Over the course of the next few weeks (interspersed among other posts), I'll be picking a question or questions to answer. Below are two of the 12 remaining questions in my formspring account's "inbox"*. They're pretty much the same question, so I figured I'd hit them together.
If you had to move to a new city in the U.S., where would you move and why?
Where would you move if you were leaving ND?
This is not an easy thing for me to answer. On one hand, I want to scream "To a CITY! With high-end department stores! And doughnut shops! And a public transportation system that isn't seemingly marketed exclusively to the developmentally-disabled and the financially-downtrodden!"
But on the other hand, we don't want:
- A cost of living that puts us in a less comfortable living situation than we have now (i.e. being able to afford significantly less in terms of a house)
- Long commutes and/or bumper-to-bumper stand-still traffic (we currently live across town from work, yet it only takes us 6-8 minutes to get there).
- Significantly more crime (ND is one of the safest states in the country)
- A hot climate where it rarely/never snows.
- To be isolated from all relatives (unless we somehow strike it rich and have the money to fly everybody out in private jets whenever we want, hah!)
- Decent schools (be they public or private) for our future rugrats.
We have tossed around some cities in Vermont and Massachusetts. These would put us closer to where my family lives. We have also briefly discussed moving to central or southern Minnesota, or to some specific places in South Dakota. Pink Hubby likes the idea of California, but neither of us have spent any significant time there. The Pacific Northwest holds a special place in my heart too. There are also a few places in Canada we like. With any of these places, we know we'd probably be taking on at least a few of the "don't wants" I listed above. Then it's just a matter of weighing our priorities. Being close to family is a big one for me. I wish we could have both families close, but it's not going to happen. If the choice was between a cool new city close to family versus a cooler new city far from families, I'd likely choose family over other 'perks'.
Any move we make would be dependent on: 1) at least one of us getting a great job and/or 2) if Pink Hubby decides to get his doctorate at a different school. Moving to a new city is an exciting prospect. New surroundings, new culture, new everything! That said, I'm kind of getting used to Grand Forks (Assimilation? Stockholm syndrome?). All those "don'ts" on my list above are "do's" here. Grand Forks consistently rates as one of the best places to raise a family. I've heard that the schools are great. We have very little crime (people leave their cars running, unlocked with the keys in them when they run in to the grocery store, seriously - I don't, but some do!). You can afford a lot of house for a reasonable amount of money. There aren't a lot of high end corporate jobs, so in Grand Forks, the high-level healthcare providers (doctors, dentists), lawyers, high-level academics and few choice business owners lead in income levels. We hope to be high-level academics, so that could be pretty sweet for us. The weather here is extreme, but it is four seasons. It's not like it's -20 degrees year round. In the summer, we get sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s (and higher). We grilled outside probably ever other day last summer.
I'm not saying I don't want to leave. (Remember that "extreme weather" I just mentioned?) There are plenty of issues. And right now, Pink Hubby's family lives less than an hour's drive from us, but my family is a series of long flights away. I'd love to live closer to them. But then it's at the cost of leaving Pink Hubby's family behind. So it's not an easy decision, nor is it one I'm particularly excited about having to make.
For now, here we are. Chilling in the upper midwest with a serious IKEA jones.
*P.S. Even though I took down the "February formspring" feature on my sidebar, I'm still accepting questions here. My plan is to answer them on this blog, whenever I have time, until the inbox is empty. Once it sits empty for a week, I'll disable it.