Finding Our Forever Place


75 Comments
Greetings from Nomadville

After rehashing all of our moving experiences earlier this week, it made us wonder if we’ll ever settle down in one place. Johnny and I really hope to put down roots somewhere someday. We want to buy a house, dig in, and become invested in a community. I moved around a lot as a kid, and like it I did not. Johnny lived in one place during his childhood and love it he did. Weird speak this is. But Friday today is, so okay it is. But seriously, I’m gonna stop now. What was I saying? Oh, yes… by the time our girl starts school, we’d like to be settled somewhere. That gives us about five more years to find a location that we love and never want to leave.

We’ve really enjoyed moving to new places: schooling in Utah, jobs in NYC and Boston, and now a job in North Carolina. But while we’ve loved every place, none of these locations is our “forever place.” Johnny grew up in Los Angeles, and we spent a few months living there the summer before we graduated from college. So I’ve gotten a taste of LA living as well. And location-wise, LA fits the bill for us. It has warm weather year-round, a beach, and a more laid-back way of life that fits us. Plus, there are a ton of advertising agencies in LA, so Johnny could switch agencies (which is how one moves up in his industry) without us having to move.

But all of that said, financially Los Angeles isn’t really making sense for us. It’s not even that the housing is outrageously expensive. We’re okay with living in small spaces. It’s that California’s economy is in the hole, and their taxes are [curse word(s)]. So we hope the state of California shapes up in the next few years, but the odds don’t look too good. And so, we’re back to square one, wondering where our forever place will be.

We know what we want, we’re just not certain where we’ll find those things. Here’s our must-haves in a location:

  • Warm weather
  • Young, fresh community
  • Thriving state economy, plus low taxes
  • Location where Johnny’s career would work long-term

We have a few states in mind, but we’ve never lived in any of them, so our thoughts on those locations are all just based on hearsay. And then we sometimes wonder this: are we crazy to think we should put down roots and stay somewhere forever? I mean, I didn’t like moving around a lot growing up, but I don’t think I’m any the worse for wear because of it (aside from my brain exploding every time someone asks, “Where did you grow up?”).

And it seems that maybe our generation is more transient than our parents’ and grandparents’ generations were. For the most part, our generation doesn’t work at the same company for 40 years, with a pretty pension plan come retirement. We switch jobs often, networking and zigzagging our way through careers, rather than staying on one, defined course. And our friends aren’t just limited to the people we live near. We can get up and move and easily keep contact with all our friends and family thanks to social media, email, and video chatting. So who knows… maybe in a few years we’ll decide that staying in one place isn’t a requirement at all. And instead of finding a forever place we’ll be forever nomads.

Are you in your forever location? If not, do you know where you want to end up? Or are you content with moving from place to place as better opportunities open up? Curious we are.

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75 Comments

  • Reply Lisa D April 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I’ve always wanted to move around and experience new places (and warmer places). However, I’m assuming once I get a little bit older I may feel a stronger desire to put down roots. I guess I’m just hoping I can make the most out of whatever ends up happening because I have a feeling some of those big moving decisions may be out of my control.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      I hear ya, Lisa. I think while you’re young (or before you have kids!), you should experience as many places as possible. Even if you don’t move a lot, there’s always traveling. Now that we have Baby Girl, traveling is about 1000x more complicated. Looking back, Johnny and I wish we’d explored a bit more!

  • Reply Michelle April 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I’m assuming that we are in our forever area (however, not the house we are currently in), mainly because we want to stay near family and friends. However, if everyone moved then I would be stuffing everything we have in a truck and moving somewhere with a beach.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      That’s awesome you guys know where you want to be, Michelle! Being near family is a big draw for us. I’m not sure we’ll ever be super close, but we’d like to be within a day’s drive for sure.

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

    We’ve been in our house for almost 4 years, and we’re looking at staying here for a while to come. So I guess this is as forever as I can imagine right now.

