Choose your dream location: city or country or ? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Where would you prefer to live and why?
City in close proximity to shops, etc. (walking distance) 23 23.96%
Urban, but not necessarily within walking distance of anything in particular 9 9.38%
The 'burbs! 5 5.21%
Out of the way: in the country or somewhere away from the hubub 47 48.96%
Somewhere else! 12 12.50%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-25-2003, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking ahead to when we move from our existing home (in suburbia hell-- what was I thinking???).

I'm always torn between living in the city, being able to walk to the local shops and cafes with my kids, and living closer to nature, out in the country. I know there are advantages/disadvantages to both, so I'd love to hear what you'd choose and why!
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Old 01-25-2003, 02:39 AM
 
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Well, I lived in the country once because we were able to build a huge home on 5 acres and have my horse there. It was awful! I hated having to drive 30+ minutes to town and even had to go 5+ miles just to get a carton of milk. The neighbors were all very reserved, some were unfriendly. I am still undecided between suburbs and city right now though. As a mommy, I want my son to be safe and live in a neighborhood where he has friends his age to play outside with and quiet streets to ride his bike on. The urban areas have so much more to offer though!! Why do you hate the burbs?
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Old 01-25-2003, 06:37 AM
 
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We're where we are right now--in the middle of nowhere-- bc the cost of living is so low we can afford to live on dh's seasonal income, and i can work full time at mama'ing. So right now, this is the perfect place for us to be. And i totally dig the wide open spaces on the prairies, the big skies, the wild weather (even the really cccccold stuff), the clean air. There's even a lake nearby with sand dunes.

My dream place to live, though, is this natural parenting paradise on the west coast. It's a coolio little island with just sooo many amazing attributes-- bass fishing!!, saturday market, freeks galore, clothing optional swimming, drumming, family atmosphere, kid friendly, child respecting community, huge trees 5 m in diameter, ocean tides and little ocean critters, dances with funky live music where you can take your children, clean water to drink, mountains to climb , super mild winters and flowers in february, amazing schools too. We just cant afford to live there until i'm working again--cost of living is too too much. *sigh* Oh and it's only a short ferry ride away from a big city.
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Old 01-25-2003, 01:48 PM
 
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wow, Aster, I want to know where that island is!!


we just moved from city to country and i'm discovering my fantasies of raising a child out here are just that - fantasies. It's beautiful and safe and clean, but I hate

- driving EVERYWHERE
- isolation
- lack of diversity
- lack of community
- Dh and I not having space to do stuff individually; everything becomes a family outing...

It's been an eye opener for me. For the early years of DS's life this is ok but ultimately I imagine we'll get back to the city. San Francisco for me is the 'ideal' because it's a very liveable city with so much incredible nature, but we're not millionaires so forget it for now...:
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Old 01-25-2003, 03:02 PM
 
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Aster ~ Are you by any chance referring to Orcas Island in Washington? My aunt and her family live there, and I've never been there myself, but that is how I have heard it described.. I was just curious..

I voted city, but I would also like to live in the country, for the space and nature you know.. It is really a toss-up, because the city is just so darn convenient.. We are planning on moving to Seattle later this year (yay!) and then eventually back to Tucson (even more yay!) I have to say Tucson is our dream place to live.. You've got the city, and and the gorgeous desert, and all the mountains.. *sigh* It is just beautiful there.. I can't wait to move back...
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Old 01-25-2003, 03:33 PM
 
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I think a lot of the gulf islands on the coast are pretty much the same, but the island in my heart and in my dreams is good ol' Salt Spring.
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Old 01-25-2003, 04:49 PM
 
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The beach!
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:56 PM
 
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I voted the city/ walking because I hate cars and driving unless absolutely necessary and I like to be able to go and get a small amt of groceries every day etc and walk with my cherub. Thanks for this poll because I realised I love where we are now. I am a couple of blocks from the beach in one direction and a couple from the park in the other, with a grocery store in between. There are so many interesting things to do here and cultures and people. This morning we went to the farmers market and got organic produce direct from the source, but still we can grab a bus right into town and see a movie/ ballet whatever and enjoy the beautiful open urban spaces in the sunshine, even though it's winter! Oh, and muse, we aren't exactly millionares either, just at the confluence of a happy set of circumstances.

