writers / writing

#IWSG–Where Should I Live Now That I’m All Grown Up?

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out like Rebecca who inspired me to begin). The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s insecurity – Where should I live now that I’m all grown up?

Truth, I’m sick of California. I love the weather, but the politics, the plasticity of too many people, the waste has gotten to me finally, after living here fifty years. I’m looking for my next home, for the next fifty years. I want wide open spaces, good grounded people but not many of them, excellent internet and health care. I have RA so not too cold and I get lazy in heat so not too much of that either.

Where do you live? Is it great for a working older citizen? Right now, I’m looking at Prescott Arizona. Anyone live there?

More IWSG articles:

Am I good enough? Does it matter?

Am I a Storyteller?

When does technical become boring

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

67 thoughts on “#IWSG–Where Should I Live Now That I’m All Grown Up?

  1. Pingback: #IWSG–Am I really going to do this? | WordDreams...

    • I like that last line. I believe in personal responsibility, stuck in a state that believes people are best served with handouts. I do need at least a neutral environment for my last move.


  2. We looked all over the Southwest for the right place–space, not too hot/not too cold, safe, scenic, accessible medical care, etc. We looked at Yuma (winter only), Lake Havasu (too weird), Kanab Utah (too far from everything), Sedona (expensive and overdeveloped–but if you’re into crystals and harmonic convergence it might be right for you) and more. We settled on Silver City, New Mexico. We moved here five years ago and have never regretted it. We love it here. Never too hot, never too cold. May get to 95 a couple days in June and as low as the teens a couple days in December but usually ranges from 35-85 year round and typically has a 20-25 degree shift from morning to night. Not great for employment but great for artists, writers and retired people. 10,000 people or so in the town. Lots of property available within 5-15 miles of town. Drawbacks, 2.5 hours to the El Paso airport or about 3 hours to Tucson and if you want nightlife, there’s not much here. Learn more at this site: http://www.silvercity.org/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacqui, I think Arizona may be too hot for you if you like getting outside. And with global warming, I can only assume it’ll get worse. Thinking of your RA and you wanting space, New Mexico might be a state worth investigating. In the San Juan Mountains there’s a town called Taos. It used to be quite small but I think now it’s considered a middle-sized town. It’s an artist’s haven. Many galleries, jewelry shops full of original designs, etc. The mountains aren’t as high as the Rockies and there’s plenty of places for solitude and exploration. Because it’s a dry climate, RA isn’t as much of a problem there. I suppose the nights can be nippy during the winter but the days are usually warm with sunshine. The temperatures are pretty much in line with Southern California. Last time I was through there the locals were still friendly, yet let me have whatever privacy I wanted. Cost of living is cheaper than Denver, Colorado, which would be north of you if you lived there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jacqui, I thought I’d pop in here again with an observation. You’re asking about two things: the physicality of a place where you might live, and the community of people. I love being in California, and that which I don’t love is related to development, also called progress or the way of the future, like it or not. Will be true of any place. As for community, I think this is something we need to build for ourselves, and it takes time, commitment, and an idea of what kind of community we want to live in, and therefore create. You’ve endured a particularly nasty and unfair situation which I suspect is coloring your view, but it’s also a totally legitimate and very real reaction to California for you.
    I won’t attempt to persuade you to consider any place, but caution you to choose carefully, slowly, and try to visit for an extended period before making a decision. Point of fact: I’ve lived, twice, in Hawaii (Oahu) and ended up hating the place because of the racial prejudice I encountered there, though I’ve never forgotten how incredibly beautiful it is. I left the day I turned 13 and have never returned. For me it’s proof that paradise might be as riddled with misery as any ordinary Bohunkville. (BTW, we’re hoping to plan a big family vacation to Maui in four years. Even I eventually forgive old angers.)
    Still wishing you the best as you explore your options.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve hit another reason why I’m growing tired of California. It’s so crowded and so fast moving. I’d like to try something else.

      The community–ice spent decades trying to make California work and have come to believe it’s simply not a good fit. Maybe my fault but so be it. There’ll be another place for my round shape.


