I'm funny about places. I don't have a favorite one, which is something I find almost troubling to think about. When asked where I would choose to live if I could live anywhere in the world, I can't come up with an answer. Mostly, I think I'm pretty good at appreciating wherever it is I am living at the time (with a couple of notable exceptions; I hated Bakersfield and the East Bay). I love living in Sonoma County, but do I want to stay here? Sure, I guess . . . unless something takes me to a new area and then I'll probably love that, as well.
Which, I guess, brings me in a round-about way to the place that really does matter to me the most: home. I have had a lot of homes - probably more than most people. I've lived in numerous cities, in five U.S. states, and on two continents. I am fortunate in never having been truly homeless - I've always had somewhere to go at the end of a day, even if it was a place I'd never seen before. I don't think of myself as a "homebody," although I do love being at home. Funnily enough, one of my very favorite things to do is travel, and when I'm going somewhere interesting I don't mind being away from home for long periods of time (I think 6 weeks is the longest trip I've ever taken). When I'm not traveling, though, I mostly enjoy being at home. I'm not one for random day trips in the car, or going to the mall just to have something to do. I'd just as soon stay home, unless there is some persuasive reason for leaving.
Sometimes I wonder why I feel this way, considering that my childhood home wasn't a particularly happy place for me. My parents were not the best caretakers, and there was a lot of shouting and resentment and coldness. I spent a lot of time in my room, with books. But for some reason, I still didn't get an urge to go somewhere other than home. I think part of what I like about home is that all my stuff is there. I suspect this is the main reason I don't like hanging out at the homes of other people that much. If I get the urge to do something - knitting, playing guitar, reading a certain book, doodling around on my computer - I like knowing that those things are available, something I can't count on when I'm away from home. I also like being surrounded by my things (of which there are probably too many; I do struggle against a hoarding urge inherited from my mother; mostly, I'm winning), and one of the things that makes a place truly "home" for me is when I put things up on the walls. So I can look at the artwork and statues and bric-a-brac and books I've collected, and it somehow helps me feel secure. And I always prefer sleeping in my own bed - with my own pillow! Oh, how I love my pillow - to sleeping somewhere new.
Plus, home is where my son is. For the next few years, anyway. :)
I hope I haven't dodged the original intent of this question. I didn't mean to, and if the powers-that-be want an answer to an actual tangible place that matters to me, I'll say the polar ice caps (because if they melt, that's going to lead to a whole world of pain for our species and many others). I also really love Scotland. And Italy. And the Florida Everglades. And the Sonoran Desert. And Utah. And Australia. Okay, so there really are a lot of places that matter to me. But ultimately, my very favorite is "home."