What 10 Cities Would You Choose?


A week ago I spoke in front of a small gathering about my 10 Cities project at the Secret Kingdoms, a recently opened English-language bookstore here in Madrid. It was a surprisingly brisk hour (for me, at least) in which I shared a few favorite stories from that decade of my life and read some of my writing, including an excerpt from Yahweh’s Children.

At the end of my talk, there was a Q&A where the audience asked a number of interesting questions about my travels and the motivations for my choices. Even though I’ve answered questions about 10 Cities for well over a decade now, there were still some fresh inquiries, which were a fun challenge to tackle on the spot.

One of the most common questions I get is, of course, “How did you choose your 10 cities?” With the half dozen interviews and articles I’ve done, and the hundreds of conversations I’ve had with friends and strangers over the years, I’ve answered that question countless times (short answer: mostly, circumstances decided for me). But, I realized the other day, never once have I turned the question on the inquisitor to ask, “What 10 cities would you choose?”

So, I’m doing it now. Whether you’re a new reader or you’ve been on this journey with me since the early days, I want to know, what 10 cities would you have picked if you were doing this project? You can stick to the same limitations I was under and select ones from your home country, or you can just pick any 10 cities throughout the world. You do you. The only firm rule is, in this hypothetical, you will live in each city for 1 year exactly, and none of them can be your hometown (sorry New Yorkers).

Feel free to answer in the comments, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or simply write it on a piece of paper, bury it, and have your grandkids digs it up in 100 years.

I’m fascinated to know what you come up with.

Seattle, Washington (in panorama)

3 thoughts on “What 10 Cities Would You Choose?

  1. Paris, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Port-au-Prince, Vancouver, B.C., Quebec City, New Orleans, LA, Singapore, Cape Town, and Lisbon.

      • I have been to all of them and really want to go back because I never had more than a few days in any of them except Quebec City where I studied for a summer. Budapest was just this past summer, and it was magnificent. By the way, my list included New Orleans with LA after it. That was an abbreviation for Louisiana – not adding Los Angeles to my list.

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