    Have you guys thought about Florida? I know I’m biased, but it seems to hit a lot of your notes: No income taxes, low prop taxes for residents, the state’s finances are a boat-load healthier than CA’s, nice and warm, and I don’t know Johnny’s job market, but the Miami/FLL area seems to be growing more “creative” jobs.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      Glad you guys are in a place you like! Florida is one of our favorite vacation destinations for sure. Every time we go down there, we’re always like, “We could definitely live here.” There are some agencies in FL, but not a ton. If the job was right, we’d seriously consider it!

  • Reply Steven J Fromm April 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

    My forever place if Philadelphia. I grew up here but lived in Syracuse (burr), Chicago (double burr) and New York City. But my roots and my wife’s and my family is here so this is where we are and where we will always be. We travel and visit all over but we still come back here even though the climate is not the best. Do not ask me why but this will always be home to me.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      We’ve never been to Philadelphia! I really wanted to visit while we lived in NYC, but we never got the chance. I think the fact that both you and your wife’s families are there is incredible! I wouldn’t move either!

  • Reply Beth Sheridan April 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I am in my forever place and while I would not choose it for the taxes, jobs, weather, or economy at all, it’s where my family is and that’s where my heart is, so stay here, I will :)

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      If it’s where your heart is, you can’t ask for more than that, Beth! Now that we have the baby, we’re starting to rethink where we’d live, so we could be near family. It’s awesome you’ve got them nearby!

  • Reply Emory April 5, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I am an adventurer at heart and the thought of traveling and living in another country is something I have always wanted to do very much. This is funny because my husband would be perfectly happy to stay where we are in Oklahoma forever. He is a find-a-place-and-stay-forever kind of person. And I think honestly I want to put down roots somewhere and stay for a while. But I would really like it to be somewhere exotic with a culture that I can really explore. This may have something to do with my studies in Anthropology in college. But I honestly have little trouble building relationships in new places. But I also saw how hard it was for my husband to connect to a new group of people when we moved life groups within our church. So, I foresee us settling somewhere more traditional unless I can convince him to try out a new place for about three months. I think I could make him catch the travel bug and off we would be globe trotting in Eastern Europe. Well, a girl can dream anyway. As far as careers go, I know I am where I need to be right now. But if that were to change I would be able to find a job just about anywhere. There is no shortage of need for social services oriented people. Even in other countries.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      It sounds like you guys are in a place where you and your husband are both happy, which is awesome. Even if you don’t end up moving somewhere exotic, there’s always vacationing in such places! I love your idea of an extended vacation in Eastern Europe! I could get down with that, too! :)

  • Reply terri d. April 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    This is a great topic! My husband and I bought our first house about a year and a half ago in the same area where we grew up because our family is in this area; however, we still have an interest in living overseas and settling elsewhere as our ‘forever’ place (not that we have any clue where that is…). We are still undecided about having a family but figure that if we want to live overseas we should do it sooner than later but are tied to this area for at least a few more years. Our challenge is that we haven’t lived in many different places, so it is hard to decide what place would have the right vibe for our lifestyle. Good luck figuring it out!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks, Terri! It’s a tough decision, for sure. I’m sure living overseas would be an incredible experience, just getting to experience a new culture and way of life. I hope you guys are able to make it work! In the meantime, it’s nice you guys know where you’re gonna be for at least the next few years!

  • Reply Grayson @ Debt Roundup April 5, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Come on Johnny, out a shirt on! OK, anyway, your requirements are difficult to pinpoint. We live in NC and enjoy it, except for the hot summers. Our family is close and that is good for our son. We also like being able to get to the mountains or the beach in just an few hours. We always have wanted to live in Colorado, but that won’t happen until much later in life, probably retirement.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      We’d definitely like for our girl to be nearer to family. I think our main vacation this year will just be visiting relatives. Hopefully we can do a couple weekend trips to the beach as well… although, that will largely depend on how much our girl likes long car rides :D.

