"till now, at least." - ? Are you referring to the fires or something else? I've been to Australia twice and I absolutely love it and the people.I know you mentioned you are looking to stay in the US... and fair enough, but, you asked what do you think of where you live? ... so, I live in Australia and I love where I live.
I've been to over thirty countries in my travels and/or for work, and there is nowhere, anywhere, where I rather live. OK, some parts of Portugal, Spain and Southern France, I'd consider, but.
Australia, is huge, has massive climate and environment diversity and it's an island, so we share no borders. It has sun, surf, sea, bush, outback, open spaces, mountain ranges (OK, not like real big mountains) tropics, coral reefs, deserts, etc. It also is not very crowded, given the area, so we can getaway and enjoy the bush.
Politically, it is not particularly partisan. Sure we have left, centrist and right, but no-one ostracizes anyone for their political leanings, and you're not instantly a commie if you lean left or a reactionary conservative if you lean right, who cares. The Westminster style government works, though I'd happily become a Republic, as long as we followed the Euro models. Same with religion or the lack of it either, who cares, virtually no zealots here. No guns, too, which is a major plus. We have national health care, and OK, you have to queue if you want elective surgery, but your ailment will get treated and if it is life threatening, it is sorted out and free of charge. There is great government public schools for both primary and secondary. We put our girls mostly through private schools, but our youngest, actually asked to finish in our local government public school, and it went very well. Work-wise, there is enough to go around and if you actively pursue your career, it's been great, till now at least.
Howdy cribbon, no I wasn't referring to the fires, although they were terrible, even more so than usual, and we are often having bad fires. But this time the enormous area of the devastation and the sheer amount of smoke was horrific. Not as many people were actually lost in the fires as were in the 2009 Black Sunday fires, but way more land burned and I think ultimately a higher death toll due to smoke inhalation. We were on a mountain biking trip up on the New South Wales coast at the time, and the smoke was really extreme, turning cloudless sunny days into eerie darkness."till now, at least." - ? Are you referring to the fires or something else? I've been to Australia twice and I absolutely love it and the people.
I used to live in Beaufort SC, just north of you. I remember 2 things: we had an ice storm back in like 1989, and NO ONE Knew how to drive. The mayor of Savannah said the big bridge would open when it melts! Being from Cleveland, at least I owned an ice scraper for my car!Savannah, GA. Great weather, low cost of living. No snow or traffic. Hot summers and it is the south...
We got 1/4" snow and they shut the town down.I used to live in Beaufort SC, just north of you. I remember 2 things: we had an ice storm back in like 1989, and NO ONE Knew how to drive. The mayor of Savannah said the big bridge would open when it melts! Being from Cleveland, at least I owned an ice scraper for my car!
Second thing was the smell of the paper plant. Ewwww.
Otherwise, great town!
Good to hear from you again and thanks for the added color about your situation. You mentioned something that I think should weigh heavily on your decision. You have a 2 year old and are hoping to have another and both of your parents live pretty close to you now. One thing that contributed to my and my wife's sanity when our son was growing up was that my parents were anywhere from an hour and a half to two hour drive from us. They would often come out to watch our son so that we could go out and have some time to ourselves. Dinner. See some music. Or whatever. And it happened a lot more often than I thought it would. But the benefit was not just for us. Their close proximity allowed them to get to know their grandchild a lot better than if we were far away. And even more important than that, it allowed our son to know who his grandparents are as opposed to him just wondering who those old people are that sometimes get on a plane to go see. And I can see the difference it makes by the different relationship our son has with my mom (dad passed about 4 years ago) and my wife's mom (she's divorced 3 times). Now, I also realize that the difference in their relationships could also be because my mother in law is a nut case and he sees that now that he's a teenager, but I think the difference was there long before he grew old enough to understand people. My wife even chastised her mother for moving to Florida when she was so young because she knew she would miss out on her grandchildren. My wife's sister lives about 30 minutes from us. Ultimately the mother in law showed us how little she values "family". But the close proximity to the grandparents is a pretty big thing so don't underestimate that one. I also realize that it may be possible for one or both to move somewhere reasonably close to wherever you end up, and if that is the case just consider yourselves blessed.Thanks for all the replies guys.
And no, we haven't moved yet.
Lots to chew on. I guess I could also throw out a little more about our sitch:
Both in our late 30s, with one 2yo, and plans for another soon (hopefully). So we're not retiring soon or anything like that. There are 2 big things driving our itch for a change: the weather and our lack of social life.
We both grew up in New England and we both have grown weary of the cold. Autumn is obviously really nice, but once we've picked our apples and November hits, it's like everything just goes into hibernation for 6-7 months. Snow storms are heavy and relentless. Everything is gray, dirty, and dead looking, and it stays that way for what feels like forever. It doesn't even start to feel like spring until halfway through May, but when it finally does warm up, we become different people. Happier, less stressed, more driven to get out and do things. You know .... alive!
And the other part of this is that, as adults, we've really come to realize that many people around this area tend to be less sociable than we would hope. Now, we're both introverts, and we're aware that socializing takes more energy for us, but it still seems harder than it should. New Englanders, it seems, have a tendency to keep to themselves, whether because of their the rough-around-the-edges yankee history, or because the cold just makes them not want to leave their homes (not that anyone has a choice at the moment), or some combination of the two, but we just find it so hard to connect with people. We can't help but wonder if people in different areas are more disposed to being more hospitable and social ... or if it's all just us.
There are lots of things we like about where we are: good schools, a generally well-educated population, outdoor activities, average-ish cost of living, good beer, and the big one: both our families are drive-able distances from us; hers 20 minutes away, mine about 3-4 hours. (The proximity to family is something I know we have to weigh on our own.)
I can say that places that have already piqued our interest (before this post) include:
Maybe even Florida?
We're looking for a place that's good for a young family (yes, I hold that late 30s is young, please let me have that) that isn't so cold and isolating as New England seems to be.
We've both read through your responses thus far and appreciate all you've laid out for us! Lots to consider...