Moving to the US. But where?

Old Mar 17th, 2014, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Let me add my $.02 as someone who moved from a community in the northeast to to a southern community.

OP says - "we've considered North- and South-Carolina, as well as Georgia, but crime rating and the fact that some people say some communities are not very including and open to "foreigners"/non-southern, different religions and diversity is troubling us".

For us "crime rating" wasn't the issue but acceptance by the locals was, despite the reputation southern folks have of being "friendly". We found them to be "courteous" but not openly friendly. We found for the most part, the "locals" interests centered around schools, churches, local service organizations and what college you graduated from (as in which college football/basketball team did you support). Like OP we didn't have school age children when we relocated therefore we didn't get the opportunity to meet people through school events. We didn't follow college football/basketball and we weren't particularly active in any specific church so meeting new people came mainly through work. Even after 20 years living in our "new town" people still treat us as outsiders who recently moved to the area when they invariably ask "Well, how do you like living in NAME OF TOWN/STATE" to which we respond "Great, we've been here for 20 years now". That comment seems to go over their head.

We have lots of acquaintances but few who we would call friends. By contrast, we have a second home in a different country where there are many expats from different parts of the US, England and Canada and it's just the complete opposite - everyone goes out of their way to meet new arrivals and make them feel welcome. We are 10x's as social active there than in our "southern town".

My point being, that if OP is only planning to live for a year or so in the US finding an area where the "locals" will rush to befriend them might prove difficult - it could take years for the locals to even acknowledge you are living among them. Let me make it clear we never felt "unwanted" but rather it was always up to us to make the first step (and sometimes second or third sets) to gain acceptance.

Now, I agree with others that say the limits OP placed on Temperature ranges is going to be a major stumbling block and being within a 2 hour drive of the ocean is going to limit their choices even further. If OP can put up with summer temperatures in the mid to high 90's F. with high humidity and occasional winter temperatures below 40 F.then North or South Carolina would fill the bill. Look at Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Wilmington or Charlotte, North Carolina. In South Carolina look at Charleston, Florence, Columbia.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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Another vote for tossing your weather criteria and considering Asheville or Charleston or Research Triangle. Your weather criteria are impossible east of the Mississippi.

Charlottesville, VA is nice, too. It would be extremely easy to get into the social scene because the University ensures there are plenty of 20-30s there for advanced degree programs/teaching, etc. It's a liberal pocket in a conservative area.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 12:54 PM
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You'll be able to find a farm share (known here as a CSA or "Community Supported Agriculture") in any decent-sized community, I expect. So food access won't be a problem. But if you want a community that really supports that type of eating/lifestyle, the ones I mentioned above all have that "feel."
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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I'm with starrs. Savannah GA or Asheville NC. August will be hot but you'll have AC! Maybe Providence RI? College towns are a good idea. Amelia island FL is cute too.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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SD & SIL have been surprised at how liberal Charleston is.....they say it's like not even being in South Carolina ;-) Of course, they are both rather conservative.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 03:43 PM
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I would relax either the hot/cold/humid (tornadoes? hurricanes?) weather criteria or the "east of Missouri" (why?) criteria. Otherwise it's an imaginary needle in a big haystack.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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New England will get you away from religion...they are the least religious states in the country. If you stay closer to the shoreline, you tend to get more temperate weather and less snow. The problem is, it's not very diverse...the cities are, but the smaller towns are pretty bland overall.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 05:55 PM
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It's virtually impossible to find that temperature range in the eastern U.S. Add in your other criteria and it is an impossible task. Truly, there is nowhere that has a 40 to 90 degree temperature range east of Missouri - take a look at the horrible winter we just had and you'll see that locations in the deep South were getting freezing temps and snow. Its not unusual to get above 90 with humidity in the northern states either.

Since work/visas are not an issue, you are better off picking two locations (one for the colder months and one for summer). That gives you the chance to experience two different areas and enjoy the best of both.
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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The southern states are a lot more purple than most realize -
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 07:49 PM
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I am curious why you want to live east of Missouri when there are so many beautiful places west of Missouri that meet your criteria.

