Where in the world could I live?
June 6, 2019 10:31 AM   Subscribe

My new job is 100% online and it's dawned on me that this means I could live... anywhere! There are certain things I would desire in an ideal place of residence, and I am very poorly travelled so am struggling to imagine the options that might be out there- could you help me dream of my ideal move?

First off let me iterate that this is pure fantasy-land (at this stage). We need not factor in too much to do with practical considerations along the lines of visas, learning a foreign language etc. What I want to do at the moment is dream about far off places that I could have never imagined.

My desires for Dream Relocation:
- LGBT friendly/good queer dating scene
- Cold winters, moderate summers. I love the cold, I love snow. Winter is my favourite season. I suffer in the heat but if there is a decent seasonal difference I could accept it. What I dislike is the same dreary weather all year round with barely any real seasonal variation.
- Walkable/not dependent on needing a car for everyday life
- Public transport exists and works
- Close to nature, preferably mountains and forests (I would be willing to drive to this stuff)
- Not sky-high rent (my income is modest to low)
- Sense of place/identity/community & diversity
- Big enough place or close enough to a big city that there will be options for things like finding therapists and joining clubs and meditation groups
- English being the native or at least a major language is probably preferable but not mandatory

My starting point: In the last few years I’ve lived in a very small but lively town, and really out in the middle of nowhere, both in the UK- neither of which have had nearly enough going on in terms of dating/meeting new people or things like meditation groups. I’ve lived in London before and despise it because it feels like the soul has been sucked out of it and the only thing people care about there is making money, consuming, consuming, and yet more consuming.

I kinda of want to leave England anyway because I dislike that the weather is so middling and it doesn’t ever get properly cold. I also dislike this country’s slow slide towards fascism and the dementia of democracy, but fear this may be the case in many countries these days. But if you live in a UK town/city that you absolutely LOVE, let me hear about it!

The city closest to what I’m thinking I would want, that I’ve personally been to, is Oslo (but cost of living is v high, plus my ex lives there…) I’ve also been considering Sheffield.

I’m aware that possibly no one place will probably provide everything my heart desires (unfair!), but basically, if you love where you live I want to hear about it! Wax lyrical! Thanks!
posted by Balthamos to Society & Culture (50 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Ever thought about Canada? I have loved my recent visits to both Ottawa and Montreal. You want some snow? Boy howdy have they got snow! I think Montreal especially might tick a lot of boxes for you.
posted by soren_lorensen at 10:35 AM on June 6, 2019 [13 favorites]

Ottawa apparently has one gay bar :) Toronto, we got a variety, plus most of your other hopes. But we do have sky-high rent.
posted by wellred at 10:36 AM on June 6, 2019

Best answer: Maybe too small, but I'll go to my standard AskMefi recommendation of Northampton, MA, USA. Hits basically all of your requirements, although it is a smallish town.
posted by Betelgeuse at 10:38 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

You want to move to Milwaukee!

We've got affordable living, a nice (too?) long winter, access to Lake Michigan, a thriving arts scene, a vibrant LGBT community, and we're just a hop away from Chicago! Our public transportation is pretty decent as well, and we have a shiny new streetcar called the Hop to roll around in. Want to walk or bike? Milwaukee is pretty compact, especially on the East Side, so that's not an issue either.

I've been here for five years now and honestly, I'll stay for as long as I can.
posted by Fister Roboto at 10:43 AM on June 6, 2019 [11 favorites]

Can you reasonably move to the US? I'm afraid you'll get a lot of US suggestions so it might be worth clarifying. If so, I suggest Chicago.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:55 AM on June 6, 2019

I mean, I'd be remiss if I didn't enthusiastically agree with Milwaukee as a suggestion but also Madison, Wisconsin checks a lot of your boxes. It's a small-ish college town with a great LGBTQ community, an excellent bus system, lots of nature in close proximity, and about 1.5 hours from Milwaukee, within 4 of Chicago, and not too terribly far from the Twin Cities either. It's the state capital so a thriving political scene if that's your thing. We also have lots of beer and a decent food scene. Come to Wisconsin, it's awesome here!!
posted by cheese at 10:57 AM on June 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Burlington, VT
posted by sallybrown at 11:01 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Have heard great things about Wellington, NZ; as a plus, last time I looked at immigration, it seemed pretty doable relative to similar countries (of course, I don't know your specifics.)
posted by mosst at 11:02 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Depending on how you define "sky-high rent," you might like Ann Arbor, Michigan. No mountains here, but if you don't mind driving to northern Michigan, it's beautiful there. We have an overabundance of therapists and things like meditation groups - including two Buddhist temples.
posted by FencingGal at 11:12 AM on June 6, 2019

