I am looking for a city to base out of, somewhere that Trekker and I would want to come back to each year and keep a relationship with. I thought it was Brooklyn but the cost of living in that city is impossible. Even if I were to take a full-time, well paying job (which I probably wouldn’t be qualified for anyway) I would then need to hire some sort of child care to take Trekker all day and with the cost of a studio apartment being upwards of $1800, and a full time nanny being around $2400, that’s $4200 already before factoring in food, transport and god forbid a little entertainment. Of course I could forgo the personal touch of a nanny and put Trekker in a random daycare to cut costs but F that, my career prospects in Brooklyn just aren’t alluring enough to warrant not being able to see my kid all day. I would MUCH rather live in a tent on the beach in Costa Rica for next to nothing (which I’ve done in the past) and do Astrology readings for tourists to support us (which I’ve also done before there was an “us”.) So, Brooklyn, I love you, and I’ll see you on Facebook.
I posted a query to my wide array of Facebook Friends asking which cities they would recommend for us. My requirements are that it be a walking city (as in you don’t need a car), with an active street life, plenty of weirdos, an art scene, a music scene, a strong culture of dancing, lots of playgrounds, kid-friendly restaurants and culture, and it is affordable. Size of the city doesn’t matter so long as it is easy to get around with no car and walking is a part of life. (Every time I spend time NOT in a walking city my energy seems to atrophy from sitting around too much. I realize that I could do something about that with a little self discipline but why not just build the exercise aspect into the lifestyle and save the discipline for something else?)
Some other qualities – which would probably be automatic if the first qualities were met- would be a) that the city is safe for a single mother to walk around alone and b) that I would never feel a need to lie about my marital status. Well I am not for lying anyway but there are times and places (like when you are 8 months pregnant searching for an apartment in conservative India) that a fake wedding ring and “traveling journalist husband” are to be relied upon.
These are some of the suggestions my FB friends made from the query I sent describing my perfect home base:
Montreal, Berlin, Buenos Ares, Lisbon, Austin, New Orleans, Rockaway Beach New York (its cheaper than my old neighborhood), Portland, Edinburgh, Vegas, Pai in Thailand, Reno, Copenhagen, Marseille, Baltimore, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and of course Montezuma Costa Rica.
I dig it. And I would also consider Auroville (near Pondicherry, India), Chiang Mai Thailand, and Fort Kochi, India. I will first be examining each of these cities through an Astro-locality filter (I’ve booked a session with a pro! For those of you who have no idea what Astro-locality is, I will write a separate post about it explaining more after I have that experience.) Once the not-astrologically-fitting locations have been filtered out, I will add the winners to Trekker and I’s next World Tour which is due to begin within the next couple of weeks dependent on what travel deals I find on kayak.com and the timing of my next period.