Design

Where Do You Live?

My friends are dropping like flies…

Every few months, another one sits us down and breaks the news. He or she is leaving New York. They got a new job, their partner got a job, they want to be closer to their parents, they’re sick of the cold winters, they want more space, the rent is just too high (basically this).

Each time our friend group gets a little smaller, I fantasize about moving myself. I love the buzz of New York and the life I’ve made here, but the older I get, being near my family in California sounds more and more appealing. My brother and his wife are planning a move from the Bay Area to a small mountain city that neither of them are from, but where homes are much more affordable. I’ve been making up scenarios in my head where we move down the street and our kids grow up roaming the neighborhood together.

This is unlikely, though, since my fiancé‘s job doesn’t exist on the west coast. If we do ever move, his work will probably take us abroad. Since I’m a writer who can essentially work from anywhere, that would make sense for us. And living in another country is an exciting prospect — it’s just unnerving to not yet know when and where it will be. Lots of people, in New York and otherwise, seem to be in similar states of flux over where they’ll “end up.”

Wherever you choose to settle will not only affect your day-to-day life, it can also change your personality. “Studies show that character traits, like anxiety and extroversion, vary from one state to another,” reports New York Magazine. “There’s not only a New York state of mind; there’s also a Montana mentality and an Idaho id.” I certainly was never one to swear as a taxi passed me by before New York City got to me, and my friends who’ve moved to Los Angeles have all become a little softer around the edges (and drink a whole lot more kombucha).

This can prove particularly daunting for those who don’t get to choose where they live. Bryan, a Russian literature professor with a penchant for city life, is constantly nervous that his next job will take him to the middle of nowhere. Currently, he works in a Western Massachusetts college town. It’s more rural than he’d prefer, but taking on the great search for the perfect farmhouse dining table has helped him embrace country life. “I’m worried, though, that when I finally find the right table, I’ll have to move somewhere where I can’t have a farm table,” he jokes. “Now, I’m just worrying in reverse.”

Another couple, Amy and Matt, are also professors — but one got a job in Ohio, the other in Baltimore (that’s 400 miles apart!). Amy lives with their two-year-old son in Ohio; Matt visits them on the weekends; and they go to Matt on school breaks. “We both love our jobs,” Amy explains. “But balancing our careers and our personal lives has been difficult. It’s hard being a solo parent during the week, and my husband misses our son. We plan to make some hard decisions in the next few years to either change careers or change schools so that we can live in the same place.”

For others, it’s not about deciding to leave, but deciding to stay. Allison moved seven times before her sophomore year in high school, but once her family landed in Michigan, she never left. She loves that multiple generations live close by and that her kids will have the same friends throughout their childhood. Still, she sometimes dreams about living abroad (or somewhere warmer). “That’s why we make travel a priority,” she says. “We haven’t done a ton since the kids are so little, but I have a ‘Leo and Eleanor teenage trips’ fund in my budgeting app just waiting for when they can tell us places they’re interested in that we can explore together.”

Now imagine this: What if you could just look at a map and pick a place to live? Rob and Sharon — who have three kids — are outgrowing their small Manhattan apartment. (“Right now, the five of us share one bathroom,” Rob says. “We see each other naked all the time. If someone gets the flu, it’s over.”) Since he and his wife can both work remotely, they’re scouting a new city in the United States for their family. Top of the list so far: Portland and Austin. Factors are good public schools and affordability, and Sharon looks up every neighborhoods’ walk score, needing it to be 90% or higher. The kids’ wish list items are more personal: “Owen wants a dog, Oscar wants a basketball hoop and Ella wants a swimming pool,” says Rob. “We can’t tick everyone’s boxes, but we’ll try to get a few!”

All these factors are meant to contribute to our individual happiness, of course. But according to The New York Times, the general happiness of a city is not usually something people consider. If this sounds confusing (how do you compute a city’s happiness?), I feel you. Turns out, each year a Well-Being Index rates U.S. cities on the residents’ feelings of purpose and community, social and financial stability and physical health. Salinas, California, and Naples, Florida, are currently the happiest places to live in the U.S. New York City doesn’t even scratch the top 100, yet it still has such an allure.

Or does it? This weekend, I’m throwing a baby shower for another departing friend — she’ll be leaving the city for her hometown after the little guy is born. I feel the usual mix of sadness (I’ll miss you!), shock (how could you leave this amazing place!) and jealousy (I want to leave this amazing place!) about her decision. Or, maybe, I’m just jealous that she has decided. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I’m pretty certain I’ll talk about it yet again with my fiancé over dinner tonight.

Where do you live? I’d love to know how you ended up there. Are you in your hometown, where you went to college or a totally new place? Did your job dictate your location? Did you move for love? Do you think you’ll move again? Do you like it there? It’s so fun to think about these questions — do tell!

P.S. Parenting around the world.

(Photos by Lena Corwin/Instagram.)

  1. I live in San Diego, CA. I have also lived in Tehran, Iran (0 to 10-yrs-old) and Cologne, Germany (10 to 20-yrs-old). I came to San Diego to go to college and stayed. I was wondering if I was going to get wanderlust after 10 years of living here but I didn’t. I have lived in San Diego longer than I have lived anywhere else, 25 years! San Diego is home now. Given my family history, it was important for me to offer safety and stability to my own kids. San Diego is the only home they have ever known. :)

  2. Anonymous says...

    Currently – Brooklyn (but I always say ‘NYC’ when talking to family/friends/strangers, because I don’t think outside of NYC people truly understand how commutable Brooklyn is). My BF and I moved here almost two years ago from Nashville, TN. For the entire first year in Brooklyn I just assumed we would move back to Nashville within the year or to because building a life up here seemed so impossible, but I have to say that creeping up on almost 2 years in this city I have to say that this city has felt more like home to me than any of the 5 states of lived prior.

  3. Cate says...

    I grew up in Atlanta and took it for granted that I would move to a big city like New York or Chicago after going to college. I certainly didn’t love Atlanta at that time. As it turned out, I moved back shortly after college to go to grad school, and then… either the city changed or I did. Really I think we both did. Atlanta has changed so much, and it met me half way. I bought a house, and although I often crave adventure and travel, I feel very at home here. If I were to move away, I know I’d come back.

  4. Candice says...

    Bangkok Thailand. I love city life and have no desire to move except maybe to another big city in Asia! Came here for church work and English teaching and our whole family loves it (after adjustment of course). 8 years and counting. (my hometown is Harrisonburg, VA).

    • Candace says...

      Although our stories are different, I was struck by how similar they kind of are! I’m also a Candace, living in a big Asian city (Seoul), teaching English, from Virginia (Richmond), and been abroad for quite a few years (six). I know this probably nerdy, but just wanted to share :)

  5. Becca says...

    My husband and I lived in New Haven, CT for 10 years during his medical training. We had our babies there and made lifelong friends. At the end of training, some really incredible job prospects opened up in Salt Lake City, my hometown. Too good to pass up, especially for my husband. There are things I love (skiing! and family), but some days I think, “Holy crap! I am RIGHT back where I was when I turned 18!” It’s weird how I grew up here, but never felt truly at home until we lived on the east coast. The culture feels super foreign to me. A stranger in my home town!

    • Kirsten says...

      That’s so funny–I feel the exact same way about Denver, Colorado! I loved it as a kid, but being back on visits has made me 100% opposed to moving back there again. It just doesn’t feel like home any more, and the association I have with it being home in a way that it isn’t anymore also makes it impossible to experience like a newcomer!

  6. We live in Vancouver, Canada… born and raised. My boyfriend also grew up here but has lived in Glasgow for university and in Seoul when he was teaching english. We’ve decided that we are going to pack our bags and move to the Isle of Skye in Scotland for 6 months this winter (figured we test out the worst months and see if we can handle it). Nothing ties us here to Vancouver other than family so why not give it a go!

  7. i’m sitting in a hotel ‘office’ writing this comment after catching up on some work and school after a long day of driving through Missouri. my family and i (three littles myself and my husband) just finished day 2 of our epic road trip from a small town in ohio to the beaches of los angeles. we moved back to ohio just over a year ago to be closer to family and raise our kids in the place where i grew up where schools are fantastic and everything’s quaint. where it feels like ‘home’. but what we learned was the 4 years we spent at the beach made that place feel more like home than anything. so after many many lists and much crying and so many goodbyes, we hopped in the car and headed back west. for good this time. we’ll reach the west coast in about 5 days and start working on calling that place ‘home’. i loved reading this post! so incredibly timely!

  8. Dana says...

    I’m from a tiny town in Maine but live in DC. I moved here for work, but am definitely staying for love (my husband of five months has lived here for 18 years, and we’re staying until my stepson turns 18 in five years). I love DC – it is a walkable city with great food – but definitely look forward to leaving. I’d love to live in a smaller town where we could have some land, but my husband and I are an interracial couple and we’re nervous about the vibe in a lot of smaller towns. Any welcoming and diverse large town/small city suggestions on the east coast? We’d love suggestions or advice! :)

    • Laura says...

      Ann Arbor, MI! Michigan isn’t exactly East Coast, but still in the Eastern Time Zone and a one-hour flight from DC. I just moved here from DC last month (after 16+ years) Diverse, liberal, near a major airport, etc.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i LOVE ann arbor!!!

    • Lancaster, PA. We are about two hours from D.C. and Baltimore, one hour from Philadelphia, and right in the country but still with plenty of town/city life and diversity in Lancaster itself. The amount of amazing restaurants and farmers markets is also hard not to brag about. Come visit even if you don’t move here. :)

  9. Kate says...

    I know how you feel…it’s like everything and nothing is an option all at once!

  10. Katie says...

    I’m from Philadelphia but now live in Louisville, KY. We love it — it’s big enough that there are good restaurants, plenty of things to do, etc. but it’s so much easier than Philly. No traffic, much lower cost of living, everything is just a little calmer. We thought we’d be here for just a year or two but we love it and want to stay!

    • Liz Abrams says...

      Hi! I’m another Louisville transplant (from St. Louis)! :)

  11. I grew up in South Haven, Michigan, a small town on Lake Michigan in the southwest corner of the state. I went to college in Michigan and then moved out west, to Colorado, as fast as I could after college. I lived in Vail, CO for just over 10 years before moving back to Michigan – to Grand Rapids, MI – just over a year ago to be closer to family. It was a really hard transition to make. I love Colorado and I love being a Coloradan. The mountains feel like home to me in a way Michigan never has. I feel out of place here, like somehow I just don’t make sense here. I’m so close to my family, though, and I hate living far away from them. But, ultimately, my heart is calling me back to Colorado – my home – so I resigned from my job and will be moving to Denver in a few weeks.

  12. Nicole says...

    Gosh I loved this piece and all the comments. I’m from NYC and live there now, but have traveled a ton and have lived out West and in Vermont. I can’t say I’d trade NYC for anything now, expensive as it is, for the diversity and the culture. Having a child makes it seem especially important.

  13. Lauren says...

    I live in Anyang, South Korea, and I moved here for love. I’m originally from California, but moved to Korea after college, seeking adventure. I met my fiance at the airport when I landed in Seoul. He’s British. We lived in Korea for over two years and then tried to return “home” (somewhere that’s in California or England), but after over a year of job searching and doing the long distance relationship, we finally admitted that it would be impossible for us to get visas without being married or forking out tons of money for more university. So we moved back to Korea to live together. It was easier for both of us to get teaching jobs and visas in a third continent than to move to one of our own. He proposed (at the airport where we met) about a year and a half after we returned. Now we’re in Anyang saving up money for our move/wedding/visa applications. We’re both ready to leave Korea because life is so transitory as an expat. People come and go from your life, and your career can only go so far as an ESL teacher here. But what a story, right? I’ve been having the time of my life.

  14. Mabel says...

    We left Brooklyn two years ago for a simpler life in a small town along the Jersey Shore, Spring Lake. We traded our 1br for a house with a backyard… Our BK Bridge bike rides are now Ocean Avenue cruises. We are loving slower, simpler times while growing our family, but we will always call NYC our 2nd home.

  15. Bailey says...

    I live in Shreveport, Louisiana!

  16. Boba says...

    I have gone through so many cycles of friends. But here in DC people most of the people moving in and out seem to be in the government/international job sector, so I have made it a point to make more friends with the “regular” people: the teachers, bartenders etc and those who grew up here. I suppose I have made the decision that this is home although still once in awhile I’d like to move someplace warmer. Investing in the community also helps you lay down roots. And as far as good public schools vs bad, I would be cautious in believing that the suburbs are better than city. Many city kids have far better educational opportunities than do kids in suburban schools. You need to look beyond test scores.

  17. My husband and I live in a small Colorado mountain town about 2.5 hours southwest of Denver. We’ve lived in bigger cities, smaller cities, and some larger towns, but never any place as small as our current town of only 5500 people! But we adore it. And when we get a big city itch we take one of the most beautiful drives in existence and head to Denver for a weekend. Win-win. :)

  18. Emily says...

    I’ve lived in Dallas, TX my whole life expect for college years. My husband and I visited Portland, OR in June 2015 and fell in love as is easy to do with Portland in June. We revisited last week to make sure we loved it as much as we thought we did. He fell more in love, I fell a little out.
    We *want* to move somewhere, both of us having been in DFW our whole lives, but now I’m not so sure where! It’s mostly the lack of diversity in Portland that’s getting to me.
    Can anyone reading speak on that? Would love some advice from people who have lived there or currently do!

