Relocating? - Are you moving to another state?
Greetings. I hope this finds everyone safe, healthy, and happy. I am pleased to announce that I will be posting another guest blog post by Cody Mcbride next Monday evening. His last post received many views and was very successful. His topic for next week will be "Ecopreneurship Tips," - Great ways to Green Your Business.
Tonight, believe it or not, I choose this topic for two reasons. First, I relocated one year ago and have first-hand experience in this grueling process. Secondly, I have received emails requesting I discuss this topic due to many people relocating during these difficult economic times.
We are all living through challenging times. With the combined issues of the border crisis, high taxes in some states, the political climate, the influx of drugs, and increased crime rates in many cities, many families and individuals are relocating. You might say they are making a mass exodus to other states. States that are less expensive to live in and/or follow the political beliefs they believe in. States such as Florida and the Carolinas.
Politics can and is a dirty business. However, when politics begins to affect children and threaten our moral values, families will stand up and take immediate notice and, in most cases, some form of action. As they should. I do not believe parents of young children should not have a say in what they learn in school and at what age they learn it. I previously wrote a blog post about this and provided undisputable scientific data supporting these thoughts and the ability of children at various ages to understand what they are being taught. I fear if it continues, we may have a new generation of emotionally disturbed children that are now teenagers or adults. Thank you, Governor Ron DeSantis, for taking a stand against this.
I have great respect for teachers. I was a part-time educator for 22 years for an IVY league school. Teachers are trained to recognize emotional problems in children. They are also trained on the proper methods to report these issues, and a system is in place to bring the families into the discussion. That being said, no teacher or education system has the right to express their thoughts on many of society's issues today and inject their personal preferences into their students. They are educators, not the parents of these children. Of course, you have the right to your opinion, as do I.
Relocating is not a new trend. However, it is now on the rise. It is not a phenomenon or phase. It is people who are fed up with living where they live for a variety of reasons. What exactly is the American Dream? Is it the dream where every family needs two and one-half incomes coming in to make ends meet? Is it paying such high prices for goods, services, and utilities that there is little or no time to spend as a family? We are not living in times that I would consider the AMERICAN DREAM. Let's look a bit deeper.
Whenever someone says they are moving, the first question they are asked by most is why. First, let me state that there is no right or wrong answer to that question. Everyone has the right to relocate for whatever reason they decide. However, people will always try to tell you why moving is wrong. That is perfectly normal. It represents change. Not only in your life but in theirs as well. As a rule, people are NOT comfortable with change. Your family and friends do not want to lose having you around. However, for you, there are definitive reasons. Some you may or may not like to share with others. Let's look at a few of the more common reasons why people move.
They need a change
They are running from something
Other family members relocated
You can decide which ones apply to you. For me, it was for a couple of those reasons. However, it was not an easy decision. I was born, raised, and lived in New England. Everything and everyone I knew was from Connecticut. However, two of my three children and my grandchildren have been living in Florida for a few years now. With the onset of the pandemic, it was some time since I had seen them, and my grandchildren were growing up. This was the time I was missing with them. I was also unhappy with Connecticut's cost of living and especially the political climate. I wanted a change. Also, boating is a year-round activity in Florida, and those who know me know that I love boating.
I had visited Florida a few times and liked it. First, you must understand that I am not a fan of high humidity, regardless of where it is. Therefore, I did not choose Florida for its awesome hot and humid summers. However, I prefer it for the other eight months a year when the weather is beautiful. Also, after years of winters and snow, I had enough of that. As a firefighter and paramedic, I worked in all weather conditions, through storms, hurricanes, snowstorms, tropical storms, you name it, and anything else God sent our way. I can tell you first hand it is not a picnic to have to fight a working fire in 98-degree weather or pour water on a building with a wind chill of -10 degrees or more. It is a job you have to love doing. Over time, the human body takes a beating. Trust me, I wake up with aches and pains every day.
