dream vacations and living locations

Today we’re all about PLACE.

Two readers asked me questions about place, and since the same principle applies to both of my answers, I’m combining them.

Alicia (blogless, I think, but if you have one, let me know and I’ll link to you!) asked: “If you had to live in one other country, other than Italy or the US, which would you choose and why? Canada doesn’t count… cuz technically, that’s America-lite. Kidding eh! Seriously, where else would you live?”

And Geggie of So…What Else, What Else, What Else? asked “What’s your fave vacay location outside of the US or Italy?”

Here’s the hard, sad truth: I haven’t been to any other countries other than the United States and Italy. So to choose to *live* somewhere else would be quite a difficult decision.

Would I want an English-speaking country? I’ve always been drawn to Ireland–what a contrast in the weather I currently experience, huh? But all that green?! I just know I’d love it. Plus I love wearing wool.

Or perhaps Switzerland where I can settle in the part that speaks Italian and also find lots of English? Hmm….

Or would I take on the challenge of yet another language? France perhaps? Greece?

Eh, I’d probably pick Australia for both vacation and another country to live in. I’ve never heard of anyone *hating* Australia, so it seems like a good bet.

Plus they speak English! Although I know I’d still have quite a few words to learn….

And, ahem, regarding the vacation, if anyone would like to donate to the plane fare fund, do let me know.

So tell me, readers, what country other than your own
would you choose to live/vacation in and why?

More questions answered tomorrow!

26 Beans of Wisdom to “dream vacations and living locations”
  1. Gil

    A vacation or a honeymoon?

    The chances of us going on a honeymoon are about the same as us taking a vacation right now…although donations are always welcome 😉

  2. 08.18.2008

    G’Day! Fair Dinkum mate, good onya.
    You would pick up the lingo in a jiffy.
    Come and see us if you ever visit Oz 🙂
    You will love it!

    Vee’s last blog post..Insert your own creative Title here.

    Hee hee…I love the lingo already! Will definitely let you know if/when we’re coming 🙂

  3. 08.18.2008

    I’ve only ever lived in the United States, traveled extensively in Canada (which I love and would live in in a heartbeat!) and I’ve been to Mexico and Honduras on vacation. Honduras would nice, but I don’t know that I would live there.

    As for countries I’ve never been to that I would consider vacationing in? Romania, Italy, Russia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and France.

    To live in? Well, Italy has been a thought because I’m Italian, have been exposed to it through Michelle and others living there that I’ve read about and also because I saw “Under The Tuscan Sun” – which of course, is nothing like how people probably really move and live there.

    As already mentioned, I would move to Canada in a heartbeat! I also think I would love to live in Romania (did a lot of reading and researching into it) and possibly Germany (although I think learning that language would be hard for me!)

    Man, I have to travel more!!

    Salena’s last blog post..Another Day, Another 32 Things About Me

    Romania, huh? Very interesting. I’d love to visit all the countries you listed and I’ll add Lithuania 🙂 Hey, if someone else were paying, I’d gladly go anywhere in the world! Not to live though…whole other animal 😉

  4. 08.18.2008

    Hey! I clicked on Geggie’s link and can’t get to her blog unless I’m invited! 🙁 What’s the deal? How do I get an invite??

    Salena’s last blog post..Another Day, Another 32 Things About Me

    Oh I forgot that Geggie had gone private a little while back! For an invite, you’d have to contact Geggie, but I’m not sure you can get her email address anywhere, and I don’t want to give it out without her permission. I will pass along your (and anyone else’s) request though 🙂

  5. 08.18.2008

    I’d love to go to Ireland, Sweden, Scotland or Germany…those are the nations my ancestors came from and, can you believe it?, I haven’t been to one of them yet! I have been to Canada, Mexico, Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, France, Croatia, Slovenia and England…they are all interesting, but in completely different ways. Try Japan if you have enough money, it’s fascinating!

    Saratta’s last blog post..My bags are packed

    Ooh I want to come to those countries too! My cousin is married to a girl from Okinawa, and although they now live in the States, I’ve always wanted to visit there as well 🙂

  6. 08.18.2008

    Sent 2.5 years living in Australia, it may have been over 18 years ago but loved every minute of it

    Pellet stove help’s last blog post..Classic Bay 1200 Insert by Quadra-Fire

    Yeah I’ve just never heard anyone bad mouth Australia; that’s gotta be a good thing 😉

  7. carrieitly

    I would move back to Ireland in a heartbeat. End of story :-).

