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Old 10-15-2015, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,595 times
Reputation: 269

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderpig2 View Post
There's a lot I could say, but will try to keep it short. First of all, despite the "excitedness", you probably need to instead exercise caution. I can relate to the living in one state all my life, and being excited about a change and new area, etc. but that can be a recipe for getting into trouble (been there, done that). I wouldn't worry about the idealogy and vegan stuff; though those are important to you, they shouldn't be turned into a necessities for a new location. Necessities are along the lines of work/jobs, cost of living, and budget. Many from elsewhere - including the south - find CO to have a high cost of living. The bar is set very high too, and people compete with the cream of the crop, the best of the best. Translated: super high competition over jobs.

Visiting is very important, and you do need to see the area, but I'd caution that you need to go much further. Keep in mind that with Florida, you would be used to a green, lush, and essentially tropical environment (I came from a similar environment). I'll bet that you will miss the moisture and greenness, and be disappointed by the dryness and distance from water and the ocean. There's also the culture matter. If FL is all you've known, I think it will be hard to adjust and connect with a culture so different. It's something many don't seem to talk about. Despite the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" phenomenon (note the irony!), you might end up finding out that there are lots of great aspects about where you are currently, and that that is truly home (and don't overlook family and friends). Sometimes we can't see how great we have it until those things are gone. Living 40 years in one region will be deep down and essentially "in one's blood". I'm sure many who have lived in this state would feel very out of place if relocated in FL. Ultimately, only you can say what is right for you based on your background. Others can only speak from their perspective.

Good luck, and ask more questions! You can message me directly if you want for even more specific information.
Thank you so much for the info. Don't get me wrong. I live in what many would consider "paradise" and it truly is in a lot of ways; but, I have never had any experience outside of this place. It seems sad to waste a life away in one area. We own property here, so I know we can always come back. Ultimately, I am going to end up where my daughter ends up as I would like to be around when she starts a family (not in the smothering kind of way ). We have been raising our daughter since I was 18, so this is finally our window of opportunity to experience a little bit of life outside of our comfort zone. Unfortunately, my parents have passed and the main family I have in Florida are my husband and daughter, both of which would be moving to CO as well.

I am under no delusions that I very well could hate it...even if I visit and love it. I feel like you can't know a place, really, until you live there. My thinking is that I would like to have access to the west coast of the US as we have traveled extensively on the east coast. It is not an affordable option to fly out west on multiple holidays. As of now, Colorado seems like the most viable option for us. California seems too expensive, Utah seems too conservative, the salary system in New Mexican schools seems unreasonable...and so on. But, I am evaluating all of this from a limited perspective. The culture part concerns me. I am pretty open and love to experience different cultures, but I read often about CO that there is limited diversity outside of the urban areas. Is this true? What about the culture do you think would be a challenge?

Yes, the vegan stuff is not the driving factor. We have no vegan restaurants where I live and I make do. I cook a lot. But, just having access to things to do would be great. My husband and I love to hike and camp; we have really tried to do it in Florida, but the geography gets pretty mundane after 39 years, especially if you aren't a huge beach person. I love looking at the water, but it usually involves eating at a restaurant and I honestly think I am getting fatter and fatter. Lol! I genuinely love the idea of feeling a little "uncomfortable". If you are too comfortable, you aren't being challenged.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,595 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
You really need to come out here for a visit first. It's great to research a place from afar, but there's no substitute for first hand experience. I don't know how you may be visualizing Colorado, but I can guarantee that the reality of it is not going to align with whatever you may be imagining. For example, for many if not most, life in Colorado does not equal life in the mountains. You can't even see the mountains from many of the suburbs on the Front Range. Also, keep in mind that you are going to have to learn how to drive in snow and will often be facing an icy commute on busy highways come winter. I have lived here all my life, but even for me, it got old having to come out early every morning, chipping the ice off my windshield, warming up the car, then hitting I-25 for a commute to work packed in with semi-crazed drivers, half of whom are ignoring road conditions and driving like rats trying to win some pointless race. I worked in the educational field here in Colorado (10 years as a librarian at a state college, 10 years in the public library system in Colorado Springs). You can't depend on funding from year to year, since if there's a budget shortfall, public education always seems to get the deepest cuts. There were years when our library book budget went to zero thanks to spending cuts. How can you provide an education for your students without books? And that's only one example. Acquaint yourself with the realities of TABOR before becoming overly enchanted by the idea of being a teacher in Colorado. Are you avid skiers? Love the great out-of-doors and going for long hikes on trails above 8,000 feet in elevation? Great! Come out here and drive I-70 from Denver to Vail on a couple of winter weekends and see if the Rockies still call out to you in quite the same manner. Yep, you'll be out of the humidity, but is the trade-off really going to end up being worth it to you?