Personally, with all my traveling, the best climate I found for me was in San Diego, California. I loved it there when I would visit a friend or had to travel to that area for business. However, the political climate, in my opinion, is terrible at best and California's way of doing business is NOT in line with my views, morals, and values. Actually, we are not even in the same universe, let alone on the same page. Boating there is ridiculously expensive, as is everything else. So you see, there needs to be significant thought put into relocating, where to relocate, and most importantly, why you are doing it. Moving for the wrong reasons can be devastating. Many people who have moved for the wrong reasons, mainly to somewhere less expensive to live, find themselves miserable. Often they find they cannot afford to move back. Luckily for me, I do not have that worry.
MOVING CAN BE LIKE LIVING IN A NEW WORLD OR ON A NEW PLANET:
It was a culture shock for me when I moved to Florida. According to the data, Florida is a state that, since the pandemic and before, has had an influx of an average of 1,000 people moving to it a day. Life is much different here than it is in Connecticut. The culture is different, and the way people think and act is different. However, deep down inside, people are people no matter where you live. There are good ones and bad ones. People here still have opinions. Boring is still boring, and lonely is still lonely. Those things do not change regardless of where you live. The culture shock for me was the people. People are generally much more polite, friendly, laid back, and respectful. These traits may vary if you live in a major metropolis. However, the fast pace of city life never changes, and it takes the right kind of person to live there. Regardless of what state you move to.
Floridians, even businesses, have a stronger belief in a work-life balance. As a result, many establishments are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, the major department stores never close. As I met new people who knew I had relocated, they would say, "WELCOME TO FREEDOM." I used to think to myself, "FREEDOM?" I have always had freedom. However, in Florida, it did not take me long to figure out what they meant.
Florida is a state whose Governor makes it his goal to make life as easy as possible for its population. Especially in keeping the cost of living down as low as possible. Maybe that is why Florida is the number one state that most people relocate to. Since the pandemic, inflation, and sanctuary cities causing political unrest in many other states, the population of Florida has increased tremendously.
I must add, as a single man, I have found that, and I emphasize the term, "IN GENERAL," women from Florida are much different than those from Connecticut, and I do not mean that in a bad way. I have found, at least the ones I have dates, look at relationships much differently. Again, let me be clear. I do not mean that negatively.
However, we are all used to where we come from, and relocating requires some adjustments. I admire and respect an independent woman, an intelligent woman. A woman who can think on her feet and make decisions. A woman who does not need someone to keep her entertained 24/7 and enjoys her hobbies and friends as well as her partner. The difference I have found is this. Again, I remind you I say "IN GENERAL." All the women I have met like living alone and seem to have no INTENTIONS of changing that.
I do not believe that is a Florida culture thing. I think it probably stems from past experiences or relationships. Up North, people will date for some length of time. At some point, they either end their relationship, take the next step to live together, or possibly get married. They have relationships work there. Yes, some will live alone for the rest of their lives. However, they are far and few between. They keep in touch and usually speak daily, even if they do not have plans to get together. I think that is called dating.
I have not found that to be the case in Florida. I've dated women since I moved here, and days go by without talking. Then your phone rings out of nowhere, and they want to get together. Is this the culture here? A question I have found myself asking. If that is the case, they are doing what is normal for them. If not, then maybe that is the way they choose to be. A person can either accept that or move on. Everyone has a different perception of dating. I prefer not to spend the rest of my life alone, but I respect what another wants. It is just not right for me. Therefore, the dating ritual ends quickly. Remember, we are all used to the culture and way of doing things that we came from. It doesn't make either person right or wrong.
However, coming from a different culture, these types of differences take some getting used to. Or maybe not? Let's not take this out of context. I do not date with the intent of getting married. My entire life, I have taken things as they come. That is how I live. Should that come to be one day, so be it. I am speaking strictly of the dating culture. Every single person when they relocate thinks of this. Don't kid yourself. Also, it is NOT a matter of being needy. It's human nature, otherwise called the human condition, that people cohabitate.
Moving to a new state is not an easy task and a great deal of hard work. I did it alone. Although I have family here, they are an hour's drive away. To travel an hour to go somewhere in Florida is nothing. It is a large state. In Connecticut, things are much closer. But of course, it is a smaller state. That took some getting used to as well.
