and I know he loves it. My family even debated moving there back when I was 12, but I was the one who objected it at the time (I’m an idiot, I know). Geneva is beginning to catch more and more attention toward itself and is becoming an ideal living destination just like Zurich. I couldn’t choose which of the two to add to my list, so I placed them together.
10. Belgrade, Serbia
My city of birth – it just seems natural for me to come to live here for a while. Belgrade has overcome a lot in the last decade since the fall of Milošević and has been reconstructing ever since. A beautiful city with great food, people, culture and nightlife (known for being the number one party city in Europe), Serbia as a state is still rebuilding its economy. It helps that I’m fluent in Serbian and English, because that would make job opportunities much easier for me. It would also mean I’m much closer to all my family, only being several hours from those in small towns outside of Belgrade, and my family all the way out in Zagreb, Croatia. Ideally, I’d like to also start to raise a family here. Just so I can maintain my heritage.
There you have it, my list of cities where I dream of living! Whether it be for sentimental reasons, standards for quality of life, or simple curiousity, I hope to get a chance and live in at least some of these cities.