    Well I’d be sure to visit Carrie 🙂

  8. Definitely the countries where I have ancestral ties: Italy, Ireland, Germany. Western Canada, for the awesomeness of British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies. Iran. South Africa. Cuba. Tunisia.

    Finally, random as it may sound, I’d like to visit Antarctica: the coast, of course, though I’d also like to drop in on the Pole and look up at the stars at night.

    Of course, I’d like to go to each and every one of these places by the most indirect path possible. So I guess I’d like to go everywhere, ultimately…

    paul of crazy like whoa’s last blog post..Day 1: 2,340 words

    I hear you. Wouldn’t it be great to Samatha-from-Bewitched yourself anywhere immediately? I’d love to see Antarctica too…I love me some ice and snow!

  9. 08.18.2008

    Well, of course you know living in Italy would be first on my list. France would be a very, very close second.

    Why? Hard to sum it up, but lets just say I have a passion for the European culture and lifestyle. Things just seem more relaxed 🙂

    I would visit Ireland and Germany, as those is where my peeps are from!!

    My Mélange’s last blog post..Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

    Well once you’re over here in Italy, Robin, your other countries will all be *so* much more accessible 🙂

  10. 08.18.2008

    I have been to Aruba twice now for our honeymoon and our 5 year anniversary and loved every bit of our time there. Really is paradise for us. I would visit anywhere within Europe though – always wanted to do an Ireland/Scotland trip so hopefully one day – I like wool too.

    I’ve lived in Italy before for 11 years and even though it was at a completely different time of my life, I would consider doing it again with my family.

    Lisa’s last blog post..On the eve of my 30th birthday…

    Ooh Aruba. That’s a good idea. Although I’d have to wait until the memories of this Calabrian summer fade away a bit….

  11. 08.18.2008

    That’s a question I keep struggling with in many ways while in others I am very happy with the decision that it will always be either New York or Washington. I have only ever lived in Switzerland and the U.S., though I spent a fair amount of time in Hungary (my father is Hungarian). A lot of it has to do more with where in a country I would live — like in some ways, I think I would have an easier time in Budapest (because it’s a big city) than moving somewhere really rural anywhere – and that’s me saying it as someone who only understands Hungarian, but for whom speaking is always an issue (could be remediated though).

    I used to fantasize about moving to London (closer to my parents in Switzerland, but I could still do the same legal work I do now, not need to get admitted to another bar etc.), but I almost fell over when I realized how London was significantly more expensive than NYC or Washington. Plus, the more I researched it, the more uncomfortable I got with the idea there were CCTV cameras everywhere 🙁 As much as I loved visiting London (though the last time was 15 years ago eeep!) it seems like a better city for me to visit than live in. And when we travel again, the UK/Scotland/Ireland are definitely top of the list for visits.

    Currently my husband and I have agreed on Washington or NYC, mainly because those are the two places in the world we “overlap” in terms of comfort, and where is best for our respective jobs. In fact here have been times where one of us is in one city and the other in the other city and just see each other on weekends – I need to write Cherrye and ask her if she wants to speak to anyone who has been in a commuter marriage. I could never imagine my husband living in Switzerland where I grew up though — even Geneva, which is expat land — and we are pretty firmly settled in our lives between New York and Washington. Though I will say that if we were to ever move to Switzerland (even just short-term), I would want to live just over the border in France — it would make things such as residence and work permits etc easier for him (I am a Hungarian so EU citizen as well as being a Swiss citizen), plus frankly I find France more livable than Switzerland (especially price-wise). Reading this, I am thinking I am way too darn practical about these decisions.

    Michelle — whenever you make it up to the Italian part of Switzerland, be sure to push past Lugano and Locarno and go a little further north — Bellinzona is one of the loveliest small cities I have ever seen. I always think of it as very graceful and tiny. Another amazing place to visit further north is the Vierwaldstättersee — literally, Lake of the Four Cantons, though I think it’s English name is just Lake Lucerne — it is surrounded by three of the original cantons, and the historical site of the founding of the Confederation is on its southern (or southeastern?) shore. Aside from all the historical parts, it is one of the most interesting lakes I have ever seen — it has a very distinctive color and is flanked by mountains and is absolutely breathtaking.

    City Girl’s last blog post..Beauty Monday — Indie Spotlight on Jeanne’s Bath Shoppe

    Thanks so much for the advice; I’ll definitely put this aside 🙂 It sounds like you and your husband have found a nice middle ground, and that is so very important…but it’s also nice to have all those options!

