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Monday, April 07, 2014

Where do you live?

Seriously, where do you live? Do you like it? BECAUSE YOU GUYS. The grossest thing happened last week, I can barely type it out...

Here's the scene: We're hanging out at our favorite West Village playground. It's the evening golden hour, and rays of sunshine are slanting through the trees. I'm chatting with two friends, while our kids play with toys in the sandbox. Then Toby comes up to me and says, "Mama! I'm a doctor, are you sick?" And I say, "Oh, yes! I have a bellyache." He holds a little plastic toy thermometer up to my mouth, and I kneel down to play along and I'm basically licking the thing, when suddenly my friend looks over and gasps and says, "Joanna, that is a used tampon applicator!"

!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was dying. New York can be so disgusting sometimes!

It made me think: Should we move somewhere a little...less gross? With more grass and space? The astrologist told us we should move to California, after all. Is it time to leave?

But we also love New York–especially on these spring days, when it's so magical. And the idea of moving kind of freaks me out. We've been here for so long! Is it scary to move? Have you ever made a big move? Honestly, this is so dorky, but I was homesick when we moved from the West Village to Battery Park City! And it's 5 minutes away!! And another friend admitted that she was traumatized when she moved two houses down on her block. We're all such creatures of habit. :)

I'm SO curious: Where do you live? Do you like it? Would you recommend it? Where do you want to raise kids? I'd love to hear!! xoxo

P.S. 15 genius tips for living in a small space, how not to look like a tourist, and 9 crazy things about living in NYC.

(Photo by James Nord)

773 comments:

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niabowling said...

I live in Boston and absolutely love it. The city is so beautiful and well maintained; a mix of modern and old charm. Where I live, I also have easy access to both the river and the ocean as well as the public garden and the Boston Common. Having access to green space in a city is so important. That being said, there are times when I wonder HOW and WHY did I end up here. For example THIS ENTIRE WINTER. Or when I walk out of my apartment on a lovely sunny day and have to step over a dead rat or human excrement. Some days urban living is a challenge, but I am secretly hoping to put off the move to the 'burbs as long as possible.

Erin B SC said...

Moving cross country from Chicago (spent 8 years there) to Charlotte was the best thing we ever did. Much more reasonable cost of living, much more family friendly area, low traffic, great schools (not Charlotte proper but the burbs), friendly people. I love raising our daughter here and never want to leave. 3 hours to the beach and 2 hours to the mountains. Still 4 seasons, but much warmer in winter and very little snow! Come visit if you want to try it out!

Re: moving and making new friends. I found it is MUCH easier with kiddos! You make friends at the pool, at the playground, at preschool. It was super easy!

Raia said...

We recently made a big move from Southern California back "home" to Minnesota. It's been a huge adjustment for us! This place does not feel like home for me yet, but maybe in a while. We've also lived in Delaware and Mobile, AL. I can highly recommend Santa Barbara, CA as a place to live - really laid back, lots of character, beautiful weather, mountains and ocean, small town feel but close enough to LA for more culture.

tyler said...

I live in Houston - always have. I recently moved into my childhood home which I inherited when my mom passed away last year. I live with my husband and dog and we love Houston and its our home, but we am almost 30 and have never lived anywhere else! been thinking about moving to Austin :)

Kelly Still Employed! said...

I live in the big blob of Southern California suburbs known as Orange County. I'm in one of the Northern most cities in the county, just on the southern edge of the south LA county suburbs.

I honestly kind of hate it here and am constantly homesick for Portland, OR where I grew up, even though it's changed tremendously since then. I think I would like it more here if I could afford to live in a different area. The region is huge and it's not all beaches, boutiques, and farmers markets. Oh and yes, the need to drive almost everywhere is absolutely maddening.

Marlena Holden said...

We live in Madison, WI and love it. Yes, there are long winters, but since it's a relatively affordable city, people travel often in the winter and/or take advantage of winter sports or holing up. Four lakes, amazing biking city, the UW and Capitol, countless free events and a film festival, this city is made for families.

Daniela said...

I am from Costa Rica and moved to Bergen, Norway 7 year ago because I fell in love with a Norwegian boy. It was a tough transition but I am happy to say that it is my home now. And Norway does not really need advertising, it is a great country to live in, despite the weather.

A year ago my husband, my almost three year old and I moved to London with a plan to stay here for 3 or 4 years. I love London! It is magical, exiting, alive. But I have to admit, that when I look at how my life was in Norway, and thinking about my family (I am now pregnant with #2), we have decided to move back there in a year. As exiting as London can be, and as diverse and full of treasures, I can't change the quality if life that we had back in Norway, especially the nature and tranquility. The respect for peoples free time ("Work to live, don't live to work") and the appreciation for simplicity. So, moving away for a while is definitely worth it, and I would not change for the world the experience of having lived here. But I am happy to go back now.

Jay said...

Eww, eww, ewww!!!

I currently live in a small city in Norway. We've been here for coming up to two years and it's a lovely place to be. It's safe, clean, beautiful and the societal values resemble many of my own personal values. That being said, this is not a forever home. We'll be here another year, maybe less.

Prior to Norway, we lived in Gabon - a country on the equator on the West coast of Africa. It was hard but a really amazing experience. We were so ready to leave after 2 years but also so happy to have had the experience.

I suppose moving isn't that big of a deal to me anymore. I sort of like this transient lifestyle we're living. We learn so much by spending extended amounts of time in other countries and I think we've grown a lot as individuals and as a couple. I also like the opportunity to start fresh every once in awhile. Certainly there are hard parts in the transition but it's exciting to make new friends and learn new things.

J.Mill said...

My husband is pushing me to move to Austin, TX. We live in Chicago now and have family close by and good jobs. But this past winter drove us mad. We were physically ill from it and are scared to ever be that cold for that long again. He is in tech, so Austin is a nice, warm place for tech jobs.

I'm having so much anxiety about possibly leaving the Midwest though. I would miss my family terribly and am so introverted I don't know how to make friends! Gah!

Kelly Still Employed! said...

Oops, meant to specify that if I could pick, I would move to Pasadena for all the reasons Caitlin described. I used to overestimate how much I liked the beach but over time I realized I'm not actually a beach cities person.

Krosey Pres said...

I live in Colorado Springs, CO. I have hated it for almost every single one of the 6 years I have lived here.... hated it in SECRET I add, because I have a pretty community-oriented job. But with a recent promotion interfering with our attempt to GTFO, and knowing that it may REALLY be a few years before I can reasonably make my escape, I'm trying REALLY REALLY hard to find those sweet spots that make my heart swell. And strangely they ARE popping up and I'm feeling a little better about it. I will never get over the lack of water, culture, style or the BROWN season (where everything on the front range is just REALLY brown... like many shades of brown. NO GREEN). At least you don't see many tampons in the park (and yea, yea 300+ days of sunshine. WHATEVER. I LOVE GRAY DAYS.).

Jinia Parker said...

We moved to Florida a few years ago and it crazy different..enough so that I have started a blog about it! Someone said do it while your kids are young and I couldn't agree more. Moving isn't something to do lightly but I absolutely love getting to know new places..I am afraid my family suffers from wanderlust. I think some people do moving wonderfully and some don't!

Samantha Morelli said...

I grew up in Central California and lived on the coast there and in Northern California (very north Humboldt area). But I moved to Portland, OR 6 years ago and I will never look back. I love Portland so much. I can't wait to start a family and raise kids here.

Jennifer Bridges said...

Don't move! You will find disgusting, hideous things, people, situations, attitudes wherever you go. If you are happy and close enough to family/friends thats all you can hope for.
I live in Boise, ID and love it here, but only because I grew up here and love a small town. I saw a syringe on the ground at a park yesterday (it was an insulin syringe but it was still gross).

Chelsea Davidson said...

LOL! That is the funniest thing I've heard in a while. I can't believe it.

Tanya said...

My husband and I live in Oceanside, CA which is about 30-40 minutes north of San Diego. I love it here, it's gorgeous, near the beach and there is so much to do within an one or two hour drive. We can go down to San Diego and visit the zoo and museums in the summer there is the race track and the fair, the beach is 5 miles away from our house and the weather is gorgeous most of the year. Also orange county, LA and the mountains are so close. Howevever, my sister and her boyfriend live in Pasadena, CA and I just love going to visit. There is good food and shopping all within walking distance of their apartment but their neighborhood is so quiet and charming. Both would be great areas for your family, with lots of activities and parks nearby. The only downside I find in California is the lack of public transportation. Although there is a sprinter station behind my house that we take to the beach every now and then and there is the metro line in LA.

elizabeth said...

We live in DC- although "cleaner" than NY- I'm from NY and miss it so bad. :)

Nicki Marshek said...

I live in Northeast Florida, and I would not recommend it. The "beautiful florida weather" is actually horrendously unbearable for 9 months of the year. Plus, we're about 10 years behind the rest of the country on things like recycling, transportation, food, basically everything. Lots of stubborn old tea party types are in charge of pretty much everything. I briefly lived in both New York and Los Angeles, and I would say that after being in NYC for so long, LA would be a huge let down for you. It's wayyyy dirtier, and it's much harder to get around. Say hello to gridlock traffic at 10pm! Plus, the arts community is much more heavily based around fame and looking fabulous than it is focused on actual art. Northern Cal might be better. Or hey, why not Paris?
Good luck!

13bees said...

omigod and here I am thinking that cat poop is the worst thing you'll find in a sandbox. yikes!! x

Gina said...

I live in Barcelona, a bit far from you hahaha! I like living here but just because I live in a neighborhood next to the beach which is really peaceful most of the time. But 20 years ago –I'm 22– my neighborhood was a troubled place to live. Thanks god things change. I've never moved from here and I don't have plans to, but I don't know if I want my –hypothetic– children to raise here cause everyday there's more people in the neighborhood.

kel.bow said...

I live in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. You may know it from the book "Where'd you go Bernadette?". I love it! It is like a small town in the middle of the city. The homes are charming, the shops/restaurants are quaint, and the parks are clean. and you are only 10 minutes from downtown!

Brett Coleman said...

We live in Seattle and just love it...mountains, water, green everywhere, great restaurants, big enough downtown, diverse neighborhoods with their own feel. Have you been?

genell said...

I moved from Philadelphia to Maui, HI 2 years ago. I was fed up with the city and anxious for paradise. And, sure, Maui is certainly a gorgeous place but there's gross stuff here too! Just last week I was celebrating my birthday at a swanky hotel here on the island and next to my lounge chair at the pool was a tampon and its applicator. Also, once when I was swimming at one of the beautiful beaches, there along side me was some floating human feces! Just sayin'. I'm not sure there is an absolutely perfect place. There is both beauty and filth anywhere you go. Maybe some are better than others. Maybe if you're completely at peace inside, everything else around you is, too. I'm still working on that part myself.

abroadathome said...

Ughhh. People are the WORST! Glad you can look back and laugh now, but at the time--traumatizing, I'm sure.

