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zorrita

Moving Across The Country

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So my husband and I currently live in central MD. We met in undergrad in Baltimore and stayed in MD while I finished my master's degree. We both currently have fairly good (on paper) jobs in MD and rent a townhouse.

However, we (especially me) are getting increasingly fed up with living in the MD/east coast area. We've lived here all our lives (husband is from MA, I'm from PA) and have never experienced anything different (outside of travel). MD is EXTREMELY expensive, with regard to cost of living (food, gas, rent, etc) and taxes, and we don't find it particularly nice to live here anymore -- we both like more rural/wide open spaces, with less congestion, traffic, pollution, etc.

Further, neither of us are particularly happy with our jobs. They're our first "real" jobs out of school (we both worked while in school) and husband's company is on the edge of bankruptcy, while my job is just not entirely the right fit for me.

So, we are currently looking into moving somewhere outside of our "comfort zone." My parents lived in Europe for several years after their marriage, and have always recommended living in different places to me as a way to gain new experiences, perspectives, etc. We are thinking of staying in the states, though! Husband is a chemical engineer who currently works in power plants, and I have my MHS (basically an MPH) and work in healthcare and speak fluent Spanish, with experience in communications as well, so technically we can both get a job "anywhere" (I know that this is not the case, but we both are in career fields that are currently "in-demand" and growing in many areas of the country). We don't own a house, we don't have kids or plans to have kids any time soon (we are both 23), and we're not so entrenched in our jobs that it would be difficult to leave. We're looking in particular out west, like TX, Montana, Colorado, and so on. It would be tough moving away from our families, but the more I think about it, the more I want to do it.

Does anyone here have any experiences doing something similar? We haven't made a decision yet and haven't done anything drastic (like quit our jobs), but are both looking for different jobs and plan on vacationing in the West soon to get a better idea of where we would be interested in living. I come from a relatively small town, and almost everyone I know from HS (and even college!) has stayed on the east coast. I'd love to hear from people with different experiences/perspectives!

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Well I'm not married so don't have the aspect of looking for a place that two people can agree on to worry about. But I love moving around. I've lived/worked in SD, MN, WY, CA, IL, Canada, and the Caribbean. I'm 26. I don't move around because I can't keep a job...I move around because I love wandering around and learning new things.

I highly recommend moving around a bit and learning what you like and dislike in an area. There will always be a give and a take where you move. You might be giving up low gas prices, but you could be gaining an awesome view and less of a commute. You might give up that awesome view for low gas prices and an area that's very horse friendly. Stuff like that, ya know? It's FUN! :D

-'Ramblin

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I've lived in Oregon (born there), Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Arkansas. I stayed in Arkansas. Love the scenery, lower cost of living, and slower pace. Land for my horses was much more affordable too.

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i picked up one day, and moved from Ohio to hawaii. stayed for several years...it was where i met my now husband, who is in the marine corps. so we're always on the move!

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I moved from Wisconsin to Florida for three months. I saved up a significant amount of money and then moved down to where I knew someone, actually from here. I had to move back here to Wisconsin because I couldn't find a job.

I'm sure you and your husband would be smarter than me and find a job before moving. Good Luck! It was a great experience for me even though I had to move back home!

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My husband and I are from WA state, We have both just lived here our whole lives, we both love it. This state is so diverse in terrain and places to ride. Right now Husband lives and works(oil field) in Stanley North Dakota(has for a year and a half). And i go and live with him for periods of time... I would not recommend ND(unless you really like flat super open places, no mountains, and alot of ticks), or even the top half (the bottom part is quite beautiful though) of Montana as the scenery is about the same, there are alot of ranches and horse and rodeo people, but the scenery is.... wait what scenery? I can not imagine why horse people like it out there. lol. Sometime soon we would like to move somewhere different though, as we are both young and don't have kids yet.. Just to see what its like and for different experience's.

Edited by Shani

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Pick several places and go there for a vacation. See which one you like best then look for a job there. I moved from Texas to Maryland to California to Alaska when my X was in the Air Force. I loved every place we were but am glad to be back in Texas now.

