Although I wasn't born in Wales, my adopted home of Cardiff is by far my favorite city in the world. It's big enough that interesting things happen here, but not so big it's unknowable or impersonal. Being from a hot, dry, dusty farm in Australia, the lush, rainy greenness of the Welsh countryside always feels like a tremendous luxury.
I love Cardiff's neatly laid out parks and gardens, the masses of daffodils in early spring, and the two rivers I live between- the Taff and the Ely. Although English is Cardiff's primary language, it's one of the last cities in the world where it's possible to hear a living Celtic language spoken and history is valued and preserved here. There is a castle in the city center and two or three more within 10 miles, mountains to the north and salt water to the south. In short, it's a beautiful city.
And of course, it's a city full of people. I met my wonderful partner here and made a home with him, and our weekends and evenings are filled up by good friends.
Up in the loft of the old Victorian terrace I live in, there is a skylight set low down on one of the sloping roof sections. It opens up, and you can lean out the window and stick your head out. Leaning on the windowsill gives you a perfect view of quiet, urban Cardiff- my neighbors' gardens, the chimney stacks and slate roofs, and the bigger buildings of the city in the distance.
In the evenings, the city lights are easily visible, and each window in my view is a curtained square of light. On special occasions there are fireworks in Bute Park half a mile away, and they're always perfectly framed by the window in the roof.
To a casual observer it's not an amazing view but without fail, taking a couple of minutes to enjoy the view from the open loft window makes me happy. Winter or summer, day or night, a moment or two spent looking out over the city I love reminds me that there is nowhere else in the world I'd rather be.
Jess Spate runs a small SEO consultancy from Cardiff, South Wales.