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Thread summary:

Value in putting down roots and staying in same location or moving from state to state to chase employment, college graduate, love wide open spaces of Colorado, outdoor activities

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Old 04-11-2007, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I know that city-data.com is a forum about relocation, so to ask this question might seem strange: Is there any value in choosing a place to live, putting down roots, and making it a permanent home, as opposed to chasing jobs across the country, always moving around from state to state?

It seems like most people give no thought as to where they actually want to live, and will move in a moment's notice across the country for a job opportunity or career advancement-- even to places that they have never been to. I find it amazing how people with corporate jobs get "transferred" to a different city 2000 miles away, casually tossed around across the continent like a bean bag. How people will relocate their entire family, forcing their wife and kids to create a whole new set of friends from scratch-- as if that were as simple as getting a new drivers license. It seems like people in certain professions, like college professors, have no say at all where they choose to live, having to live wherever they are offered a teaching position-- whether that happens to be Fargo, ND, or Fayetteville, AR. And with globalization, even that you'll end up living in the US is no longer a given.

The idea of not knowing where I may end up, that I might be shipped across the country or the world like a soldier, against my will, is terrifying. I want to be in charge of my life-- if I move somewhere, I want it to be because I've carefully researched and chosen to live in that new place, not because I had to or was randomly "transferred." I want to live somewhere where I can be most happy, where I can have civic pride in my city/state, and where I feel that I belong, not just a transient passing through.

Now for the details: I'm in my early 20s, with a year to go until I graduate college. I'm in the process of deciding what I want to do for a career and how I want to live my life. I'm seriously thinking about moving back to Colorado. I love the western US in general, with wide open spaces, mountains, deserts, and a dry (and highly variable) climate. I love outdoor recreation (there is a huge outdoorsy subculture in CO): hiking, bicycling, spending time in the Rocky Mountains, etc. Though I took it for granted growing up, after living here in Phoenix for a few years, I'm starting to think the Denver metro area is one of the best all-around cities to live in-- a lot of things to do, reasonable housing prices, 4-season climate, great restaurants, cultural diversity, creativity, and a healthy, reasonably growing economy. Not to mention that I already have memories and a history there-- and family (3rd generation Coloradans) and friends.

Maybe I'm just a provincial, a simpleton, a redneck, but I can't imagine why I should give all that up just because the company I was working for someday wanted me to transfer to, say, Houston, TX (no offense to people who live there and love it-- it's just that I would never want to live there personally). Am I totally naive, or does anybody else out there think there is value in actually choosing where YOU want to live?
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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It all just depends on what you want out of life. Lots of people like to experience new locations and move a lot. Lots of people are like you and are happy to live in one place their entire lives.

I think that there is value in both ways and again, it just depends on what you want.
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:27 AM
j33
 
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vegaspilgrim - I've thought a bit about that too as I've lived in the same area my whole life (I'm in my mid-thirties and I'm still there, just a different part of town) and there is a sense of connectedness rootedness that comes from that. I did move away for college, but found myself moving right back 'home'. I sometimes debate whether it is for the sense of comfort and security of the familiar that I'm still here (that and my sense of direction is suspect, and I while i know this city like the back of my hand, I hate trying to learn my way around a new town, I always get lost ), and if that is necessarily even a bad thing. I love to travel and see the world (and have, I've visited 2 continents outside of North America, and nine countries outside the US, and have quite a few more to go ), but I also love that this city is very much my home and has been so for my whole life, I have loads of friends and family here and I don't know how much I would want to give all that up (even for a locale in which it didn't snow in April like it is now).
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:35 AM
 
1,229 posts, read 3,153,549 times
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It really depends on what you what or value in life, to me, being able to see the world and experience things/people....is priceless! I also think it helped with my childrens life expereinces as well, they are very well adjusted, have top grades and are very intuitive when relating to others! So, yea! I do think its what you want out of life and if your are professional whose company will accodomate the cost, I say go for it, you might wish you had and then it will be too late!
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:16 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,838,381 times
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Default putting down roots

