As we began our car trip at Como en route to Menaggio, I was overcome with a bout of I Could Live Here. Lago Di Como is stunning. Pastel villages and magnificent estates dotting the shores, the Alps framing the view from the North and old churches illuminated near the top of the surrounding hills.
For the past couple of days, I have been reflecting on what would make somewhere the perfect place to live for me, but the task has been surprisingly difficult. My analysis started to turn into a Monocle Quality of Life Survey (evaluating health care, transportation, urban planning, etc…). Such criteria are certainly valid (and I do love Monocle), but aren’t at the heart of what would make some place perfect for me. Think less concrete and more intuitive.
Five to 10 years ago, I was open to going (moving?) anywhere for the sake of experience and education – which basically meant I was open to everything. These days, however, while such openness remains an important part of my identity, its being with the ones I love that ranks at the top of the list. As much as I love and have loved discovering new places in the world and learning about myself through travel, I don’t think new experiences would be as enjoyable without the people I love to share them with. Perhaps that is why the one place that feels like the perfect place to live at the moment is, in fact, my home in Toronto, Canada. 🙂
As for Menaggio (traveller’s tip here), the entire region basically shuts down during the winter season. We had difficulty finding a restaurant to eat at since almost all were closed until April. Had it been summer time, I may have been infected by I Could Live Here for a while. But as Paolo, the wonderful manager at the Grand Hotel Victoria said, “[the locals] even have a hard time finding something to do [in the winter]”. Reality check, indeed.
Writing this post made me recall this line from The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera: “A person who longs to leave the place where he lives is an unhappy person.” What do you think? Do you agree?