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Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 03:41 AM
I'm probably going to be moving over the next few months. I'm considering a big one, maybe out of state, maybe cross-country, (USA) maybe to a small town or to a very suburban or even rural environment.

I'm looking for advice, anecdotal experience. I've never lived anywhere but a city. The few nights I've spent in a small town or in the country I liked it; but that's a lot different than living there.

I'm also thinking about moving back to the city I grew up in, a city not as large as the one I live in now, but one with close to a million people. Over the past few days I've been in touch with RE agents back there and old friends who are willing to help, but I don't know, my heart's just not in it. I can't quite figure why it's not, but I wake up every day and I start to make plans, phone calls, look at houses online, but by the time night falls I say to myself, No, I can't do this. I don't wanna go. And I'm not sure if it's because I'm not the same person I was when I lived there, so I don't know how to transplant this person back into that environment and not lose the ground I've gained over the past 15 yrs or so, or if it's just that I don't like the city I grew up in very much. Maybe I only dislike it because it's where I'm from.

I'm in a position where I have to move and my income is not what it used to be; though, I'm in a fortunate position to be able to take my work with me wherever I go.

Just looking for stories from those who've moved home after a long time away, or from a big city to a middle sized one or to suburbs or rural. I'd like to know if it was the best move you ever made or the worst.

Siri Kirpal
01-14-2015, 04:14 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If your heart isn't in it, listen to it and don't do it. It knows what's right for you.

My husband and I left the city in which I was raised for a smaller city here in Oregon. My husband had learned as a child to walk into new situations cold and make the best of them. I hadn't learned that skill and was miserable for some time. But ultimately, it was a very wise move. After his retirement, we moved here to Eugene where I had made a number of friends. We're in a heavily wooded suburban area (we get deer and wild turkeys wandering through our yard), but 10-15 minutes from downtown and its cultural activities (which are rather good). We're very happy here.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 04:23 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If your heart isn't in it, listen to it and don't do it. It knows what's right for you.

My husband and I left the city in which I was raised for a smaller city here in Oregon. My husband had learned as a child to walk into new situations cold and make the best of them. I hadn't learned that skill and was miserable for some time. But ultimately, it was a very wise move. After his retirement, we moved here to Eugene where I had made a number of friends. We're in a heavily wooded suburban area (we get deer and wild turkeys wandering through our yard), but 10-15 minutes from downtown and its cultural activities (which are rather good). We're very happy here.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

That helps very much. Thank you! Coincidentally, the areas that we're looking at sound much like the one you describe, though on the other side of the country. Maybe it's just the whole idea of going home, going backwards in a sense that's got me spooked. Last night my wife suggested that I take a trip back there alone and not tell anyone I was there. I still have some family and friends there. She thinks that may give me a sense of what it would be like to live there in a different way; maybe start fresh even though it would be the general area I grew up in. I was like your husband when I was a kid. We moved frequently so I had to be good at making friends, acclimating. Maybe it will come back to me. Thank you!

KarmaPolice
01-14-2015, 04:26 AM
I lived in town X for a few years as a kid - then found myself living back there near twenty years later (not really by choice, let's be honest). Pretty near to my old house, in fact.

I liked living in X as a kid. And I hate living here now. The things that made it good are either gone, about to go or just don't look as good when you're six foot rather than four. It's become one of those places where people live in, but don't have as their home. Unless you get stuck there. Perhaps it was always like that, and only realised now.

You say you didn't like the city at the time, but think it's just because you grew up there. I'd say this...

- Sit down and logically list the reasons you hated the place then. Then go through them one by one, checking to see if the reasons still apply now. After all, 'having too many hills' doesn't apply so much when you now drive and don't use a push-bike.

- That done, list what you'd like from a place now. If you're one for going out, is there enough places to keep you entertained? Remember, both you and the place have changed - are the pair of you a better fit now than before?

- Look in the mirror. Are you genuinely happy with how your life has turned out so far? I say this because if you're not really, returning to the place where you had all those dreams and asperations can be utterly soul-destroying.

Once you've done those, if your old home city passes, then start looking at the everyday stuff (home prices, shopping etc.) before making the leap.

Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 04:35 AM
I lived in town X for a few years as a kid - then found myself living back there near twenty years later (not really by choice, let's be honest). Pretty near to my old house, in fact.

I liked living in X as a kid. And I hate living here now. The things that made it good are either gone, about to go or just don't look as good when you're six foot rather than four. It's become one of those places where people live in, but don't have as their home. Unless you get stuck there. Perhaps it was always like that, and only realised now.

You say you didn't like the city at the time, but think it's just because you grew up there. I'd say this...

- Sit down and logically list the reasons you hated the place then. Then go through them one by one, checking to see if the reasons still apply now. After all, 'having too many hills' doesn't apply so much when you now drive and don't use a push-bike.