Best answer: I think you'd love Uppsala, Sweden. Granted, my knowledge of the city is limited to a two weeks of vacation travel. Sweden is in general very LGBTQ-friendly, and with Uppsala being a university city, I would imagine there's an active dating scene there. The friend I was traveling with is an avid yoga practitioner who found quite a few options there for her daily practise, and it's likely you'd find meditation groups to join in such communities.

We were comfortable speaking English there, rents didn't seem as high as they are in Stockholm and Gothenberg, and we got around comfortably in buses and without a car. In the COLD. Holy cow was it cold there in October.

The only thing I can't speak to is the sense of community there, only because we weren't in Uppsala long enough. Scandinavia isn't known for immediately welcoming immigrants, but you probably couldn't do better than a university town for finding people you'd be comfortable building relationships with.
posted by Everydayville at 11:20 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

As someone who grew up in SE Wisconsin and lived in Milwaukee's east side for seven years - I DO NOT MISS THE WEATHER. It's not just the cold but I absolutely despise Wisconsin in August as it's miserably hot and humid. And the utilities cost a lot because heating in the winter is a must and air conditioning in the summer is a must. The winters are very dry and no matter which way you are walking, the freezing, dry wind will always be in your face. Moisterizer is a must unless you want permantly chapped lips and dry skin on your cheeks and anywhere that a scarf/hat combo might not cover. Or wear a balaclava.

There is a lot that I genuinely love about Wisconsin and Milwaukee in particular, but if you have only lived in the UK, then you have not experienced this kind of climate.

I live in Seattle now and it's awesome. I should mention that cost of living in Seattle is much higher than in Milwaukee. I'm not suggesting Seattle as a place for you to live as it's likely outside your price range. But it does offer a lot of what's on your list.
posted by acidnova at 11:25 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Lots of people live in campervans, vans, minivans, even Priuses, and travel all over, some while working online. With a good Internet service that has plenty of data, the possibilities are pretty awesome.
posted by theora55 at 11:32 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't really recommend anyone move to the States. It's getting... weird, here. In an uncomfortable way. Especially for queer people.

I seem to recall that it's fairly easy for British people to move to Canada or Australia, of course, Australia doesn't ever get very very cold. Somewhere in Ontario?
posted by Automocar at 11:36 AM on June 6, 2019 [19 favorites]

Brighton, UK hits a lot of your points
posted by atlantica at 11:39 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Moving countries isn't as easy as it may seem, and with Brexit, you may also lose the right to move anywhere within Europe. Brits no longer have the right to emigrate to Canada; you would have to qualify like anyone else (such as through our skilled immigrant program).

That said, if visas are forthcoming, you might like Atlantic Canada. Western Canada has the same weather as the UK and (at least in larger centres) insanely high housing prices. Central Canada, including Ontario and Quebec, has very cold winters, but also very hot summers. Atlantic Canada has cold (snowy but not deep freeze) winters, with cool summers. The provinces in Atlantic Canada are Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Of the four, I think you would like the weather in Newfoundland best. It's further north and gets colder. But I have no idea what the cities there are like LBGTQ or ethnic diversity

The capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax, is the largest city in the region (albeit still small, even by Canadian standards). The downtown is very walkable and also has good transit, it's queer-friendly and moderately diverse; I don't know what the rents are like.

What about Scotland? that would be within the UK (for now). I've not been, but are there parts with more wintery-winters?

Another consideration: if you're working online, you will want to be in a place with good connectivity. This isn't as universal as one might think, but if you are sticking to larger centres, they should be good.
posted by jb at 11:40 AM on June 6, 2019 [6 favorites]

If your career is entirely online and you want to future proof your purchase: Columbus, Ohio.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:41 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Note: rents in larger cities in Ontario (Toronto, Ottawa, etc). are also increasing rapidly. Ottawa has stupidly high rents for a place of it's size. Gatineau (across the river in Quebec) might be better.
posted by jb at 11:42 AM on June 6, 2019

Great question. I envy your position and hope that you are able to take full advantage of it.
Vancouver ticks most of your boxes - with the exception of reasonable rents.

