I don’t know about you, but I’ve loved this glimpse into the lives of my “neighbours” who live scattered around the globe. I’ve loved hearing the things they love about their places. They’ve deliberately studied their stories and they’ve found joy and contentment. Together with the Psalm writer they’ve chosen to say:
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever. (Psalm 16: 6 &11)
At Rolheiser’s suggestion I’m choosing to live in gratitude and (to) thank my Creator by (intentionally) enjoying (my) life. I think that starts by loving where I live! And If I can….you surely can too!
I grew up in Pakistan and India.
I now live in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.
- I love that my fiance Becky is close.
- I love that many of my friends from college are close.
- I love my church and the family it brings me.
- I love the memories associated with this area because of college.
- I love being near an airport.
- I love being in between the big city (Philadelphia) and all that it has to offer and the country side and the peace that it can offer.
This little exercise brings me joy! Its nice to sit and think about what makes you happy about where you are.
I grew up in Taxila and Murree, Pakistan.
I now live in Virginia Beach!
- The ocean! (Even though I grew up a thousand miles away from an ocean, I love living on the coast of the Atlantic).
- Community: I have a wonderful community of friends and neighbors.
- NATO is headquartered here…I love getting to know people from other countries who live here!
- Freedom: I can run, drive, do whatever without covering my head or being stared at!
- Sunshine! Days in Virginia Beach are full of sunshine…I appreciate the four seasons and relatively short winters.
- My church! It’s been a good place for me to grow spiritually, to begin to understand God’s grace that corrects my tendency toward legalism.
- (I know you only said 6 but here’s 7:–)This isn’t very deep but I love the convenience of living in the first world: running hot and cold water, central heating and cooling, power that doesn’t go out, availability of so many foods, wifi, great schools and hospitals—amazing privileges!!)
I grew in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Murree (Pakistan)
Now I live in Sydney (Australia)
Most people choose where they life. I didn’t. We live in Sydney because my husband’s work brought us here and we live in this house because it was one with rent that we could afford in a very expensive area near where our church is located. Having said that though I’m a great believer in the thought that you can love where you live, wherever you live. There are good things to be found in every place on earth, you just have to be willing to look for them. So… my top six reasons I love living here in Sydney, in this particular suburb are:
- We are out of the hustle and bustle of the city, the bush (a national park) is near by and I love the fact that when we wake up in the morning the big gum tree in our backyard comes alive with the chattering of lorikeets and when the wind blows on a hot day all the leaves shake and rustle with a cool breeze. The lorikeets (although noisy) are a grace of God that remind me of the gardens in Pakistan and chattering parrots.
- We are located 30 seconds from our kids’ primary school and just a 20 minute walk from the high school. I love that I don’t have to drive them to school but that we are already at the heart of the school community. My youngest child’s pre-school is also next door to our house. I love that the teachers know every kid’s name and ask how my high schooler is doing now that she has left primary school.
- I love that we are just 1 hour away from the CBD and it’s iconic landmarks and that in the other direction we can take visitors to see kangaroos and wombats. It’s surreal living here at the ends of the earth so far from where I grew up and so far from my passport country. Sometimes when I realize how bizarre it is that we ended up living here I shake my head in amazement. It was the same when we lived in Fiji and New Zealand.
- I love being close to our church (20 minutes away) and I love having neighbours who live down the street or in the next suburb who are also part of our church family. I think this is important. When you live too far away from your church family there’s a sense of disconnect.
- Ironically, since this is an area where often people having been living for 3 generations and children go to the same school as their parents and grandparents and since I often feel like an outsider who never quite fits in, I really enjoy the fact that when I go shopping at the local supermarket, I often bump into one or two people that I know.
- The beaches near here (30 minutes drive away) put the beaches in Europe to shame! They are pristine sand, no rubbish, not a pebble in sight, certainly no smokers stubbing their leftovers into the sand!! And they are very family friendly, often with volunteer life-guards. Even though we don’t go to the beach that often it’s nice to know they’re there and we can go whenever we want to without much fuss. Forget the famous beaches of Bondi and Manly, there are way more beautiful, less crowded beaches in surfy suburbs in the rest of Sydney. The rivers too are a pleasure and recently we’ve bought kayaks for the kids so it’s lovely to see them enjoying those on calm water.
I grew up in Afghanistan & Pakistan mostly, with a year in Sierra Leone and three years in the States thrown in.
I live in Ifrane, Morocco.
I love living here. Here’s why:
- I felt at home literally as soon as I set foot in Morocco. It reminds me of a gentler, milder version of Afghanistan – without war. Even Ifrane reminds me of Murree (minus the real mountains) with its snow tourists and quiet beauty. But because I had not been here before, Morocco is all of ours – not just mine from my background.
- Moroccans are friendly and welcoming – especially if you know Arabic. And I connect quickly with the expats here because of the travel connection. Being born in Afghanistan and traveling the world is not at all weird here – people know what to say to that and usually have some academic analysis of the situation there they want to discuss.
- Morocco is a beautiful country to travel around in, and Europe is close and cheap to get to.
- The university is based on the foundation that the three Abrahamic faiths should be in dialogue, so there are lots of opportunities for this.
- It’s a great place to live and raise kids – safe, clean, clean air and water (we fetch spring water every week), plenty of cheap fruit and veggies,
- The girls are growing up in a multicultural place and they are tri-literate (English, French, Arabic).
Now it’s your turn! Take a notebook and write down six things you love about where you live. Whether you share it publicly or not doesn’t matter – what matters is beginning to delight in where you live.