CNN recently published its list of the least stressful cities in the world. None of those movements were without stress, but I have been privileged to live in a few on the list. Smart economists and media professionals come up with metrics to create such models judging cities. However, when we fall in love with a city or a person, it is rarely because they’re less stressful. The world’s most comforting cities can’t be listed. Because, they’re defined by someone’s personal experience.
Cities that speak to me come with a heart and a sense of belonging*. Many economic models are archaic and define parameters which are expected to make someone’s life comfortable. They’re also usually defining comforts by western standards. And I am not sure that comfort equals happiness. If you live in a small galli in Delhi and are able to sleep well in night, your life, however stressed, is happy. Usually if we don’t understand a new culture or experience, we label it difficult and stressful.
Such lists only just make some places aspirational and increase their tourism value. Although as I travel more, they feel like lentils becoming popular because Prince George eats them for lunch now. I m-e-a-n, Indian kids have been eating lentils for centuries. Also, doing Yoga and cooking as per Ayurveda.
Here’s my take on the CNN list:
The world’s least stressful cities
The world’s most stressful cities
Cities I love
- Purani Dilli, Delhi
- Munich, Bayern
- Amsterdam, Holland
- St. Remy, France
- Ludwigsburg, Germany
Cities I’ve lived in: Srinagar – Jammu – Noida – Pune – Mangalore – Glasgow – Delhi- Gurgaon – Pforzheim – Munich- Ludwigsburg- Ann Arbor- Plymouth-Detroit