Jan 1, 2013 at 9:39 am #1297554
Here's my dilemma: I was born in the Midwest. I was raised in the Midwest. I've lived in lots of places around the Midwest. I've lived in Chicago for the last 18 years, my family is here, my hiking buddies are here.
I hate it. For a lover of the outdoors, this place sucks.
Now don't get me wrong…there are some nice little gems tucked away here and there, and I adore them. I am a flaming liberal (bordering on communist apparently…as my conservative friends like to tell me) and one of those college "elite intellectuals" that are apparently ruining our country.
So as I make my way through my 40s and remain single, I have realized that I need to get the hell out of here.
So…one of my 2013 plans is to move somewhere where I can wear a Melanzana hooded fleece and not seem like an outcast, where I can discuss the intricacies of alcohol vs esbit and people don't necessarily think that I'm talking about the latest bar on Rush street…
Anyway, as a physical therapist I've done some research on states in the west that are better for my profession than others, and Oregon seems like it might be a good fit. Granted, legal pot is in CO and WA, so I may need to rethink things a bit, but I digress. So…so many divergent opinions here, I thought I'd toss it out there. How do you guys feel about Oregon as a place for me? I've heard great things about Eugene, but wow some people really, really hate that place and can't wait to get out of there.
Thoughts?????Jan 1, 2013 at 9:56 am #1939883
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I grew up in Portland, went to school and worked in L.A. for 8 years, then moved back and like it here.
Eugene is good too – one thing is that it's sort of confined by mountains so there is sometimes a bit of air pollution. Washington is pretty similar. Lot's of outdoorsy people. Lot's of liberals like you mentioned.
Check out portlandhikers.org for a segment of population.Jan 1, 2013 at 9:57 am #1939884
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
I have no direct experience, but being a fellow bearer of "how did I end up so liberal?" syndrome, I have had Oregon recommended to me more than probably any other state (my heart is still set on Montana, though). I have also heard, however, that it's a bit like Pennsylvania–outside the more hippie-ish areas it can get pretty conservative pretty fast.Jan 1, 2013 at 10:06 am #1939885
Enjoyed your post a lot, Jennifer. Living in Kentucky, I feel much of your pain. Oregon sounds great.Jan 1, 2013 at 10:06 am #1939886
I worry a bit about going directly to a "small" town…being that I've been in Chicago for soooo long. I am kind of attracted to the idea of a smaller city, to live in a house that doesn't, literally, cost more than a million dollars…maybe I should focus more on Portland?? Portlandia does speak to me in all my hippie, commie ways…….
I am a bike commuter as well…so that is important to me, too.
Thanks for the link…nice to have some direct contact. I'm flying out to meet with a clinic director in February, so ill get to spend some time in both Portland and Eugene. Any other places you would recommend I look at??Jan 1, 2013 at 10:08 am #1939888
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"outside the more hippie-ish areas it can get pretty conservative pretty fast."
Last session the Oregon state senate was 50%-50% R and D
The Washington senate has one more D than R, but two of the D defected and are voting with the Rs so that one of them is now president of senateJan 1, 2013 at 10:08 am #1939889
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Oregon and Washington are very similar, really. The cities tend to be liberal, outlying areas, not so much. Eugene is a college town, my cousin lives there and loves it. He went to college there and stayed, he came from a conservative farming town in OR.
But if anything what you find in the West is less obsession with class, religion and family connections IMO. You can truly start over and find the life you wanted.
But ya know….I live in the conservative corner of King County, WA and like it. I consider myself conservative in voting (being that I own property and like a rural way of life) but I hike with plenty of liberal-minded folks from Seattle. If you don't bring up politics or religion, you find it easy to get along with most people here :-)Jan 1, 2013 at 10:14 am #1939892
Come to Scotland Jen. I live within 10 minutes of hills, 45 minutes from ski tows and white water canoeing, rafting, etc. I can walk on a sandy beach in a few minutes and watch dolphins.
I'm single, and a PT would be nice. You could sort out my dodgy leg. :-)Jan 1, 2013 at 10:15 am #1939893
"I'm single, and a PT would be nice."
