Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The allure of the sleepy beach town

If, like an American dream, a British dream exists, I think it revolves around one day moving to the countryside. A romanticism with the countryside runs deep within many people I know in England and, though I don't fully share this desire to live in an isolated village, I like that people have it.

Dan and I have always thought of ourselves as city mice, as opposed to country mice. There's something about the buzz of places like Tokyo, Hong Kong, NYC and London we find so chaotically soothing. We like feeling like we're in the centre/ center* of everything rather than miles removed. (*Btw, it had to happen sometime and I'm now officially switching back to American English, though remnants of British English may creep in from time to time.)

This weekend however we laid our city prejudices aside and ventured south of Auckland on a mini-road trip. One of the places we stopped was a tiny coastal town famous for surfing: Raglan.

Raglan has only one main road, but with about 5 perfect coffeeshops on that road, I easily categorize it as a writer's paradise. It has this '70's beach vibe I love and once a month holds a creative market for local mums-come-designers to flog their wares. Suddenly I was fantasizing about moving to Raglan and walking around barefoot., craft in one hand, moleskin in the other...

It was confusing, this infatuation with such a rural place with only one road. But once we processed our reaction, we realized that Raglan was in a whole other category that transcends city and country: the sleepy beach town!

So there we have it, thanks to Raglan I've established that I am not only a cosmopolitan city mouse, but also a small town beach mouse. I've also reconfirmed that I love this beautiful country of New Zealand. What a revelatory weekend!

What about you? Where would your dream place to live be?


La Dolce Vita said...

I am definitely a city mouse. If I could, I would live in a big big city. I think my #1 favorite is London. I also loved southern California, especially San Diego and the Orange County. I could give up the big city for one of those gorgeous villas along the Pacific shores that overlook the ocean, but are anyway close to all the convenient spots between L.A. and San Diego. The climate is also fantastic over there!

Ely is my opposite. She is a country mouse. If she could, she would live on the highest peak of a mountain, far from everything. If I know her well enough, she would give up her country dream only for a flat in Manhattan. New York is her favorite city among all.

alisha said...

Mario, NYC, LA and London are all amazing places! I think that as a city mouse you'll love Tokyo as well, and Ely will be amazed at how gorgeous the countryside of Japan is. You guys have a lot to look forward to.

Nadine said...

Wow, Raglan looks awesome!

I've always been a city mouse and never thought I could be any different. When we moved to Hawaii, it was only going to be for a year and we were living in a busy area.

But slowly over the years, something changed. And I wanted to be farther and farther away from the city.

Now we live out in the boonies (10 minutes from a beach town) and I love it. I've surprised myself.

Of course I still love cities too (New York, London, sometimes LA). So I guess I've involved into both!

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