I live in Bern, Switzerland now, but have lived in Kansas City (where I grew up), Charleston, SC, and Zurich, Switzerland. Each time I move it's difficult (mostly because packing is the pits...), but it's definitely gotten easier. I echo a lot of the sentiments about missing family and friends, but also feeling a tremendous sense of growth and maturity that is unrivaled. My husband and I love to travel and a central European location makes so much of the continent accessible. Bern is beautiful and safe and friendly and the quality of life is incredible! For now, it's the right spot for us but I always keep my mind open for the next possibility. I'm sure we'll return Stateside at some point, but for now we are so happy.

Good luck with your decision! I know you and your family will make the best choice that's right for your situation and dynamics. Upward and onward! : )

Leah said...

Eight years ago I moved from Dunlap, TN (look it up, it's TINY!) to Stratford-upon-Avon (yes, Shakespeare's birthplace!). Still in England, we've done Somerset, Hampshire, Surrey and Lincolnshire... Counties here might as well be US states, so some decent sized moves.

I've, on average, been packing up and moving a house once a year for the last 8 (2 moves in a couple of years). We've been in our current house for just over a year - there was a mini-celebration for making it a year mark without being surrounded by boxes. It's problematic though - we love this house. It's the best we've lived in (you can't rent very much for your money in the South!!), but I'm working on a PhD on the other side of the country (there are some epic commutes) and the other-half will almost certainly start looking for a new job (soon-ish). We also don't really love the town we're living in at the moment (his commute is a 10-min walk, so we're staying put until a job change happens).

Yet, there's more moving in our future! This next one may well see us in London, the place we've danced around for years and never ended up.

All that to say - go for it! It's exciting to explore new places and new houses. :) Though, moving as much as we have, it is also tiring! ;-)

Katy Grubbs said...

I'm originally from Florida. My husband and I moved first to Atlanta. This was nice because we could still drive back to Florida if we were homesick or wanted to see family. Then we moved to Seattle for my husband's job. Moving to Atlanta was harder though, because it was the first time we moved away from all family, friends, and normalcy. Once we did it, we knew we could do it again. The best part about it was that we grow closer with each move, because we really have to rely on one another. I love living in a big city and could never move back to a small town, but I also love that the big cities we've lived in are spacious. NYC is different than most, because it's so condensed. I love Seattle (minus the weather) so I would imagine So. California would be a great place to live.

Mariana said...

I should be considered a moving pro. I grew up in Montreal, Canada and moved to North Carolina for my Associate's, Rhode Island for my Bachelor's, Tennessee for 5 months while I was job hunting and I've been living in Houston, TX for the last year. Moving can be scary, but it's also very exciting. While I didn't have to take in consideration moving a family, I did move with my boyfriend to Texas. We decided to take a leap and move to Houston despite him not having a job yet. While I would not recommend any of the states I've lived in for your family, I encourage you to consider California. It seems like you love New York, and I think that is partly due to the fact that you've lived in New York for so many years and learned to love the city. The same can be done in the state of California, just have to give it a chance. On the bright side, your children are also very young and this change would probably be easier on them then once they start school. Goodluck!

Nicole Lam said...

I have to say that my husband and I are total creatures of habit and the thought of moving from our home seems pretty much non-existent. Would I like to update it? Hells yeah! Does it need updating? Double Hells yeah!! I have to admit that home improvement is not our thing and the thought of moving into a more updated home is really enticing. However, they always say when buying a home it's about "location, location, location!" and that's exactly what we stumbled upon 10 years ago (see what I mean? Creatures. of. habit.). So we've decided that we'd rather take the money we'd need to put on a down payment for a new home and put it into renovating our problem areas.

Plus, we have other advantages like the school district, we've grown to really enjoy our neighborhood and we have decent neighbors, plus new neighbors have moved in (with kids!) and we started our family there and have made SO many memories - to leave it would probably be like losing a dear loved one. I'd totally be sad and depressed and would probably sob as we drove away (I've pictured it). So, while there are always pluses and minuses to where you live, as long as you're with the ones you love, you can make any "place" a home.

PUPBOWZ said...

I live in beautiful Ottawa, Ontario. Although my husband is from California ( and laments the fact he married a Canadian every time he shovels snow!), we love the changing of seasons, the sparkling, sunny cold winter days and the gorgeous summers. It's a fantastic city for raising a family and as the country's capital has a great blend of museums, concerts and cultures.

Alice said...

Asheville, North Carolina! Liberal leaning Southern hospitality, huge push for local food/drink/business, and more microbreweries than you can shake a stick at. Plus, being surrounded by the perfection of the Blue Ridge Mountains doesn't hurt.

Rachael said...

California!!! I grew up in Carpenteria, a small beach town just south of Santa Barbara and it was the best place to be a kid. "World's safeste beach" because there is no undertow, it's clean, adorable, and light on tourists. Plus your are smack dab in the middle of the state so it's relatively quick to visit Northern or Southern California. My fiance is from Carmel which is another awesome small town. I moved to the SF after college which was super awesome because of all the things to do, but it seems tough to get around with kids.

Good Luck!

Nicola said...

Actually, I just moved over the weekend from San Francisco to San Mateo - 20 minutes apart. I believe change is always difficult, whether it's moving 2 doors down, or 2 countries away. It's easy to stick with our old staples (favorite restaurants/parks, etc) but new adventures abound...we just can't imagine them just yet!

Bucktown Mom said...

Eeeewww! But we had a similar thing happen on a camping trip on our way to Colorado when we were little. I think we were maybe in Nebraska, and my sister and I found all kinds of cool toy "telescopes" on the floor of the outhouse. I thought my mom was going to faint when we showed them to her. :-)

We live in Chicago (not far from Wrigley Field). Our son is about Toby's age, and I'm pretty sure we are going to leave the city. The school situation is just so complicated, and we worry about safety too. We want him to have a normal childhood where he can ride his bike outside and run around the neighborhood with friends.

Mandy said...

I've definitely done the moving thing! I livein Austin, TX now, since I moved here from LA two years ago for grad school. I moved to LA from my tiny California central coast town in 2003. There were also a couple stints in the UK...
And now I'm graduating from school and will be moving again, hopefully back to SoCal!

Honestly, I hate it every time. Moving feels awful, but it's a way to stretch yourself and discover new things. That being said, I feel like you only have a few cities that really are home. You have to find one that fits. For me, that's LA, so no matter how cool Austin is (and it definitely is cool!), I can't commit fully. My heart is just in California I guess!

Good luck finding your perfect fit! And please don't lick any more tampon applicators. :)

Sara J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emilie nicole said...

ohmy goodness. that story made me freak out a little! my husband and i live in this tiny town in northern california about 5 hours north of SF on the 101 (it's called Arcata). i mostly love it but it's never felt like home and i dont think it ever will. our surroundings are BEAUTIFUL. redwood trees, the ocean, gardens in EVERYONE'S yard. but i grew up in the city (seattle) and i want me kids to grow up in a city as well. there are so many more things to do and opportunities to really thrive then there are here in this tiny college town where the economy runs on the marijuana black market (we live in the emerald triangle - look it up). i think it's totally normal to want change and think that life would be better somewhere else. i would say that if life is telling you in multiple ways that's its time to move - do it. but if you're just craving change - maybe it's not actually time to leave NYC. dye your hair or buy a vespa?!

Sara J. said...

That is so foul, but glad you're able to laugh about it now! We live in Minneapolis and love it. It's full of parks and lakes and one of the best biking cities in the nation. But for all its' glory, it still has its' faults. Now that the massive piles of snow are slowly melting, all of winter's trash is slowly revealing itself. Just this weekend we walked to the ice cream shop with our two year old and had to jump over a a maxi pad lying in a puddle. Unused, but still. I'm not sure anyplace is immune from people who use the world as their toilet.

Molly said...

I live in Denver and I'm biased because I'm from here, but I LOVE it! I spent five years living in Philadelphia and enjoyed it, but had to move back to Colorado. I missed it too much. Mountains, friendly people, slower pace, cheap cost of living, amazing weather. I really couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Denver has all the benefits of a big city, but it's kind of a collection of smaller neighborhood communities, which makes it easy to meet people. And so much sunshine and breathtaking views every day can't be beat :)

RoselyC said...

I just moved a week ago from Honduras to Canada. I love where we live now. It's freezing cold but the city is beautiful and so is our neighborhood. I love the idea of moving.

Elizabeth Lee said...

I'm a med student in England. In our final year, we move around every 8 weeks throughout Yorkshire into really gross, crappy hospital accommodation and basically live out of our suitcases! I CANNOT WAIT to stay in one place for more than a couple of months at a time. x

Kayde M said...

I live on the Central Coast of California. The happiest place in America according to Oprah. It is wonderful! It is a lot smaller than NYC but it is a great place to raise a family.

Claire said...

Oh my goodness Joanna, I can totally relate! After a night out a few weeks ago I dozed off in Penn Station waiting for my train home and awoke to find...a hobo sucking on the toes of my left foot.

NYC holds both ends of the spectrum - awesomeness and vility!

Kristin Johanne Ellis said...

We live in Old Towne Orange in Orange County, California. Its AMAZING! I can never imagine living anywhere else. It's a quaint little pocket of history in southern California with so much character. We have block parties in the summer, concerts in the park, an international street fair every September, and a classic old town Christmas Tree lighting every year. Not to mention, its California, so the weather is always wonderful :)

Miguel L. said...

We live in Paris and moved here almost 7 years ago... as young PhD students.
We are from Portugal, so that was quite a move but we really didn't had anything at the time.

Now with a one-year old it's more difficult but we are actually looking forward to a new change.

Living in Paris is great but we are done with it. It is SOOOO expensive!

Joslyn Nicole said...

We live on Bleecker Street in the West Village. In fact, you mentioned the bearded man that Toby thinks is Santa Claus on this blog once. He sets up shop right in front of our building. I wouldn't live anywhere else if we could afford more space. However, we are packing up and moving to Normandy in northwestern France to be with my recently widowed mother-in-law and raise our daughter in fresh air and wide open spaces. I say, once you start toying with the idea of leaving NYC, you are ready to leave NYC. If you have to leave New York, go big!

Nina McCammon said...

Gah, you poor thing! That is super traumatic. We moved from Brooklyn to Westchester last spring, and it's been pretty wonderful. That being said, there are plenty of gross things here, too, the least of which are stink bugs (I don't remember those when we were growing up, but now they're everywhere!) Also, my son was playing down by the water last week and he totally stepped over a used condom. So. Not. Ideal! Oh, if it makes you feel better, moving from the West Village to Brooklyn Heights was way harder emotionally than moving from BK Heights to Westchester. I think it had something to do with baby-stepping out of the city. I also believe you're naturally more attached to the apartment in which you started your family, which, in both of our cases was the West Village. :)

Tamsin Jessica said...

