Today at lunch we, the people I sit with, got into a pretty deep discussion, nothing new with the group that I go to lunch with. Unlike other days it wasn't about sports or work but this time it was about moving.
It started out about which suburb is better then the next around the twin cities. Then I chimed in and stated that I didn't really like any of them particularly and I got the look like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead. It's not like there is anything particularly wrong with any of them that I have lived in so far and that is a total of three and I've been to most of them but the Twin Cities isn't really for me. They were like why wouldn't you want to live in this "Great" State? and the twin cities are awesome and that look was followed by a bunch of fairly difficult questions and facts but I had an answer to most of them. They were throwing out facts like it's one of the top 10 cities in the US to live in, relatively low crime rate, great opportunities, great schooling, low taxes...ect. and close to family.
Ok well I started back with first off, I'm not from MN period, I have one family member that lives in MN and they live up north and they aren't that close. Family is important and I love my family and my girlfriends family but that is what they make phones, skype and vacations for. Yes my girl friends family is from MN and namely the twin cities and that is the main reason we, mainly I am here. I came to MN to go to school and lived in St. Cloud, nice college community. In college I met Kelly and hit things off. After college I had no, count it zero intention of staying and or living in MN, unlike 85% of the other St. Cloud attendants I didn't want to move to the Twin Cities and get a job here. My goal was to move to a state with mountains or to Australia or New Zealand. Then Kelly and I decided we were going to stay together after college and we were going to do something amazing. That was to ride our bikes across the US, which I don't regret at all, it was probably the coolest thing I've ever done in my life, to date. After that I had pretty much missed my no student loan window and opportunity to move someplace and get established and get a job. So we moved in with her parents because she had a job lined up here in MN and we agreed that we would save up and hit the road sooner then later. We haven't been here all that long and are still planning on checking out relatively soon and I don't regret any of my time spent here in MN or in the Twin Cities. I have learned many important things and have had great opportunities because of living here, but it is time to get to where I was planning on going. So that's that, hopefully of to CO!
On a side note, it's more of an observation but Kelly always talks about how my home town, Aberdeen, is like a black hole and if you go back there and stay too long you will never leave. I also feel this is true but I think that is the case with anyone's home town and the Twin Cities is no exception. I don't know the exact figure but I would have to say that a large majority of people that live here now are from here or the near surrounding area, so it's not just my home town and the only reason this place gets over looked is because it's so big that it's almost no longer a black hole but its own galaxy.
I can't argue with all the facts like top 10 ten city and so on. Yes they get good ratings, there are tons of things to do here according to the reports, malls, more shopping, lots of parks and bike paths. Which are all great. Great education scores and a relatively low crime rate unless you live in Murderapolis and low taxes. First off taxes are not low here when you come from SD, no income tax there and most of the taxes are lower then MN. Second I hate shopping and I avoid the Mall of America like it's the plague. Third CO has some pretty solid education scores and tons of great parks!
So what am I actually looking for? What I'm actually looking for, so we are on the same page is a location with great out door activities, under 100thousand, preferably under 50 thousand- so I can be close to my job, close to life's necessities-food, groceries, ect, and when I have kids it would be nice to be close to their school so they can walk to school. I like the idea of knowing my neighbors and also being a short drive from the country side to be able to let Jerry run with out a leash, also shorter, milder winters. You can fill most of that list here if you go on technicalities. Right now I live in Eagan and that is under 100 thousand and maybe under 50 but it doesn't feel like it because you are in an endless sea of city and people. Close to work, I'm relatively close to work, about 10miles or so. I am close to life's necessities but not with in walking distance but probably biking distance if you don't get too much cold stuff. We're not really close to any country side where I can let the dog run free, there are parks but they have rules about no leashes and picking up your dogs poop, not the same. Here's the two big ones, first out door activities. Yes there are lots of activities here in MN, you can technically do everything I want to do, MTB, rock and ice climbing, and skiing but it is on a much smaller and limited scale and the Winters are long and very cold here. I'm looking for a more temperate climate. Don't get me wrong I love going up north to Kelly's families cabin, it is a blast but I'm not much of a fisherman so there are limited activities there too unless you have a lot of money to buy cool toys like jet skis and fast boats to tube, ski and wake board behind. Near her cabin they now have MTB trail which is cool but the draw back is summer is short and hot and the winters up there are longer and colder!
I made my point and they had rebuttals for pretty much everything but the state I stated I wanted to move to, CO. They said if you live in a smaller town you wont have as many opportunities for employment and you don't make as much money. Both are true and I know this but cost of living is typically less and I only need to make enough money to live comfortable, support myself and my family, save some and do thing that I enjoy.
Just to be clear I don't have anything personal against MN, I think it is a great state with great people, great opportunities and plenty to do but it just isn't for me. It isn't where I want to live and I'm not as happy as I could be in a different location. That pretty much sums it up.
They tried hard but I have not swayed at all. Soon, hopefully sooner then later, it will be good by MN and hello CO.
Keep it real!