Sherry here. My husband and I are always trying to figure out where we want to live. We like it in Northern Virginia, but we don’t plan to live here forever. Sometimes we dream big — London, Paris, Monterey. But sometimes it’s some place smaller and a little off the beaten path. Wickeds, where would you love to live? Is it a specific place or more vague like a cottage with a lake view?
Edith: How about coming back to New England, Sherry! For me, I love it here in my northeast corner of Massachusetts. But as a native Californian, I long to find a small town away from the big cities. Somewhere within a half hour drive to the coast, maybe near Santa Barbara. A town with a bookstore and a move theater. I’d find an adobe house nestled in an orange grove and plant a garden. I’d sit on the veranda and write my heart out, inhaling sweet scents, eating ripe strawberries in March, never shoveling snow, wearing a fleece sweatshirt at the most to keep warm. Thanks for allowing me the fantasy, Sherry. (I feel like posting a picture of the house… but it only exists in my mind.)
Liz: I’ve struggled with this question for a long time. I’m a New Englander at heart, but I’m not a fan of winter anymore. I’ve always wanted to be a California girl – I think I could fit in nicely out in San Francisco! – but I haven’t made the leap yet. I want to be warm year round, but I don’t think I’d fit in anywhere down south. And I do love being near Boston and New York. So I guess the answer is to have a place to live for different seasons. Summer and fall in New England, and winter and spring somewhere warm! And always near a beach. That’s not asking too much, is it?
Barb: Weirdly enough, my husband and I just faced exactly this question. When his mother died sixteen months ago, for the first time in our adult lives we had no obligation to live near jobs, schools or family. It was really weird to suddenly be faced with that kind of choice and the ability to live out at least one of those fantasy scenarios we’d been running for years. Regular readers know the answer. We sold our house in Somerville and bought a house in Portland, Maine. I am now living outside of Massachusetts for the first time in forty-two years, my husband for the first time in his life (not counting college). I can’t tell you how it turned out quite yet–but I’m optimistic!
Sherry: I have no answers to this question. Last weekend I was in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest. It’s a lovely town and it’s home to Western Kentucky University. A college town is high on our list of wants. As we drove away my husband and I discussed if we could live there. No matter where we end up I picture a house with a huge screened in porch either on top of a hill overlooking a valley or with a view of the water.
Julie: I live in the city and love it. But, I must confess, lately I’ve been thinking about what it must be like to live on a lake, fully wired and connected to the world, but unable to see or hear anyone. I am not a suburb gal–for me it is city or country. As for which city? I love Boston. I could happily live in London, Berlin or Vienna. I suspect I could also live in Paris, but haven’t visited there in 40 years (must fix that). What a fun question to think about!
Readers: Where is your dream place to live?
Wallagrass, ME. I confess hubs dragged me there kicking and screaming. Me, the child who loved spending winters in pepere’s farmhouse on the Erie Barge Canal did not want the winters of the Crown of Maine. Now I cannot wait to get back. He’d discovered the area when he was stationed in Hanscom AFB and flew into Limestone on from time to time. We ended up buying 167 wooded acres and a house. Work brought me back to Florida and now, it’s time to go home. Woods, ponds, northern lights, moose, otters, 16 hour nights to write in winter 16 hour days to play in summer. YES.
That sounds lovely! I didn’t realize (or remember) we had a Hanscom connection in common!
Yep, long ago and far away. I’m very familiar with Sarah’s hometown!
I am content to remain right where I am as long as health and strength permit.
That is wonderful!
My dream is to live somewhere in the English countryside. Devon or Kent maybe? Whenever I see episodes of Escape to the Country with the lush, green countryside and beautiful cottages, small villages and lots of tea establishments, I long to be there. For right now though, I’m content with living in beautiful NC., although the allergies are murder here! Nevertheless, it’s a lovely state with so many flowering trees and shrubs, wildlife and open spaces. I do miss my native NY, especially the people who are generally more accepting. And you never run out of things to do or places to go there. But city life is a thing of the past for me. I wish I had wings and an unlimited cash flow to go wherever my mood leads me. ( :
I agree — wings and money would be great! And the English countryside — sigh!
Love the thought process. I think I agree with Liz. I am from Massachusetts, transplanted to SE Pennsylvania and would like to be in Virginia, I think. I would like milder weather, less snow, nice small towns and good views. Beach and woods nearby would be a fabulous plus.
SE Pennsylvania is so beautiful. It reminds me a lot of eastern Iowa where I grew up. I do like the mild winters here — just not the traffic.
Who me? I’m already living the dream! Happy every day in Seminole, Florida.
That is wonderful! I hope I find that place!
I’m pretty sure you all know my answer to that question! While I’ve always loved New England, and grew up with tales of the 13 generations of my mother’s father’s family who settled, lived and died here, mainly in Massachusetts, I lost my heart to Ireland the first time I saw it. Maybe if I’d seen it earlier in my life I would have felt differently about it, because back then I was living in or near big cities (Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston) and seeking challenging jobs and interesting friends. But now? I want open space and clean air and water, and dark skies at night (look, there’s the Milky Way!) and silence broken only by unfamiliar bird songs, and friendly people, and rainbows and . . . peace. And I’m thrilled to own a tiny bit of Ireland, after all these years.
I am living vicariously through you! You may lure us all over there with you!
Perfect timing for this post, Sherry. I love where I am at the moment but am always considering the long view. I still dream about living back in my house up in Portsmouth, RI – but the road in front of the house has even more traffic than when I lived there 27 years ago, and the open fields down to Narragansett Bay are now obscured by a housing development. Two years ago, I spent some time in Moscow, ID when my daughter was presenting her doctoral research and have been periodically examining real estate listings there. A town with a substantial university that is otherwise surrounded by countryside really does sound like an ideal post-trekking into an office daily living location.
