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Old 09-19-2012, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
9 posts, read 16,080 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all! My boyfriend and I have been discussing moving out of Iowa. We've both lived here pretty much our entire lives (though I have lived in Bakersfield CA and St Charles MO as well). We currently live in the Des Moines, IA metro area. We are wanting to go someplace new. Looking for something bigger and more exciting. I definitely have a strong thirst for adventure and exploration.

We are both pretty outdoorsy, so we'd like to live near places that will allow for it. We both like hiking, camping, and kayaking. I also love skiing. BF prefers kayaking in lakes over rivers, and especially is a fan of the boundry waters in northern Minnesota. We love the woods, and mountians are amazing too. As far as the weather, Iowa is pretty variable between bitter cold and sweltering hot and humid so we're not picky, though I think he would prefer colder over hotter.

I would love to be in an area that is open to different styles of spirituality (such as Hinduism, Buddhism, New age, etc) and metaphysical ideas. I am interested in new ways of eating healthy and locally. I love yoga, and I'm interested in alternative healing like going to a chiropractor and a naturopathic doctor. I also tend to lean a bit to the left politically and would like to live in a place that has similar ideas, or at the very least best of both worlds. Iowa is pretty moderate and has a nice mix of both left and right which I always appreciated, but I felt isolated in Bakersfield when I lived there. To put it bluntly, I'm pretty hippie.

I'm perfectly ok with living further away from family. Both of our families live here in Iowa, though I have siblings in SD, WI, and MO. I have friends in many different places, however my best friend of 11 years lives in Denver. I worry about my BF not being as thrilled about living further away from family as he says he is when the idea becomes a reality. I was miserable when I was in CA, but of course there were other factors than just living 23 hours away from my mother. So I don't think that I'd want to live anywhere that would require us to take a plane every time we went home.

The last thing is that neither of us have a college degree so I don't want to live anywhere that has an exorbitant amount of cost of living. I have experience doing data entry and processing for a financial company, in addition to customer service and retail. He has experience in retail, sales, and debt collection. I'm interested in the idea of going back to school but I haven't decided to what extent. It may be that I'll study to be a massage therapist, or I might try and go for a bachelors degree to teach elementary kids, so that kind of depends on what kind of education is offered in the area of where we live, and the cost.

So far we've talked about either Denver or the Twin Cities, but I'm open to learning about new places too. I'd appreciate any insight, thoughts, or advice! Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:06 PM
 
136 posts, read 180,954 times
Reputation: 199
I've lived in each city for over 10 years. To be honest they are VERY similar and from what you're looking for each would fit the bill. I will say there are only 2 big differences -

1. In Denver you will not be exposed to mothernature like you are in the TC. In Denver it's very flat and there are hardly any wetlands, rivers, creeks, lakes, hills to break up the cityscape. It's just street after street until you get to the countryside. Might not seem important but it will affect your psyche after a while.

2. The weather in Denver is GREAT. 4 minor seasons, no long arduous winters to contend with.

I'm from the TC originally and it is only reason #2 which keeps me from moving back because of reason #1.

I would say if you don't have a problem with Minnesota winters you should move to the TC's. It's only like a 5 hour drive to Des Moines so you could easily visit your family for weekends. Here in Denver it's a pretty big deal to visit my family in Minnesota. Good Luck.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:47 PM
 
21,267 posts, read 30,535,410 times
Reputation: 19767
You might also consider Madison, Wisconsin or Ann Arbor, Michigan. Both cities check off your criteria and offer low unemployment rates, as well as a moderate cost of living.

Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
9 posts, read 16,080 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevike View Post
I've lived in each city for over 10 years. To be honest they are VERY similar and from what you're looking for each would fit the bill. I will say there are only 2 big differences -

1. In Denver you will not be exposed to mothernature like you are in the TC. In Denver it's very flat and there are hardly any wetlands, rivers, creeks, lakes, hills to break up the cityscape. It's just street after street until you get to the countryside. Might not seem important but it will affect your psyche after a while.

2. The weather in Denver is GREAT. 4 minor seasons, no long arduous winters to contend with.

I'm from the TC originally and it is only reason #2 which keeps me from moving back because of reason #1.

I would say if you don't have a problem with Minnesota winters you should move to the TC's. It's only like a 5 hour drive to Des Moines so you could easily visit your family for weekends. Here in Denver it's a pretty big deal to visit my family in Minnesota. Good Luck.
Thank you very much for your input! I do worry about the MN winters... I have heard that they're worse than IA ones, so I wonder how well I'd like them! And I've never lived in any kind of "urban jungle" so I think I would miss seeing reminders of nature scattered throughout. Those are definitely points I'll have to take into consideration.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:15 AM
 
74 posts, read 105,687 times
Reputation: 54
I grew up in Des Moines and can at least see why you are planning on leaving that said I know nothing of the other two places all I know is if you've ever lived in place with out harsh winters when winter rolls around you want to be in that place.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
9 posts, read 16,080 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbyrd View Post
I grew up in Des Moines and can at least see why you are planning on leaving that said I know nothing of the other two places all I know is if you've ever lived in place with out harsh winters when winter rolls around you want to be in that place.
Yeah... when I moved to St Louis area after living in CA for a couple years I felt like it was SO COLD. haha! Then I moved back home and I rembered what real winter was like. Still, I'd take a harsh winter over Bakersfield any day...
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,474,678 times
Reputation: 36100
Make a list of the three WORST things you can think of about each one. Then go to the one that's no so bad.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,774,404 times
Reputation: 2336
Quote:
Originally Posted by citrinedream View Post
Thank you very much for your input! I do worry about the MN winters... I have heard that they're worse than IA ones, so I wonder how well I'd like them! And I've never lived in any kind of "urban jungle" so I think I would miss seeing reminders of nature scattered throughout. Those are definitely points I'll have to take into consideration.
I moved to Des Moines from the Twin Cities. The winters really aren't much worse. It stays cold for maybe a week or two longer.
Denver will be more of a cultural shock to your system. TC looks and feels very similar to Des Moines, though of course much bigger. Lots of nieghborhoods comparable to Beaverdale, South of Grand, Waveland, Sherman Hill, etc. And of course it's only a 3.5/4-hour drive, as 10 to Denver.
But Denver and TC are mostly really really similar. 16th St in Denver is better than Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, and Denver has a better light rail system (for now - TC's is nicer looking and will probably be better overall within the next few years). It's a tough choice.
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