Thursday, May 3, 2012

help me. please.

Where's a good place to live?

Sometimes we think about moving, but how on earth do you just pick a new place to move to? Just Google "medium-ish town with great jobs and perfect climate" and go for it? Right. Like that's going to work.

There's nothing really wrong with where we live now, it's just...maybe it's time for change. I've never been much for change, but maybe it's time. As it is, I sometimes feel like our life is totally STUCK here. There are no good jobs in this city (or rather there sometimes ARE, but there are 283494 equally-qualified people fighting for each one). Despite being busy almost all of the time, I don't really feel like I'm doing anything here. I don't even know what I should be doing. But somehow this endless cycle of working's just getting old. But how do you decide on a new place to start over? It'd be one thing if we had a job offer in another city, or we wanted to move closer to family somewhere, or there were some pull towards a particular place, but there's not. It's just...I'm tired of being HERE. Sometimes. Not all the time. But often enough that I find myself picking random cities and searching the real estate and job listings, trying to imagine what it would be like to live there.

Here are my "requirements" for a new place to live:

1. Lots of great jobs. Actually, make that TONS OF JOBS. For Matt AND me.
2. Great climate. Heat is not a problem; extended periods of cold and/or snow are severely frowned upon. This probably means I won't be moving anywhere very far north.
3. Not a huge city. I have no desire to frequently drive on interstates/toll roads/any road with more than 3 lanes. Or sit in traffic. Or smell smog.
4. It would be nice if there were a Sephora, Forever 21, and/or H&M. It's really irking me that Athens has none of these.
5. 4G network.
6. Diversity of people. I don't want to be surrounded by a million people just like me.
7. Proximity to water. There should be SOME sort of swim-able water (lake, ocean, river) within a reasonable distance, for peace of mind and quality of life.
8. Mexican restaurants. There should be plenty of them, and they should be owned and run by people who have actually lived in Mexico. Sorry to be picky, but I cannot compromise on my Mexican food.

I think that covers my basic requirements. So here's where you come in: know anywhere that fits the bill? Lived somewhere that clearly does NOT fit the bill? Do you like where you live? Am I going through a midlife crisis at the age of 29? Do you ever go through periods where you feel like this? Do they pass? Help!


  1. Hmmm...I feel that way sometimes, too. Minnesota in regards to your requirements:
    1. So, so on the job market (probably similar to the national averages, I'd guess?)
    2. Snow/cold are usually bad here, but with global warming I think it will be short lived. This winter was crazy mild. We have 80 degree and humid weather going on today.
    3. We have lots of really nice, smallish towns being developed West of the Twin Cities. We don't have any toll roads:)
    4. We have all of those stores in the bigger cities and the suburbs in the outer rings. It would be a hike (maybe like 45-60 minutes) if you moved to those western town from #3
    5. Don't know about that in the west of MN
    6. This is a very diverse state! It is lovely in that way.
    7. There is water, like, everywhere. We are the 'land of 10,000 lakes' after all! Is all of it swim-able? Not so much. But a lot of it is. Oh, but only from like June-September. The rest of the year the lakes are frozen or too cold from the thaw.
    8. Recently I have found out that we have quite a few good ones! Lots of independently owned places run by families who know there stuff!

    If you can get over the cold, I think you should come here:)

  2. i think you should move to either greensboro, nc or raleigh, nc because that is where we want to move :)

  3. Ok, Austin doesn't fit the bill 100%, but it fits a lot of those... just saying.

  4. Austin! Austin! Austin! (doesn't meet requirement #3, but Texas is always the answer, right??) I'd love to live in the Austin area one day!

  5. I would be very very sad if you moved. That's all.

  6. Greenville!!! It's awesome.

  7. Charlotte was a pretty great place. A city, but traffic really wasnt bad. North carolina will always be close ti my heart. And I always thought Nashville would be really fun!

  8. Girl, I feel ya! We are going through the same thing. We have a great house, great farm, only it's in the mountains of NC in a really small town with no jobs! So we're constantly searching for that perfect place to re-locate. So far, Colorado seems to fit the bill. You should check there - it's hot in the summer, they have great winters (the kind where it snows a lot, but people still get out in it, which I love). There's not much water, but there are great lakes to visit. Shopping galore! Now I'm really talking myself into wanting to move there. Good luck!

  9. SAN DIEGO!!! Best beaches, Mexican food, shopping, people watching, weather, and for a big-ish city, traffic is not bad.

    Austin is pretty great too.

    I currently live in Texas (after living in California my whole life. Talk about culture shock!) In comparison to San Antonio, Athens sounds like an awesome place to live. At least you have the B-52's. We just have the alamo, and God forbid you should forget it! You're not having a midlife crisis :) You probably just need a little vacation. Anywhere gets boring after a while.

  10., I'm about to make a legal case here for Colorado, so that we can be friends in real life.

    First of all, Colorado has NO humidity. Think about that. NO HUMIDITY. EVER. We are too high, and as a result even if it's a really hot day (which in Colorado would be like..95?), if you step in the shade, you are cool.

    Secondly, the downturned economy did not hit us as hard as most other states. We do not know anyone who is unemployed.

    The mountains. REAL mountains. Real mountains and I would say that most of Colorado people are outdoor loving, healthy, dog-lovers who work and drive Subaru's.

    The average income here is higher, and we have everything to do: ski? Sure. Take in the ballet downtown? Sure. Want to take a boat out on a lake? Go for it. Want to smoke weed? It's legal! (Not that I do. I hate that it's legal here, but you can't really tell.)

    People are Christian without being pushy, outdoor lovin', nature respecting...but you go downtown and you get those New York type's with their laptops and heels and attitude. It's the best of all worlds.