If you decide it is, I'd suggest you check out Colorado Springs. Your paycheck will be smaller there, but the cost of living is lower, and the city is much more scenic than Denver or Fort Collins. Check out Air Academy and Cheyenne Mountain school districts in the Springs for starters. I don't want to be "mean," but you are considering a very radical change in life-style and you've never even visited here. Make a couple of trips to Colorado - one in the winter - drive around on the Front Range from Fort Collins on south; maybe even take I-70 all the way out to Grand Junction on the Western Slope. See our state up close and personal, and if you still want to make the move, I welcome you and wish you the best of luck. Spanish is no big deal, BTW.

Yours,
- Rambler
You make some great points. I posted a response above with some more information about motivation for moving, but I do realize the more I research, the more fantasy becomes reality. Ultimately, I have an opportunity for the first time in my life to take a risk in regard to location and I based my decision largely on wanting to have decent access to the west coast of the US. We have been raising our daughter since we were 18. She is now graduating college and we are having a "woohoo" phase . We always stayed in one place to keep life consistent for her, but we are travelers at heart. Your lovely state really seems like the best option for a "home base". I have no delusions that it will be different and possibly "too" different from what we are used to, but we won't know if we don't try. We have the privilege of taking risks for the first time in our lives. Do you recommend any surrounding states?

COS seems to make the most sense financially. I have read a lot of differing opinions regarding conservatism. I was raised Christian and I am now Agnostic (if I have to label) and my husband is Atheist. But COS seems a lot like the demographic is Port Saint Lucie, so I'm sure it would be fine.

I know, I know! I should visit. You aren't being mean. It makes no sense to move to a place you haven't visited. I'm working on this one. We definitely want access to mountains and hiking. We want to visit some state parks. I want to go to Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Santa FE, San Francisco, etc, etc, etc. There is no way we will be able to afford full vacations to these places from the east coast. A lot of those places are a lot like driving to Tennessee for us, which is a 14 hour road trip. I am indeed terrified of dying driving on the ice or in a freak snowstorm in the mountains (mildly joking), but I'm up for the challenge of learning new skills. We do have some pretty torrential downpours here in Florida and I drive in those regularly, but the whole icy road thing seems to be a whole, new level.

Thank you again for your honest feedback!
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:08 PM
 
1,822 posts, read 1,389,155 times
Reputation: 2087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellybug View Post
I have never had any experience outside of this place. It seems sad to waste a life away in one area. If you are too comfortable, you aren't being challenged.
All the above (and other statements) could be identical quotes to myself and family a few years ago. I now take back everything I said back then. It's weird how new experiences (with unpleasant surprises) can turn thoughts completely around. You might indeed get new challenges and get out of your comfort zone, but in negative ways you might not expect or welcome Oh well, no one could talk my family and myself out of what we were thinking. You will just have to experience it yourself. And maybe it will turn out differently for you (I'd like to hope so, though it sounds so familiar). I wish I could go back in time and have a long talk with myself. I'd completely avoid "the big move", lots of disappointment, and loss of lots of money earned over many years. It does sound like your family has already made the decision, and nothing will alter the course, though it is hard to understand based on never having personally seen the state. That sounds a bit like imagination is running the show.

