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Unread 06-04-2011, 12:24 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
7,895 posts, read 7,126,132 times
Reputation: 2156
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
The whole point of moving is to go back home. I'm from Kalamazoo. The western UP is just as far away from home as where I'm living now. You see a lot of Minnesota plates up there because the area is very close to Minnesota. Ironwood is only 6 hours from Marshall, MN (in SW Minnesota) and 12 hours from Kalamazoo. Michigan is a huge state.
There are other places in Mi. ( lower) that have cool summers , and not so cold in winter. Yes Marquette is the best all the way around. However not everyone can live here, and thats a good thing !
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Unread 06-05-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
1,338 posts, read 743,874 times
Reputation: 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
[Very long post warning]

I'm going to make a thread about coming back home . For those of you that don't know my story (I used to post here on the MI forum from 2008-2010):

I'm a single guy in my mid-20s, and I'm originally from Southwest Michigan. I've lived in Kalamazoo, Three Rivers and Niles, but when I speak of my "hometown," I generally say I'm from Kalamazoo. When I was younger, I used to love Michigan -- it was my home, and I wanted to stay there for the rest of my life, career or no career.

I went to Western Michigan University and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in aviation administration. The only job I could find was a nighttime/weekend (Saturday AND Sunday) customer service job in Indiana paying just over $8 per hour. It allowed me to scrape by and pay my rent/gas expenses, but I hated every minute of working there. After a while, I decided it was important to pursue a real career. I searched for jobs in Michigan for almost a year, first in my field (aviation), then in any field.

By the winter of 2009-2010, I was sick of Michigan's moribund employment market, so I resigned from my job, visited other states, applied for jobs out-of-town, found a position in Minnesota and left the state. When I left Michigan, I told myself I was done with the state -- I was sick of the gloomy weather, the stagnant economy, seeing the same people and doing the same things. I lived in Minneapolis, then Mankato, MN and finally Marshall, MN, where I live and work today. I've also done a lot of traveling, visiting places like Cedar Rapids, IA, Rochester, MN, Sioux Falls, SD, Eau Claire, Chicago, Iowa City, IA, Atlanta, Columbus, OH and plenty of small towns in between. I've also seriously considered / researched moving to Canada, especially somewhere in Quebec.

What I've come to realize over the past year is that I still haven't found a place nearly as good as my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Not only do I deeply, deeply miss my family and friends, I also miss the city itself -- its vibrant downtown, unique neighborhoods, beautiful architecture, college town vibe, proximity to Lake Michigan and even its weather (you don't know what bad weather is until you've spent a winter on the Northern Plains). I realize I've been defining how good a town is by how similar it is to Kalamazoo -- and I still haven't been anywhere that comes close. So, I'm strongly considering moving back home. I recently applied for admission to WMU's MPA program and I'm looking for jobs in the Kazoo area. I hope I'm not crazy to want to move home in this economy -- things have certainly improved over the past year. I hope things work out and I end up back where I belong. There really is no place like home.
I think a lot of people, when they grown up and live in a specific area, then move away for a while, they end up "romanticizing" their hometown, remembering all of the good things and forgetting the bad ones. The truth is that everywhere has its pros and cons. I grew up in the Lansing area, went to school at MSU, and stayed around a little bit after that, then decided to move to Pennsylvania for grad school. While in PA, I reminisced about the easy access to Vernors, the lakes, family, and friends. Then after finishing grad school, I moved back to the Lansing area, and all that stuff that I was longing for suddenly wasn't that exciting anymore. I mean, I don't dislike it or anything, but it's not the same place I viewed it as from 8 hours away.

So if you really want to move back to Kalamazoo, I'd go for it, but be forewarned that it's not going to be like what you think of it as right now.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,992 posts, read 6,251,032 times
Reputation: 2914
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbmsu01 View Post
I think a lot of people, when they grown up and live in a specific area, then move away for a while, they end up "romanticizing" their hometown, remembering all of the good things and forgetting the bad ones. The truth is that everywhere has its pros and cons. I grew up in the Lansing area, went to school at MSU, and stayed around a little bit after that, then decided to move to Pennsylvania for grad school. While in PA, I reminisced about the easy access to Vernors, the lakes, family, and friends. Then after finishing grad school, I moved back to the Lansing area, and all that stuff that I was longing for suddenly wasn't that exciting anymore. I mean, I don't dislike it or anything, but it's not the same place I viewed it as from 8 hours away.