Mama to 13, and 10 and 4.
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Old 01-25-2003, 06:05 PM
 
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I chose "somewhere else" because you didn't give a choice for "small town." We live in a small college town in the North Carolina mountains and its great. I've found a great community, lots of AP parents, there's tons of natural beauty, cultural events at the local college, a low cost of living so I can stay home with my son and yet I'm only five minutes from conveniences. There is a substantial amount of backwoods ignorance here, but most of our friends are people who moved here looking for the same thing we were. There are things that bug us from time to time because we are from New Jersey where there's more to do and more affluence, but whenever I go back and remember how rude and materialistic people are (no offence if you live there because there are exceptions!) and how overbuilt everything is, I am so glad we made the trade off to be here and raise our son in a better place!

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Old 01-25-2003, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These responses are great!! Helps me think about what our next move will be! (And I'm leaning towards city!)

I live in the northern suburbs of Indianapolis. It has a few nice benefits (great schools, low crime, nice clean town, etc.), but the stuff I don't like seems to outweigh all the good things. Everything out here used to be cornfields with occasional trees. They cut everything down to create more and more homes, so it's very very heavily populated. The homes are cookie-cutter, and relatively close together. Everything is new, so there's no mature growth. Everyone here has pristine lawns so it's chemical central. Plus, I have to drive to get ANYWHERE. We have a Saturn (and a van) and get pushed around by huge SUVs. Technically I can't even put my gorgeous cloth diapers out on my back porch!! There are very few greenways, paths, etc. It's pretty much a bunch of concrete. The nearest shopping is very chain oriented (Best Buy, Kohl's, etc.). I am fortunate to have VERY nice neighbors and a TON of kids in my neighborhoood, but I don't run into other AP moms very often around here so I feel kind of lonely.

You may wonder why I chose it? Well, it was my pre-child life. Now that I have two children, I long for a better, more "healthy" place to raise them. Maybe in a couple of years...

I was raised in a small town not too far from here that has a lot going for it. However, it's far from a farmer's market, health food stores, API groups, etc. The mentality is pretty small town too. But I could walk everywhere and live in a neat old home. I'd LOVE to move to the north west, but my parents are here, and they help us out a lot. It'd be a downer for us to be without family.

Thanks again for sharing your preferences... and keep 'em coming!
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Old 01-26-2003, 03:10 AM
 
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I voted urban, in the city where I can walk to everything. I much prefer it over driving, I like shopping for food for just a day or two so everything is fresh. I like the diversity, the atmosphere.

I also love nature, but you CAN have it both ways. In Vancouver, where I live, there are some wonderful urban parks, huge ones. There are places where you can live in a modern hirise with all the amenities, with all the shops you need. There are restaurants/galleries/theatres within walking distance. Yet a few blocks from your door is a lovely seawall walk, or you can walk to a huge urban park and get lost in the woods for a while.

That's my ideal dream place. I used to think I wanted a house in the country so I could have horses, but frankly it is sooo much work having a house and a big yard. And having to drive everywhere, the isolation, and the lack of diversity are big negatives to me.

So, it's the city for me!!!

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Old 01-26-2003, 07:04 PM
 
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I'd want to live in exactly the same kind of place that FirstTimeMom described. A small, southern, mountain town with a college nearby. Close enough to town to particiapte in community life but not too far from trails, boat put-ins, etc.
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:52 PM
 
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ITA about parks! The joys of the country, within reach of the city, and somebody else does the maintenance! I really like knowing that my tax dollars fund parks that I can enjoy anytime I want and that they're constantly being appreciated by somebody even when I'm not there.

We live in a walkable, diverse urban neighborhood in between 2 huge city parks. If we ever leave Pittsburgh, we'll be moving to a similar neighborhood somewhere else. We think it's the best possible combination of everything!!

Tara C., have you considered the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis? My relatives used to live there and loved the walkability, nice old bungalows, park, and easy access to downtown.

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Old 01-27-2003, 05:26 PM
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You know, it doesn't have to be a *city* walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc. We live walking distance to a very small New England village with all the shops and restaurants we could ever need. Yet, we have deer walk up to our back door and can hear a pin drop 24 hours a day. Doesn't have to be all or nothing!

Donna
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Old 01-27-2003, 05:39 PM
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I voted city - where we are now. We are downtown in our city, just between Chinatown and the LGBT village. We walk everywhere, have crazy cool stuff happening at the Y down the street, cool and incredibly diverse playgroups (we're in the middle of two zones - both within a five minute walk), a huge park full of other parents and kids across the street and a block over the community centre with outdoor wading pool.

