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Has the pandemic made you rethink where you live?


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9 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I am extremely happy with where I live because of the sensible and cautious response to the pandemic. . I can tell you that I have crossed certain places off of my mental list of places to live though. 

I completely agree. 

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I waffle back and forth. On the one hand, I would love to be somewhere where I wasn't right up against everyone in the world. The density is always a thing, but now it's well and truly a drawback. We live in a very urban area, in the most densely populated part of the city - like, I have a house and a tiny yard and a parking space, but it's a rowhouse like a brownstone, basically. There are three apartment buildings across the street from me and many of my neighbors have turned their basements into apartments. So it's a crowded area. None of the normal parts of city life - popping into a shop, using public transit, going to museums, etc. etc. are in play for us right now. Like, we can see restaurants and bars from our front lawn... and the closest and largest one is shuttered and may never re-open. Two more have shut down on the next block. It's been rough. If the city has all these people all the time and doesn't have the benefits of city life... then what are we even doing here?

On the other hand, I am very happy with how my city has handled the pandemic. We are well and truly tracing 99% of all cases. There is free testing literally everywhere. I know people who have gotten tested half a dozen times or more just to stay cautious. Everyone is masking. City services are mostly pretty good overall and this has extended that. And... the city has taken on a bit of a European feel in some ways. Every green space is in constant use now. And... it's sort of beautiful. When I talk to friends and relatives in other places, they don't always have that trust in their local or state government and they don't always have good experiences with how people have dealt with the pandemic around them. 

So I waffle.

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I've always struggled with where we live, but the city has been good to us even through this. We were looking at homes closer to dh's work. They are still too expensive so we're fixing up our house and enjoying what we have. 

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34 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Has the pandemic made you rethink where you live?

City, state, or country?

Have you made  a change?

 

Or will you make a change?

Nope. No place is perfect. I like my state

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I was very glad to have a house and a garden through all this.  I figured I could be happy in a city, but with everything closed down there is just no appeal to high density living.  I have been questioning our particular neighborhood.  The HCOL seems a little unnecessary with DH working from home, but so many of the cheaper places are in red states and I can't move back to that; especially now. I have always adored our extensive network of paved bike paths through the woods and have really appreciated them during this pandemic. It’s going to be so much harder when it gets cold. 

Edited by KungFuPanda
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We're good here for now.  The area has changed a lot, for sure, but I like it and I want to give it a chance.  (We've only lived here a year!)  I think our governor has done a great job handling the pandemic and everything else going on.   In fact, I was just going to write him a letter and tell him that.

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We move every few years because of DH's job transfers.  It's definitely changed where DH wants to live next. He'd like to be on an acreage with a bit of a hobby farm for food security.  I think he'd like to settle down soon and not accept any more job transfers.

I grew up on a bit of a hobby farm (well... ranch with horses, cows, random other animals, and a small garden). I'm more aware of the cost, both in hours, money, toll to the body, and lack of vacations. I am a bit more resistant to it. I'd be fine on 2-5 acres with a large garden, a small orchard, and some chickens, but I don't want to deal with livestock. I think DH romanticizes it.  And part of me questions the food security thing at all.  Farming is hard.  There's good economic reasons we're several generations away from most people being farmers, and society is richer for the specialization.  I guess I'm more inclined to have more food storage rather than spend too much time growing it myself. Realistically we're all much more likely to die from being too fat than from being food insecure, but I get that it's an instinctive thing for him.

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We are planning on leaving here (Texas), and probably relocating to Ohio.  

There are some aspects of this town that have made the pandemic more tolerable, (low population density, HEB grocery stores, access to high speed internet so DH can work from home, low cost of living), but the attitude of people here has made a bad situation extremely difficult. We had already talked about moving out of state because there isn't enough to do here if you aren't an outdoorsman (and we are NOT), but the pandemic solidified that idea for me and probably moved the timeline up a bit. 

Another consideration is that my in-laws here are not in any position to care for DS12 if something happened to me and DH.  I'll probably never convince DH to move back to Illinois, but at least in Ohio, I'm within a day's drive of my Chicago peeps in the event of an emergency.  I'd feel a lot more at ease knowing I had back up care for kiddo. 

