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Old 01-16-2017, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,236,678 times
Reputation: 3349

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Good afternoon, everyone.

A little about me: I grew up in the Southeastern U.S., in very rural areas. Most of my work since my undergraduate years has been in the public sector (workforce development, economic development, and urban planning). In 2011, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and have since lived throughout California for purposes of employment and education; worked in the Bay Area, attended graduate school in L.A./Orange County (with a few months of travel through Europe), then have since worked in San Diego, Modesto/Stockton, and now Long Beach (back in L.A.) While I have made plenty of friends, had some really fun times, seen some wonderful attractions, and received a great education in California, there's something...missing here for me. I mean, I don't actually hate California--there's much here that I still do like--but I might just not be a fit any longer, and that is rather frustrating.

The pace of life out here, even in places like San Diego and Modesto, no less in San Francisco and L.A., really shows in how the people interact with each other, including with me. Given our weather in much of the state, one would think that the demeanor in everything from customer service to other business transactions, from job interviews to dating, and from driving in traffic to cycling on the trail would be relatively laid back. And, I guess it is relatively laid back if you're from New York or D.C. or Miami or someplace like that, but Californians overall can be some "cold fishes" to try to engage with. Furthermore, I'm politically conservative/quasi-libertarian, but just learning more toward conservative, and finding that niche is difficult here.

I'm planning to begin some travel abroad (Oceania and Asia) in the next few months. Upon return to the States, my top choices for relocation are New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and the Carolinas. But, with my skill set, I'm confident that I can find a job in any of these five states.

What appeals to me about New Mexico and Arizona is that it appears to have many of the characteristics that I love about California and the South. I like the non-humid, semi-arid climate of northern New Mexico, as that reminds me of California, but I also love the laid back demeanor while out and about (well, except for Phoenix) that reminds me of the South. I don't have to hear "yes, sir" or "y'all" every other word, but just a smile still goes a long way. I love Texas because it blends the multiculturalism of California in its major cities with the "true" American conservatism and ethos that I grew up around, and much of the state is more beautiful than some give it credit for (well, D/FW and north Texas isn't that pretty, I admit). The Carolinas appeal to me because I call them "Kentucky done right," meaning that they are culturally similar to where I grew up in Kentucky, but more robust economically because of their policies, and being on I-95 and the Atlantic doesn't hurt things, either.

I'd love to hear from you about your experiences living in any of these states. Also, if you came from California, what have been your perceptions? Thanks, all!

Last edited by EclecticEars; 01-16-2017 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,560 posts, read 2,398,433 times
Reputation: 1399
Love California and have visited many times. But if living there isnt your cup of tea I can suggest looking into Raleigh, NC, Charlotte, NC large areas but not super big yet, Also close to mountains and beach. Virginia Beach, VA maybe.. If your trying to go big I'd say Dallas, TX (I describe it as as 1/3rd west, 1/3 south, and 1/3rd something else) I hear good things about Huntsville, Alabama as well.

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Placitas, New Mexico
1,163 posts, read 2,024,469 times
Reputation: 1036
I live in New Mexico (transplant from NYC) and I love the natural beauty, the great four season climate, the emptiness of the state, the astounding sunsets, food, the embracing friendliness, and more. But the state is currently in an economic downswing of nearly ten years. It's not the easiest place to make a living. I would advise that anyone coming here come with a job offer in hand.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:25 AM
 
21,207 posts, read 30,420,192 times
Reputation: 19655
If you truly want to disconnect I think heading east is your best option. Places like Charlotte NC and Charleston SC are probably your best in terms of lifestyle and economic vitality.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:42 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,534 posts, read 17,764,884 times
Reputation: 30881
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQSunseeker View Post
I live in New Mexico (transplant from NYC) and I love the natural beauty, the great four season climate, the emptiness of the state, the astounding sunsets, food, the embracing friendliness, and more. But the state is currently in an economic downswing of nearly ten years. It's not the easiest place to make a living. I would advise that anyone coming here come with a job offer in hand.
This is worth repeating. New Mexico tends to be 'love it or hate it' but if you already know you love it, it is well worth checking out. In many ways it punches above its weight in landscape, culture, and climate.

However, the economy, statewide, is pathetic and the workforce knows it, instilling a certain resignation to mediocrity and nihilism. But Albuquerque is hanging in there thanks to some major employers (Air Force, Government, Academics) and the industries that support them (and Santa Fe is great if it is your cup of tea and you can afford it), and the COL is low if you own your house as rents are out of line with incomes in my opinion, but I wouldn't come out here to look for a job while living on your savings unless your nest egg is substantial.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,594 posts, read 4,020,780 times
Reputation: 2931
consider Greenville SC http://www.visitgreenvillesc.com/
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA metro
341 posts, read 556,400 times
Reputation: 183
As a native Californian I'd knock off both SC and her cousin NC right off the list. The south doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. No offense. Love New Mexico. Texas is , well, okay. Some good qualities but still too much like the south for my tastes though not truly Deep South. But still close enough. No offense. That leaves Arizona. Gawd. Better, but its like the Alabama of the southwest in some regards. (you can see where this is going). Guess it's NM then. Better perhaps is stay in Calif. or if not then strongly consider Nevada!!
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:04 PM
 
29,947 posts, read 27,432,479 times
Reputation: 18534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacifico View Post
As a native Californian I'd knock off both SC and her cousin NC right off the list. The south doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. No offense.
The OP is a native Southerner and does not share your sentiments concerning the South. It pays to read the first post.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:13 PM
 
3,928 posts, read 4,072,956 times
Reputation: 2625
What is the smallest size metro you would move to? Probably easier and better to select a city than a state. But after brief scan of some of your posts, maybe give some place in Texas a try before you go back to southeast. College Station? If you want less humid, closer to real west, maybe look at Lubbock. Not many would pick but it has some good points- university, music. Might be chance to make a mark as it redevelops, refines itself.

Last edited by NW Crow; 02-19-2017 at 02:30 PM..
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:38 PM
 
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
11,290 posts, read 7,884,418 times
Reputation: 3019
I lived in El Paso Texas for a few years in the late 90's and liked it. It has perhaps the best weather in the country and it consistently rates as one of the top safest cities in the US. It has a hometown and not a cosmopolitan feeling and its current population is around 900,000 so not too big.
Only 45 minutes away is Las Cruces and Mesilla NM which are lovely small cities/towns. If you want something on the quiet side, try Las Cruces with great scenery and open roads to discover.
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