  5. Though I continue to miss life by the coast, I bailed from Southern CA long ago. Since then I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, northwest, mid-west, mid-south, and the southwest, including central and southern Arizona. While the desert is beautiful, I found the cost of living there prohibitive and the long summers oppressive. Prescott is nice, but in my opinion not so much when cold, the altitude and cost of living is a challenge. Western Colorado (Grand Junction and surrounding areas) are also kind on sensitive joints. I consider the south east corner of Washington State with it’s four mild, three month seasons heavenly. I will soon be settling down Near the Tri-Cities. The weather and the atmosphere suits me. If you can, I highly recommend spending a few weeks during mid-summer and mid-winter at your target spots. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have some lovely suggestions and multiple choices as well. Wow. It’s hard to pull of roots where you’ve lived for most of your life. Wish you the best. British Columbia is a piece of heaven, almost no winter, but its soooo expensive. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Florida is riddled with retirement communities and for a good reason. The tax structure here is awesome and you’ve definitely got the warm winters. There are definitely drawbacks too, but it’s very ideal for retirement. St. George, Utah is another place I’d look at if I were you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t live in Prescott, but my wife is always talking about going there when I retire. Not sure I’m too keen on the idea, though. I don’t like the heat or the desert, and I kind of like experiencing all four season, so I’ll probably stay in the Midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A thoughtful post, Jacqui and I do hope you find somewhere that will make you happy. Unfortunately, I can’t help as I don’t live in the States but I’m sure you’ll know the right place as soon as you see it. Lots of lovely suggestions above 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Was raised in Phoenix – the heat is oppressive in the summer and it’s cold in the winter, desert extremes. Have lived in Southern California almost 40 years. The weather is the one thing that really helps me cope with my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue so I look for the places, spaces and people who share my values and interests.

    My favorite book title is the Cabot-Zin “Wherever You Go There You Are”!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Wow me too, we’re looking at moving but don’t know where to. I love northern CA, but we’ll most likely go to North Carolina (in the mountains where it is not only beautiful, but milder summers and winters than too far south or north), or Ohio, or even France! Who knows? I am liking the uncertainty of life right now, for the most part! http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Boy, can I RELATE to your story! My parents moved us from Washington State to So. California when I was a child. Years later as a married mom, I needed to move back to Washington as like you I HATED the plasticity of California. I live in Poulsbo, Washington. I think you would find it similar to Prescott. However, this year it has been wetter than the last couple of years, but usually there is a break every day, so I walk our waterfront to enjoy nature, talk to the people and pet their animals, and enjoy peace of mind. It is nice to be around genuine people again. Wherever you decide to move… Good Luck!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Boy, do I totally agree! I lived in the Hermosa, Redondo, and Long Beach area. My dad sold to the studios down there. I HATE that “keeping up with the Joneses’ mindset and you never hear real honesty from people. Plus, when I had my daughter, everyone found babysitters as they didn’t do things as a family. NOT for me!! I was down there for 17 years and I haven’t been back for 40 years except for two business trips and one trip to Disneyland with my kids. As much as I LOVE the beach, I DON’T miss California! Have fun exploring, Jacqui!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. We live in Phoenix, but have spent time in Prescott on a few weekends over the years. It’s one of our favorite local escapes (the others being Tucson and Flagstaff). Cost of living is great in Arizona and the weather is usually brag-worthy, except for maybe the middle of summer–but that’s what air conditioning is for. We love it here. Take a trip and visit, especially this time of year!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Prescott, but my aunt has a place in Tempe, Arizona, which she quite likes. Arizona has some wonderful sights. (Don’t know about the Internet access, but the big cities are probably pretty reliable on that score.) If I was moving to the Southwest, personally, I’d probably pick Santa Fe, New Mexico, because I love the ambiance there. (Though its status as a huge tourist destination might actually make it less pleasant to live there. I have no idea how that works…)

    Liked by 1 person

      • I suspect both extremes are equally bad. (Or rather, I always hate the one that’s currently here more than the one that isn’t.) Somehow, I managed to be born in a place that’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter…and thanks to climate change, no longer really has spring or fall. 😦 I should move, I suppose, but my family’s here, so I don’t think I could.