  • Reply Rob April 5, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Speaking for ourselves, my wife and I grew up and lived in Montreal for the first 33 years of our lives, close to our parents. Following my (then) employer’s head office transfer, we’ve now lived in Toronto for the same amount of time. Neither of these cities are all that warm in the winter, compared to your southern U.S. but we enjoy the change in seasons. Although our family members (inlaws and outlaws – lol) are scattered all across Canada, we consider where we live now to generally be our “stay put” location. That doesn’t necessarily mean that in years to come we may decide to downsize from our 2 story house to a smaller bungalow or move into a retirement community, closer to where our kids now live, about an hour’s drive from us. One thing to consider, based on ours and others’ experience: where you eventually end up living, when your child (or children) get a bit older, may be where you’ll “stay put”, at least until they leave the nest. Kids hate leaving their friends. And by that time you guys may have then put down more social roots within your community. So try to choose wisely.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      It’s definitely a big decision! That’s unreal you guys were able to put down roots in two places for such a long time. I can’t even begin to know what that would be like. But it seems like it’d be really cool to get to know a place and its people so well. We’ll try to choose wisely… hopefully we gain some wisdom in theses next few years before we have to make a choice :).

  • Reply D5 April 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

    My brother and sister-in-law just moved down to Austin, TX this past year from Chicago. They love the atmosphere and young-professional culture down there. I think it would be too hot for me in the summer, but you guys might like it. You should keep it in mind!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Glad to hear your brother and sis-in-law love it. We’ve heard good things about Austin, too! It’s definitely a place we’d consider if the job were right.

      • Reply Sweta April 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        I was just going to recommend a move to Austin. I skimmed this post but I know Johnny is in advertising and a really good ad agency called GSD&M is headquartered here. They handle/have handled several large accounts like Walmart, BMW, John Deere, Southwest airlines, etc. Don’t know if that helps.

        • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm

          GSD&M is definitely on Johnny’s short list, so it’s cool you mentioned that!

  • Reply Chris April 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

    We’re in our forever place but it probably wouldn’t meet you equiements. Living in Illinois you get cold weather and high taxes. Summers can be nice. Ideally we’d move to San Diego where my wife is from buy unless we get rich soon that probably won’t happen.

    We’re happy with where were at today because of the strong community and school system. We wanted to put our kids in a strong situation to succeed. We paid more the house we live in but long term it will benefit our family.

    Good luck with your search!

    http://amplifytoday.com/online-life/pop-culture/

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Glad to hear you guys have found your forever place, Chris! Good schools are a must. Kudos to you and your wife for making sure your kids get a good education!

  • Reply Budget and the Beach April 5, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Great question! I have no idea if I’m in my forever place. I do live in LA so I understand your hesitation to live here. You pay dearly for the great weather and beach. And from what I understand the school system isn’t the best either. I’ve been debating myself where I belong. I keep thinking about more mid-sized cities like Boulder or Portland, but they both have down sided for me as well. Good luck with your search!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks! Having a tan and nice weather year-round? Part of me thinks we shouldn’t put a price on that. Until you figure out where you’d like to end up, you enjoy LA for us :)!

  • Reply Heidi April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I can only speak for one side of the argument, but I lived in the same house my entire life. My parents still live there. It was a small community about 20 minutes outside of a city, and it was a great way to grow up. My best friends are ones I met in 5th grade. We were kids together and our kids will be kids together :) Good luck with your search!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      That sounds wonderful, Heidi. Seriously, I’d love that experience for my kids. I think belonging to a community can give a kid an extra sense of confidence and purpose. Glad to hear it’s been such a great experience for you!

  • Reply Ellie April 5, 2013 at 11:02 am

    So timely for us! My husband and I grew up in the Triangle area of NC and wouldn’t complain if it was our forever home. Family is close, beach and mountains just a couple hours away, and a decent cultural scene. We are currently renting out our home there (bought before the bubble burst + tried to sell at the worst time in history + feeling a little burned by the housing market = renting for now!). So, maybe we’ll be back someday…

    That being said, we just packed up our family and moved to Graceland for my husband to get his MDiv. I have also stated that I would like to be “settled” by the time our infant starts school. However, with that career on the horizon, open-minded I stay (see what I did there?) about our “forever place”… or if we will have one at all.