- That done, list what you'd like from a place now. If you're one for going out, is there enough places to keep you entertained? Remember, both you and the place have changed - are the pair of you a better fit now than before?

- Look in the mirror. Are you genuinely happy with how your life has turned out so far? I say this because if you're not really, returning to the place where you had all those dreams and asperations can be utterly soul-destroying.

Once you've done those, if your old home city passes, then start looking at the everyday stuff (home prices, shopping etc.) before making the leap.

- Look in the mirror. Are you genuinely happy with how your life has turned out so far? I say this because if you're not really, returning to the place where you had all those dreams and asperations can be utterly soul-destroying.

Ouch, I think you hit a nerve. At one time I was, not so much these days.

You've given me a lot to think about, and I thank you for that. And I hope that you find a better place for yourself as well. Thanks!

Gringa
01-14-2015, 05:01 AM
If you're thinking about going back to your hometown ask yourself this: Would I move to such town if I hadn't grown up there?

Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 05:15 AM
If you're thinking about going back to your hometown ask yourself this: Would I move to such town if I hadn't grown up there?

That's the funny thing about it. It's really not a bad place. When I was a kid I wanted out, but probably because it's not a mega city like NY or LA, so I always wanted to find out what was else out there.

I think what KarmaPolice asked was on the money. I'm not thrilled with where I'm at in my life right now. Hey, if I were on top of the world financially, I wouldn't have to move at all. I could buy the house I wanted wherever it happened to be. It does feel a bit like a failure. I feel a bit like a failure. Even though I run a business that yields an income that a lot of people would be happy with, in this town, where a halfway decent house goes for 700k, it's just not enough. In the town where I grew up, and in a lot of towns in fact, the same house would sell for 250; that I can do.

Brutal Mustang
01-14-2015, 05:37 AM
I live out in the country, on the Colorado range. About 9 miles from any town. Not too far from the Wyoming border. Been out here for a little over two years now. Used to live in the city.

Expense of living is not bad. If you make money as a writer or artist, and don't have to be near any job, like I do, the country is the place to be. I have a two story brick house and a couple of acres. My place cost $100,000. What I have would be double in town, and triple that cost in a city.

Winter weather can be bad out here, with poor visibility. So if a snowstorm is on the way, I stock up at the store and stay home until the storm is long gone.

Internet is via satellite, which means I only watch Netflix during the unholy data free hours of the night.

The grocery store is far away. So I always shop with a list. Whenever something is running low, I jot it down so I don't forget. Also, I freeze a lot of stuff.

It's extremely quite out here, which is great for creativity.

There is a lot of wildlife out here, like deer, eagles, turkeys, et cetera.

The pizza guy doesn't come here.

I personally know all my neighbors, and interact with them more than I ever did in the city. Especially in the warmer months, when people are out riding their horses and stuff.

City friends love to visit; they feel like they're getting away from it all.

The sky is huge out here.

It's polite to wave at every passing driver, whether you know them or not.

I love it out here.

Zelenka
01-14-2015, 05:49 AM
I grew up in a semi-rural area of Scotland (large village, around 5,000 residents with easy access to other villages and towns and Edinburgh or Glasgow only an hour away) so my upbringing was a little bit of a mix of town and country. When I was younger all I wanted was to get away, but that was mainly because of issues with my family and a lot of bullying from my peers.

I moved to London when I was 18. I absolutely loved living in a city as big as that, and the anonymity that came with it. I loved being able to wander around the touristy sites in my free time and I always thought the city was beautiful, especially from the river (view from Waterloo Bridge is still my favourite). I had to move in the end for financial reasons, but I go back from time to time. It doesn't feel so much like 'home' as it used to, because London changes if you blink, but it still feels comfortable. If I could afford it, I'd happily go back there to live.

From there I went to Glasgow, which I hate. I came here basically because I inherited property here and that solved the financial problems, but I really don't feel at home in this city. The people living in my area are not particularly friendly and the minute people heard my accent they treated me like an alien. For the first time since I left Scotland, I had random people calling out insults about my appearance again. I tried to make a go of it and managed to get a fairly OK job, but I was not happy.

In the end I decided I wanted to move somewhere completely different, and after considering a lot of options I chose Prague in the Czech Republic. Now, there were things that I missed, stuff I couldn't buy in CZ etc and I had to learn a new language pretty much from scratch, but I absolutely loved it. I avoided the 'expat' community of Brits and Americans as I wanted to force myself to learn Czech, but on the other hand I did love the little group of friends I ended up with, who were from all over Europe. I loved the history, the beauty of the place, and there are a lot of things about their public services and such that are done in a far better way than in the UK, IMO. One thing that was a downside though was that there's no free healthcare and so when I became ill, I was forced to go back to Glasgow again (hadn't sold the flat yet).