We have inexpensive and incredible food all around us, from the best and freshest baked pitas at the Middle Eastern Bakery at the corner, to awesome Chinese buns and spring rolls (not to mention cheap produce) down the street and just up from us awesome Thai and Shawarma places.

I can walk with my son to the main library for toddler time, or to the Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery, the Museum of Nature, and the Museum of Photography. I am a ten minute walk from the canal so when there isn't a crazy windchill I can throw my skates in the stroller and head out for some excercise with my son.

I just find, having been raised in a small town, cities have so much more to offer families. Being a kid in a tiny town was ok, but come the tween and teen years and there is only bad crap to get into. I was so bored, as were all the other kids my age. A favorite Friday night out for most of the town kids usually consisted of illegal substances and driving through the hills of the back roads at far too fast speeds. A lot of funerals followed.
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Old 01-28-2003, 05:11 PM
 
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KMP, you are right on about cities having more to offer families. But, I soooooo want my children to be able to run in the woods with their dogs and swim in creeks. Sigh.
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Old 01-30-2003, 10:53 AM
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I know what you're saying, Super Pickle. If ever I was to live in the country it would be while my son is wee. I'd move out byt the time he hit the tween years.

My partner and I do have a plan to build our house out in the country once our son is grown. Until then the city is perfect for us.
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Old 02-02-2003, 12:21 PM
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I voted country. I've lived in the country and I know it's my ideal. However, where we are now will be very hard to leave. It's a smaller town (10K people) with a real downtown. We live 2 blocks off the downtown, and are always walking to the library, bank, PO, stores, etc. I drive only 1-3x a week, usually just 5 minutes to the grocery store or Walmart. Last year, I put only 4K miles on the van. We really love it here.

Brenda, mama to Abigail, Isabella and Vincent
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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EnviroBecca,

Yes, I am very familiar with Broad Ripple! The crowd there is pretty young (not that I'm very old, but...) so I actually prefer the Meridian-Kessler, Forrest Hill, etc. areas. But they are quite expen$ive, even for bungalows!! I also like Butler Tarkington near the campus.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with it or not, but Atlas Supermarket(claim to fame is that David Letterman was a bag boy there) recently closed, so now there's no local grocery store. Everything is big chain and a drive away. And not many people live downtown either.

I personally just don't find Indy to be very green/kid-oriented.
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Old 02-16-2003, 02:07 AM
 
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Esplynn, I lived in Tucson for a few years and I LOVED it - my favorite place I have lived in so far.

I chose the country because it's a dream of mine to buy an old farmhouse on 100+ acres and renovate it, grow vegetables, etc. Especially with DS, I really want him to have first-hand experience with practical, natural things, like growing your own food or fixing your own roof. I think it's hard to get exposure to those kinds of things in the city, and while you do have diversity and convenience, I think I prefer the slower pace and even the lack of people. When there aren't that many people around, you get to know the ones that ARE there pretty well, as opposed to having lots and lots of people you are only acquainted with. The only real drawback for me is that rural counties tend to have crappy schools, ,which really is a big deal. I'm thinking maybe we could overcome that at home, not by homeschooling but home-supplementing.


Jen, mom to Cole 10-30-02
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Old 02-16-2003, 02:13 AM
 
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Dear MDC:

Thank you for this thread.

I would like to be out of the way, near the mountains, quiet, w/ a field or animals nearby.

Of course, I would need a phone and post office for supplies. Of course, I would need my computer and the internet so I can be on the MDC.
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Old 02-16-2003, 03:52 AM
 
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I chose city. Honestly probably "grass is greener" but...

We lived in a small town home walking distance to a very quaint town with shops, dining, clubs, etc. Tree lined, the works. When our son was born we didnt go "down town" as often, but still did.

We just moved to stereo-typical suburbia. It is nice. We are loving our new digs. But we are renting. And when we buy have agreed that we will look for a house [town home wont do anymore with kids and dogs etc] within walking distance of a "quaint down town" etc. We find that although we love the HUGE yard and house [and view, oh my] we would sacrifice some space [we have our minimums though] and alot of yard [but not all of it to a condo-life etc] in turn for walking to lunch/dinner on the weekends and church/grocery etc rather than DRIVING everywhere even for a gallon of emergency last minute milk etc.

