Where to Live

My Dream Location Is Not Your Dream Location

GoGlobalBeHappy logo modified as pictogram that shows building of a city
© 2019 Peitho Publishing / Michael Froehls
Written by Michael Froehls

We all have our dreams about where to work and live. What’s the best city and country for me? Is there a such a thing as a dream location? Indeed, being in the right location is one of the most important drivers of your well-being. These drivers include career, love life, climate, culture, taxes, access to healthcare, level of personal freedom, security – the list goes on. The sum and interactions of all these components can make you happy or miserable. Unfortunately, many people choose their location rather tactically, not strategically. They follow their honey or accept a company transfer without really giving it a second thought. Or they just never leave town. Which brings us to the question – what is a dream country or dream location, and how can you find yours?

The first answer is that there is no such thing as a dream location. The second answer is that what comes close to a dream location for you might only be the result of some serious thinking and listening to your gut.

Life is grey

Like with everything in life, where there is light, there is shade. The great cosmopolitan cities like New York or Singapore might be great for your career in banking, but cause struggling, financially, for an artist or teacher. The great Caribbean tax paradises and their beaches sound fun for millionaires until they die of boredom there. The cute Spanish country side offers the best rural living you can get, but the nearest city and theater might be a long drive away. Going to New Zealand to be safe from nuclear war? No problem, but kiss all your friends a good-bye; maybe they visit you once, but otherwise, it’s a new life for you with plenty of sheep and great hiking plus the occasional earth quake.

Different and changing criteria

You and I are different. Not only that. You might be different from the person you were 5 years ago, and probably from the person you will be in 5 or 15 years. This means the criteria you attach to a dream location are not only different from others’ around you, but these also change during your time on earth. Let’s look at a city like New York. Some people could never live there, too hectic, too noisy, too many people. Others were born there to never leave. Some moved there for good. Yet another type lives there for a while, then leaves, following the song that you should live in the Big Apple once but leave eventually. That’s me. I enjoyed 10 years of bliss and an amazing career in this wonderful city before it was over. Over a short period of time, things I used to love or not notice, started bothering me, and I needed to get out as fast as I could.

Different weighting of criteria

You noticed that the word “criteria” is a plural. Yup, you don’t have only one yardstick to measure a location by, but many. Having several criteria is only the start when comparing locations. How do you rank the importance of features, good and bad, of your potential dream location? Are 300 days of sunshine more important than a good job?

Enough for you to ponder about right now. Tomorrow, let’s talk about how subjective perceptions and feelings matter when finding the best city for you.

© 2019 Michael Froehls – All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit:  © Michael Froehls

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