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Old 03-17-2008, 09:58 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,649 times
Reputation: 12

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I have been lurking for a while. I have studied and learned about lots of areas and states. I have hit the information overload point and decided to sign up and ask a few opinions. I hope you all don't mind. If you can at least guide me to states, cities, or areas to focus on, it would be much appreciated.

I started out looking into the midwest, I was interested in a cooler climate and a slower pace of life. I live in central Florida, and am about sick of the heat and sunshine. You could say the greater city area composes of over 300k people, though the city proper is considered only in the 60k range.

It seems the temperatures are too extreme for me in the midwest, since it goes from below zero to over 100 between winter and summer. I prefer a moderate temperature range; 30s-60s would be perfect. I also think I may be a bit too ... open minded, since I find Florida too 'country' and limiting for me, apart from all the retirees.

To put it another way, even though I have no tattoos or piercings, it greatly disturbs me that some places don't hire because of this, and I personally find it to be a form of discrimination based on appearances. A person's body is their business, and if they want blue, pink, and purple hair, I fully support it. If they want facial piercings, kudos. If they want tattoos, I don't respect them any less. It is their life and their right ... and I support that right whether or not I would ever do the same as they. I would find any place that acted negatively towards people who make these choices a bit disturbing in the sense that it is sad in these times that people are not considered equal unless they are carbon copies of each other. I also don't care for the suit and tie look much, uniforms are rarely my taste.

I thought I wanted a small town, but from what I read, they appear to be too involved in everyone's business, though no traffic is a blessing if I keep a car. I enjoyed a visit to Manhattan, but I know the cost of a city such as that is far out of my range, I also enjoyed a visit to New Orleans before the hurricane, though it is too far south.

So, I am asking people from the PNW and others if there is a place out there that would suit someone with my passive nature and lack of greed. When I think about a career, it has nothing to do with the pay and everything to do with my ability to either tolerate or enjoy it. I see little sense in hating a job that pays 50k and taking it over a job you love that pays 20k. At least at the low pay job, you love your work and it makes better quality of life overall if you are frugal and don't mind it. I am just as happy going to the library for entertainment, so I don't need to waste money on television, internet, or other luxuries if I don't have the extra cash.

I am saying all of this so you can get a better feel for my attitude towards life. I am very content with the simple things. I don't need a mall or fancy stores, as long as I can get the necessities locally, the bigger stuff I could always order online if it wasn't locally available, if I just had to have it. I am an introvert and keep to myself for the most part, though I love to catch my favorite artist perform live if I can and taking time to appreciate nature or a clear starry night. So friendly people are a good thing, but not prying or overbearing types.

I am a lacto-vegetarian, but I can make my own food, so it doesn't matter too much. As long as the place has veggies and fruits at a store or local market Organic is preferred, but I assume most local owned places would carry this, and if not, if there is a chain store, most of them have a decent selection. But, if there is a place the is veggie or vegan friendly, I am all for it. I also like to be environmentally conscious. I think it is silly to use anything but fluorescents or LED bulbs in the house because they use such less energy and put out plenty of light and try to remember to turn things off when I am not going to be in the room :P I have a very fuel efficient car, though not having one would be better in many ways, though I do love to take long drives, especially on a cool, rainy day

I don't require a lot of space. A 1 bedroom is more than enough room for me, and even a studio is sufficient, though not preferred. So a really low cost of living is much beneficial, since I would prefer to work somewhere non-career based,which usually means minimum wage or just above, as I have plans to return to college in a couple years if a few other things don't work out as I would like them to.

From what I read of PNW weather, it is my ideal type. Most of the year dark and overcast. High summer temperatures mid 70s, a bit of snow in the winter, windy days, beautiful mountain scenery and parks. I do love nature. Florida forests are nothing compared to the beautiful things up north. This year the trees stayed green through the winter and we can't grow things like weeping willows, japanese maple, cherry blossoms ... which I love the color and flowers of.

