Have You Ever Wanted to Up and Move???

rachelrachelMarch 19, 2007

Warning - Long and gripey

Have you ever just wanted to up and move? About myself, I am mid-40s, never married and no children, in a so-so job. I live in the same area which I grew up in, went to college in, moved around a 20 mile radius in. My parent moved here 34 years ago because my great grandparents and great aunt and uncle lived here. Now my family has dwindled to my parents, 2 brothers, one SIL and 2 lovely neices. There is no guarantee that my brother and his family will be staying in this area though as my SIL is from Europe. Most of my friends have left this area and moved throughout the country.

I am just tired of living here. I bought a house 8 years ago (thank God) and like it a lot. But it's an old house, small, and in a below average neighborhood. I live in the DC area and it seems that unless you are really successful, or two-income, the nicer houses are unaffordable. Three years ago I had a screened-in porch built, and last March I remodeled my kitchen. It kills me that I may be planning to give these two things up. I do like my house but am tired of being in debt and worrying about money. I made a career change which did not end up being as successful as I had hoped.

Also, last August I had a flood which caused me to injure my foot --- plantar fasciitis caused by walking barefoot on a concrete slab for three weeks after the carpets were pulled. So I can't take walks which are the only exercise I love. And I dread having another flood. Somehow the flood changed everything, my sense of security, my enjoyment of this area.

Then I go on realtor.com and see all these truly wonderful houses, for much less, much more house, and much newer. I could sell this house, put down most of the equity, and have a mortgage a third to a half of what I pay now. Of course in these areas the jobs aren't as abundant and well-paying as here either.

I don't know if I'm fed up with my life, fed up with this area, or both. And if I move will I have the same problems somewhere else, far from the remaining friends and family I have.

Sorry to be so gripey, but please tell me about your experiences. Whether you have done this, was it a good move or something you regret.

TIA - Rachel

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Great topic! First off, you take you with you wherever you go. So, if you are in an unhappy place emotionally, you may still feel the same.

That said, I had never lived more than 40 miles from the hospital I was born in for my first 38 years. I had always wanted to live in Hawaii though. Suddenly, I got a great job opportunity, it paid all moving expenses and made it really easy. We decided, why not? I am married with two kids.

Anyway, the long and short of it - it has been hard. I don't miss my close friends and family much as I didn't get to see them that much before and I still find a way to see them now. What I have struggled with is, not knowing anyone at the grocery store - ever. Also, getting lost, every time I need to go into town it is a chore. We are at about 20 months, and it's getting easier. I can see myself living here fore a while, DH would move home tomorrow. I love to be warm I love to walk the beach!

My advise is to look at the things you do and don't like about home and make sure you address those things for wherever you are considering. One thing that can be difficult if you move out of an expensive area, it may be too expensive to move back - so consider your exit strategy before you make the decision.

Good luck - it sure has been an adventure for us.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 9:57PM
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I lived in either Washington or Oregon until I was 35 years old. Then I found a job offer for a two year committment to Anchorage AK. It took them a year to convince me to do it, but I went ahead and moved. My husband of 17 years at the time was supposed to move with me in six months, but during that time the bank sold out and my husband and I decided to split up. Talk about life changing.

Much like Hawaii, when you move to such a far off place, you're FAR AWAY from everything. You can't just drive a few hours to see family. The first 12 months were terribly lonely, and to compound things, people in Alaska are lovely, but they don't really warm to you until you've made it through your first year. Having been here some time now I understand, because so many people leave within the first year that it's just a pain to invest in a friendship and have them leave again so quickly.

I never thought I'd be an "Alaska girl". I didn't fish, hunt,hike boat, ski, wear fur or touch ivory. I was going to put in two years and get the heck out...and here I sit. My son's fur parka is draped over my fur coat on the bed, and in the cabinet is a collection of ivory (it's antique though). I have caught a 280lb fish, and I even took ski lessons (and then sold all the equipment!). I've considered bird hunting for gads sake! My prada's are in boxes....they don't do well in the snow :p

I leave and visit the "outside" frequently, but I can't say that I'll ever leave Alaska permanently. We'll always have a home here, even if for vacation only. I love it here.