    • Katie says...

      Not a lot of diversity here at all and Portland is quickly losing its Portland-ness and charm

    • Amy says...

      I lived in Portland, OR the last 3 years and absolutely loved it’s size, good food, and affordability. But, housing prices and cost of living is on the rise and Portland is losing it’s essential charm with so many people moving there. Traffic is also a thing now! It got worse and worse each year I was there. I would not discourage you from moving there, but know it’s not all charm. Portland does lack diversity, especially close-in. You will find immigrant communities and authentic food on the outskirts of Portland though. All the negatives aside, it was a beautiful place to live. The volcanos, the columbia river gorge, the moss, the flowers in the spring. I miss it all the time. I’m originally from Los Angeles and returned home after having a baby to be near family. Oh! Another huge factor for you both to consider is the 9-ish months of cloudy/rainy weather. Best wishes to you, wherever you may go!

  19. Laura says...

    It’s interesting to see how different people settle down. I’m currently living in Las Vegas, which is hundreds of miles away from where I grew up in Texas. Moving away from home had always seemed like the natural progression of life and, frankly, I always thought it was crazy that people would never move away from their hometown. But now I have so many friends that were born and raised here in Vegas, with no intention of ever leaving, and they seem to love it! It’s making me re-think my previous idea of success as an adult. Maybe it is okay to settle down in your hometown, as long as you’re living a joyful life.

  20. Kelly says...

    I live in State College, Pennsylvania – a small university town. Though I grew up only 2 1/2 hours away in the Pennsylvania Appalachians, I might has well have moved to another country. My husband and I moved into a graduate student apartment complex and were immediately immersed in a diverse, multi-cultural, global community. Growing up, I had never met anyone who wasn’t white and of European descent. All of a sudden I was living closely with people from Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle East. I had dinner with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists (!). It was the most miraculous thing for my mind and heart – both of which grew and expanded into something that looked more and more like my True Self. My children were raised in this global community and have had the experience of having people of nine different nationalities at their Thanksgiving dinner table. Though we are no longer in grad school, we still reach out to those who have traveled the world to study here, to spend a few years of their lives in the middle of Pennsylvania farm country.

    • Audrey says...

      I’m going to school here in State College, and it warmed my heart, reading your comment, to know that such an open minded, lovely woman lives in my town.

    • Kris says...

      Love your comment! I grew up in Lock Haven, quite close by and experienced the same lack of diversity growing up.

  21. Beth says...

    I’m still in my hometown in Orange County, CA. With the exception of my online grad school (University of Nebraska) all of the schools I’ve attended are within 10 minutes of each other. My husband and I grew up down the street from each other and our parents still live in the houses that we grew up in. We bought a house within 3 miles of them with the long term goals of having them around to take care of future kids and for us to eventually take care of our parents as they get older. All of our friends are here, but most of my aunts/uncles/cousins have moved out of state. Unless our parents were to move, we don’t have any plans to leave. That doesn’t keep me from fantasizing about living in Ireland or Montana, though!

    • Stephanie says...

      I’m from OC too, as is my husband. We have both sets of parents within 15 miles and it really is fabulous having all the grandmas and grandpas close. :) and let’s face it, can’t beat the weather!

    • Jean says...

      Another chime in from the OC. Both my husband and my family all live very close. And we both went to university here too. I love it here and chose to raise my kids here as well. But I have to be honest…I’m getting a crazy itch to move and try something entirely new!!

  22. Both my husband and I are born and raised in San Diego. We still live here. Pretty much our entire, large family lives here. Having family around is pretty helpful and great when raising kids. That’s really one of the main reasons we still live here.

    Home affordability is not the best for us here and the renter’s market is brutal. Especially since we don’t want to commute in traffic to and from work. Walkability and proximity to both are jobs is crucial.

    We’ve talked about moving to another state like Colorado; but family and everything else we know keeps us here. The more that people move here, the more we realize how lucky we are to live here.

  23. Mia says...

    Just left NYC for Wellington, New Zealand and couldn’t be happier!

  24. I grew up about 4 miles from a small town (pop. Under 1000) that was located about an hour from Winnipeg (our capital city). I had a very rural upbringing and couldn’t wait to move to the city for university. After 6 years of living in Winnipeg I decided to move in with my boyfriend who lived in a small village (pop. 250). We eventually got married and now have two boys, and although I’ve tried really hard to make this place my home, it’s just never felt right. It sounds vapid but I need to be someplace prettier & preferable on the shore of a body of water. I grew up on an acreage and I love going back to my parents’ place to visit (only 20 minutes away) as it is so spacious and peaceful.

  25. Rachel says...

    I am now back in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. SO excited to be back (after living in Houston, TX for work, Vermont for law school, and DC for my first legal job) – but it is weird to see how much a city can change when you’ve left for over a decade. A lot of the nostalgia has been replaced with shock (my old “bad” neighborhood is full of pretentious lofts?!) – but I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather raise my kids, particularly because nearly every relative we have is here, too.

  26. Such a great post. I could read the comments for days.

    I’ve lived in a lot of places, Munich, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, the UK, Tokyo and Chicago and I’m currently fantasizing about moving to a smaller city like Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis or Grand Rapids for a lower cost of living, shorter commute and better public schools. My husband is from the Chicago area and has never lived anywhere else – just the thought of relocating makes him nervous. I tell him (because it is so true) that even though I’ve lived in such vastly different places with different cultures and even languages, my life has always been very much the same. There may be some truth to the idea that where you live shapes your personality but I think that for the most part, YOU create your life and re-create it and re-create it in all of the different places where you lay your head.

  27. Katrien says...

    This is one of my favourite conversation topics – and what fun it is to read the commments :) Thank you for hosting such a vibrant dialogue – Cup of Jo!

    As a third culture kid, I’m always wondering when the next move is. It’s a great privilege to have though – so many others don’t have choices. I feel like the comments here represent such diversity of life experiences but also raise the issue of needing to move to flee persecution or fear — refugees, people escaping domestic violence, dictatorships, etc.

    In a way, the conversation here is a perfect example to share with politicians of the way people feel and connect to a place, the push/pull factors when you do have CHOICE. And I guess also, a good start to having conversations on how to make places livable for people who do need to flee their home/country. Or at least begin to build empathy for people who are making a home in a new place, no matter the circumstances of how they made their way there.

    • Katrien says...

      * I forgot to add — I second the suggestion to turn this topic into a series!

  28. Alyssa says...

    I made the move from NYC (where I was living while I went to grad school) to a small, Canadian mountain town four years ago. The concept of a place changing you is completely accurate in my experience. My life transformed from going to three or four concerts a week to hiking/camping/skiing every chance I get.
    Still… while I love my life here, I think I’ll always be haunted by the magic of New York.

  29. Lorna says...

    I live in Scotland after living and working overseas in North Africa and Turkey for 17 years. I love being back home, I love the air which is so pure and fresh. I love the changing of the seasons, the warmth of Scottish people, the hills and glens and lochs. The culture is wonderful and the Scottish sense of identity and pride means that communities are strong and active, And the food scene is wonderful now and very varied and eclectic.

    • Dawn says...

      I love Scotland so much! People is amazing and landscape just breathtaking. I am from the northern coast of Spain and lived in different cities (Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid…), however Edinburgh and The Highlands will always be in my list… Maybe someday ;)

    • Lorna says...

      Dawn, so glad to hear you love Scotland. Edinburgh is magical and the Highlands are magnificent! You must visit!

  30. Chantal says...

    I grew up in Ottawa, Canada, but now live in Geneva, Switzerland. My husband and I have always loved to travel and explore new places, and we decided we wanted to live in Europe at some point, in order to really get to know the different countries and cities around. We moved here two years ago, after my husband got a job he randomly applied for one day on a whim.

    The day he got the job offer, I also found out I was pregnant (with twins, it turned out). So our plans of taking off every weekend to explore this great continent were slightly affected, to say the least. But we still try to get away at least once every three weeks, and make the most of what we can do with a couple of toddlers! The hardest part, I’d say, is being away from our family, and friends. I’m not normally someone who gets homesick, but being so far from family with kids this young has been challenging. And while kids have certainly helped me make friends through all the various activities we do, it’s also been a bit lonely, since we don’t have the same social calendar/availability we had before kids; it’s hard to form real “adult” friendships when you’ve constantly got little ones tugging at your leg. It would be nice to be near our good friends, the ones we don’t have to make an effort around, the ones who know us inside and out and whom we can drop in on without warning when we need a quick pick-me-up… So I dream of moving closer to home some day.

    But at the same time, this place offers amazing opportunities of such a rich, fulfilling life for us and the kids… Great schools, amazing surroundings between lake activities and mountain activities, year-round, easy travel to a plethora of different cultures and landscapes within a few hours from us… It’s hard to think of leaving!

    So we flip flop, over and over… And mostly just roll with the punches as they come. (My husband also just applied for a job in Bangkok… just to keep things interesting… ha.)

  31. Melissa says...

    I was born and raised in the Boston area but have been living and working in the Manhattan area for the past 10 years. My husband was just approved a transfer to the Boston office of his company so that we can move back closer to my family since we have two small kids. I have been really eager to move back to Boston since having the kids but once my husband’s transfer was approved I panicked because we would be moving away from a city that I have grown to really love over the past 10 years. I will miss the energy and diversity of the great city of New York and all that it offers!

  32. Thanks for sharing.
    I’m thinking of leaving NYC as well.
    Currently I’m on tour in California living in a van. I gave up my career and Manhattan lifestyle to try a job that I find very meaningful. I’ve never felt better – there’s less restraint not living in the hyper culture of that city.

  33. Angela says...

    I recently moved back to my hometown of San Diego, CA after having spent a year and a half in Chicago, and the previous year living in Thailand. While I loved my experiences of living away from home, I made the “life” decision to come back to home in order to be closer to family after my dad unexpectedly passed away last year. The allure of living away and “doing my own thing” became less important as I thought about what’s truly important to me – my family. I’ve only been back for a few months now and am still working to adjust back to life in SD, but overall I am happy with my decision! The only caveat – my boyfriend is in academia and will be finishing his PhD program within the year. Once he hits the job market he has no way of knowing where he may land a job, but it will most likely NOT be in California. So, I may be faced with a decision soon enough – continue to stay here with my family but risk losing my relationship, or be willing to leave for love and risk a life away from my family. Until that choice is upon me, I will just enjoy being back and breathing in the salty air.

  34. Siheme says...

    I live in Southern Maryland, 1:15 from DC but we go like once every 2 months…I am French. I lived in Quebec city , then Montreal for 2 years. Then, I moved to Takoradi in Ghana and then to Abidjan in Ivory Coast. We went back to Montreal to have our baby and then we moved to Jupiter, Florida. We stayed 2 years and then my husband got a job in Maryland. We have been here for 3 years and we love it! But of course, we won’t stay forever. I am hoping to go back to a sunny place…;-)
    PS: my husband is a helicopter pilot , that’s why we love to move and I am a French teacher in middle school ;-)

  35. Rachel says...

    I have recently moved back to my hometown of Manchester in the UK after ten years in London. I moved there to begin my career at 24, and despite knowing nobody, I built a wonderful life and a friendship group drawn from all corners or the globe. As a result, it became sadly common that a cherished friend would make a similar announcement, and as I approached nine years in London, three of my best friends announced their imminent departures. I resolved that, were I to stay, life would likely always be in a similar state of flux and coupled with the fact that I too yearned to return home, it was time for me to make my own decision. So, last year, I sat my friends down for the same conversation, and I was so delighted to be the one breaking the news. It’s amazing how there’s a ripple effect across friendship groups and others start considering their future. Big cities always have an element of transience and I felt it was really important to choose some stability!

  36. I live in MN. I grew up in Kansas, came here 18 years ago for college, and met a boy who is a diehard Minnesotan with no plans to ever leave the state (except for travel). I’ve grown to love my adopted home state, but I do fantasize about moving someplace warmer and cheaper! The cost of living up here is outrageous.

  37. K says...

    I grew up in Oxfordshire and now live in London. I’ve seen a few negative posts about London and I hear you with the gloominess/crazy prices BUT I have to say I love London too. It’s such an international, multi-cultural city. We Londoners have a bad rep (particularly for hating each other on the tube), but we do care for one another. I have seen countless acts of kindness since I moved here. We care about the wider world too, just look at how many of us showed up to protest against Trump.

    London is fun, we have amazing galleries, theatres, parks, music, countless new restaurants popping up all over the place and beautiful people from all walks of life. London, don’t listen to the haters, even when you’re the worst, you’re the absolute best.

    • Esther says...

