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Old 10-31-2015, 09:26 AM
3 posts, read 3,827 times
Reputation: 10


I spent almost two years in Denton, Texas, without a car. I'm a single mom and was called "irresponsible" and even "crazy" for raising my five year old without a vehicle. We lived in a walkable part of town, with quick access to the A-train. Denton is only somewhat pedestrian-friendly, and only from UNT to the town square. I found the bus service to be quite reliable, but the service is limited. It's also not fun walking while drenched in sweat in 100 degree weather in the summer. Also, the train and buses stop running fairly early at night, and the local cab service doesn't always pick up the phone, so you can't count on having a ride home if you decide to go out and have some drinks after 10:00 pm.

Despite the few inconveniences and hassles, not being saddled with the costs of car ownership was a positive experience. I loved the fact that my legs were toned and my body was in great shape while I never stepped foot into a gym. I've lived in Texas my entire life and have never liked driving. I was able to take my daughter into Dallas to go to the zoo, the aquarium, and a couple of downtown festivals on the train. It was great not to have to worry about traffic and parking. I want to live in a pedestrian friendly town with better public transportation. I'm not opposed to having a vehicle for limited use, but I don't want to be dependent upon it.

Where, or where, can I find a place similar to Denton, only with better public transportation, and where I won't be considered a freak for not driving everywhere? I'm looking for a place with good schools, somewhat affordable (my Master's degree is in psychology and I worked as a school psychologist for ten years, so I'm not likely to make more than $50,000-60,000 where ever I go), pedestrian friendly, somewhat safe, with access to a major city (within 1-2 hours via train or bus).

I like Denton's personality....friendly people, lots of local festivals, great music scene, intellectual and creative people holding great conversations over beer.

I've considered Portland, but am not sure I could deal with the constant grey drizzle. I think it would be nice to experience four seasons. I'm feeling a pull toward the northeast. Also, I'm single, so I do want a place that is family friendly, yet not somewhere comprised of only married people, as I'd like to date again at some point.

Any advice or ideas would be appreciated. I'm very serious about making the move once I find the right place, and am going to spend this upcoming summer traveling, exploring, and hopefully nailing it down.

Thank you in advance!! And thanks for reading this. I'm wordy, I know
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:52 AM
Location: New York City
372 posts, read 317,711 times
Reputation: 247
I've been thinking a lot about Portland myself, but all of my research on the city shows that they're going through a serious housing crunch right now. The prices are skyrocketing because there's less than a 3% availability rate of new apartments, and the criteria for renting have become increasingly strict. I wouldn't recommend it without a job and an apartment lined up.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:31 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
6,094 posts, read 4,860,840 times
Reputation: 13290
Have you considered staying local and researching places convenient to DART stations?
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:49 AM
53 posts, read 50,065 times
Reputation: 39
Move to Europe. I'm not kidding, if you can get a job in an international school then they pay for housing and your child can attend that school for free or for subsidized tuition. You'll be able to walk or ride public transport for longer distances. You can travel extensively. It'll be a good experience for both of you. Once she finishes high school then you can come back unless you fall in love with the place or a person. If you are a resident there then depending on the country, you child's college may be free as well. You may have to get teacher certification to teach AP/IB psychology in high school.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:52 AM
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,046 posts, read 21,179,000 times
Reputation: 7575
I can't think of anywhere in DFW that fits your description.
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:43 PM
3 posts, read 3,827 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for your reply, ParkerPal! I've considered applying to Department of Defense or international schools for awhile now. It's nice to hear from someone who makes the idea sound like a logical option. My friends and family act like leaving Texas, much less the country, is absolute lunacy. I've thought about moving for years, and for some reason I can't explain, I know the time has come....I'm ready. I guess I'm going to get busy exploring potential jobs and taking opportunities to travel and figure out where to go. Europe is definitely on my list of serious considerations.

I appreciate your response, ChristieP. There isn't anywhere in DFW like I described, which is why I'm inquiring about other places.

NeverShutsUp, I read the same info about Portland. It's too bad, because I've heard it's a lot like Denton and has a lot of what I'm looking for.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:16 PM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
706 posts, read 542,771 times
Reputation: 412
Look up Bosque Farms, NM, a safe, cheap, walkable (and horse-able), green beatiful town located near a major city. Did I mention it is cheap?
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:17 PM
59,704 posts, read 84,569,873 times
Reputation: 13139
If you want the Northeast, I would look into metro areas in the Interior Northeast. Perhaps an area like Pittsburgh or Buffalo could work. Areas like Rochester, Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Harrisburg, Syracuse or Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton are some that come to mind. Almost all of these areas have a college presence and they tend to be within close proximity to good school districts just outside of city limits. For instance, a place like Brighton NY just outside of Rochester has some walkability around its 12 Corners area and it is close to Rochester's SE Quadrant. That area of Rochester has some nightlife and things to do. Brighton has one of the best school districts in NY State and has had national acclaim in recent years. So, that could be an example of an option.

Brighton - Rochester Wiki

Southeast Quadrant - Rochester Wiki

Monroe Avenue - Rochester Wiki

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 11-01-2015 at 07:38 PM..
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:31 PM
Location: 49th parallel
2,886 posts, read 1,549,263 times
Reputation: 6068
Most any place you could relocate in Canada or the UK, or Europe (if you are not daunted by the language barrier) will have better public transport than any place in the States except New York City and perhaps Boston and a few other large cities. Canadian big cities are rather expensive but their transport systems incorporate a lot of suburban towns which are a lot cheaper. Lack of public transport is unique to the States among first world countries.

Some people feel that within a large city in the US, like Denver, you could relocate close enough to the city center to have everything walkable. And the Miami area has good transport which extends upwards to Broward County and includes both bus and trains. I would suggest the Northwest except that you feel you might not like the more temperate weather. Personally, I think the Northwest has gorgeous summers (but rainy winters). Bellingham, WA would be a good choice there because it is a college town and so has good transport.

I have heard that Boulder is quite walkable in the center, but it is building out quickly with the advent of IBM and other big companies locating on the outskirts, so that would necessitate driving if you worked in any of those places.

I have friends in Vancouver, BC who would consider it a distinct disadvantage to have to own a car, and friends in NYC who of course feel the same way. I would think you could find an area in greater Boston, perhaps not right downtown which would be ideal but expensive, but one covered by public transport that is a little further out and less expensive.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:12 PM
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,968,726 times
Reputation: 12371
Note: Nobody can just move to another country because they want to. Foreign countries have to want your specific skills. Even Canada has strict criteria.

Note: You may not like sweating in Denton's weather when you walk, but anywhere with an icy, freezing, snowy winter climate will make walking way more miserable, if not impossible.

Note: instead of calling taxis that won't come, try Uber or Lyft, both service Denton.

It seems like you're happy where you are except for transportation. Maybe reconsider the fixed mindset, and get a car for backup.
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