If it makes you feel better, my colleague texted his mum saying he would call her in a while because he was just going out for sex. He meant to say going out for a sec. He didn't notice until the next day... I think that's slightly worse than licking on a used tampon applicator so you should see the positive :)

tiffany // camp1899 said...

my husband and i turned our lives completely upside down three years ago; we wanted to travel and maybe move somewhere completely new, but where? i have always lived in the south and had no real desire to leave the south entirely, but had an open mind about coastal living in the west. we renovated a vintage airstream, sold most of our belongings, left our business, and traveled the u.s. for most of a year. nothing could have shocked us more than spontaneously purchasing a century plus old bungalow located on the outskirts of downtown denver, colorado.

i recently posted about how change comes in threes, 3 weeks for new habits, 3 months for the slightly bigger things, and for us three full years before we were completely rock solid in our new state. i think change for the right reasons is always worth it, i'd rather try something and move back (if that be the case) than never go for it. going from the south to the west was tumultuous , unnerving, and worth it. if you decide to go for it, good luck and give it time, all of a sudden you'll turn a corner and it will be the best thing ever.

Gina said...

Ha, don't move for that. Gross happens everywhere. When I moved to Paris, the first week I was in a mostly-empty metro station MID-AFTERNOON, and when I glanced sideways, the man sitting next to me was masturbating. That happened more than once. And now that I'm back in Seattle, which is relatively clean, I see people peeing outside on the regular, and I attend community meetings, so I know that needles have been found in kid's sandboxes.

Gina said...

Ha, don't move for that. Gross happens everywhere. When I moved to Paris, the first week I was in a mostly-empty metro station MID-AFTERNOON, and when I glanced sideways, the man sitting next to me was masturbating. That happened more than once. And now that I'm back in Seattle, which is relatively clean, I see people peeing outside on the regular, and I attend community meetings, so I know that needles have been found in kid's sandboxes.

Samantha said...

I live in Portland Oregon and have been here for almost 7 years. We totally love it here, but we are planning a big move this summer to the Chicago suburbs. My husband and I both grew up there, and we have TONS of family and friends in the area. We decided to head back home because we have a baby now and we want him to grow up near family. I am equally excited and very sad about this upcoming move. Portland has been so good to us, and it is such a cool place to live. We were hoping to move to the city of Chicago, but the jobs didn't work out that way so to the suburbs we go. I am trying to convince myself that there are great things about the suburbs as well. Parking whenever you want it, lots of big green spaces...etc. I am open to it...and who knows, maybe I'll love it? It will be so sad saying goodbye to Oregon in a few months though.

Catherine said...

We live in the Philly suburbs. I love how we can be in the countryside picnicking on a lake or downtown both within 40 minutes. I used to live in New York and have friends who are still there. I personally like being able to drive to NYC or to DC relatively easily. Our home has charm and age with a backyard, garage, access to a train, and in a great school district. These are the things I was looking for for myself and my family. Good luck! Moving is exciting!!!!

tk said...

I live in Terra Linda, CA (marin county.) Home to mid-century modern Eichler living! Sunshine, backyard pools, neighborhood BBQs, bike to everything! Hiking trails in your backyard and get to the City in 30 minutes. We will never leave.

... said...

Omg, that's disgusting! People..... Sometimes I wonder!

I wish I could snap a pic of the view from my window right now to show you where I live; northern Norway, above the Arctic circle, in a small quiet town surrounded by white mountains and the cold, blue sea. We live high up in the hill side, looking down at the town and the harbor, and the boats look like toys from here! In the summer it's so green and fresh, and the midnight sun gives us sun around the clock- amazing!

We live here because it's a safe city, kids can have a lot of freedom, short distance to outdoor activity, good schools, my family is close..... And my husband loves this place! (I'm actually made for warmer weather, I just KNOW we will eventually move to a warmer place...!) I have lived in 4 different cities in my life, but I have also spent 8 months abroad as a student before I married.

Hanne

Brittany said...

I live in a tiny apartment across from the National Cathedral in DC and LOVE it. I moved to the city six years ago and have lived all over it. I love this city: the smart, progressive people, the parks, the restaurants, even the touristy stuff. My boyfriend and I are moving this summer to Philadelphia though, hopefully to Old City, for grad school and I am SO scared. I hope I love it as much as I love DC! It's still an east coast city so fingers crossed it won't be tooo different. Moving is such a hassle and a huge adjustment. I'm sure philly has it's share of disgusting trash, I am just hoping none of it ends up in my mouth!

sjenkins85 said...

I live in coastal rural Alaskan town, and by rural I mean population 3,000, only accessible by plane. I love it and moved here from a far more populated town in Alaska after spending college years in Seattle. Raising our family here offers so many unique opportunities but I have to say in regards to your hilariously gross story, a little crazy will be found anywhere you go, perhaps with far less frequency though outside of NYC!
Love the blog, constant reader, new commenter.

Melissa Campbell said...

We live in Charlotte now. We moved from Los Angeles and it was a big adjustment. I mean, it's the south and LA is, LA. It feels limited at times, but other times feel really nice like we are open to settling here. Charlotte has a lot of quirks though! the seasons are beautiful, and Charlotte is filled with a lot of types of people. i think it's a like/hate. can't say i love it, but it could be much worse! so it's nice for now!

Jus said...

We live on the edge of a harbour, at the bottom of the earth, on the South Island of New Zealand. We have been here one year (Americans) after living several years in East Africa (Kenya). We have been nomads for years and have loved every second of it but something about this place got under my skin. After traveling with four children through the US, France, England, Africa, The Netherlands, Ireland, and Wales, here it felt time to settle. It is far from everything I know, from family, friends, and childhood comforts, but it just feel RIGHT. We have just started the process of buying a house (!!!!!) and the daunting idea of being forever expats is starting to take hold. Why do we love it? I take a picture of the harbour here almost every day on my morning run using the hashtag #lytteltonharbour in instagram. Give it a peak and you will TOTALLY get it ;) It just seems like the ideal place to grow up, and an amazing community in which to be a mother to our four little American/Global nomads. - Jus www.duniaduara.com

Jus said...

*peek not peak. eeeek.

Unknown said...

i live in LA by the grove. i was taking a stroll with my toddlers and there was a "hooker kit" on the sidewalk. used panties, clear heels, empty glass flasks, 2 cheap, really large bras. our cars are constantly broken into. bums sleep in the kids' parks and sometimes in my neighbor's garden. the air is filthy most days of the year, which makes all our patio furniture gross to use and prompts me to apologize to my kids when i tell them NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING on our daily walks. crazies live on my block. serious, mentally ill crazies. and i live in a beautiful, "family friendly", expensive, walkable neighborhood. there are no good public schools, very little community, and traffic is getting worse and worse as more development comes in. when you're picturing laid back cali lifestyle, i don't think the reality of LA is really what you're looking for. needlessless to say, we're looking to move, too. i want beaches (with houses for less than 3mil) and mountains and safety and good food and good public schools and clean air. tall orders, i know. if there's winter, i want to be able to enjoy the outdoors. growing up on the east coast, that wasn't really the winters i knew. if you get any good leads, post about it! our kids are about the same age - i know exactly how you feel...

annie@mostlovelythings said...

I've been intrigued about all of this since I read your post on your astrology reading. Our kids are older, freshman in HS and freshman in college, but we've moved a few times. We have been back in CT for 2 years, but lived in SoCal for three years during my daughters first three years of high school. And you know what? It didn't kill her like she thought it might! When I'm in CA I miss NY/CT, when I'm here I miss California terribly. The truth of the matter is I just want to live in both places...simultaneously. Which of course would have to include time travel. I guess my point is, everyplace has their gross moments and everyplace has their grand moments. Plenty of stories of toddlers picking up a syringe that washed up onto the beach in Laguna or Malibu... Whatever you decide will be wonderful. Most of the time.

Elisse said...

My boyfriend and I are originally from San Diego, but we live in Los Angeles now. We both love this city, though it took a little time, it grew on us greatly. Once we have kids we both want to move back to San Diego. I never thought I'd feel that way, but that's where our family and friends live, it's more affordable, and it's just a little "easier" than living in LA. And you know what? San Diego is awesome!

upwithjoyblog said...

We live in DuPont Circle in Washington DC and we love it, even more so now with our son, there are so many free things to do with kids in DC, and as far as cities go it feels smaller and easier to get around. I can definitely imagine raising our children here, but we would really love to raise them in southern California. Its important to me to raise them in a city, but I'd also rather raise them some where with great exposure to the outdoors, especially the ocean. My husband and I were raised by the beach and its hard to imagine not giving our kids that experience. We lived in California together and moved to DC 2 years ago, we hope to move back within a few years!

Alyssa said...

Last summer, we moved from Williamsburg, Brooklyn (which we LOVED) to..wait for it: Hoboken, NJ. And we absolutely love Hoboken! We now have two kids (moved to Hoboken when my 2nd was only one month!) and Hoboken is just amazing for families. There are so many fun kid's activities/classes, tons of awesome parks, and lots of young, cool families. Oh! And every kid in Hoboken gets two FREE years of (really, really good) preschool!

Plus, though it's not "cheap," it's definitely less than NYC and you get way, way more for your money. We were actually able to buy an entire brownstone for what we would have spent on a nice two bedroom in Brooklyn.

And perhaps the best part: It's super easy to get into the city. It takes me 30 minutes door to door, but depending on where you live/work in the city, the commute can be far less than that, even! Because it's so close, you still "feel" as though you live in NYC...not in Jersey! (The distance between the two is definitely more of a psychological difference, than a physical one!)

If you have any Qs about it, please ask! (I am now eternally trying to recruit people to make the move.)

Also, wrote a little about the move to Hoboken on my blog here (http://www.thesparklylife.com/2013/04/home-sweet-new-home.html) if you care to check it out. :)

Maelles said...

I currently live in a small beach town in the sunny south of France, but i have plan to move back to Paris next September. I've lived in Paris for three years during my studies, and then move to Ireland for a year before coming back to France. I didn't know anyone over there, i had no friends, no connections, no place to stay when i arrived... adventure! It happened to be the best year of my life. But as i get older, i also tend to be freaked out by the idea of (yet)another big move.

I'm curious though, isn't it easier when you have a family? What scares me is to do everything on my own and be lonely, but maybe when you have a bunch of lovely people to move with things are simpler..? Although i guess it's even more stressful.

http://maellesmarie.blogspot.fr/

al said...

Your story is horrifying! And hilarious, although not at the time I'm sure!

We live in a seaside suburb, in Christchurch, New Zealand. I love living here, especially by the beach. It is a bit different right now as we are living in the middle of a rebuilding our city after a series of earthquakes three years ago. So lots of road works, and not much of a city centre at the moment. We still love it here though!

I've done a lot of moving both as an adult and as a kid. I love the newness of moving, but the packing up can be hard work.

M.M. said...

I live in San Francisco, and my fiance and I love it. I moved a lot as a kid (lived in Wisconsin, Oregon, all over California), and S.F. is the right fit, I also love LOVE my hometown. So much so that if people don't know where the Butter & Egg capital of the world is, that's fine by me, I don't want to share it anyway :) P.S. I was a nanny in S.F. and I've never had issues with gross stuff at the playground (outside of what kids brought there themselves, lol).

Fiyel Levent said...

Yikes!