      I live in London too and couldn’t agree more! I am originally from Norway and moved to London for what was supposed to be one year, but I loved it so much I decided to stay. I do miss being close to my friends and family, but they are only a short plane ride away. And this city has an amazing mix of cultures, events, bars and restaurants – not to mention the people. I’ve made friends from all over the world here, and while it’s true that big city life can feel transient, I love the fact that I now have friends to visit in every corner of the planet.

  38. Anne says...

    So interesting reading all the different experiences! I find that most people arrive mostly by accident in the place they live.
    Same here: grew up in the Eastern part of Germany, after high school lived for a year in Connecticut (and loved it), moved back to Germany for studies and fell in love with a French. Means that I live now with three kids in Paris (12 years already), we just bought an apartment meaning that we will stick around a bit longer. It does feel like home but has many inconveniences (expensive, crowded, polluted), so one day we will make the move again – to Brittany where my boyfriend is from or back to Germany where still a lot of friends are.

  39. Mia says...

    Originally from Montenegro but living in Montreal for 2 years now. I’ve considered moving around Europe for work but never thought that I will live in North America. My boyfriend lives here so it was on one of us to go across the ocean. Deciding to move was honestly super easy for me – I love him and I wanted us to be on the same continent, in the same city, in the same house :) Obviously, what is not easy is being far away from my family and friends. But, it’s 2017 and technology helps a lot with not feeling too detached from your loved ones, even when they are on the other part of the world. I think you just need to find a new dinamique for those realtionships- when or how often we talk, what we share etc. Not easy but it’s doable :) And then there’s travel and lots of convincing people to come and visit. For me, every city I lived in is a little bit of a home for me – no matter how long I stayed in or how far away from where I was born. I absolutely love the city I live in but I really hope at some point I will live somewhere else too. Dunno where but somewhere :)

  40. Liz says...

    I love reading all these comments! Cup of Jo – you have amazing readers from around the globe! I was born and raised in Holyoke, Massachusetts (the birthplace of volleyball), and I got my degrees at Westfield State University (half hour from home). I traveled and had fun in my 20s, but I always knew I wanted to live close to my family. I live in Southampton, Mass with my husband, toddler and infant. Although I love where we live, every winter I wish we lived somewhere else!

    • Alyssa says...

      Liz, I’m also a Holyoke, MA native who ended up back in Western Mass.! Always cool to see someone local reading your favorite blog!

  41. I am one of those people that lives in the city where they born, luckily that’s NYC! My husband and I are both from Queens (and met working at the Qns museum) and live in our native borough, which are we are wildly in love with. The food, the diversity, we can’t imagine raising our family anywhere else. Especially with a little one, it’s great to be so close to family (we even live in the same building as my in-laws!). We call our new apartment “our forever home that we’ll die in.”

  42. Ner says...

    I live in Milwaukee, and I love it. Its affordable, pretty walkable and feels like city thats overwhelming. I grew up around here and went to school here so its familiar. My boyfriend lives 250 miles away though and we are trying to figure out how to live together and if one person will move or we will both go somewhere else. He is European so we also think about moving there, especially to avoid the current political situation here. We both have very specific careers so it narrows down where we can go. It’s something I think about constantly!

  43. Late to this and I wonder of anyone lived in Lagos, Nigeria. Lived there for my first 25 years! And then moved to the UK after I got married. I work in London, and my husband works in Coventry, so we literally have to live half way in Milton Keynes – the city with so many roundabouts! We both commute one hour east & west. My colleagues find it strange that I live in MK, but I actually love it. Plus I get a dose of London everyday. Never been to NY, but hopefully this year. I kind of wish I had lived in different places growing up.

    http://www.KacheeTee.com

    • Anjie says...

      Just visited Lagos in Dec 2016. Loved it !!! Lekki market, the lagos motor boat club, the restaurants et al. Especially loved the warmth of the local people. Itching to go back!

  44. Samantha says...

    My friends and I are going through the same thing– I feel you!!!! It’s terrible to go from having once shared a dorm, then shared an apartment, then been within walking distance, … driving distance. My friends are slowly scattering across the midatlantic and away from our college town. I admit I’m the worst offender, Right now I’m between homes. I’m living in corporate housing in Virginia, having just gotten back from a year abroad in Germany and Austria for work. I’ll move at least 2 more times (domestically) in the next year, with no specific dates on either move or how long it will last. Thank goodness for facetime! I’m lucky that I can at least afford to go home for the important moments like weddings and our annual girls weekend. My boyfriend and I are also doing long distance, but we’re pretty committed to seeing each other as often as possible. and plan to move in together once I get to my last move, but It will only get harder as I as my next destination is decidedly Too Far South for this cold weather loving Bostonian. It’s hard to keep friendships and relationships going through distance and time zones.

  45. Caroline says...

    Thank you for this! I was a ride or die NYer until–like the New Yorker Article touched on– I wasn’t. I was tired of the rat race; of finding new roommates, squeezing into packed subway cars, dirty mud puddles. Four years ago, I picked a place on the map and decided to give it a go. I knew no one, and had never even visited until a job interview, but I figured if it doesn’t work out, NYC will still be there waiting for me. I’m still here, in beautiful Austin, Texas, enjoying my house, new husband and 2 dogs, and now get to play host to my wonderful friends from NYC when they need a dose of February sunshine and tacos. If you can swing it, I recommend picking up and trying a new city 100%.

  46. What a great post. And such interesting comments!

    My wife and I currently rv full time in Alberta, Canada (it’s basically the Texas of Canada and more conservative than we prefer), but our jobs pretty much dictate our location throughout each wok season.

    I grew up in a small community just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2002. From 2001 to 2008 I moved almost a dozen times. At about the 1.5 year mark I start to feel restless. Since I’ve always felt semi-nomadic, living in a house on wheels doesn’t seem that far fetched. The “mortgage” is much more managable, and if we don’t like our neighbors – when we finally do settle down in one spot (we’re currently trying to have a baby) we can hitch up and move.

  47. Sarah says...

    I could read these comments all day!
    I grew up in Oregon (Salem and Portland), moved to Connecticut for college to “try out life in another part of the country”, then to Boston after graduation to “try out life in the city”, went back to school for my master’s, met my husband, bought a house in the suburbs, had a baby, etc, etc. I have an amazing career, wonderful friends, in-laws close by, and live in a beautiful town, but I continue to identify as an Oregonian, and refer to Oregon as “home”. The tug on my heartstrings every time I visit, and then have to leave, is REAL. I turned 36 this year, and was shocked and saddened to realize that I’ve now lived half of my life AWAY from the northwest. My husband and I have contemplated moving (to Portland) at various junctures in our lives, but it seems so irrational now that our lives are settled and established here. I’m always interested to hear about families embarking on “big moves”, and how they manage.

  48. e marie says...

    i’m late to this but:
    after a total of ten years on the east coast (the first five years in washington, d.c. and the last five years in new york city-harlem, specifically), i moved back to northern california seven months (where i grew up).

    i now live in small-ish university town in the foothills (population 90K). while it’s not nearly as walkable as new york, i love being closer to family and having such easy access to the great outdoors (camping, hiking, biking, swimming in the creek, etc.). in new york i shared 650 sq ft with my roommate, now i have 1,200 square feet to myself — it’s unreal!

  49. Meghan says...

    I live in Lisbon, Portugal and love it here. If my family and many of my close friends weren’t so far away, I would never leave. I also lived in Spain for 3 years, and I can say that life on the Iberian peninsula is pretty great. Next move is to Denver and I’m pretty nervous about it, mostly because I fear it will feel quite sterile after living in a place like Lisbon, and also because the political situation in the states is just so depressing right now. But, as my husband says, Europe isn’t going anywhere, and we can always come back.

    • Oh, I ‘m originally from Lisbon! So glad you like it there! But after growing up there I just had to leave and explore! I lived in Norway and Japan and now am in London where my son was born. It’s hard to be away from family and friends although it’s also empowering! You feel quite strong to go through being an expat. We have good close friends here and we absolutely love London! But it’s a tough expensive city with kids and now Brexit mades us question if we are staying or not… Decisions, decisions…

  50. Maureen says...

    Hi!

    I’m originally from Santa Barbara, CA, but right now, I live in Mexico City. Santa Barbara is too small for me, and I actually plan on moving up to the Bay Area later this year. I’ve lived in Berkeley (during college), Berlin (amazing), and a semi-rural place in Spain where I taught English (very rainy). I’m a city girl at heart! :)

    ~Maureen

  51. Jiali says...

    Born and grew up in China, I came to study in Bloomington (Indiana) for four years, it was great and I always appreciate the beautiful autumn there. Within the four years, I went back to my hometown (Nanjing) about once a year, spending a hot, rainy, and greeny summer. Last summer, I moved to Minnesota to start my graduate study. The winter in Minnesota is long, but I often had opportunities to view the sunset, and sometimes double rainbows. Within the first half year here, I missed Bloomington a lot and often find myself immerse in melancholy. Now I have gradually realized that I don’t have to completely leave my past behind, I can bring it with me, wherever I will live in the future.

  52. Maria says...

    My husband and I are from the same small town, and he has a large family. I didn’t grow up around my extended family, so the allure was too strong. I’m very happy that when we decide to have children, they will see their grandparents aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. on a weekly basis.
    I live in Louisiana. My husband and I briefly talked about other places to live (other small cities in the South), but decided that family was the most important factor for us. Small town living is definitely underrated on this blog. Also would be nice to see some Southerners represented!

  53. Danielle says...

    I live in Richmond, VA and love it! It’s feels like a big city (museums, festivals, concerts, ma/pa places for shopping and food, shopping), but the cost of living is not bad. I have more friends in DC, but I lived near there before and its too expensive.

    I will be here for awhile at least- I moved here for a job and haven’t regretted it. I am not too far from where I moved from but it is very different (I like the vibes here better-I think medium-sized cities are my calling).

  54. Suzanne says...

    Such interesting comments! We moved to Seattle last summer after 20+ years in Austin and absolutely love it! It’s so beautiful!!! Even in the rain. I had moved to Austin from D.C. for graduate school and never fell in love with it like so many have. I think one reason I stayed longer than I should have was that everyone kept saying it was such a great place, why would you leave. Then I got married, etc, etc, and didn’t leave despite increasingly hating it. I always had a trip planned for my sanity. Now that we’ve moved I don’t feel that need. I even get a little sad at the thought that I might only have 20-30 years to live here! So my unsolicited advice is to move sooner rather than later if a place doesn’t speak to you even if it speaks to others.

    • Tina says...

      I love this comment. I have dreams of moving to Seattle/PNW. I live in Chicago, and my husband is from Atlanta, where his parents still live. Since he doesn’t want to move across the country from his parents, we remain in Chicago. We both love it here, but I feel like Seattle would be a calmer, smaller (but in a good way) experience.

  55. Lani says...

    I moved from the Bay Area to Israel to take a gamble on love! And it worked out beautifully. A few years later and we are now married with an 8 month old. Someday we will move back to the states to settle down, but for now it’s a fun adventure being in a new country and raising the cutest little dual citizen :)

  56. Sasha says...

    I was born in Allentown, PA and moved to NJ for high school after my parents split. I met my now-fiance at the University of Delaware (he, coincidentally, is also from the Allentown area so it feels like we have shared childhoods, despite not knowing each other for the first 20 years of our lives). We moved back to Jersey after college to tread water a bit before I moved us to Miami for graduate school for 4 years. After getting my PhD, I took a postdoc job in Savannah, GA which is where we are currently. My goal is to be a research professor at a university, but it comes with much uncertainty – My family always asks “where I want to work”, but it doesn’t usually turn out like that. Academia picks these things for you – It’s a mix of hard work and luck. I have no idea where my career will take us next, but we’re crossing our fingers for somewhere with mountains and cool weather!

  57. Susannah says...

    I live in Ocala, Florida. It is the town that my husband and I grew up in. We love having family around (my mother-in-law lives two houses down) but I do daydream about what it would be like to move somewhere totally new. I often feel overwhelmed with all my family obligations. My husband who is fourth generation Ocalin works for his father’s company that was started by his great-grandfather. I don’t think we are going anywhere anytime soon.

  58. Cynthia says...

    Love this. Grew up through grad school in the Midwest. Went to southern CA for my first professional job for an adventure (with bf in tow). Followed him to UC Berkeley two years later where we stayed for 14 years. Careers solidified and two boys and a dog in, we left the Bay area after a devastating earthquake and skyrocketing home prices for the Emerald City. Seattle has been home for 25 years. We arrived before it was a thing and have paid off our in-city home with a lush garden which includes multiple dining “rooms” and feels like our own private park. The availability of fresh food and seafood is unparalleled. It was a wonderful place to raise children and while our sons and DILs have chosen more rural lifestyles for their families, they are close enough for regular visits which we love.

  59. Elisabeth says...

    This is a really good point. I was also struck by the idea of choice, but for a slightly different reason. A lot of the voices featured on this site are from individuals who work in creative fields that are not necessarily place-bound. The idea of moving to where I want to live is nice in theory, but I can only do that if I have a job! And those are hard to come by in my field, limiting a lot of my choice.