We have:
- rainbow coloured crosswalks
- public transit that goes to the ski hills
- mountains and beaches and parks everywhere
- no private car needed as there are four different car shares in town

Though I would also second considering living out of a camper or van.
posted by booksarelame at 11:45 AM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I too was going to suggest Burlington, VT, but rents are high.
posted by terrapin at 11:48 AM on June 6, 2019

If you think summers in Oslo or southern England are moderate, I think you would find summers in the American and Canadian midwest -- Chicago, Toronto, Milwaukee, etc -- to be utterly unbearable. In North America, pretty much the only way you'll find summers that cool are in Atlantic Canada, northern New England, and at elevation.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:50 AM on June 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Vermont will pay you $10,000 to move there. (It also meets a lot of your criteria, including cold winters.)
posted by Melismata at 11:57 AM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Buffalo, NY!
posted by Riverine at 12:04 PM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Salt Lake City, or Ogden, Utah. Salt Lake has a huge, happy, gay population. The rents have gone up, but it has everything you have mentioned. Ogden is 40 miles north, with a university, mountains, reservoirs, a night life, but only 40 miles to Salt Lake, connected by light rail, and Trax.

I really miss Utah's amenities, the mountains, streams, deserts, desserts, bakeries, breweries, restaurants, events, arts.
posted by Oyéah at 12:11 PM on June 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'll second Uppsala, even though I haven't been there in person. The first country I thought of when I read your question was Sweden, and then I remembered how expensive the biggest cities are. Uppsala is something I'm looking at, too.
posted by mumimor at 12:13 PM on June 6, 2019

This app will give you some suggestions when you put in your preferences.
posted by pinochiette at 12:49 PM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Boulder CO (if you can afford it, of course).

Home of Neptune Mountaineering, your US source for all things telemark skiing!
posted by phliar at 12:55 PM on June 6, 2019

Best answer: I'm going to throw another pitch here for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

It's young. There are three universities and a few other colleges, which gives it a really youthful vibe. This also means lots of good options for booze and food, live music, etc.

It's walkable. There is absolutely no need to own a car if you live there. You can get most places on foot, especially if you live centrally.

It's close to nature. There's Point Pleasant Park right in town. There are beaches and hiking all along the south shore of NS south of Halifax. There's Cape Breton a couple hours north.

The climate. For Canada, the winters are relatively mild. Halifax can get a ton of snow, but they don't get the bone-chilling temperatures of an Ottawa, Winnipeg, or Calgary. And the summers are beautiful. Not too hot and humid, but green with lots of sun and everyone is outside all the time.

Also, Canada in general has avoided the populist, anti-immigrant, fascistic turn that lots of other places are experiencing. Atlantic Canada in particular is calm, people are non-judgmental and salt of the earth, and everyone just wants to relax and have some beers and laughs in their backyards. There's a reason everyone loves it there. It's actually pretty perfect.
posted by fso at 1:01 PM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Why aren't you considering Berlin? In particular the cheaper rents available in the former East Berlin. It attracts expats, artists and travelers from all over the world. There's plenty of snow in winter. One of world's most vibrant LGBT scenes. Amazing public transportation. And lots of English speakers. A mild summer of weather in the 70s. There's very little in the US that meets your combo of snowy winter/mild summer/progressive social scene/cheap rent. Denver and Albuquerque fit the bill but the mild summers there are full of intense summer light (think Greece or southern Italy) that might require a lot of adaptation for someone from the filtered light of the UK. From the Rockies to the Atlantic Coast, summer is brutal. Portland, Maine is the only exception I can think of, because it's so far north. Very progressive but I don't know anything about rents there.
posted by caveatz at 1:07 PM on June 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Gothenburg Sweden?
posted by nikaspark at 1:36 PM on June 6, 2019

In Berlin we haven't had snow in winter for ages, summers are pushing 40 degrees celsius and rents are rocketing up all over town. The LGBTQIA+ scene and the public transport ARE great. The influx of English speakers has largely turned the city into a Disneyland version of its former self, English speakers who do not use German are pandered to for money but increasingly resented. Plus Berlin is not immune from the Europe-wide rise in Fascism. The only nature within daytripping distance is pancake-flat: lakes and tree plantations.
Uppsala and Halifax sound ace.
posted by runincircles at 1:42 PM on June 6, 2019

Best answer: Having lived there (a decade ago) I'd second Gothenburg. Gets real winters but without the extremes you'll get in the North of the country, and summers are mild. Solid transit system of buses and trams. Lots of forests and lakes close by, and mountains within a few hours drive. And relatively diverse for Sweden, due to the universities and refugee immigration.