    Recently I’ve determined that maybe our forever place is a pimped out airstream cruisin’ the country. Not sure how that lifestyle stacks up financially to owning a home and being settled. Sometimes you just have to take it one step at a time and make the best decision you can at the time… right? :)

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Yup, we’ve gotta support our husbands’ careers! That’s awesome you guys are getting to experience a new place… my dad grew up in Memphis, so we visited there a lot when I was growing up. Who knows what the future holds, but luckily once you’re married home is wherever you and your husband are together… one of many things I love about being married! :)

  • Reply My Financial Independence Journey April 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’m certainly not in my forever place. Where I can live is dictated by where I can get a job. And there aren’t that many employers for my rather specialized skill set. So I make the best of it. Ideally, I would like to be a snowbird. Living in Chicago or Minneapolis in summer, and then down by Tampa in winter.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      I agree… that would be a good life. I’d love to migrate to a beach every winter. There’s bound to be some place somewhere that fits your ideal location and career… good luck in finding it!

  • Reply Alice April 5, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I second Austin, TX. No state income tax, creative jobs, warm weather, great people!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Good to hear, Alice! I swear we just keeping hearing more and more great stuff about Austin… It sounds like Johnny and I need to take a weekend trip down there to check it out!

      • Reply Ashley April 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        Austin is sooo worthy of “forever home” consideration. Amazing music and food, active people, great schools, the weather (!!), and it is so different than the rest of TX. I’ve been here since graduating from UT a few years ago, so if you guys make a weekend trip I will gladly suggest places to check out!

        • Reply Joanna April 6, 2013 at 12:05 am

          Awesome, Ashley! I seriously do think we’re gonna come check it out. Everyone we know who’s lived there has loved it, and it seems like it checks a lot of boxes that we’re looking for!

  • Reply Chris April 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Well..I live in the dust bowl of NM. I’ll include a YouTube video and you might understand. I’m ready to move but it doesn’t really make career sense to leave right now. I need some more experience under my belt before I can venture off and do my own thing. I suspect once I move I will become nomadic and never really settle. Who knows.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_VmMDpqM48

    This happens a lot around here. The guy in the video sums it up nicely.

    **BTW I like your new edit button

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      That dust storm is out of control… that guy did sum it up pretty well, haha. Big moves usually mean taking a financial hit at least initially, so you’re smart to hold off until the time is right. In the meantime, I prescribe lots of travel to places where dust storms don’t happen ;).

  • Reply jrm April 5, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Very Yodaesque.

    I’m a bit of a nomad – Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Phoenix and probably moving again long distance in the next month. There is just so much to see! But yes, hoping this next move will keep me stationed for many years just because I love the place.

    Have you considered Nashville or Atlanta? Nashville is a great place, although I know nothing about advertising so not sure how “big” the industry is there. Atlanta has everything. It is a massive metropolis but there are some great pockets where if you can have a max 30-45 minute commute, you’d be set.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Wow, you’ve experience a lot of places! So fun. My mom’s family is from Nashville, so we visited there a few times a year growing up. I’ve been to Atlanta a few times, but I don’t actually know much about it! If the job were right, I think Johnny and I’d consider both of those places.

      And moving is always a crazy time, so good luck with the next month!

  • Reply Amanda April 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I’m not currently in my forever location but I hope to be in the next few years. I grew up in California, lived in Minnesota for a decent 6 years, and have now been in Washington for a little over a year and my dream place is probably in the middle of that triangle of states. It needs more sun than Washington, less humidity than Minnesota, and more snow than SoCal. That and lots of fun things to do!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Totally agree with needing to be in a place with lots of fun things to do, Amanda! I swear I can live almost anywhere as long as there’s plenty of that. Even though living in NYC was totally impractical, there was never a dull moment, which I definitely miss!

  • Reply Rebecca April 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Check out all that Dallas has to offer! We have tons of great areas for young families and business is booming. I live with my husband in the Oak Cliff area which is great.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Johnny and I have considered Dallas, so it’s funny you should mention that, Rebecca. Good to hear you like it! It seems like a good mix of a lot of stuff. There are some good agencies down there, too, so it’s definitely a city on our short list!

  • Reply Jacob @ iHeartBudgets April 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I’m assuming Seattle wound;t fit the bill, then? I mean, who doesn’t like gloomy, grey skies 11 months out of the year, and partly sunny, 60-degree weather the other month?