    • Georgie says...

      Yes! Completely agree, but with one caveat! I work in publishing in the U.K. … it may be a creative industry but unless you’re freelance, there are basically only three places you can work in publishing: London, Oxford and Edinburgh! Edinburgh is too far from my family and I didn’t want to live in London so I moved to Oxford! Although I’m really happy here, my choices were definitely limited…

  60. Katie says...

    I live in my college town. Every year I think, maybe next year I’ll move to the city, but it’s looking more and more like I’m settling here.
    I find old cans of olives or cold medicine in my cabinets that expired years ago, and I go, “How long have I been living here??” This is driving me to make this tiny shared apartment more of the home I want it to be, rather than save empty boxes for a potential move.
    Everyone knows each other in this little town, and the serious dating scene is terrible, but it’s walkable and safe and has so much to offer, and I’m in love with it. For now.

  61. Elisabeth says...

    What a great topic! It would be fun to turn this into a series of some kind! It would be great to hear about when people move and why, what they think about the different places they’ve lived, etc.

    I grew up in southwest Ohio, but have since lived in Louisiana, Morocco, New Hampshire, Oregon, and now Minnesota. All of those moves were job- or school-related and I’m thinking about the possibility of another move to Wisconsin (as I await a potential job offer). This time feels a bit different, though, as I’m married and have a young daughter and so will potentially be a bit more “rooted” in years to come. Unlike previous moves where there was a “term” attached (i.e. graduate school ends after so many years), I’m currently applying for faculty positions which could continue indefinitely! Plus my husband is a veterinarian, so it makes sense for his career to stay put long term. This move would also mean transitioning from a fairly largish Midwestern city to a much more rural/small town environment. I’m not sure how I feel about all of that, but it’s refreshing to hear about how other people navigate similar experiences.

  62. heidi says...

    I am originally from North Smithfield, Rhode Island. I moved to NYC 3 years ago for a job. I love it here! I would love to stay in the city forever. But I also don’t want to be too far away from my family. I am constantly thinking about where my next move will be.

  63. What a great post!!

    My husband and I (and our two babies! We now have three!) moved from Arizona to North Carolina 2 1/2 years ago. It wasn’t for a job or for family – it was just something we wanted to do.

    And it was the best decision ever.

    We are so happy here. We love North Carolina, our neighborhood, the schools, the community vibe, the trees, the seasons and more. I’m certain this will be our home forever, and it’s so nice to feel so settled!!

    Once you find “your place,” you’ll just know :)

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  64. Erin says...

    I moved to Dallas a little over 2 years ago after growing up in a little town on the outskirts of Memphis, TN. I went to school at Ole Miss (a whole 60 miles away), just like the rest of my family, just like I always knew I would. I grew up in the same house in the same small town my entire life. Then, my sophomore year of college, my parents split. My mom wound up in Austin, TX and my dad Jacksonville, FL. My sister and her husband were moving from Tampa to Dallas and after I graduated, I decided to give Texas a try. Let me tell you…. I HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK!!! I miss home, but luckily I long for a home that isn’t even there anymore. My immediate family is gone, and that really made me embrace the culture shock. Everything is better here. The economy and roadways, the shopping and restaurants, the people, the opportunities – everything is definitely bigger in Texas! If I go anywhere else, it’ll be Austin. Such a great and lively city! And as close to California as I can get!

  65. Emma says...

    We live in Santa Barbara, which I NEVER thought would happen when I moved here for graduate school (who can afford to live in paradise?!). It was supposed to be a nice break from winters (which I really needed after 4 years of undergrad in upstate NY), before moving back to the East Coast to be closer to my family. But then I met my husband, and his job/field is really CA-centric (and makes WAY more than I could ever dream of making as a prof). As I got farther into my PhD, I realized that we had an amazing life here with amazing friends (and the weather!) — I decided the small chance of being faculty somewhere wasn’t worth uprooting our life here for. So we managed to buy a house, I graduated and got a job that I’m really happy with working in Student Affairs at the same university where I got my PhD, and now we’re expecting a baby! Even though it’s hard being across the country from my parents and extended family, now we can’t imagine living anywhere else.

    • Christina says...

      I also went to grad school (and undergrad) at UCSB and totally agree with you on how hard it is to leave paradise once you’re here. Congratulations on buying a house (not an easy feat here) and your pregnancy!! Side note, my good friend also works at UCSB but I think it’s in something to do with grants or university funding- her name is Jenna :)

  66. Claire says...

    I love all these comments! (And great post, Megan!) As for everyone commenting – how in the world did you find jobs when you moved abroad? Did you just move without a plan, or did you get a job before hand? What was it like? I would love to live abroad but, as a mid-twenties liberal arts degree-holding not so special person, I’m not sure how to market myself and DEFINITELY not sure how to find those jobs. What industries are you in? How did you convince your significant other to join? How did your significant other find the job process?

    • We moved to England in 2015 because my husband’s company (previously based in D.C.) had a position open up here. We’d been looking for that opportunity for a while, so when it came, we jumped on it. I work as a Communications Director for a non-profit, so I can work from anywhere. If you have a liberal arts degree, you could try looking for a job in the U.S. that allows you to work from home (like my job does), and then home can be anywhere! You do need to look into visa requirements though – since my husband is on a contract, we are here under his visa.

  67. Oh what a fun thing to think about, moving! I love change and new places and discovering the good.

    Where do you live? I live outside Salt Lake City, Utah.

    I’d love to know how you ended up there. Well, I’ve tried to leave several times and feel like I get sucked back often against my will. I went to law school here, got a job in Seattle and said sayonara Utah and thought I’d never ever be back to this backwards, much more conservative place than I’m comfortable with. And then the job I had didn’t pan out because the director embezzled funds, and I realized that though Seattle was beautiful and fun and invigorating, unless I was willing to sell body parts or marry rich I’d never be able to buy a home, or even a car, or adopt a child, or get a dog even – it was SO expensive. Plus, I again realized how colloquial my law school was/is despite its claim to international recognition and prominence. sigh. AND it was maybe a little more liberal than I was comfortable with, and the homeless people dogged my every foot step. So I moved back to Utah and got a job as corporate counsel and then a children’s attorney and I bought a house and had a child, bought a car and got a dog…and then the economy hit the skids and I was out of my job and had to sell my home and my rescued dog had to be put to sleep and I felt guilty raising my child without family around so…I moved back East (Atlanta) and quite quickly I recalled WHY I don’t live near my family. And my child was NOT better off being around them. And we came back AGAIN (for me) to Utah because we had friends who were better than family who loved my son. I am still planning my last and final escape to an ocean front view because HELLO landlocked here! Are you in your hometown – No that would be Philadelphia, PA.
    Where you went to college – No that would be Western PA which was like a different world, to me, than south eastern PA.

    totally new place – yes.

    Did your job dictate your location? See above.

    Did you move for love? No, I don’t think I’d ever do that, well, love of ocean.

    Do you think you’ll move again? Yes, definitely. I also wouldn’t mind a couple years in Europe or even traveling in an RV.

    Do you like it there? sometimes. I like our friends. I like we know and interact with people of all different backgrounds and life style choices. I like that my son’s school has diversity. I like that when it snows it rarely ices over and I like the low humidity in the summer. I like that there are quite a few family friendly activities to do. I like that we can have a dog and cat in an apt. I like my son’s dentist and doctor. I don’t like the rabid conservatism, that many of the kids my son knows are part of the LDS religion but not.very.nice or inclusive of everyone. I don’t like that there is quite a bit of prejudice by law enforcement toward people of color (I volunteered for years with the local one and its rampant). I really REALLY dislike the nasty passive aggressiveness that most people raised here engage in that makes them act nice when they really aren’t. I don’t like that my say what you mean, mean what you say east coast personality is seen and treated as a character flaw. I don’t like the blatant sex discrimination and harassment I’ve experienced in the work place and in job interviews exists. I don’t like being land locked and afraid to eat seafood knowing its not fresh.

  68. I grew up on Michigan and then went to college in Pittsburgh. I got a job offer in Boise, Idaho after college so I lived there for two years. Then I followed my boyfriend to Oregon where I lived a year until that relationship ended. I didn’t know where to go from there but my parents had recently retired to Charleston, South Carolina so I just packed up and moved to the South. There, I met my husband and we lived happily there for several years before relocating for my job to Atlanta, Georgia. After so much moving around, I (along with my husband) am finally getting ready to buy a house in Atlanta to put down roots. It feels SO strange to be committing to a place long term!

  69. sasha says...

    We moved to Toronto from New York City in 2011. It was both a happy and a sad transition for us. It felt sad to give up pursuing a more comfortable life in NYC, but it was so exciting to be closer to family and have more creature comforts in Canada. It’s hard not to live in New York City, but I can’t imagine making it work with kids… so very cliche. For now, I just enjoy visiting and spending time with the few great friends who still live in the city.

  70. Haeli Kim Shu says...

    I was born in Seoul, S. Korea but immigrated to the US when I was 5. I grew up in San Diego, when to university and grad school in LA, and now live in Shanghai with my Taiwanese-American husband and our 3 American-Korean-Taiwanese-Shanghainese kids. It took me about a year to warm up to Shanghai, but we’re loving the family we’ve created here with multi-cultural friends, and the fact that traveling in Asia and Southeast Asia so so easy. We’ve been in Shanghai for 7 years now, and as we’re staring down at 1 but soon-to-be 3 international school tuition rates, we’d love to go back to the US in a few years. However, with the cost of child care and the precarious political climate in the US, Shanghai is looking pretty good for the next, oh…4 years? Regardless, we’re loving that our kids are trilingual from birth.

  71. Not to sound incredibly cheesy, but I’ve found that hands down, “it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with that truly matters.” I have lived in a few places throughout the US and France, and the places I was happiest were always where I’m closest to people I love. So while it sounds amazing in theory to pack up and move to Rome or Bali or what have you, I don’t want to be far from the vast majority of the people I love ever again, which means staying around New Jersey. Fortunately for us, there are cities nearby so work won’t be an issue :)

    What WILL be an issue is an eventual commute; I don’t want to be one of those people commuting 2+ hours per day. But I also don’t want to live in city forever. I need a backyard and a tree. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  72. Rebecca says...

    I’m originally from the UK but went to Kuwait 30 years ago to visit a friend and met my husband and have lived here ever since!
    However as Kuwait is such a tiny country we travel as much as possible and have been pretty much all over the world over the years.

  73. I’ve lived in DC for 4.5 years, and last summer almost all of my friends moved away. I was ready to pack up too, but then I started dating a really wonderful man, so I’m happy to stick around a little longer to give it a chance to blossom. But, I really want to move back to Colorado, where my parents live, or to Kansas City, where I went to college. And where rent is less than half of what DC is. Am I the only one who lives on a coast and fantasizes about the Midwest?

    • Kris says...

      Totally in the same boat! This area is so transient and I’m just tired of trying to make new friends regularly! We’d love to move somewhere else with far fewer people, less traffic, etc. but it seems harder the longer we’re here!

  74. Maire says...

    I have never lived anywhere but the state of Indiana, minus a six month stint in Cork, Ireland in college (which I adored) and a summer in Sacramento, CA in high school (which I also loved). I grew up in a small farming community in Northwest Indiana, and then moved to Indianapolis for college. I always thought when I was in college that I would leave and go to a new state for grad school, but I got an offer I could not refuse and remained in Indy. Now I have been working the same job for six years, met my husband and we own a home here. My parents have moved here, most of my college friends have stayed, and I am close with many of my co-workers and involved in the community. We have had some very good friends move to the West Coast (Seattle, specifically) and to DC recently, which makes me very sad, but the lifestyle and cost of living here in IND cannot be beat. We have great neighborhoods, a cool food and drink scene and many ways to get involved in serving your neighbors. Also, I have only a 15 minute drive to work. The lifestyle here in many ways cannot be beat. Now, if only we were not a small blue outpost in one of the reddest states in the union. Please, fellow Democrats, come back to middle America and let’s shake things up! Midwest is best! :)

    • Court says...

      Which high school did you go to?? I went to CBHS

    • Maire says...

      Court, I went to KVHS. Go Kougars ;)

  75. Molly says...

    My husband and I have moved 6 times in the last 10 years. Some moves were good fits, and some felt all wrong. As my husband is more established in his career, we move for opportunities for him. And honestly, for most of the past 10 years, I’ve resented the hell out of this. But, I finally realized that I can be a little selfish–and figure out ways for each move to benefit me too.

