The “Lived In”

The husband and I had a very important philosophical discussion the other day… After he mentioned that he “lived in” Victoria for six weeks one summer many, many years ago.

I turned to him (as I often do), arched by eyebrow and said, “Lived in? Come on…”

He turned back to me (as he often does), tilted his head and said, “Lived in. Yes.”

And that got me thinking… What is the minimum period of time that qualifies someone as “living” in a place…? As opposed to merely “visiting” a place?

I’m going to go out on a limb – although you will never actually find me out on an actual limb, as I suffer terribly from vertigo and have a fear of all forms of “bark” – and say that it’s 6 months. In my humble opinion, 6 months is the minimum amount of time that you have to be in a place before you are actually living in that place.

Oh, you went to Barcelona for three weeks last November. It must have been nice to be amongst Spaniards during your visit. 

You went to school in Finland for 11 months. It must have been fun living there. 

You went backpacking around Australia for five weeks? I’m glad you got to visit those koalas. 

You see? It works.

6 months.

I rest my case.

Of course, deciding upon a minimum time period that constitutes “living” vs. “visiting” brings up some very valid questions…

Why do people want to validate a particular kind of experience by labelling it “living” rather than “visiting”?

Why is “living” in a place better than “visiting” a place?

If your friend visited Australia for five weeks, why do they still have an Australian accent six month later?

I know what you’re thinking… Those are very good questions (and thank you for saying so. I pride myself on my question asking) and good questions always deserve answers.

But then again, we’re all just hanging onto a giant orb spinning in space…

So I guess there might be bigger questions to ask.


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