        I bet there are places in the Southwest that don’t get *as* hot in the summer. Maybe a bit further north, but without getting into the Colorado mountains and their cold winters? (What we all really need is a place that stays spring-like most of the year, but I’ve no idea where such a place could exist, apart from Fantasyland…)

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I live in a small suburb outside of Kansas City and I don’t consider it s good place I would want to retire. If I had my pick, and after reading your list of important things Jacqui, I suggest the coast of Oregon. Though it may not be as warm as you want all year round, I never felt healthier anywhere else. Good luck finding the right place for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am not going to be much help here. Born, raised and lived in Northern California my whole life. I’ve always lived in a home within 10 miles of my childhood home. As much as I don’t like the way somethings have changed here, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

    Well, unless it included a 1,500 square foot workshop. If there’s one on those in Prescott, I’ll be right there…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I did the unthinkable. After 30 years in California, I relocated back home to Michigan. I love it. Aren’t we all just trying to decide where we belong and what speaks to us? In any event, here are some tips for folks considering relocation. Pick a place where you will have a social cohort. That may mean finding a university town, or a place with an active (insert own choice–eg, gardening, hunting, woodworking, banjo plucking, whatever) community.) Rent, don’t buy. At least at first–and especially so if you’re experimenting with an unfamiliar climate. This will give you time to determine if you really like it, and to get a handle on the local real estate environment. If you come from California, there’s a temptation to thing that everything is so cheap and you risk overpaying in your new market. Consider your age and/or any disability. If you already hobble to the mailbox, three feet of snow won’t help. Consider researching medical facilities in the area where you would like to live. I’m drawn to remote, but I’d like to know that if I need emergency services, we’re not talking helicopter. Check out the local grocery stores. Do it in the summer and the winter. That sounds goofy, but if you love California Bay Area options, you could well find yourself in a community that doesn’t stock organic Italian parsley. Settle in and open your eyes. Maybe you didn’t hike and fish back home. In your new place, that could be a marvelous way to explore the outdoors. Your new environment may pose challenges, but keep your eyes open to what the locals do. Really, there may be bugs or snakes or creepy crawlies that you don’t know, but people there live with them, largely without trauma. What do they do? (They probably think that you were crazy to live where there were earthquakes or wildfires.) Mostly, try to keep your eyes open to opportunities to connect with the new.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jacqui. The climate is nice here. The cold air doesn’t hang around for long during the winter months, and the summers are nice and toasty. As for the wide open spaces…Arizona is a great choice. I’ve traveled to Tucson several times, it’s beautiful. The Shenandoah Valley in Virginia is a beautiful area as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jacqui, I wouldn’t recommend the damp of the UK, that’s for sure! Not good for RA. In the US I have friends in North Carolina which sounds beautiful and should be alright temperature wise as well as in Florida where quite a few friends have moved to in recent years. Best of luck with your new venture – a huge step and don’t get too stressed. When are you looking at moving? This year?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fear it would take me too long to adjust to the UK. That’s why I’m not considering the State of Washington. Too wet! I like the southwest because of the dry heat but North Carolina sounds pretty good.

      Thanks for your thoughts. We have to sell our current home first and that may be difficult. Home prices are still depressed here in California.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Morning Jacqui,
    If you were in Europe, I would advise you to move to Italy. That’s my favorite country and where I want to live out the rest of my life. But you’re in the United States, and therefore I can only recommend some of the cities that I have visited. I have visited Arizona. Southern Arizona might be a good choice. Also, southern New Mexico. I also like North Carolina. I am thinking about the Kinston area. I’ve been there or a city that is close to the Atlantic. If it were me, I would not choose Florida. Even though I am originally from Georgia, Florida has too many tourists and I would not want to move there. If you choose the Deep South then try Mobile, Alabama. I like Mobile and the nice thing about it is that it has Southern hospitality at its best and nice warm weather all year round.

    So, I relate to your desire to move heavily. I am in Germany at the moment, but soon, and I hope very soon, I will start transitioning to Italy.

    For your information, because I have so many blogs on the Internet with different web addresses, my IWSG post is at http://patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com. Can you also send me your email address? I would like to inform you about my book review blog because I am now running the Berger and Mitry series.

    All the best and I know you will choose the right place for you.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Pat. I know a lot of people who love Italy. It seems to grab their hearts more than any other place. North Carolina is on the short list too.

      My email is askatechteacher@gmail.com. I got two of the Berger and Mitrie books and am loving them. I’ll drop by your blog and see your reviews. Thanks!


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