I've remarried and had a huge suprise baby in my 40's and life is so different, and yet great. I highly recommend making a huge life decision. Maybe it's like the old "find yourself" days, but when I moved so far from where I had been all of my life I did have to find it in myself to make it on my own, in a pretty harsh place. It was hard as noted above in the post, but it's been worth every second of difficulty to be in the place I find myself now!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 11:41PM
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I haven't longed to do that but I did move from the small town I group up in to a bigger city in 8th grade. I also went away to college (same state) and moved out of state once. So I guess I got moving around out of my system. Moving out of state was a big adventure - I think you have to be a bit adventurous and outgoing to enjoy moving.

A friend of mine has moved around a bit - just up and moved to a different state a few years ago. Her situation is like kailuamom described - you take you with you. This person is a "glass is half empty" kind of gal and she brings here unhappiness and negativity with her wherever she lives. While a move might be a great thing - I think it would be very exciting if I were you - it may not resolve the underlying things that are bothering you. I think you'd want to try to take a long, hard, objective look at the pros and cons of moving or staying.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 8:55AM
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I totally get it -- and I've done it. Most of my major moves have been more figurative than geographic, but a change of geography can sometimes be just what you need to solidify a major life change. I tend to 'reinvent my life' every 5-8 years or so, and it's coming up on time for another change. Fortunately, DH is on exactly the same page!

Yes, you do take you with you -- but sometimes, the bothersome parts get lost in the shuffle for a while, and if you're determined, you can stomp back those problem areas and the parts that return will be much smaller than before. And there are some problems you can just plain leave behind. Of course, new ones pop up also, so the net-net tends to be up to you. I think most people are about as happy as they decide to be.

Kailua's advice is great -- to really take note of what you do and don't like about your situation, and then decide how you will go about changing it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:17AM
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DH is the happy wanderer and would love to move anymore, over and over again. I grew up 25 miles outside Boston (lived there into my early 20s), then lived in Boston until 1 year ago (over 10 years). I wanted a house, and DH wanted to be in a more rural area, so we chose Maine.

I really, really miss Massachusetts. Seems silly, I work there everyday and am only about 20 miles from the border (we are in southern Maine), but it is not the same here. Many people in Maine tend to not like outsiders. The established "townies" just don't like people like me (female attorney, from Massachusetts, Democrat, no children (not by choice, but they don't know that)). The town we are in is very old-time Republican, the newcomers are Democrats, so there is a lot of fighting in town.

DH fits in better than I do. He is more rough and tumble. I'm still trying to find a decent place to get my eyebrows waxed and to find good Chinese food. We like most of our neighbors, and people that are willing to get to know us are nice. But many, many people here literally want to close the doors to anyone from outside the state. I have actually heard people (at town meetings) say things like, "we wish you people would go back to where you came from". I now know that some of the towns near us are not like this, but we didn't know that when we built our "dream house".

If we moved back to Mass (if I could get DH to do it), we would have to greatly downgrade our house. We have an amazing piece of land that I love. I just wish I could transport it to another town nearby, or to Mass.

I say if you are unhappy where you are then move. You want to move away, I want to move back (until I see the Great Blue Heron sweep into my backyard, then I want to stay!). Find a place that fits YOU.

By the way, DH had severe plantar fasciitis. He went to a podiatrist and then gave him a bunch of exercises to do, and told him to walk a little more each day. It is now fully healed. He didn't believe the exercises would work, but they did. I remember that one was pretending to write the alphabet in the air with your toes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:40AM
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can I leave all the stuff behind?
can I leave the kids and the DH behind?

seriously, though--sometimes I wonder if our family should move--w/ our 100% equity, we could buy an entire house for cash. I just don't know if I could get work I'd enjoy as much in my field (publishing) in other places. Or that would be as stable--I keep getting laid off, but since I'm in NYC, i can just get a new job right away. If I lived in Topeka, I'd have to move when Grit folded.

however, I have found that I make friends much less easily than I did when younger. I have kids now, so that makes some difference, I know--less time and energy for friendships. But I also am just not as flexible.

If I moved, I'm afraid I'd be a little lonely for a while.

I'm sort of a "joiner," so that would help--I'd join stuff at church, for example. But it would still be a real crap shoot in terms of whether I could find someone to be a friend.

Though, it's not like I have any true friends here anymore--they've moved away. There's really no one that I'd want to call up and say, "come shopping with me next Saturday."

And I've really gotten bored with the superficial "making conversation" sort of socializing. It's not that horrible--it's just not very fulfuilling.

