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Old 05-07-2011, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Middle TN
134 posts, read 623,571 times
Reputation: 81

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Hi
To all Iowa born and raised I am seeking your honest insight to the following...

I lived in TN for two years (2008-2010) originally from CA. I also lived in IN as well for three years in the late 80's. I decided to really go rural in TN and soon found out that telling my neighbors I was from CA, especially So Cal, was not good.

I think we can all agree that word spreads fast in smaller towns, and external labeling happens. I was single at the time almost everyone eventually came to ask this question, "WHAT are you doing here?" The underlying assumption was that there has to something wrong because why would you move to the sticks?

That said, it took some time for people to trust me. Some were right out friendly, but distant, others were more cautious, especially other guys.

Would you agree that life is very routine (for the most part) and a man who gets a job in a factory is fortunate to have a job and that's his routine. Life is pretty much laid out. Enter guy from CA who has traveled, educated, moved around and now you have a fish out of water with a big question mark as a halo around his head.

One thing I did find that broke the ice was my dogs...

What advice would you have for someone like myself, tired of the big city, and currently working overseas in the Middle East (talk about a contrast to Iowa!) who is making a sacrifice for two years to afford housing related to the above scenario?
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Middle TN
134 posts, read 623,571 times
Reputation: 81
Maybe I should have read this thread first;
No friends in Iowa!
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:47 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 8,001,670 times
Reputation: 1894
It's tough, I'll tell you that. That is one thing that commonly comes up, is it's harder to make friends in Iowa. Reason is most people are born and raised here, and have their set routines and friendships. It's not that they don't like or trust you, it's just that they have their set circles of friends, and newcomers aren't routine here like they are in California. That said, it's going to be tougher in the rural areas. If you were to move to a city like Des Moines, you'd have more success.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:15 AM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,472 posts, read 3,165,340 times
Reputation: 1569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
It's tough, I'll tell you that. That is one thing that commonly comes up, is it's harder to make friends in Iowa. Reason is most people are born and raised here, and have their set routines and friendships. It's not that they don't like or trust you, it's just that they have their set circles of friends, and newcomers aren't routine here like they are in California. That said, it's going to be tougher in the rural areas. If you were to move to a city like Des Moines, you'd have more success.
This is pretty much it. I lived in the Des Moines area for a little over a year and found the people very polite and talkative, but that's in casual day-to-day interactions. Getting invited to their houses or getting them to do social activities is a bit harder. I found out once I had one friend I became friends with some of his friends and so on. By the time I headed back to San Francisco after 14 months I was pretty sad because I had a group of about a half dozen good friends I hated to leave.

A couple years later I moved to Fresno (lived there two years). I discovered it was almost an identical situation as it was in Des Moines. Took about a year to get settled into a good social scene. Basically, moving to any new place on your own is kind of rough at first.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1,671 posts, read 2,400,047 times
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I moved to Iowa 17 years ago from California, and it didn't take long to make friends (acquaintances), but my real friends came a couple years later when I got involved in activities that interested me. Living in Cedar Rapids and working Iowa City, I have been exposed to people from all over the country and world due to the University presence.
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:30 PM
 
4,779 posts, read 6,510,016 times
Reputation: 6132
It has nothing to do with "Iowa culture". It's small town culture that makes it hard to make friends. From Maine to California, small towns are tough to crack.

Making friends as an adult is no easy thing, but at least in a city you have a decent chance of meeting like minded friends.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:15 PM
 
Location: the illegal immigrant state
765 posts, read 1,538,495 times
Reputation: 1033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocketplayer View Post
Hi
What advice would you have for someone like myself, tired of the big city, and currently working overseas in the Middle East (talk about a contrast to Iowa!) who is making a sacrifice for two years to afford housing related to the above scenario?
Why do you want to go from "the big city" to the small town? Why not try a middle-sized city, esp one with a university as others have suggested?

There's something missing from the info you gave us.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:08 PM
 
7,493 posts, read 10,388,651 times
Reputation: 7394
My mom moved me and my brother to Iowa from a major city when we were kids and we lived there for about a year or so. It wasn't easy making friends, but I did better than my brother did, he never did make friends up there. I don't think my mom did either.

Then we moved to Idaho and I had the harder time than my brother and he wanted to stay. Go figure. It just depends on you, how you fit in, and your compatibility and all.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,850,368 times
Reputation: 1449
How can you ask the question directed at an entire state? Is that really fair? Can you really get an accurate answer? Heck, I’d argue your experience is going to differ if you settled in Des Moines proper vs a Des Moines suburb and for that matter, a neighborhood full of single family housing vs townhomes/condo’s.

I think it is a bit naïve to think you can make a broad brush analysis of a state of 3 million people spread out in different towns and cities over a hundreds of square miles.

If your desire is to make friends with your neighbors, there are neighborhoods in the Des Moines metro area that will be a lot easier than others (for example). I don’t’ think you can answer the question for the entire state. In other words, if you could narrow down your locations (i.e….which cities/towns are you considering), you might get more helpful information.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:33 AM
 
6,486 posts, read 5,957,282 times
Reputation: 1273
Just remember they are called maidrites....not sloppy joes.
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