Edited by MissLemon
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No, but it has made me reconsider the cost-benefit analysis of learning how to drive and getting a car. I'm terrified of the idea of being behind the wheel of a multi-ton killing machine - I'm klutzy enough on my own two feet! - but it'd definitely be convenient to be able to take a car with my mother to a doctor's appointment rather than having to call car service or hit up a friend. (We usually do take the bus or train, but understandably we haven't wanted my elderly mother anywhere near those things this past half year.)

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6 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

No, but it has made me reconsider the cost-benefit analysis of learning how to drive and getting a car. I'm terrified of the idea of being behind the wheel of a multi-ton killing machine - I'm klutzy enough on my own two feet! - but it'd definitely be convenient to be able to take a car with my mother to a doctor's appointment rather than having to call car service or hit up a friend. (We usually do take the bus or train, but understandably we haven't wanted my elderly mother anywhere near those things this past half year.)

This also convinced my kids that they should get their licenses - something they were not even willing to entertain as a possibility before now. Of course, because the wait at the DMV is so absurd, the first appointment I could get is in March, so that's when they'll get their permits. Sigh.

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No, the thought of moving over Covid never crossed my radar.  I don't think my state is too nutso in either direction.  I do have friends living in other states who are suffering extremely because of the strict / overstepping rules with no clear end in sight.  They have talked about moving.

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Nope, not moving. Quite happy here. Would be happier if our county commissioners were not all one political party, allowing our public health person go unchecked. I hope that changes this fall. I was grateful this spring that I could make a 5 mile circuit of our place and still be on our own place. I do wish our winters were less harsh, and that we didn't have a 35 day growing season. Yes, you read that correctly. Our average is about 65 days, but there are a lot of years that does not happen. We had a heavy snow in June, and again in September this year. Makes it hard to grow much other than beef. 

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Not keen on moving anywhere else. But, I am keen on moving out of my house into a bigger one because even though I am a non-complaining person, too many people on Zoom at the same time in a small house is finally getting to me. Ironically, the real estate is at an all time high and droves of people are moving out of my area because they can telecommute for the long term due to covid.

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No, it's just confirmed the problems I had with living here.   I mean, I had this sense before but now I KNOW.   

The houses are way too close, and now with everyone acting like their backyard is their living room, it's been tough.    And we have an insane amount of tourists for the roads and space we have, and having less people visiting this summer I just realized how horrible it usually is.    I knew I hated it and it had slowly gotten worse over the years, but now I really don't want to face another "normal" tourist" season.

   

 

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I am happy where I live and with my home.  I have stores just 2 miles away and access to miles of bike paths a block away, walking trails out my back door and water for kayaking 1/2 mile away.   Lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation very close to home.

I wish we had a different governor and/or a few different state laws to provider more balance during this time.

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I have complained about many aspects of living in this state - mainly high taxes and high COL. And I have long wished I could walk to anything, but I can’t because I am not in a neighborhood and the road is too dangerous for pedestrians. 

But, I am extremely grateful for a competent governor, who has shown leadership throughout the pandemic, even though it earns him criticism from obtuse Republicans.

I’m happy where I live, though I would really like for our state to do better for retirement. Many people flee the state for retirement. 

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17 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Nope, we’re happy where we are. But like @Farrar, we’re certainly not using the urban amenities now... so we’ve been visiting less urban places to deal. I do expect things to normalize at some point, though, so I don’t think that it makes sense to decide where to live during a pandemic... 

I don't either, which is why it shocks me that the real estate market is so hot, around here anyway.    A lot of people are going to make decisions they regret right now.

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I think I’m in a good place for a pandemic 😬 but I’ve definitely identified some drawbacks.

We’re a tourist area for both outdoorsy people and indoorsy people.  Our unemployment rate is much higher than average with all of the indoor places shutting down and then opening with restrictions.  But people still came in droves to stay in their second homes, their relatives’ homes, and rent vacation homes, which surely contributed to infection rates.

We also have a high supercommuter rate, so residents are in and out of NY and NJ every day, which also contributed to infection rates.