I'd miss family the most probably--but it's my DH's family, so actually I wouldn't miss them that much. But they are the people that I see, so I know it would be a lonely few months.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 11:00AM
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Yup, I did just that. Had sold my home for a smaller place and home shopping schedule for 2 mos, but just couldn't get comfortable with the task. Woke up one morning and decided I could go wherever, whenever.

Had always wanted to live in NM. Didn't know anyone there, but had driven through for years with awe for the landscape, history and people. Got on a plane 2 days later, bought a house 2 weeks later and moved. Somehow while driving around I fell onto a wonderful small town. Never regretted it and would do it again. Lived there for 5 years, it will always be a place missed.

The only reason I left NM was when my kids showed up for a visit and told me they wanted to have mom nearby...time to have family close, life is too short, etc. This was a tough decision as the kids are busy, they have work/family, and each of us a bit independant doing our own thing. We saw each other on numerous trips and holidays, so my moving back didn't mean our family was going to be much different in time together. But they truely wanted this with love. And I did move back, with the knowledge that NM was there if the decision didn't work. We have gained a great deal on our new adventures and learned so much about ourselves together. It is great to have them drop in whenever they like, at hand to share the days if wanted.

The off the wall move was never regretted. I can't say it took any amount of strength to make the move, wasn't running from anything. Perhaps a mid age crisis thing, but didn't feel such. I reveled in my art, the resources, new activities and new friends.

If I were to do this again (doubtful with age restraints), my suggestion is to find an area and rent for a while to get a handle on the environment. Make sure the economy fits regarding pay levels/cost of living. Sometimes visiting a place for a couple of weeks is not long enough to know....there is a saying regarding the "Disneyland" affect. What is seen in a short while is not the true experience for living requirements. Even moving back here it took more adjustment than the overnight decision of yore, difficult to know where I would best fit location wise. There were so many changes during the time gone the area was totally different.

That said....I believe there is so much to offer in all that is around us. We owe it to ourselves to experience what brings the best to us as individuals. Adjustments yes, but also adventures ahead. And, the roller coasters of life will always be there...to keep us on our toes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 12:14PM
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Talley sue, we have great schools, safe neighborhoods (well aside form the moose wandering through, but they rarely travel in gangs) work opportunities up the ying yang for any professional, and a fabulous summer! It gets a little chilly in the winter, by if you're from NY you're tough enough for that.

My husband and I know that we'll move before the little guy grows up, probably a couple of times at least before we move permanently onto the boat. We'll always have a home here, but it's good for kids and their parents to learn to adapt to a new enviornment :) Our next place will probably be in Denver....but we haven't decided yet. Someone just has to throw enough money at us to get the company and we're on our way :) I look forward to that adventure too!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 2:50PM
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On the whole, I've enjoyed moving to different parts of the country. I like getting to know different local customs & attitudes, learning the landmarks & history, making new friends. I've enjoyed learning how to garden in different climates. Moving has given me a deeper appreciation for the variety of people & customs in America: everybody has something to bring to the table.

If you don't have strong family ties or friendships in your old hometown, I say go for it as long as you go into it with open eyes. Give yourself two years to explore your new locale. You just might improve your cost of living or live in an area that's easier to get around, has good outdoor recreation, or is a safer, prettier neighborhood. None of these will solve any deep-rooted unhappiness, but they do help with your well-being.

Anybody have any places to recommend? I always enjoy visiting Atlanta or Kansas City. They have so many lovely neighborhoods there, plenty of goods & services, & the cost of living seems pretty reasonable.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 6:08PM
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Americans have always been movers, but I think the last 10 years have seen a tremendous amount of moving around. It's a long-lasting trend.

One brother moved to France, married, had a child, moved to DC and then to Texas. Another brother moved from Cali to Michigan, to Hawaii (Kailua Beach), and now back to Cali. Friends have moved from SoCal to NoCal, from SoCal to Reno, from SoCal to Idaho, from Socal to Portland... (I think we're seeing a still-undocumented Great California Exodus).

SIL moved from NC to FL and now to VA.

I will probably be moving within the next 2-3 years myself. I was a military brat and moved around a lot. DH has also moved a lot in his life. We are planning our next step with excitement and a feeling of adventure.

I agree with other posters though, that if you are unhappy, you may be unhappy in new surroundings as well. But I also believe that change is good for you - it forces you to grow, change, meet new people, do new things. It's not for everyone but I'm a proponent for it in general.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 7:37PM
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I've done it too. I think I have gypsy blood or something.

