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  1. Default Roadtrip to find a new place to live

    After living in LA for 7 years, I'm pretty much done here. I have no idea where to go to live next and had this crazy idea of doing a roadtrip to find my next place to live - a place that just feels right. I don't need the size or attitude of LA anymore, but I still want diversity and to be close to the water and even mountains if possible. Some place with a university, arts/cultural community, outdoors community, good quality of life, am I asking for a lot? My biggest fear is being so trapped viewing the world from the car that I miss the place I'm supposed to be. Anyone have ideas, or have done this in the past? I could use tips on planning, how to meet people on the road, where some of the best places to live are, anything! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Hometown Blues

    Hi DBB, welcome aboard the RTA Forum!
    but I still want diversity and to be close to the water and even mountains if possible. Some place with a university, arts/cultural community, outdoors community, good quality of life,
    This is pretty broad! Are you looking for big cities only? East or West? North or South? When you say water, do you mean the ocean or do you include lakes as well? Major cities on the west coast : San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Portland. On the east coast : Boston, NYC, Baltimore, Savannah, Miami. You could also check out cities on the Gulf Coast : New Orleans (hopefully it'll get back the way it was before Katrina), Houston.
    Anyone have ideas, or have done this in the past?
    One of our members wrote a similar post last year. She was interested by the east coast mostly, but maybe it can help you finding a couple of ideas.
    I could use tips on planning, how to meet people on the road,
    One of the greatest way to meet new people is right here on this very forum. If you're interested in one place in particular, there's a good chance someone from that area will provide you with some local tips. To meet people, you need to keep an open mind and try to speak to people you normally wouldn't, it can be very surprising! If you're into hostelling and stuff, maybe you'd enjoy the couch surfing method, it's also a great way to meet new folks and experience "local life".
    where some of the best places to live are,
    It's always a matter of perception! My philosophy on this is how can you tell one place is better than another when you haven't lived there? So the answer to where is the best place to live remains unanswered to me because I believe it cannot be answered unless you've been everywhere. Again, this is just my opinion.:o)

    Good luck!
    Gen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DBB
    I have no idea where to go to live next and had this crazy idea of doing a roadtrip to find my next place to live - a place that just feels right.
    This is actually one of the reasons I started doing roadtrips! And I've yet to make a decision (of course, this is due to several factors...) Hopefully you'll be able to make a quicker decision than me.

    I think if you know what kind of weather you prefer, that can help out a lot. Many of the places on Gen's list have all of what you are looking for - but do you want change of seasons or are you content without the extremes of Mother Nature?

    am I asking for a lot?
    Absolutely not. It's what many people want out of life. There's no reason to live in a place that makes you unhappy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Been there, done that....

    Quote Originally Posted by DBB
    My biggest fear is being so trapped viewing the world from the car that I miss the place I'm supposed to be. Anyone have ideas, or have done this in the past? I could use tips on planning, how to meet people on the road, where some of the best places to live are, anything! Thank you!
    After our home and business burned down in October, 1993 we hit the road, seeking a new place to call home. Along the way, we noticed we stopped looking and simply began to appreciate being on the journey. When it is time to stop -- the place will appear -- usually, maybe always it will not be where you dreamed it. For us, we left Pasadena drove and explored over the course of 6.5 years and ended up in.... Las Vegas, Nevada. A place that I could have almost guaranteed would never be in the top 100 places when we left LA. Now, I can't imagine living anywhere else (for an extended period) in the world.

    Enjoy the journey -- the place will choose you.

    Mark

  5. Default here

    charlottesville, VA is only like 3 hrs from the water and has all you are talking about.

    VA beach is too, but it 3 hours from the mountains.

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Points North

    I personally would suggest the Puget Sound area of Washington State (Seattle, Bellvue, Tacoma, Everett, even Bellingham to the far north). This area, in my opinion, has always been pretty carefree, but has a good strong arts community as well as some of the best (in my opinion) universities in the world (University of Washington, Western Washington University, etc.). Of course, the outdoors is just minutes away in any direction. You might find a suburb of one of the cities listed above to be your liking... perhaps even one of the islands.

    Just a suggestion. Hope you find your niche!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Home is Where the Heart Is

    "Where are you from?" is a standard conversation starter, but is becoming increasingly meaningless in today's mobile world. After a while, my stock answer became "I was born in Iowa, raised in Delaware, and moved to Maine when I reached the age of reason." It's that last part that touches on your questions. I was in the same boat you are - feeling like I needed someplace new. As it happened, a couple of friends of mine invited me up to Maine for a weekend, and I fell in love with the place immediately. I stayed over to Monday, applied for a job, and moved up two weeks later. I've never regretted that decision. But the real point is that if you just leave yourself open to the tempo, ambience and feel of the places you travel through, you'll know when you've reached 'home'. But you can't do that on a cruising RoadTrip. You're going to have to really give it some time and spend at least a few days in each place that you might consider. So see if you can narrow your choices down to a few (You've gotten some good suggestions, and I'm sure you have your own ideas.) Then go visit. Think about what appeals to you and what doesn't. Can you take the local lifestyle 24/7? Are the natives friendly and open? Is that what you want? How does it feel? I think that if you just go with the right attitude and give each place a fair shake, your new home will find you. Best of Luck.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Home is where your Dog is!

    Quote Originally Posted by DBB
    I could use tips on planning, how to meet people on the road, where some of the best places to live are, anything!
    Reading AZBuck's last memo reminds me of the slogan we adopted during our travels -- Home is where your dog is! Megan and I are extremely fortunate to travel with a four-legged adventurer named Marvin. He always knew he was "at home" when we were around and over time we learned that lesson too. You are about to embark on your best adventure ever! An extended road trip can be grueling, but it is the most liberating thing you will ever do. Spend the time wisely -- the two best sources of local information in any town are the nail salons and barber shops -- you can learn more about a place in such establishments than from any other source. Make a point of reading the local newspaper in the local cafe in every town you go through. It is impossible not to meet at least 10 people a day. I found that with practice, I could have remarkably deep conversations with about 10-15 people every single day during my years lived on a roll. You can too.

    Mark

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default The natives??

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Are the natives friendly and open?
    AZBuck
    Now that I think about it, you might have a point. I'm living in Phoenix right now (my native homeland), but I grew up in Washington state... this place seems a wee bit on the backwards side of things compared to what I'm used to (my drivers license doesn't expire until I'm 68! Who thought THAT up?).

    So, what I'm saying is, on your travels, sniff around the local operations a wee bit. If things seem really backwards to you, it might not be wise to stick around. I know I'm itching to return to Washington where I know how things work. I'm not saying go on a full investigation, but keep an ear open.

    Carefully plotting my escape,
    Brad
    Proudly an Arizonian-Washingtonian.

  10. #10
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Newspapers- how true!

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    you can learn more about a place in such establishments than from any other source. Make a point of reading the local newspaper in the local cafe in every town you go through.
    Mark
    Its funny you mention this... I've developed this habit on EVERY trip i've been on. Stop in a town, pick up the local paper while getting gas or stopping at a Denny's. It's always interesting to see how they view things. I did that while driving through Northern California after stopping in Weed for the night. Just before getting on the freeway, we stopped for a light morning snack, and picked up the paper, and was able to read it in Sacremento hours later, but, I fell in love with the region after reading the newspaper. I wouldn't mind spending a year or two there to really try it out, but that's for a later date.

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