L I V E A B L E

Last week I learned that Vienna is now the world’s most liveable city.

Melbourne was bumped down a spot after 7 years at the top, which I am not overly upset about, but this news got me thinking; what constitutes the world’s most liveable city?

A Google search lead me to a report, ‘The Global Liveability Index’, and I quickly learned of the ‘Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’, an organisation which provides country, risk and industry analysis.

In a world that is rapidly changing, it seems strange that the EIU only conduct this specific ‘liveability’ analysis once a year.

It is also interesting that there are only four countries featured in the top ten, maybe the EUI should create a rule that the same country cannot be featured more than once in the top ten, or at least in the top five.

  1. Vienna
  2. Melbourne
  3. Osaka
  4. Calgary
  5. Sydney
  6. Vancouver
  7. Toronto
  8. Tokyo
  9. Copenhagen
  10. Adelaide

Japan is top pick out of Asian countries, which is somewhat understandable. The craziness of Siem Reap (Cambodia), Bangkok (Thailand) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) leave these developing cities out of the top ten, which almost makes me wonder why the EIU doesn’t split the list up with a ‘developing’ or ‘developed’ criteria?

These cities and the countries they reside in have taught so many travellers more about the world than they may ever learn in a developed area.

Watching people go about their day to day lives in these foreign lands is so different to what most of us know. Travelling to these countries allows for levels of personal development that can not be achieved elsewhere.

But as travellers, do we really need an annual report to tell us where we should flock to next, or could this report be more useful?

I can tell you that I have never witnessed the value of humility to such an extreme in any developed country that I have been to so far.

To put this value into perspective, let’s talk about children. We all know that kids have an innocence that allows their imagination to run wild.

But many children are not in an environment where they learn humility quickly.

Take a child to Vietnam, they will see things that they have never imagined; people cooking food in the streets, busy markets, scooters transporting a room full of furniture and a family of four, flooded streets and people with masks protecting their faces from the fumes.

Or, choose the safe road and take a child to Los Angeles, where they will still be amazed at what they see, just not in the same way.

So, let’s shake things up a little, step outside of our comfort zone. Because we need to give as much support as we can to these incredible countries and show people just how special they are.

These countries need as much as we can give them.