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Old 11-26-2009, 03:54 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,324 times
Reputation: 10

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I've been to many states in the U.S., but I've yet to really find a place I'd call "home." Maybe that's because I'm pretty picky (unfortunately). I'm hoping that some of you might be able to help me figure out what places I should be considering. I did the Find Your Spot website thing, and the best sounding places it recommended to me were Walla Walla, WA and Silver Springs, NM, but I'm still not convinced, particularly since I've not visited either.

Anyway, I thought I might list what I'm looking for in a place and see what gets said. I'm hoping to compile a list of places to visit over the next little while. Thanks ahead of time to anyone who gives advice/suggestions!

PLACES
- Regions I'd like to look at: Northwest, Midwest, Southwest. I've lived most of my life in the southeast, don't enjoy the northeast and probably can rule out California, because of its crazy taxation.

- I've lived in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, and Melbourne, Australia. Of those places, NM and Melbourne were my favorites, but I'm maybe looking for a change of pace, thus my interest in the northwest. I loved Melbourne, but things were expensive and not too lively, so I returned to the States. Melbourne was also plagued with a Seattle-esque, constant drizzle, despite its only getting 25-inches of rain annually.

SAFETY
- I'm a young (23), single female, or will be once my divorce is finalized. (What can I say? Starter marriage? ) I want to feel safe. I'm not easily scared; I'm gutsy. I did move overseas, by myself, when I was just out of high school, but I'd still prefer "safe" places over "unsafe" ones, for obvious reasons. The Kung Fu is not strong in me.

WEATHER / CLIMATE
- Relatively dry. Less than 40 inches of rain a year. Occasional heavy rain, even a rainy month, is all well and good, I just must not be subjected to a CONSTANT DRIZZLE. It depresses me. Las Vegas was maybe a little too dry... It made my throat feel like sandpaper.

- 280+ "clear" days a year. I'm flexible with this, a little, but I do need sunshine. I am mildly affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder--not to the point that I have to seek help, but to the point that I sleep way more than I'd like on extremely cloudy, rainy days.

- Hot, hot summers are okay. (I've lived in record-breaking Aussie summers without aircon.) Constantly below-freezing winters: not so much. Snow is all right, even nice, but I don't want it to last for months and months. I'm no snow bunny.

ECONOMY
- Though it limits my options to only a few states, I'd like to live in a place where there's no state income tax. However, if there's a place that fits my other needs, that has a fairly livable tax rate, please say so. I mean, I have looked at AZ before, so it's not out of the question.

- I work primarily in the tech industry as a self-employed web designer. I can't think of any place these days where that couldn't make me money, particularly since I can contract with places from around the world, but it might still be worth mentioning.

ENTERTAINMENT
- I dabble in all sorts of arts, from writing and visual art, to music. Living in an artsy town might be nice, but it's by no means a requirement.

POPULATION
- I don't want to live IN a city or inner suburbs. Places with a population of 35,000 to 150,000 are ideal. I love nature and a mid-size town "feel." Driving in cities scares the hell out of me, so if I did end up in a city again, I really would like some public transportation options. In the U.S., I realize that pretty well limits me to New York and Chicago, neither of which I wish to live in.

- I travel internationally about once a year, so I should probably be only an hour or so outside of a state airport hub.

POLITICS
- Must be a fairly socially liberal area, or at least a fence-sitting area. I have progressive social beliefs (fiscally less so) and don't think I could tolerate living in a wholly conservative place--again. I'm probably most closely aligned with Libertarianism, but I'm a bit more liberal than that.

- It may be too much to ask, but...not too much religion? I'm agnostic/atheistic, and I'd rather not be around all the Bible-banging (no offense to anyone!). That being said, I'm living in Texas now, and I'm from a fundie family, soo...clearly I can put up with it, to some degree. This wish is one of the reasons I'm looking at the northwest...

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Denver via Austin
3,130 posts, read 6,515,454 times
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You might want to look into Fort Collins, Colorado. It seems to have most of what you're looking for.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:57 PM
 
56,900 posts, read 81,238,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
You might want to look into Fort Collins, Colorado. It seems to have most of what you're looking for.
I was thinking that too. Maybe places like Eugene and Corvallis in Oregon, Pullman WA and Moscow ID.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:45 AM
 
21,244 posts, read 30,495,025 times
Reputation: 19710
I'm pretty sure your criteria described exists in Gainesville, Florida.

There aren't any state taxes in Florida, Gainesville has a very low cost of living, it's not a dangerous place to live in terms of crime, there is plenty of sunshine (224 days), it's a liberal college town (University of Florida) with good cultural event accessibility, the population is around 115,000, Gainesville is very walkable in the center core and there is a good public transit system because of the university's presence, it's within an hour and a half or so of Orlando's international airport and bible-thumping is typically not audible.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:07 AM
 
19 posts, read 34,772 times
Reputation: 36
Colorado is definately the place for you.

I've been in Minnesota for 3 years now and unless you enjoy being alone without friends, I wouldn't make the move here. It's a very closed society.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Indiana
47 posts, read 188,409 times
Reputation: 22
The first place that I thought of was Boulder, Co. They get a fair amount of snow, b ut it melts rather quickly and is sunny more days than not. It is a college town with very much an arsty feel, and politically it is pretty liberal. I don't know about public transportation though.
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:35 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 1,584,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I'm pretty sure your criteria described exists in Gainesville, Florida.

There aren't any state taxes in Florida, Gainesville has a very low cost of living, it's not a dangerous place to live in terms of crime, there is plenty of sunshine (224 days), it's a liberal college town (University of Florida) with good cultural event accessibility, the population is around 115,000, Gainesville is very walkable in the center core and there is a good public transit system because of the university's presence, it's within an hour and a half or so of Orlando's international airport and bible-thumping is typically not audible.
Except when the messiah Tim Tebow tells the entire city to paint scripture verses on their faces.
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 30,422,701 times
Reputation: 22358
Quote:
Originally Posted by lost in minnesota View Post
Colorado is definately the place for you.

I've been in Minnesota for 3 years now and unless you enjoy being alone without friends, I wouldn't make the move here. It's a very closed society.
HA

Try living in Colorado and not being an "outdoor" person. You want to talk about a closed society.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
5,659 posts, read 7,471,584 times
Reputation: 4328
It sounds like Tucson or some outlying cities (Oro Valley, Sahuarita, Vail, Corona de Tucson) might be what you are looking for.

Tucson gets pretty warm in the summer, but not nearly as hot as Phoenix. The Monsoon Season is always a welcome surprise in the summer. In general, Arizona is pretty much a Libertarian state; however, Tucson definitely leans more liberal and can also be classified as bohemian. People also take pride in their natural surroundings here. Tucson attracts many artists including those in the literary arts. In addition, there are roughly more than 1,200 businesses in the high-tech industries in Southern AZ. Even though the Tucson area's metropolitan population is around 1,030,000, the city has a pretty extensive public transit bus system and construction of an initial modern streetcar line is in the planning/construction stage.

If you're looking for a much smaller town, Bisbee is a very charming, liberal, artsy town.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,029,346 times
Reputation: 3164
A college town sound right for you. Bloomington, IN or Fort Collins. CO.
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