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what do you like to do and what kind of people do you enjoy? i've lived all over the world but in america only in california. the people around you can make a HUGE difference in your quality of life, as does access to an environment and activities that suit your tastes.

i moved to southern california from thailand after living in east and west africa to go to college, and i felt very much like a fish out of water. too monochromatic, too insular, too provincial, too surfer dude, too much CONCRETE, although the weather is consistently very nice. (and i AM american and can produce the birth certificate to prove it :lol: )

i live in bavaria now in the countryside with really nice neighbors and friends. i used to live in frankfurt with really nice friends but neighbors that were really NOT too nice. we realized that we're not city people though, and here in southern germany you have access to the alps, lakes, great bike trails and bridle paths, and austria next door and italy 4 1/1 hours away. all of this stuff makes a big difference in quality of life depending on what is important to you.

i'd make a list of stuff that's important to you and go through the process of elimination state by state. good luck!! i admire your spirit of adventure!

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Being a long time resident of North Dakota, I DO recommend North Dakota. Shani obviously hasn't gotten out when she visits her husband ( :winking: ). We have lots of beautiful scenery and honestly, if you take the precautions ticks aren't too big an issue (and to me aren't an issue that stops me from enjoying my state). And this state has lots of JOBS (ND is paying your bills Shani so I wouldn't complain about the state too much). Visit ND Job Service at www.jobsnd.com and you will find them. I know that engineers are in high demand and with the number of Hispanics that are working the oil fields I am sure that a Spanish speaker with a medical background can find something. So, to recap:

Lots of jobs

A booming economy

Beautiful scenery (yes, it is out there-Stanley might be flat, try getting down around Dickinson and the badlands...gorgeous!)

Many opportunities for riding (English is gaining ground here although Western is prevalent)

I would seriously take a look at our state, you might just be surprised!

Job Service ND www.jobsnd.com

www.nd.gov

www.ndtourism.com

Edited by Sorrel1

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Pick several places and go there for a vacation. See which one you like best then look for a job there. I moved from Texas to Maryland to California to Alaska when my X was in the Air Force. I loved every place we were but am glad to be back in Texas now.

This is what we will be doing in October! We will be taking 2-3 weeks of vacation (not sure yet, because his company gives less time than mine) and heading out west (we wanted to head up as far as Denali, but my husband sent me an email this morning saying "DENALI = BEARS = :( so I don't think that's happening!). My company is also sending me to Santa Fe and Albuquerque in September, so I'll get to check those out.

I actually don't mind flat open spaces... just as long as there ARE open spaces. Both of us love to be outside and do things like hiking, paddleboarding, rafting, etc. As far as ticks, I grew up in a pretty rural part of PA and have had many tick encounters (pretty sure one level of **** involves going over your 2 long-haired, double-coated rough collies after every walk to find ticks!) and so that doesn't bother me too much.

Nick, you are definitely right about the people making a huge difference, and that's something we need to think about more. My experience living in the NE US is that people are not particularly open, relaxed, or friendly. I definitely work hard, but am more of a "Type B" personality, and like to hang out outside, grill with my friends, etc, rather than go to the newest "it" club or restaurant. That's part of why we would prefer to move out west. I also have more of a "do-it-yourself" spirit and can't bear anymore to be with people who don't know how to fix a flat tire or grill a steak (not rocket science). I'm pretty independent so I don't mind being somewhere less densely populated (in fact, I would prefer it).

Thanks so much for sharing your stories, everyone! I think it will be a good opportunity for us both to try new things. Jumper, my husband will find a job, but I'll probably be kinda wingin' it until he figures out where he's working (it would suck if, for example, he found a great job in Austin and I found a job I liked in, say, Billings... can't really meet halfway there!).

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I vote for colorado, I have several friends who moved there from east coast urban centers and really like it. :)

And last time I looked at properties for sale there were some really great small farms available for a tiny fraction of what they'd run here in Maryland. :)

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This is what we will be doing in October! We will be taking 2-3 weeks of vacation (not sure yet, because his company gives less time than mine) and heading out west (we wanted to head up as far as Denali, but my husband sent me an email this morning saying "DENALI = BEARS = :( so I don't think that's happening!). My company is also sending me to Santa Fe and Albuquerque in September, so I'll get to check those out.