    My family and friends still live in the town where I grew up–no one ever moves. So I’ve always been a little obsessed with knowing “where we’ll end up.” Recently I was listening to Tim Ferris interview Debbie Millman on his podcast, and she shared the “Ten-Year Plan for a Remarkable Life” journal exercise she developed. Basically, you write (in as much detail as possible) what your life looks like in 10 years (where you live, what you do, what you eat for breakfast, etc.). And it turns out, I can write about everything except what actual town or city we live in. And–finally, finally–I’m okay with that. Maybe even excited about it! :)

  76. I’m in a weird situation. I met my fiancé in Los Angeles in 2010. Right before our 7th anniversary we decided to move together as he opened bars around the country. Not many places were settled on yet, but we knew Austin, Texas was first. So as he spent time on and off again in Austin, I started to pack up our little one bedroom apartment and on January 1, 2017 we started our drive over (We also got engaged that day!!). So, we are here are in Austin, till around Augustish. Now, I’ve found out Denver, Colorado is next, this time for a year (I arrived here in Austin, halfway thru the building). Then who knows where next. We’ve heard, Nashville, Chicago, DC, maybe Portland or Seattle. We don’t have any children yet so it felt like the right adventure to go on. My job lets me work wherever and I’ve never had issues with change. I’ve actually never lived anywhere longer than 7 years. But when we settle, who knows when (we’ve talked about even starting a family during all these fun moves), I’d like somewhere green. Somewhere our kids can run the neighborhood and I won’t be too concerned about them. But for now, I’m just soaking in each city as we go.

    Heres our engagement story, and the beginning of our road trip!
    https://teasersandrye.com/2017/01/24/leave-los-angeles-get-engaged-drive-to-austin/

  77. Melissa omahony says...

    I was born and raised in San Francisco. I have a love/hate relationship with the city. As a teacher & my husband as a freelance artist, it’s way too expensive (luckily we have rent control). My closest friends that I grew up with and my family all live here (no one has moved, yet) and now we’re all having children, so we’re definitely not leaving. I’d love a big house with a yard, but I’ll make our tiny one bedroom with my toddler (maybe one more kid one day??) work as long as I have my family and friends nearby. Of course, San Francisco is amazing and beautiful!!! I feel lucky to have grown up here and still be able to make it work. I hope that doesn’t change.

  78. Hannah says...

    I’m from Portland, Ore. originally (before it became a hot bed destination, apparently!) and moved to NYC six years ago for an internship. I never thought I would live in NYC or even wanted to! Six years later, I’m still here as the opportunities keep coming. I do want to move back to Portland at some point in the next few years to be closer to family and the outdoors but I did just take a brand new job that I love and it probably will be awhile until that happens!

  79. My husband, my 4 kids, and I moved from the D.C. suburbs to the English countryside 18 months ago for my husband’s job. We LOVE it here. We’re here for another 18 months, then we’re heading to Boston. I’ll be sad to leave England, but grew up in Boston and can’t wait to move “home”!

  80. I currently live in Helsinki, Finland. I’m from Finland but my family moved to Iowa when I was 6 and from there we moved to Shanghai when I was 13. Then I left Shanghai to go to college in New York. I ended up scoring my dream job there, but then one year into it I didn’t get my working visa and was forced to find some other country to go to. Europe was open to me, being an EU citizen, and there would have been vast job opportunities all around (I work in design and advertising) but I actually wound up back in Finland for the first time since I was 6. It wasn’t the easiest transition considering I was a Finnish person speaking reasonable Finnish (with an American accent and a jumble of English words mixed in) but then I knew none of the pop culture here and barely knew how to swear. People never knew what language to speak to me in! The first year I missed New York like crazy and was even thinking of trying to come back, but now I love living here and have learned to see the many positive parts of living in Finland: less stress, shorter work days, more or less 5 weeks of vacation a year, etc. I think I could stay here for a while since Finland is especially good for having kids a little bit later down the line, but maybe at some point I would like to move somewhere else in Europe. Top contenders are Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam.

  81. Wow, love how many comments this has generated! Hi everyone and greetings from Brighton, England. I grew up a London girl, but moved to the seaside with my now-husband after university, pretty much on a whim after a fun New Year’s night out and have been here every since. London isn’t far away if I’m in the mood for a culture fix, but it’s also nice to get off the train after a day out and smell the fresh sea air. I have the best of both worlds. I always wonder about upping sticks again on a whim… but now I have a boring old mortgage, this seems harder for some reason!

  82. Patti says...

    This is a big topic! I’ve lived in northern Indiana, Lafayette Indiana, Chicago (for 11 years-ish), back to Lafayette for a guy (turned into my husband) and when he finally graduated college at the age of 34 we had to make a decision…where to live. We were married in Portland, OR (my birth town) and loved it as well as the surrounding areas and knew we would be content living out there or in the Seattle area. But whoa the cost. We lived a pretty nice life in Indiana and wouldn’t make much more moving out west.
    Ultimately, it came down to our desire to own a home, afford to travel and in general lead a less financially stressful life. We wound up moving to South Bend, IN – my home town – and buying 3 houses (we’re landlords now!) and we know that in a few years we will be sitting pretty and can save up for either our dream home or to move somewhere else. We can have a child without worrying and my parents are a few blocks away. It wasn’t the ideal move, but it’s been pretty great. We’re carving our our niche in this city that is once again thriving and plan to design the lives we truly want to live here, which we could never have done in a more expensive city.
    Best of luck! What an exciting topic to have at the back of your mind.

  83. Alice says...

    Came back for more comments – love them! What an amazingly interesting and diverse readership you have, COJ!

  84. I live in Paris, France !

    I’m from Western France. Both my parents come from Brittany but I was born and raised in Rouen (hated it!). I moved to Paris just after high school, 8 years ago. Since then, I’ve studied / interned here, in Nantes (Western France), in Germany and then Canada. Living on Vancouver Island was absolutely amazing … the mountains, the sea, the people. I really loved it but I moved back to Paris when school ended. Took me about a year to reacclimate and fall in love with the city again … And I now have the choice to either stay here or move back to Canada (I have a Working Holiday Visa that starts next June). I’m at a total loss right now. It took me so long to get used to Paris again, and it *is* such a beautiful city with a cultural life that can’t be beat. I love that I know it so well, that I live in a great neighborhood that I have my spots, that people know my name. Plus, virtually all my friends live here and my family is a close train ride away.
    But it is also so far from the mountains and the beach … I miss the ocean, I miss the hikes, and I miss the chill, laid-back vide Canada had.
    Sigh.
    I don’t know what to do !

    • Dani says...

      Sophie, were you living in Victoria? I just moved over here from Vancouver last year and loving the low-key vibe compared to the bustling city. You have a new friend here if you ever come back to our oceans and mountains :) …or maybe a house exchange contact a la The Holiday?!

  85. Mara says...

    I grew up in Northern Virginia, went to Ohio for college, then moved back to the DC area to work. I met my now husband, who’s from the area as well. I have always loved to travel, especially to Europe, and enjoy being immersed in other cultures. Now I’m 34 and daydream constantly about moving my Montreal — which to me would give us that European feel (we speak some French too!) but is close enough to jump in the car and drive home if need be. To me, perfect. But my husband is quite grounded in the DC area. ;-) Maybe someday I can convince him. I would love to hear from anyone who made the move to Montreal!

    • Carrington says...

      We lived in Montreal for almost three years and absolutely loved it. The food is amazing and when winter is tough – hop in your car to the spa Balnea in Bromont!

    • Moved to Montreal from Boston almost two years ago :) BUT – I’m Canadian by birth. The immigration headaches are real, especially when moving to Quebec, which has its own set of criteria and hoops to jump through separate from the federal process. We’ve been working on my husband’s permanent residency since we got here, and he’s still most likely 2-4 years out, despite being married to a citizen. The predominance of French also makes job hunting really tricky. Not to rain on your parade!! Montreal is amazing and we love the city and so much about life here (omg, social services. A year of paid maternity leave and subsidized daycare – we’re in the babymaking years so this is huuuuge for us). But it’s super important to do all the research you can about the challenges to settling here, so you don’t end up blindsided when you get here.

      But, after you do your research, come on up! It’s wonderful here! Just get yourself a really good parka and a pair of cross country skis :)

  86. Brittany says...

    My husband and I (high school sweethearts) had always said we wanted to live abroad and travel as much as possible while we are young. After 24 years in small town Kansas (and finishing our degrees), we took the leap and started applying to all sorts of places. We settled on Turkey because we liked the school that offered us both jobs and the fact that it was right in the middle of both Europe and Asia. We’ve been living near Istanbul for the past two years and have now traveled to 20 countries. While living abroad comes with all sorts of challenges, we love it. We plan to stay here for a couple more years. After that, who knows? Now that I know that we can handle expat life, I’m not too worried about settling down or where we end up.

  87. My parents are German and we lived there till I was 9. My dad is a civil engineer and we moved to Nigeria for a job. When I was 11 we lived in Saudi Arabia for a year, then in Ghana until I graduated high school. I went to chef school in Paris, then college in Montreal and now I’ve been in New York for 17 years. Moving around can be daunting but I absolutely believe that if everyone did it, the world would be a much more tolerant place. It’s so important to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people/see new places. I love New York but I am definitely ready to experience another part of the world.

  88. Maija says...

    I live just south of Stockholm, Sweden and this is pretty much where I’ve grown up. My parents live north of the city, about 25 miles from where I currently live. The housing situation in Stockholm is insane and rentals are ridiculously expensive and hard to come by. Because of that I’ve moved a lot. My feelings for Stockholm go up and down. When I was sick of it all I quit my job and moved to Berlin for 3 months, which was amazing. That was 3 years ago now and I’m starting to itch for a change again. Me and my best friend are planning a trip this summer, somewhere outside of Europe and I’m aching for it. I’m ready to see something new.

  89. Julia says...

    Im originally from Vienna, Austria. But I moved to Berlin, Germany 7 years ago almost immediately after finishing my studies. I felt like changing something up, living in a bigger, more bustling city. So I just packed a rented car full of my stuff and left. At the beginning, finding a job and a permanent place to live was quite tough. But I have never regretted it.

  90. Nadja says...

    I grew up in a tiny coastal town in Connecticut (REALLY tiny; population 1,500) and there’s never been a doubt in my mind that it’s the perfect place for me. I can understand some people’s love for adventure, but for me the greatest thing is the strong sense of belonging I get every day from living in a town I know so thoroughly.

    But when it came time for me to go to college, I decided to go halfway across the country, to Dallas. My friends and family were shocked! I explained to them that even though I was lucky enough to already know my “place,” I still didn’t want my life to feel narrow. I know that I’ll go back home, or someplace close by, when I graduate, but for now I’m treating this time as a four-year study abroad! If anything, it’s deepened my love of my hometown and opened my eyes to how truly special it is.

  91. We live in Delaware mainly because my hubs was stationed here with the military. But our newest passion is travel with the hopes of traveling/living abroad sometime after 2020. We are working on making bucket lists and deciding where to travel in America for the next 3 years. But if I had my choice today I would move to France. Not sure why t just feels right.
    Thanks for the great article and lots of food for thought.

  92. Kelly says...

    I’m going to recommend Austin to Rob and Sharon. It’s a great city for work-life balance, and families with kids have an easygoing lifestyle and a lot of space here. It would be easy to find a place that feels like a palace here for the same money. My bedroom is the size of my entire NYC apartment!

    Moving to Texas can be daunting in this political climate. But, as I’m reminded again and again, Austin is not Texas! I visit NYC every December, and am constantly glad I decided to settle here. NYC Kelly was driven, even neurotic, and always hustling. Austin Kelly curses more worries less, and gets to spend a larger percentage of her day petting dogs. Most offices are even dog friendly! I love it here, and I wish more people would see it as a city beyond festivals and music. I’m here for tech jobs, walkability, and good, affordable food. The craft beer scene isn’t bad either.

    All the best,
    Kelly

  93. Angela says...

    I am from New Albany, Indiana, which is a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. I had lived in the same house my entire life, so when the opportunity for college arose, I moved to East Texas. It seemed about as far away as I could get without leaving the country and it was definitely warmer.

    I met and married my husband in college. He was a year ahead of me and had a job in Fort Worth already, so when we married, I moved there with him.

    Now I am torn between ADORING Fort Worth (seriously, this place is great) and not loving Texas on the whole. I go through phases of wanting to live nearer my family, wanting to live abroad, or wanting to live basically anywhere outside of Texas, but I know it is unlikely we will ever live anywhere else. This area is a hub for the aerospace industry, which will keep my husband here. I can do my job anywhere, so I guess I’ll just keep learning to love Texas. 😉

  94. I grew up outside NYC, went to school in NYC and was working and living in NYC when I met a lobsterman from Maine. Now I live on an island off the coast and haven’t looked back!!!

  95. Karen says...

    I grew up in San Diego, and moved to Boston for college. Boston won my heart, and I remained there for eleven years total. My dad was a successful small business owner back in San Diego, and at age 29 he offered to sell me the business. On my 30th birthday, my car was packed and a friend and I were driving to San Diego.

    The move was SO difficult, it took me years not to well up with tears when I saw a MA licence plate. It’s now been – WOW, ten year this summer (I just realized!), and I’m married with two kids, I run the business (which is more successful than it’s ever been), we have a huge vintage house we’re renovating, and I’m definitely “here”.

    I still miss Boston more than anything, and I dream of owning a house out there some day (too bad the flight is brutal, no weekend getaways for us!). If I could choose anywhere to live, snap of the fingers and my entire family would be there too, it would for certain be New England.

