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Old 05-29-2015, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,260 posts, read 8,374,821 times
Reputation: 11438

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Hi:

I am currently in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, but a family situation may take us to Iowa in the next year or two. I have traveled through Iowa, and I think I could make the adjustment relatively easily, although I have never lived in the mid-west, having been born and raised here on the East coast. I escaped the "suffocation" and expense of the Washington, D.C. corridor area many years ago, and I have never regretted it. However, change is now once again in the air. I had family here in the Carolinas, so the move was relatively easy for us. Moving to the mid-west will be an entirely new experience. I lived in the Western area of the U.S., Montana, for two years, and it definitely wasn't for me, but I don't even count that as anywhere near the "heartland" area where Iowa is.

I would like to hear from other "Southerners" who have moved from the Southern part of the United States to Iowa, or to the other close-by States to Iowa such as Nebraska or Minnesota, and what your experiences and observations are; what are the similarities, differences, weather comparisons, cultural differences, likes and dislikes, food comparisons or differences, economic, educational, recreational, etc. compared to Southern living, and are you happy you made the move?

Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,780,082 times
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Atler8 is from Iowa and has been living in Atlanta for the last 20+ years or so. If he doesn't chime in over the weekend, you might send him a PM.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Everywhere.
721 posts, read 851,371 times
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Moved to NW Iowa(Sioux City) three years ago from Florida. Generally, it has been a good experience. One notable similarity observed is how people drive their automobiles in both places. I see just as many people not use turn signals, go over speed limit, etc. here. There are also red light cameras here as well. There are many differences, such as the topography. No palm trees here! Many areas are flat, then become rolling hills. You can see distant towns from miles away.
The weather is obviously different. It can easily get down to -20F actual temperature or colder during winter in this part of Iowa. Snowfall can vary from year to year. Iowa is well known for experiencing blizzards. The quality of food(and costs) are about the same.
Culturally, people do have noticeable midwestern accents. Most of the people that have been encountered are friendly. Economically, it seems better here in Iowa(low unemployment). Recreationally, it is about the same(lots to do outdoors). As stated before, happy the move was made. Hope this feedback helped!
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,260 posts, read 8,374,821 times
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Thanks Star691, that helps a lot, it's just the kind of information and feedback I'm seeking. Meemur, I may also contact Atler8; thanks for that recommendation.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,194 posts, read 21,170,416 times
Reputation: 34506
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueMom View Post
Hi:

I am currently in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, but a family situation may take us to Iowa in the next year or two. I have traveled through Iowa, and I think I could make the adjustment relatively easily, although I have never lived in the mid-west, having been born and raised here on the East coast. I escaped the "suffocation" and expense of the Washington, D.C. corridor area many years ago, and I have never regretted it. However, change is now once again in the air. I had family here in the Carolinas, so the move was relatively easy for us. Moving to the mid-west will be an entirely new experience. I lived in the Western area of the U.S., Montana, for two years, and it definitely wasn't for me, but I don't even count that as anywhere near the "heartland" area where Iowa is.

I would like to hear from other "Southerners" who have moved from the Southern part of the United States to Iowa, or to the other close-by States to Iowa such as Nebraska or Minnesota, and what your experiences and observations are; what are the similarities, differences, weather comparisons, cultural differences, likes and dislikes, food comparisons or differences, economic, educational, recreational, etc. compared to Southern living, and are you happy you made the move?

Thanks for any feedback!
I'm from east TN and lived in IA for a year. I moved back and didn't like it, but I think a lot of that was because of a bad job.

Similarities: really not many, unless you count low population density, rural areas as one. Both had a "country" vibe once you got out of Des Moines.

Differences: I had only lived in the South (SC, TN, VA) before moving here and it was a definite culture shock.

Weather comparisons: Charlotte is going to be hotter and more humid, for longer in the summer. Winter wasn't as bad as I thought, but the summer was far, far hotter than anything I'd experienced down South (this was 2012 heatwave). It was also the driest I had ever seen. I'd assume a normal summer is far better. Storms were frequent and intense and it's windy almost all the time.

Cultural: I didn't find the people to be very friendly, even just on the street. The friendliest people I met were other Southern transplants. I wouldn't say they were outright rude, but there was definitely little to no small talk.

Likes: Economy - the economy in Iowa is terrific. I was making a good third more than I was making back home in the same role, and was making nearly double in Iowa of other offers I received back in Tennessee. Your dollar can go pretty far here and it seems very easy to get a job if you want to work. That wasn't the case in the South in 2012.

Dislikes: Isolation - no matter where you are in Iowa, you are relatively isolated from other places of significance. From Des Moines, it's about two hours to Omaha (not all that much bigger), three hours to Kansas City, and four hours to Minneapolis.

Des Moines hits "above its weight" for metros of around 500k. It has a Cubs affiliate team, a couple of colleges, some high culture, good shopping, good dining options downtown, etc.

Education: Schools in Iowa are, on the whole, better than what you'll find in the South. If you're in an affluent suburban area of Charlotte, schools are probably fine. I could tell the coworkers I had (many of whom weren't college educated) were better educated than folks of similar education levels back home.

Recreation: Really depends on what you're looking for. If you're in Des Moines, it has quite a bit of concerts, minor league sporting events, frequently hosts pro wrestling shows, etc, but nothing like Charlotte. Outdoors recreation in Iowa is simply going to suck compared to NC. In Charlotte, you're about an hour to an hour and a half from the WNC mountains, a couple hours to the beach, have Lake Norman, etc. There just isn't much to do outdoors in most of Iowa (Loess Hills and Driftless area being good to see)
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,771 posts, read 5,129,834 times
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There is one strong similarity between North Carolina and Iowa. The two states rank #1 and #2 in hog production with countless hog confinement units. So, your nose won't be able to tell the difference that you've moved.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:50 AM
 
9,409 posts, read 10,366,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
Weather comparisons: Charlotte is going to be hotter and more humid, for longer in the summer. Winter wasn't as bad as I thought, but the summer was far, far hotter than anything I'd experienced down South (this was 2012 heatwave). It was also the driest I had ever seen. I'd assume a normal summer is far better. Storms were frequent and intense and it's windy almost all the time.


What winter were you in Iowa? I am thinking it was the one a few years ago that was NOT normal. (2011-2012 I think?) That was the best winter there for me, it was the year that it hit the 50s and 60s quite a bit, barely snowed, never really got a hard freeze. Very unusual. The winters that have followed have been horrible!

The downside was no really hard freeze meant more bugs in the spring and early onset of spring allergies.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,194 posts, read 21,170,416 times
Reputation: 34506
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
What winter were you in Iowa? I am thinking it was the one a few years ago that was NOT normal. (2011-2012 I think?) That was the best winter there for me, it was the year that it hit the 50s and 60s quite a bit, barely snowed, never really got a hard freeze. Very unusual. The winters that have followed have been horrible!

The downside was no really hard freeze meant more bugs in the spring and early onset of spring allergies.
It was 2011-2012. I remember the apartment complex opened the outdoor pool in APRIL.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:16 AM
 
9,409 posts, read 10,366,696 times
Reputation: 8537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
It was 2011-2012. I remember the apartment complex opened the outdoor pool in APRIL.
Yes, that was definitely not a typical winter!
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:18 AM
 
Location: IN
21,652 posts, read 38,053,628 times
Reputation: 14229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
It was 2011-2012. I remember the apartment complex opened the outdoor pool in APRIL.
The two winters after that were much much colder.
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