These are all cities I have had the pleasure of visiting at one time or the other and while I love travelling to many cities and spending a few days there, coming from London, there are very few cities where I’ve been left thinking “I could live here..” after a visit.
Connecting with a city, enough so that you would consider living there, is obviously down to personalities, interests, habits…etc but after living in 8 cities on 3 continents, I trust my instincts enough to know when I could definitely live in a city longer term. Without further ado, here are the cities I have visited but left wanting more…
1.) Paris, France
Easy one on my list. Reminiscent of living in London (great architecture, exciting energy, world class museums, delicious food…etc) however the opportunity to learn French first-hand from living in Paris is quite a big draw too! I generally fell in love with Paris and could easily see myself moving here.
2.) Victoria City, Hong Kong
The sheer energy of being in Hong Kong is palpable. It is a grittier city than Singapore (where I lived last year) but that sorta adds to its appeal. It is shiny, exciting and has some amazing food! Hong Kong feels like one of those places that is overwhelming to start with but once you get used to the hustle and bustle, you’ll probably end up falling in love with it.
3.) Vancouver, Canada
Another place I fell in love with at first sight! As soon as I stepped out of the train station, I knew I’d fallen for Vancouver but it was a walk down to the beach and through different neighbourhoods a couple of hours after that confirmed my deep suspicions – Vancouver is an amazing city and one that I would happily move to!
4.) Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon was bound to be great fun, seeing as I was visiting with friends (8 of us in total), however it was so much more fun than I anticipated. I think one of the biggest reasons why I could see myself living here was due to the fact that we rented an apartment here for a few days and so we had a home of sorts in the city centre.
Having a home in Lisbon gave me a glimpse of what life would be like in Lisbon and I loved it! Coincidentally, a friend from London was actually in Lisbon at the time we visited and we all hung out – turns out, he’d moved to Lisbon to live there for a few months too!
5.) Reykjavik, Iceland
I don’t even understand how this happened. It’s hard to put into words why I loved Reykjavik (I can easily tell you why I LOVE Iceland) but I’m used to big cities with lots of bright lights and noise and Reykjavik is a much smaller city than most.
That being said, I think part of the draw is that even if you’re in the city, you’re a short ride from some of the most amazing natural sights in the world. Iceland is exciting and Reykjavik definitely benefits from that!
6.) Sydney, Australia
This might sound a bit controversial but I don’t feel like the best of Sydney is the city centre itself. It’s a great city and comes with all the kinda stuff you would expect from global cities but the big draw when you visit Sydney is actually its suburbs.
Its amazing beaches, fantastic sea food, great weather, wildlife and all the good stuff you get outside of the city centre is probably the best reason to want to live in Sydney. It is a relatively expensive city, even coming from Europe, however the pay is commensurate to the expenses (from what I’ve seen) so it’s easier to get used to the prices if you live there.
7.) Florence, Italy
Amazing pizza? Deliciously refreshing ice creams? I’m there! There is so much more to Florence of course than food.
I think Florence is one of those places I didn’t overthink when we booked a trip to go visit and so part of how it got to me was the element of surprise.
I wasn’t expecting it to be half as beautiful as it was. I wasn’t expecting it to be as vibrant as it was. I just had this idea of a sleepy Tuscan city but it was so much more than that! It was fun at night and during the day. You’re surrounded by world class art and architecture and best of all – you get the chance to brush up (or learn from scratch) your Italian!
8.) New York City, USA
“Like London on steroids” one of my friends described New York as and in a lot of ways, they’re right! London is of course a very different city compared to New York but New York is another city I fell in love with immediately (especially so – Manhattan)!
There’s so much to do and see here and even as a jetlagged traveller, I was able to head out for dinner at 1am, see a few sights and pop into a couple of bars like it was 7pm in any other city in the world. Things are open till late in London and the buildings are big but in New York, they’re open even later and the buildings are even bigger.
The food is also quite exciting, the diversity of the city is beyond compare and the sheer energy in the air is absolutely brilliant!
All said and done though, even if I moved to any of these cities for a few months or years, London will always be my first love and have me running back! 🙂 I mean who could say no (or truly stay away) from this: