General Real Estate

Hating Where You Live – Is it Time for a Move?

Check out Facebook or Twitter updates on a daily basis and it is obvious that millions of people, adults with free will – are stuck with the heavy and isolated feeling of hating where they live. They reminisce about the old days with warmer (or colder) weather, snow (or not) on Christmas and the availability of conveniences (or not) of shopping centers and grocery stores.

Each year, millions of families uproot and leave places familiar to them to plant trees so to speak in new places. It could be because of new employment, family reasons or innumerous other reasons. It all boils down to one thing, people move. Often and rapidly. Gone are the days where extended families live in one central location only moving to a new subdivision or to the outskirts of town where houses are cheaper – remaining close to the family circle. The popular trend for the past 30 years has people going to college away from home and scoping out landscapes that are far different from the ones that they grew up in. Luckily technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with this transient nature and many families do not feel the disconnect that can be caused. However – there are still plenty of people who hate where they live.

The question then is why do they stay? How long should they really give a new place before deciding that a change in geography is needed? And how can you make the most of your life even though you feel vacated by a zip code?

Most of the time people stay put despite their inklings of disdain because they have to. They live where their job is, or they live where their ailing parents are. So, they stay stuck and rooted the entire time. If you have a family and hate where you live, chances are you stay for the kids. You don’t want to take them to a new school or disrupt their friendships. You might stay because you have no idea how to start again, or because staying is all you have ever known. Some people sadly, stay and complain – because they want to blame their unhappiness on something tangible that exists outside of themselves. And hating where you live is the answer. This way, you can curse the small town, groan about the traffic, bitch about the neighbors without ever realizing where your unhappiness truly comes from. You can also constantly hate the weather where you live and blame it for your bad mood – despite the fact that your ideal temperatures probably exist not too very far from where you live now. In other words, staying is the easy part. Making changes, proactive and positive ones that include moving and making your dreams come true are hard.

In many homes, couples make a choice of where to live which can leave the one-half of the whole resentful. If you live in your husband or wife’s hometown, it can be easy to feel like you don’t fit in and to see the negative side of everything. And this is something that can eventually damage the relationship.

Here’s the thing. Changing where you are doesn’t change who you are. Most of the people stuck hating where they leave or feeling like they don’t belong, won’t feel any better by changing their area. In fact, they will just feel worse and more let down by life. The problem isn’t normally outside of us, but within us. Each of you has a choice to seize the day or to allow it to seize you, no matter where you live. If you seem to find things wrong with the weather, the people, the traffic, the schools and every other aspect of life where you live – you will likely carry these animosities with you. Perhaps you just haven’t given your new place enough of a chance. This is very often the case with people who hate where they live and were forced to live there.

Before you decide that where you live is the problem, make sure that you get yourself out and about. Research your interests and try to find like-minded people in your new town who share your passions. Rather than simply see a new place, with different rituals or traditions as odd and hokey, open your mind to new opportunity. Look for people that add something to your life and try to make friends. If you have moved for employment or family – start there by trying to be a friend, to find a friend. In other words, don’t just X a place off the map because it wasn’t your first choice. When you open your mind to all aspects of a new place (or an old one) you might just be surprised what you find. Consider the law of attraction that says like attracts like. Could it be that you have been attracting all these bad experiences to you?

Another thing to consider is the old saying, Bloom where you’re planted! One of the best things about being a human being is that we aren’t confined or defined by where we live. Hating where you live and focusing on that and only that, never allows you room to bloom into who you are. Although cliché, it is good to approach life with the attitude that everything happens for a reason. What is your reason for being where you are? What is it you are supposed to learn or accomplish right here right now. If you leave too soon, you just might find that the problems follow you. A very wise man once said, “No matter where YOU go….there YOU are!” Definitely something to think about if you are one of the millions stuck hating where they live.

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33 comments

Liz July 11, 2015 at 12:08 AM

My enormous energy bills, tiger mosquitoes, 108 degree weather in June with stifling humidity beg to differ. If I take my children outside, even playing with water and eating popsicles, we get overheated fast and have to seek shelter in the 88 degrees my old house is able to maintain in summer weather. And bugs love it. Palmetto bugs in the palmetto state, flying American cockroaches. The monopolistic power companies here (arguably most unfair business practices in the southeast) gouge us relentlessly. Summer, more summer, fall, three weeks of wintrr, one week of spring, then back to summer. Don’t see any dogs out. Elderly people walking. It is oppressive. I look for ways to cope with feelings of hating being stuck somewhere and all I can find is this sort of “it’s not you, it’s the place”… I’ve lived elsewhere. And I can definitely tell you it is the place.

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Teresa August 14, 2017 at 7:01 PM

100%. I was a million times happier in my itt bitty old studio in the city. Nearto shops near to various sport events. Easy to clean.
.

I have been nothing but miserable in country bumpkin hellhole land with a house that constantly needs fixing horrific commute costs and time frames and neighbours who still have their minds in 1950.

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paul February 11, 2018 at 10:56 PM

Liz, U sound like U are somewhere in FL. It is FL, not U.

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Anna November 3, 2018 at 11:09 PM

Liz, you also could be in SC. The heat is relentless in the summer and add the high humidity and it’s unbearable. And I despise those damn ” Palmetto bugs”.as I’ve been told. Those are roaches and I just about have a heart attack when one shows up in my house. I’ve treated inside and out and still they get in. If I knew where to go, I’d pack myself a suitcase, take my dog and away we would go. It’s not you, it’s this state.