So now I am stuck in Glasgow waiting for my treatment to be over and I don't know what to do now. I still don't feel happy or at home here. I need to take a new direction but I'm not sure which way, whether to return to Prague, try somewhere new - I even considered going back to my original home. As I've got older I appreciate the quiet of the countryside a bit more but I think I'm still a city girl at heart. Part of me wants to go to Canada, which has been a dream for years, but at the same time I love Europe, and the freedom of travel etc between the countries. It's very confusing so I get where you're at.

Don't know if any of that is in any way helpful!

Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 05:49 AM
I live out in the country, on the Colorado range. About 9 miles from any town. Not too far from the Wyoming border. Been out here a little over two years now. Used to live in town.

Expense of living is not bad. If you make money as a writer or artist, and don't have to be near any job, like I do, the country is the place to be. I have a two story brick house and a couple of acres. My place cost $100,000. What I have would be double in town, and triple that cost in a city.

Winter weather can be bad out here, with poor visibility. So if a snowstorm is on the way, I stock up at the store and stay home until the storm is long gone.

Internet is via satellite, which means I only watch Netflix during the unholy data free hours of the night.

The grocery store is far away. So I always shop with a list. Whenever something is running low, I jot it down so I don't forget. Also, I freeze a lot of stuff.

It's extremely quite out here, which is great for creativity.

There is a lot of wildlife out here, like deer, eagles, turkeys, et cetera.

The pizza guy doesn't come here.

I personally know all my neighbors, and interact with them more than I ever did in the city. Especially in the warmer months, when people are out riding their horses and stuff.

City friends love to visit; they feel like they're getting away from it all.

The sky is huge out here.

It's polite to wave at every passing driver, whether you know them or not.

I think I'd love the quiet, too. The noise of the city is something that I've never gotten used to. Just a question, 'cause I need the internet to run my business: How do you know ahead of time whether internet is by satellite or not? Is it usually only in the rural areas where this is so, or does it depend also on what part of the country you're in? I know you may not know, but thought you might. Thank you.

Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 05:56 AM
I grew up in a semi-rural area of Scotland (large village, around 5,000 residents with easy access to other villages and towns and Edinburgh or Glasgow only an hour away) so my upbringing was a little bit of a mix of town and country. When I was younger all I wanted was to get away, but that was mainly because of issues with my family and a lot of bullying from my peers.

I moved to London when I was 18. I absolutely loved living in a city as big as that, and the anonymity that came with it. I loved being able to wander around the touristy sites in my free time and I always thought the city was beautiful, especially from the river (view from Waterloo Bridge is still my favourite). I had to move in the end for financial reasons, but I go back from time to time. It doesn't feel so much like 'home' as it used to, because London changes if you blink, but it still feels comfortable. If I could afford it, I'd happily go back there to live.

From there I went to Glasgow, which I hate. I came here basically because I inherited property here and that solved the financial problems, but I really don't feel at home in this city. The people living in my area are not particularly friendly and the minute people heard my accent they treated me like an alien. For the first time since I left Scotland, I had random people calling out insults about my appearance again. I tried to make a go of it and managed to get a fairly OK job, but I was not happy.

In the end I decided I wanted to move somewhere completely different, and after considering a lot of options I chose Prague in the Czech Republic. Now, there were things that I missed, stuff I couldn't buy in CZ etc and I had to learn a new language pretty much from scratch, but I absolutely loved it. I avoided the 'expat' community of Brits and Americans as I wanted to force myself to learn Czech, but on the other hand I did love the little group of friends I ended up with, who were from all over Europe. I loved the history, the beauty of the place, and there are a lot of things about their public services and such that are done in a far better way than in the UK, IMO. One thing that was a downside though was that there's no free healthcare and so when I became ill, I was forced to go back to Glasgow again (hadn't sold the flat yet).

So now I am stuck in Glasgow waiting for my treatment to be over and I don't know what to do now. I still don't feel happy or at home here. I need to take a new direction but I'm not sure which way, whether to return to Prague, try somewhere new - I even considered going back to my original home. As I've got older I appreciate the quiet of the countryside a bit more but I think I'm still a city girl at heart. Part of me wants to go to Canada, which has been a dream for years, but at the same time I love Europe, and the freedom of travel etc between the countries. It's very confusing so I get where you're at.

Don't know if any of that is in any way helpful!

Very helpful, thank you. Confused is exactly what I am. And how gutsy it was of you to move to Prague, was that sight unseen? Wow. I guess there are pluses and minuses to every choice we make. I hope you get well soon and get to live wherever you want to again.

Brutal Mustang
01-14-2015, 06:02 AM
Just a question, 'cause I need the internet to run my business: How do you know ahead of time whether internet is by satellite or not? Is it usually only in the rural areas where this is so, or does it depend also on what part of the country you're in? I know you may not know, but thought you might. Thank you.

Cable is better than satellite. If you can get it. But it's not available in most rural areas. The cable companies don't want run thousands of dollars of cable just to service a few remote houses.

