1. Birmingham, Alabama -- This city of steel, sweat and sweet tea is where I was born and raised. As a kid, I couldn't wait to leave, but here I am, an Alabamian once again. There's no place like home.
2. Tuscaloosa, Alabama -- ROLL TIDE ROLL!
3. Louisville, Kentucky -- My first stint in Derby City was for a newspaper internship. Big things happened that summer. And even bigger things happened when I returned to the city a few years later: I got hitched, I interviewed Ani DiFranco, MC Lyte, and Jamie Foxx (just to name a few) and experienced my first ambulance ride after getting hit by a car. Okay, that last one wasn't exactly a highlight of my time in Louisville, but it made for a great column the next week.
4. Berkeley, California -- My expensive master's degree from the University of California at Berkeley will probably never pay for itself, but the chance to live in the Bay Area for two years was worth every penny.
5. Seattle, Washington -- People describe cities with adjectives like fun, quaint, beautiful, liberal, etc. When I think of Seattle the first word that comes to mind is smart. I had such intelligent conversations with the people of that city. You'll be hard pressed to find many places with a library that looks this cool:
Now that I'm home again, people ask if I plan to stay. Sadly, no. I'm enjoying my time here and I plan to stay for a while, but I'm a restless soul. I'd love to live in Charlotte or D.C. I have a soft spot for Nashville, too. But I tend to end up in places I never thought I'd be. Juneau, Alaska, anyone?