Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fantasy lives

I was recently reading about the best places to live (if you define "best" as the places people are happiest) and my imagination started running. My husband will tell you that I have many fantasies about living places other than Los Angeles. I love LA, and it is pretty awesome. A few weeks back I was having lunch with D and a friend of ours who is originally from England but has been in the US for decades now. The subject of my pining to relocate came up and our dear friend's response was "why?". He pointed out that we have a wonderful home and a great set-up and a fun lifestyle that seems to suit us. He loves LA, D loves LA, we have family here, so why would we move? I pointed out that I was the only one at the table who has not yet had the opportunity to move away from home (D is from Michigan originally). I understand where they are coming from, but I still have a yearning to try out one of the lives in my imagination.

I fantasize about living in France, specifically Paris or a suburb of Paris. I like their apparent approach to parenting and feel like their culture would suit how we live. I like their emphasis on good quality food and cooking at home. I appreciate their approach to education, especially for young children. Plus I think it's everyone's romantic notion to live in France one day. If we lived there I imagine us baking pastries at home on the weekends, drinking wine at cafes in the evenings, and enjoying walking around the beautiful city.

I fantasize about living in one of the Scandinavian countries. I feel they have a better work life balance, possibly because of all the help from the government. I like the idea of having healthcare and education taken care of. Plus the expectations for time taken off of work each year is much more than the US, this includes taking time off for maternity and paternity leave. If we lived in Norway or Sweden I would imagine we'd have a well designed and functional home, we'd travel and have more quality family time together, and we'd spend a lot of time on bikes.

On of my more realistic fantasies is moving about 80 miles north to Ojai, an agricultural valley just a little south of Santa Barbara. Not only is it beautiful up there, it's small and quaint which would be a nice change from the city. And the culture is built around farming so there are lots of people with animals like horses and goats. There are fabulous hikes and amazing local produce. They have great public schools and some very fancy private schools. Best part is that even though it's sort of remote it's driving distance to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. If we lived there I imagine the Pepper taking horse back riding lessons, visiting the farmers market every Sunday, and spending lots of time outdoors.

The thing about fantasy is that you don't think about the drawbacks. Of course anywhere we live will have it's good and bad sides. But part of my desire to move it to see if I like the change or if it makes me realize that Los Angeles really is the place for me. We'll see.

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