At least when I lived there, the housing market in Gothenburg was rent controlled but still very hard for outsiders to navigate. Though not as bad as Stockholm. I enjoyed its feel of being a "second city", far less posh than Stockholm seemed when I visited there. (Gothenburg's commercial center hasn't been rebuilt to the extent that the capital's has.)
posted by serathen at 2:44 PM on June 6, 2019

Montreal. Low rents, tons of stuff going on (to be very honest: Ottawa is kinda sleepy), cold winters with lots of snow.
posted by airmail at 2:47 PM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Most of Canada isn’t as cosmopolitan as I think you’re wanting your new home to be (I disagree that right-wing populism isn’t making inroads in Canada). Cut Toronto out of the running if you don’t like poor transit (commutes are atrocious, regardless of your mode of transport) and having to deal with aggressive panhandlers (aggression isn’t because of class warfare so much as untreated mental health and addiction issues). Gun violence is becoming an issue, as well. Montreal is better wrt most of your criteria, but language will be an issue. If I were you, I’d stick to Europe, and second Berlin.
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:54 PM on June 6, 2019

Montreal. Low rents, tons of stuff going on (to be very honest: Ottawa is kinda sleepy), cold winters with lots of snow.

I would also second Montreal - it is affordable, very walkable, with a rich culture and queer life, one can function there in English, and they certainly have snow! I don't know what the summers are like - as hot as Toronto, or cooler like Halifax? (Nova Scotia has lovely mild summers).

As for Toronto: it is cosmopolitan (multicultural and queer-friendly) and the transit is excellent within the city proper (e.g. not Mississauga or other 905 suburbs) and I say that as a life-long Torontonian who grew up in Etobicoke and has never driven a car. Within the old cities of Toronto, York and East York, the neighbourhoods are very walkable - not just the chicy-downtown, but also more modest areas like Eglinton & Keele, or Danforth & Main. However, I wouldn't recommend it to you, as we have killer hot summers, and cold but relatively snowless winters, and the rents are insane and getting insaner.
posted by jb at 3:16 PM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Mexico City is worth considering, if the language thing doesn't rule it out. There are plenty of people who speak fluent English, especially among those you'll be dating and hanging out with, and you can get through daily life after a week or two of seriously studying Spanish. But, if you want to live there permanently, language classes will be essential.

It's cheap, has more vibrant and diverse art and counter-culture scenes than any other international city I've ever visited, pretty good weather (sadly, never very cold, but there are noticeable seasons and it's rarely hot), great public transit and walkability, and a global airport you can reach on the subway. And it's a short bus ride to big forested mountains (usually with thousand year old archeological sites on top) or a longer bus ride (or very short flight) to serious jungle. I've never lived there for more than weeks at a time, but as far as I can tell, today it is the city that everyone I know who moved to San Francisco or Berlin in the late '90s was hoping to find. If I were free to pick a city to live in, it would be very high on my list. If I wanted to pick a cheap city to live in, it would absolutely win. (Though, to be fair, Montreal is also pretty neat.)
posted by eotvos at 3:35 PM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: OK, so this is a pretty superficial opinion but because people are bringing it up...I spent several days in Gothenburg last year and came away very impressed, more than I thought I'd be. It seemed cosmopolitan but laid back, and big enough to be a substantial city but small enough to be easy to get around in and out of. The tram network was pretty good, and it was very walkable.

I recall reading that rents there are cheaper than in the Scandinavian capitals, but all of Scandinavia is very expensive so I don't really know if it's cheap enough for you. And of course all this is based on limited observation from a fairly brief visit.

