Herbert Mumble was proud of his house. He had every right to be: he’d spent nearly a decade compiling it. Most of his friends had bought discount single-structure mansions in the Midwest and used a portal to get to work, but Herbert wasn’t the type to buy pre-fab. Herbert was an artist.

It started as a studio in Key West, which was expanded to a one-bedroom when he purchased another studio in Calcutta. While his coworkers were deciding on whether they wanted one or two stories, Herbert Mumble was choosing continents. Now, nearly completed, his house spanned twelve countries and existed in every hemisphere, providing views that included the Eiffel Tower, the shores of Thailand, and the vast expanses of the still-rural Australian Outback. Herbert took pleasure in hosting business dinners in Beijing, or entertaining dates on his balcony in Madrid.

All of the research had been done on his own time: Herbert didn’t hire an agent. He learned the patterns of the market and bought when the time was right, and because of his patience, the house was worth nearly twice what he paid for it. Still, it hadn’t come cheaply.

“It’s beautiful,” a friend said when she came over for dinner. She’d been standing at the window of the living room, looking out over Brazilian beach. “But why didn’t you just install viewscreens?”

Herbert leaned past her and grabbed the edge of the window, pulling up. A gust of hot air pushed through the crack, carrying with it the crisp, salty smell of the sea. “Feel that?” he asked with a smile. “You can’t buy weather like that. Somewhere, it’s always sunny and it’s always summer. The trick is to find that place and build a house.”