  12. 08.18.2008

    Sorry my comment got so long!

    City Girl’s last blog post..Beauty Monday — Indie Spotlight on Jeanne’s Bath Shoppe

    Please don’t apologize! I love long comments 🙂

  13. 08.18.2008

    Well, I’m quite content living in the states, so I don’t dream about living anywhere else, but vacationing? Oh, give me someplace warm with a beach. Or the mountains in the summer (don’t like snow and cold). A month’s vacation on a tiny private island would be nice. You did say you were paying, right??

    Kacey’s last blog post..The Face in the Mirror

    I wish I could sponsor a huge blogger GTG trip around the world…how fun would that be?!

  14. Tina

    Well I’m currently in Argentina and very happy… I’ve already lived in Italy but that’s what I would choose again. I’ve also lived in Switzerland and would never do it again.
    If I *had* to choose something that’s not Italy or Argentina, I would pick Paris, France! 🙂 Ahhhh Paris… That is so on my list of places to live. It’s just… 🙂

    Tina’s last blog post..A day in the life…

    Sounds like a great plan to me Tina 🙂

  15. Tina

    Oh! And vacation – Marakech, Morocco!!

    Tina’s last blog post..A day in the life…

    Another excellent choice 🙂

  16. 08.18.2008

    D and I are actually hoping to move to Canada after C has started college. I really don’t see it as America lite at all – every time I’m there, my heart sings – I don’t know how else to describe it.

    As for vacation… Italy!!! New Zealand, Portugal, Costa Rica, Brazil, Tahiti, Kenya. Hmmm… money might be an issue though, ya think?

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..This Man has Class with a Capital “C”

    A singing heart is always a good thing in my book, Jen…sounds fabulous 🙂 Money schmoney…dreams are free!

  17. 08.18.2008

    lately i’ve been so drawn to barcelona so its my top city to visit. others on my list are: london, marakeesh, prague, tibet.

    and i’ve always dreamed of living in paris, even for a year. i just know that my creative self will flourish there. or maybe not, because i don’t speak a word of french. hehe.

    lastly, dare i say this? i’d love to visit and/or live in italy 🙂

    odessa’s last blog post..a beautiful morning

    I think your creativity would absolutely flourish in Paris…you’ll at least get creative at expressing yourself in part French and part English!

  18. 08.18.2008

    I would live in Italy … it was where I was heading before I met my Belgian bloke.

    As for Australia, a good choice. A lot of kiwis live there, including my 2 brothers. It offers a superb lifestyle, outdoorsy and cosmpolitan, clean with lots of space and ummm English?
    If you say so 😉

    Di’s last blog post..Flower Fairie

    I think I’d like New Zealand too…what’s not to love?!

  19. 08.18.2008

    So Irish coffee, Swiss Chocolate and Shrimp on the barbie huh?
    Woo hoo! ;o)

    Those places are on my list as well; you have excellent taste lady! I’d add – to visit; Japan, Egypt, Greece, Scotland, several countries in Africa, several in Europe, and also several in the Pacific.

    But if I ever move from the states, it will be to Italy. No question about that.

    Ciao Cara!

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

    Wanderlust Scarlett’s last blog post..Showers, Surprises and Suppositions

    YUM! Coffee, chocolate and shrimp…I think I could live on that 😉

  20. 08.18.2008

    Japan!!! I lived there for three years and absolutely adored it! Weird to feel so at home in a country where a redhead stands out, but there it is. I’d go back in a heartbeat!

    Janet’s last blog post..It’s Monday again and you know what that means…

    Never know where the heart will be happy, do we? Hope you at least get back to visit soon!

  21. 08.18.2008

    In the last 4 years I’ve only vacationed in Italy and my long range plans are to move to Italy, so I’ll leave Italy out of the mix as it’s obvious I LOVE it there.

    I’d like to vacation in Greece and many of the SE European countries.

    I’d move to Australia. I’ve been fortunate to have visited this lovely country once and I have relatives that live in Adelaide and Melbourne.

    Hey, did I miss a blog? The first comment (from Gil) mentioned honeymoon and your answer made it sound like you and ‘P’ had gotten married. Am I reading more into it then I should?

    Ice Tea For Me’s last blog post..hello, anyone home?

    You didn’t miss anything Linda; Gil just likes to stir the pot every now and again 😉

    P has relatives in Australia too…and believe me, I’m trying to work that angle the best I can….