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
It seems like most people give no thought as to where they actually want to live, and will move in a moment's notice across the country for a job opportunity or career advancement-- even to places that they have never been to. I find it amazing how people with corporate jobs get "transferred" to a different city 2000 miles away, casually tossed around across the continent like a bean bag. How people will relocate their entire family, forcing their wife and kids to create a whole new set of friends from scratch-- as if that were as simple as getting a new drivers license. It seems like people in certain professions, like college professors, have no say at all where they choose to live, having to live wherever they are offered a teaching position-- whether that happens to be Fargo, ND, or Fayetteville, AR. And with globalization, even that you'll end up living in the US is no longer a given.
The idea of not knowing where I may end up, that I might be shipped across the country or the world like a soldier, against my will, is terrifying. I want to be in charge of my life-- if I move somewhere, I want it to be because I've carefully researched and chosen to live in that new place, not because I had to or was randomly "transferred." I want to live somewhere where I can be most happy, where I can have civic pride in my city/state, and where I feel that I belong, not just a transient passing through.
Now for the details: I'm in my early 20s, with a year to go until I graduate college. I'm in the process of deciding what I want to do for a career and how I want to live my life. I'm seriously thinking about moving back to Colorado. I love the western US in general, with wide open spaces, mountains, deserts, and a dry (and highly variable) climate. I love outdoor recreation (there is a huge outdoorsy subculture in CO): hiking, bicycling, spending time in the Rocky Mountains, etc. Though I took it for granted growing up, after living here in Phoenix for a few years, I'm starting to think the Denver metro area is one of the best all-around cities to live in-- a lot of things to do, reasonable housing prices, 4-season climate, great restaurants, cultural diversity, creativity, and a healthy, reasonably growing economy. Not to mention that I already have memories and a history there-- and family (3rd generation Coloradans) and friends.
You hit the nail right on the head with your thoughts.

Before I hit the reply button, I saw that someone already posted that they essentially moved their family all over and their kids are better for it, and everything is hunky dorey and even better than if he had not stayed put. Having been there, done that because my father had the same excuse for career advancement, I completely disagree with that opinion. Summed up quite simply it's an easy opinion to justify what has happened.

What I find disturbing about it is that this is not a lifestyle which yields long-term connectiveness to an area nor relationships for anyone in the family. Even if the children end up being unscathed emotionally or relationship-wise by the move, when they grow up noone should be be surprised when they end up devaluing the location the parents chose to finally settle down within and themselves move away. Does this sound healthy? Your children and grandkids living many hours away from you when you are old and grey? They themselves living hours away from each other, their cousins, aunts and uncles? I'm telling you, although it is relatively common today, it's not healthy and something to be proud of.

Of course mileage will vary and there are exceptions to everything, but I've seen/am seeing this - this is the generational and lasting result of moving your family all over the place in the pursuit of better/different jobs and essentially just more money. Does one benefit from traveling all over the country and even internationally, inarguably yes. Do you need to literally move somewhere to achieve this.. heck no. Vacations/Holidays to new and different places can achieve the same result without all the negatives mentioned above.

I'm sure people will potentially come on here and reply how they moved all over when they were younger and were brighter, more knowledgeable because of that, and have nothing negative to say. They may want to even encourage "leaving dodge" to explore new different places or to get away from negative family members. But I just want to clarify, barring anything else (especially if your home town has major issues of some sort which obviously justifies leaving) it is the long term effects on the family which are most impactful. Once you have children, and/or they have children, that's what I'm talking about; because I'm at that later stage in my life when I start to reflect back on the past. Just old enough to realize that the friendships I formed but then lost because of my father's pursuit of money, that my lack of connectiveness to a particular area when I was younger, and now living many hours away from extended family, just wasn't worth it - it is not ideal. I hope other readers really think about this if they're about to make such a decision. Life is not just about money and your career. It's about relationships and connectiveness.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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well....a few things.

Its not always a man with a family doing the moving. I'm a single woman and have chosen to be mobile so I can experience many places, while keeping connections at home. I hope to settle at some point, sure, but have loved experiencing the US. If I have kids I would certainly hope that I have so much experience I can pretty much work from home now because I have taken so many risks and done so much good work now that I have contacts all over that are familiar with me and what I can do.

You have a choice. You can stick with one company forever and be at their whim, or you can stick with a job for awhile at home that may not be as lucrative, but you keep building your skill set and wait for the opportunity to open in the place you want it. Yes, a lot of people go where the company takes them -- but very few people have so little choice. I think most people that live that lifestyle chose that company for a reason.

