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Old 07-27-2012, 06:01 PM
7 posts, read 9,505 times
Reputation: 11


Hello all,

I have read a few of your forum posts and have a feeling this topic will be met with scrutiny, possibly criticism. My husband and I currently reside in Louisiana and are looking to northern states for a relocation. We are worn out by the crime rate in Baton Rouge (especially since Katrina) and more exhausted by the sweltering heat. It is hot here year round, with a two or three week "winter" season. It never snows here. In fact, for it to get down to 30 degrees is positively miraculous. The roads are terrible, people are angry and there is almost never a day that passes that we don't read about yet another shooting.

We are both employed by the State of Louisiana in different agencies and make enough to get by, but would like to live a better life. By this I mean that we would like a simple life. To own a cabin in the woods with a patch of dirt large enough for a garden, the ability to enjoy viewing wildlife from our porch, while making just enough to make ends meet. It's almost impossible to find something akin to that in these parts unless you are a doctor or some such.

We don't want to change anything. We just want to go somewhere that we can find jobs and live quietly - without bothering anyone or being bothered by anyone.

We have looked at North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. I've heard great things about Idaho as far as the people go. Are there any jobs? And.. are the jobs paying enough to get by?

I know most of you will say to come and visit first. Well, that's almost impossible with our current employment. I work for a school and am forced to cash out my leave during forced closures. The next "closure" will be in November. We are considering biting the bullet and just taking our last paychecks, purchasing a used RV and going somewhere.. anywhere.. where life will be safer, cleaner, and happier.

Any thoughts, advice or suggestions will be most appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:01 AM
1,056 posts, read 2,328,559 times
Reputation: 837
I think your instincts are correct: you have to come and visit first.

The thing is... so many people have this romantic vision of the solitary life in the woods on a few acres where they can enjoy the quiet, beauty, and peace that comes with it.

What they never visualize is the practical realities of such a life. First, you're almost always a long, hard drive away from town. Most people have to be close to town for work, for shopping, for dining, for entertainment, and for going to Walmart six times a day. That's just the reality of life in this century.

Second, the winter. If you're truly in the woods you're dealing with a winter that starts by Halloween and ends around Memorial Day. That's a long time. You have to be hearty people to not only survive these winters, but to do the necessary things to own a home and land in such a situation.

The roads in the woods will almost certainly be worse than what you're coming from. There are no jobs in the woods so you'll have to drive these crappy roads - in the winter - to get to work.

Lastly, the problems you have in Louisiana are really no different than the problems you'll find anywhere else... people move from every state complaining about certain problems with their old home, or else they're trading in one set of problems for another.

Certainly there are better fits for people and Idaho may indeed be a better fit for you. And you'll never know until you try. But the reality is you need to make informed decisions, and that involves not only traveling to places that are on your radar, but securing employment BEFORE you move. Idaho, like anywhere else, is not handing out jobs. Expect 6 months to a year to find a job out here.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:07 PM
340 posts, read 682,235 times
Reputation: 267
Default Country is Not Always The Best Choice

I ditto the comments by boisefan88 about moving to the country. My husband and I like you were burned out of living close to unfriendly or vile neighbors, noisy car stereos, unreasonable HOA etc..and headed to the country in Virginia to excise our freedom. We did have some dear friends that lived closed by however for the most part our social life immediately became almost non existent. When you later in life decide to leave familiar territory for the unknown it can back fire. Having to drive 25 to a Walmart to shop or 45+ minutes to have a nice dinner and a drink becomes challenging. We have gotten to a point to where it is not worth going out worried about leaving our home for so long, getting stopped by the local police after having a few drinks on our long drive. Constantly worried about driving at night and missing deer on the road and other varmits..We have tried to sell our home on two occasions however alot of folks do not want to live out so far. In conclusion we are willing to take a loss on our home to get out and move to a nice town like Boise to start a new life. We will be more careful this time to avoid getting into a community that is not to our liking...we know what we want now. Please do yourself a favor and really look into the reasons why you want to escape...to the country you may regret it later!
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:14 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,457 posts, read 14,373,173 times
Reputation: 15860
Hi, BayouLady...
The above comments are very true, but there are alternatives to living far out in the boonies.
I have some friends who are former Louisianans; they moved out here after Katrina. They lived on the opposite side of the lake from New Orleans.
The man of the family has some very high electrical skills- he works on the big commercial power transfer stations, and decided to request for a transfer out here when he had had enough, and the family moved to the little town of Iona, about 5 miles out of Idaho Falls. Iona has about 2500 people, and was founded by families who were all farmers, so the lots inside the city limits are large enough to keep a horse or some sheep, even though most residents do not do so any longer. Residents do grow a lot of large gardens.
They love the place- its very peaceful, and they have adapted well to the colder climate here. But he had a high paying job waiting for him, and that's very uncommon these days.

While the Little Cabin Home in the West sounds very attractive to lots of folks these days, the reality of owning a hobby farm is very different from the daydream. Without expensive equipment, such as a small tractor and necessary implements, the land can very quickly become a huge weed patch, and it's impossible these days to live as a subsistence farmer anywhere. A 20-acre farm is very close to being a full-time strenuous job, and out here, there is a lot of necessary and continuous maintenance that has to be done to fences, outbuildings, etc. or the place will become run down very quickly.

I suggest you look around, long and hard before moving across the country. Depending on your age, physical condition, the size of your family and how much cash reserves you have must be considered very carefully and closely before packing up. There is a lot of territory that may suit you as well in-between the deep South and the Intermountain West. If it is financially difficult for you to come out for a visit, imagine how much worse it could be if you come out blindly, committing everything you have, and find you don't like it. And then have no way of moving elsewhere. This happens to folks who impulsively move out to the West all the time.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:51 PM
674 posts, read 1,255,218 times
Reputation: 532
Very good post ^^^

I agree that small town living is probably what you're seeking. It's pretty easy to get a few acres a few miles outside of a small town, and depending on where you look, pretty cheap. You can then put some animals on that, have a garden, and whatever else.

I grew up on 3 acres outside of town. We had sheep, goats, a few cows, and chickens. We had some horses for a bit. My mom had a large garden. Just the 3 acres is a TON of work. We were glad to be close to town and, frankly, we couldn't have made it unless we were.
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