That said, if we win the Lottery we have also agreed we are buying a beachside ranch in Kauai, Hawaii AND a condo in NY, NY. Best of BOTH world in our minds.
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Old 02-17-2003, 05:10 AM
 
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Hmm.... a 5-acre estate in the city within an hour's walking distance of downtown! Then I could have chickens, goats, ducks, a big organic garden, AND the city!

(What a fantasy, LOL!)
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:41 PM
 
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Small city. We are only 2 hours from Toronto, so we can enjoy the city treats when we really want to for a weekend but we don't have to deal with the pollution, the higher cost of living, the congestion, etc. We do miss the diversity and the food. We love where we are - everything we need is right here, it is beautiful, affordable, we can walk most places but it is only a short drive to visit our rural friends and we can afford to live in a wonderful house with an amazing backyard. We have so much to be grateful for.
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Old 02-25-2003, 02:04 PM
 
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We live in the country(actually in a small village), but the city is only 6 miles away. That is one advantage of Switzerland...there isn't all that sprawl. And the public transporation is great.
There are lots of disadvantages too. Like the cost of living. We pay an arm and a leg every month just so we can have a tiny little yard for my vegetable garden. Most people live in rented apartments here, like 70%. Also, the Swiss people(in general) are very reserved and conformist. Sometimes they drive me nuts.
I'd love to own my own house. We'd probably have to move back to the States, though, and I've gotten too accustomed to the easy, slow pace here. And all the grocery stores carry organic foods. Last time I was back in the states I couldn't believe how expensive Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Alfalfa's are. Anyway, I digress.
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Old 02-26-2003, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quelle chance de vivre en Suisse! (Not sure if you speak/read French?). That' somewhere I'd love to live. My husband is French-- from the "est" in Nancy/Metz. (No French bashing, please! ) Lived there for 4 years, then moved back here.

I don't notice as much organic fare in France. Where exactly is Bretigny sur Morrens?
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Old 02-26-2003, 02:11 AM
 
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I live in Madison, WI and love it. Not too big, not too small. We live within walking distance to a grocery store and several parks! It's great!
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:21 AM
 
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We are just north of Lausanne, which is on Lake Geneva. I speak French pretty much fluently now (after 4 years).
I used to go over the border to do my shopping in France once a week because things are much cheaper, but all the big grocery stores don't carry organic, or if they do there is not much selection and it is expensive.

Was it hard to go back to the States? I often think about what it would be like, if it would be a huge shock for me. We were married here, both of my children were born here....I think I've grown accustomed to this place.
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Old 02-28-2003, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Chocomoto,

We have been back in the States now for 10 years. Wow. Long time. It was hard coming back-- I still remember. It was really hard because we were newly married and dh didn't speak more than 2 words of americain at the time. He got a less-than-minimum-wage job in a bike shop. But, now he's a design engineer with Thomson (French company!) and we have two little Franco-American babes.

We miss the food-- the cheese and bread. I miss the green cities with parks and pedestrian areas in the cities, etc. Markets in Paris. I'm a French major, so I also miss speaking French. And for the most part (parenting EXCLUDED) I love the French mentality.

We've already decided we'll retire there.

My MIL is currently living outside of Geneva. Can't remember the name. I'll have to ask dh. I *love* Lausanne!!

Are your children bilingual? I have a tough time with that here, being immersed in English.
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Old 03-02-2003, 10:57 PM
 
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I voted country.

We now live in a town of 3,500 and we can walk to where ever we need to. But to do real shopping we go once a month or more to a much larger town (70 miles away).
We are considering moving 15 miles away to the country to raise our kids. I love having kids being able to run free with their dogs and play ouside all day.

The bad thing about country is that my dh works 12 hours shifts four days one week 3 the next so he will spend alot of time on the road and living out in the country he wont be able to come home for lunch or dinner. So our family time will go way down.

The plus side for country living for us is my kids will have 70 acres to roam, a creek and river to play in. The dog will be able to roam with kids and the animals wont have to be licensed. I wont have to worry as much about all the wierdos that walk past for house while my dd is out playing in our yard. I also wont have to worry about my kids and the street (we have a corner lot).

Oh yeah the other plus it will be rent free. We just need to sell our house in town. We will eventually need buy to a manufactured home because the trailer we will be living in for awhile is too small .
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