Picked up and went to England, where I lived for a year. I always wanted to go there but knew I never would if I waited for someone to go with me. One of the best times of my life.

DH and I moved quite a few times while we lived in Maryland.

In 2005, we made a fairly spontaneous move from Maryland to NJ, via 9 months in Pa. We had talked about it on-and-off for years, but I always resisted because it was a little scary leaving a state we'd lived in for 20 years. But one day we just decided to do it. Put our house on the market and were moved within a couple of month. We don't have kids, so that obviously factors in.

This was a big change, but I think for the better. DH has elderly family here, and I can't imagine dealing with their issues if we were still in Maryland. My brother and a couple of old friends are here as well.

But, we're already talkin about our next house ;)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:08PM
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I seem to be doing that every summer for 3 months. As soon as I'm finished with school, I'm driving to wherever my dh is located. Last year, I spent a lot of time in MS. We LOVED MS and have talked of retiring there. This summer, I'll be on the road for eastern PA. I travel there every 2 weeks as it is.

Our oldest dd1 moved to Dallas after she finished college. She planned on working and building a resume and then returning to Pittsburgh, but she'll never make the money here that she does there. Our yougest dd2 moved to Ohio to be with her college sweetheart.

I would love to have both our girls close to each other, but that will probably never happen.

Neither of us can stand the cold anymore so we'll try to move to warm climate with golf!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Wow - Everyone - Thanks for all your touching responses, good advice, and great stories about your lives.

Kailuamom - thanks for opening up. I would "only" be 6 hours from home. Comparison makes it all relative. I know people bring their issues with them...but I do think some of my issues have to do with the high cost of living here, living in a marginal neighborhood, and being simply tired of the same place after all this time. We'll see. Congrats on Hawaii...hopefully your DH will adjust and make it home too.

Igloomom - now you are truly adventurous. Thank you for opening up also. How great that you ended up somewhere that you love. It sounds like you found a whole new life that you never planned to have. Your openness to possibilities brought that to you.

Gibby - Thanks for the good advice. A long hard look at the pros and cons is a good idea. Unfortunately with the job situation and the foot, I don't really know if it's a slump I'm in, or an overall fed-upness with living in the same place because I feel some sort of obligation to family. Or simply complacency. My parents brought me here, I'm here, I'll stay here...

Sweeby - I love your second paragraph - the idea that the change will make some of the old ways go away. You also seem adventuresome and move as you desire. I love all your thoughts, very upbeat, thank you.

Sue36 - thanks for the poignant story. So much of what you've said makes sense, and is a good warning to me. I must really check out a neighborhood or area, and not move based on the house. I may find out that I have moved into a certain area where single women are rare and looked at funny, and find out that just one zip code over there's lots of us. Your situation sounds somewhat challenging as the newcomers are probably improving the area, while the townies don't want anything to do with it. This is a common scenario throughout the US. Thanks for the great advice on plantar fasciitis -- it does feel better to exercise it -- I just need to push through it.

Tallysue - everything you say rings true...if I sold, I could trade the equity on this small house for a much nicer house, and have a fraction of the mortgage. But the job situation would be much less reliable and lucrative. But am I living and struggling to pay for an overpriced house? I realize that there's this whole world out there where neighborhoods aren't built up, and housing is moderate. Everything you said about friends really struck a chord with me. I don't make friends as easily and have fewer as the years go by, I would certainly have to make an effort to join and participate in things.

Emaengineer - Your adventure's sound wonderful. You did what I would like to do...just did it. Part of me is saying plan, be prepared, look at the job situation, make sure it's right. The other side says...if I'm going to move anyway why wait? And why have to worry another year that this old furnace won't make it through the winter. Just go for it. Of course, where I am thinking of has winters too, and I would be all alone in a new town - after all it's not Shang'rla. Just writing this makes me think that I'm not a just do it type as you are.

Awm03 - Your advice is good. I appreciate your 2nd paragraph about having open eyes and being realistic, and about improving my living situation. I don't believe I have deep seated unhappiness, just well-being issues. For new locales I have been thinking about Greensboro, NC. I have heard it's a very pretty area, and based on realtor.com the housing seems phenomenal. My brother's in real estate and he said the boom which lots of east coast cities have gone through evidently has passed this area. Not enough business and technology or something.

