One mental game I play whenever I travel is to ask myself if I would like to retire in the places I visit. It started many years ago, when we were staying in a town with no bookstores. I came to the conclusion that I did not want to live somewhere without many readers. I knew I could get books, but a community where there weren’t a large number of readers would not be a place I wanted to live. Nowadays, the absence of bookstores is not as indicative of a lack of readers.
We were visiting some Greek islands and the guide told us that the building we were passing was brand new hospital. After comments from an earlier guide, we asked if it was staffed. No, the government can’t afford doctors. That island is certainly off my list.
Whenever a tour guide talks about the relaxed lifestyle, I wonder if the plumber would come promptly. When they talk about it being a playground for the rich, I know I can’t afford it. I know I’m picky. I want four seasons, but I prefer mild winters and summers. If there is a dominant culture, such as a military presence, I wonder if I would fit in. The culture of Jazz, drinking, and spicy food of New Orleans doesn’t appeal to me at all.
This doesn’t mean I don’t want to visit these places, but a quick visit is very different from living there.