That said, I'm very internet dependent too, and I get by just fine on Excede satellite. Satellite services typically have a monthly data cap (mine is 20 gigabytes a month). If you use more than the monthly cap, they slow down your internet to .75 MB a second until the month is up. But in the low usage hours, between midnight and five in the morning, there is no cap. I'm very much a night owl, and am usually sculpting at those hours, while streaming movies from Netflix. As long as I don't watch Netflix during the day, I rarely use up my data, even streaming Pandora 4 hours a day.

C.bronco
01-14-2015, 06:21 AM
I miss the apple cider mill in New Milford, CT.

Cathy C
01-14-2015, 06:52 AM
I live out in the country, on the Colorado range. About 9 miles from any town. Not too far from the Wyoming border. Been out here for a little over two years now. Used to live in the city.



Weld, Washington or Larimer?

I ask because it's where I used to live too (Weld). I grew up in a medium sized Colorado city, moved to a small country mountain town, then back to the Front range in the outskirts of a smaller town near the major Metro area. Then the city kept creeping closer and closer. I realized I was a country girl at heart, so I moved down to Texas and wider open spaces and an even smaller town. Do I miss the city? Some days, but I don't mind no internet, power outages, septic tanks and no malls (in fact, no grocery stores other than Walmart and one small store with no selection other than the house brand.)

If you're a city person, DO NOT under any circumstances move to the country unless you're prepared and don't mind lack of infrastructure (dirt roads, spotty utilities, no major chain shopping, pre-1970s housing and single choice repair services.) if you've never had a septic as your only means of plumbing, you could easily ruin it by lack of knowledge. If you aren't prepared to be without power (including heat) or water or both for days on end, you'll be miserable.

As for moving home again, I was really disappointed when I tried. It just wasn't the same. People change, businesses move, attitudes shift. :Shrug: I found moving on worked better for me.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

Brutal Mustang
01-14-2015, 08:16 AM
Cathy, I live in Weld. Not too far from Fort Morgan.

kuwisdelu
01-14-2015, 08:30 AM
I was born in Indiana, grew up in Indiana, and for school reasons, I still live in Indiana.

I hated it then, and I hate it now.

I want to go back to New Mexico.

Albedo
01-14-2015, 07:43 PM
I've lived in Sydney, Boston, MA, sydney again, a country town in New South Wales, and about twelve different places in greater Sydney. The move to the country was when I was eight and my mum decided to move out of the city closer to her sister for various reasons. I grew up in Tamworth, but moved back as soon as I'd finished high school, vowing never to live in the country again. That was fifteen years ago, and I haven't been back. But I will be in 2016, because I'll have 2 years of mandatory rural training.

I'm a bit trepidatious. Do they have organic delis in the country now? What about gallery openings? I like going to gallery openings and drinking the bar dry.

Can I get dukkah in the country?

Maze Runner
01-14-2015, 09:49 PM
Thanks to all for the generous responses. I think I have to at least visit my hometown to see how it feels; haven't been back in over ten years. Both of my parents have passed, my only sibling is out of state, and the best friends I had are scattered around the far suburbs, if they haven't relocated also. I have a few extended relations around town, but I've been gone long enough and enough has changed that it's almost like a clean slate. That strikes me as a good thing, but I realize I also might feel as though I'm surrounded by their ghosts. It's that or move to a town I've never been to or have only visited. Someone asked a few posts back if I'd want to live there if it weren't my hometown. The simple answer is it wouldn't be my first choice, but it's better than a lot of towns its size, imo. My only other option would be to move an hour and a half out of the enormous city I live in now, which doesn't appeal to me much.

If it were just me, I wouldn't sweat this, but I have a wife and kids.

Myrealana
01-14-2015, 10:41 PM
I have lived in small towns, a large city, small city and suburb -- all in Colorado, so my experience is still a bit limited.

All have their appeal.

Right now, for this time of my life, I like suburban living. I've got a career. I've got kids and a dog. I'm close enough to the city to pop in for an evening, but not subject to city parking and traffic. The suburbs have good schools and close access to both city and open space. As a downside to someone who grew up in a small town where everyone knew my name, there is no real sense of community. No hometown feeling. I don't even know most of my neighbors - just the ones my kids hang out with.

I grew up in small towns. They have their appeal. Generally lower crime. Better sense of community. Open spaces. Quiet surroundings. However, the opportunities can be limited. The small town my father grew up in is practically a ruin. The one factory in town closed, and it's not near enough to a city of any importance for people to commute. If you want to wait tables in a neighborhood diner for the rest of your life, I suppose it's fine, but if you want to be a chemical engineer, there's nowhere to work. There also tends to be a lack of diversity.