Gina-w - thanks for all the examples of people just up and moving. Lots of people do it, it's in fact normal. I love this sentence of your's, and of course this is my hope "I also believe that change is good for you - it forces you to grow, change, meet new people, do new things." I'm starting to think that I have put too much into staying in one place, which then makes moving to a new place seem scary.

Goldgirl - you too and your DH made that move. I have been in Maryland forever too. I love it here, but it has also changed so much and become so congested. I could probably enjoy a new area as much or even more if I feel that I chose it. I wouldn't want to be the type of person who is always comparing one place against the other.

Everyone, thanks for all the great positive thoughts. I really needed your words and ideas. I'm printing your responses out to go over. There are so many Up and Move types out here I wonder what's stopping me. Thank you for opening up and sharing your life stories.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 11:39PM
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Rachel...Just a little addition. It's SCARY AS HECK!! I cried A LOT!!!! It was HARD!!!! And by the end of the year I realized I'd done it, and I was happy :) I would guess that if you're asking, you're already thinking of taking the plunge :) Don't think too much...there are so many reasons you'll find not to. Just do it! What's the very worst thing that can happen? You might lose some money, heck have to start all over again, whatever, but so many people have done that in life and been even more successful than they were...You can do it too! Good luck!

Breath deeply...and JUMP :) The water's fine (well actually it's frozen hard here, but we won't discuss that) :p

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 2:17AM
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I think you should go for it.
I've basically lived in the same area I grew up my whole 41 years and I'm totally chomping at the bit to experience life in the unknown. So many friends of mine are transplants here and tell me how lucky I am to be living near family (only one sister and my parents are nearyby - well 30-45 min - the other 3 siblings are all over the country). And I agree, it's great that my children have a relationship with their granparents and at least one aunt and cousin and it's been so helpful many,many, times. But I've never had to find a grocery store, find my way around town, neighborhoods etc, as I know where everything is! (Well I did backpack through Europe for 3 months way back after college - and I had to find everything there!)

I'm completely happy here, have great friends, love the school, like my house, like my street, love my town, love the convenience we have to the beach, mountains, NYC, Philly and where I live is really quite a lovely area....but I still feel the need to have that "out of comfort zone" experience a move to another state would require.

My husband just recently got a new job that affords us the opportunity to really live where ever we want, since he works from home. The pay is very good (at least we think so...everything is relative), so that's not an issue. We've always wanted to move North, to Burlington VT. And now that the opportunity is here I'm chomping at the bit. But we've decided to wait for 3 years (until our son finishes High School) our girls will be in 6th and 4th by that time so the transistion won't be as hard as in High School. Also it gives my husband time to be more secure in his position and hopefully a better feel for how the job security with this company is, considering he probably couldn't get a comparable salary for what he does in Burlington.

While our intended move is 3 years away, I've already started researching schools, groups to join, things to do, places to see etc so that when the time comes I'll feel like I know it better.

I think where ever you plan to move to you should do tons of research on it. There's a great web site called city data that has info on every state..I've been reading the Vermont one daily. I already know the difficulties we'll face (uhm like being Republican's in a hugely liberal state..but the beauty of VT outweighs that, but I also learned despite our minority status in the political field that differing opinons tend to be listened to more than in big cities, so that makes me feel better - not that we get into many debates anyway). We're really into skiing, winter and outdoor activities and Burlington seems to fit all our needs. I'm sure when the time comes my stomach will be in knots but for now it's a nice vision.

I wish you luck and happiness where ever you may end up.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 10:45PM
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"Don't think too much...there are so many reasons you'll find not to."

Great advice Igloochic!
My favorite question at times like this, which never leads me astray, and often propels me to take instant, decisive action is:

"What would I do if I weren't afraid?"

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 10:04AM
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Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your mid 50's still in the same place. Do you think you'd be happy or wishing you'd moved? It's not going to get any easier to do as you get older.

In my early 20's I went on that trip of a lifetime - a year of backpacking across Central America. I was so excited and then when I arrived the airline lost my backpack! and never found it! Coming from Canada, i didn't speak a word of Spanish - I didn't even know that ola meant hello. I cried for 2 days, called my mom and said I was coming home. She told me to stick it out a bit and of course it turned into the best experience of my life.

