Last week I was walking to my German class on this beautiful path next to the river in Zurich and, as always, my mind is wandering and thinking of 10,000 things at once or almost one after the other. And this question came to my mind: “Does the most liveable city in the world mean it’s boring?”. It’s just one of those questions to ponder on. I guess the reason why this question came to my mind is because in the last 5 years, if I exclude Milan and Zurich where I recently moved to, I lived in two cities, which I both loved and still loved: Madrid and Melbourne.
The difference between them, without going into detail, is that:
- Madrid – did not make the Top 10 of the most liveable cities in the world, but it’s very well organised, I’d say everything works pretty well and, to my knowledge, it’s one of liveliest and fun city in the world
- Melbourne – is at the Top of the ranking for the 5th time and is for sure a very nice city, with lot going on and more of a “European vibe” to it, but with an Aussie laid-back attitude
So the question came up, does “liveable” mean “boring”? And a few days later someone at the Wall Street Journal thought the same 🙂 . Please read the article clicking on the link at the end of my post.
Of course my experience and brief consideration is mainly based on 2 cities, but it gives a little bit to think about. In fact, although I very much loved Melbourne and I really enjoyed living there, I must say that at times it could be boring. I remember when I went to Madrid after more than year, I just felt really alive again, free to hug my friends and have that close contact, dance till the morning and see that openness and that “everything can happen” attitude of people all around. I don’t know whether it’s Melbourne’s pace, although more enjoyable at times, that would benefit from some acceleration from time to time, or the culture, colder less emotional, with everything that entails, vs the Spanish / Southern European culture that really embraces you and makes you feel really alive or it just comes down to your background and so you’re drawn to what you’re used to or know best. Although it seems that the Southern European, or just European vibe and lifestyle, from what I personally heard, is of great attraction to everybody, especially in Australia. So there must be something to it.
What about Paris, Rome, Milan, London, Barcelona, but it’s not only Europe, think also of New York, Tokio, for example… they are not for sure the most organised cities, but they are vibrant, always changing, attracting lots of tourists each year and the dream city for many people.
This was just a short consideration during my walk, so not a deep analysis, just food for thought, but without drawing quick and superficial conclusions, it seems that not always the most liveable city is the most lively and fun city. I personally had the time of my life in both cities although in different ways. And I guess of course it always depends on what you make of the experience and of the city. What do you think?
See the Top 10 on the below image and read the Wall Street Journal clicking on the link http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2013/08/29/is-livable-another-word-for-boring/.
By the way, “Well done Melbourne!” 🙂