If You Could Live Anywhere…
Posted by Alicia | Filed under Alicia
If you could choose anywhere to live, where would you end up? MoneySense recently released a list of the best places to live in Canada, and it really had me thinking what causes us to live where we do. And I started asking questions, thinking about the different factors involved.*
- Would you keep close to your roots at all costs?
- Would you move across the country for greater opportunities?
- Would you move half-way across the world for a cheaper cost-of-living?
- Would you move to the big city with a higher cost-of-living, but easy access to everything?
These are questions I have been thinking about a lot lately, for a multitude of reasons. Part of it is because I have my eyes on the job boards, and part of it is about trying to decide whether I am staying put… no matter what. It’s a decision that has been heavy on my mind, and something that has been crossed many of my friends minds as well.
Canada is a proud nation as a whole. But there is something about the East Coast that seems to have a teensy bit more pride than the norm. Perhaps it’s the salt water in our blood, but many people radiate Atlantic Canada and their love for this area of the country. I’m no different; I’m a pretty big fan of this area of the world, and have a lot of regional pride.
I’ve spent time in big cities all across Canada, some more than others. I’ve been to many cities across the US as well. Tack on a few European destinations, and while I don’t have the whole world covered by a long shot, I feel like I am beginning to answer this list of questions for myself.
There are so many factors that I didn’t list above in those first few questions. Many are related to finances such as taxes, cost-of-living, employment opportunities, housing affordability (both for renting and buying), etc.
Then there are factors such as the proximity to friends and family – depending on your relationship with your family, being farther away might actually be the favourable situation. I will put the disclaimer in here that I do not yet have children, and therefore do not have that variable of trying to bring multiple generations together so my parents can see my children grow up.
A big factor I’ve realized since I moved roughly a year ago is the size of the town, and with that also comes things to do, and places to eat – or just wrap that all into culture. I want more than one decent restaurant to eat at that isn’t Canadiana!
Then there is things such as climate (will Spring get here before it’s technically Summer!?), health care access, how safe it is (crime rate), and commute. Having recently moved somewhere that didn’t have a single family physician accepting new patients made me question my move when I needed a simple prescription refill, let alone continued medical care.
Now some things might be more important on your list than mine, and vice versa. But I’m curious how people decide where to live, and where the weight was placed. Was it on friends and family, career growth and opportunities, or being part of a cultural hot-spot?
*Honestly, I started asking these questions before I read the most recent edition of MoneySense, but the topics intersect so nicely I thought I’d throw in the link if any one is interested in how their home stacks up.