With career and family, I would never have opportunity to do such a trip again. If you want to go, and you have the opportunity, I say go for it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 9:52PM
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I'll give myself about another year at my current location. After that, it's downtown Bethesda, MD, or maybe NY, Chicago, LA, even Oahu for awhile. Or maybe try out Canada or UK or something. There's just more to do there, and I'm increasingly realizing my ties to my current residence are not all that strong or irrevocable if I move. What's stopping me, besides lack of money?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 12:18PM
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I've have this feeling quite often, at 43, married, one kid in college & an 11 year old, a high stress job that's getting really hard to cope with as I get older. I live in the same small town that I grew up in, moved away to a large city for a couple of years, moved back, got married, had kids and until the last couple of years had been content. But for some reason(DH says its the mid-life thing), I'd really like to move to a larger less rural area. Living in a small town where everyone knows everyone, the cattiness(sp), gossip really gets to me more now, even churches have those cliques of holier than thou "perfect people". We have to drive 45 minutes to restaurants, shopping etc. DH is due to retire in 6 years, we've talked about moving to a warmer climate, DD #2 will be a senior in HS by then so if everything works out we probably will. On a positive note my children are very close to their grandparents and I am thankful for that. Anyone else dislike the small town life?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 1:54PM
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Hi Rachel,

I'm in the MD suburbs as well (Rockville), and I hear what you are saying about congestion. It's a bummer.

I grew up in one house until I went to college. Since then I've moved around a bunch -- my DH is in the Navy so we've been in Virginia, Maryland, Japan, California, and back to MD. We owe 4.5 more years and then we are thinking back to CA.

One thing stuck out to me -- you don't like your neighborhood. Our neighborhood in San Diego was a little sketchy -- some yards overflowing with weeds and junk, a couple convicted sex offenders on the next block, too-frequent helicopters overhead (this is what you get for ~$500K in SoCal). Our new neighborhood is much nicer and it makes a huge difference in our day-to-day happiness. We are in a family-oriented, tree-lined, walkable neighborhood and we just love it. Of course, we are terribly house-poor. :-(

Could you rent out your house (not a great sellers' market now anyways) and rent in a new place? Then you can always come back if you regret it. But I bet you won't. If you're in easy driving distance (~6 hours), it is so easy to come back when you need to. Yes, wherever you go, you still have you, but you will be in a whole new environment.

One suggestion, from my experiences of moving around. Think about your hobbies, and how they can help you meet other people. Love to read -- book club. Love to garden -- garden club. These are two of my favorites and they can be too solitary, so you have to think of ways to make them social so you can meet people. Volunteering is big, too -- at the library, the local hospital, the animal shelter. In SD, the animal shelter was a hotbed of social activity! Also, I have found that I have to "work" at meeting people -- new best friends aren't just going to knock on my door. I have to make an effort to be outgoing (I'm on the shy side) and make contacts. But once I started thinking of it as an enjoyable task, and applied myself, it got easier.

I'm firmly in the "GO FOR IT!" camp.



    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:21PM
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Another vote for making changes - here's my story.

Grew up in SoCal, even went to UCLA, and thought I'd be there for the rest of my life. Bought a house while single, remodeled it, and with close family nearby I didn't think anything would change.

At 34 moved abroad to Beijing - talk about doing the 'Up and Move' thing! Arrived to stay for almost 2 years with a 13-year old dog (another long story), not knowing the language and just a handful of acquaintances. It certainly was an experience of a lifetime, as a single person it was something I could do that being married would have been much more difficult.

Then so much change: got married, moved back to west LA, remodeled the house again (kitchen this time), job situation got so bad had to make a change. So we decided to move to San Diego, joined a growing startup. Less than 3 years later we're in the DC area, this time by choice - the opportunity was really good, and almost 2 years later we're doing fine.

Sure the first time was/is the hardest - it gets easier to move again once you've gone through the process once. And it opens up your horizons and perspective in ways that can't be gained through other means (such as reading widely, which I love to do). Here in suburban DC (I'm in Potomac) there are a lot of other 'transient' folks in my situation, and we transient types simply make home whereever we find ourselves. We're already thinking that we do not know how long we'll be here - but it doesn't matter, we enjoy our new friends and try to maintain friendships with those we've known for a long time.

That is a hard thing, 3K or 6K miles away, but I still have friends from China who I keep in contact with. (Of course they have moved around a lot too - one in Montreal, another in Vancouver.)

Keeping your current house may be worth seriously considering - if your any in your family or friends have a history of being a landlord, it is something that can work out very well if you have the aptitude for it. We have done very well with our places.

