I have been to Portland and I have been dying to go back. J and I have wanted to do a roadtrip through the Pacific Northwest for our honeymoon. I have no idea when we will get to that. All I know is that this region is beautiful. These cities are big enough to be cultured, but the surrounding areas are beautiful enough to escape to. (The closest thing I have to that here is the Everglades, and trust me, you don't want to "escape" to that.) The dining and music scenes are also phenomenal.
J's brother is currently living here. Boy, I am jealous! Actually, I'm really happy for him. San Fransico is iconic and has a rich history. It's more laid back than other big cities and unlike L.A., appearances aren't everything. I've been told that UW-Madison was based off of the Berkley campus, and I've always wanted to go and take a peek (and maybe a class or two). I hear that there are lot of excellent restaurants there, too!
Another great city that is surrounded by nature. As a kid and a teenager I enjoyed being outdoors. I would love to go white water rafting, canoeing, and hiking. I feel like I am out of touch with nature living in Miami. I do like living next to a large body of water (I grew up with Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and Lake Mendota and Menona in Madison), so being landlocked is the one thing I wouldn't be crazy about here. But I'm sure there are plenty of things that would make up for that if I was living in Denver.
I have dreamed of living abroad. One regret I have about college is that I didn't take the chance to do so. I didn't really have the funding for it, but it is one of the few times in your life when it is exceptable to pick up and move without being too tied down for a couple of months or a year. Living in Miami is sometimes like living in a different country and I've made life work for me here, whose to say I couldn't do it elsewhere. J and I sometimes discuss the post-doc oppurtunities abroad. I don't know if we'll ever have the chance to live in Europe or Asia, but if the oppurtunity ever came, I'd be hard pressed to turn it down.
I don't know if I'll ever live in Wisconsin again. I'm okay with that. In some ways I really miss the state and in others I don't. Madison is the place I think of when I think of home. It was my first time out on my own. I had to establish myself and figure out a lot about life. Madison was a great city to test out my wings. I didn't always fly beautifully, but there were times like I felt I was soaring there. I have not been able to recreate that feeling here. In Madison, during my college years, I had a mix of friends, school, work, community, art, music, food, comfort, and new experiences that I don't think I'd ever be able to recreate. If J's career brought us back to Madison, we'd be pretty happy campers.