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Relocating in the United States

Yellowstone National Park

If you’re thinking about relocating and don’t know where to look, here's some insider advice from BestPlaces superuser Joanne B. who's moved over 100 times! 

"The moving process itself is not really hard for me, I do it about every 3-6 months. It’s something that I enjoy but not everyone would feel that way. Sometimes I move to the same area, sometimes to another state. I don't have furniture so it makes it easier! My only suggestion? Visit a few times first! Never just go (which I have done a few times and wouldn’t recommend). The process of moving across the country was the worst but so worth it!

"Now, on to the location information! Here’s a few of the places I’ve moved to over the years, both good and bad.

Kalamazoo, Michigan
This is a town that never quite managed to take care of itself. They always had these wonderful ideas and raised the taxes with the promise that they would rejuvenate the downtown area and produce this amazing utopia, but never followed through with it! We lost a lot of manufacturing and paper mills during the 90's and the area slowly went downhill from there.

Haywood and Buncombe Counties, North Carolina
 The scenery is wonderful, I love it there! The weather is much better than Michigan. It snows a little in some areas but it is always beautiful and there is always something to do, both inside and outside. The outdoor activities are endless and you’ll never get bored, even if you live there your whole life! The economy, however, is getting worse every year. I definitely miss the town though! I miss the mountains, the rivers, the peacefulness of the trails, and the accessibility to stores and outdoors.

Knox, Washington, Green Counties, Tennessee
 Knoxville is a thriving city that is trying to keep up with its growth. It never quite pulls it off, although it comes close. It is inexpensive to live in which increases its likability. Its proximity to other towns doesn't hurt either. Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City are small, inexpensive towns that try to be independent of each other but can't quite achieve that. Kingsport is the historical town, Johnson City is the college town and Bristol is the racing blood of the area!

Portland/Multnomah, OR
 This city is very crowded and very expensive! The traffic is horrible so don't try to hurry anywhere! Unfortunately, Portland is also where most of the jobs are in Oregon so you are stuck unless you live outside of town and you want to commute an hour! If you don't have a car, that's okay. The transit system is the best, one of the positive things about the city. The downside is that it’ll take you a few hours to get anywhere that way. Another option is riding your bike, which is another popular form of transportation. The roads even have bike lanes!

Yellowstone National Park
If you ever have a chance to visit Yellowstone National Park, take it! It features the most awesome scenery that I have ever seen (and I've seen a lot)! Think nature, animals, and intriguing trails! Just please, respect the animals." 

~Joanne B. 

While conversing with Joanne, we also got the chance to ask her a couple of general questions about the moving process. These questions are listed below with her responses lightly edited:

  1. (BestPlaces) What do you do to prepare to move?

Joanne expressed that she usually does an extensive amount of research ahead of time covering topics such as where to stay, economics, population, weather and cost of living. She also explained that she doesn't have furniture so this helps make the process substantially simpler. Another interesting takeaway from our conversation was the fact that she is willing to camp until she finds someplace to live.

2. (BestPlaces) What are your observations about various campgrounds in the United States? 

 She told me about how State parks won't allow camping but some county parks will. She also said that one of her favorite resources are private campgrounds such as RV parks. Another one of her discoveries was that Portland isn't as welcoming for camping because they don't allow for pop-ups. Coos Bay and Florence, OR on the other hand provide a great environment for camping and enjoying the coast. 

3. (BestPlaces) What’s the first place you visit when you move and what attracts you to a town?

Joanne explained that one of the necessities for her is access to stores like Walmart. Another important aspect for her is proximity to other shopping options and public amenities like the post office and library. Access to sites to see and state parks is also key because she loves the outdoors. One thing she would really recommend for anyone looking to relocate is staying at your destination of choice for several months rather than just visiting it on a short vacation. This enables you to meet the locals and learn about spots and opportunities that you wouldn't discover on a short trip!

Interested in finding your own BestPlace to live or want to compare two options you're considering? Check out our Find Your Best Place quiz on our website or view comparisons between two places with our City Compare tool! Or maybe you have your own questions for BestPlaces superuser Joanne B. If so, shoot us an e-mail and we'll pass along the question and circle back to you with her answer! 


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