The city (Denver) doesn't lack for opportunity or diversity, but there's the traffic and parking to deal with. Plus, taxes are higher. In fact, everything seems more expensive in the city from rent to hamburgers. There isn't a sense that you can safely walk the streets at night, like you can in a small town or suburb.

juniper
01-14-2015, 11:19 PM
I'm probably going to be moving over the next few months. I'm considering a big one, maybe out of state, maybe cross-country, (USA) maybe to a small town or to a very suburban or even rural environment.
...
I'm also thinking about moving back to the city I grew up in ... but I don't know, my heart's just not in it. I can't quite figure why it's not, but I wake up every day and I start to make plans, phone calls, look at houses online, but by the time night falls I say to myself, No, I can't do this. I don't wanna go.

Mmm, I'd advise not moving back there, then. Although moods can be quite different between morning and night - usually for me, things are more optimistic in the morning, and can be oppressive at night - but still, if you've been thinking about this for a week and still have that "don't wanna go" feeling - listen to that.

What I would do is make a list of what you liked about that city, and then find other cities with similar traits.

My story: From age 6-18 I lived in Colorado, then moved away for school. College and post-college I've lived in 3 different states and many cities, all on the western side of USA. But I also spend time every year on the east coast in a sparsely populated area.

I've never lived, as an adult, back where I grew up, although I have some childhood friends who still live there, or elsewhere in Colorado.

Almost moved back home once, when my mom's house had to be sold. I was married by then and we thought about it - but my husband's never lived that far from the ocean. My heart kinda fluttered at the idea of living in the house where I grew up, I must admit. But we passed on that.

8 years ago, when we decided to move to another state, I made a list of what I wanted. Included things such as beautiful natural surroundings, good public transportation, a lot of cultural events and locations, good library system, more or less reasonable real estate prices - even included natural water sources, as the last 2 states I'd lived in suffered from droughts and water sources drying up.

We moved to Oregon and we're very happy. The other day I was driving somewhere and saw Mt St Helens in the distance - the distinct flat top where the volcano erupted - and just thought, "I love living here."

We might end up on the east coast though, Maine. Love it there too and have family and other stuff there. That's where my husband spent most of his life.

I think geography affects people personally in many ways. There are some cities and states where I'd never want to live, but other people apparently really like them. So - :Shrug:

Reziac
03-06-2015, 11:48 AM
I'm probably going to be moving over the next few months. ...
I'm looking for advice, anecdotal experience.

There's actually a forum geared toward relocation advice (http://www.city-data.com/forum/). (I hang out in the Montana subforum.)

And yeah, it's largely preference. I lived in the SoCal desert for 28 years and became a certifiable desert rat. Totally love the desert. My sister comes along and says, "What do you see in this place? there's nothing here!" And I said, "Exactly! Miles and miles of beautiful, lovely, NOTHING!"

Maze Runner
03-06-2015, 04:29 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

If your heart isn't in it, listen to it and don't do it. It knows what's right for you.

Siri Kirpal

I've always done just that. And that's what I'm going to do now.


Mmm, I'd advise not moving back there, then. Although moods can be quite different between morning and night - usually for me, things are more optimistic in the morning, and can be oppressive at night - but still, if you've been thinking about this for a week and still have that "don't wanna go" feeling - listen to that.


After 4am my time. I'm sitting out on my back porch. Chilly by LA standards, but no, I won't complain. My moods have run the gamut since I started this thread almost two months ago, but not once have I really wanted to leave. I think your advice is spot on. Thank you.


There's actually a forum geared toward relocation advice (http://www.city-data.com/forum/). (I hang out in the Montana subforum.)

And yeah, it's largely preference. I lived in the SoCal desert for 28 years and became a certifiable desert rat. Totally love the desert. My sister comes along and says, "What do you see in this place? there's nothing here!" And I said, "Exactly! Miles and miles of beautiful, lovely, NOTHING!"

When I was growing up, in a mid size city back east, CA was like a fantasy. I'm sure a lot of it came from TV and movies that were shot here. When I moved here I did it sight unseen, and it was pretty much what I thought it would be. It did take me some time to adjust, but now I like LA because it's so different from other major US cities, not really centered around a downtown, more like a bunch of small towns strung together by a fwy system. I didn't get it at first, but I do now, so much so that the allure of a real city atmosphere doesn't appeal to me a much as it once did. I've seen so many interesting little towns in SoCal, including desert towns. There's something a little surreal about the place, exotic in its way. So much different from the grime of the industrial city I grew up in. I'm gonna try my best to stay here. Thanks for all the replies to this thread. I'm pretty impressed, and to be true, touched by how generous the people are on this forum. I'm sure it's the common struggle that we face, and the artistic nature in general that never ceases to restore me.

Reziac
03-06-2015, 07:05 PM
That's a good description of Los Angeles. The metro area is the size of southern England, with a similar population for the area covered -- at nearly 100 miles from end to end and bifurcated by mountains, it's hardly one homogenous urban blob. Maybe that's part of why I like L.A., but I detest San Francisco.

