Over the last two years, Sam and I have talked about moving elsewhere. Georgia has almost no consumer protections for citizens, has a crappy support structure for humans in just about every way you can imagine, and has law enforcement who don’t care to enforce laws unless you’ve got enough money to get their attention. Essentially, we want to live in a blue state, which means leaving the Bible belt. Cooler weather would be nice, too. Less humid heat, at least, would be a relief.
We haven’t really made plans, not wanting to uproot Katie while she was in school and so on. There’s a lot of inertia, too, since I’ve been here all my life (except for the few years in Alabama before my parents moved us to Atlanta). Sam was born here, and wasn’t thrilled with New York or New Jersey when he lived there. Our families are here, which means something, even if we don’t see them that often.
But more and more, I want to be somewhere else. I’ve started looking for work as I get closer to completing my degree, and I can’t help but think, “Yeah, but what if we move?” In my head, it’s even starting to be, “What about when we move?”
I have an assignment for school this week, in which I’m supposed to research the job market somewhere else in the U.S., pretending that my spouse/partner is being transferred there. Since the professor isn’t assigning locations, I decided to make it a little more useful. I took the quizzes at Find Your Spot, which seem to be a bit more thorough than the “paste the results in your blog” varieties, and was quite surprised at the results. FWIW, I don’t remember any questions about political leanings. They were about the kind of weather you prefer, how important arts or spots or shopping is to you, the industry in which you work, and so on.
Oregon. Oregon, Oregon and Oregon. Of the top 24 suggestions, six cities are in Oregon: Portland, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Medford, and Bend. Wow.
I know nothing about Oregon, other than the fact that it’s in the Pacific Northwest, on the coast between Washington and California. It has the Silicon Forest area. It has a higher cost of living than Georgia, but just about everywhere does.1 They have an anti-gay marriage law. Ick.
A few of the other places on the list can be dismissed out of hand. I don’t want to live in D.C., nope. Chicago and Milwaukee are cold! I’ve never really thought about Connecticut or Rhode Island. Husband v.1 and I talked about Massachusetts a little, because he wanted to go into marine biology and Woods Hole is there. Albuquerque is a mystery, other than remembering Bugs Bunny telling us to turn there. California? Eh. I’ve been to Maryland, but just to Rockville, not Baltimore.
I don’t really know how people go about finding a place where they want to live. It seems that they mostly get transferred somewhere, or move to go to school, or in a few cases move to the center of a particular industry. Have any of you really evaluated different states and made a deliberate choice to move there?
I’d like to avoid extreme weather, especially, say, hurricanes. Humid heat is tiresome. A decent economy is important, and Sam and I both work (have worked, prefer to work) in high-tech companies. Mass transit is important, since I’m not driving. Mass transit pretty much means cities, doesn’t it? Health care is a big factor, but anywhere that has high tech companies should have hospitals and the like, right? Less crime than Atlanta would be lovely. More acceptance of non-Christian people would be dreamy. Am I silly to think that there will be fandom, gamers, and filkers in just about any city?
1 Okay, maybe Alabama or Mississippi are lower, but who wants to move there?