Last edited by Sunderpig2; 10-15-2015 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,595 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderpig2 View Post
All the above (and other statements) could be identical quotes to myself and family a few years ago. I now take back everything I said back then. It's weird how new experiences (with unpleasant surprises) can turn thoughts completely around. You might indeed get new challenges and get out of your comfort zone, but in negative ways you might not expect or welcome Oh well, no one could talk my family and myself out of what we were thinking. You will just have to experience it yourself. And maybe it will turn out differently for you (I'd like to hope so, though it sounds so familiar). I wish I could go back in time and have a long talk with myself. I'd completely avoid "the big move", lots of disappointment, and loss of lots of money earned over many years. It does sound like your family has already made the decision, and nothing will alter the course, though it is hard to understand based on never having personally seen the state. That sounds a bit like imagination is running the show.
Do you mind me asking, Sunderpig, where you moved from and how long you have been in CO? I am not ashamed to be open to the wisdom of others. I am set on moving, not necessarily set on CO; hence, why I'm here trying to get information. We thought about a move in Florida, but I go back and forth based on the things I mentioned before. What, specifically, do you regret (without invading too much of your personal space, of course!)?

Yes, my imagination can run the show, but it has served me very well a humble 50% of the time .
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Old 10-15-2015, 05:12 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,353,832 times
Reputation: 12301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellybug View Post
I am preparing for the shock of altitude
Hope so...you are coming from the state with the flattest mean elevation (100 ft) to the state with the highest mean elevation (6,800 ft).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_by_elevation
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,595 times
Reputation: 269
I am hoping to get some feedback regarding my original questions:

1. How is the market for commercial plumbing or estimator jobs?
2. What does the market currently look like for teaching jobs?
3. Any recommendations regarding neighborhoods?

In the meantime, I'll keep searching the forums. Thanks so much!
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,595 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Hope so...you are coming from the state with the flattest mean elevation (100 ft) to the state with the highest mean elevation (6,800 ft).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_by_elevation
Yikes! That is definitely a change! Are you from CO? I've read a few posts on Floridians moving there. Any advice on the major effects of such a change. I've heard avoid alcohol and hydrate, but we don't really drink.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,042 posts, read 2,074,722 times
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Your body will adapt to the altitude. That is why the USOC is located in Colorado Springs. With the growth taking place, there is employment for construction trades and teachers in areas, but those that are growing the most with the most employment opportunities also tend to have increasing costs of living to go with them.

I'd question whether Colorado is the best home base for exploring the west coast. Denver is in the middle of no where. it is a full, long day's drive to Salt Lake City, Kansas City, or Phoenix or the bustling metropolis of Sheridan Wyoming. You also have the tallest natural barrier in the continental US directly west that can stall or impede travel plans depending on weather. It would take a second full, long day to get to the west coast after reaching SLC or Phoenix.

Yes, COS does seem to be a close match demographically and economically to Port St Lucia, with perhaps the languages being less diverse. It is a bit larger though as El Paso county is over half a million. Politics in COS do tend to lean more conservative than you may be used to. It certainly could use more moderates in its ranks and there are some liberal politics sprouting up here and there but it isn't like we have tetotaling bible thumpers proselytizing on every corner or at every public function. We do have a very large military and governmental presence in town though. School districts do tend to be arbitrarily carved out of the residential areas with no rhyme or reason.

Has any mentioned its dry here? Seriously dry. The predominate color of colorful Colorado along the front range is actually more of a tan. Things do green up with the spring rains, but usually start turning tan around early June and are crispy brown and yellow by the end of summer. Metro areas do irrigate regularly and it isn't a wasteland, but you get out into rural areas and the greenness slowly fades. One upside to that dryness, no rampant mold and mildew and it severely limits how big bugs can grow.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:16 AM
 
1,822 posts, read 1,389,155 times
Reputation: 2087
Shellybug - I sent you a direct message, so please look for that (top right of screen, in tiny print).

Last edited by Sunderpig2; 10-16-2015 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 10-16-2015, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
603 posts, read 732,076 times
Reputation: 998
You will have better luck finding a teaching job in the larger metro areas either around Denver or Colorado Springs. They can be very competitive to land a job unless you are a math or science teacher but it sounds like you have an ESL (English as a second language) experience so that might help. Make sure you visit the Dept of Education website to see what you need to do to license in Colorado, there is not reciprocity with all states.

Colorado Springs area might be a good fit. Cost of real estate is lower than Denver or Fort Collins and access to the mountains is close. Not sure how the rental market compares. It's a pretty city with good amenities. Elevation is higher than Denver. I have no idea about plumbing jobs but the building market (residential and commercial) has picked up in recent years so more opportunities may be available.

I also strongly urge you to visit before deciding on a cross country move and I would definitely not advise moving to Greeley without a visit first.
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