Ah well - I'm a New Yorker; my parents live here, my husband's parents live here. I went to elementary school, high school and college in the city, our jobs are here, our son was born here, so even though we dream all the time (and we very seriously do dream: california! paris! istanbul! helsinki! shanghai! hawaii! we can make it happen, yea, yea, yea!), realistically this is our home for now, and I am very grateful to be able to say so. Even though, yes, it can be the very grossest at times, we just try to make our home and our environment the loveliest it can be. xxx

Kayti Clayton said...

Honestly, I've been all over America (except some of those middle state... I feel a little sick being that far from the ocean) and I always end up back home in Washington. It's so beautiful here and I love all of our woods and mountains and parks and grass. Maine ranks pretty high in terms of beautiful places I've been and I lived in California for a few months but couldn't deal with the heat or the Kim Kardashian like people down there. I always end up back home and if I ever have children I couldn't imagine a better place to raise a family where my kids can grow up running through fields and climbing trees. Good luck!

xx

Tiffany said...

I would have died. Nasty.

I live in West Los Angeles. You can't beat the weather and there is a lot more space than NYC but some of the same challenges as well.

Alice said...

We just moved from the NYC area to Minneapolis (where I grew up). We had been in Brooklyn for years and then moved up to Pleasantville in Westchester and liked it, but the commute into the city for both of us was hard. We have been so happy in Minneapolis so far - having a circle of family and friends to welcome us has helped, though. But I did find that when we moved to Pleasantville I felt a giant sense of relief that I could breath deeply!

This Confetti Life said...

I live in San Luis Obispo, CA. It's pretty rad.

Kristen said...

I made 2 huge moves. The first from Connecticut to Minnesota. Then I realized that no one in their right mind would live in a place that cold (but beautiful beyond words) so my husband and I packed up and moved to Tennessee...after visiting for a long weekend ONCE! I have to say our move to Tennessee was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. We live in the burbs of Nashville and I don't have a single bad thing to say about it here. It is the first place I have lived that really feels like home, and I find myself longing to be back when I'm on vacation. The only downside (I know I said there were none) is if you have bad allergies they will kill you here. BUT I discovered bee pollen this spring and it has saved my life. I'm telling you, Nashville is where it's at!

Kristen said...

Also, I've never seen a prettier spring anywhere else....and it starts in March!

Lana said...

Holy moly! Wow. Well, if it makes you feel any better, we live in Southern Illinois (it's beautiful here and has a great sense of small town community!)and there was once a giant pile of human poop on top of the slide at our playground. None of my friends came close to licking it, though. :) Here's the deal: Moving is scary, but that's the best part of a great adventure! You grow so incredibly much when you leave part of yourself behind and are forced to wake up other parts that you never knew existed. We're closing on a new house on Friday. It's a few towns over and on a lake! I'm so eager to get there, but I was moping around my backyard on Saturday and (literally)crying over a rose bush that I got for my first Mother's Day bc we won't be able to take it with us.

karel said...

I hardly ever comment, but I read your blog every day... I live in Portland, OR and though I don't have kids yet, I think you and your family would love it. It's so family-friendly and has so much of the quirkiness and beauty that you love about NYC, but on a smaller, more accessible scale. And it's CLEAN! I moved here from NYC 5+ years ago and every time I go back to the east coast I'm aghast at how much detritus is lying around the cities. The craziest part is that there are not nearly as many trash receptacles as there are in NYC, and STILL there is no trash on the ground. People hold onto their trash until they find an appropriate place to put it. WHAT! I know!

sinead o'carroll-browne said...

Between Dublin, London, New Jersey & Sydney I've lived in 10 different 'homes' and it never phased me, in fact, I loved it! Totally different story now that I have a little boy, I feel much more emotionally attached to my home, would take a lot to convince me to move now.

Sinead

Alex said...

Haha! Did not see that coming! I'm trying to think of anything comparable that's happened to me, but that takes the cake!

I moved next door when I was 13 and had a similar aching feeling. Might have also been because I saw my (early) childhood home every day and ended up babysitting the kids. Seeing the changes the new family made to the house (painting my periwinkle room grey!) was tough.

Almas Zephyr K said...

Well, I'm an Indian and I live in Bombay/Mumbai. I grew up in the suburbs, and I still live here. A 2 bedroom apt, in a building with nice neighbours. And i live on top of a hill, and just outside our window (that face the other end of our street) is a beautiful jungle. It isn't all that big, but it is amazing. Gulmohour trees provide an incredible image every season. A great place to born and bred at. In the past few years, we've acquired some more places, and now we own 3 more apts, much bigger than our place, and yet we cannot seem to move. Even though we are extremely close to to the International Airport (barely a 10 minute drive WITH traffic) we are quite far from the train stations (almost 30 minutes without any traffic, on personal transport). Apart from that, everything else is dapper over here (hating the fact that it takes me 1 and 1/2 hours to get to college {one of the best over here though})

Blah. Basically, I love my home and neighbourhood, and it is a great place to raise kids in, I think. (Sorry, I've no kids)

JenV said...

Auste and Joanna - fellow Santa Monica dweller and agree completely. It's the perfect community for me. It's sunny but not as hot as most of la gets in the summer, beautiful, super active, beach, parks etc. in walking distance, clean and has a good healthy energy to it (and lots of great food, huckleberry being one of many). I wouldn't live in any other part of la.

I did the big move in my late 20s to NYC, it was a tough transition but I loved it so much. It's just a magical place. But it was very expensive and all my family and closest friends are in LA. I would move back for love, otherwise content to visit a few times a year.

*starr fish said...

I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan and am considering moving back to NYC! We could switch! Real estate is ridiculously cheap here. It's a great place to raise a family (officially sited by Forbes, here:http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanriper/2012/04/04/the-best-cities-for-raising-a-family/) - I happen to be single and all my friends are married, a big reason why I want to move, so it might be perfect for you and your family!

Lefton Spring said...

Louisville, KY...born and raised. It's centrally located, lots and lots of green. Four very distinct seasons. Low crime...low cost of living. Bourbon and horse racing! What's not to love?

sarahlouisegarrido said...

Oakland, California!!!

Close enough to AND far enough from the Valley, short drive to SF without all the insane rental prices!

Would NEVER live anywhere else. : )

Heather M said...

Omg that story is INSANE! You must have been so frazzled! I live in Annapolis, Maryland. Beautiful history town, on the Chesapeake Bay, 30 miles from both Baltimore and DC, home of the Naval Academy. Great spot! Perfect location within the Mid-Atlantic in terms of proximity to other major cities, but Annapolis still has it's own identity, boating, state capital, Navy, etc.

Amber said...

We live in suburban coastal Virginia. Sometimes it's so boring/normcore/unprogressive that it's all I can do not to pack everything up and go...but most of the time, I can't believe how much we have within a short drive, the joy of being near the water, close to urban areas and small towns, within an hour of farms or mountains. Sometimes it's glorious! The weather can be a little schizo, but never too extreme. It's pretty nice, all in all.

Lisa said...

Wow! That story! I'm glad you lived to tell it :-) You guys should move to Berkeley, Ca and we could be friends! The weather is awesome, good schools- think Alice Waters food program, good jobs, 20 minute train ride to SF. We might not be as hip as Oakland but we have far less crime and it isn't all crunchy granola-y anymore.

Lisa said...

Wow! That story! I'm glad you lived to tell it :-) You guys should move to Berkeley, Ca and we could be friends! The weather is awesome, good schools- think Alice Waters food program, good jobs, 20 minute train ride to SF. We might not be as hip as Oakland but we have far less crime and it isn't all crunchy granola-y anymore.

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness, that is truly disgusting! Doesn't mean you need to move, but I think once you have an idea in your head like that, it's hard to let it go.
I lived in Santa Monica for two years and loved it so much. I lost my job and had to move, but I've been trying to get back ever since. There are so many great places to live in Cali, though. Supposedly, Thousand Oaks is said to be one of the best places in the US for raising kids. I have a few friends who can attest to that.

Rainy Daisy said...

Vermont :) But we've just moved back from Portland, OR (a fantastic place to live), where we moved after living in Boston. I love that people are so genuine and earthy here in Vermont, but I loved the friendly, artsy (sans fartsy) and funky way of being in Portland. I have been to California and didn't like it much - people seemed so image-conscious that I felt it got in the way of other things.

lynn said...

We moved from NY to VA a few years ago and at first we were really homesick. I miss being close to NYC and all the culture it has to offer, from restaurants to museums. However, VA is a lot cheaper and we were able to find our dream home: an old farm house with enough land for chickens and a tiny pony for my son. It's so peaceful here that now when I go home to NY I feel overwhelmed with all the noise.

Sara Chalk said...

We moved to San Francisco from Montreal almost 7 months ago. Living in a city is essential to our family. We would never ever move to the burbs. The water here is amazing. Talk about the right winter to move to the west coast! SF has been a great city so far. Tons of free stuff for me and my 17 month old daughter to do. The libraries are amazing. The playgrounds as well. Rent is horrendous. Worse than NYC I think... but you win some you loose some.

Patti P said...

Oh my gosh! I don't know what I would have done if that happened to me!!!
I recently (2 months ago) made a huge leap and moved from Chicago, where I'd been for almost 11 years, to Lafayette, IN. I quit my job of 9 years, sold my condo and my boyfriend and I finally took the plunge and moved in together. (LOVE!!!!) I found an amazing new job that I wake up excited to go to every single day and I get to wake up in a super cool vintage apartment next to the man I love...best decision I ever made.
Eventually we both plan to move to the west coast, and are thoroughly excited about the prospect of another new adventure together. While moving from my very settled life in Chicago to start fresh in central Indiana was totally challenging and I had a few breakdowns that I'm sure made my lovely guy scratch his head in confused frustration, I don't regret the change. It was a great way to shake up my life and expand my horizons!
Do it! You won't regret the move.

Hlazare said...

Hilarious but gross! My sister had a similar experience at the Jersey Shore (a seagull pecking at a used tampon near her beach towel). My husband and I lived in NYC for seven years (LES) but when I had our son last May it was time to get out. We live in the beautiful town of Pacific Grove, California, where we are close to grandparents, the ocean, and rays and rays of sun. Good luck with making your decision. I love reading your blog and I'm glad you found the perfect new editor!

Stephanie Falcon said...

AUSTIN, TX! Seriously! I actually live in NYC now, but miss Austin everyday. I'm one of those people who has lived just about everywhere: born in Venezuela, grew up in Montreal and then Miami, college in Boston, lived in San Francisco, etc and although i consider myself a big city girl, no other place feels more like "home" than Austin, and I was only there 2 years. Weather is great, people are genuine and healthy, city is clean and booming, values are sound, cost of living is suuuper affordable, there's no state income tax, etc etc etc! Seriously worth considering :)

hoopermom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J_n_Fl said...

I grew up in a little beach town on the east coast of Florida(New Smyrna), and while every teenager dreams of leaving it, honestly, it was a beautiful place to grow up.
Currently, I live/attend college in Gainesville and it's seriously the armpit of Florida (which is saying something!). I'm finishing up my undergrad and praying that I can go somewhere else for graduate school. Preferably somewhere close to a large body of water! At least in Fl, that's necessary to feel anything other than oppressed by the humidity/heat.

lisacline said...

