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Old 10-29-2014, 03:06 PM
 
24 posts, read 8,445 times
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Hi everyone

I'm 26, and am preparing to get the H*ll out of the Buffalo area(and the entire East Coast?!), move somewhere "nice", make new, quality friends, and become an Electrician Apprentice('Operation: Life 180', if you will). I will work basic job(s) there, until I become an Apprentice(or something better, if I find it). I can't work retail, fast food, cashier, etc...not for me.

Basically, I'm looking for:
- Affordable, safe living. I will assume a $25K salary starting out, and am down for sharing a house/apt.
- Weather that is *much* better than Buffalo.. I did not enjoy living in Phoenix or Texas, for weather or things to do. Want to tan(vitamin D!), but also want some weather variety. Snow, I could live without, and would trade it for rain.
- Plenty of electrical work(not sure what this means exactly), and general work.
- Easy-paced city/traffic as possible; count me out of LA, NYC, or Chicago! I am coming from a completely solitary lifestyle in a middle-of-nowhere town, and do NOT like big city chaos/stress(or crime..), or being stuck in city perimeters, isolated from nature.
- Plenty of outdoor stuff to do(small-to-med sized mountains, preferably), excluding bars, clubs, scenes.. If I can only trail-run, explore, and make friends, that will be enough.
- I am planning to buy a car, and maybe drive it there, but I'd love to bike/walk to work if possible! Not a fan of bus riding
- I plan to live there for ~5 years initially, until I become a Journeyman, and start making enough to move to a better place(California?!), if I can find one.

---------------

Here are the areas I've been considering:
Colorado/Denver area(CURRENT TOP CHOICE):
- 4 seasons, yet apparently colder and hotter than Buffalo; may still be too cold for me, at only half the amount of snow of Buffalo.
- Has 2 towns in "top 20 places for 20-somethings"(greatist.com); Boulder #1, Denver #17, as well as Castle Rock being one of the "best places to live" currently, yet depression/suicides seem to be high in CO, and there seems to be a lot of strange politics/types of people and pollution that I'm not sure about..
- Good amount of Electrician jobs here, with $50K average salary.
- The low humidity concerns me, because of my dry eye, but I'm not going to be living outside.. Low humidity sounds great for nice, clear, weather, and the high elevation is intriguing.. I will take a good workout/cardio challenge, if the price is right
- Honestly don't know what the overall area is like; have only seen some Google images and YouTube videos.. But I think I like what I am seeing(not so much what I'm reading/hearing, though)!

Washington/Seattle area(#2 CHOICE?):
- Not a fan of greyness/sporadic rain.. Ideally want nice, warm weather 2/3 of the year or so.
- Not really sure what the area is like, geographically or otherwise. The overall weather seems alright-ish, besides low sunshine. Apparently it's like Colorado with rain instead of sunshine, and maybe less snow?
- I've read it's an expensive place to live, but not California/NYC/Hawaii expensive.

Oregon/Portland area:
- Greyness/rain...and heavy "hippy/hipster" scenes, so I've heard.
- Not really sure what the area is like, geographically or otherwise. The overall weather seems alright-ish, besides low sunshine..

Texas/Dallas area(#3 CHOICE?):
- Too boring for a 20-something who wants to run in the mountains?
- Have been to Houston & Galveston for a short time; was a rather dull place..
- The Texan/Western/cowboy lifestyle/'charm' appeals to me.
- Lots of Electrician jobs in Texas, but lower average salaries.

California/San Diego area:
- Too expensive for one with $60K college debt..? My 'Final Frontier', perhaps. If I knew I could afford to live there(well off), I think I would go for it!
- Haven't been to California; not sure if it's for me.
- Probably has my ideal weather. 65F is about as cold as I like =p

Utah/North Carolina areas(DISSUADED CHOICES):
- Raleigh does not sound like a very exciting place..
- Utah and the Mormon thing.. Gives me a bad feeling :\

---------------

So, where should I go? Totally open for different areas not on my list!