    San Diego is gorgeous, but I always felt Boston “matched me” better.

  96. DineA says...

    I was born in Mauritius. I lived in Australia for 4 years, then when I got married moved to Bahrain (4 years), then to Tunisia (2 years) and we’ve been living in Ivory Coast for three years now.

  97. Meg says...

    My family moved 6 times from the time I was born to the time I was a senior in high school. It was for my dad’s job (he’s a pastor…yes, they move a lot!). Since then, my parents haven’t moved again, but my sisters and I have all moved 2 or 3 times. I currently live in a West Texas town (closest family is 6 hours away…yet still in Texas. It’s a big place). I don’t see myself staying here once this school year is over (I’m a teacher). I have a bit of a restlessness about me, due largely to moving so much as a kid. I’d love to live abroad. I’m in my late 20s and single, so I can pretty much do what I want. The older I get though, the more I wish my entire family lived on the same street, or at least less than 2 hours from each other!

  98. Margarita says...

    :) I grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. Moved to Munich when I turned 21, moved to a small Bavarian City for School, moved back to Munich, and the to Frankfurt for my first job. I married my husband and we moved to Pheonix, AZ with our 2 Kids, then Ages 2 years and 8 months. We have been back in Germany (Frankfurt) for the last 4 years, but even if I LOVE this City it does not feel like the place I am going to grow old. And it is bittersweet… But also has made for fascinating live experiences for all of us, and I wouldn´t miss it!

  99. Kirsten says...

    I grew up in Northern VA and went to college in NC. Then I moved right back to the DC area after graduating and worked there for a few years before I met my now-husband. He is a US Diplomat from WI and we got married so that I could easily travel abroad with him. Luckily, I’m a teacher so my career transports fairly well. We’ve lived in Abu Dhabi, UAE and are now in Kathmandu, Nepal. I love living overseas and experiencing other parts of the world for a few years at a time. The nice thing is that in between posts we often go back to DC, so I can feel like I’m back at “home” for a while.

  100. Amanda says...

    My husband and I are both in biomedical research, and after finishing grad school we essentially had the option to move anywhere to do the next few years of our training. I found a great lab in the Netherlands, and off we went! We’re both from the Midwest, so we’re quite alien to our European friends who are more used to meeting Americans from one of the coasts. :) Like you, we have no idea where we’ll be in 2 years.

  101. We’re both British (Cornwall and Suffolk) and now live in the south of France with our two French-born young children. We both work from home so can work anywhere (I’m a journalist and my husband’s a composer) and this seemed like the best balance of lovely weather, security, house prices, easy flights back home and a bit of adventure!
    It’s not paradise all the time – I really, REALLY miss my mum, especially since having my babies – but it’s pretty close.

  102. m_A says...

    What a timely post! Last night my husband and I decided to accept his offer of admission to UC Berkeley. This summer we will be moving from Germany, where we have been for the past three years, to the East Bay area. I have loved our time in Germany, and am glad we will be moving to the Bay area with it’s vibrant farmers markets, walkability, and excellent public transit. All of the above will make the transition from Europe back the States much easier. Things in the states I’m looking forward to include online bill payment, and pay at the pump gas!!

  103. Elise says...

    I live in Zurich, in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. I grew up in a tiny town in the French-speaking part, moved abroad (NYC, Berlin, Vancouver) for different durations(3-9 months), and finally moved to Zurich for love. Stayed even after love didn’t work out. I would love to spend some time abroad again, but this time as a couple or a family. Yet, Tthe older I become, the closer to family I want to be. Nature has gotten more important after a very urban 20s.

  104. Laura says...

    I lived in DC for 16 years until a month ago. I had always thought the city changed my personality to being one that was more anxious, serious, and stand-offish, although I love all that DC has to offer (culture, diversity, restaurants, careers). My husband and I relocated to Ann Arbor, MI in search of a slower pace, friendly people, and just a means to “shake up life.” I LOVE it so far – I feel safe, more relaxed, and calmer. Could be my honeymoon phase, but I’m hopeful this city is truly more home.

  105. Rue says...

    Also a professor, so very little say on where I ended up. I got a job this fall and moved from the rural Midwest to a small city in the mountains in the Carolinas. In many ways I can’t believe my luck! I actually miss cold winters though (I’m originally from NY), and if I could live anywhere in the US I’d chose Maine, Montana, Colorado, or northern New Mexico. Or NY if I decide to solo parent one day, so I can be closer to family. I also fiercely love Texas, but again, no cold weather, it just bums me out.

    I’ve lived in many parts of the country, usually without much say because of my job, and as cheesy as it sounds, I really identify with that this Etsy art phrase I saw once, “I’ve left my heart in so many places.” I relish the process of getting to deeply know places, from Washington to Texas to Massachusetts. Some of those moves were very difficult at first, but each place I’ve lived has made me a better human.

  106. Hilary says...

    From Adelaide, Australia and am back living here after a brief stint in the UK! Would love to live anywhere in the world in the future, especially the USA, but it is near impossible to get visas etc. for there. Oh well, Canada and the UK will have to do for me!

    I do feel as if Adelaide is the place I will always go back to, it is quiet and peaceful (aka. boring) but the perfect place to grow up (good schools, clean air, safe neighbourhoods) and is almost always on top of the best places to live in australia lists!

  107. Calliope says...

    I’ve lived in Greece my whole life. I was born in a beautiful beautiful island town, Chania in Crete. Then I moved to an even more beautiful big city, Thessaloniki, for university and work. I lived there for 8 glorious years. And then I moved to the south of Greece in Kalamata, a coastal town that never felt like home. There are many things that hold us here (house,jobs,school) but I would move in a heartbeat! In the meantime we travel A LOT!

    • Meghan says...

      I’m from Toronto, Canada and lived in Germany last year. While I was there, I vacationed in Chania for two weeks and FELL IN LOVE with Crete. What a beautiful island to grow up on!!

  108. Ilse says...

    I’m from The Netherlands, so all the distances are so much smaller! I grew up in a small town near the coast and am now still living in my collegetown (Utrecht) in the middle of the country (1 hr from the coast). I met my husband in this town and we stayed because it is so centrally located, and makes it easy for us to travel to our jobs. Right now we are trying to decide where to live next, perhaps abroad for a while (Italy). ..

  109. Vicky says...

    Have Lived: New Zealand, Hawaii, Melbourne (Australia)
    Currently Live: Brisbane (Australia). My family and I moved here last year so my husband could study a PhD. We will be here for at least two more years, and then who knows?

    • Helen says...

      Hi Vicky

      Which has been your favourite place to live in?

  110. Lamah says...

    I live in Cairo, Egypt. I have lived here since I was 7 years old. I moved across the city to a different neighborhood when I got married. I like my neighborhood and wouldn’t really change it for a job (unless it’s the best ever), I changed my job once mainly because they moved the place further away from my home. I think I’ll live most of my life here, maybe once in a while move abroad for short stays (2 years or something) and come back. I love the people here, the sun :), and the excitement.

  111. I grew up in the UK and through my uni courses ended up doing study abroad placements in Germany and Belgium. But in Belgium I met my boyfriend, and after another year there migrated back to Germany where we are now! No idea where we’re going to end up, but I’ll be here at least until I get my degree (one of the casualties of deciding to uproot for love halfway through!) in a sleepy- yet beautiful- town which is now home.
    It’s all an adventure, and I love uprooting every few years or so, but my boyfriend I think, in the end, will look for something more permanent. Guess I’ll just have to become a diplomat!

    • Rebecca says...

      Hi Lara,

      Would you mind sharing where you live in Germany and how you find it? I’m Australian and live in Australia right now with my German boyfriend. We are going to move to Germany at the end of this year, but haven’t landed on which city or town (tiny, insignificant detail).

  112. Amélie says...

    I grew up in Torrance, a suburb of Los Angeles, but I fell in love with Paris when I was a kid. So when I was about 25 I made the jump and moved. I met my French husband here and now we have two babies (2 and 4 months). We purchased our first apartment last year. Since I was pregnant again we thought about leaving for more space but in the end we just couldn’t do it. There’s something magic about living in a city even if, a lot of the time, I feel like we don’t take enough advantage of what’s on offer since we have two young infants in tow. It’s a lot of “metro, boulot, dodo” (transit, work, sleep) as the French would say. So our children share a room, we all share a bathroom and we walk 15 minutes to go to the park anytime we want to be outside but there’s still a feeling of being at the center of things that I wouldn’t get if I lived anywhere else. And in the end I just love this city, the same way you do a person. Is it perfect? No. But it’s mine and it’s where I know I belong.

  113. Kate says...

    I grew up in the Cork in the south of Ireland and met my husband there. After college, we moved to Toronto, then back to Cork, then to Dublin and then a job opportunity for my husband brought us to Sheffield in the UK .

    We have no connection beforehand with Sheffield and knew very little about it before we moved. We have been here three years now, settled in well and have really enjoyed the Peak District in particular but it’s just not home and we both miss the sea A LOT. With a toddler and another baby on the way we had been thinking about moving back to Ireland and then my husband landed a great job in Cork. We want to live there again so our children can grow up knowing their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and we can have a bit of support. Most of our good friends have never left Cork so we have a great network already set up there. I am excited to move back and see what Cork is like as an adult living there (as opposed to living with my parents). I definitely think moving away has been good for us both, it’s important to see some of the world and other cultures and how they do things (even if only British vs Irish). It has also made us appreciate Cork and all it has to offer.

    One place I’ve always wanted to live is Australia, we are both very outdoorsy people who love the water and I feel like a few years over there living the beach lifestyle would be amazing. It may be that the opportunity has passed us by but it’s definitely always in the back of my mind. For us now though, with ageing parents and small children, moving back to where we are from makes most sense.

    • Penny says...

      Up the rebels! Myself and my husband are trying to orchestrate a move back at the moment, this gives me hope that it’s possible. All the best for the move back!

  114. Nina says...

    This is very timely for me, as i am about to move from a small town in New Zealand to our capital, Wellington. I am in my early thirties and I felt like – if I did not make this move now – I might never move. I will be leaving my parents and other family members behind, which is tough because I see them everyday and I own a house with my sister. I am terrified about the move because I hate change and I have had to force myself to apply for a job elsewhere and relocate.

  115. Laura-harrogate says...

    I grew up in Brisbane, Australia. When I was 18, I lived in the French Alps for 6 months following a personal tragedy. Not being in Brisbane was completely cathartic. And of course, I got the travel bug.

    A few years later, I lived in London for 8 years, met my Brit hubby, knocked him over the head and dragged him back to Brisbane to live. Living back home, I came to quickly realise that although home is home, it’s too hot and muggy for me in Brisbane anymore (and hubby was melting before my eyes). So, when my baby was a month old, I applied for a job back in the north of england where hubby is from and where his family is.

    A couple of phone interviews later, I got the job and hubby and I went through the throes of relocating to the other side of the world with a 6 month old baby. Although not recommended (I aged a decade with that move – sooooo stressful), I’m glad we had the courage to give living in Yorkshire a go. It’s beautiful here, so much to do, we get to hang out with hubby’s family more regularly than ever before (although not TOO regularly ;) and we’re all largely happy with the average temperature. And when we get tired of the cold, we can pop over to sunnier climes in Europe for the weekend, and we go back to Brisbane ever 14 months for a visit, where it’s guaranteed heat most of the year.

    We’ll live back in Australia (though likely Melbourne) again one day, but for now, home is Yorkshire and that is fine with me, although I do dearly miss my family and friends and the support network.

  116. Lea says...

    I’m from Denmark and I’ve never really given these things too much consideration. Perhaps it’s because Denmark is a very small country, so there’s a limit to how far you can move within the borders of the country.

    However we did make a big decision last year: We took the big leap and moved to Norway, chasing my boyfriends’ long-time dream of achieving a career in sports. It felt so crazy and at the same time liberating to move away from everything (and everyone!) we knew and loved – and our daughter was only two years at the time. It was by far the most exciting experience of our lives and I really wish we could’ve stayed for a couple of years at least. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out for us, so we ended up back in Denmark efter only a year abroad.

    We now have my mother-in-law as our nextdoor neighbor, which have turned out to be an even bigger transition than moving abroad. Our daughter loves visiting her grandmother every single day efter pre-school, but we still haven’t gotten used to looking out our living room window and seeing my in-laws waving at us every single morning and evening. We do however feel blessed having family that loves us near by, and even though we won’t be living here forever, we try to appreciate our circumstances as they are right now – not pondering where we’ll be i six month or three years :)

  117. I grew up in a small village near a small town in Romania. I first moved when I was 14 to that town, then left for the University to the second biggest town of the country and after that went to the capital(Bucharest) hoping to get a better job there. From there I moved to Hungary, again the capital city(Budapest). I moved there because my boyfriend did his doctorate there, so it means I moved for love… I ended up with a different guy at the end and when I got pregnant, we decided to move to a small village-like town on the lake of Balaton. It is more of a vacation place, but we wanted peace and a green life. We unfortunately, had to move from there as my husband got a job in Austria, but that did not last long and we moved to a small town in the other side of Hungary. We still did not find the place to call “home”. I believe sometimes life dictates the places and we finally name it home. If a person lived in too many places, especially if he/she lived in different countries, it is harder to actually settle down. There is a study, that says, people who grew up in smaller towns or on the countryside tend to get back to that kind of lifestyle after a while, mostly when they get to have kids. And people who grew up in bigger cities, even if they try to live the more peaceful life, they somehow yearn for the big city again and mostly end up there after all.