Supply wise, we seem to be on par with most of the rest of the US.  Mask wise, we have a state mandate, but a lot of mom and pop shops are unwilling to enforce it, so I have to choose where I go carefully. I’ve never supported Walmart this much in my life, but it has proven to be the safest option we’ve got. 

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No.

I think our governor is handling this better than most and has done a terrific job. My community takes seriously our collective responsibility and there is very much a sense that we are all in this together. The pandemic has heightened the real sense of safety in knowing we are looking out for one another.
 

For all the reasons, I love living in a place that shares my values. And while I don’t always love how tucked away we are from the rest of the “real world”, it’s definitely been a positive during this time.

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No.  I like living here.  I think our local leaders have done a really good job.  Most people are masking now, and it's driving our numbers down nicely.  People are friendly and generally happy here.  I wouldn't move because of the pandemic.  I might move to a better neighborhood or a place with a view, or to a place up north that actually has 4 seasons.  But not because of the pandemic.

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No, we already made our move 2 years ago.

Before the pandemic, we started thinking about where we lived and what would happen if a serious, society-disrupting situation happened. The pandemic just confirmed our decision to make the changes we did. COVID was a specific example in our general concerns.

We lived in the greater PHX area, called "The world's least sustainable city" by some due to it's ongoing, never adequately addressed water issues that will eventually be devastating if they continue. We could see that the culture of debt we allowed ourselves to get into was self-destructive and the cost of living in PHX is rapidly increasing.

We sold our house, paid our debts, downsized our lifestyle and moved to a large lot suburb next to rural land in the greater Raleigh area. We're paying our house off in less than 10 years, God willing. It's a tech city (husband is a programmer/consultant working from home 20+ years) with a low cost of living in a temperate zone. We have enough land (1.3acres) to grow our own food. Several neighbors raised poultry and have veg gardens.  We started a permaculture food forest. We're finalizing greenhouse plans. We might raise poultry and we have space for a couple of small goats if we decide to. We're looking at water harvesting options.  We're researching no-pump, stocked pond designs.  We're considering solar options that we own as a future possibility. The properties across the street from our neighborhood entrance are rural and raise cattle.

Youngest is almost done with homeschooling, so I'm in the transition from my 20+ year homeschooling career to suburban homesteading career. Being self-sufficient has always appealed to my personality and I like the outdoors. COVID caused a decrease in demand in husband's industry and his billable hours were cut 40% a few months ago. We have had enough margin between our expenses and income to endure that loss and still get ahead a little. Again, it reaffirmed our decision.

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I'm happy with the response of our governor and how cautious they are being about opening things up.   I'm happy with the diversity where I live. 

We are in the most densely populated state but also happen to live in a very suburban/rural county.  We have an acre of land on a river with a designated wetlands on the other side so things are quiet in our little corner, but we are also within a reasonable commute to jobs (like 5 miles).    There is plenty of outdoor spaces to visit when leaving our house, people are all being careful and masking in grocery stores.  

I am much happier if I limit social media so I don't see all the idiots complaining about things.

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The pandemic has made me glad that I was in no position to succumb to the cuteness of the tiny house movement a few years ago. I used to feel a bit embarrassed that our house is probably a third larger than strictly necessary, but now, phew! thank goodness!

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The pandemic hasn’t really changed my preference. I’m still not exactly where I want to be, but I am so very, very thankful that we moved out of a large city area to suburban-ish (still technically a city, but smaller, and with way more space between us and the neighbors.) house two years ago. I cannot imagine living through this pandemic next to my former neighbor (alcoholic, chain smoker, drug addict daughter staying there half the time.) 

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I did pick up and move, from a northeast coast city to Las Vegas. I really had no choice when the situation in my high-rise building reached "Jack Nicholson movie" levels. I spent 3 months living with a relative while I ported my section 8 voucher and will be forever grateful to him for flying me out here and sheltering me. I've been housed for about 6 weeks now, and as Farrar said, the basic things like the DMV are still closed and have long waits.

