Well, 3 years ago we moved 1000 miles to get away from my inlaws, so perhaps I am not the one to ask!
: But we now live about an hour from my mom, and we see her about once a month or so. It's nice to have someone to visit where I can just let my hair down and not worry. But we still dont have any deep bonds with my family, I'm finding that I'm getting much more support and reliability from my new best friend. She recently told me that I'm like a little sister to her.
: So I don't think that just living near family garantees a huge bond and an easier life, you can find people who can become like-family just about anywhere.