By choice I wouldn't have left the desert, but anyway... I lived in the Boise, Idaho area for a year and while it was nice, it wasn't home. I couldn't make myself want to be there. When I first crossed the border back into Montana (where I grew up) I knew I'd done the right thing -- if I had to leave the desert, this was coming home when no other state would have been. And tho it hadn't originally occurred to me to choose Billings, here I am (real estate market, bah!) ... and what's really funny is that Lancaster CA always reminded me of Billings MT. I guess it was a Sign. :D

Reziac
03-06-2015, 07:10 PM
It's polite to wave at every passing driver, whether you know them or not.

That neighbor you've never met and who might live 50 miles on down that dirt road ... might save your life someday. So you wave not only to be friendly and polite, but also to say "I'm one of your own, and I'll come to your aid too." You can tell when you leave the country roads, cuz people stop waving.

Marlys
03-06-2015, 07:25 PM
Some of the places I've lived include Upstate NY, Vermont, Denver, Santa Fe, Annapolis, Schenectady, Indianapolis, Northern Virginia, and Western Massachusetts.

I've found that there are things I miss about each place, and that it isn't possible to find one location that combines them all. So if I were moving and could go anywhere, I'd make a list of the things I liked and try to hit as many as possible.

For me, that would be Western Mass, in the Amherst/Northampton area. Not in the mountains, but close enough to both the Adirondacks and Green Mountains for quick trips. A few hours from a major city (Boston). Proper seasons, but winters aren't as harsh as Upstate NY and Vermont. Lots of cultural diversity and great bookstores in the 5-College area. Because of the colleges, it combines small-town living with many of the benefits of city life. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.

CathleenT
03-06-2015, 07:36 PM
I spent way more years than I wanted to in LA. It took me until my thirties to move to a small town in northern California and I love it. I live in a forest now like I've always wanted to.

That said, however, I have one piece of advice. Don't buy. My parents sunk everything they had into a farm in upstate NY and they hated it. Rent first, for at least a year. Find the neighborhood you really want to live in. It's so much easier to change your mind and move again if you're renting.

Shadow_Ferret
03-06-2015, 07:50 PM
And I'm not sure if it's because I'm not the same person I was when I lived there, so I don't know how to transplant this person back into that environment and not lose the ground I've gained over the past 15 yrs or so, or if it's just that I don't like the city I grew up in very much. Maybe I only dislike it because it's where I'm from.
Have you ever been back? Maybe the city isn't the same city, too. Cities can grow and change just like people.

I left my hometown for around seven years. When I left, it was sort of an old-fashioned place and I was often embarrassed to say I was from there. But then I returned and found that the cultural aspects that had originally embarrassed me as a teen and made me feel it was backward socially, were actually part of its charm. I had come to appreciate its history and realized it had a lot to offer. And today, nothing could drag me away.

Reziac
03-06-2015, 08:10 PM
PS. for SoCal residents -- time to view the desert wildflowers!

http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca_abdsp.html

Reziac
03-06-2015, 09:10 PM
That said, however, I have one piece of advice. Don't buy. My parents sunk everything they had into a farm in upstate NY and they hated it. Rent first, for at least a year. Find the neighborhood you really want to live in. It's so much easier to change your mind and move again if you're renting.

Also, total cost of renting is somewhere around half the total cost of buying (you may get your investment back out when you sell, but that's no longer a sure thing and not relevant to your current costs). It's not just the mortgage; it's the tax, insurance, and maintenance, which can be 40% of the cost of ownership. (More -- sometimes a lot more -- if you're not in an area with property taxes tied to value by something like Prop 13 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_13_%281978%29).)

williemeikle
03-06-2015, 09:16 PM
I'm a nomad - since leaving home at 17 ( I'm now 57 ) I've had 21 different homes in three countries, and lived in Glasgow, London and Edinburgh as well as more rural towns in the UK.

That said, the last move was the big one, eight years ago we sold up in Scotland and came to Canada, to a small fishing village in a rural spot in Newfoundland. No bright lights, no cinemas, coffee shops, fast food joints or pizza delivery - just peace and quiet, scenery and wildlife.

I love it, but it isn't for everyone. As others here have said, listen to your heart.

cray
03-06-2015, 09:28 PM
no pizza?

juniper
03-06-2015, 09:56 PM
After 4am my time. I'm sitting out on my back porch. Chilly by LA standards, but no, I won't complain. ... I've seen so many interesting little towns in SoCal, including desert towns. There's something a little surreal about the place, exotic in its way.

We moved here to Oregon from SoCal, one of those beach towns south of you. When I moved to SoCal from Texas, it was, as you said, surreal. The ocean ... !!! From the street corner on the hill, seeing the ocean stretch out below me so wide, just blocks away. Wow. I lived in Orange County for 9 years, and it was rather wonderful in many ways. So much to do down there. Museums, amusement parks, so much stuff going on. Mountains, desert, beach ... be at the beach in the morning, drive across the mountain range, be at the desert in the afternoon.