Great, now we'll have folks clamoring for a new forum here – BPL-matchmaking…….Jan 1, 2013 at 10:24 am #1939896
I like cuddling by a nice fire, long walks on the beach…Jan 1, 2013 at 10:28 am #1939898
@meldLocale: The here and now.
I always thought that if you lived anywhere north of Ft Bragg on the coast, after a while you would grow webs on your feet.Jan 1, 2013 at 10:28 am #1939899
…, and you can go from hiking shoes and eVent jacket to heels and black dress in no time flat…… ;-)
But back to your question. I lived in Oregon for three years back around 2000. Loved it. You have to deal with a lot of rain for a good part of the year – but it's not downpours for the most part. I lived just outside Portland, and thought Portland was one of the nicest cities I had ever lived near. Of course that was over 10 years ago, I'm sure it has changed some.
I should add, though, that back then I didn't think commuting from away from the city to the city was very good. No shoulders on the roads and traffic that wasn't always kind early in the morning. I lived in Hillsboro and rode my bike to work in downtown Portland for a bit, but stopped when a dumptruck nearly ran me over on a road with no shoulder. It wasn't the first close call. He didn't want to slow down until it was safe to pass.
I miss the west coast, and can't wait til I retire and move back out that way.Jan 1, 2013 at 10:29 am #1939901
I used to have Sam, a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Unfortunately, the ex got him.Jan 1, 2013 at 10:33 am #1939904
I'm prepared to live with you for 2 weeks before we get serious.
No rush. :-)Jan 1, 2013 at 10:44 am #1939906
But after two weeks he'll make you sort out his dodgy leg… whatever that means. Sounds like antibiotics are needed.
Oh I guess I'll post on the original topic since I live in Ore… Its cool. Portland is only a 4:20 minute drive from Washington, come next year. Though it probably won't change Portland all that much. I'm a country boy stuck in the city, so I'll recommend any town. small as you can handle.Jan 1, 2013 at 11:07 am #1939912
So, Oregon. :-)Jan 1, 2013 at 11:48 am #1939923
I'm with Sarah. Don't wear your politics on your sleeve, and most places (and people) are great in the west. And beside, no one at the grocery store cares if you're one of the intellectual elite.
And the Idester would be the first on the BPL Matchmaker forum!Jan 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm #1939936
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Both wife and I born and raised in St Louis.
Lived in Chicago 12 years.
Moved wife and kids to Oregon 26 years ago so as to raise them in a safe, nuturing, outdoorsey climate where people actually have a good work ethic. We're still here. Would never return to the midwest (except to visit family, all of whom still live there).
That should tell you something.
Did I mention the PCT, CT, CDT, and PNWT, as well as a vast chain of lovely mountains?
Here in Portland, you are literally 90 minutes from either the Pacific Ocean shore or the Cascade mountains.Jan 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm #1939939
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
My New Year's resolution last year was to move to the mountains. Some of the reasons were different than yours, but it was time to make a move. I chose Bozeman, Montana, and after ten months I think moving here (from Dallas) was perhaps the smartest thing I've ever done. Cost of living is much lower and the popping of the bubble on second homes made housing truly affordable. I expect that you'd have plenty of competition as a physical therapist, but plenty of business too. I'm told Bozeman has more orthopedic surgeons per capita than anywhere else in the US. All those hikers, skiers, rafters, and fishermen need help from time to time. University town with ample choices for indoor entertainment, one hour from Yellowstone NP, two world-class ski areas. The list is endless.
Politically Montana is independent. Though Romney got close to 60% of the presidential vote, a Democratic senator kept his seat despite (maybe because of) SuperPACS pouring millions into his rival's campaign, and we elected a new Democratic governor. The other senator is a Democrat too. Bozeman is mixed – typical liberal types affiliated with MSU but some arch-conservatives among the farmers and ranchers. Missoula, another great university town, is a bit more left-leaning. Perhaps it's because I moved from Texas, where I'd describe the politics as rabid, but I find a degree of tolerance here that I really like.