    All kidding aside, I love the Northwest, and will never move. We bought a house in a great neighborhood, great location, our little piece of heaven. Sure, the weather is a bummer during the winter months, but you build an appreciation for summer, and I’ll say, we have THE BEST SUMMERS IN THE COUNTRY. Last year, from July 5th to end of September, it was 70 – 85, with a stretch of 45 days of no rain in there. Absolutely gorgeous.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Glad to hear you love it, Jacob. I’ve never been anywhere in the Northwest, sadly! Actually, my sister just moved to the Seattle area with her family, and they are really loving it. And I’ve gotta say, it looks like a beautiful place. You’re right that Johnny and I won’t probably move there, but I’m really excited to have a reason to visit soon!

  • Reply L Rose April 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Great post! This is actually a topic that I have talked about over and over with my boyfriend (and most likely future husband): Will we stay in this city forever?

    We’ve never known any place other than Seattle. Growing up, it was fabulous to have stayed in one city and see friends/family often, but as an adult, I always wonder if the grass is greener outside of the Emerald City.

    I told myself grad school (which is now for me) would be the time to go for a few years (California, Hawai’i, Portland; basically anywhere West Coast-ish), but after finding a wonderful first-time/full-time job out of college and moving out of my parent’s place, my roots planted themselves firmly into the Seattle dirt. I think this really IS my forever place.

    So I might still wonder about the other places out there (Seattle is mild year round, but I just LOVE sunshine and warm weather), but I think that it’s important for me to establish myself here now so that I can take lengthy vacations elsewhere in the future.

    Maybe you two should think about Seattle? We got one morning of snow a couple Fridays ago (but otherwise a warmer winter), I’m not sure about the job prospects for Johnny, but the economy is looking alright from over here. And, we have that young (albeit, kinda weird) community as well as the great outdoors just 30 min. away!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm

      That’s awesome you’ve found your forever place, L. Neither of us has ever been to Washington! My sister lives in a suburb of Seattle now, so we finally have an excuse to visit. Seattle seems like a pretty cool place. I’m not sure how we’d do with the rain, but I really like the prospect of having so much outdoor stuff to do!

      Even if you do wonder about other places, those lengthy vacations you mentioned can take you wherever you want! :)

  • Reply Stefanie April 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I like moving. (gasp!)

    We moved a few times when I was growing up and I’m actually pretty thankful that I didn’t just live in one place my entire life, especially now that I’m an adult with my own family. I’ve been in Texas for 11 years, which is a REALLY long time for me. I get itchy if I’m in one place for too long, but luckily I’ve been able to satisfy it with lots of traveling.

    My folks live in Tennessee and I grew up mostly on the east coast and would like to get back to that area again soon-ish. Or maybe not, maybe somewhere totally different. Who knows! But I can’t see us staying here forever.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      No, I think there’s some definite perks to moving! I’ve really enjoyed moving around as an adult and getting to know other cities and areas of the country. That said, didn’t love it so much as a kid, mostly because of having to switch schools so often.

      Like you were saying, I’m hoping that when we do finally settle, traveling will be our way of satisfying the itch to see new places!

  • Reply Honey Smith April 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    You should move to Florida (no state income tax, warm weather). I highly recommend Orlando (I lived there for 6 years, year-round theme park access is uh-MAY-zing), but Tampa Bay and Ft. Lauderdale would probably also work for you guys.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      We love vacationing in Florida. Johnny and I have spent many a summer vacation down there! It would be pretty incredible for our favorite vacation place to become our home. Also, we went to Harry Potter World a couple years ago, and it was pretty much the best!

  • Reply Emily @ evolvingPF April 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    We’re about 80 percent sure our forever location is San Diego, but we haven’t yet lived there, only visited. It’s the perfect combination of great weather, job opportunities, and proximity to family. The court of will be quite high but I can’t imagine settling anywhere else. Originally I wanted to wait to reproduce until we got there but as it is several years away perhaps we might have to compromise on getting there by the time our first child is school aged, like you.

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      Agreed, Emily… San Diego does sound pretty sweet. That’s awesome you guys know where you want to end up. And it sounds like you have a lot of reasons to make it work! If Johnny’s family were still in LA, I think that’d tip the scales for us moving to CA.

