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Old 03-09-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Wonderful Wisconsin!!!
375 posts, read 1,237,117 times
Reputation: 140

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Very timely topic. My husband had a gathering on Saturday in LaCrosse for the people he helped relocate to WI and MN this past year. In the past year he has helped 20 families move from the northeast to this area.
They are located all over, from Appleton,Menasha,Bristol, Bayfield, Hayward, Monroe, Mankato MN, Grand Rapids MN, and a few others that I can't remember.
Now we are talking over 60 people with children. They are all doing fine. Involved in the community and making friends with both locals and newbies. Kids are all doing fine.
The one theme that is echoed, like EKG has said.... you need to get involved. If your kids are grown, volunteer to read at a preschool, if church isn't your thing, join a book club. Volunteers are needed in so many areas, hospitals, schools, service organizations. You will meet people who welcome your help. One of our families volunteers at the animal shelter, another helps at a Food Shares program, one helped with Meals on Wheels. Others helped with different festivals There wasn't one family that didn't have at least one volunteer experience and they were all positive. My kids helped at the Birkie a few weeks ago. No one asked if they were new, snubbed them, they were thrilled to have them.

Maybe, because my husband preaches that volunteering is one of the keys to a successful relocation, that the families that he works with have all made friends, are happy in their communities.

None of them regret leaving the northeast (New Hampshire,Maine,Vermont,) for the midwest. They find the people much friendlier and the cost of living is over all cheaper.
Don't sit home and complain, get out in your community and volunteer. With budgets cut way down your help is appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
12,773 posts, read 12,566,893 times
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I agree! I live in a small town, 12,500, Manitowoc 30,000+ but I have not found people to be stand offish at all. They are inquisitive as to why I left NE Illinois and headed north instead of south!

I joined Curves right away, met gals from my immediate neighborhood. Two of them walk regularly and if I'm out they ask if I want to go along, not a problem.

This weekend I helped paint dorm areas at the local 4H campground. One of the guys that worked on my house, his wife also goes to Curves, they've helped me get introduced to other people. I got asked to a couple of open houses over the holidays.

If I don't have something to do, I check the paper, I go to the Senior Center, not an issue. I just don't feel people treat me like an outsider.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
603 posts, read 2,196,136 times
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You will be fine-don't let that stereotype stop you from moving here! Another thing to keep in mind is that it's a little harder to meet people in the winter. I've heard newcomers who moved in November or December say they were worried they wouldn't find any friends and then spring rolls around and they meet all sorts of people! I think you will be very happy in Wisconsin.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Wonderful Wisconsin!!!
375 posts, read 1,237,117 times
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In 2 weeks we are meeting with families that were relocated to MN and WI and have been here 2-5 years. There will be over 100 and I am going to ask how they feel they fit in with the locals. Really, most people that we work with have had no problems fitting in.
Granted some people are homebodies and don't want to meet a lot of people. But volunteering is a great way to make an inroad into the community.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Mequon, WI
8,158 posts, read 20,778,050 times
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Point being here that people that don't want to be sociable won't be, and people that want to met new people will. By meeting people that wants no business with you all you are doing is weeding out the people you don't want to be friends with and you by default are getting closer to meet people that want to meet people. Not everybody is a joy to be around, in this day in age its easier to find people that want to be left alone vs people looking to network or be a friend. However a good first impression increases your rate of favorable introductions.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:52 AM
 
Location: Southside Corpus Christi
65 posts, read 271,224 times
Reputation: 79
Smile Thanks!

Wow, thanks so much everyone! It's been a real pleasure reading all your detailed and helpful replies, and I must say I feel quite reassured.

I am currently a very active volunteer in several arenas, and I know how much I enjoy getting to know new people who show up willing to lend a cheerful hand; I'm glad to hear that you midwesterners seem to be the same way : ) It's pretty universal that if you stay busy and energetic and pursue your interests, you meet others along the way to develop friendships with--but the problems that some posters reported made me a little nervous.

I'm glad to know that Wisconsin is just like anywhere else after all : )

Thanks again, truly, for taking the time to reply! If my husband gets the job next summer (cross your fingers) I'll be back with eight million more questions, LOL!
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:43 AM
 
9 posts, read 18,710 times
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Hey there. I have lurked here over the years during moves but had to join to reply to your post... though you may not check back.

I would have always agreed with its the people not the place... except our experience transplanting here was VERY different.

We were a military family, we have lived in MI,OH,MO, IL x2, KS, PA, SC.. and Alaska. We never EVER had problems transplanting, making friends, anything like that. So with you being in the civilian side of military life, you have a good idea of how the life is. You can make a house into a home anywhere, kwim.

We moved to WI nearly 2 years ago and it IS different. It is hard to explain, people were not welcoming. Putting yourself out there is not welcoming. Click like, it simply is different.

We left a place with tons of very close wonderful friends, kids played together, we BBQ together, etc. Here we feel very isolated. The neighborhood and school district we chose to be 'home' was not welcoming. These people are not straight up rude but "distant" would be the word. We have not made any good friends, or even friends. Our kids have formed friends but parents are still stand offish.

We truly never had any problems forming genuine friendships anywhere else we lived. I think these people have been here their whole lives, have their friends and family are happy with that period. They do not need or want anything else, they have it already.

We moved here with the intentions of finally planting our roots and calling WI "home." We always could make a 'home' anywhere we have lived. Sadly, out of every place we have lived WI feels the furthest thing from home. Just last month we tried to do a job transfer and plant our roots in the south. We were willing to take the loss on our home, anything to start 'living' again and feel at 'home'

Where you are looking into moving, I do not think you will have a problem. There are many transplants and like minded people there They are more likely to extend their family of friends. Most people will not live on GL base (major school issues), and move to Kenosha. I think and I hope your experience is much better. We live north of mke.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Wonderful Wisconsin!!!
375 posts, read 1,237,117 times
Reputation: 140
SummerRay, interesting post. We have also lived all over. The only place we had a problem with people not being welcoming was New Hampshire. We lived in upstate NY and it was great, same with Missouri etc.
We are in northern WI and we are lucky to be in a very welcoming community. We do the whole 9 yards with our neighbors, bonfires, camping trips, football parties, fishing etc. And we are on acreage so our neighbors aren't right next door. We are fortunate because we will call WI home.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:37 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KateDaum View Post
SummerRay, interesting post. We have also lived all over. The only place we had a problem with people not being welcoming was New Hampshire. We lived in upstate NY and it was great, same with Missouri etc.
We are in northern WI and we are lucky to be in a very welcoming community. We do the whole 9 yards with our neighbors, bonfires, camping trips, football parties, fishing etc. And we are on acreage so our neighbors aren't right next door. We are fortunate because we will call WI home.
Awe, I am truly happy for you and your family. You are living the life we always lived no matter where we were... here where I am it is different. It is sad. I just came home from a trip to 'piggly wiggly', not a single person said hello, , made eye contact, smiled, greeted, heck I had the manager just toss my hamburger buns between two 2 liters . I usually let those things go unnoticed but I am having a bummed day with this topic on my mind. There is one place that gives us a warm feeling, a local farmer that sells his own wood, eggs, and honey. We don't feel like we landed from a different planet around him....I wonder what makes him different.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:20 PM
 
1,117 posts, read 1,850,589 times
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I haven't found that people are less friendly to me because I'm a transplant. I think Wisconsin people, in general, are friendly and welcoming.

A common reaction I get from people here in Wisconsin, once they find out I moved here from San Diego is...."Why???"
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