“it's all here”: american environmental diversity

back in may, i was talking with a new friend and colleague, deina, about travel. she and i were talking about traveling in the united states between new england, the south, and the west. she and i both had trips planned and we were just chatting about it all.

and then she said something that stuck with me:

“in america, you can really choose what type of lifestyle you want. cities, rural, busy, quiet, crowded, not crowded; it’s all here. it’s not like that everywhere.”

and i just sort of sat with that for a second. she’s totally right. without leaving my country, i can see mountains, beaches, tundra, forest, desert, and more. without crossing any international borders (which is an increasingly prominent social problem these days), i can see all of that. having the resources to do that travel so is a different question, but still.

as our conversation continued, she explained that not only do americans have access to those places, but we can choose to live in almost any one of them. again, not a common global phenomenon. where she’s from, pretty much everyone lives in the same condition.

and, if i’m honest, i’ve always known that, but i hadn’t known it in this way until she surfaced it. this is a huge privilege (i think). but what to do with it (if anything?)

a couple of friends (annemarie, cameron, ben, miriam, others) have this dream of having a network of houses all over the country (world?) where we can collectively exist, raise our families, work, vacation, etc… maybe?