  118. Marie says...

    I’m from France where I lived in the same place during 45 years, near our familier. 3 years ago, we moved to the north of France, near Belgium, for a new job, with our daugters (15 and 12)
    What a big “bol d’air” and open mind !! Today, we are ready to move again… My dream since 2 weeks visit this summer… NYC ;0)

  119. Becca says...

    I live in the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. We have a nice backyard for our boys (4&2) and live close to both sets of grandparents (5 mins & 15min drives). It is lovely to be bringing my boys up in the same area I was a child. While my husband needs to commute 1hr to his workplace we decided the family lifestyle (and proximity to friends/family) was more important for us.

  120. I’m not American, but this still resonated with me. I grew up in the south of England until I was 11, then emigrated to Cape Town, South Africa with my dad and siblings, after my parents messy, messy divorce. We only lived there a few years before moving to the Sharjah in the UAE. While my dad stayed there for nearly a decade, my sister and I went back to Cape Town to finish school, and both ended up at University here too.
    It’s funny, I live in Cape Town now, and I’m married and have a little boy, but I dream endlessly about living elsewhere. Life is good here, and we are happy, but after moving so many times while growing up (within the time I was at school, I went to 9 different schools), I find it hard to imagine being in one place for the rest of my life. And I want my son to experience life somewhere else too.
    That being said, there’s definitely something to be said about the comforts of home. My sister has spent much of the last few years living and working in the US, and traveling all over the place, and said she had looked far and wide to find exactly what we have available here. So it’ll have to be a very special place that we move to. Emigrating ain’t for sissies, and I’ve already done it a good few times.

    • I live in Cape Town too :-)

      I grew up here then left in my mid-twenties to live in Edinburgh with my then boyfriend (now husband). I looove that city and didn’t ever think we’d move back to CT until baby no.1 popped out and we realised we wanted to be closer to family. For a long time I was torn between the two places. Cape Town is a fab place for my boys to grow up but I worry about the lack of freedom they’ll have as teenagers. The whole UK-Brexit saga doesn’t appeal at the moment though (not that the South African political situation is any better) but it is nice to know we can move back if we ever wanted too…

  121. I’m Spanish, from Madrid, and I live in Bremen, Germany. I read a job offer, I applied… and 14 days later I was moving to Germany. It all happened very quickly, so for the first three years I was always thinking: what the what? Six years after I have a quiet, comfortable life but I still don’t feel at home. I would love to move to another country (I just don’t feel very welcome in Germany) but it’s difficult to find a new job. This damn crisis! I think that had I had more time to think about moving to Germany, I wouldn’t have done it! Now, I regret it sometimes mostly for family issues: my wife and I are not legally married here and we can’t have children because in Germany helping same sex couples (and single women for that matter) to conceive is illegal. So, even though there are perks about moving abroad, there are lots of problems too. And don’t get me started about missing friends and family!
    If I could live wherever I want that would probably the island of Mallorca. Oddly enough, before moving to Germany we were thinking about buying a house in the central area of the island… Maybe in the future…
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  122. PH says...

    My husband and I made the expat plunge nearly three years ago, thinking it would be a one- to two-year experiment of living in Switzerland. I have absolutely no regrets. The decision has been an amazing and life-changing one, but it has made it more difficult as we look toward the future. Since I’m from California and he’s from D.C., I think we were kind of running away from making a decision as to which coast we would settle on when we moved abroad… but the question is still lingering since we aren’t interested in trying to obtain Swiss citizenship (a nearly impossible feat!). The longer we live here, the harder it is going to be to move to the States. Sometimes I wonder if we made a mistake since I feel any place we move in the States will be a let-down if we can’t jump on a train for Paris or Amsterdam at a moment’s notice! We’ll see if living far away from family is as much fun after we have our baby boy next month. Perhaps it will make a move home easier.

  123. anna says...

    I live in Barcelona – Spain – and have been dating this guy who’s from Brussels – Belgium – AND lives in Brussels for 2 years now… I am sure he’s the one and we fantasize about living together all the time, but I don’t want to leave my wonderful city for Brussels (sorry!) and he was a really good job there that he can only do there, related to the European Comission… Anyone has a good piece of advice to share? We’re in our early thirties and yes, I am thinking ahead … babies and stuff… thank you!!!

    • Aoife says...

      I’m Irish and have lived in Brussels for almost seven years. I moved here for a job offer and have been here ever since!

      Brussels grows on you. It’s certainly not Barcelona but there’s a huge expat (and I guess, by extension, Spanish?) community and there is always so much to do and see here. It’s a culturally rich and diverse city once you see past Schuman and the EU bubble. It’s a manageable capital city in terms of size (not like Paris or London) and the cost of living is reasonable. Life here is pretty good!

      Is your boyfriend Belgian or did he move to Brussels for work?

    • Meg says...

      Also in Barcelona! Mid-twenties. Moved here about 6 months ago to join my boyfriend (from Paris). Loving it here.

  124. Rochelle says...

    I grew up in Loma Linda, California (a smallish town 60 miles east of L.A.). I could not WAIT to leave during high school! During college I lived in Tennessee, did a volunteer year in Bolivia and lived 4 years in Boston. My sister moved to Boston as well and then found a job in Manhattan. I knew I didn’t want to move there so I made the tough decision to move back home. Shortly after, I met my husband while he was doing his PhD at UCLA and we got married 2 years later and then moved Delft, Netherlands for his Post Doc. We said let’s just go for the year and then come back. Well, now we live in Munich, Germany for the last 3 years! We have a 2 year old and a 4 month old both born here and it seems we are here indefinitely. I find the pace easy going, the expat communities are nice, and it’s great for kids.

  125. Lo says...

    I grew up on the south coast of England, in a pretty rural part of the countryside. I am from a small town with less that 7,000 inhabitants and my partner is from the nearest city whose population is closer to 100,000. Whilst we were dating, there was a 50 minute drive between our respective family homes and therefore we decided to move.

    We settled on a mid-size town in between both out families and bought a little worker’s cottage to renovate. It’s now about 25mins to both families, and we are also between both our work places. We’d never lived or worked in the area, and it was daunting not knowing a soul but we quickly made friends and now have a whole host of friends in the area who we see regularly.

    We’re glad we decided to move into the unknown – it feels like we are carving a path out away from our families and familiarities. A mini adventure, but close enough to go home!

  126. Such an interesting post! I grew up in London, UK and lived here until I was 23 when I moved to Melbourne, Australia with my Australian partner. We got engaged and planned to move back to London to plan the wedding and settle down near my family but now we are here (for 1 month now) I am missing Melbourne so much! I definitely see it as more of a ‘happy’ city than London.

    London is home but it is so big, sprawling, expensive, and gloomy. We are having a bit of a dilemma at the moment – if only Australia wasn’t literally the opposite side of the earth!

  127. Jennifer says...

    Anchorage, Alaska! I grew up in Massachusetts and went to school in Boston – where I met my husband. When we finished our graduate degrees we drove here expecting an adventure, but I don’t think either of us were prepared for how happy we would be here! We love it! We both have jobs in public service healthcare working in the Alaska Native community. I think moving here was the best decision for us. My husband said recently that it feels as though this place has allowed us to become the people we were always meant to be. Of course being far from family and friends is a sacrifice.. but, ultimately, this is the right fit for us .. And everyone is only a few plane rides away :)

  128. Meredith says...

    I am a recent transplant from Connecticut to Detroit, brought here by my husband’s dream job and our friends. At first I was against it, because we had a home, I had a job I loved, and while we weren’t close to family, we were at least within reasonable driving distance. But it surprised me and I have loved it almost from the minute we landed here. There is a fierce sense of community and it’s an incredibly vibrant place. I feel more purposeful and engaged here than I ever have before.

    Growing up, and having attended a boarding school during high school, I had the impression that most people as adults lived somewhere other than where they themselves had been raised. My parents settled in New Hampshire, but both grew up in the Midwest, so I just thought that was how things work. Now, though, I’m noticing just how many of my friends and my husband’s friends live close to their families – and how many married someone who grew up in the same area, whereas our families are eight hours apart. Those can open presents with their kids at home on Christmas morning and then still be there for the big family dinner that night. I feel pangs of jealousy of the people who can easily see both families on holidays, who have grandparents nearby to babysit, or who can have a quick cup of coffee with their dad or go for morning walks with their mom or sister. I feel like we’re forging our own path and doing something that belongs uniquely to us, and right now that feels important, but I wonder what my relationship with my family would look like if we were able to physically be around each other every day. Worst of all, I wonder if we’re sacrificing our daughter’s relationships and important time she should be spending with her grandparents.

    My brother started college when I was twelve, and since then he has lived out West. Then, in what felt like an impossibly good stroke of luck, he matched with a residency in New England, and suddenly, for the first time I could really remember, my brother was nearby(ish). I could see him on impromptu weekends at my parents’, and sometimes he came down to help me with repairs on my house. He had a chance to get to know my daughter through more than just pictures and Facetime. Of course, almost immediately after he settled in, we made the decision to move to Detroit. I’m pretty sure he’ll move back West after his residency wraps up, and it stings to know I missed this fleeting chance.

    Ultimately, my husband and I think we will end up back in New England – we just don’t know when. We know we will struggle to find the balance of letting our daughter soak up this amazing place where we live now and getting her near family so that her time with them can be a foundation of her memories. We worry a lot about moving her back to a place that, while wonderful, has a glaringly homogenous population and how that might skew her perception of the world. It’s a lot to consider and, honestly, sometimes it keeps me up at night.

  129. I’m German, married to a Venezuelan and we’ve been traveling around the world for the past 8 years. I lived in Germany until I was 12 but then moved around every few years. My husband on the other hand went to the same school from kindergarten through high school. I liked living in different countries growing up but my husband has literally been friends with his besties all his live. That’s pretty special…
    It’s going to be really tough to decide what to do when our eldest starts school (settle? where?) but we’ll have to make a decision. At least for a while… :)

  130. Mallika says...

    I’m from India, Mumbai, I grew up on the sunny leafy walkable lanes on Bandra one of the central suburbs in Mumbai the business & commercial hub of India. Yes the very epicenter Bandra once had little houses and gardens and neighborhood roads we’d cycle through as kids. Some parts of that still exist (my parents still live in one of those parts) but commerce has made Bandra a busy busy trafficy place. Bandra also is very expensive in terms of rent and housing. So today as an adult, my fiance and I live in Andheri, about a little less than an hour’s drive from bandra. Unfortunate, the slightly more affordable rent of Andheri makes it a much more crowded and noisy place to live. Someday my fiance and I hope to move to his hometown Goa, which is another state in India, an hour’s flight from Mumbai, and attracts tourist for its beaches & sleepy town feel. Mumbai has gotten much to polluted & crowded to bring up a family. The good schools are all an hour’s drive away from a decent residential area, good hospitals & amenities are difficult to get to without having to brave to much traffic.
    Or current decision on where we live is purely based on finances, and yet are told often that we are paying rent on the higher end, because our home is a little bigger than most ppl who come to Mumbai to Pune and work can afford. We are lucky to have those a decent house in a somewhat decent apartment building, the type that doesn’t allow singles, only families (yes that concept exists, and yes we are having a civil marriage in a months time to be able to keep our house) so it isn’t as bad as it could be. It’s still not the best when I think to the long drive to visit my parents and rest of family that all live in Bandra where the hospital, schools and other amenities are far superior to where we are.

  131. Neha says...

    I was born and raised in Southern California. I’ve lived in London (twice), Spain and New York. I moved back home to California early last year to be closer to my family as I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work remotely. I love that I moved back as I’m very close to my family and get to see them all the time now instead of once or twice a year. I’ve very slowly developed my routine and as of now don’t miss NYC at all!

  132. Emily S. says...

    Salinas!! Lol. My mom has worked in Salinas for her whole life and I can tell you it’s not all that. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, though– I’m hoping to move to New York next year from the Bay Area, but always imagine myself back in CA when I’m in my 30s. My boyfriend is from New York City, born and raised, though, and if we end up together, I’m not sure what we’ll do. One of us will have to give up a lot!

  133. Colleen says...

    We currently live in New Delhi, India. We met in Chicago (my favorite city in the states!). We are still not sure where we will end up when we return. It will have to do a lot with where I get a job. He is able to work from anywhere because he’s a writer. I feel uneasy about choosing the wrong place and wonder if we will feel bored in a smaller city.

