Monday, October 09, 2006

Where do you call home?

Have you heard of the expression, “home is where you hang your hat?” Do you think that is true? If I was offered a job in Barrow, Alaska, would I go? At this point, I’d probably say, “yes.” It would be an adventure. How many Americans get to say they’ve been there? But you can be assured that at the first chance I got, I’d be out of there on the first dog sled available. I’m very discriminating when it comes to places I would consider settling down and making a home.

A few days ago, NPR had two gentlemen discussing the rise of China. During the program, they talked about their study abroad experiences. Both lived there and speak the language fluently. One still lives there in Hong Kong. I can not imagine living in a place like China for long—much less want to. I spent five months in the Philippines a few years ago and I nearly cried when I dropped beneath the cloud cover to see—of all places—Detroit. And if I could get misty eyed over that hell hole, you know that I was ready to kiss the ground when I finally landed.

When I think about living abroad, there really are only two countries that I would actually consider living in—Australia and England. Even then, it would have to be in Canberra, Sydney, and London. I don’t count Canada as living abroad. It’s practically like living in the U.S. *ducks flying vegetables*. But as with Australia and England, I’d only find lower Ontario and lower British Columbia as acceptable.

I’m very discriminating when it comes to the States as well. Take a look at this map. If you think about it, there’s not much about my home country I find acceptable either. But, I will go wherever life takes me. If I’m willing to take on Barrow, AK, surely I can find a way to make some place like Salt Lake City a home.


Midwest: Of all the places I’ve lived, this is where I feel most at home. Friendly folks, conservative lifestyles (for the most part), cheap products, and some of the best natural resources the world has to offer: arable land and plenty of fresh water. But notice the area in northeastern Indiana and western Ohio. I swear that place is one huge farm with towns sprinkled in.

The Eastern Seaboard: I like the East Coast. I’ve never been farther north than Philly but I’d say with the exception of NYC, I could live anywhere there and still feel comfortable.

6 comments:

John Provis said...

I'm basically with you on the definition of which parts of the US are habitable - with the possible exception of the upper Midwest (anywhere that gets regular piles of snow is too cold for me...) - I enjoyed the Midwest for the time I was there, for exactly the reasons you listed, but the weather is a major deterrent for me.

One question though: of all the cities in Australia, why Canberra? I spent 2 weeks there a couple of years ago, and it's possibly rivalling Adelaide for the title of Most Boring City In Australia. Seriously, after 6pm, the place is a ghost town - I couldn't even find a takeaway food store in the "heart" of the city to buy dinner at. Oh, and it doesn't have a beach, and all the roads go round in circles so you're permanently lost whenever you try to drive anywhere.

David said...

Hmm... I think that your upper Midwest is a little bigger than what I consider the upper Midwest. That the reason why the northern halves of MN, WI, and MI aren't shaded. But I expect snow living here and it really isn't that bad. Plus with global warming, our winters have actually been really mild and our summers have been quite cool.

As for Canberra, I would love to work with another country's government. Not as a spy or anything. So Canberra is probably where I would go. And boring cities wouldn't bother me. I live in a village with one blinking yellow light for Pete's sake! There are other capitols that I'd go to but probably wouldn't want to stay for too long. If, someday, I get into MSU Law, I'm hoping that I would get into their joint JD-LL.B program where I would spend half my schooling at the University of Ottawa. I'd have to look into it, but I wonder if their is a bar exam where I could practice law in a variety of Commonwealth countries. Thinking a little too far as I need to get into law school first. :-)

herb said...

hmm...

where I'm from in the upper midwest isn't shaded.

I'm hurt. :)

PJS said...

By an accident of birth, I'm extremely partial to the American Southwest. In fact, I'll go there now...

David said...

Herb: Sorry, but when evergreens start replacing people, I think it's time to head back south. :-P

PJS: I was born in Vegas and I'm not to eager about returning there. Unless I'm experiencing a lucky streak, then I'll give gambling a whirl.

John Provis said...

Yeah, I think my definition of "upper" might be just a fraction more inclusive than the technically correct definition. Somewhere roughly level with Champaign-Urbana or Indianapolis is about as far north as I'd go, which I guess doesn't leave me a lot of the "real" midwest...