    And I can't emphasize enough the weather. It's paradise, all year long. Yes, it snows but it's mostly melted by morning :)

  11. Ok so if you can get over #3, then Houston totally fits the bill! And as a bonus, you would have ME in driving proximity... think of all the Mexican food we could eat together!!

  12. I totally go through times like this. I usually can shake it off with a trip (the father away the better, though a jaunt the other night to Mall of GA {to Sephora, ha ha} did wonders for me), or doing something else to break up the routine.

  13. I totally go through times like this. I usually can shake it off with a trip (the father away the better, though a jaunt the other night to Mall of GA {to Sephora, ha ha} did wonders for me), or doing something else to break up the routine.

  14. Hello Erika!

    You do not know me and I am a first time commenter! I have moved lots in the past 8 years:
    UGA to California (Sonoma)
    California to Raleigh, NC
    Raleigh,NC to Chapel Hill, NC
    Chapel Hill, NC to Maryland (outside of DC)
    Maryland to Greensboro, NC

    Now, I have a few of the same requirements as you (1,2, 3, 6, and 7) and I would add :
    ---somehwere easily accessible by family/to family
    They don't have to live in my backyard or anything but CA was/is a long way from home and making that 6 hour flight to visit family is rough. Just saying.

    San Diego is awesome though! My vote is NC, probably Raleigh or Charlotte. I haven't spent much time in Charlotte but I get the impression that it is a city with a smallish town feel. I loved Raleigh and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area would fit all of your criteria I think.
    1. It is growing in jobs because of all of the Universities and Research Triangle Park.
    2. Great 4 seasons. You might get a little snow in the winter but it is the type where everything shuts down and you just get to play in it (my favorite type). Walking/driving to work when it snows is for the birds :). Fall is beautiful in NC!
    3. Interstate goes around it but you don't have to use it
    4. Raleigh has great shopping. I know there is a Forever 21 and H&M at Crabtree Mall. I am not sure about Sephora. Durhan has a great mall too.
    5. When I lived there, what I loved most was that most people I met were not from NC (no offense to NC) but it was nice to have a nice mix of state representation (Ohio, Pennsylvania, CA, NY, etc.)
    6. You are 2 hours from the beach. There is a lake right outside of town (you might need a friend with a boat). You are 3-4 hours from the mountains.
    7. I am not sure about the mexican restaurants but I am sure they have some good ones.

    My numbers are messed up. Looks like I left out the 4G, but that is not a problem in NC!

    I think you start by visiting places to see what kind of feel you get. I have always moved for a reason (school, job, boyfriend/husband). If you visit a town you will figure out i it is somewhere you would want to live!

    That's my 20 cents :)


  15. North Carolina and Tennesee have always called to me.

    San Diego has REALLY high property prices. REALLY. Like a tiny fixer upper cost more than houses in Westlake and we were told they had "meh" schools. Cost of living would do us in, although the weather is beautiful. Darn paradise tax!

    I kind of think we've hit the best of both worlds. I don't like the cold or the snow, but the 3 other true seasons help me tolerate it. We live in a rural county but I can be in the "city" with good shopping within 20-30 minutes. And I've figured out how to avoid most tolls. I used to think traffic was bad, but then I went further up 95 and realized what true traffic looks like.

    I still dream every now and then about moving somewhere else, but that bug has settled down now that I found what side of the city we love.

  16. Stephanie HortmanMay 4, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    I don't think you are going through "midlife crisis" but maybe "waiting" crisis. One of the hardest things for me is dealing with life now when mommyhood is not part of the routine. Just like you, career (and life) decisions (and apathy) hinged on "but what if...". It's so tough, hang in there! And love the advice to try smaller steps to shake up routines! I try to remind myself everyday that though I may not be a mommy, God still has something for me to do for Him today where I am. Hope this all makes sense! Hang in there!

  17. As a native Charlottean, I think it fits all your qualifications. I also see a lot of other people have recommended it to. Lots of jobs, great Southern weather, close to two lakes, the beach and the mountains, many Sephoras and Forever21s, lots of great people and BONUS! Theres a great, young, hip church you could attend. I go there. It's Elevation. Look it up. Come to Charlotte! We're awesome!

  18. I am linking up from Kelly's Korner. I saw that you live in Athens. My husband and I lived in Athens for the first year of our marriage. I taught in Madison. We did make the plunge and move to Atlanta, but we live in the Brookhaven area and LOVE it. Mostly young couples....I call it Suburban Atlanta. You should check it out. We could not be happier!

  19. Ran across your blog from Kelly's Korner! Haven't had a chance to catch up and read but just wanted to say hey :) Excited to add you to my blog list!!

  20. I came across your blog through Kelly's Korner. I lived in Athens for three years and recently moved back to my hometown not too far away. I'm a new follower!

  21. Visiting from Kelly's Korner. I live in GA also. Nice to "meet" you.

  22. I would second some of the comments that moving too far away from your family will stink big time when you have don't go too far! That being said, I am partial to somewhere Texas :) I can't recommend where I live for several reasons: It's too hot, it's too hot and it's too hot! There are quite a bit of jobs, especially social work type jobs. It would be nice being so close to Mexico if they weren't killing each other left and right and sometimes sending a stray bullet our way! BUT! I feel like this is where God wants us, which is all that matters. Where do you think God wants you?

  23. I have had periods of thinking like this myself. Frankly, it only passed when I realized that God very much wanted us here. Spend time in prayer and if He wants to move you, He'll start working that out in both of your hearts. In the meantime, it never hurts to apply to jobs!


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