Moving right now is very very very very very very hard. I spend hours a day on hold trying again and again and again to process the paperwork needed to transfer my address. My credit cards get rejected. My bank transfers get rejected. Homeland security has been gradually requiring all sorts of checks and the banks are increasing their security measures. If one account has a middle initial and one doesn't automated checks fail and there is no one to process things manually. Other things that cause failure are one account have an abbreviation and another having the full word. "Apt" and "unit" being different will fail. Don't even get me started on the optional last 4 digits on zip codes. SIGH!!!!!!!

I had no choice, with my PTSD and what was happening in my building and neighborhood. I had to get out. The reality of what is happening to the poor, including those that are left behind in urban areas that have been largely abandoned by old-money and shuttered up until this is over, is not making the news.

Don't move unless you MUST, but get out before winter, if you have a real problem, and if there is still time. I am scared about this winter and feel a LOT better about being where I am now. My context has changed forever about what is a "good" quality of life. What happened where I was and that I hear about on the phone, and living as a displaced person for three months has had a permanent effect on me. This country is becoming increasingly fragmented and moving from one state to another is becoming more complex. It was worth it to ME, but be careful if you try.

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No, but I'm rethinking our retirement plans because of this and climate change. I really love the south and the beach. I'd be happy to never see snow again, but seeing the increase in wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding has me thinking it may not be so smart to retire on a beach or a tourist area. 

I actually spent some time considering my never ever states like Michigan, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. (Nothing against those states, BTW, except for the weather) I think DH and I would be fine, but I want to consider where we're planting our family and how they'll be in 20-50 years. 

I'm not sure. I love the heat and the south so much and the cool 60s weather we're getting now that says winter is coming is making it really hard to consider not moving south for retirement, but I want to be smart too. 

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For me it makes me rethink living in the United States.   We have tossed around moving out the country for years.  But the right opportunity and place haven't come up.

I don't feel like my state has done  a good job.  We didn't have a mask mandate until August. 

I have always wanted to live in the country and this has pushed me even more to that.  

We used to enjoy living in a college town and I am regretting that now.  We are having a bad outbreak because of the students and is only going to get worse.   I think the made this call based on financials.  But it is now endangering everyone who lives here. 

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I have said more than once in the last few months that it has made me even more want to move to an isolated area where I don't have to deal with people.  I am not happy with the extreme responses on either side of the "mask debate".  I am not happy with some of the way things have been handled state wide and locally.  But I then realize that moving is not going to solve anything to run away, because wherever you go there are going so be people and governments and you will agree and disagree with a lot of their views, opinions, and decisions.

As far as the house we live it, I am very happy about that.  I love that it is big enough that each kid can have their own room.  I love that I have a big backyard that I can make into my own little retreat, barring smoke keeping me inside.  If we had stay at home orders in our old house it would have been much harder.  It would have been too small to really be able to have DH and DD work from home and still be able to do homeschool.  I am sure something could have been arranged, but a bigger house just makes it so much more comfortable.

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Yes, I like about where we live but we often talk about moving back the Midwest. 

If we could move to Indiana we probably would and the area we would go definitely handled COVID better than here.  Amenities are amazing for lower cost of living and our BFF's are there. 

Unfortunately all the opportunities for DH are in illinois which we are to keen on or parts of Iowa that are cheaper and nice.  Unfortunately not particularly close to anyone we'd still be 4-6 hours from any family or friends. Plus the pay is similar but the benefits package is worse.

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Very happy where we live.  Job marker never got that bad and us well on its way back.  Our governor and mayor have done tge right things - masking and social distancing - while still opening things up.  It has worked.  I am so glad many if the states we gave been have opened up their museums.  We had no issues w crowds and plenty of room.  My state has opened museums too..  Also I love living in an area that is mostly conservative but practical conservative like we voted for a .5 %  increase in our sales tax for roads in our city and it actually was used properly. 

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11 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

Sort of.  More related to property taxes and riot response tho.  

Yes, we've had looting on our block as well as in our city and it is just very destabilizing and anxiety-inducing. Our drugstore has closed and has no timeline for reopening due to the looting. When the second round of looting happened, I started looking at farther away houses...