  • Reply Meghan April 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    I live in Denver and will bawl my eyes out when I move next month but am not sure this is it. I’m not sure DC will be the place either. With my career in mind, the options are limited. I’d like to be an international snowbird and spend our summer in Colorado and winters in Sydney. If Austin was an option, I might go with it. Texas is a culture shock but maybe? I grew up on the Gulf and have no warm and fuzzies for Florida. Atlanta is awesome but it’s lacking in water. I’ve never been to LA or San Diego but have a feeling I might make sacrifices to live in either!

    • Reply Joanna April 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm

      It’s so hard to know which is the best place to settle! It sounds like you appreciate warm weather like we do! If you can make the international snowbird thing work, that’d be super sweet.

      Moving is a crazy time! Good luck with everything next month, Meghan!

      • Reply Meghan April 6, 2013 at 12:18 am

        Thanks! I really hope that I don’t fall in love with a dude who dreams to live somewhere cold one day – that would totally suck!

        Moving is a process but it gives us the best opportunity and reason to purge. I’ve been doing a lot of that and my mother is a pack rat, so I think she’s worried. :)

  • Reply Danielle @ Truffles n' Treadmills April 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I was actually thinking about this tonight. At dinner my mom asked where my boyfriend and I would live once we got married (we aren’t even talking marriage yet, so i’m not sure why she asked this!) I want to live somewhere warm and in a big city while he wants to live in a small town and loves the cold. I don’t want to move around a lot from city to city. I would rather find the perfect place right away!

    • Reply Joanna April 6, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Like they say, opposites attract! 😉 Location is one thing Johnny and I have always agreed on, but even if we hadn’t, I don’t think it would have been a very big deal. If you’re with the right person, you can make anywhere work!

  • Reply Michelle April 6, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I am in my forever home! I live in Denver and I love it. I did grow up in Boulder and Denver so I feel a bit spoiled. I have lived in other places: Japan (as a tiny kid), Michigan, California (was born there, don’t remember it!) Illinois, New York, and France. But, Colorado is where my heart is. The weather is great, we have more sun than San Diego, we like to have fun, the lifestyle rocks, people like to stay fit, snowsports rock, theater scene is great-saw Book of Mormon, Wicked, etc. and the food scene finally is superb. You guys should check it out in the summer! Would love to show you around. I would love to live in South America for a year though…am working on that.

    • Reply Johnny April 8, 2013 at 2:54 am

      I visited some friends in Boulder when I was in college and I loved it. The scenery/climate is a lot like Utah, but I’m sure the lifestyle and vibe is a lot different. Joanna and I should definitely stop by Denver the next time we head out to visit family in Utah.

      And I’m totally with you on trying out South America. I need to get down there before I lose my español.

  • Reply The Norwegian Girl April 6, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I`m soooo envious of you Americans who can live either in cold Alaska, or in humid Florida, and STILL be in the same country.. I would LOVE the opportunity to live in different climates, but still be in the same country..

    • Reply Johnny April 8, 2013 at 2:56 am

      I guess we take that for granted, huh? Have you considered living outside of Norway? We would love to try an international move, but I think the logistics of that process would be enough to keep me in the States.

      • Reply The Norwegian Girl April 8, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Been there, done that already. From I was 16 to 19, I lived on a Spanish Island outside the coast of Marocco, attending a Norwegian private high school. I know, random, right? But I had to move back to Norway, because my Spanish wasn`t good enough to attend University there :-(

  • Reply Liz April 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

    We move every 3-6 years because of my husband’s job and while exciting, it’s also taxing. We’ve been in Savannah, GA for 3 years and I’m ready to move on to the next place – which will hopefully be a bit more long term. We have two little girls (almost 4 and 2) and like you, I want them to have a place they look back on as home. And selfishly, I’d like to be able to get back to work at some point which is sort of hard in a town this size. I’m interested to hear how you like North Carolina – Raleigh and Charlotte are my preferences on our short list.

    • Reply Johnny April 8, 2013 at 3:02 am

      We moved houses in the same city when I was in first grade and I can hardly remember anything from our first place. So for us at least, we figure we’ve got until our girl is five or six before we want to be a little more settled.