Here is an incomplete data chart I've compiled, which may not be 100% accurate:




Thanks, everyone!
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:08 AM
 
21,252 posts, read 30,520,724 times
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I would advise you to get over the "Mormon thing" which really isn't an issue over any other area with practicing religions since the Salt Lake City-Ogden-Logan corridor is booming and has probably the healthiest economy in the US right now (and has for awhile). It fulfills your criteria fully and is in terms of finances the best choice of your other options. And as an FYI there has not been a Mormon majority in Salt Lake City for a number of years and the city itself is quite progressive (i.e. not conservative).
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:44 AM
 
56,961 posts, read 81,305,553 times
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Nashville would make more sense given the criteria versus the Western locations that you are thinking about.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:17 AM
 
21,252 posts, read 30,520,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Nashville would make more sense given the criteria versus the Western locations that you are thinking about.
It's a good option, but lacking in mountains which seems to be a strong desire.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:51 AM
 
5,729 posts, read 8,802,256 times
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I'm wondering about the comment of wanting small mountains, which would favor Chattanooga over Knoxville. Roanoake has medium mountains, very close by.

Knoxville has good bike paths - some are near industrial areas where you will find electrical shops. I think Chattanooga does as well.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:42 PM
 
24 posts, read 8,445 times
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Chattanooga, eh. Neat, I had no idea there were mountains in Tennessee! That looks like a very nice place(similar to W.Virginia), especially for biking, and you're not stuck in a claustrophobic "bowl" like Phoenix(/Denver/Salt Lake?). Temps about the same as Denver. Heard a lot of good about the people/culture in Nashville, but yes, no mountains. I have one little gripe about TN, though...I rather despise country music, and I'm trying to get away from country life mostly :s

These are indeed tough choices, without being able to fly out there and see what they're really like. I prefer lots of green & wildlife, maybe nice running beaches, over Denver & Utah's apparent dryness. I have zero interest in skiing, and would rather have green nature around than a Western shop & culture focus. I've also heard Denver is getting expensive & crowded quickly now, maybe having water problems too? Since CO/UT and WA/OR are so close, it's probably safe to regard them as being pretty similar, so it'll be easy to move between if desired. Here's how I would rank them on being exotic/exciting-looking(from what I've seen so far):

1a. Portland/OR (more nature variety[90-100% happy] & warmer temps VS WA?)
1b. Seattle/WA (colder/harsher weather, more expensive, more crowded, less nature variety VS OR?)
2. ~Chattanooga/TN ("very high" tornado risk, looks similar to PA/WV, nice nature[75-90% happy])
3. ~Denver (sunshine/clear weather, dry but good nature variety[50-80% happy])
4. ~Salt Lake City (looks fairly dead, nature-wise)
5. ~Dallas (flat, hot, humid..)

So, ultimately, besides job data, it seems to be a choice between sunshine or green nature variety. I guess I can't have both, without living in South America?

Last edited by Browniesaurus; 11-04-2014 at 02:20 PM..
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:54 AM
 
21,252 posts, read 30,520,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Browniesaurus View Post
So, ultimately, besides job data, it seems to be a choice between sunshine or green nature variety. I guess I can't have both, without living in South America?
Pretty much since "green nature" requires consistent rainfall to make it green and sustain most forms of nature. If sunshine in any regularity is something you desire the Pacific Northwest probably isn't the best option for you and places like Chattanooga, Knoxville, Charlottesville VA or Greenville SC are perhaps better options to focus on.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:33 AM
 
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I realized the OP needs to avoid TN because he needs a trade school and TN is making its trade schools and CCs free to residents (TN HS Grads) so the waiting lists are going to be long.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Austin
596 posts, read 680,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Browniesaurus View Post
3. ~Denver (sunshine/clear weather, dry but good nature variety[50-80% happy])
4. ~Salt Lake City (looks fairly dead, nature-wise)
Having lived in both Denver and SLC, I'm curious as to why you are 50-80% happy with the nature variety of Denver but SLC is fairly dead. What exactly does nature variety mean to you?
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:15 PM
 
24 posts, read 8,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricNorthman View Post
Having lived in both Denver and SLC, I'm curious as to why you are 50-80% happy with the nature variety of Denver but SLC is fairly dead. What exactly does nature variety mean to you?
Dead means...not much green. Tree density & variation, moisture, plants, bugs, frogs, rainforesty stuff. Not deserts, boulders & rock mountains with shrubs here & there. Colorado, from the pictures/videos I've seen, reminds me of the more exciting/"living" areas of Arizona. It's neat, because it's mostly dry and you don't get dirty/muddy much, but I believe I prefer more green & wet. Maybe this exists in CO/UT..? I want to hear birds chirping and stuff, instead of wind blowing across a canyon/desert =p

I'd love to hear more opinions on OR/WA VS CO/UT!

Thanks again, guys!
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