Don’t tell anyone but if I really won an unlimited amount of money, I would be out of this world in a state-of-the-art spacecraft, “exploring brave new worlds”! But, with technology not yet at the 23rd Century levels that are coming, I would have to choose where in this world to live and why.
A Happy Place
I would choose to live in a happy place where newcomers are welcome. It’s true that you often find the kind of people you’re expecting to find, based on your own attitude toward the world. At the same time, some communities are standoffish, even hostile to those who didn’t grow up among them.
In today’s more violent world, we all have to be a bit cautious. Yet I would look and listen for a community where the dogs bark, the horses neigh, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in the land. How a town treats its animals reveals the kind of people who live there. After looking up basic facts on the Internet, paying a visit is the best way to determine this. No pinning the tail on the donkey and going to whatever part brayed back! Road trip, anyone?
Maybe Not the Tourist Spots
I might well shy away from spots that get lots of tourists most of the year. I have nothing against tourists. Who hasn’t been a tourist at least once? And Hollywood vulgarity aside, tourism is often the major economy in towns that are struggling to get along financially. What I do object to are those townspeople who see the tourists as ATM machines and overcharge them for everything from bed-and-breakfast to trinkets. This includes too many locations in my UK homeland, not just in parts of the USA.
I’ve grown attached to Spanish-style housing with its red, curved tile roofs. That said, the somewhat fragile tile roofs on such houses might demand the skills of an artisan to repair and maintain. Such homes are not limited to the Mediterranean region, but exist in the southwestern states of the US, Florida, and much of Latin America. Seeing them definitely lifts my spirits! I’m not into décor but if I had to describe it, I would say Mediterranean Coastal. I love seashells, starfish, corals, sand, turquoise, clouds, and throw cushions in a home.
A Coastal Retreat
I suppose a sort of coastal “retreat” might suit my moods most of the year, with a small, trusted staff to maintain the grounds and care for some chickens, a few dairy cows, and angora goats. The goat hair (mohair) itself would be given to the lady down the lane to spin and weave into her beautiful designs. Almost all profits would be hers and customers could even know the name of the goat the hair came from. The retreat would not be a huge operation. That would be too much responsibility and worry for me.
But With a View of the Mountains
The view from my house is of mountains and hidden alpine valleys while I enjoy breakfast in the kitchen or outside on the patio. I would giggle and try not to see the red fox running away from the hen house where the feisty rooster has chased him from his stealthy observations. When I buckle down to start writing, I see, hear, and smell the ocean from my writing studio.
Someone has told me I’m thinking of the Central California coast but the grapevine also says that area might be full of closed communities, and there’s fog, lots of fog. I’d go visit anyway to create my own impressions. And I’m sure there are other spots just as majestic and beautiful that will provide the solitude a writer craves without descending into the creativity destruction of isolation. We all need the reality check of meeting with congenial people on a regular basis, whether it’s the coffee shop, post office, or the mom-and-pop stores. And as a hard-working freelance writer, I will have earned the benefits of quiet living.