It’s interesting how places can be so different with only a few hundred miles between them. In California, I lived in both the north (San Francisco) and grew up in the south. There was a distinct contrast between attitudes, lifestyle, climate and culture. When you consider there were only 400 miles between my hometown and my university in the north, I was surprise to see so many differences. Still, I had my preference, but each city had certain things to recommend it as well as things I could do without. I suppose the same could be said of any city.
Many years later, I find myself in the same situation. I spent the first years of my UK residence in London, with its marvellous noise and the speed of everything and everyone. The myriad of things to do and the influx of colourful strangers from all over the world pouring in from every corner of the city. The expense made it the sort of place that could be exciting and varied for those who had the money and cold, hard and unfriendly for those who didn’t.
Four hundred miles to the north is Edinburgh, with its spectacular castle on the hill, the rugged beauty of the mountains and lakes so nearby and the picturesque views of the Forth. People are polite and appreciate culture and are ready to laugh and have a good time. The cost is your anonymity. There is a littleness of the place that gives it a claustrophobic air and there is no escape within the city when you wish to be left alone. The friendliness of the people takes the sting out of knowing that you’re never just a stranger, reading the paper or weaving in and out without identity. The weather, cold and damp and chilling for much of the year bears down on its residents with only a few weeks of sun to look out for.
No place is perfect, but we don’t always step back and really analyse the places we’re living in for both the good aspects and the bad. Have a cold hard look at the place where you live. What do you like about it, what don’t you like so much?