I used to live in Chicago.. and was miserable. I couldn't stand the fast pace, all the buildings, and the total lack of green/trees/nature/mountains/oceans. I'd always, always wanted to move to the West coast but figured it'd just be one of those dreams that never materialized.

When I hit rock bottom in Chicago I realized it was up to myself to make my dreams come true, so I quit grad school, quit my job, and moved to Portland, Oregon. My husband and I LOVE it here and have never looked back. We were first going to move to either SF or Berkeley, but when we drove up to Portland we fell in LOVE with the lush mountains up here. The city is great, and we'd love to eventually start a family here.

In conclusion, it is so, so worth it to listen to your heart when you want to move! It's definitely scary but you learn and grow so much from the experience, and once you make the jump you seriously never look back. If it's meant to be, all the pros outweigh the fears and any potential cons!

MrsVlcek said...

My husband and I are in the process of moving from Chicago to Bend, Oregon...he's already there and I am following next week! We are so excited to leave the concrete jungle of this area and get to a beautiful place! Moving is a huge deal, but I feel like people are pretty transient now and it's doable, given the right timing and the right opportunity. I would totally move from New York to California! ;-)

Zoe said...

I live in Boise, ID and it is SUCH a special place to be. It's an incredibly welcoming community and by that I mean Boiseans are hungry for new creative businesses, the arts and new ideas. Plus, we are surrounded by tons of outdoor activity. Everyone is so friendly here, you would probably be shocked at first!

Kensley said...

I don't know what's worse...that or finding your child eating cat poo (POO!?!) in the sand box! That happened to a friend of mine. Blek.

We just moved to beautiful WEST AUSTIN last fall after our hip central Austin bungalow (on a busy street) was hit by a gun-wielding college chick in a huge TRUCK! Texas, huh. Needless to say, it's safer/quieter now for our 16-month-old, but not nearly as accessible to my beloved and quirky Hyde Park cheese shops and wine bars. Sniff.

hoopermom said...

Move to Westport, CT! great schools, an hour from the city, very artsy and beautiful to look at. One of the best things is that it's a kid friendly town. We have a Halloween stroll down main street for the kids, a real Americana Memorial Day parade with the local schools playing in the band and the boy/girl scouts throwing candy to the kids. our own outdoor ice skating rink and First Night on New Year's Eve is awesome for the kids. The first week I moved here, I was running around doing a million things at once with a two and three yr old in tow and the bank, the post office, everywhere i walked into, had a little area for the kids to play. It was such a relief. You don't get that much in NYC. but we still go in a few times a month, being as its only an hour on Metro North. see you in town! :)

Kaelyn Holzschuh said...

I live in Missoula Montana. It's the best :)

els said...

I have so many friends moving TO NY these days, it's hard to imagine anyone moving away. But with that said- my friends and I are all 27/28, no kids yet, and everyone swears this is temporary and they will be back in a few years.

I've lived in Asheville, NC for about 15 years, and have told myself I will move to NY one day. But, that one day hasn't come. And until it does, or IF it does, I realize I am SO lucky to call Asheville home.

Sammie said...

Haha I would absolutely die if that happened to me!! Such a hard choice to know if you should move! I have lived in Salt Lake City, Utah my whole life and always wanted to move...but then I realized I am totally in love with it. There is city, country, and mountains so close to everything. I don't think I could give up any season in the mountains. Creature of habit:)

LK said...

I have moved a lot in the last five years, by choice. I love going to new cities, but I've now settled in Phoenix, which I love. I grew up in Southern California and left when I was 22. It's just so expensive! Phoenix is close and the cost of living is considerably less. And we have some really awesome restaurants! In my opinion feelings about moving is very personal. If 5 minutes away freaked you out, then across the country probably won't work well (unless you will have a close group of people nearby). I would be open to moving and settling somewhere else but my fiancé won't leave Phoenix and I'm happy here and have a great job so we're staying put.

Calee said...

I live in charleston,sc and it is my happy place. I have loved here for 6 years and fall more in love with this city everyday.

Taylor said...

CALIFORNIA GIRL. I grew up in the greater Fullerton area which I loved. Now I live in Sherman Oaks and work in Santa Clarita. I rack up the miles on my car driving all over this city/socal as my friends live all over but mostly in Costa Mesa/Newport/Huntington Beach. The beaches here are amazing. Living here in my 20s can be lonely without my friends down the street, but my sister visited my just last week and we had such an amazing day (i blogged about it here palmlandian.blogspot.com ). I thought I would eventually move back to OC, but now I think I have become an LA girl...I dream of moving down to Venice or Santa Monica, but Sherman Oaks is closer to work and less trafficky. I have daydreamed of NYC and read your blog as a daily insight to the city. If you do move, you can always go back! I've heard such great things about Austin as well which I'm dying to visit!

Stephanie Falcon said...

AUSTIN, TX! Seriously! And although I'm in NYC now, I miss Austin dearly. This from someone who has lived just about everywhere: born in Venezuela, grew up in Montreal then Miami, college in Boston, then Vancouver, San Francisco, and now in New York. And although I was only in Austin 2 years, it feels like home and is where I plan to settle down with my future babies. Weather is great, people are genuine and healthy, cost of living is affordable(plus no state income tax), city is booming, etc etc etc. Seriously worth considering! :)

Celeste said...

I just had to add my note that your experience is really traumatizing!

Currently, I am somewhat homeless, as my husband and I moved all of our stuff into storage and are traveling abroad.

But! we did live in Salt Lake City, Utah. And, frankly, it is the exact opposite of your experience in NYC and mine around the world. That place is always spotless (if you don't count the air quality, which rivals much bigger cities — thanks pollution and valley). I'm excited to move back, because it is so clean, great mountain biking/hiking trails are within a 30-minute drive in any direction and I understand what (most) everyone is saying!

Best of luck with whatever decision you make!

Moonlight said...

I live in Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean so I'm not going to get into details about that.
Just popped by to say that moving is easy when you are moving with people you love, and when you can afford going back to the last place you've been every once in a while.
For me it's worse when my former home is close to my current one, than when i go somewhere entirely new.
I guess you just have to find your own balance, that's all. :)

M said...

I live in Chicago. (Right downtown, in a high rise). I absolutely adore it here but it's only marginally cleaner than new york! I'm from a small town in Michigan which was an adorable place to grow up, but from a young age I knew that I wanted to live somewhere more urban. I've also lived in Phoenix and DC. I hated Phoenix, it's a giant sprawling suburb of strip malls and 10-lane highways. I went back and forth about DC, I really liked some parts of it and disliked other parts. Chicago though... Chicago has my heart.

Janan said...

The Husband is in the military so we move about every 3 years. It's always terrifying/exciting to me. Where will we live? Will anyone have kids my kids' ages? Will I make any real friends there? Do they have any good restaurants or shops? the weather?!?! etc....
We've done Tennessee, Italy, Alabama, Utah, and Alaska. It's definitely an adventure, but I like it, while being freaked out by it too! Our next move is next spring and I still have no idea where we will be moving. The waiting to know is the worst part for me. If I know where then at least I can make plans and research and make the most of a place:)

HGL said...

I've lived in FL, MA, DC, NY, AZ, and Colombia. A few years ago my husband and I settled for good in Portland, OR. We just bought a house near a wild urban park. It's a vibrant town with people who are invested in the community and who love food. It has seasons without the hassle of a lot of snow (we typically have a beautiful week or two of it every 2-3 years).

But the city is growing at a startling pace, creating interesting tensions that may force more people to adapt to a NY-type mindset (e.g. public transport over car is easier because parking is such a hassle, etc.). It likely won't be as affordable as it is compared with major cities soon. I hope the infrastructure will grow in visionary ways to support it, and that new people will continue to enhance the culture here.

I grew up in FL canoeing and exploring on foot with the freedom to get lost (one of my favorite childhood activities...). I think exposure to that is important. When I look towards starting our family, hopefully this year, I'm so moved by the idea that our kid(s) will also grow up with an attachment to a wild natural setting.

But there are so many cultural advantages to growing up in NYC -- with the right planning, I think it's an incredible opportunity.

Giulia said...

Yep, that's pretty gross. But I have to say I've lived all over the world, large communities & mid (& stayed in small ones) & there is gross everywhere. Just saying. :)

I live right on the edge of DC & MD. For quite awhile now....

kiki said...

HA! That's hilarious :) We live in Portland, Oregon. Of course, it's the "trendy" place to be right now, but we've lived here since 2001 and are now raising our little boy in the city. I think Portland is the perfect "city" to raise a family in. So many little neighborhood pockets, so easy to walk to everything, affordable rent...the list goes on. The rain everyone moans about is a myth...it's not nearly as bad as people say (but maybe I've just been here too long and don't know any better!). I have to say though, it would feel like moving to a small town compared to NYC or LA. Its MUCH smaller, it's not the national scene right now, but is really a very small city on the global scale...

jonya said...

We moved from Southern California to San Francisco and then to Portland Or. Portland is where we decided to have kids and we haven't looked back. The happiest, friendliest, yummiest, and super safe place to live, especially with kids.

Trey Long said...

Eek! That would scar me for life!
We just moved to the 'burbs north of Atlanta less than two years ago after living in town (and previous to that, NYC). I still struggle with the transition of having to drive everywhere! However, it is great to have more space, playgrounds, good schools, etc. Now, we're looking to make a more lateral move to find a neighborhood that's a little more pedestrian friendly :)

StephNav said...

Oh my god, you poor thing! I live in NYC too, and love it, but sometimes my husband and I dream of going to Cali - and I think it'll happen one day!

Funny little story, speaking of gross NYC, my friend moved here and within a week of being here, slipped on a used condom in Central Park AND got thrown up on on the subway. What a welcome :)

Gabriella Ricketts said...

Born and raised in Los Angeles (Silver Lake/Los Feliz area.) I can't speak for all areas of LA, but Silver Lake was a great place to grow up. It's changing a little bit now, but there's such a lovely community. I've known some of the people at the grocery store for nearly 23 years! They've watched me grow up. There are lots of kids in the area now too, and a really great outdoor preschool right on the edge of the reservoir. Plus! Tons of amazing restaurants from all over the world. Because delicious food is the most important, right? I go to college in Upstate New York and sometimes I dream about some of those restaurants...

Chetna Singh said...

That was gross! Poor you! Can't say I blame you contemplating a move.
I moved from India and left my entire family behind ..it was a big step and I was very apprehensive, I am now settled in the suburbia in NJ with my husband and kids. Princeton is 20 minutes away and we are surrounded by horse farms and golf courses. I love the space and am happy we made the move. XO

Lily L-M said...

I live in New Haven, CT -- and while I love it (for the now), it's not a place I'd recommend to you for raising kids! That story outdoes all of my grossest though!

x Lily
http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com/

Unknown said...

hi Joanna! I moved to SF from NYC in 2012. I was a single girl in NYC living in the West Village and then I met a guy when I moved here. we are debating this question all the time too :) I do think the Northern California is an awesome place to grow up... it's just so physically beautiful. it just feels more open, both physically and emotionally. good luck!

Meg Gerloff said...