Wow, why did I ever leave? :) It was the cost of living that drove us out. Plus, it just felt like time to leave. We picked Oregon because we like the west coast weather, and Portland is a great city. We live in a small suburb on the edge.

My husband grew up in New England, and there's still family there. We've talked about moving there, even joke that we "picked the wrong Portland" (Portland, Maine being a terrific place also) but seeing all the snow and stuff there now, while we're in just casual clothes admiring the spring trees in bloom ... don't know if we'd be able to live on east coast full time. Or any place cold. I grew up in Colorado, and that's wonderful, but too far from the ocean. I'm happy here. Four seasons, but spring comes early and autumn stretches out long.

Reziac
03-06-2015, 10:25 PM
We've talked about moving there, even joke that we "picked the wrong Portland" (Portland, Maine being a terrific place also)

Funny story: I got a phone call from a prospective client. She gushed on about how she'd been looking all over and couldn't find what I offered anywhere and she'd be right over!! So I gave her directions... no, she doesn't know where that street is, or that highway, or that major exit... Oh. She can't get here from there... she's in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and I'm in Lancaster, California. Ooops!!

(We then went off on a tangent about Wind Gap PA, where I had friends long ago, and had a nice visit.)

Maze Runner
03-06-2015, 11:01 PM
Have you ever been back? Maybe the city isn't the same city, too. Cities can grow and change just like people.

I left my hometown for around seven years. When I left, it was sort of an old-fashioned place and I was often embarrassed to say I was from there. But then I returned and found that the cultural aspects that had originally embarrassed me as a teen and made me feel it was backward socially, were actually part of its charm. I had come to appreciate its history and realized it had a lot to offer. And today, nothing could drag me away.

I've been back a few times, but not for a while. It has changed, mostly for the better, though along with those changes you also lose a bit of the character, you know? Kind of industrial chic now. The neighborhood I grew up in was not the best when I left, kept getting worse for years, and now is gentrifying. The city itself, looking at it from across a river, is very pretty. But when you get on the streets after dark it's deserted. There's a move on to change that as well, but it will take a long time. Unlike bigger cities, there's not that big flow of money into it. Still, you know, it's home and I'll always love it.


I'm a nomad - since leaving home at 17 ( I'm now 57 ) I've had 21 different homes in three countries, and lived in Glasgow, London and Edinburgh as well as more rural towns in the UK.

That said, the last move was the big one, eight years ago we sold up in Scotland and came to Canada, to a small fishing village in a rural spot in Newfoundland. No bright lights, no cinemas, coffee shops, fast food joints or pizza delivery - just peace and quiet, scenery and wildlife.

I love it, but it isn't for everyone. As others here have said, listen to your heart.

I grew up a nomad. Didn't realize it till this week, when an old friend sent me a photo of a bunch of us when we were about 12 yrs old that was in the paper- didn't even remember that there was such a photo - but it was opening day at the pool, so that was the story. You know, winter is over for local boys-- I had never counted, but by that time I had lived in nine different places. The next ten years of my life were storybook. My family was back together, and now, as the odd only child in a Catholic family, I had a brother. In my adult years, I've lived in a few different cities other than my hometown -- Baltimore, New York, and Houston, TX for a short time. Been in LA now, come to think about it, longer than anywhere but the place I grew up.


We moved here to Oregon from SoCal, one of those beach towns south of you. When I moved to SoCal from Texas, it was, as you said, surreal. The ocean ... !!! From the street corner on the hill, seeing the ocean stretch out below me so wide, just blocks away. Wow. I lived in Orange County for 9 years, and it was rather wonderful in many ways. So much to do down there. Museums, amusement parks, so much stuff going on. Mountains, desert, beach ... be at the beach in the morning, drive across the mountain range, be at the desert in the afternoon.

Wow, why did I ever leave? :) It was the cost of living that drove us out. Plus, it just felt like time to leave. We picked Oregon because we like the west coast weather, and Portland is a great city. We live in a small suburb on the edge.

My husband grew up in New England, and there's still family there. We've talked about moving there, even joke that we "picked the wrong Portland" (Portland, Maine being a terrific place also) but seeing all the snow and stuff there now, while we're in just casual clothes admiring the spring trees in bloom ... don't know if we'd be able to live on east coast full time. Or any place cold. I grew up in Colorado, and that's wonderful, but too far from the ocean. I'm happy here. Four seasons, but spring comes early and autumn stretches out long.

Yeah, the ocean! I love the ocean. Grew up a few hundred miles from the Atlantic and always felt landlocked. I'd race for the Jersey Shore every summer as soon as I was old enough to do so. Spent a whole month in Wildwood after my Freshman year in college. Had planned to spend the entire summer, but got called back for a job interview at a TV station. I can't remember what the job was supposed to be, but had a contact who wrangled an interview from a News Director who was none to pleased to see this obviously unqualified, clueless punk, still wreaking of saltwater in his office. He slid a newspaper across his desk, and said, "Pick five news stories and put them in TV news casting form. I tried, my best, but I'm sure it was horrible and was quickly shown the door.

