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Old 06-05-2011, 01:19 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,945,612 times
Reputation: 16907

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
If Minnesota is hotter in the summer, can't you just jump in one of those 10,000 lakes?
Yep, as well as run through a sprinkler, go to a pool, sit in front of an open refrigerator, turn on the AC, have an ice cream cone, etc.... Being able to cool off doesn't mean it isn't hotter.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,632 posts, read 14,225,904 times
Reputation: 2777
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMOGAJAD View Post
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!
The UP of Michigan is like Alaska. Home prices did not go down. Very few forclouseres, if any. I speak of the Marquette area, other parts of the UP have always been down job wise , nothing new there...we just do not have that many people, so unemployment will always be 8-9 per cent, nothing new there ether. ( I speek not of Marquette, jobs are there if you want to work , and have the skils needed)
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:59 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,623,135 times
Reputation: 4404
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).
I think Kalamazoo is one of the best areas in Michigan!

I was born in Grand Rapids and grew up not too far from there. So I always thought GR was the best that MI had to offer, and that Grand Haven and Holland were my favorite towns along the lakeshore.

But for the last year or so, I've spent a lot of time in the Kalamazoo area and SW Michigan, and it is a GREAT area. Lots of great restaurants all over town, tree-lined streets (there seems to be a ton of trees in KZoo, even more than GR). Beautiful residential areas on the west side of the city. The surrounding rural areas are hilly by Michigan standards and the scenery is very nice (again, lots of trees!). And if you go straight west from Kalamazoo, the lakeshore communities over there might be even nicer than what GR has to the west. I love South Haven and St. Joseph. Grand Mere State Park is only 45 minutes from KZoo, and you can find huge sand dunes for hiking and awesome views of the lake. While the land between GR and the lakeshore is mostly dairy farms and corn fields, the drive from KZoo to the lake is beautiful rolling hills with orchards and vineyards. It reminds me more of something in the northern half of the lower peninsula, like up around Hart and Ludington.

I'm probably telling you things that you already know. But I've lived in Michigan my whole life, and it is only recently that I've started exploring Kalamazoo. So I am sort of viewing it as someone who is from outside the area. And I think the city has something about it that even Grand Rapids doesn't necessarily have.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,235 posts, read 8,630,454 times
Reputation: 3108
Good for you northstar22! I remember your posts (were you formerly kazoopilot?)

It's funny that all these "I'm coming back" threads are happening the same time as my own "coming back" story. Kind of exciting.

Like you, I grew up in Kalamazoo and went to Western. I was near family, a great church and a ton of friends. I liked the city too. I graduated in December 2006 with a teaching degree. Subbed for a year and found nothing. Went back to get certified to teach high school English--again, nothing. I left in the spring of 2009 for North Carolina (Raleigh area) and gave up on ever coming back home. Eventually I got over my homesickness, made a few friends and came to like Raleigh.

Then a teacher friend near St. Joe told me about some teaching positions in his district. (Bridgman) I hesitated with the bad economy and all, but it looked like a secure position, and I REALLY wanted to come home if it was possible. So I applied, went through the interviews and got hired in May. I'll be moving back at the end of July.

I honestly never thought I'd ever come back home. But now that I am, I'm so excited I can't even find words for it. I'll be near my family and my friends again. I'll get to go to my brother's wedding in October, to see my neice and nephew grow up, to go to the U.P in the summer with my family and camping with my friends. It's a dream come true.

Good luck to ya. Hope you make it back!
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Ocqueoc, MI - Extreme N.E. Lower Peninsula
275 posts, read 394,263 times
Reputation: 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post

It's funny that all these "I'm coming back" threads are happening the same time as my own "coming back" story. Kind of exciting.
I was thinking the very same thing! I know that I can't wait to get back. I love seeing other folks looking for or having the same opportunity that we have to get back home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
I'll be moving back at the end of July.
We'll beat you by just a couple weeks. We're moving back the week of July 10th.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,235 posts, read 8,630,454 times
Reputation: 3108
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Wojo
We'll beat you by just a couple weeks. We're moving back the week of July 10th.
Cool Dave! Isn't it exciting? Good luck to you in the mitten.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,855,772 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
Good for you northstar22! I remember your posts (were you formerly kazoopilot?)
Yup. I'm from Kazoo and I was an aviation major, hence "kazoopilot." I changed it a while back because it didn't really apply anymore .

Quote:
It's funny that all these "I'm coming back" threads are happening the same time as my own "coming back" story. Kind of exciting.

Like you, I grew up in Kalamazoo and went to Western. I was near family, a great church and a ton of friends. I liked the city too. I graduated in December 2006 with a teaching degree. Subbed for a year and found nothing. Went back to get certified to teach high school English--again, nothing. I left in the spring of 2009 for North Carolina (Raleigh area) and gave up on ever coming back home. Eventually I got over my homesickness, made a few friends and came to like Raleigh. Then a teacher friend near St. Joe told me about some teaching positions in his district. (Bridgman) I hesitated with the bad economy and all, but it looked like a secure position, and I REALLY wanted to come home if it was possible. So I applied, went through the interviews and got hired in May. I'll be moving back at the end of July.
Congrats!!!!!!

Yes, I know the job market for teachers in Michigan is brutal. You are extremely, extremely fortunate to have found a teaching job in Michigan. I have a friend from St. Joe who graduated from Western in 2009, and she's still looking for a job -- she's thinking of leaving the country.

I don't think I could ever get over my homesickness if I lived in North Carolina. I HATE the South, even more than the Great Plains.

Quote:
I honestly never thought I'd ever come back home. But now that I am, I'm so excited I can't even find words for it. I'll be near my family and my friends again. I'll get to go to my brother's wedding in October, to see my neice and nephew grow up, to go to the U.P in the summer with my family and camping with my friends. It's a dream come true.

Good luck to ya. Hope you make it back!
That's awesome! I'm so happy for you, and I hope I'll be joining you soon.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:41 AM
 
1,041 posts, read 1,406,861 times
Reputation: 1288
Since I'm thinking about spending winters in the south I have to ask. What makes you hate it? All comments will be appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:04 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,039,961 times
Reputation: 2120
"The grass is always greener". I've been researching other places myself, but am cautious because I've found that there are always unforeseen tradeoffs (true of every move I've ever made). From afar, things look different.
You alluded to a desire for culture and "big-city vibe" - I agree. Anything outside of larger cities could very well seem inconvenient and/or boring once you're there.
So in west Michigan we have Kazoo, G.R., Lansing. North is the busy and highly-touristy Traverse City. Tourist cities, although crowded at times, don't generally have a year-round sense of community except for a small number of locals. Even the workers and jobs are largely transient.
Since I visit it often for the reasons you mention, Kazoo is a good choice and I have considered it myself.
Re North Carolina: I looked at that myself and last winter I noticed cold weather patterns not far different than Michigan.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,235 posts, read 8,630,454 times
Reputation: 3108
Quote:
Originally posted by detwahdj
Re North Carolina: I looked at that myself and last winter I noticed cold weather patterns not far different than Michigan.
You're kind of right. On any given day, Raleigh is 10-15 degrees warmer than West Michigan. It means the winters are sunny and cool (think November for 4 months) but the summers are BRUTAL! That's why even though I came to like NC, I could never get used to spending my summer breaks indoors. It's so boring--especially when the sun's shining.
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