So if you really want to move back to Kalamazoo, I'd go for it, but be forewarned that it's not going to be like what you think of it as right now.
I understand this -- no place is perfect, but I loved Kalamazoo when I lived there, and I only left because of the economy. Plus, I'm not a big fan of where I'm living now.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
204 posts, read 558,629 times
Reputation: 233
Born in the midwest, moved to western michigan 1966. Lived there 14 years, joined the Air Force. Never looked back, but have visited on occasion. The only plus I've noticed is low crime. When I joined the AF, there had been no jobs (other than seasonal agricultural) for a decade. Guess what? Things only got worse in later years. Now things are so bad in the area I'm from, farmers can't get enough asparagus pickers to harvest their yield. Back in the day, I made $2.25 an hour picking asparagus. Today, a body can make minimum wage - I'm not that great at math, but can a person support a family on $7 something an hour? Everything's "great" growing up in a particular area. Everything still pretty much "looks" that same on my visits, but now I'm an adult and I "see" the poverty and heart breaking destitution I wasn't aware of as a child. Michigan is a beautiful state. The OP's hometown is a great place to visit, but the employment prospects anywhere in Michigan are sparse. In short - A great place to visit, but no way would I / could I live there.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,992 posts, read 6,251,032 times
Reputation: 2914
Are employment prospects really that much better in Alaska?

Kalamazoo is not that bad economically. It's not nearly as impoverished as Detroit, Flint or even Lansing. It has one of the best job markets in Michigan, along with Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Unemployment is around 9%, which isn't that bad in this economy.

I don't get why everyone on this thread is so negative, while all the other "I'm coming home" threads are positive. Maybe you guys just don't like me (I'm kidding).
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Unread 06-05-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
259 posts, read 478,336 times
Reputation: 315
Welcome back!
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Unread 06-05-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
204 posts, read 558,629 times
Reputation: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
Are employment prospects really that much better in Alaska?

Kalamazoo is not that bad economically. It's not nearly as impoverished as Detroit, Flint or even Lansing. It has one of the best job markets in Michigan, along with Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Unemployment is around 9%, which isn't that bad in this economy.

I don't get why everyone on this thread is so negative, while all the other "I'm coming home" threads are positive. Maybe you guys just don't like me (I'm kidding).
No offense intended, Northstar22. You asked about unemployment here. You can research the net on that, but I will say if you want to work, the jobs are there. One thing I'd like to mention about AK is the housing "crash" had little effect here. I own a property, a small, 2 unit rental. Purchased in the early 2000's, for 173K it's now worth 248K. This is not an aberration. I'm not touting AK as the "promised land," but I do keep tabs on what's going on in MI and economically I'm yet to discover anything close to what I see here. Again, Kalamazoo and Michigan are wonderful places. I was (rightly or wrongly) pointing out in my observation, things (for me) are not conducive to my return - ever. Much success, Northstar!
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:33 PM
 
Location: NW Lower Michigan=Heaven!
3,796 posts, read 4,326,547 times
Reputation: 2903
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
Are employment prospects really that much better in Alaska?

Kalamazoo is not that bad economically. It's not nearly as impoverished as Detroit, Flint or even Lansing. It has one of the best job markets in Michigan, along with Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Unemployment is around 9%, which isn't that bad in this economy.

I don't get why everyone on this thread is so negative, while all the other "I'm coming home" threads are positive. Maybe you guys just don't like me (I'm kidding).
Not everyone is negative. Its basically the same people over and over who will tell you not to do it. Yes the economy and jobs suck...but if you really want to make it work...you can.
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Unread 06-05-2011, 12:45 PM
 
2,794 posts, read 3,015,019 times
Reputation: 2981
Well, I'm not negative, and I think it's great that you realize what you had and that you want to come back. I can certainly relate, because we lived in Phoenix for part of 2009 and I was thrilled to come home and appreciate Michigan so much more for having left.

Welcome home!
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Unread 06-05-2011, 01:10 PM
 
3,805 posts, read 2,243,139 times
Reputation: 1574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
MI may get lake effect snow, but it also gets the added benefit of having the lakes moderate the temps. MN is colder, much colder, in the winter; and can get hotter in the summer.

If Minnesota is hotter in the summer, can't you just jump in one of those 10,000 lakes? I thought the northern half of Minnesota is like the northern LP of Michigan.
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