I will say that, for someone who is accustomed to the UK/Europe, I don't think any medium-sized or smaller US city will qualify as having public transport that works. (I know the UK lags continental Europe in this regard, but it's still miles ahead of the US.)
posted by breakin' the law at 3:39 PM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

(I’m also from Toronto) Transit in Toronto proper is tragically overcrowded and under-resourced, it and other infrastructure are about 20 years behind, given rapid development and increased density. It is *adequate* compared to the woeful or *completely absent* offerings in most other Canadian cities, but it’s not in the *least* comparable to what’s available in Germany. Cyclists especially take their chances on the roads. Toronto is multicultural, however the country as a whole is largely conservative - I strongly encourage you to look at recent provincial elections results (and outcomes to date) and coverage of the upcoming federal election for more info. Check out Reddit for local discussions on city subs (r/Toronto, r/Montreal). I would advise doing the same for any other city that has your interest. Quebec is where you want it to be re socially progressive policies, however there is a xenophobic undercurrent running through their culture (a little less so in Montreal).

There’s no perfect place, really.
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:42 PM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Edinburgh ticks a lot of your boxes. Not properly snowy in winter, but the huge difference in daylight hours creates a definite separation of seasons (was broad daylight at 10pm this evening; dark at 3.30pm in winter) and Edinburgh was designed to look good in terrible weather. Certainly feels significantly further from fascism than England. Great sense of community. Hills on one side and sea on the other. The Highlands reachable for a weekend, Perthshire or the Trossachs reachable for a day trip. Bus service is brilliant, and affordable (costs me about £50/month unlimited travel). I can’t speak to the LGBT culture personally but I think it’s not bad. Not as ethnically diverse as a lot of other UK cities but has a strong sense of its own cultural identity, allied with the concept of civic nationalism (=if you want to live here, you’re Scottish, welcome). Meditation and therapists aplenty.
posted by penguin pie at 4:10 PM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ottawa for one year to enjoy the small town vibe and winter activities, Toronto for another to enjoy the bigger city and nightlife, or try a few months in each.
posted by Meagan at 5:14 PM on June 6, 2019

Best answer: Yeah anyone who would voluntarily move to the US right now might want to wait a year or two. We are on the verge of fascism and are under a vicious and increasingly authoritarian right wing government. If you are a minority of any sort that goes double.

Also, I now live part time in the Berkshires, and I think it’s really a stretch to say Northampton, MA is doable without a car unless you’re a college student with all your needs provided for on campus or a mad biker, and even then, winter will cramp your style. It’s just too small a town in too suburban a region. Yeah you can get around town without a car. But it ain’t much of a town and not leaving it often will get old. It doesn’t get near the urban character of an Oslo or a Toronto.

I’d be looking at Montevideo, Uruguay. Modern social infrastructure and good health care, extremely progressive government, openness to immigrants with cash (and not all that much cash for retirees at least). Legal weed. Official recognition of non-binary gender. No earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, or hurricanes, a moderate temperate climate that doesn’t get too hot. Amazing quality food supply and agriculture. Very reasonably priced to live in. European culture. Low crime. And about as far from nuclear fallout from a war in most of the potential global nuclear hot spots as you can get and still be in urbane civilization.

I’ve been eyeing Uruguay myself, in case it isn’t obvious, as a place to flee the US. I wouldn’t want to live in Montevideo myself (I would want to live more rurally) but it’s a very charming city from all accounts.

You won’t get the snow and cold you like. But you won’t get terrible heat either.

I haven’t been there but most people who have that I know come back talking about moving there.
posted by spitbull at 6:09 PM on June 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

I also like Edinburgh as an option.
posted by spitbull at 6:12 PM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I just jumped down (sorry). I did this. I worked virtually in the U.S. while living abroad in Germany, France, Italy. I had never been a foreign country before.

It was great! The time difference meant that work started for me around 4 pm and ended around 10 pm. This gave me the day to explore and have fun!

The way I did it was to sublet student apartments for 2 month time periods. This worked really well for me. It kept me from getting bored. I got to see lots of places.

A good way to meet people is to take a language class. There are always others in similar situations looking for friends, etc.

I did this before anyone even thought of doing this. I never even told my U.S. based company I was doing it. You couldn't even rent places online.