I LOVE Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Ruidoso, really NM in general. Lots of land and not a lot of people, my kind of place. If you go south it's warm and sunny, north gets lots of snow for winter skiing. The east is flat and the west is mountains.

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Being a long time resident of North Dakota, I DO recommend North Dakota. Shani obviously hasn't gotten out when she visits her husband ( :winking: ). We have lots of beautiful scenery and honestly, if you take the precautions ticks aren't too big an issue (and to me aren't an issue that stops me from enjoying my state). And this state has lots of JOBS (ND is paying your bills Shani so I wouldn't complain about the state too much). Visit ND Job Service at www.jobsnd.com and you will find them. I know that engineers are in high demand and with the number of Hispanics that are working the oil fields I am sure that a Spanish speaker with a medical background can find something. So, to recap:

Lots of jobs

A booming economy

Beautiful scenery (yes, it is out there-Stanley might be flat, try getting down around Dickinson and the badlands...gorgeous!)

Many opportunities for riding (English is gaining ground here although Western is prevalent)

I would seriously take a look at our state, you might just be surprised!

Job Service ND www.jobsnd.com

www.nd.gov

www.ndtourism.com

haha Sorrel1, But i have gotten out and about with him... He trucks all over ND and Montana, and i sometimes ride with him. As for ticks I was talking about the AMOUNT of them. Yes we have ticks over here in WA, but not near the amount as over there. Oh im sorry did it sound like I was complaining? I actually couldn't care less about it...as i mostly live in WA. I just wouldn't recommend living in ND unless you like flat, open, and mostly dry(unless irrigated) spaces.. I was just telling her my point of view of it. Im sure some find it beautiful like some find and prefere dry desert over forest. Me im a mountain girl, im all for forest, rivers, lakes, mountains, beaches, coast. As for ND paying our bills(to put it loosely i guess)..that might be the case right now, but that oil goes into Montana, and into Canada.. And he is(my husband) thinking of working out of Montana soon(different company that wants to hire him) ... But you are right about ND having alot of jobs... just like a gold rush.. And yes we have seen the badlands.. its beautiful for ND, being as the rest of it doesn't have much.. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder... There are different typs of beauty, im just not a desert person... I love trees, and water.

As for WA state, you should check it out. It has desert and wide open spaces all the way to rain forest, and in-between, with gorgeous mountains, lakes, rivers. And job opportunities aren't actually all that bad around here. Oh yes and we have plenty of people around from the country down south of the US. :D We also got the coast, which is not as crowded as the eastern coast.

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I vote for colorado, I have several friends who moved there from east coast urban centers and really like it. :)

And last time I looked at properties for sale there were some really great small farms available for a tiny fraction of what they'd run here in Maryland. :)

Colorado also has Garden of the Gods... so that's a point in its favor. We are currently trying to find a place in CO that has been less stressed by the recent wildfires.

Husband is from Massachusetts and bless his heart, just asked me what a "Class IV rapid" was. I can't wait to see the expression on his face when he finds out!

Shani, thanks for your opinion -- you're definitely right that individual opinion of a place matters. I've never been to ND, I'm also more interested in living in a place with varied scenery, but I'll check everything out. My best friend from HS lives in WA state now, just outside of Seattle -- she LOVES it.

myoldhorse, I actually started checking it out this morning! The Nebraska government won some type of award for being a good employer so I was intrigued.

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Just be cautious and make sure there is housing and it is affordable. Many people are moving here (ND) in hopes of a better life and end up leaving as the cost of housing is astronomical. And very few and far between.

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Colorado also has Garden of the Gods... so that's a point in its favor. We are currently trying to find a place in CO that has been less stressed by the recent wildfires.

wildfires aside (but that IS something i would think about), i have an american friend here who is from denver, and she told me they have 300-320 days on average of sunshine per year :shocked: . living as we do in central europe which is under snow, rain and overcast for six months of the year, that made me ever so slightly envious--definitely a plus point.