14 hours ago, Farrar said:

I waffle back and forth. On the one hand, I would love to be somewhere where I wasn't right up against everyone in the world. The density is always a thing, but now it's well and truly a drawback. We live in a very urban area, in the most densely populated part of the city - like, I have a house and a tiny yard and a parking space, but it's a rowhouse like a brownstone, basically. There are three apartment buildings across the street from me and many of my neighbors have turned their basements into apartments. So it's a crowded area. None of the normal parts of city life - popping into a shop, using public transit, going to museums, etc. etc. are in play for us right now. Like, we can see restaurants and bars from our front lawn... and the closest and largest one is shuttered and may never re-open. Two more have shut down on the next block. It's been rough. If the city has all these people all the time and doesn't have the benefits of city life... then what are we even doing here?

On the other hand, I am very happy with how my city has handled the pandemic. We are well and truly tracing 99% of all cases. There is free testing literally everywhere. I know people who have gotten tested half a dozen times or more just to stay cautious. Everyone is masking. City services are mostly pretty good overall and this has extended that. And... the city has taken on a bit of a European feel in some ways. Every green space is in constant use now. And... it's sort of beautiful. When I talk to friends and relatives in other places, they don't always have that trust in their local or state government and they don't always have good experiences with how people have dealt with the pandemic around them. 

So I waffle.

I feel like I have the negatives of a city without the positives right now. No public transportation, limited museums, no plays / orchestras / ballets (and my kids used to go monthly via public transport without me). OTOH, this isn't forever, and when DH starts going back into work, I won't want him to commute. Whenever I get on a freeway, I feel sorry for people who spend their lives sitting in traffic (I know some people like it - I would hate it), and I wouldn't ask DH to do that. Also, we have the best block with great neighbors. While I may be frustrated with the larger area, there are so many ways my neighborhood could be lousy: nosy, science-denying, invasive, etc. As it is, my neighbors love my kids, admire that they are pretty free-range, support us in parenting, and generally don't interfere in anything we wouldn't want interference in while being proactive about keeping people involved with one another. Also, we have lots of big trees where we love and a great managed prairie nearby, so we have many opportunities to get out.

Emily

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Even though this pandemic is the world’s suckiest time-out, I know us well enough to know we won’t let it determine where we live. As big as it is, I still feel like it’s a one-off and we need to make living decisions based upon how things usually work. Something will greatly inconvenience us once or twice a century and moving around doesn’t give us any control over that. 
 

One example is putting in a pool. I never want to care for one even though we would have used it more this summer. My mom REALLY appreciated hers this summer, but I won’t sign on for that based upon one or two bad summers. I still live where I could only use it for 8-9 weeks per year. I can walk to a community pool, so I’ll just wait. We don’t really do knee-jerk reactions here anyway. 

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I grew up much more urban than I have lived as an adult and I have long bemoaned the inability to get anywhere on public transport or by foot. I grew up with access to grocery and restaurants and recreation within walking distance and anything I could want or need via city bus and/or subway. I couldn’t believe when dh and I got married after college and moved down south that there was no place to take an evening stroll to get an ice cream and that we could need more than one vehicle.  However, I do feel like the pandemic has cured me from those romantic thoughts of urban life. 
 

What has come to mind more often is the importance of living where you are not a total 180 politically from your state leadership. The frustration level of living in a heavily restricted state, if that is not your leaning, or a more open state when you believe in heavier restrictions would really impact happiness.

Overall, I have been grateful to live in a state that has handled things the way it has...while I know others would be beside themselves with the leadership. 

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1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

I should say that I've actually been planning on leaving the country for awhile now, so I'm moving but not because of the pandemic. I've seen the writing on the wall for far too long and am finally in a position to put the plan in motion. (Some reasons are pandemic related but not all, and my pandemic related reasons are likely the opposite of what others here would give as their reasons, though.)

Fascinating! You are clear about your political leanings, which makes me wonder what country you would like to move to that is more conservative than the US, regardless of which party occupies the White House. 
I’m genuinely curious because I can’t think of many.

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14 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

Sort of.  More related to property taxes and riot response tho.  

