After being back in New York in this last week, I’ve been thinking about more travel. This summer is a busy travel season for us, but not really pleasure. I have to be Detroit, New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, and Boston. All of those weekend trips will bring us up to Labor Day weekend, which hopefully we’ll find something to do just for us. Annemarie will have some vacation days built up, so I was thinking of going on a quick 4-5 day trip somewhere. There have been some incredible travel deals lately, but mostly to places that I have been, and I like to rack up the new countries if you can’t tell already from my previous posts.

That also brings me to the point of relocation. For about the last year or so I’ve been pondering the idea of moving. I have moved quite a bit in my life, and I have lived in Chicago now for 7 years, which behind Rochester, is the longest I’ve ever stayed in one location. While I love Chicago, and the network that I have here, I think it’s time for a change. We can always come back to Chicago if we don’t like the change, so why not try something else out, right?

One idea we had was to split our time between Chicago and some other city around the world. Spend the summer in Chicago, and then try something else out when the weather is not that favorable here. We could try a different city each year, as long as we could find a gig for Annemarie that would allow her that kind of flexibility. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on different places to either live all year or just during the 6 months of winter that Chicago now has. The strange thing is I like seasons, and would kind of miss winter, but at the same time the weather has been so bad in Chicago over the last 2 years during the winter, that I need something else, or at least give me a benefit to being stuck in such crappy weather for 6 months out of the year.

That brings me to our first possible place: DENVER. I’ve always liked Colorado, but have only been there a handful of times. I’ve actually never spent any time in Denver per se except in a restaurant where I introduced Magic Hat to my buddy Beef. I’ve been in the ski area 3 times, and love it out there, and the fact that it’s so close to a major city. Some of the best skiing in the world only 90 minutes away from a major city that has similar winters to Chicago, except the tallest hill in Chicago is the one formed by ants in the nearby alley. Staying with the “cold season” theme, we have spoken about moving to Vancouver, BC. I had never been before we went on our trip, and after only being there for about 36 hours, we both fell in love with the place. It never gets really cold, but also never gets really hot. The city is on the water, and is surrounded by mountains. Easy trips to Whistler to go skiing, or if you need to be in the United States quick, Seattle is only a 2 hour drive away. We never thought that we would consider living in Canada, but Vancouver won us over, and has been given a place on the “possible” list. To round out the “cold” places, I still wouldn’t mind moving to Oregon. I have been there about 7 times, and love it more everytime I go. Now, I’ve only been to Portland twice, but have been down to Bend about 5 times. I think I could live in Bend, just because of the outdoors, and the fact that the “slow” season is the ski season, and they have one of the best mountains in the country, yet it’s never that crowded, Mt. Bachelor. I don’t like the fact that the airport after flying into it for 7 years is expanding, and now going to allow bigger planes to land there, which will only make Bend more crowded, but I guess that’s what eventually happens to every place. Annemarie has yet to visit Oregon, but I would like to take her to both Portland and Bend to show her why I love it there so much.

Leaving the United States is also a strong possibility for us. I’ve always wanted to live abroad, and if my business stays the way it is or better, I’d be able to do that with no issue really. I think living in Europe for a few years would be great, and would give us accessibility to visit tons of countries during the time that we lived there. I would love to see every country in Europe before I start a family, but I think that would require me living there for a bit to make tha that happen. We mutually agree that Barcelona is one of the nicest cities we’ve visited around the world. The weather, the people, the culture, etc. are all incredible. Even though unemployment over there is about double what the United States is right now, I think the future is great for Spain. Something about being there was very comfortable. Other than Spain, there are other places we have enjoyed in Europe, but none that have stuck out to the point that we’ve said “We could live here for a while.” Italy would be great, but there is no industry there, and unless you are a professional athlete or an heir to a food fortune, there is not a lot going on business wise in Italy at the moment. We also like Amsterdam, Budapest, Prague, Copenhagen, and Paris, but none of them stuck out like Barcelona. I’d gladly live in Paris, other than the fact it costs twice as much to live there than almost every other city in Europe, sans London and pretty much all of Switzerland.

Then we have the Carribbean and Latin America. We’ve been to a few islands down there, which include the USVI, BVI, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Barbados and the Grenadines. It would be quite a lifestyle change to live down there, but quick trips back to the states if you need to are there, the timezones are similar, and the weather is fantastic. For those that know me, I hate humidity, so it’s strange that I would even consider living in the islands, but I think if it’s something that is a constant, I could learn to live with it. Just takes time to acclimate I suppose, and probably a bit longer for me than the normal person. As far as Latin America, honestly, we have never been. I can’t count Mexico, as I’ve only been to Cancun, and honestly, I would never live there, but that’s not true Mexico, nor Latin America.  From all my reading, I’ve had a strong interest in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From the culture, the French inspired architecture, to the cost of living. From what I’ve read, it still seems relatively “undiscovered” as a major travel destination around the world. Not sure if it’s because of it’s location, but I don’t know a lot of people that have been there. Plus, there aren’t a lot of major cities close to each other in South America, and no train network like you have in say Japan or in Europe. I think the train problem alone keeps many tourists out of South America, because they don’t want to fly all that way just to see one place, whereas in Europe, you can easily hop countries/cities on a train or cheap flight with no issue.

That being said, I think Buenos Aires would be a great place to go for Labor Day weekend. The flights down there are overnight, so we wouldn’t lose anytime there, and the weather should be pretty similar to Chicago at the time. It’s a hike (about 8-9 hours on plane) but then again so are most places when you fly to Europe, so that really doesn’t concern me. Unless we stayed in the continental United States or Vancouver (which would take 4.5-5 hours to get back), every place is going to have a longer commute time back to Chicago. I’ve been searching for people I know that either know people or they themselves have lived in any of the cities to give opinions. I hope to rack up a lot more info before we decide what we are going to do, but would like to see us pursue a new location before the year ends.

Only time will tell.

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