My work is highly specialized, much like a professors work and I also have to be flexible...but there are a whole lot of universities in this country.

Its about playing the field right and making what you want happen, and taking the opportunities that suit you.

Also, there is nothing wrong with moving around and experiencing the world -- you learn from that and devlop a strong sense of yourself and your own abilities to handle uncertainty and you learn how to count on yourself and not your family and friends.

I am still connected to the people I grew up with but I can also stand on my own, without fear -- you know you can stay in one place but the people you love and care about tend to move around too - you cant expect your home to always stay the same -- and I guarantee it wont. When I was 23 I Wanted to be home and felt bad leaving all the time...now I am back home at 30 and I am like -- Where did everyone go? You cant count on things to stay the same.

Anyway, ideally young people should be open to moving if they want to advance their career. But as you get older you should get an idea what is important to you and you should choose where you want to be -- and at least figure out where you will refuse to go, and find a company or position taht suits what you want. This is my opinion. Yes roots are good, but you dont have to tie yourself down before learning what you need to learn.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
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I find that a lot of people on this forum do give relocation a lot of thought and research--that's why most of them are here. I also think it depends on your age and life situation--if you're single, or married without any kids and your spouse is gungho, why not? If you have children of school age you really need to think long and hard about such a big decision. And again, like many people have mentioned, it also depends on your personality, goals, etc.

To the OP-give yourself a pat on the back. You took a risk, went somewhere new, and I am sure you have learned a lot. There's nothing wrong with moving back home. At least now you can look at home and relocation in general with a more experienced eye.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Missouri
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I think there is enormous value in putting down roots somewhere. I've had to move several times, and it's tiring, it's frustrating to have to make new friends, learn the area, choose new service providers (doctors, hair salon, church, etc.). My husband and I are relocating this summer. We don't want to have kids until we are settled somewhere. We wouldn't move for a job if we were settled somewhere; fortunately we are in the sort of work where if our job were relocated, we could find another, similar job nearby.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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Default There is a practical side to the question

The underlying question might be; will your choice of location support you choice of occuption thru an entire working career? A lot of it may depend on what you choose to do, size of town and type of industry / employment type.

Things change. Example 30 odd years ago, you might have been able to say, if I want to put down roots and have an engineering career, Boston would be a good choice. With the right experience / training lots of possible firms to work for. That was very, very true during a period. Major A/E firms, lots of smaller companies, lots of ways to employ the talent.

When came a big down turn in the business overall. Major A/E firms with thousands of first rate engineers were hurting for business; major lay off, flooded market. Getting any type of job in that field, meant a major shift in your approach. Usually meant relocation, sometimes overseas.

Or you could morph into a new career field, be self employed, etc, etc. So at some point you may face something similar. How are you to be sure the exact type of employment you are banking on will be in that location?

The problem is in prediction with degrees of certainity and how you react / adjust to changes as they come down the pike. I would say the initial site selection is critical from many angles. Is it in a growth job market now?? Is that expected to continue??? If your primary career choice should fail in that area, can you morph into something else??

Very, very common problem. You can always make out in the good times, how do you survive the bad patches???

Same with even the most seeming secure type industries. Trying to have a working career of say 40 years in any location these days is probably going to see some type of dislocations, upsets or interruptions. But it probably can be done, if you always anticipate the next move in the game and have enough choices available.
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Old 04-12-2007, 07:36 AM
 
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"when they end up devaluing the location the parents chose to finally settle down within and themselves move away."

Well, this doesn't always happen just to people who moved a lot. My parents have lived in the same city for my entire life as have I so far (except college). I devalue the location and plan to move away.

It's simply a matter of personal preference and while it's easy to judge someone else's choice and be convinced that your way is the only right way, that just isn't the case.

Plus, lots of people move for reasons OTHER than their job. Like me for example. The first post had lots of erroneous assumptions about why people move (ie: most women just spend their lives following their husbands around ), but I just don't have the time to pick through it all.

Bottom line is that there is value for BOTH lifestyles and just because one option wasn't right for you doesn't mean it isn't right for someone else or their family.
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