Arlington, Virginia. I love it because it's just outside of Washington, D.C. I like having the option of being close enough to a city with PLENTY of things to do and see, but also having a neighborhood (grassy) area to come home to. Best of both worlds really.

districtandmore said...

Moving is equal parts awesome and terrifying. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I moved to DC after college without a job, without a plan, and certainly without the intention of staying here for more than a year. I’ve been in the District for four years now and don’t see myself leaving anytime soon. It is a great city that keeps on getting better.

http://districtandmore.com

Hothouse Blossom said...

I live in the East Bay, 30 miles from San Francisco. I lived in New York for three years. I love Northern California! It's fun and beautiful and people are really warm here. Space. I'll never give up my space (or my balcony) again!

Julie Taylor said...

Don't feel bad about the tampon applicator - that can happen anywhere! My son found one a few summers ago and was playing with it and we live in small town Michigan.
I have moving on the mind recently too - my husband was offered a job in a bigger city and after years of whining how I feel bored and isolated up here in MI, after checking out the new town we decided to stay put! I've gotten SO USED to the easy lifestyle here - husband walks to work, we can walk the kids to school, ride our bikes around the neighborhood, co-op and grocery store less than a mile away and so on. Not to mention our gigantic backyard (we live right in town, not the burbs), large MCM house that we hope to have paid off in 2 more years! $800 a month mortgage payment! Downside is almost all my furniture (except the vintage things I pick up locally) and all my clothes and things are ordered off the internets! :)

Laura said...

That's so disgusting and could totally happen to me too! We live in Brooklyn - I've been in NYC for 12 years already. We daydream about moving to Maine or California but it's so hard to envision life somewhere else.

emmilie. said...

I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I'm going to law school out here, and it is an awesome city in which to be a student. A small city at around 200-250,000, on the water, with a historic downtown and the most pubs per capita in North American (second to Manhattan). I love that the city is small enough to walk every where I have to go, but big enough that it is a regional hub. Lots of history and culture!

I did my undergrad degree out on the West Coast in Victoria - another small city that is also a regional hub - and I am convinced that capital cities are the best! However all of my family lives in Calgary, Alberta, so I would want to raise a family there. I grew up living overseas and definitely want my kids to experience expat life at least for part of their childhoods :)

Love this post! I truly hope that tampon never touched your lips.

aly said...

I live in Chicago, but I'm originally from Portland, OR. My boyfriend and I are planning to move to Portland next summer, and I'm so excited because I've been wanting to move back home for so so long, but the closer it gets the more terrified and unsure of myself I get!

Anne said...

I think no matter what city/big city one lives in there will always be gross parts about living in that particular place. I live in Aarhus, a minor big city in Denmark (Scandinavia). I love Aarhus for so many reasons but that does not stop me from want to live elsewhere in the world. As a 20 year old I lived one year in Melbourne, Australia working as a live in nanny. That year in Melbourne was amazing and I miss the city so much sometimes that it hurts. I have been to New York several times and love the city and would be a dream come true to live/work in the city for one or several years. However I can also picture myself living in other big cities (I love the diversity and freedom of big(ger) cities). I cannot really imagine though living in a small town (not even when I grow older). Do not get me wrong, I love nature, fresh air, animals etc. but I just need to be in a noisy place with a lot of people around me. However this is actually a bit ironic because I truely appreciate spending time by myself, but there is just something about a big city which is so special and unique that I would not change it for the world.

But of course, there are pros and cons about everything in life :)

Jamie said...

Seattle!! I've lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., and Seattle is by far the greatest. I can't wait to raise a family here some day!

elisabeth said...

After almost a decade in New York, right after deciding we'd probably be there forever, my husband got a great job offer in San Francisco. I'm from the bay area, so it wasn't as big of an adjustment as it could have been, but moving across the country with a 3.5 and 1.5 year old definitely felt daunting and I was sickeningly sad about leaving the place where we fell in love, married, and had our babies.

After almost two years here, I can definitively say it was one of the best choices we've ever made. I was adamant that raising kids in New York was easy, but it turns out this is so much easier--everything about daily life just feels more convenient. Plus, we get out of the city to enjoy Napa/Sonoma, Tahoe, Big Sur, etc all the time. I won't even mention the weather. New York will always be my second home, but Northern California will be our real home forever.

rosalinda monroy said...

moved from los angeles to humboldt county at 18, lived there for 11 years and had two kids and bought a house there. 1 1/2 years ago made the move from humboldt to sonoma county and love it! we went from owning to renting and miss the natural and organic lifestyle a bit but the weather is amazing and so close to the city that we have never looked back. Such an amazing experience to meet new people and have a fresh start.

Cari said...

Portland, Oregon is the best place! It's like living in Europe in America (we lived in Oslo, Norway for a couple of years, and coming home to Portland didn't feel much different). You can literally walk 15 minutes one direction to downtown from the NW neighborhood, and walk 15 minutes the other direction to a huge, amazing slice of forest that smells so fresh and wonderful. It's a city with everything you'd ever want and need, but also feels small and cozy at the same time. If you can handle the rain (which, after NYC winters, rain should be a piece of cake), then you're handsomely rewarded with a warm-but-not-too-hot summer sans humidity, the most gorgeous fall and spring colors, and scenery that is beyond beautiful. Oh and the FOOD. Everyone who lives here loves this city so much, whether they've lived here forever or transplanted here as adults. Excellent place to raise a family - so many easy opportunities to get out in nature, even when living in the city like we do.

bookmarks & wanderlust said...

I moved to Luxembourg with my fiancé from Canada exactly a year and a week ago. It was the biggest and scariest decision of our lives, and we almost said no to it. Looking back, we laugh and think we were crazy for initially not wanting to move abroad for a few years. We love this new chapter of our lives, but when we think about the future (i.e. babies) we can't imagine being here raising kids without their grandparents and kooky relatives/friends nearby!
Don't be afraid to move-- it's refreshing to challenge yourself by getting our of your comfort zone...and zip code!

Megan said...

We live in Memphis, TN with 2 toddlers and our third is due in October. While Memphis gets criticized a lot, it has been the perfect place for us to raise a family so far. It's big enough to have access to activities like museums, parks, shops, restaurants etc., but small enough that you can drive almost anywhere in 20 minutes and we can own a 3 bedroom house with a yard for a great price. We'll be moving to Chicago in 2015 and every time I think about navigating the city and cold weather with 3 kiddos I get stressed out!

sena said...

I live in Istanbul, Turkey. It's hard to answer but sometimes I really wish to live somewhere else.

Gena said...

Hello! We live in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and love it... Though we also love the thought of moving back to Seattle where Im from... We have three kids aged 10, 8 and 5 and living here for the past four years has been the best experience. They speak dutch, have made international friends for life and are expert bike riders. Moving here has allowed us to experience a completely different way of life and I am thankful every day for the opportunity. Moving is also challenging and fulfilling and pushes you out of your comfort zone- which to me are important to helping us grow. Its hard not to wonder if the grass is greener, but im certain there are tons of fantastic things about where you live as well. :) i agree with the person above who said you always leave bits of your heart in all the places youve lived...

Samantha H. said...

I live in the Dominican Republic, and yes, it is a third world country, it's not the safest place to be, although that has changed a little. BUT, to have a maid here is quite affordable, anyone middle-low class an up can afford one, and you can get a blow out at a salon for like 5 bucks. I don't have to clean, and I don't have to do my own hair, so yeah, I love it here. I have moved a lot, but within the same city, and last 2 times within the same neighborhood, it's crazy. I hate moving so much, but mostly because when you move such little distance you keep everything you have. When you move long distances, you keep less stuff and it's less work, although it can be more traumatic. I will start my major in diplomacy and international relations, so I might have to move in the future, which sounds much more exciting than my previous moves.

Ashley Grimes said...

We live in Salt Lake City, and it is fabulous! There is a really neat vibe that has been developing the last decade. Great foodie and bar scene, markets, and amazing people. The only problem is we often have the worst air quality IN THE NATION. Every Jan-Feb and July, extremely bad air pollution.

With that said, we LOVE it here! Come visit Utah!

A Place to Bee said...

I totally agree with moving before school starts. The first few years at school are so important, and I personally wouldnt want to unsettle my children in those first years. Also as someone else already pointed out - almost all of your (new) friends, and your childrens (possibly lifelong!) friends will come from school so its important to choose well. Do some research and look for houses near to the schools you'd like your children to spend the majority of their day at! We were incredibly lucky to have found a house we loved near to a great school - we didnt plan it that way but it worked out so well. In hindsight though, I probably wouldnt leave it to chance - the majority of mums have a far longer school commute than I do, and it must be such a chore to do that every day.. So, I moved from London - I adore London and city life - to the English countryside. Even though I'm still close to London by train, its a huge change in terms of lifestyle, and it is completely changing my outlook on life, in general..! Whoah ;) Once you've gotten over the initial trauma of the change, you'll remember why you moved in the first place, and you'll love it as much, possibly more, just in a different way. Do it. No regrets :)

grace said...

I just moved from Wisconsin to Arizona. I loved growing up in Wisconsin and the midwest is a wonderful, down to earth place. But I just love experiencing new places and people and things. It's been such a great move!
BUT, I'm moving to NYC in the fall! Just for a two year grad program at Columbia but your blog makes me so excited to experience living in the city :)
I think a move is totally worth it - it can be hard because we get so attached but nostalgia is a part of life and although it can be sad, it means you're living a great life!

Catie Beatty said...

I live in Seattle and I LOVE IT. It has its gross moments, just like any other city, but it's totally worth it. The perfect summers, the amazing views, and the manageable crowds. It's small town comfort with big city cool. And the apartments are sooo much more affordable here. You could probably even afford a house!

Paula said...

I currently live in Northern California (Palo Alto) and I think it would be a really nice place to raise a family. I don't love it right now, but I think that's mainly because I'm young and single. I will say that my family moved across the country to Arizona from my hometown (Miami) when I was 14 and that was pretty traumatic at the time. It might be easier if your kids are younger! In retrospect, though, I'm really glad my parents moved us. I like that I got to experience a new place and culture, even though we were still in the US.

marie said...

I grew up in cities in Iowa, which exist and are so lovely, see David Byrne's piece about Des Moines from last summer here: http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2013/07/070613-des-moines-iowa-part-iii.html. I've also lived in rural Mississippi, and am now in in Denver. Love them all like friends who are so completely different but who make me who I am and am becoming. I'm all for new adventures, but also try to keep in mind that you can bloom wherever you're planted.

Good luck and thanks for creating this space, Joanna! Love the mix of posts and thoughts here!

Katrina said...

I live in Scottsdale, AZ and even though most people would call it "paradise" thanks to the six months of nice weather we get a year, I really hate it. It's painfully hot half the year, we have HORRIBLE air (it literally feels like you're just standing in a crowded parking lot, feeling the heat radiate off the ground and breathing the exhaust fumes), people are terrible drivers because our laws are really vague and half the people here are "snowbirds"... the list goes on and on. One thing I've heard recently is that "you won't be happy anywhere if you can't be happy here" and I sort of disagree with that. I AM happy here, because this is where my family is. But I still don't like HERE. I like water and woods and country... not city and smog and traffic (and backwards legislation...). I would be much happier with my home if I didn't just love what's inside it, but also what surrounds its walls.