      From our limited time in the state, we really like North Carolina. We’re just now feeling like we’re adjusted, so I’m sure we’ll have more meaningful reasons to enjoy what the state has to offer. Especially now that the weather is getting warmer and we can finally check out the beaches.

  • Reply Laurie @thefrugalfarmer April 6, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Totally interesting conversation. We always thought we’d live here in MN all our lives, but now in our mid-40’s things are changing here and we’re throwing around the idea of moving as well. It’s a tough decision, though, isn’t it? I’ll be interested to see what you decide. Good luck as you work toward a destination!

    • Reply Johnny April 8, 2013 at 3:04 am

      Change can be a great thing. We’ve loved bouncing from place to place and seeing what different areas of this country have to offer. But permanent residence somewhere is sounding more and more appealing as we tick more years off our marriage.

      Look forward to hearing if you guys mix things up and try life outside of MN.

  • Reply Saturday Link » The Norwegian GirlThe Norwegian Girl April 7, 2013 at 7:05 am

    […] Finding Our Forever Place – Our Freaking Budget […]

  • Reply C April 7, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I have grown up my entire life in New England but my husband and I are constantly planning our move next summer.

    We can’t wait to move to Arkansas.

    He lived in the state for about ten years when he was growing up. His parents are still there and he has a lot of family in Alabama, only a few hours’ drive. Although it’s completely different from my own experience, I can’t wait for a more laid-back, friendly community. I can’t wait for hiking trails, woods, state parks, and sailing on the lakes. I love warm/hot climates and sunny days, and since Arkansas still has beautiful fall foliage, I get everything I’m looking for! Taxes aren’t the issue they are up in this area, we could afford a gorgeous new home, the area is perfect for our careers (I’m in education looking to make a positive impact on children; he is in the diesel industry and has connections to major railroad companies there), and Little Rock has the neighborhood feel of Boston but with a River Market and barbecue restaurants.

    I can’t wait!

    • Reply Johnny April 8, 2013 at 3:08 am

      Awesome! That sounds like the perfect situation you guys are getting yourselves into. What a great thing to look forward to. I’ve never been to Arkansas, but Joanna’s from the South, so I’ve seen enough to know that the people are great and the food is the best around.

      Congrats again!

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone April 8, 2013 at 12:28 am

    We are not in our forever place. Or maybe we are, but I’m doing a postdoctoral fellowship that ends in 6 months, so I’ll have to find a job here, or move. Hubs and I met in Los Angeles, and now we live in WA State. We love the people here, love the outdoors things to do, love our friends…and I hate the weather. But, no place is perfect. In LA, I loved the weather, but had a hard time finding genuine people who were considerate of others. I’ve lived in quite a few places, and they all have their good and their bad. Washington fits us well, and we’d love to stay, but I can’t seem to stop myself from dreaming of moving overseas. The grass is always greener, I guess!

    • Reply Johnny April 8, 2013 at 3:12 am

      LA to WA seems like a tough move climate wise. WA probably looks and feels a lot like LA’s morning marine layer, except that it never burns off. And that probably wouldn’t fly for me.

      We try to remind ourselves to not buy into the grass is always greener line. Some places would definitely fit us better than others, but you and you alone dictate your happiness. And that’s hard for us to remember sometimes.

      Good luck figuring out your big decision in a few months.

  • Reply Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's April 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Parts of this post resonate so much. While we have laid down our roots, my husband and I are from different states in New England and now reside just north of Boston. My husband recently left one job for another and his dad flipped. He doesn’t get it, for him a company takes care of you from day 1 until the end. For my husbands field to grow he needs to change jobs. For him the jobs are either here or silicon valley, plus I grew up spending lots of time in Boston so it’s definitely the right place for us.

    Good luck with your decision, I love CA, I hope it works out for you guys.

    • Reply Joanna April 8, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      Yeah, I think for our parents’ and grandparents’ generation switching jobs seems like an irresponsible decision. But for us it really is the best move! You gotta do what’s best for your career, even if the parents don’t quite understand.

      We loved our time in Boston. If we weren’t such wimps when it comes to colder weather, we could have lived up there a long time!

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