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zorrita,

Many good places to live in the US, I will you well as you research these different places. Since you & your husband both have good educations, & don't have children, you have more options open to you. I think it is great that you are both thinking ahead. I wish you well in your search, it could be a great adventure. I'll just wish you Happy Trails. Best Wishes. PD

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Hey Girl! Don't mind the bears at all in Alaska..they just seem to eat Californians .. I love bears.! Beautiful animals! I left home in 1978 in a 1972 dodge van with my boyfriend and 1,000.00 in my pocket.. No jobs... Never left this great state and have never looked back at the lower Fourty Eight.. Its gods country and needs to be respected thats all.. Though Canada is my second choice...

AD

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Hey Girl! Don't mind the bears at all in Alaska..they just seem to eat Californians .. I love bears.! Beautiful animals! I left home in 1978 in a 1972 dodge van with my boyfriend and 1,000.00 in my pocket.. No jobs... Never left this great state and have never looked back at the lower Fourty Eight.. Its gods country and needs to be respected thats all.. Though Canada is my second choice...

AD

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I've gone from AK to WA to NJ and back to WA/OR (I live across the border from OR and work in Portland.)

As far as moving goes - calculate your costs ahead of time for gas/moving vans/food/shelter/etc. ahead of time. Then pad that with about 2k extra. When I moved from WA to NJ, not one, not two, but all THREE of the cars that we were taking back broke down and we ended up staying in a tiny town in Wyoming for an extra three days while two of the cars were fixed (the third car broke down within 20 miles of our new place.) From WA to NJ it took us 3.5 days. NJ to WA took a solid week due to the car problems.

What type of healthcare do you do? I can tell you straight up that we are really hurting for employees in my field, our company alone has over 100 job openings right now. (I'm in behavioral health.) I'm in the SE WA/PDX area, for a 2 bedroom rental you're looking at anything around 800-1200 per month. 3 bed, 1000-1400 per month.

Horsewise, I don't know much about Portland, but there are plenty of boarding barns around the Vancouver/Battleground area, average costs being from 150-350 a month, depending on what you're looking for in a barn. The barn I'm at has stalls with runs, a large pasture, and a decent sized arena. Self care is 180.00 a month.

Activities wise, this is a fabulous place to live. You're 1.5 hours away from the coast, about an hour away from amazing skiing on Mt. Hood. Half an hour away from awesome hiking in the Columbia Gorge with tons of beautiful waterfalls. There are plenty of river beaches to enjoy between the Columbia, Washougal, Sandy, and Hood River. (Don't go swimming in the Willamette.) You have a fantastic night life in Portland, with tons of bars, music venues (the indie music scene here is huge) and performing arts.

Be aware that Portland is a VERY liberal area. And you will be surrounded by hipsters, if you mind that sorta lifestyle. And it has a large homeless population because Portland provides so many homeless services that the homeless flock to Portland from other large cities.

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Hey Girl! Don't mind the bears at all in Alaska..they just seem to eat Californians .. I love bears.! Beautiful animals! I left home in 1978 in a 1972 dodge van with my boyfriend and 1,000.00 in my pocket.. No jobs... Never left this great state and have never looked back at the lower Fourty Eight.. Its gods country and needs to be respected thats all.. Though Canada is my second choice...

AD

HA! I have experience with black bears, those things'll eat ya if they get a chance, but for some reason the grizzlies scare me more!

Peppers Dad, thank you for your kind words.

VAQHMA, (sorry I don't know how to quote multiple people in one post), thank you for all of your advice, that's REALLY helpful. My degree is an MHS (basically an MPH), which is kind of all-purpose, but I'm out of the only Public Mental Health department in the country, so the behavioral health thing is right up my alley. I don't own a horse right now (ride three for a friend), so that's not my first concern, and I will ride western, saddleseat, or english as long as I get to be around horses :). Hipsters annoy me, but I think I can handle them for waterfalls and river beaches. Every time I see Willamette, I think of "It's WilLAMette, D--- it!" :D

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No prob :) If this area seems up your alley, let me know. I can forward you more info for jobs in the behavioral field at my company, and similar ones, as well as the county, and the state. I can get you more info on housing as well. Vancouver is less afflicted with hipsters than Portland, hence why I live there instead LOL

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