If you could live anywhere you wanted, where would it be? I’d never really thought about it until I went to France about 10 years ago. Now I know where I’d live – France!
Except, I just figured I’d end up living wherever CycleGuy got a job. Wasn’t that how it went. Graduate from college/grad school and go live in locale where they offer you a job? It’s not like you can really choose. Correct?
My grandparent chose to retire in El Paso, Texas. That was back in the 50’s and maybe it was a different place. I lived there for a good portion of my childhood before moving to Long Beach, but then my stepdad was transfered back to El Paso so I finished high school there. Then off to college, out of state. I had applied to a few but I wanted to be close but far enough away to be on my own.
After college I went to law school and I applied to a few schools but chose University of Oklahoma College of Law. It was meant to be because one of my class mates has become one of my best friends. (yes, Lisa, that’s you!) So, it was off to the hotbed of college football and severe weather, Norman, Oklahoma. I somewhat chose it, but it was school so that really didn’t count. Right?
Back to Arizona because that’s where CycleGuy worked and lived. We got married and stayed in Arizona. Until his job took him to Ohio. See the pattern? Not a lot of thought in to where we’d live other than that’s where the job would be.
I think that’s a pretty common way of determining where one lives. That was until I realized that people I knew were making a conscious choice to live in a specific place. Really? You can choose where you live? I could really choose where to live based on something other than the fact that is where the company is located? How crazy is that?
So when I went to France for work, I completely fell in love with the country. I was there all of 3 days and spent 40 of the 72 hours in meetings or in a car driving to/from meetings. But I did have an opportunity to see the countryside and Paris and eat in lovely restaurants and meet lots of locals. The image of France being stand-offish was no where to be found. I felt comfortable, even though I didn’t speak but a few words of French.
I went back a few months later and this time decided to extend my trip and add some personal time. I walked around town and took the train out to Versailles. I ate from street vendors and did my best to speak all the French (that would be about 25 words!) I had learned back home. I felt welcome. I felt comfortable, again.
I wouldn’t stop talking about Paris and France so CycleGuy agreed to go there on vacation. It was great, although I don’t think he is as smitten with France as I am. Nonetheless, when I’ve said I’d move to France he always smiles and agrees to come with me. I do promise him that he’d be able to ride his bike along the great paths of the Tour de France. That might be considered bribery but I think he’s been sold on France. Not by me, but by David Sedaris’ musings of living in France in Me Talk Pretty One Day.
Where would you live if you could choose anywhere?