One Year Abroad

In response to Daily Prompt: Study Abroad: If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?

Among all of the cities that I have been, I fall in love with 2 cities: Melbourne in Australia, and Shanghai in China. For me, both cities have some characters that make it unique, interesting, and exotic. I think, I will never be able to decide among these 2 cities.

Melbourne, Australia

The city of Melbourne is located at southern tip of Australia’s mainland. It can have 4 seasons in a day. It can be hot and sunny in the morning, which turns to cold and windy in the evening, thanks to the wind from southpole.

Albert Park Lake
Albert Park Lake during winter

But what I like the most is the warmth and pace of the city. During one business trip, I can have a friendly chat with a stranger while waiting for the tram.  Unlike most of big city, people seems to have time for a short chat during commuting.

And as most business close at 5, people have time to spend an evening during summer at the beach. St. Kilda beach is my favorite, as it is within easy reach from the city. Or, when not feeling to go to the beach, I would just spend an evening on the jogging path around Albert Park area.

The warmth and the pace of Melbourne is just right for my soul.

Shanghai, China

I don’t speak Chinese. Nevertheless, I still find the city of Shanghai, China, as a place where I want to stay for a year. Maybe more.

It is the place where the east meet west. There are specific area designated as French Concession, and British Concession area, where the European-style architecture is in contrast with Old Chinese building. It is as if you are in Europe, with a lot of Chinese people wandering around.

Light at Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden at Night

It is the place where you can see the modern China. Yet, the classic Chinese building is still well preserved. My favorite is Yuyuan Garden, a Ming-style garden at the heart of old Shanghai. From Yuyuan Garden, within a walking distance to The Bund, one can marvel at the modern city and building across the Huang Pu river.

So…., what is your favorite city?

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