Where To Live?
by Ploum on 2022-03-25
My wife and I are living, with our children (10 and 5yo) in a small city of Belgium called Louvain-la-Neuve. We appreciate this place because the center of the city is pedestrian only and we can do everything by foot or by bike : the biggest university of the region, schools, shops, restaurants are all within a walking distance.
For me, this is really important as I hate being in car. It makes me sick, dizzy and angry to be in a car. Car trips ruins my day.
But our city is becoming increasingly popular and is at the crossroads between major highways. There’s also a dump with an incinerator nearby. Being both very sensitive persons, we are constantly being disturbed by road noises, even during the night, and we start having respiratory problems. For most people, we look crazy but we bought an air analyzer and, surely enough, our problems are always linked with high values for particules in the air.
My wife installed an iphone app to track air quality in the whole world (iQair or something like that) and it seems that Belgium is permanently quite bad. A relative, who moved near Bordeaux in France, told me that she stopped having respiratory problems after moving. Air is bad in Belgium but nobody seems to care.
As we work remotely most of the time, we started to ask the question : should we move somewhere else? I’m a water-loving guy and I dream everyday of living near the ocean.
So we started to investigate if we could find a place in Europe:
- Where the air is pure
- Where we feel in the nature (nice views, trees, …)
- Where we could do most of our lives without a car, including going to the restaurant
- Where children could be raised (schools available by bikes, ideally in French)
- Near the sea (or a nice lake where I could swim all year long)
- Not too far from a university (public transports are best but taking a car for that would be acceptable).
- Hotter weather than Belgium.
We still haven’t found a place we really want to investigate. We lack experience and imagination.
My wife’s point out that my problem is that I don’t like the city (I’m oversentitive) but also can’t stand taking the car. Today, people which are not living in cities are expected to take their car to do everything, including buying groceries. Until recently, Louvain-la-Neuve was a nice middle-ground but we want to move.
I’m asking for help. Please tell me some place we should at least visit or share your insight.
Thanks in advance!