Being outside of a major city is fine. Being in one is great, but I figure the rent is probably much higher. In the city I do figure eliminates the need for a vehicle, which saves money as far as insurance, maintenance, parking, etc. costs, though I am sure some smaller communities also has this bonus. I also would like to be a bit above sea level, a few hundred feet is fine. I can't swim, so living on a coastal or prone to flooding area doesn't seem to wise, since in a worst case scenario I will be at a serious risk of drowning :P

I am not dedicated to the PNW, so if there is another area, I am open to suggestions, it is just from all I have read, it seems live my haven, and am just curious if there is a place that doesn't cost an arm and a leg that I can put my research efforts to better use with. So, what do you all think? Small town outside of Seattle or Portland? Someplace in Oregon? Or is there a place elsewhere that would better fall into my likes and not have too many dislikes. I am realistic and know there is no perfect place. I have no degree, so a 80k job would probably not fall into my hands until after returning to college, though I can learn and pick up things rather quick and do them well. Not really the roofer or construction type, not the best at balancing in high places :lol:

Sorry for the long post, but I figure the more info I give now, the more accurate the response can be. Any questions are fine, though I may reserve some of the answers for privacy

Thanks so much for any that stuck it out and read the whole thing, and my deepest gratitude for any and all respectful answers.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:15 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,915,685 times
Reputation: 3429
Default hello

I am a former lifelong Oregonian. You will find IMO service based jobs that will not pay enough to sustain you in Portland or Seattle. Cost of living has increased rapidly along with exploding population that means upgrade in services, new schools ect, which means increase in property tax passed along in rental cost. I moved after several years of research, not at the age of retirement yet but seeing that it could be impossible to afford to stay as I got older. Of course everything is a trade off. Just had to make a pro and con sheet and go from there. If you are still interested, hopefully someone still in the pnw will pick up on your thread, maybe move you over to the WA or OR forum, good luck.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Washington
479 posts, read 1,863,882 times
Reputation: 251
Olympia or Bellingham would be a good fit for you as far as the state of Washington goes. The two medium sized cities are very similar in a lot of ways. Both are great cities, very beautiful with minimal traffic. Both have a University in town and have a liberal feel. Olympia is about 30 minutes to Tacoma and one hour to Seattle (without traffic) and Bellingham is a bit further to Seattle. Olympia has a wonderful farmers market and two food co-ops with great organic food.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:02 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,459,882 times
Reputation: 8158
I find it disgusting that the OP asks a question, yet goes into a lengthy tirade about her approval of body piercings and tattoos.

I'll bet if I reponded to her "opinion piece" both her and the modearator would inform me I am veering away from her questions.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,573 posts, read 5,651,790 times
Reputation: 721
I think you would find like-minded individuals in the PacNW, but as one poster noted...the cost of living has gotten pretty expensive because many, many people prefer the mild climate and natural beauty of the area to other parts of the U.S. You will find that towns in places like Iowa, Oklahoma, and yes...Florida, are more affordable. You say you may be happy making $20k if it is a job you love, but the reality is that this is not enough income to get by in most cities in the PacNW unless you are able to avail yourself of Section 8 housing. Of course, that may be a strong possibility for you if your income is actually $20k.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,417,785 times
Reputation: 10115
Well, if youre sick of heat and sunshine, the PacNW will be perfect for you.
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Originally Fayetteville, Arkansas/ now Seattle, Washington!
1,047 posts, read 3,595,692 times
Reputation: 373
Definatly! And bring a desire for the most beautiful scenery in the mainland U.S!!
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:14 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,050,128 times
Reputation: 885
You won't be able to afford to live comfortably. PNW is an expensive area.

How about Columbia, MO? It's an eclectic college town where you'll find young, liberal views. And the area isn't expensive at all.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Illinois
3,047 posts, read 8,139,937 times
Reputation: 1373
Oregon is totally underrated. It's like the forgotten state of the union. If you like fog, low crime rates, ect. then Oregon is for you. I don't know that much about the state but form what I've heard it's totally underrated. Go Oregon!
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:35 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,050,128 times
Reputation: 885
Portland doesn't have low crime rates...

Maybe the rest of the state.
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