If you're like I was, the most difficult thing will not be where you move but biting the bullet and picking up stakes to relocate. (Excuse mixing metaphors.) I left behind some great friends and a decent business to move, and I haven't regretted it for a minute. I hope you do it!
Happy New Year, RichardJan 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm #1939940
I see your name pasted all over Portland LOL
You will love this place, provided you can put up with the cold dampness and little bit of rain. Oregon is a mixed state with over 70% of population living in either Portland metro or Eugene and its surrounding areas. Of course Portland Metro ( Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, Gresham etc) has most of the state's population. As you head out to the rural areas, people are more conservative and not so liberal minded.
As far my interaction goes, I interact with both ultra liberals and ultra conservatives and they are all nice people just with different opinions of their own.
I suggest you to consider Portland compared to Eugene.
I'm 1.5 hrs from Mt.Hood, Pacific Ocean, and 3 hrs from the high desert. And not to mention our own Columbia River Gorge which has probably a guzillion trails.
EDIT: Also the hiking community here is the quite big, and Portland probably has the most number of Subaru's in any US city I guess :)Jan 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm #1939971
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"I am a flaming liberal (bordering on communist apparently…as my conservative friends like to tell me) and one of those college "elite intellectuals" that are apparently ruining our country."
Berkeley, CA and San Francisco, CA would probably greet you with open arms :)Jan 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm #1940021
I'm an Occupational Therapist here in Colorado, but I did a couple of my internships in Oregon (Bend and Portland, respectively). I really enjoyed both places. For a city, Portland is pretty laid back, fun, and close to some great areas for outdoor recreation. The rain does take some getting used to, though. Bend was also pretty great, but a little too touristy for my tastes. It felt like if Boulder and Fort Collins had a lovechild, which is both a good and bad thing, I suppose.
I've considered heading back out that way, but I just can't bring myself to leave Fort Collins, or Colorad in general. If you like sun, beer, a myriad of outdoor activities, and a fairly liberal city (although not by Boulder standards), you should check it out! That Melanzana fleece will fit in just fine here…Jan 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm #1940035
@aviddkLocale: SW Oregon
Ashland is really the place you are dreaming about. Small town, uber left wing and unlimited outdoor stuff all around. Now matter how wacked your philosophy is there will be kindred souls. We have waaay less rain than anywhere else on the westside. You are also five hours closer to all of NorCals great outdoor entertainment and SoCal desert sunshine in the winter. Making a living as a PT you would have to check out. Earning a living has always been the downside to Southern Oregon. Finding a special someone in a small town could be more challenging as well.
Don't get me wrong PDX is a great place, one of the best cities there is. Love to go visit and eat at our favorite restaurants. Eugene has some nice things to recommend it as well, for instances the incredible trail system.
Having lived in several town in Montana I can also heartily recommend that. Not everyone will find it to their liking. For the right type of person it will be paradise. One major requirement is that you must enjoy winter sports. Many towns on the East side of the Rockies have 90 day summers.
Best of luck with your New Year's resolution.Jan 2, 2013 at 8:46 am #1940171
So many people talk about CO…
How is the cost of living in Ft Collins or Boulder?? I've heard its a bit high…
Granted I'd be moving from one of the highest in the country, but the thought of a place where street parking isn't 6.50/hr for a meter, or a studio condo doesnt cost $250k…I guess my standards are a bit skewed.
As for politics, a nice purple state where people are actually tolerant of others would be just as nice as living in a groovy commune. Here where I am the conservatives are just openly hostile to anyone who doesn't wear tea bags on his hat. Chicago is a nice refuge, but as soon as I head outside the city there is actual, active KKK…….*shiver*
As for job prospects I'm fairly lucky with my profession…lots of demand and tons of jobs wherever.
Thanks everyone SO much for the recommendations and encouragement! It is very hard to pick up roots and move……but I just keep thinking about mountains and glaciers and skiing and pine trees and rivers…ah……..
And mike, the British Isles have always had a special place in my heart ;)
You have good beer there!!!Jan 2, 2013 at 9:09 am #1940177
Apart from beer, we make some nice whisky. ;-)
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