I lived in Venice Beach for a while out here, and love it. When I first got out here, and was single, and had yet to get a job, I spent the first few months just exploring. I'd just get in my car and see where it would take me that day. All the beach towns were top of the list, of course, from up above Malibu all the way down to Redondo. Air you could actually breathe what a bonus.

Reziac
03-06-2015, 11:07 PM
I'd just get in my car and see where it would take me that day.

Gods, I loved doing that, back before the price of gas made it a too-expensive hobby.

Maze Runner
03-06-2015, 11:13 PM
Gods, I loved doing that, back before the price of gas made it a too-expensive hobby.

Yeah, I did so much of that. Did it once, as i slowly made my way up to SF for the first time. Spent a night in a B&B in a little town about a hundred miles north of LA. So quaint. I know you said you don't like Sf, but as soon as I drove into the city I felt at home. It's a lot like the town I grew up in, only much more beautiful of course.

I continued to do that for years whenever I had a chance. And I'd spend time in all these little towns. Look around a find a little bar that looked like it had a story to tell. Go in, regardless what I had on, they were mostly of the dive variety anyway. Locals not sure what to make of me, a little on the cold and appraising side until we started to talk, and drink, and laugh. So many great times.

williemeikle
03-06-2015, 11:28 PM
no pizza?

That would be just silly. I make my own.

juniper
03-06-2015, 11:29 PM
I'd just get in my car and see where it would take me that day. All the beach towns were top of the list, of course, from up above Malibu all the way down to Redondo. Air you could actually breathe what a bonus.

Ha, that just reminded me of a time in the late 90s - I was living in Texas but flew into Burbank or LA for an editing workshop or something (I worked in video production). I drove down to south Orange County to visit a friend then was supposed to drive back to an airport hotel to catch a flight the next morning. It was dark - I missed the exit (this was before GPS or Google maps etc) and just kept driving on the PCH ... finally pulled off and went into a small convenience store that was open. And discovered I was near Santa Barbara!

I'd been mesmerized, even in the dark, by the coast. I didn't know California at all at that time, and there had been long stretches of nothing in the darkness. I was given directions, turned around, and made it to the hotel around 4 am. Called the front desk and asked for a wake-up call at 5. I remember the desk clerk saying, "Five? Like, an hour from now?" Yeah. I had to get to the airport ...

Back when I was younger and sillier. What good times!

Maze Runner
03-06-2015, 11:40 PM
Ha, that just reminded me of a time in the late 90s - I was living in Texas but flew into Burbank or LA for an editing workshop or something (I worked in video production). I drove down to south Orange County to visit a friend then was supposed to drive back to an airport hotel to catch a flight the next morning. It was dark - I missed the exit (this was before GPS or Google maps etc) and just kept driving on the PCH ... finally pulled off and went into a small convenience store that was open. And discovered I was near Santa Barbara!

I'd been mesmerized, even in the dark, by the coast. I didn't know California at all at that time, and there had been long stretches of nothing in the darkness. I was given directions, turned around, and made it to the hotel around 4 am. Called the front desk and asked for a wake-up call at 5. I remember the desk clerk saying, "Five? Like, an hour from now?" Yeah. I had to get to the airport ...

Back when I was younger and sillier. What good times!

Hahahaha, that is so true. You miss an exit out here and it's like you've wandered into the Twilight Zone. The first week I was here had a friend in Malibu, we'd been out all night - saw my first CA celebrity that night - Prince, the purple one himself huddled in a booth in a restaurant in W. Hwood, surrounded by three body guards of course and quiet as a mouse - anyway, I had to make it back to my apartment in North Hollywood from Malibu, about 3am. Missed the 405 north twice, after circling back once and finally ended up Downtown LA. Nobody on the streets to ask directions. Finally found a Vietnamese cab driver from whom I could decipher directions.

Reziac
03-07-2015, 05:40 PM
Hahahaha, that is so true. You miss an exit out here and it's like you've wandered into the Twilight Zone.

Now see, I never understood this, tho I know it happens to a lot of people. But I never get lost, and I carry a map in my head of everywhere I've ever been. Anyway, I found if I missed an exit, just take the next one and circle back on the obvious surface street and you'd be fine! L.A.'s layout is actually fairly forgiving that way, considering how the tangle of interlocked cities is flung every which way.


And I'd spend time in all these little towns. Look around a find a little bar that looked like it had a story to tell.

Me, I'd hit all the used-bookstores!! There's a heck of a lot of 'em in the mountain west and prairie states, but hardly any once you get west of the Sierras. :(

First time I went from MT to SoCal, I came back by way of Amarillo, Texas, for no especially good reason except that I had a tailwind. :D

Ladyxkaa
03-07-2015, 05:48 PM
I've lived in my little city all my life, in two separate houses, but I think I like it here.