I’ve never lived in a city before: Tysons Corner was my closest approximation before this (not a bad approximation in terms of the number of people, but a pretty bad approximation in almost every other way). As such, I sometimes have trouble separating the things I’m enjoying about living in Vienna from the things I’d probably enjoy living in the heart of any city.
I love being in the middle of everything. It’s incredibly liberating to be able to walk out of my front door and pick up coffee, go to a park, do any kind of shopping, or even get on a bus or train and go anywhere. It’s also really enriching my experience here to be able to go for a stroll in the afternoon with the boys and easily access many of the culturally and historically significant aspects of Vienna. We might, just on an afternoon walk, see a massive palace, visit a church older than my country or happen upon an operatic performance (that last one happened just today). Pretty much anything I could want or need is right at my doorstep. (We consider it a “long walk” to go get pizza — which takes 12 minutes from our front door.)
Most of that, though, could be said about many cities in the world (Europe in particular). In Vienna, I’m enjoying the safety, the richness of the history and the beauty — not only is the architecture like something from a story book, but this city has so much green space. I’m not sure how much of that I would get anywhere else.
I’m really enjoying time here, but I’m still really a country mouse at heart. I love Vienna’s architecture, but I long for a view that comes from other than just between two city streets. I miss the way that grass cleans the dirt from my shoes. I love the freshness of the smells of grass or hay or woods — wet pavement has a certain pleasantness to it, but it isn’t the same.
I’m really enjoying Vienna, and I think my sanity is preserved, in part, by being right in the heart of everything here. But really, I’m just visiting.