I have been thinking a lot about my ideal living situation. It’s really something I have been exploring for years. My thinking is not confined to my own ideal, I also think about what is ideal for people generally (a pretty gray area) and about why situations that are not ideal for me are ideal for other people (which is total guesswork without some outside input).
I am considering factors such as the size of city to live in ranging from millions to tens, the proximity to amenities and services, which amenities or services are most important, the distance between houses, the culture of the neighbors (assuming you’re in a place large enough to have neighbors), the size of the house, and the size of the property.
For myself, I prefer a small community where people know each other and are tightly knit but not close-minded. The house does not need to be very large, but it must be configured in a way that is conducive to the family life that we are trying to create (it would take a whole series of posts to describe the family life we are trying to achieve). I could live on as little as a quarter acre in the right circumstances, but would be able to tolerate much more various conditions around me if I had at least 2 acres to work with. It is imperative that any living situation leave me with the opportunity to garden. I absolutely cannot live with neighbors so close that it takes less than 5 people to span the distance between separate houses.
I can easily live 2 miles from the nearest store, but I believe that 10 miles would be fine (I’ve never done that before so that’s not guaranteed). The only utilities that I must have are access to water (I don’t think I would mind a well), electricity, and an internet connection – although I would prefer a sewer system over a septic tank.
So what’s your ideal? Over the next few weeks I hope to write up the advantages and disadvantages I see in different sizes of cities as well as generic thoughts on the advantages of rural, suburban, and urban settings. Please chime in with any insights or experience you have on the benefits or drawbacks of various living situations.