Similar. I’m pleased with the pandemic response, but feeling a little nervous about being in an area where violence related to politics and race relations could explode any time. I wish I could look forward in time to Nov 4, to either plan or put my mind at ease. 
 

Taxes play a part, but there’s always a weighted equation to compare the full effect when considering how property, sales, personal property and income taxes add up in different locations. 

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26 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Fascinating! You are clear about your political leanings, which makes me wonder what country you would like to move to that is more conservative than the US, regardless of which party occupies the White House. 
I’m genuinely curious because I can’t think of many.

North Korea, Iran, China spring to mind...

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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

What has come to mind more often is the importance of living where you are not a total 180 politically from your state leadership. The frustration level of living in a heavily restricted state, if that is not your leaning, or a more open state when you believe in heavier restrictions would really impact happiness.

Overall, I have been grateful to live in a state that has handled things the way it has...while I know others would be beside themselves with the leadership. 

I'm in NJ where our state leadership flip-flops a lot.  We had a run of Democrat, but then a Republican, then another Democrat.  Before that it almost alternated every election.     What county you are in definitely makes a difference though.  

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10 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

There are plenty of reasons, both ideological and financial. This country is not best in class in all areas, depending on what someone values. I say this as someone with an expatriated libertarian relative. If the concerns have to do with business ownership or personal liberty/government intrusion, there are some better choices from a tax and supervisory perspective for sure.

Oh I don’t care about reasons and won’t engage there. I’ve been around long enough to understand reasons.

I'm just honestly curious about which countries where this person might prefer. Obviously there a LOT of countries that better suit *me* and *my* values, but conservatives don’t maybe have as many choices, other than yeah, Iran? Russia? I mean, even under any Democratic leadership the US is a VERY conservative country on the world stage.  
 

 

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8 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Well, if you’re rich and want a place that won’t take your money, there are places to go. 

True. Although I haven’t heard that particular interest from the poster. Which is part of what peaks my curiosity! Lol

And really, the examples of Iran or Russia don’t hold as possibilities because my sense is she wants more personal freedom (vs any sort of collective society) than the US offers. And I’m drawing a blank where that might be. 

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2 hours ago, MEmama said:

Fascinating! You are clear about your political leanings, which makes me wonder what country you would like to move to that is more conservative than the US, regardless of which party occupies the White House. 
I’m genuinely curious because I can’t think of many.

I guess it depends on which aspects of conservatism you're talking about. By some measures, the US is pretty progressive.  I mean, there are 70+ countries where homosexuality is illegal.

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No, not at all. I would not think of letting a temporary event dictate where I live. That would seem short-sighted to me. There are just so many other factors playing into this decision. And then there are roots... California has been home for 30+ years. Sounds funny even as I type it. I suppose a major economical upheaval could uproot us but we weathered the last recession right here and that was no walk in the park.

We live just in the right combo of rural but near city to get some of those benefits. I would wish for a shorter commute but I know I cannot have it all.

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I think I am misreading sarcasm because lol at Russia or Iran being a good place for American conservatives or libertarians to move to, especially Christians.

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20 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

No, but it has made me reconsider the cost-benefit analysis of learning how to drive and getting a car. I'm terrified of the idea of being behind the wheel of a multi-ton killing machine - I'm klutzy enough on my own two feet! - but it'd definitely be convenient to be able to take a car with my mother to a doctor's appointment rather than having to call car service or hit up a friend. (We usually do take the bus or train, but understandably we haven't wanted my elderly mother anywhere near those things this past half year.)

Wow, this is so different from my corner of the same country. (Are you in the US?) There were mornings when I wished I could step up to the side of the street (no curb) and hail a cab. If I tried that around here, the farmer next door on the tractor would probably lift his hand and wave back...but I don't think he would give me a ride. :laugh:

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10 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Pretty sure the poster who suggested it really does think that poorly of us and our beliefs 🙄

 

I didn't take it as thinking poorly of conservatives, but just, as a conservatarian Christian myself, those two countries in particular would be on my top 10 places of where I'd not be welcome and are pretty much the opposite of my political and social values. I feel like I missed a joke somewhere. 😂

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