I thought I’d write a short piece on choosing the best place to live. There are lots of variables to consider such as building codes, climate, job opportunities, cost of living, availability of water, power and Internet, suitable soil and water for gardening, safety and many other issues. So what do I think is the most important factor in deciding where to live?
My opinion may surprise you. Even though the factors mentioned above are all very important, the most important one to me is community and meaningful relationships. Humans are social creatures that need to interact with other people. Living on a remote mountain or any really isolating place will not work out long term for most people. Everyone wants to have friends, do things with family, meet new people, etc. and that’s why community is so important. In general, we all want to be part of a larger community of like-minded people. Communities of course also have stores, gas stations, farmer’s markets, libraries and modern services that make life easier. The challenge is finding a place that’s right for you. For me that means living in a small town with our homestead 15 minutes away.
Kelly Hart agrees with this as well as you can read in a previous blog post called Small Town Urban Homesteading. In this post, Kelly explains why their small town is a good choice for them: most everything is within walking or biking distance, it’s a university town with lots of activities that they enjoy, there’s a beautiful historic district downtown, and they can grow a large permaculture garden in their backyard.
In conclusion, it’s all about finding the right balance of conditions and amenities that are best for you. It may take months or even years of exploring different places to finally decide on the perfect spot.
If you know of a really good place to live for homesteaders, tiny house folks and other natural builders please leave a comment below so I can continue posting stories about the best places to live in North America.