Everyone has thought about it – what would you truly love to do if money were no object? You might have discussed it with family, around the dinner table or compared notes at family gatherings. When we are asked what we would do if we won the lottery, two things immediately spring to mind: travel and learning.
We have two small children who require stability and education, particularly Biggest who is autistic. Travelling to more challenging places and being constantly on the move is probably not something we could do for very long. Therefore, our solution, if we ever come into vast sums of money, is to travel to a place for a year at a time. We would choose our cities carefully – they need to be places where we can access culture, nature and art , but where we can have a stable home and provide a stable education. I have also always dreamed of studying at different universities across the world – choosing a different topic each time and learning just for fun. We would also limit the time to six years, as Biggest and Littlest would require a more stable situation as they start secondary school.
If we ever won the lottery, we would choose to live in these places…
1. Rome, Italy.
Before we had children, we dreamed of spending the summer holidays in Rome. We love Italian food, Italian art, Italian history. There is enough to explore in Rome that you could never explore it all, even if you won the lottery – history on top of history on top of history. There are the obvious sites to explore – the Vatican, the Colosseum, and Pantheon – but the winding streets are also full of cafes, character and hidden wonders.
2. Keswick, UK.
How could we leave out dear old Blighty? I had to pick somewhere in the UK, and you can’t get more beautiful than The Lake District. Keswick is one of our favourite places. It is not quite as busy as some of the towns in The National Park but still within easy distance of those beautiful fells and lakes. Littlest and Daddy could hike up those mountains while Biggest and I wait at the bottom and do some nice watercolours and have tea and scones. Ideal. As well as the climbing and water activities, there is also the Pencil Museum, boats tours, galleries, mining museums, and endless breathtaking views. I think we could definitely spend a year admiring it all.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland.
Iceland is a Geographer’s dream with volcanoes, geothermal springs, tectonic plates, the northern lights and all manner of natural phenomena to explore. It is also the most peaceful country on earth and has practically zero crime, as Buzzfeed will tell you. Iceland has some of the highest happiness and literacy rates in the world (co-incidence?) and the houses are painted cheerful colours. In summer, the sun barely sets and in winter the skies are lit up by the aurora. I think I could spend a year exploring the wonders in and around Reykjavic.
4. New York, USA
I feel like I already know New York. It is so iconic, has featured in so many of the TV programmes and films that I grew up with and love – it feels like an old friend. Quite a few of the places on this list are either rural, or have been picked because of the natural wonders nearby. New York is the ultimate cosmopolitan destination. From Central Park to the Empire State Building lighting up the twinkling skyline, New York seems full of dreams and wonder, despite being a man-made phenomenon.
5. Auckland, New Zealand.
There are five words that sum up why I would love to have a full year to explore New Zealand. The. Lord. Of. The. Rings. Well, not just The Lord of the Rings, but there is no doubt that the opportunity to explore the magnificent landscapes where the trilogy was filmed is top of my bucket list of things to do, full-stop. In addition, Auckland also boasts friendly residents, delicious food, and a reputation for some of the finest sunsets in the world . And it has a cat cafe. Sold.
We already have relatives living in Canada and my husband spent a few months there during his gap year. Vancouver is by the sea and close to mountains, meaning you are in the unique position where you can visit the beach and ski on the same day. Canada also has one of the highest standards of living in the world, a low crime rate and boasts one of the most tolerant and accepting societies in the world.
Where would you spend a year, or six, if you had the time and the money?
Winning the lottery…
Lottoland kindly gave me £25 credit to play on their site to be in with a chance of winning the lottery and dream of living in the cities above. If you are interested in playing the lottery online definitely check them out. It’s the only site where you can play the lottery in every country so you’ve got a lot of options. We don’t play the lottery every week, but we certainly like to grab a ticket and dream of travel when we can.
*This is a collaborative post*