Stefanie said...

I was born in San Diego, raised in Reno, Nevada and am now attempting to raise a toddler in Boston with my Boston born and bred husband. I feel like my gypsy past gives me a good perspective and, although it can be hard (and gross!) I wouldn't move out of the city for anything...well, maybe an ocean view! It is something that we have been discussing and I have been blogging about a lot, but I think we are going to stay in the city until we can afford that nice house on the water!

Erin said...

I grew up in Colorado and loved it. Great public schools and lots of space. I live in Cincinnati now but wouldn't recommend it for schools, you have to pay for private schools to get a good primary education.

Katherine Bousson said...

Joanna,

That is seriously gross I hope you are okay!!! I'm a New York girl myself but thinking about making the move to Dallas!!

-Kat

Lena said...

Haha, we are a family that moves every year..Not for a work but for a lifestyle. We love the world! First two times were almost traumatizing:)), but then we couldn't stop doing it over and over again. In two months we are moving from San Diego to Miami and can't wait!! (also, if any of you folks live in Miami, let me know how it is). Change is great!

Emily Catherine said...

Colorado! Great place to raise kids-very down to earth. People are REAL and polite. You definitely wouldn't be "keeping up with the Jones". Can't beat the weather. Ft. Collins and Boulder are two of the top cities in the country where people are the happiest. It is also one of the healthiest states in the country. People exercise and eat well consistently here.

dearwilderness said...

I moved to Pasadena, CA three and a half years ago for school, and I didn't want to. I planned on leaving as soon as I graduated. But the LA area has grown on me a LOT. There is so much to do, and even though it can be a pain that everything is so spread out, it really does lend a community feeling to your area. Everywhere you go feels like its own little village, and it gives you SO much to explore. I could live here the rest of my life and never see everything. I like Pasadena because it's super clean for LA, and it's close to both downtown and the Silverlake/Highland Park neighborhoods, which have a ton of stuff to explore. Plus, the mountains are super close so we go hiking. All of that to say though, my husband and I have been talking about moving ourselves. It's expensive here (although not as much as New York), and we're newlyweds, so we're poor. :) But thinking about leaving all of this behind gives me mild panic attacks, so we'll see what happens. But this little piece of the earth has really attached itself to my heart, and I can truly say that I love LA.

msn said...

Hello,

I left France for Canada in 2008. Then, we left Canada for Ghana in 2009. Then, we left Ghana for Ivory Coast in 2010. Then, we left Ivory Coast for Canada again (Montreal) in 2011. Then, we left Montreal for the USA (Florida) in 2012. Then, we left Florida for Maryland in 2014...
My husband is a halicopter pilot. And I love to travel. The key is not stick to material things. We are happy to be together and that what matters. We make friends wherever we are because we are open-minded and we play Volleyball. Sport helps a lot. Our 2 year old has an amazing capability of adaptation.

Crazy!

msn said...

Hello,

I left France for Canada in 2008. Then, we left Canada for Ghana in 2009. Then, we left Ghana for Ivory Coast in 2010. Then, we left Ivory Coast for Canada again (Montreal) in 2011. Then, we left Montreal for the USA (Florida) in 2012. Then, we left Florida for Maryland in 2014...
My husband is a halicopter pilot. And I love to travel. The key is not stick to material things. We are happy to be together and that what matters. We make friends wherever we are because we are open-minded and we play Volleyball. Sport helps a lot. Our 2 year old has an amazing capability of adaptation.

Crazy!

msn said...

Hello,

I left France for Canada in 2008. Then, we left Canada for Ghana in 2009. Then, we left Ghana for Ivory Coast in 2010. Then, we left Ivory Coast for Canada again (Montreal) in 2011. Then, we left Montreal for the USA (Florida) in 2012. Then, we left Florida for Maryland in 2014...
My husband is a halicopter pilot. And I love to travel. The key is not stick to material things. We are happy to be together and that what matters. We make friends wherever we are because we are open-minded and we play Volleyball. Sport helps a lot. Our 2 year old has an amazing capability of adaptation.

Crazy!

faceofjess said...

We lived in chicago... and still do. We moved last year to a neighborhood that is barely in the city (rubbin elbows with the burbs) and I love it. After our daughter was born we decided to sacrifice being able to walk to nice restaurants and stores to having a large yard and safety. There are so many gross things about any city, i think it comes down to the kind of future you want for yourselves. We can always drive 20 min to "downtown" too...

Adi said...

Oh my goodness! Gotta love NYC! My husband and I actually left NYC a few years ago - definitely takes adjustment, but the conveniences (and cleanliness) of life outside NYC are sure easy to get used to! We lived in Kansas City for a while (which is a surprisingly cool place) and now we've landed in Denver. I would definitely recommend Denver - the weather is amazing (300 days of sun a year). Plus, you get the urban lifestyle with lots of nature/adventure close by in the Rocky Mountains. Best of both worlds! Good luck! I vote move - NYC will always be there to come back to :).

Lisa said...

I grew up in Philadelphia and went to University in Pennsylvania, after graduating I moved for a job to Hawaii...on my own. Lived here for 8 years, moved to London for 3 years and now back on the big island of Hawaii for the past 14 years. I love everyplace I have lived for different reasons, and all of course have their downsides but Hawaii is incredible.

emy said...

My husband and I spent our first year of marriage living in the Middle East, marking my third international move in a span of several years! We're back home now, living near Chicago, and it's great to be surrounded by family again, especially since we now have a baby. Our community is fairly urban, and we absolutely love it, but we both grew up surrounded by prairies and forests and plenty of land. We want our son (and future kids) to have a similar connection to the outdoors. I'd love an older home with space for chickens and gardens... Someday ;) Hopefully when that day comes we'll be done moving for a good long while!

Elizabeth Reising said...

Oh Joanna! That is just the worst when gross city stuff like that creeps into nice moments. I lived in Chicago for four years, before that in South Bend, IN for 1.5, and have been in Providence, RI for about a year. I truly miss Chicago with each passing day (central Illinois, born and raised), but living outside the Midwest has opened my eyes. My fiance and I will probably go back someday, but if your heart tells you to make the jump, follow it! I once heard that when you are living in a place for more than six weeks, you leave a part of yourself there. While it will be hard to leave, life is one big adventure. You have such a strong family that I think you guys can take on anything.

shannon9585 said...

I live on Cape Cod (yes, people do live here year round! and we're not all rich!) I moved here for a job about 2 years ago after living in upstate NY all my life. I have to say, the Cape is a BEAUTIFUL place to live. It's hard to be sad or depressed when I'm minutes away from the ocean. Cons: summer traffic, crazy real estate prices (but maybe not so crazy compared to NYC), no mountains. I do miss the mountains. Probably a safe place to raise kids. Come visit!

Katy Laverdiere said...

My family just moved from Maine to Virginia a few months ago. It was extremely difficult on all of us and we were all homesick for a long time. I know everyone still has their moments but I think we're all settling in quite well and I'm finally getting used to the idea of calling Virginia Beach home rather than Maine. Plus, no matter where you live, gross things are everywhere. We found a tampon on a beautiful beach in Maine too!

Megan M-R said...

We moved from Washington, DC to California (Bay Area) two years ago and it was THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE. It was scary to make such a big change, of course, but totally, totally worth it. Sunshine, beaches, sweet people, creativity, best weather... I can't wait to have children here.

Move to California- you would seriously love it. I mean, it's 60-80 degrees every day. :)

Sarah said...

I love New York - I live in the West Village but I have thought of moving especially after this winter and moments like you just described. Charleston, SC is always where I imagine I will go - or maybe San Fran!

whatsarahknows

Rudey R said...

We live in Chicago! In the Logan Square neighborhood. I've lived in Chicago since 2000, and really quite love it - minus the winter and the outdoor living. We're always California dreaming, and sincerely hoping to pull the plug once our girls are a little older. They are 4 and 7 right now and thinking we'll head out of Chicago after our oldest daughter finishes fourth grade. We've got an amazing school situation right now, so we're soaking that up. We head out somewhere warm once or twice in the winter to take the bite out of the cold, and bought bikes and joined a suburban pool to get in some additional outdoor living.

Sorry to hear that happened to you at the park -- yikes!!

Kate D said...

One year ago I moved from NYC to Nashville, TN and I'm never looking back... ok maybe once a month when I miss the latest cronut frenzy or want to go to Chinatown for dim sum but seriously I'm never moving back. I absolutely LOVE Nashville and if it's not on your hit list of places to check out it seriously should be. Much more sophisticated of a city than I thought it would be an the people are SO NICE I sometimes can't even believe it. Beautiful architecture. Amazing amazing food and live music everywhere you go. What more could you ask for? There's a reason it's being nicknamed NOWville these days. Can't say enough good things about it!

Joy said...

I'm from New Zealand, have lived in England (5 years) and here in the States (4 years). In the States I've lived in Texas, Boston and now in Southern California. This is definitely not our final destination.

Moving is hard but it forces you out of your comfort zone and into meeting new friends, finding new places to hang out (beaches, rivers, parks etc.)

I say, go for it!

mba said...

We live in Berkeley and I love it. Weather is awesome, geography is unbeatable, people are hilarious. *Takes ALL kinds!
Being so close to SF is great but we still get a cozy neighborhood vibe and can afford to live in a house with a yard. We walk to parks and cafes. Tons of great food. I can bike to work.
Just so you know I lived in NYC in my 20s and I miss it terribly. But I think I mostly miss being 27 and free! I've also lived in LA and whiles it's awesome the air is brown and the driving is a pain. I've also lived in Berlin and would move back - it's amazing. But the winters are so long and dark. I feel very lucky to live where I live. Oakland is lovely too! And SF is incredible if you can afford - do it!

Yes, moving is hard but change is so amazing. You won't regret it.

Carolyn said...

Burlington, VT :) I really love it here. It's a small "city", but there's so much going on: an amazing food scene, a gazillion summer festivals, and lots of parks, beaches and swimming holes to explore (if you wait patiently through six months of winter). It's always on the list of great places to raise kids. And you're still within a few hours' drive of Boston, Montreal or NYC, so it doesn't feel too foreign. My bf grew up in the Bronx, and he says he doesn't miss the city anymore. In fact, he finds it stressful to go back!

I've been looking for a new job, so moving might be in our future. The thought of that makes me both excited and really sad. It's funny how a place becomes part of your identity!

CinthyaG said...

As a child, I lived briefly in Mexico City, Barcelona, Tijuana. Then we moved to Washington 25 yrs ago and I've never looked back. I've been to the four corners of the U.S., and can honestly say I wouldn't choose to live anywhere else. The Seattle area is just beautiful,clean,bucolic and quite progressive. We truly do have four seasons, Spring and Fall are stunning and we definitely have the best Summer weather in the country. Property is quite expensive, but even those on low or moderate incomes have access to safe and clean living. But, we're full - just kidding!!

JPP said...