  22. Giocho

    Since you have disqualified Italy, Provence. I lived in Italy near it (Provence) for a long time. I liked the people, the climate, the geography, the food and the culture.

    I haven’t been, but I don’t think I’d mind it either; P’s sister lives there, and I’m half-afraid to visit knowing I may never want to come back 😉

  23. 08.19.2008

    I’ve been to 35 countries over the years and Italy is by far my favorite. My wife and I hope to live there some day. Which is one of the reasons we love your blog!

    Other places that we have really enjoyed: France (Provence in particular); England (especially the Southwestern portion); Croatia, Turkey and Tahiti (French Polynesia). All of these places are places we have enjoyed during vacations and would also consider living if money were no object. We were particularly impressed with Istanbul, although the political climate might discourage us from actually moving there, it wouldn’t stop us from visiting again.

    No offense to our friends down under, but our one trip to Australia (Sydney and surrounding areas) was a huge disappointment. Australia to me was like an odd cross between England and Southern California — which are both places we like (we lived in Los Angeles for 20 years), so I’m not sure why it wasn’t our favorite trip. The people were friendly and the activities were fun (Hunter Valley-wine country, wildlife parks, grand opening of the Star Casino in Sydney harbour, etc.), but for some reason it’s not some place I would put at the top of my list to revisit.

    We’d still like to visit New Zealand some day. Haven’t been there yet. Would also like to visit Ireland and Scotland. And China. I was born in Japan, but haven’t been there since I was a baby, so it would be nice to go back again as an adult.

    We currently live in Oregon (which is where I grew up and went to college after my father retired from the Air Force) — and the landscape and climate are very much like parts of England and Italy, but what we crave about Italy is the history and the architecture and the ancient ruins. And the people. And the food.

    Another place we would consider living is Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the world. But our first choice will always be Italy!

    Wow, Eric, you’ve nearly seen it all! And Italy is tops, huh? I find comfort in that 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing all this…I think I’ll use your comment as my new travel wishlist in fact!

  24. 08.19.2008

    I have lived in Greece (aka “the homeland” then the us (S.C), then moved to Turkey and then back to the us (FL and then my second home seattle, Wa ) before getting so bored with my life in the states , and deciding to move back to the continent, first moving to prague and then back to greece.
    I know this will not be my last move. Moving to me is an idea..something you decide and then just do. Granted is much easier if there is nothing tying you doing like children with school and things like that.
    I have moved to many places without knowing a single soul there, recently gave up Athens to move up to northern greece. Still waiting (and hoping to meet new friends)

    The only advice I can give is never move anywhere for anyone but yourself.

    My greek friends never go anywhere else in the summer except to the islands… not that I can blame them… but I would love to go to a tropical island. For me right now the dream place is Sicely. Us greeks believe that the southern italians are like family to us, so what a better place than sicely??? ( After studying italian for 2 years I will get to hear it live if you don’t count radio, tv and the odd italian friend who visits now and then.)

    Not all who wonder are lost …. you know…
    baci from grecia…

    eleftheria’s last blog post..IMG00234.jpg

    I’ve always thought going to Greece would be kind of a homecoming for me as well…something so welcoming for someone used to southern Italy 🙂

    Also, Greece to SC must have been something! I moved from Pennsylvania to NC and that was interesting enough 😉

    Thanks so much for commenting!

  25. Diana

    I be hobnobbin’ with City Girl on the Vierwaldstättersee, I think. Switzerland is (other than the fact that it’s a little uptight) fabulous. Now, after nine years of perfectly separated trash and the cleanest car you ever saw in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, I don’t know if I might get an allergic reaction by moving to Switzerland, but I do love Zürich, with all of its craftspeople, the waterfront (ok, I’ll take Züricher See, too) and the big, big, big trees which we simply do not have here in Bella Italia.

    There is part of my being which, after too many near miss car accidents or one too many arguments with my muratore, cries out for German Ordnung. The trouble is, if I am there too long, I start pining for the improvisational talents of Italy. Yin and Yang. Anal retentiveness and chaos. Hmm.

    That *is* an interesting dichotomy you have going on there Diana…thanks for sharing. Now I’d like to go to both places 😉

  26. 09.13.2008

    We’re actually deciding where to settle for good and Canada and Australia are on top of our list!

    If a job will take us to Europe, I’d love to be in Switzerland or in France – but then I’ll have to learn a new language and I don’t know if my brain still have a space for it!

    Sandier Pastures’s last blog post..English signs around the globe

    Ooh I didn’t realize a move was in the future Grace…good luck!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake