Since I still haven't seen the list of potential places for us to go next (and I'm annoyed about that), here's my top ten places I'd like to go next. This will be the last time all our family will live together since the older two are planning on graduating during or just after the next job, so this list will look different than it might at other times.
Our greatest concern is having a church congregation in English with teenagers our boys' ages. I also want to be in a place where our teenagers will be able to go out on their own or with friends. Pollution is another concern because I like everyone to be outside. I'd dearly love to be someplace interesting too. And good food is always a bonus. It's nice to not have to worry about schools, although it would be great if there were a good high school option in case we wanted to do that.
1. Jerusalem. Unquestionably. If we could go there before the older two leave home and show them a place we love, it would be perfect. Tel Aviv would be an acceptable alternative, although we'd be spending lots and lots of money on gas.
2. Turkey, especially Istanbul, although I'd take Ankara too. Not only is it close to so many fascinating places, but the language wouldn't be a big problem either.
3. Madrid or Barcelona. This is high because it's the only Spanish-speaking country with English-speaking wards that we know of (outside Mexico). It would be lovely to continue Spanish with all the boys, and I have wanted to live in Spain for a very long time. If other Spanish-speaking countries had English wards, then Quito, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo would be here.
3. Moscow. It would be so nice to have people understand the Russian I keep speaking.
5. Amman. Yes, we'd have to relearn Arabic, but I'm good with that.
6. Singapore. We have family (although we might not within a few years) and friends who've lived there and love it. I'm not crazy about the weather, but it has everything else. Jakarta would be nice too.
7. Athens. This is where our middle son wants to go. Or Olso. Or anywhere in Australia
8. Bangkok. Yum. I wish Rangoon could be here
9. Addis Ababa.
You'll notice this list is not very adventuresome. It also has nothing in Central Asia. The whole English-speaking ward thing eliminates so many good places. And he boys don't want to go to Uzbekistan even though that would be #2 on my list. I'm also working from an incomplete list of English branches, so there could be some amazing possibilities that I don't know about.