Tuesday, September 11, 2012

If I could live anywhere, ever....

For years I have known that after graduation, David would be applying to graduate school. But, it has seemed so far in the distant future, intangible, and very hypothetical. Now, after four years of school in Athens, the place that we have come to know as home and where our children were born, he is starting his applications.

We have been working through his list together, looking for a program that he would love, as well as a place that would be a good fit for our family, and community where the kids and I could thrive as well. It's exciting, overwhelming, adventurous, and scary to think about up-rooting from the only place that I have known as a parent with a two year old and four year old. Especially since most of our options are very far from home.

This process is causing a lot of introspection on my part, like, what is important in a place to live? What do I like and dislike? And where would just be really freaking fun...

If I could choose every little detail of where I could live it would like something like this:

-Small to medium size town or city
-No mosquitoes or fire ants (and no poisonous snakes would be an added bonus.)
-Temperate weather much of the year
-Either mountains, hills, or a beach- or at least a nice lake
-Friendly, down-to-earth people, with a lot of families/people with young children
-A community that values people over things
-Somewhere that I can find people as crunchy and alternative as me (after all, I am a home-birthing, local-eating, co-sleeping, extended breast-feeding, positive disciplining, anti-punishment and rewards, intactivist - I just learned this word last night!, peace-seeker, knitter, and future Waldorf/ slightly unschoolish homeschooler.)
-A nice farmer's market
-Activities for young children, i.e. children's museums, nice parks and playgrounds, etc.
-Outdoor activities - hiking, kayaking, etc.
-A town with a few good local restaurants, independent shops, artists, and coffee shops
-Pro-biking?!

And all of that in an inexpensive, low-crime, kept-up area with affordable housing ideally with a YARD and more than 700 square feet, in a town that has a top university. And then all of our family could re-locate there.

Ha, ha, ha.

Anyone know where my dream land exists?

And all of that to say, we might just be staying in Athens. And you know, that wouldn't be too bad. I love our house, we have some friends, I only get lost about once every 3-4 months (which is very impressive for me I might add), and I still have a long DIY list...

24 comments:

Cheryl said...

Ive been reading your blog for a few months now, but I've never commented before. But your list of desires made me think immediately of San Luis Obispo, CA. My husband and I went to Cal Poly, and we loved everything about SLO. The only drawback is that moving to CA from your area, the property values will seem extremely high! But if Cal Poly has a grad program in your husband's field, it might be worth investigating. Good luck!

Cate said...

You should come to Louisville! ;) Friendly, crunchy alternative groups, great farmer's markets, zoo, science center, parks and playgrounds, good hiking, lake not too far away, wonderful local restaurants, shops, artists, coffee shops, etc. etc.

Abby said...

Well, we have mosquitoes, but it sounds like you need to move to Charlottesville! Beautiful mountains, wonderful and young community, and there's even a Waldorf school in town. Think about it...

Mama Gone Green said...

Your dream city sounds exactly like Portland, where I live. But, the downside is the rain... it is not as bad as everyone says, but when May rolls around and it is still 50's and raining here, I always long to live somewhere warmer. But, aside from that, I think Portland has everything else on your dream list. Eugene, which is nearby, is a smaller college town, and is actually pretty similar to Athens. Good luck with this big decision!

Fox said...

Eugene, Oregon has all those things and more. We moved to Cottage Grove (30 mins south of Eugene) in February from Indiana and we love it!

Smallgood said...

North Carolina! Asheville, Boone, or Raleigh.

Anonymous said...

Boise, Idaho. Although its quite far from home, and I doubt BSU has the kind of program he is looking for. The city, however, meets all of your qualifications.

Caroline9L said...

Don't know what he's looking to study, but you could enjoy Bethlehem, Pa...

Anonymous said...

Asheville, NC!

Anonymous said...

I second Boise, ID. BSU is pretty great.

ARELLIS Pena said...

What Mama Gone Green said about Portland, OR. I moved here from Austin, TX, which I really liked, but is still in TX (the city of Austin has a lot of progressive people, but the changes come slooooow). I was a little scared of the cold weather, but it wasn't as bad as expected and the rain is what makes it so green and lush. Anyways, way more liberal.

Anonymous said...

Hey Caroline, I've been following and sometimes commenting for a couple of years on your blog. I once had a blog 'Cubarado' but had to let go of blogging for now... Anyways, you guys sound a lot like us right now. My hubby is going to law school next year and most likely it will take us out-of-state. We are thinking Virginia or Chapel Hill.
I don't know what David is going to graduate school for but our town is AMAZING and if it had a law school we would stay put. Check out Ft. Collins Colorado. From your list of wishes, I think you all would find yourselves very happy in Ft. Collins.
Keep us bloggers posted!
Jaime

Stellar said...

Fayetteville, Arkansas sounds like the place you need to be. Low cost of living, good weather, up in the hills, very low crime rate. Lots of great hiking too and bike lanes everywhere. It's famous for being a laid back, hippie-esque place. Also the university is cheap.

* said...

Check out The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. It has everything you mentioned...

Anonymous said...

North Carolina, particularly Raleigh or Chapel Hill/Carrboro area.

Colleen said...

Floyd, VA or Blacksburg, VA. both close to VA Tech and Radford Univ.

Polly said...

Topeka Kansas. Depending on what his graduate degree will be in....we have Washburn University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Baker, and Friends. However the temperature, at times, leaves something to be desired.

Adrienne Gomer said...

We live in family housing at UC Berkeley with two small kids and LOVE it! It has exactly everything you describe in your list and it's definiately a top university. So family friendly, bike friendly and the center of the organic food movement! The weather is in the 60's more than 300 days a year and we even have a community garden, it's simply heaven :)

Abby said...

I recommend Lawrence, KS for the University of Kansas. Or, Iowa City, IA for the University of Iowa.

AP said...

Just stumbled upon your blog, and look forward to perusing it more.
Anyhoo, when reading your list I also instantly thought of the Pacific NW. We were stationed at Fort Lewis, WA and loved it. Pretty much anywhere in the Seattle, WA to Portland, OR area sounds like it will meet most of your ideals :) And don't believe all the negatives you hear about the weather!

Sarah Beth said...

I just stumbled on this and my answer Is Louisville, KY. The Highlands is your neighborhood :) And University of Louisville is a great school!

Sarah Beth said...

Yes! The Highlands is the perfect neighborhood for her :)

Jam-packed Life said...

IU-Bloomington. Pretty much meets all your criteria point-by-point.

JPeaslee said...

Sausalito. (Btw, can you tell that I'm getting caught up with your blog? Hence the super late comment). It's nice weather, awesome hiking, beautiful beaches, and people ride around on bicycles and wave hello.

Don't move to Sausalito, though. I would be insanely jealous and would probably undergo spontaneous combustion.