I live in Milan with 2 kids, ages 4 and 1. I enjoy living in Europe but Milan is not a city for kids. I lived in NYC and always imagined I'd move back but can't really picture it with kids anymore. If we moved to states I'd pick the Bay Area but mostly likely we'll stay in Europe in which case I am pushing for Barcelona! Everywhere has it's pros and cons, it all comes down to how you live your daily life.

Francisca Figueiredo said...

I've moved to Spain two years ago. Spain is such a sunny and friendly country. I love living here but in six month I'll be moving to South Korea because my husband got better job there. I know it will be challenging but I'm really excited about our next move. Maybe our first child will be born there, maybe not. If California feels right for both of you, give it a try!

Margaret Craig said...

I moved from North Carolina to Arizona in 2012. It was really scary but also really refreshing. Pretty freeing to leave everything behind and start new. The hardest part was being so far from family and close friends in a time that I felt the most vulnerable. North Carolina will always be home but how do you know you truly love a place if you haven't lived anywhere else?

Anitra Sweet said...

Wow!!!!! I would die ;)

I was born and raised in Seattle and lived in the same town most of my life. Absolutely beautiful especially in the summers. 4 years ago we moved to boise when I found out I was preggers with twins. I wanted to be around my family who had all migrated here. So now we are here and I hate the landscape and the summers are too hot and the food sucks and there's not much culture BUT it's the 8th safest city in the US, it has on average 244 days of sun a year, and it's growing on me as it becomes more urban! My heart aches for all my friends but overall Im happy we're here. :)

Anitra Sweet said...

But I think you would love living in CA! it might help with anxiety and winter depression. Coming from Seattle I know how much the weather affects ppl!

Gaelle said...

I live in Paris, France, born & raised but I've spedn 3 years in middle east & got 4 differents "homes" (always in Paris) for the last 10 years...

Unknown said...

I grew up in the heart of San Francisco (Castro District), and now live in Manhattan (Morningside Heights). I love both of these cities passionately, and feel lucky that since I'm only 25 I don't yet have to worry about where I'll end up long term. San Francisco is a bit cleaner than NYC, and the culture of the West Coast is quite different, but there are still a lot of similarities with NYC.

One thing you should consider, though, before thinking about moving to the Bay Area at least is that if you want to send your kids to public school you really should live somewhere like Marin County--San Francisco public schools (and most on the Peninsula) are not nearly the caliber of NYC public schools.

Jacqueline said...

My husband works from home and we can live anywhere, so we decided to try living in Holland, MI and are so very in love with it! Michigan gets such a bad rap, but our area, right on Lake Michigan is wonderful. We're 20-30 minutes west of Grand Rapids, and just a couple of hours from Chicago. The lakes are beautiful and provide so much to do. Downtown Holland is gorgeous and bustling and the city is just so clean and family friendly. I could go on and on about all the benefits of living here - it's such a great spot!

Tracy and Marc said...

We live in Palo Alto with 2 little ones. Like the poster from Mountain View said, it is hard w/the outrageous cost of living in the Bay Area -- but we moved from NYC and know that you still can get more space here than there. And there is so much to love about living here. We moved about 8 years ago from NYC, before kids and marriage, and, for us, it was helpful to think about it as a change that we could reverse if we wanted to (I worked from home like you), even though that might not be easy. I missed NYC for about a year, but now feel like I've gone "too soft" to ever go back (except to visit!). Life with kids is SO much easier here.

natasha linskill said...

WOW. wow ... I threw up a little in my mouth I think ... you poor thing! I completely understand you're traumatized!

I live in London and I think on the grossness scale it probably weighs up quite evenly with NY. It is also a very long way to move ...

I'm personally a New Zealander and can't imagine raising children anywhere but home, on the coast, where you can afford a detached house with front AND back yard!

I'm glad you can laugh about this now and still appreciate your home for where it is! I'm sure it's wonderful, don't move for the sake of moving!

sarah said...

i lived in brooklyn for 15 years - my entire adult-ish life. when i got married we imagined that we would have 2 kids in our charming park slope 2 bedroom. it was in the good school district after all! fast forward 5 years later when i had a 1.5 year old and a new born and i was doing 4 flights of stairs and wanted to DIE. one year after saying to anyone who would listen "i would rather die than live in new jersey…" we moved to maplewood. it's known as park slope west because practically everyone who jumps ship from BK goes to maplewood. as a result, you have an artsy, crunchy, green loving, diverse and FRIENDLY community. just like the one i couldn't afford in BK. the day we moved i felt like a gigantic weight was lifted off my shoulders. it;s a tough decision, but i made the right one for me. good luck!

nina | itsazooatthezoo.blogspot.com said...

Oh my Gosh! Your story is my worst nightmare, but also really made me laugh! It's true, NYC is disgusting. Having lived there for a time, I know all about it and can't imagine the nasty stuff my own kids would find there.
We live in Berkeley and LOVE IT! As total city people it's really the best of both worlds, it's a little suburban feeling in that there are beautiful neighborhoods and quiet parks, but it's also quite urban with BART and downtown and a few, cute, neighborhood areas to walk in. Of course it's only a 20 min drive (30 min BART ride) to SF, 45 min to Napa, Sonoma, or the gorgeous seascapes of Point Reyes. Super kid friendly with a great public school system, tons of parks, and a slew of kids activities AND hosts one of the largest internet parent organizations, Berkeley Parent Network with over 25,000 members. Berkeley is also the most economic diverse city in the Bay Area with many levels of housing affordability. I can't say enough about how great it is.

Alicia said...

I live in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is about 40 minutes north of Albany, which is about 2.5 hours north of NYC. Saratoga is a horse racing resort town with lots of revolutionary war history. A great place to grow up and a wonderful place to live! Close enough to visit Boston or NYC easily.

Sugar said...

Napa, CA. Come to CA!!! It's amazing, gorgeous, great weather, perfect place to raise a kid. One thing it is not- City living. I miss SF, and being close to the action. It's quite country here, but with good food and lots of wine!

Kendriana said...

Wow, I'm so sorry this happened to you, that's incredibly disgusting. I live in Dallas, I have a love/hate relationship with my city. I believe Dallas has an nice balance between urban/suburban but for some reason the culture is lacking...so is the politics.

Kendriana said...

Wow, I'm so sorry this happened to you, that's incredibly disgusting. I live in Dallas, I have a love/hate relationship with my city. I believe Dallas has an nice balance between urban/suburban but for some reason the culture is lacking...so is the politics.

hmatzell said...

My husband and I lived in the South End of Boston (very West Village-esque neighborhood) and moved to northern New Mexico for his job. We've been here about a year and though I miss my family & friends, it's been a really cool experience. It's not the perfect place for us long-term, but it has taught me that I value the outdoors, sunshine, lack of traffic and spaaaaaace! I honestly don't know if I could move back to a city, even to a cute neighborhood like the South End, ever again. Never in all my 28 years would I have considered myself a "country girl", but you never know what you might like until you try it...

The Hemmers said...

Flagstaff, AZ. A mountain town 2.5 hours north of Phoenix. It's beautiful, quirky, and I've recently found, an easy place to raise little ones. Lots of outdoor spaces, slow pace of life, and babies and breastfeeding are welcome EVERYWHERE. Major draw backs are we are far from a major airport, and sometimes I wish there was more "to do" (zoo, museums etc...) I am an east coast girl at heart and the transition out west was not easy, but we love and appreciate our town more and more every time we come home.

Kat said...

We have moved many times and accross Canada too! With a child!
It makes you look at life differently and with a more open mind. We have lived in Europe, Asia....
I love NY but I don't think that I would want to raise a child there.
It is also nice to dream about it sometimes too....and do nothing about it.


lori said...

Once I was at out neighborhood park and my dear toddler son brought me "dinosaur bones" in the form of dried dog poop. I understand the desire for new places. I would love to leave Houston.

I Wanna Be a Rockstar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lili nfolks said...

We live in the mountains! Such a magical place, to raise kids, for sure. But we always think of moving!!! Asia ? Big City? My husband has been living 20 years in NYC, so it won't be NYC again I think... or maybe Brooklyn? I'm also so afraid of moving even if I have always this idea in mind!

Amanda Unruh said...

I live in Tallahassee, FL but I'm moving to Minneapolis in about six weeks! It' a huge move but I'm very excited!

Gabriella said...

I was just looking at pics of a family trip to San Francisco when I was a kid. There was one of me on the beach and, as I was looking at it, my mom leaned over and said, "In that picture, you had just picked up a condom off the beach." (!!) One of the hazards of city life, I'm afraid!

chelsea said...

Right smack in the middle of Austin, Texas. And I love, love, love it. I love that it is urban, weird, funky, and unique, but that I can get to a Target in about 15 minutes. We are just west of downtown, within walking distance of the lake, in an old neighborhood with yards and big trees. The public schools nearby are good. Kids walk to school. I pick vegetables from my garden. We sit on the front porch with wine in the evenings and talk to our neighbors. But we can be downtown in the midst of the hubbub with an easy bike ride. Love. It. Come join. But don’t tell your friends. Our town is growing fast. But we will take you. And be nice about it.

Carri said...

I'm moving from the Bay Area in California to San Diego - and I'm freaked out!! I've lived in Northern California my whole life, and have no idea what to expect of San Diego - like do I need a peacoat?! But, also I'm so excited! I'll never be ready to leave "home" but I want to make sure I'm living my life to the fullest and taking crazy chances.

Ashley Simpson said...

I live in North Conway, NH currently but my boyfriend and I are actually relocating to Portland, ME (only about an hour and 15 minutes away) in the next month or so. I grew up in North Conway and it is such a beautiful place to be, surrounded by mountains and forest. I was born here, but sadly over the last 20 years, it has become less of a community and more of a tourist destination, with the town losing sight on the people that actually live and work here year round to the people that visit once or twice a year. Rent, Gas, Groceries have all skyrocketed, leaving us locals struggling to get by.
We're moving to Portland for better jobs and I'm so so excited! I went to college in Maine, and when I moved back to New Hampshire, I really missed the people in Maine, there's just something about those Mainers.
Anyway, we're very excited to start our new chapter, but it is nice knowing home is only an hour away.

Spencer said...

I currently live in Portland, Oregon. I couldn't recommend a place to live more wholeheartedly than here. It's a big city but it is full of small neighborhoods houses with yards. We are currently in the process of moving to SF and while i love that city as well it breaks my heart to leave portland.

Ana Beatriz Novelli said...

So! I've already moved twice in my life - to two different countries! Once I was 16 and my family moved to New Zealand. It was a great experience. When I was 21 I moved countries again - this time to Italy! I decided to come back home (I'm from Brazil) but overall I would totally move again to another place. It's such a great opportunity to breath some new air, discover something new, notice the new city open its arms for you!

Ana Beatriz Novelli said...

So! I've already moved twice in my life - to two different countries! Once I was 16 and my family moved to New Zealand. It was a great experience. When I was 21 I moved countries again - this time to Italy! I decided to come back home (I'm from Brazil) but overall I would totally move again to another place. It's such a great opportunity to breath some new air, discover something new, notice the new city open its arms for you!

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