Thinking about it further, my relocation adventures after coming back to the US were driven by job opportunities/changes, rather than an internal 'I want to up and move' feeling. Perhaps you can look for increased responsibility / income / career growth as part of this move?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 8:49AM
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Just did a search of my username and saw this post. Thought I would give an update - four months after writing the post above, we decided to move back "home" to CA.

DH had been really hating Hawaii and I got a great job offer at home, so we up and moved back. I am really sad about it, I liked Hawaii!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:27PM
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kailuamom-- just wondering, HOW DOES ONE HATE HAWAII???????!!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:45PM
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I just found this post tonight. Oh, how I would love to just pick up my photos, cell, keys, and pocketbook and walk out that door and move on to the next adventure! If I could do what I want right now, I would move overseas somewhere the US dollar is strong. :] I would peruse the US government job sites and find a contract job, possibly. They'll pay your way and provide you with housing, usually. If you could work for the DOD Schools, that would be great! I would at least check on it if I were you.

I grew up the daughter of a military father who retired Navy. My DH retired from the US Army 3 1/2 years ago. I grew up learning how to talk to anyone and make my own way. I don't meet strangers...ever, unless I decide to stay silent. It's amazing what I can get a person to tell me.

I quickly emerse myself in foreign culture...learning their transportation or subway systems and currency quickly. No one fully understands the value of the US dollar unless they live abroad. You understand how important a careless statement by one of what our elected officials in our government can affect a financial market in another country. It's not good if you live on the economy and the value of the dollar drops. Want to learn about politics fast? Travel to other countries if you can.

This is the longest I've lived in a single place in 18 years. I'm ready for 'orders' and ready to 'transfer'. This staying stagnant is for the birds! We built a lovely retirement home next to my brother and his family, my parents live about 300 yards away, and my sister lives about 2 miles away. It's great having our family 'all here' for a change. I doubt that we'll move as long as my parents are still alive.

Our last assignment was in the DC area, so we lived in Northern VA. Anyone that knows how it is outside the beltway (or inside), knows the traffic is hideous and stress levels run high. If you really think you want to move, then I would test the waters and rent out your house. I'd look for that job that would take you overseas for 18 mos. or so. If you take a job that long, the money you make is 'tax free', if I remember correctly. The laws may have changed, but it's easy to check on it.

Being in the DC area, I would think that you could get a lot of advice from people about working for the US government in a foreign country. Everyone I know that's ever done it has not regreted taking a year or two contract overseas. Life is an adventure that should be experienced by everyone. Who knows, you may meet the love of your life 'there'. Nothing brings people closer faster than being abroad and alone. Expats tend to lean on each other because even overseas, we stay 'united'.

rachelrachel, what did you decide to do?

Here is a link that might be useful: The site my DH uses to find jobs available overseas

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 2:44AM
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kailua, thanks for the update; you experienced Hawaii like none of us ever will.

I wonder how rachelrachel is doing , the original poster....

DH is changing jobs and we might have to relocate so this thread caught my eye. I don't really want to leave but I would. We lived 3 years in Denver in 98
and it was a big change for us, being from Montreal; living away makes you explore the new place like a tourist.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 3:43PM
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Thought I would just bump this up in case Rachelrachel checks in. I've thought about this post a lot since we'll be retiring in a year and contemplating a move. All of these posts have been so helpful.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Wow, this post sounds really familiar. OMG! Its mineÂ..

First of all, everyone who responded was really helpful to me. I appreciate all your support and great advice. Your words and thoughts all brought me a lot of comfort. Thank you - all you very kind people.

And hereÂs what happened. To get to the end first, as I myself hate waiting for the punch line, I did not move. I did put my house on the market though.

But first I spent money fixing it up in various ways, such as finally finishing a bathroom. Fixing up all the electrical things I always had intended doing. $$$$. So after 8 years of living with the intention of having a front entryway light, and splitting the outlet/light switch which had been combined, I did all those things. Plus a lot more electric work. This made it nicer for me, but $$$$ which I did not recoup.

Based on a post in Buying Selling House forum, I spent oodles of time trying to get grass to grow in my full sun, scorching Maryland climate, red clay front yard which was a major flop. Nevertheless, I spent months doing this and it became a minor obsession. You have no idea. I also spray painted my rusted chain link fence a silver color  major improvement.