  134. Christine says...

    LOVED reading the comments! Such a timely post, as I’m in a transition phase contemplating what my next step is. After 5 years living in NYC (school and post-grad life), I’m back in Dallas with my family – which I love so much…and honestly it’s hard to think about leaving them! But I am itching to explore – I have always been drawn to LA/Santa Barbara or anywhere abroad, particularly London. The uncertainty of “where” can be overwhelming – especially moving alone – but I trust that whatever happens will bring forward wonderful opportunities and I can always return home!

    • Christina says...

      Come to Santa Barbara!! It’s beautiful here and the people are nice and friendly :))

  135. I grew up all over my country, India, as my parents worked with the government and they had to move for their work. As a child I hated having to pack up my life and start again, make new friends at school and the neighbourhood etc. But as an adult I loved it. I love the excitement of moving to a new city and making it a home; finding my favorite coffee shop, grocery store, activites and meeting new people.
    I realized I wanted to explore more of the world, so I quit my job as a lawyer and started building a freelance writing & blogging career.

    Last year I gave up my apartment and sold all my stuff, my husband and I packed our lives into a suitcase and now we both can live wherever we want! Subject to some visa rules of course. We are currently homeless by choice and this month we are moving to Taiwan, then to Indonesia, then maybe Vietnam? We don’t know, we’ll make up the plan as we go along. I’m very excited! :)

    PS most people think we’re nuts!
    PPS If you have any questions about this kind of lifestyle, you can email me at ruchika@secondbreakfast.in

  136. Kathleen Souder says...

    Its been interesting to watch the political voice of CoJ become louder over the last few months. Which is why I feel like inserting this opinion in the comments section of a thoughtful, well-written piece is ok…

    …which is this: the piece smacks of the socioeconomic privilege that you, me, we have. Which is fine. I’ve been in a similar frame of mind, selecting my ideal city for the life I want in the not so distant past. Just, interesting and maybe a bit myopic even as the CoJ team marches, speaks, and donates in the name of inclusivity. Maybe it’s this perspective that led us to where we are as a country today: the relatively privileged forgetting that most of the country doesn’t even have the same luxury of home-city-choice that we have.

  137. Ashley says...

    I am moving for love in the next couple months.

    I was born and raised in Edmonton, AB, Canada. I did my first degree at the U of A here and am currently working on my second degree here. Between degrees I took a few years to back pack Europe and lived in England for almost a year.

    My boyfriend grew up in Calgary (about 3 hours from Edmonton), but has spent his adult life between Calgary and Edmonton. His parents are getting older and he asked if I would be willing to move. I said of course!! I finish my degree at the end of April and I am so excited for a change of scenery and a new adventure that we can begin together.

  138. Grace says...

    I was born and raised in Southern California. I’ve lived in Orange County, Santa Barbara, and the Inland Empire (where I currently live). I have to say when talking about a state like CA, it’s so massive that it’s easy to say I plan on staying here the rest of my life. The differences between Southern, Central, and Northern CA are huge and the option of moving up north is tempting and would honestly feel like moving to a different state (my best friend went to college in San Francisco *heart eyes* resulting in multiple road trips way back when) but I think SoCal is the perfect place to live. I’ve traveled to 30 states and none of them struck a nerve, but I also think most Californians are on the same page. If you move here, you rarely leave. I’m a huge travel bug though and make sure to plan one big trip a year–it definitely tempers my wanderlust.

  139. Valerie says...

    I was born in Southern Germany, Stuttgart and my family moved to Berlin when I was 3. After several years in a big city, we moved back to the South of Germany, when I was 10.
    I decided to move to California to work as an Aupair and spend time abroad and started University a year later in Austria. Another year later, I moved back to Hamburg, Germany because I always wanted to live closer to the ocean and in a city that has a river and a lake in it and I never truly felt at home in Salzburg.
    I got to know my boyfriend in Hamburg about 4 years ago and we packed our bags, sold most of our belongings, put the rest in a storage and moved to Singapore exactly a year ago today. My boyfriend got a job offer and we were ready for a new adventure. I never put my feet on South East Asian ground before that. I always loved traveling the States or Canada and mostly Europe.
    Luckily, it wasn’t too hard to find new friends and get to know the city (moreover, Singapore is fantastic if you want to travel South East Asia) but it took me almost a year to fall in love with that city and I am still homesick from time to time and I miss my family terribly. Plus, moving abroad is always a test for your relationship and we had to encounter a couple of issues and obstacles. But in the end you adapt after a certain time and having my boyfriend and an amazing international group of friends around certainly helps, but the city where I feel most at home at is definitely Hamburg, Germany and I see myself moving back in a couple of years.

  140. I grew up in Huntington, WV (actually a tiny Ohio town right across the river but no one has ever heard of Proctorville, OH). I went to the university of Cincinnati for my undergrad engineering degree then to the university of Illinois in champaign-Urbana for my phd. When I finish school (at the age of 30), I just told perspective employers I wanted the best job they had available in my field no matter the location. I had 4 offers all across the country (Orlando, San Diego, Portland OR, charlotte). The company in Portland also had a position for my husband. We decided to move to PDX after spending 12 hours there. We fell in love (and the jobs were good too). 10 years later, we still love Portland. We bought a house in the Alberta neighborhood before the prices skyrocketed and we feel lucky everyday to live where we do. It’s a long way from our families in Ohio but Portland is an awesome place to visit and there’s grand babies to see now too :-)

  141. Jennifer Slattery says...

    I live in Bellingham WA. And lived in NYC before moving back home to Western Washington so all of the feelings you have (“how could you move!” and the “I’m so jealous you are moving!!!”) I completely understand! I love love NYC but I did not like being a lawyer in NYC and all of our family is in WA. Bellingham is an awesome little college town near the sea and the mountains with Vancouver BC only an hour away. When I need a city fix, we just drive up to Vancouver. But Bellingham’s outdoorsy west coast culture suits us more than NYC. As much as I loved the city, I decided once I became a mom that I’m a west coaster at heart. Can’t take it out of me.

    • Kendra says...

      Me too! I love Bellingham. Born and raised, so I may be biased but it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We are very lucky here.

  142. Gen says...

    This article is so timely since I’ve been reading COJ for a while, and I just moved from NJ/NYC to Los Angeles! My husband and I grew up in New Jersey and never lived outside of the east coast, so it was a very big deal for us.

    Our main reason was because we both really wanted to make a significant transition in our careers, and so far we’re very happy with our decision. But in addition to jobs, LA is such a vibrant, progressive, outdoorsy and chill city with superb food and we are loving the different lifestyle! We used to live in super walkable Jersey City, so getting around is taking some time to get used to but we both still do daily commutes with public transit and each are more than manageable at less than 40 min each way. Our only regret is being away from our family & close friends.

  143. Tara says...

    I grew up in India and moved abroad aged 16 for boarding school. I have lived/ studied/ worked in some amazing cities since then- Cambridge, Oxford, London, Hong Kong, Barcelona and Madrid.

    Now, aged 25, I’ve moved back home to Mumbai- quite possibly the world’s least liveable major city. We are a city of nearly 20 million that get by on antiquainted colonial era transport built by the British 150 years ago. People die taking the horribly inadequate trains every single day. Traffic is horrendous, sidewalks don’t exist and filth is everywhere. We have the worlds largest slums, enormous red light districts filled with sexually trafficked young girls, the greatest economic inequality and callous and apathetic citizens with a total lack of hygiene and civic sense. I am haunted by memories of being casually molested and leched at by sleazy men in so many different public spaces in the city as a young teenager.

    Part of me dreams so hard about leaving, another part of me wants to stay close to my parents and put my education and privilege to good use and try to create some social impact here.

    But if I ever do leave, it will be to Barcelona or Cambridge (U.K.). Barca is (an increasingly touristic) heaven on Earth- sunshine most of the year, beautiful beaches, vineyards and mountains nearby, excellent public transport, an easily navigable grid layout, gorgeous parks, such an abundance of history, art and culture. The nightlife is the best I’ve seen, the live music scene is great, the food is delicious and affordable. For Western Europe, the prices are low and the local economy is vibrant and offers many opportunities. And Spanish people have such a warmth and zest for life.

    My other favourite city is Cambridge. It’s a bucolic little academic idyll. Wonderful historical buildings, meadows and riverside walks, atmospheric pubs, gorgeous countryside nearby and lots of job opportunities thanks to the university and the thriving startup scene. The city is so compact and cycleable but it never feels like a small town because of the incredible diversity and intelligence of its university / academic population. There’s always a good play or talk to go to locally and London is only 45 minutes away by train!

  144. Rebecca says...

    I adored this post — I was born and raised in Manhattan, as was my husband. After living in other cities for our respective colleges and graduate schools, we came back here for work. When our first child was born and my husband was up for a work-transfer, I put a lot of pressure on him to stay here to be close to our families. Now that we have two children and busy jobs, we are tired of the NYC hassle, the weather, the general grittiness. My husband will be able to transfer again in a few years and my industry is fairly flexible location-wise, so now we are getting serious about California — the outdoors, the weather, the chill-factor of the lifestyle — it’s calling to us! It’s funny because leaving the big city will be our version of striking it out on our own and doing something adventurous. I just hope our kids will forgive us for taking them away from here, and that I don’t wake up a few months after we move missing the soot, the noise, and the expense of NYC!

  145. Is your brother moving to Tahoe? I live there and there are so many people who are moving here to work remotely and enjoy the lifestyle. It’s a pretty exciting time!

    • Megan Cahn says...

      Close. Nevada City :)

    • I love hearing that! Megan- my guess was Nevada City. So many great things happening in the foothills and mountain towns. My husband and I live in SF and our jobs are pretty much the only thing keeping us here. We talk every day about where to move and spend almost every weekend escaping the city.

  146. Brittany says...

    I grew up in northern VA, in a suburb of DC, and moved into the city right after college. I LOVED DC and would love to go back, but it’s just too expensive. Even the suburbs are expensive, and I really would be unhappy living outside of the city. Northern VA has so much traffic and has virtually no charm or character. After 6 years, my partner and I moved to Richmond, VA for grad school. We liked it much more than we thought we would. Good arts scene, breweries, restaurants, etc. with significantly less traffic and cost than DC. The city itself is quite liberal, but it can still be hard grappling with it’s history as the capital of the confederacy. The lovely art museum we live down the street from has protestors outside of it every weekend holding confederate flags which can really get me down as we are walking our pup past it most Saturday mornings. He is finishing law school this semester and wants to go into public interest law. I love his heart, but it limits us on where we live (since our combined nonprofit job salaries won’t make it very far). We are strongly looking at staying in Richmond and I know I won’t be unhappy here, but I often think about all of the others places I wish we could go, including my beloved DC.

  147. Taylor says...

    I grew up in Malibu, California. Beautiful, beachy, good food–not for me. I was endlessly nerdy and curious and wanted to know about the world. So I went to college in DC to be as close to “politics” as possible. Nine years and a law degree later, DC is THE love of my life. It is truly one of the most diverse, fascinating, ever-evolving cities in the US. Even under the new administration I feel like I have opportunity to grow, help others, and never, ever be bored. Unlike New York though, I genuinely feel a sense of community here. Whenever I have visited New York I have felt lonely and anonymous–I don’t feel that way here, in any part of the city. People in DC definitely have hive mind about our lack of representation, the way the city changes with political shifts, skyrocketing rents–but MAN I love this place and I genuinely feel like I was born to live here.

  148. Karin says...

    I live in Southern California, in Long Beach. If I could live anywhere in the world I think I would pick…..a nicer part of Long Beach! Does that mean I’m un-ambitious, or just that I’ve found my place? I love the area, weather and people here. The speed of Long Beach is mellow and just right.

    I was born in the Midwest but grew up in Southern California, lived in Chicago for school and then moved back here for work. Have been here 23 years. I used to regret not having lived in NYC when I was young, but I’m too old for regrets now. In the next life….

    Other cities I have really enjoyed: Portland, Seattle area, and London. All have friendly people.

  149. Erika says...

    I grew up in a very small eastern Washington town and then went to college 25 minutes away from my parents house. When I graduated I felt an intense need to get out of town and moved to Portland, Maine. After 13 months in Maine an opportunity to live in Melbourne, Australia came up and I’ve been here for six months now! Eventually I could see myself living in or near my hometown, but for now I love living in different parts of the country or abroad.

  150. Jona says...

    From Long Island, ny. Moved to NYC at 19, lived there for 9 years before moving to Connecticut ( a place I never ever ever imagined I’d even consider moving) for my now husband. In Connecticut 3.5 years now and STILL feel totally displaced. We have a toddler and enormous dog so nyc would be tough nowadays but I find myself trying to plan days to go into the city often despite the 2hr each way train ride. I miss the energy, familiar faces, passing by streets, apartments, restaurants and seeing my former self at different ages with different people. That being said- we are currently looking for a warm weather move and very much looking forward to that despite the anxiety that comes along with not knowing anyone or anything of a new area. Hoping it’s California!

    • I felt the same way when I first moved to CT! I’ve been here for four years and I still sometimes have this wierd “how did I end up in CT of all places” feeling. :)