How about a “local” planetary colony? In Arabella of Mars, by David D. Levine, the title character comes from Mars. Many golden age writers imagined moon settlements, an idea Andy Weir tackled most recently in Artemis. THE EXPANSE, by James S.A. Corey, takes a look at smaller settlements in the Kuiper Belt, with humans already experiencing the physiological impacts of living in zero gee.
You could live on an exo-stellar colony, like the folks in Emma Newman’s Planetfall or John Scalzi’s The Last Colony. It’s hard work, and not for everyone, but to some extent, you get to make your own rules. If moving to Alaska or living on a rural tropical island has been your fantasy, and you’re big on DIY projects, then exo-stellar might be for you.
Another choice is living on a space station. While you can’t stretch out quite as much as you can on a planet, living on a station brings you into contact with a wide range of beings, human and extraterrestrial. It’s like living in a cosmopolitan port city. Ann Leckie’s Provenance provides an interesting space station that is also a cultural center. Television shows gave us the Deep Space Nine station and Babylon Five – although Babylon Five had just a little too much going on for me to want to live there!
Lastly, there is the generation ship. Do you want to be a perpetual traveler? Do you see yourself as part of a project that is bigger than yourself? I like to see how things end, so this really doesn’t appeal to me, but it might for some. Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson, has a different take on the colony ship. In Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty’s book, cryo-suspension is part of the plot. I enjoy sleeping, so maybe a cryo-ship would be for me.
Which is your choice, or do you have something completely different? Let us know in the Comments. One random commenter with a USA mailing address will win a book of their choice from our stacks.