Also, what kind of recreation interests you? That might help nail down a destination for you.

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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 08:52 PM
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The southern states are a lot more purple than most realize -
Yes but who are making the laws that people have live under?
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Old Mar 17th, 2014, 11:16 PM
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I agree with some comments above. If people are making the same generalizations about how liberal or conservative places are based on their experiences from 20 years ago in the area, they may be very surprised. There's a whole lot of blue in the southeast, where 20 years ago one found almost all red. Places like Asheville NC or Decatur GA are as liberal as Provincetown MA or a lot of the northeastern US.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 02:40 AM
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Thank you all for great responses. I understand that our temprature/weather criteria are out of range, so we'll reconsider that. Now we're currently living in Northern Europe, so we want to get away from the minus degrees (celsius, that is) and snow from November to April. I guess hotter summers are acceptable. It's far more important for us to live somewhere safe and friendly, than a place matching the temperature criteria mentioned.

Main reason for why we want to live east of Missouri is that we want to live in, or close to, the eastern time zone - as we'll be working with clients in Europe (on the phone and online). Which rules out living in the Wester Time Zone, at least.

We'll certainly look into many of the places mentiond. And keep advices and tips coming

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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 03:17 AM
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Ah, the time zone issue tips it, believe me.

My wife in Boston had clients in the UK and a branch office in San Francisco.

Her UK clients went home for the day before the SF staff arrived at the office. The Boston office opened at lunch time in the UK, much handier, and an earlier call was not impossible.

Flights from the East Coast to Europe are frequent and relatively brief.

Be aware for other purposes that the Eastern Time Zone is very broad. Though Boston and Tampa are in the same zone, Boston as earlier dawns an earlier sunsets than Tampa or Columbus.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 05:02 AM
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Except for price, the outlying northern VA suburbs of Washington might fit the criteria. Most winters are mild (this one was the exception). You will see days in the 90s in summer, but it's not as oppressive as DC.

Diverse community, lots of outdoor activities, close to Washington and a couple of hours' drive to the shore. But again, you might have a problem finding housing in your range.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 05:23 AM
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The issue with NOVA is traffic. The god forsaken traffic.

You could give me a house in that area and I would not move there solely because of the traffic.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 05:27 AM
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If you are currently living in northern Europe you have no idea how miserable a southern US summer can be. (I grew up in England, but live in central NC.) Here in NC we were happy that it never went over 100 last year, but 90s with high humidity is still very uncomfortable. Then there are the mosquitos. There are days I can't walk to the mail box without breaking a sweat and getting bitten. I spend the summer indoors with the AC. If you are thinking of the south, think Asheville, which is high enough that the summers aren't so bad. Or possibly New England, but then you have to cope with the winters.

BTW, you mention working with clients, do you have a work permit?
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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There may be liberal enclaves in the south, but just look at their elected officials and the type of legislation they support on the state and federal levels. It is frightening.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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"...and snow from November to April."

I'd find six months of snow undesirable too. We normally don't have six days of snow a year. When it does snow, we wait a couple of days until it melts. The south definitely is humid in the summers though. At higher elevations, you'll find relief from the temps and the humidity. Asheville is really lovely and several of us have mentioned it. Western NC, eastern TN and north GA will give you a lot of what you ask for. Good luck with your decision making.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 08:45 AM
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"Main reason for why we want to live east of Missouri is that we want to live in, or close to, the eastern time zone - as we'll be working with clients in Europe (on the phone and online). Which rules out living in the Wester Time Zone, at least."

Here's a time zone map of the U.S. just for clarification. There is no Western Time Zone.

I don't understand the part about living close to the Eastern Time zone....if you are in the Central Time zone it is the same time whether you are close to the Eastern side or the Mountain side. I mean, the entire state of Texas is in the Central Time Zone but you've apparently ruled them out because it's not geographically close to the Eastern Time Zone (which doesn't make sense to me). 1 pm Central Time is 1 pm Central time....
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