Then I put my house on the market, kept it pretty clean, rented storage, lived on egg-shells. Of course this was right during the Real Estate flop of last spring/summer.

I also occasionally traveled to North Carolina and checked out amazing housing prices there. BUT my little, very nice on the inside, 2 BD/2 BA house did not sell. I would have had to drop the price much lower as the inventory in my area was huge, and 2 bedroom houses would not sell before 3 or 4 bedroom ones. I didnÂt need to move, and saw no reason to cut so far into the "profits dancing in my head" that a move would no longer be financially beneficial.

Driving back and forth between Maryland and North Carolina, I also started to understand the value of the family and friends I have in the area. After nearly 3 months on the market, I look my house off. I almost donÂt remember where I planned to go.

In September I realized that a co-worker and I could start a creative business which I had always dreamed of. I approached him and we formed a business partnership. We are working on this all the time, and that is my current focus. I am doing things which I hadnÂt planned to do before, such as writing childrenÂs stories while he creates the online characters.

There are still many aspects of my life which probably would make me as impatient as I was when I wrote my original post. I mostly donÂt have time to think about them. I am pretty busy with launching a business and learning about all that  itÂs a real baptism by fire. I did get rid of a negative "friend" which has improved my life greatly. And I am a "convert" to The Secret which truly works. The business was totally unexpected, and perhaps if it didnÂt materialize when it did, I would happily be living in Raleigh or someplace in that area.

I look forward to enjoying my house and yard this spring and summer. The lovely screened porch, the quiet neighborhood, the improved house, a soon to be successful business (fingers crossed).

Life is certainly unexpected.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 12:42PM
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Rachel - what an interesting change of events. I am so glad you posted an update to your story. I hope your new venture is a smashing success and brings you great happiness. Although from reading your post it seems that you are already in a better space than you were a year ago. That is wonderful news. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 10:35PM
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Done that! I'll read other responses later.

I lived in a large metro area in the midwest for my first 39 years. Sick and tired of the commute, traffic, general congestion. Job was getting sucky. Quit my job, cashed in my retirement account. (Not the most wise idea.) Took harp lessons full-time until my lease was up - 4 months. Sold half of what I owned and stored the rest. Went on a tour of the country, including Alaska. Ended up in a mid-sized west coast city and started a new life. I liked it there, as it was an improvement over my home town. Well, the cost of living on the west coast isn't great, but my quality of life was still better. When my international firm closed the local office, I tried another job, but eventually ended up back in the midwest in a nice small city that is working out fine for me. Great cost of living. Own a home and have 3 dogs. If I got a good opportunity in another small city, I'd take, but never again in a large metro area.

I am also a single woman with no children. Divorced twice. Only recently did I acquire the dogs. LOL! They are a blast!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 10:22AM
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I spent two months in Hawaii one summer for vacation. It was a nice place, but I didn't get the feeling I'd like to live there. I like hopping in my car and driving across the country for a week or two. Plus, I could never get used to all the sunshine. :) I'm serious about that. I'm a shade person. Sun makes my skin hurt.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 10:42AM
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what a wonderful update !! also it's inspiring how positive energy can make things happen and change a frame of mind.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 5:28AM
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Sjerin -

DH mostly hated the culture, bigotry, passive agressive negativity, bureauracy and standards. We both loved the sunshine, warm weather and beaches. FYI - the grass always looks greener.....untill you get there and see the brown spots. DH is apologizing for making us move. He misses Hawaii too. None of the friends he was busy missing ever come over, so we see them as rarely as when we lived in Hawaii.

All of that said, I am very happy with my new job and believe that the move was meant to be. (Even if I still miss Hawaii)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 5:25PM
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Don't hate me when you read this....but I am 47 and happen to love where I live. I was born in St. Paul, MN and currently live about 20 minutes north of the Twin Cities. It helps that I have tons of relatives. Even in DH's large family (he is one of 8 children) everyone lives within 25 miles or so.

We absolutely love to travel, especially when it's cold at home. I was worried at one time that DH might want to move to Florida, which holds no charm for me. But he told me recently that he'd never live there, just wants to lay on the beach for a while. While he loves the tropics of Mexico etc. I love Charleston, S.C. , the French Quarter of New Orleans, the mountains of British Columbia and the cable cars of San Francisco for starters. I was wondering if maybe the OP and some others that expressed a desire for change, maybe they just need a vacation????

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 4:20PM
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