WAS IT WORTH IT?
I will tell you this. A few times after I first arrived here, I asked myself, 'why did I do this?' That is also normal. It is a new experience, new ways of doing things, meeting new friends, and learning your way around. Doing it alone is challenging but fun. For a couple or family. it is more like a new adventure.
If you are a pessimistic person, you are in trouble. But you'll be fine. If you are like me, a positive thinker. The ability to boat twelve months a year in itself makes it worth it. I've owned boats my entire life. The boating lifestyle is what I enjoy socially and what I am accustomed to. Spending money is not a new concept to me; honestly, I do it quite well, probably too often. LOL. However, I don't waste it. Right now, boats, like houses, are higher than they should be. Now is not the time to buy a boat. My mistake was not moving my boat from Connecticut to Florida. Once I get another, that part of my life will become complete unless I change my mind.
Everything in life is about personal preference, perspective, and, more importantly, perception. For each person, it is different. If you have learned anything in life, you should know that life is what you make of it, regardless of where you are. Getting along with others is a simple matter of not judging and seeing things through their eyes. It may not change your mind, but you will understand their position.
Therefore, I always say, live with an open mind, live with an open heart, and live your best life. When you relocate, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Check everything out. The cost of living, social activities in your town or community, schools, if you have children, work, if you are not retired. Be sure where you are moving to is as close to everything you are looking for as possible. And yes, the political climate. Are your views and the views of your legislators on the same page?
No one place is perfect. Everywhere has its pros and cons. For me, Florida, and where I live in Florida, has far more pros for my life than cons, and the cons, mainly the summer humidity, I can live with. Since I retired from the fire department and pre-hospital medicine, as a writer, the work I do I can do from any location. Therefore, that is not a concern of mine. Floridians support their schools, police and sheriffs, first responders, and politicians. Mainly because the politicians listen to the people. Florida is progressive yet conservative. The people smile and make you feel welcome. Now, what you do with all of that is up to you.
I will not and cannot sugarcoat moving to another state. It was a pain, even though I had it planned perfectly. For the most part, it went like clockwork. It took me a bit longer than I had planned to find the house I wanted, but it was worth waiting for when I did. Relocating means missing family and friends. Learning new things and new ways. It comes with some sacrifice. However, with our technology today, you are only a zoom call or Facetime call away from anyone. For me, it is a two-and-a-half-hour direct flight to go back north and see my family and friends living in Connecticut, and there is no law that says people cannot visit you. Remember, you moved to a different state, not a different universe.
For me, as it is for others, it was about QUALITY OF LIFE. I got tired of living somewhere where everyone, including me, complained each day about the state we lived in. Connecticut is a beautiful state. The mountains, hills, valleys, trails, lakes, and surrounding areas are beautiful. You are close to New York, Long Island, and the other New England States. However, your income does not take you very far. Most retired people cannot afford to travel or do much because the taxes and living costs are so high that the elderly cannot afford to buy their medications. I think the state has been fiscally mismanaged for a long time. It does not run like a state that encourages people to stay.
Florida wants you to stay, and the state is run that way. For these reasons, I choose Florida as my place to relocate. The Carolinas are also beautiful and affordable, but you cannot boat all year round. Alabama and Georgia are just as hot in the summer months. The midwest is drier but hotter. So you see, no place is perfect. I am very fortunate. I worked hard my entire life. If I found that Florida should not be my home and wanted to go back to New England, or something happened that caused me to have to go back, I could do that. However, that is not my plan.
No matter where you come from, if you have lived your entire life there, that will always feel like home. It does take some time to become re-established. I recently spent two weeks back in Connecticut and felt right at home. I remembered where everything was and all the shortcuts to get from point A to B. Still, I looked forward to returning to Florida. Could I be starting to look at Florida as my home? Now there is something to think about. In reality, home is where you make it, as it should be. Stay safe, be happy, and be well.
Live with an open mind.
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life,
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