People thought I was crazy. It was so so good for me. Do it!
posted by xammerboy at 8:45 PM on June 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Stratford, Ontario, was recently voted very gay-friendly. Come to Canada. Also, it's a relatively small town with great theatre and close to just about everything.
posted by Enid Lareg at 9:21 PM on June 6, 2019

Portland, Oregon hits everything on your list except it's not cheap. I think you're going to have a tough time finding a walkable city with great public transport that is cheap, because walkable places with great public transit describes a real city and real cities aren't cheap.

I think you'd find the summers in places like Toronto and Buffalo too hot. The Pacific Northwest gets cold (not freezing) in the winter, but mostly stays pretty mild in the summer. Portland doesn't get a ton of snow, but it'll snow a little bit in the winters.

But if you can live in Europe, I'm sure there are cities more in line with what you want somewhere. I can only speak to the US.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:21 PM on June 6, 2019

Don't come to the US. Between the rising fascism and the shitshow calling itself our healthcare system, it's less and less safe here all the time, especially for anyone who is marginalized.

However, since this is a fantasy let me give you a list of cities I like here that would fit your criteria - Minneapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Chicago all have solid transit, strong queer communities, lots of diversity, easy to get to the outdoors, hard winters, and rent is... less terrible than on the coasts. Philadelphia is a bit more pricey and has less of a winter, but damn is it a great queer city and the transit is solid, and DC likewise - even better transit there, though I would generally describe the weather as swamp-like. Boston has most of these but the rent is impossible, perhaps a fantasy vacation there?

If I were in your shoes and actually thinking about moving somewhere, I'd look at Toronto, Berlin, Edinborough, maybe Prague. I'd think longingly of Scandinavia and probably give it a pass because it's so hard for expats to make friends there.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:07 AM on June 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

You might like Melbourne, Australia. Cost of living can get high and our government sucks but other than that it fits your criteria. If you're set on snow then you could go to regional Victoria, though that means losing out on some of the other elements such as walkability or access to community.
posted by divabat at 7:27 AM on June 7, 2019

Best answer: What about Helsinki? It has the weather, lots of opportunities and all the amenities of a major capital city. Reykjavik if you want smaller and colder. Other places I thought of were Wellington NZ and Halifax, Canada. In the UK I think it’s probably Edinburgh or Glasgow. If you’re willing to live rurally and commute then the Pennines near Manchester or Leeds?
posted by plonkee at 12:18 PM on June 7, 2019

Somerville, MA (depends on your idea of expensive rent) or maybe Minneapolis, MN (cheaper but more likely a car would become convenient).
posted by gemutlichkeit at 12:33 PM on June 7, 2019

Response by poster: Sweden, Massachusetts, Canada and Finland are ideas I have also had, and seem worth investigating further- thanks for the extra info. I have family in Sweden and friends in Canada, so these may be likely options. Mexico City and Montevideo are options I would never have thought of, but sound very intriguing- exactly what I wanted from this thread!

Thanks one and all!
posted by Balthamos at 3:45 AM on June 9, 2019

Few people have mentioned my town of Wellington, New Zealand so I'll quickly throw up on that.

- LGBT friendly/good queer dating scene
We're fairly liberal - 22% of my electorate voted Green, 38% Labour, and our local MP is a gay man. Council has painted road crossings in Pride colours, etc. I've heard good things from LGBT people who have moved here. OTOH it's not a huge town so the dating/bar scene might be small.

- Cold winters, moderate summers.
We don't really get snow, but we certainly have seasons. Do you like wind?

- Walkable/not dependent on needing a car for everyday life
I've never owned a car here. The centre is incredibly walkable; and lots of people walk or cycle to work. The bus system is going through a bad phase due to restructuring, but it exists and usually works.

- Close to nature, preferably mountains and forests
Yes yes yes. You've got a huge network of bike/walking trails easily accessible from town, where you can easily get out of site of the city. Drive an hour and you've got proper wilderness - hills, forests. Drive five hours and you're at ski fields. Plus there's the beach/coast.

- Not sky-high rent (my income is modest to low)
Rentals aren't great here - but might be manageable if you're earning pounds.

- Sense of place/identity/community & diversity/big enough/English
I think we hit all that pretty well. Albeit our identity tends to be 'everyone works for the government', although we've since added 'or in film or IT' (and that's not totally true, you know).
posted by Pink Frost at 1:09 AM on June 10, 2019

« Older Help me identify this short play!   |   Please help with blown fuse/electrical problem in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.