Where I would live if I could live anywhere in the world:
Truthfully, there are many places where I'd like to live. It seemed like every place that we took the 8th graders on a class trip, I found myself thinking: "I could live here." Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Australia--they all seemed like they'd be great places to live.
Also, I'm an island guy. I think I'd be happy living on just about any tropical island whether in the Pacific or the Caribbean. The "zorry life" (zorries are the word we use in Micronesia for flip-flops) agrees with me. Saipan, of course, holds a special place in my heart. I could easily have lived there for the rest of my life.
So, there's not really one answer. But today, I think I'll choose the place I always envision us retiring: Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands are beautiful and the climate is perfect. I love the laid-back culture, even if Honolulu does have some of the worst traffic in the country. It has the conveniences of the Mainland and is fully part of the United States, so I'm still here in America, but it doesn't feel quite like it. I can picture us living in a humble home on the windward side of Hawaii. I'd volunteer at Kailua SDA Elementary School, maybe work part-time at Safeway to make ends meet. We'd go to church every Sabbath at Kailua SDA Church, and spend multiple days a week relaxing on or near the beach. Talk about golden years!
The only real draw back to living in Hawaii is that it's expensive. I knew that of course, and figured I'd be willing to work a part-time job in my retirement just to be able to live there. But recently, I looked up what it would cost to buy a house there and my jaw hit the floor. We'd almost certainly have to rent. Realistically, given the financial choices we've made so far, I'm not sure that retiring to Hawaii won't remain a dream. But it is a lovely dream.