Choosing What City You’re Going to Live In

Laura’s last post got me thinking about cities and towns, specifically how people choose where to live and settle down. Not that you have to settle down, but a majority of people want to lay down roots in their 30s. Maybe that’s due to getting married, or having children or wanting to make a long term commitment to a job.

So where do you choose to live? Do you default to where you grew up and are most comfortable? Laura and I both grew up in NYC, and were in fact raised in the same neighborhood. We’re abnormal cases, because NYC offers every job possibility under the sun, so it’s hard not to come back to.

When you’re in your 30s, I think family plays a huge role. Where does your family live? You realize that your parents aren’t getting any younger, and neither are you. You also realize time is precious, and if you don’t have your “people” around you, you’re stuck without vital support. You also realize that maybe having and being vital support is the most important thing in life.

Money also plays a huge role. In the past eleven years since graduating college, I’ve lived in two of the most expensive cities in the world: NYC and LA. But what if I had moved to Austin or Portland? Would I have more of a nest egg?

And if you have children, what about public school systems and parks?

So how do you figure it out? I won’t lie – I’ve taken online quizzes, and let me tell you, there are a TON of quizzes about where you’re best suited to live. Here are just a sampling:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/what-city-should-you-actually-live-in#.eq033Nz5d

http://www.selectsmart.com/city/

http://www.brainfall.com/quizzes/what-city-should-you-live-in/

There was even a movie about the search to find a place to call home. It was called “Away We Go” with Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski and is about a couple’s search to find the perfect city to raise their family.

And the bigger, more interesting question is: would you ever move to city where you didn’t know anyone? Or, a place where you had minimal social ties? I’ll explore that in another blog post.

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