Article by Wendy McCance
Since I was a kid, I have felt that I wanted to move across the states. Now I am actually planning a move. As a child my father had a job that involved a lot of travelling and relocating. From the time I was born until the age of eight, our family lived in four different states. Along the way, we lived in Ohio, Kansas, Montana and Michigan and I loved it each and every time we got to move. I loved seeing new places, meeting new people and feeling as though I had friends all over the United States.
When my father quit his job, he quit a lifestyle of relocating. It was hard on me because I had caught the travel bug. It felt depressing not to pack up and move around anymore. I didn’t enjoy putting down roots, I wanted new experiences.
As I grew older, I saw the value in staying in one place. I began to understand putting down roots and creating memories in one location. I began to envy the kids I knew whose parents had grown up together and who now had children of their own who were doing the same. I wanted to create lifelong bonds as well, but, not in Michigan.
I was hooked on the west side of the United States and wanted to go back. I had decided back when I was young that one day I would leave Michigan and create new memories in a place that felt more like home to me. Years after making that decision, having a family of my own and getting into my late 40’s, it is finally a promise that will be put into action.
Decisions have been made about where the family will move. Thankfully, everyone is on board with the idea and excited about the possibilities of a new place to call home. Because the kids are older, they are all about to go off in their own directions anyways so there will be no painful uprooting for them.
Now, I need to mention, this was not a random decision. For years my husband and kids have known of my desire to move. The kids basically grew up hearing the stories of why I ended up in Michigan and how I wanted more than anything to move back to the other side of the states. It was just a matter of timing and the decision of where and when exactly a move would work best for the whole family.
Since coming to the conclusion of where we should live and creating a timeline of when that will happen, I have been busy researching areas within the state that might make the most sense for us to live in, what the job market is like and what I can expect for healthcare.
YouTube has been a fantastic place to spend some time. I can map out a few areas of interest and then go to YouTube and take a tour of the area. I can see the downtown, the neighborhoods and view a few local attractions. It’s a good first peek at knowing if this might be a place to further investigate.
I have also been spending quite a bit of time on a website called Sperling’s Best Places. You can find out everything about a city there. Cost of living, crime statistics, education, climate and so forth. You can also do a side-by-side comparison if you are torn between two places. At the bottom of the page is a comment section where people can voice their opinions about the place you have searched. It’s an incredibly helpful site.
Of course I have also looked up ratings for the best places to live around the U.S. like, 2016 Ranking of the Top 100 Places to Live and then narrowed my search down to small towns and best places to retire.
Here’s a few links to several good lists: http://time.com/money/collection/best-places-to-live-2015/ and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/best-places-to-live/
If you would like to compare your hometown to a potential spot to move to, check out this link: http://time.com/money/3987506/best-places-to-live-2015-compare-your-town/
I also decided to get a couple of subscriptions to local magazines. I ordered a subscription to a local business magazine so that I could stay on top of what businesses were doing well, what companies were best to work for and what areas seemed to have the best opportunities for jobs. I got another subscription to a magazine devoted to life in the state I would be moving to. It’s a great magazine full of articles about the neighborhoods, events around town, what the restaurants are like, arts and culture and some politics too. The magazines are another great way for me to immerse myself in the new state and get a solid feeling for what it will be like to live there.
Next on the list is to connect with writer’s, publishers and companies in the state through LinkedIn. I want to begin connecting to the people and companies I could be working for when I move. Actually, just because they are out-of-state, as a freelancer I can work for them now. I would also like to look into writing articles for some of their local publications as well. If I begin to pad my connections now, by the time we move, I should be in pretty decent shape between what I have going on for work here in Michigan and what I can pick up along the way when I move.
A daily diary will keep me on top of what I am working on to prepare for my move and a trip is in the works so my husband and I can begin searching for the area we would like to live in once we do move out west.
More news to come as I continue planning a move across the states!
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