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A TRAVELER'S TRAP

Our mission is to improve the flow of urban life. To capture the essence of urbanization, we bring you stories of people from 17 cities. In search of sunshine, David Hernandez traveled to Nice. 10 years on, he's still there. Wondering what held him back?

“I left my home in Madrid to travel around Europe and decided to work for a while in Northern France, in 2002. But I soon realized that I missed the sun too much. So when a friend said 'come to Nice!', I did. I love being outdoors, and Nice seemed a great place, sandwiched between the sea and mountains, with an ideal climate.

I've lived in a few different apartments over the years, but always stayed in the city center. I like to be where the action is! There has been huge investment in the city since I arrived. A new tramway, city center park and extensive pedestrianization has helped the city breathe.

A lot of tourists come here though and that is probably why there isn't a strong sense of community. Every man is for himself in Nice. I think retired people and holiday-makers have a better quality of life than those who live & work here. Parking, for example, is a nightmare. I'm lucky: my job as a physiotherapist allows me to work flexible hours and that leaves me plenty of time for music, photography and spending time with friends!

I never intended to spend my life in Nice and I still dream of going travelling again. But I've been planning my departure for years! I sometimes feel as though Nice is a spider's web: once you come, you never leave. Even now, I discover interesting places that I hadn't seen before: a bistro off the beaten track; a beach hidden by the port or a splendid Belle Epoque building that I had never noticed.”

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