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Old 06-19-2008, 08:34 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,185 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi! This is my first post on this forum but I promise you I'm not a troll.

I'm a 18 year old female and I'm taking a one year break before I go to college in Europe.

I spent the first large portion of my childhood in the suburbs of a small city (250,000 pop.) and my high school years in a rural town.

I've never really felt like I fit in with the people around me. My father is French and my mother is Asian and they were both raised in very global environments thus they raised me in a very global environment. I've traveled a lot in my childhood with my parents and was exposed and taught to embrace other cultures that differ from the good old USA.

Most of the kids I grew up around were all white (and if not then they were black) and had never traveled out of the US. It's safe to say that I was a little different and not only in the looks department.

I spent my elementary, middle school, and first two high school years conforming to everything around me. Especially those two high school years. I cheered, baked in the tanning bed, had highlights, wore TONS of makeup, filled my closet with Abercrombie and Hollister, the whole shebang. I was accepted by everyone around me yet inside I always knew that I wasn't this "image" I was so desperately portraying just to fit in with the people around me.

The last two years of high school I quit cheering (which I never really liked), calmed down on the makeup, tanning bed, and hair dye (I shudder looking at old pics - people say I look ten times better and so much more natural now), developed an actual sense of style that didn't come straight from the mannequins at Abercrombie and Fitch, and started doing things that I liked doing such as reading non-fiction (Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite writers). During this time I also have grown to tire of the crowds of identical "preppy" (not actual WASP preppy but the type of Abercrombie preppy that I wasted a good chunk of my time trying to be) girls that are everywhere I go and are also the standard of beauty where I live. It's actually kind of funny because guys at my high school never even looked twice at me now after I "unmorphed" but whenever I traveled to urban areas I was overwhelmed by the male attention I received (okay, granted that the guys at my school were all teenagers and the guys in cities were all 20's and 30's and I've been told that guy's taste in women evolves with age).

Anyways, down to the actual question and sorry for all the elaborating.

What's a great city where diversity and uniqueness is embraced? I just want to go somewhere where you don't have to look like an overly tanned Barbie to fit in or get a guy.

I'm thinking Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, or NYC, but I'm leaning torward Chicago as I have a friend who is planning on going there and we would be roommates but I'm still considering the other three cities. You can tell that I like denser cities over the more "sprawly" ones like Los Angeles LOL.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:37 PM
 
Location: North Central Indiana
980 posts, read 2,909,774 times
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Chicago, plenty of diversity and culture!!!
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:05 PM
 
5,728 posts, read 9,094,871 times
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If you are simply looking for a place to live while you kill a year before moving to Europe then I'd recommend Portland, Maine or Burlington, Vermont. Boston may not be all that bad either what with all the universities in the area. New Englanders or at least most of the born and bred New Englanders are more down to earth than people in in many regions. You'll find some of the very same pretentious behavior you detest in the more affluent suburbs (mostly transplants from other states) but if you live in in these cities then you will experience less of the phony lifestyles. And being of mixed race will not pose a problem in these places. My cousin married a Korean gal and they've never had any trouble being accepted while in Connecticut.

I have to give you credit for being so honest about this subject. You sound like you have your priorities straight and don't want to continue to live a lie or a lifestyle you perceive as being unacceptable and that clash with your values. You should have a very bright future ahead of you.
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:46 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WILWRadio View Post
If you are simply looking for a place to live while you kill a year before moving to Europe then I'd recommend Portland, Maine or Burlington, Vermont. Boston may not be all that bad either what with all the universities in the area. New Englanders or at least most of the born and bred New Englanders are more down to earth than people in in many regions. You'll find some of the very same pretentious behavior you detest in the more affluent suburbs (mostly transplants from other states) but if you live in in these cities then you will experience less of the phony lifestyles. And being of mixed race will not pose a problem in these places. My cousin married a Korean gal and they've never had any trouble being accepted while in Connecticut.

I have to give you credit for being so honest about this subject. You sound like you have your priorities straight and don't want to continue to live a lie or a lifestyle you perceive as being unacceptable and that clash with your values. You should have a very bright future ahead of you.

This is off topic but the funny thing about the majority of the pretentious girls that I went to school is that whenever I went to their houses, met their families, and basically was exposed to their life outside of high school, I was greatly shocked at what I saw. I'm not a snob by any means but I come from a very good family. I was amazed that these girls acted the way they did yet, to be blunt, easily fitted the stereotype of "white trash". I used to always feel uncomfortable at some of the girl's homes. I'll never forget the time I had to listen to one of the girl's mothers plan to bounce a check at the gas station so she could buy a loaf of bread and a bottle of Pepsi when she only had $2 in her bank account. The only reason I'm bringing that up is because the girl bragged constantly at school about all the stuff she buys (shoes, jewelry, bags, etc.) and then I go to her house and almost feel like laughing because it's obvious this girl lies a lot. Anyways, this was way off topic.
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 69,434,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerichoHW View Post
Chicago, plenty of diversity and culture!!!
Naturally, Id agree. Chicago is incredibly diverse, very dense and a lot of fun. Have you ever visited?
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:11 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,185 times
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^^ Yes, I've been there three times in the past 4 years. Twice in spring and once in winter. While the winter weather is less then perfect, I can tolerate it. I think the comparison of the city against the lake is beautiful not to mention the river. I've stayed mostly in the north side of the city though.
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:00 PM
 
9,029 posts, read 16,440,352 times
Reputation: 6814
I would throw seattle & DC into the mix as well

I love SF and it seems like it could be a fit

If you were up to it Philly could be a good 1 year stop - it's definitely going to be different than what you experienced, but it's easy to take a train to Boston, NY, Baltimore, DC & Pittsburgh (all within a 2-3 hours - except boston but it's still reachable)

you have access to the beaches when it's warm and you can really branch out and experience the northeast if you are up for the adventure
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,342,275 times
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I think all the cities you mentioned would be good fits. How about Portland, Oregon?
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:09 PM
 
2,502 posts, read 8,051,902 times
Reputation: 885
Seattle is good if you want to further explore your Asian heritage.

I would opt for an inexpensive city though. Pretty much all the ones you mentioned are EXPENSIVE. Costs of living would be insane for an 18 year old. You likely wouldn't be able to live comfortably, unless your parents are willing to fork over a LOT of money.

Why not try a cheaper city, like Philly?
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:58 PM
 
2,506 posts, read 7,759,755 times
Reputation: 828
You going to be living whereever you choose for a year; go with a friend. It is easier to establish yourself and make a few friends that way. Chicago is a world-class city, but you could feel comfortable in whoever you want to be. I don't think that is as easily said for Boston or San Francisco. Chicago is also much cheaper.
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