I have lived in quite a few places around the United States. I have visited tons more, and experienced immense friendliness, such warm welcome, and seen acceptance I had never seen anywhere else. These are my top 10 places in the U.S. I would like to live.
- Savannah, Georgia
Savannah to me is the epitome of southern living. This gorgeous city not too far from the ocean with its distinct architecture, charming people and relatively warm weather doesn’t almost have any downsides—apart from its proneness to natural disasters like hurricanes and the fact that job-wise there isn’t much to do, unless you’re self-sustainable. Hurricanes, of course, do make life more interesting.
- Lake Tahoe area, Nevada/California
One of the two places in California I would see myself living—although I would prefer living on the Nevada side when it comes to Tahoe. The bright blue lake, surrounded by snowy-topped mountains, entails more natural beauty than most people see in their lifetimes. And, if you get bored from winter sports and hikes around Lake Tahoe and other lakes in the area, you can always step into a casino in the village of Stateline, NV, right across the state line from South Lake Tahoe, CA. But, as it is with Savannah, there aren’t many jobs around Lake Tahoe, unless you’re specialized in the casino business.
- Miami, Florida
After having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, I am naturally wary of places that have such an abundance of sunshine—for the simple reason that after a while, you’re so sick of the never-changing weather you’re praying for a good thunderstorm. The upside of Miami is that there, indeed, thunderstorms, rain, hail, and hurricanes occur—which make life so much more interesting. But Miami is, of course, a lot more than these weather phenomena. Miami is like a little Cuba in the midst of civilization, with great Cuban food made of freely available ingredients (as opposed to Cuba); a miles-long, beautiful sandy beach; beautiful art deco architecture; and, of course, alligators not too far away from the city. And the drive down to the Keys makes a nice day trip.
- Boston, Massachusetts
Little New York, Boston is called, and rightly so. This cozy city by the ocean with its relative calmness and the academic scent of the nearby Harvard would make a great place to live and work. It’s a beautiful city, too, with its old colonial architecture, the bayside promenade and the sense of history that, like a silent spirit, lurks at every corner of the city, trying to awe you any way it can. And then there’s this warm feeling of joy when you’ve walked through Boston Common and arrived at the place where everybody knows your name.
- Los Angeles, California
The other one of the two places in California I would see myself living. I don’t know what it is about L.A., especially in comparison with San Francisco, but I quite dislike the latter and quite like the former. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s so marvelously big that you will never get bored there, even if the weather never changes. Or possibly the fact that the people in L.A. seem to be a lot more relaxed and friendly than they are in S.F.—and that in L.A. they can actually drive, unlike in S.F. Or maybe it’s the image of the city as a place where absolutely anything and everything is possible.
- Washington, D.C.
Which politics buff wouldn’t like to live in this cradle of democracy, the very center of the world politics? It’s a city where something happens every second of every minute of every hour. You will never get bored with this endless action surrounding your every-day life. And, of course, in addition to the action, you will never get bored of walking around and amid the old buildings, monuments and landmarks that you meet every step of the way.
- Anywhere, Alaska
Yes, it’s cold. Yes, there’s snow for a hundred of lifetimes. And yes, you can get eaten by a bear. But none of that matters. Because when it comes to natural beauty, the sight of untouched nature, only two other places in the entire world compare—New Zealand and the Scottish Highlands; and I am not putting these places in a particular order because each one of them has something of its own. You could never get bored in Alaska as there is always something to do, somewhere to hike, to climb, to fly, something to see. Alaska’s downside, of course, is that work-wise there isn’t much around, especially if you choose to live in the prettiest of places, like Talkeetna or Seward. But even if you live in Anchorage, most of the untouched nature is within a driving distance.
- New Orleans, Louisiana
There isn’t much to add here other than what I wrote in my ode to New Orleans a few days ago. Who wouldn’t want to live in one of the happiest places in the universe?
- New York, New York
The city that never sleeps is almost at the level with my number one choice. New York, indeed, is the greatest city on earth where everyone can find their place. Apart from enormous doses of culture and art, the greatest and most diverse food on the planet, and beautiful, massive architecture, New York offers unlimited business opportunities (albeit with unlimited competition, which can make things hard), crowds of friendly, helpful people, and a location from where you can travel to pretty much anywhere in the U.S. and the world. Of course, New York is ridiculously expensive, but people say it’s worth it. At this point in my life, I don’t see any other place I would rather live than New York.
- Chicago, Illinois
But New York aside, Chicago is my first love. Chicago is home. Chicago, the town that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down, is my favorite city in the entire world. Nothing compares to Chitecture, the magnificent architecture of Chicago; the genuine Midwestern niceness that makes you want to hug everyone around you; the cool breeze that comes from Lake Michigan; the outrageously humid summer weather—and the mind-numbing cold in the winter that makes you cry. I always love going back to Chicago, and I always dread leaving it again. And one day, later in life, when I’m done with exploring the world, I would like to go back for good.