It’s amazing how places change! We still would love to find a place in New England — if we could leave for a bit in the winter.
Love Monterey, CA but two obstacles – it is super expensive, and all my family are on the east coast. If I could live in Europe, it would be Bamberg, Germany or Normandy, France. Not in big cities but close enough to visit.
Money is the reason I don’t live in Monterey! I saw a House Hunters International episode recently of Ariege, France. The people were renting a place for 500 dollars. It was gorgeous. It’s now on my list.
Would one of you do a blog on your business cards? I would love to hear what you put on them!
That is an interesting idea! There isn’t any personal information on mine. Just my website. I’m going to add my email to my next one.
Good idea, Doris!
We found our dream destination (Ozark Mountains), found just the right property (7+ acres on historical register with stone wall fence and two existing large stone fireplaces just barely outside city limits with no immediate neighbors) and a fantastic Mennonite builder to bring our dream home to life and moved in almost a year ago. We live in a very small town (less than 3000 population) but there is always something to do – after all we are the Folk Music Capital of the World – or we can sit on the porch and watch the world go by and be visited by all sorts of wildlife from deer, rabbits to even an occasional eagle. Life is good!
The Ozarks are so beautiful. It’s another place that has been on my list.
Hawaii would be my dream, but it’s too far away and too expensive. We are considering retiring to an island like St. Croix, but haven’t ruled out Mexico or any of the many islands in the Caribbean. But we are seriously hoping to move to the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area within the next two years. I would totally live overseas for a year or two, though. I’m open to all sorts of places.
I’d love to live overseas for a bit too!
We fell in love with Alaska when we took our road trip there, but it’s too far from all the kids and grands. I think we will stay in small town New England as we love it here as well.
New England is hard to beat! I’ve never been to Alaska — yet!
My dream is to live in San Francisco. I love Baltimore and have lived here all my life (except for the seven months I lived in Virginia Beach), but I feel something pulling at my soul anytime I am in San Francisco. I think I was meant to be there.
My husband and I lived in the Bay Area a million years ago (more like 30), and our daughter was born there. I worked in the city for a good part of that time. It was a wonderful place back then, as was the whole area. I hope it still is!
As long as it’s warm, I’d like a place down in the Laurel Highlands. But not in the winter. More and more I find myself wanting to head for warmer climates as fall progresses into winter.
I hear you!
I love life in coastal Alabama, I would love a house on the water. If I could pick anywhere, England has always been a favorite of mine.
The gulf coast is amazing!
We have a list of favorite vacation spots. Each one of them is visited every few years. If I had to choose and couldn’t, I’d have a home on Cape Cod, a house in Salem Ma, a place on Lake George, NY, and a home near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Luray County. Oh, and a winter home in Israel.
They all sound fabulous!
As a native NYer who’s lived in sunny SoCal since 1990, I am ready to move on. I miss weather! At least some of it. I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I do have friends I love here, so my dream would be 4 months in SoCal, 4 months in New Orleans (not the summer, my husband insists), and 4 months in the Tristate area. I don’t have to be in the city – although having lived there for 12 years, that would be my first choice – but within an hour of it. My mother lives in Ossining, near Croton-on-Hudson and it’s gorgeous there. (I grew up in another part of Westchester but I like hers better). One thing for sure, though. I want to be walking distance to stuff. My mom is a prisoner of her car – and she’s 91!!
Oh, I agree! I want to live some place walk-able too!
My dream place to live would be near Portland, Maine preferably along the coast with a view of Casco Bay. My fathers side of the family has lived there for almost 300 years. My parents were able to retire to Maine after years in Maryland where I still live. Maine is definitely my spiritual home.
I’ve been on Realter.com and Zillow looking at places in Portland! There is one lovely condo that over looks Casco Bay that appeals to me!
I’ve always lived in the suburbs, and I like it. You don’t have to drive too far to find what you want, but it isn’t so crowded that it takes you forever to get there. Then again, maybe it’s the fact that I hate change that makes me want to stay here.
I love warm weather, as anyone who knows me knows, so I am quite happy in Southern CA. If I were to move, it would be closer to my family in Northern CA. Again, the weather isn’t too bad up there.
It’s hard to beat coastal California for weather!
Sherry…..come to Chicago! We have lots of colleges, we have a really big lake, we have houses with screened porches, and I sure that there must be a small hill or valley somewhere in the vicinity. Plus, you would have me!
Bob keeps talking about wanting to live on Lake Michigan! And you know I would love to live close to you!
Anywhere my family is, is a dream place to live. That said, I dream of one day moving to Alaska or anywhere I can find a cabin in the woods on the mountains that gets snow!
You are one of the few enthused about snow!
Doris mentioned the nice weather in SE Pennsylvania, and I have to agree. We moved to Lancaster 11 years ago after living in several much colder, snowier places. It really is beautiful here, but I would prefer an even warmer climate, but the world’s greatest husband can’t stand the heat, so I am happy to be here as long as he is!
It is so beautiful there!
We live now in many people’s dream spot: coastal North Carolina. We like many things about living here, but it’s a quickly growing area, and I can’t imagine dealing with the rising housing costs, public water issues, very hot summers, and worsening traffic for the rest of my life. My grandparents have always had a lake house in New Hampshire, and that would be my dream spot. By a quiet lake, near small towns, and a fairly short drive to the Maine & NH coast, Portsmouth, and Boston.
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