At our house, we’ve often had discussions about “If we could live anywhere…”

It assumes, of course, that we’d really want to go anywhere. As far as places go, Jay, NY is pretty good. We have deck overlooking the AuSable River. The school down the road in Keene is top notch. Despite the long winters and the remoteness, it’s a pretty good place to be.

Nevertheless, when we think about where we might like to go, some places come to mind immediately.

On our short list:

  • Savannah
  • Puerto Rico (no specific city)
  • Seattle
  • Washington, DC (we really liked it there for the year we lived there)

When other people talk about where they would go, we hear of places like New York, Boston, LA, London, Paris, Sydney, Houston. I’ve heard Austin, Philadelphia, Las Vagas, Punta Gorda, FL, Tempe. The list goes on.

But there are a lot of places that don’t come up. At least, I’ve never heard them come up as destinations.

I have family living in Akron, OH. They live there because they work there. I’m sure it’s a fine place to live in many respects. No disrespect to Akron, but I’ve never heard someone say out of the blue, “Gosh, I think I’d like to move to Akron.

If you’re not from Akron, you kind of need a reason — and there are lots of legitimate reasons, like a job, or family connections — to settle down in Akron.

Or Kansas City. Or Milwaukee. Or Biloxi. Or Charlotte. Or Honesdale.

Let alone a place like Jay. Where’s that?

There are people who can live anywhere they choose who choose to live in Jay. They come for the mountains. They come for the skiing. They come because it’s remote.

Even they will tell you, though, that they didn’t choose Jay. They say that it was as if Jay chose them. The mountains were calling to them. When they retired and got the chance, they came.

More often than not, the places we live choose us rather than the other way around. We like to think we’re making the decision. Most of the time, the decision is made to a large extent for us.

Nevertheless, we like to muse. If we could settle down anywhere, where would we go?

Or would we just stay put after all?