I just read this article about Japan and I'm really appreciating how it puts into words why I love it here so much. Here we've built our family mission statement around nature, the outdoors, and wilderness, yet we find that we really aren't ready to leave as we see the end of two years approaching.
What is that about? I think it is about the people, the food and general gentility of the culture here. Life is civilized, something that I didn't think I really prized considering I also love the wildness of natural life. But there's something about being able to trust people and know that you'll be safe in large crowds that restores faith in the human condition on the planet.
The article didn't talk about crime rates or gun laws, but that is an aspect of life that I find deeply comfortable. Of course no place is crime free, but there's a feeling that you don't need to be so careful. That if you drop something, it will come back to you.
I'm not saying it's shangri-la. I don't know what place is. But I really love it here.