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Jpizz November 5, 2015 at 11:17 AM

Maybe if u are 22…not if are older and know what u like. I am stuck in south fl until my lease is up and can’t wait to get out of this place. I’ve lived allover the country in other cities without problem….so I know it’s the city, the culture, the weather…can’t stand it. I’m laughing bc the person above looks like they are in fl also. Trust us. It’s terrible here.

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juliert January 27, 2018 at 10:28 AM

I’m in south florida too and I’m MISERABLE here!!!! I’ve lived in CA, AZ and europe and have NEVER been this MISERABLE in a place!! I’m STUCK int this horrid swamp until I fix my financial situation. I can’t afford to move!!! 🙁 I’m an outdoors person but cannot do anything outdoors in the muggy h*ll hole. Every day all I can think about is the day I can escape!

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paul February 11, 2018 at 10:57 PM

You are not the only one! South FL is the definition of hell on Earth.

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Chris July 23, 2016 at 7:13 PM

I hate where I live, too. I didn’t grow up in a single location (or country, for that matter) for very long. I miss being the stranger in a new culture. It erodes at my soul and, I’m certain, has added to a deep depression that I’ve not been able to shake for years (in spite of meds, therapy, exercise, friends, etc.) Often, I say to myself “I hope I don’t die here.” Sadly, my mental health and physical health deteriorate in near equal proportion. My financial state of security is controlled by others. I have no way out, it seems.

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Zoey April 12, 2019 at 10:18 AM

Take your controllers to court. Or just leave and get a job someplace else. Dissapear off their radar. Research bith options. If you choose to remain attached to these people and “your” finances, you are making a choice. You can also choose to be free. Make a plan, and good luck.

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OverTheHype May 16, 2019 at 3:11 AM

No Los Angeles is

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Anna August 11, 2016 at 5:15 PM

I live on the west coast of Canada. I was born on the East coast. We moved out west for work, well my husband did. He is now successful in his goals while I am not, I lost my job earlier this year. I don’t like where I live I have no friends and no family, he has family but I seem to not get along with them since I don’t share the same lifestyle. The crime rate is high and it is scary just to drive around the city

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Paul Coe August 21, 2016 at 12:49 PM

I live in what i consider the 7th circle of hell. Bluffton, SC. We are in an oppressive heat and humidity regime where I long for a cold winter day where a jacket is required. We live in a dry belt where coastal rains miss us and sea breeze showers form about 1-2 miles west of us every freaking afternoon and back fill to the west consistently. We average 20″ less a year of rain than pretty much every where else within 5 miles of us. The sun is my mortal enemy and I hate it. I work outside and have never been to a place this miserable. (sorry, Florida is cool compared to this place when we visit Disneyworld in the summer.) I am really to the point where I have told my wife and son that I am close to just throwing a bag of clothes in my truck and just driving NW. This place is either rich yankees who live in gated plantations or “the workers” they turn their noses up at. I have often reflected on whether this is just me or does this place really suck and apologies to the OP but THIS PLACE SUCKS!!!!

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stef October 21, 2016 at 8:12 PM

I dont deny i have many personal problems but i think living in certain locations massivley magnifies them.

I was indifferent to my surroundings and social ineptitude in one sphere i new i had problems but things where ok. where i am now i am constantly uneasy and distressed and miserable in my new location which is totally different in every aspect because the people and cultures are different.

And when you cant stand your surroundings you dont want to make the effort to involve yourself.

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Caro July 4, 2017 at 9:47 AM

I’m sick of hearing it’s not the place, it’s you- total rubbish. Would a hothouse plant thrive in a cold climate? Would a desert plant thrive in the rain forest? Exactly! And we humans are much the same. I know when I have been happy, and it was all about ‘place’. Place is the person. My father was a country man and died miserably in a town- hated it. I’m a city girl trapped in the countryside. Yes it’s beautiful, but I absolutely hate it. Don’t tell me it’s me that’s the problem. As soon as I go back to my city I am truly happy. Real happiness is knowing who you are, and what you need, and being in the right place to fulfill those needs and be free to be the person you are.

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Helen September 9, 2018 at 8:29 AM

I ?? this:

Real happiness is knowing who you are, and what you need, and being in the right place to fulfill those needs and be free to be the person you are.

I hate where I live. And of course there are always things I could work in about myself U know it’s the environment I”m in. Have lived here for 3.5 years for the second time and it’s given me good work some of those years, I’ve been able to travel OS more than ever, done some great cycling but now it’s time to go. People are cold, wintee is freezing, people stare at my sunnies because they’re fashionable and they’re judgemental boring sloths. I rarely see anyone here like me – absolutely tired of seeing the same style of people – old self-righteous rich people with expensive cars, fat arses, no personality, young Mum’s pushing prams and high vis tradies. I’m done. Its changed my personality for the worse. 6 weeks and I’m gone. On this site because I’m wondering why I”m bothering staying 6 weeks if I hate it this much.

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Juliana September 16, 2018 at 1:24 PM

Hi Carol, Yes!! Thank you for this awesome comment. I’ve been wanting to get out of this place for so many years. I’ve been trying to make myself be happy here but I am MISERABLE. MISERABLE!!! I never go out anymore bc I just don’t click at all with the people here no matter how much I try and I figure at this point, what’s the point of even trying bc I just want to leave. For whatever reason, I just haven’t been able to muster the courage/clarity of mind to move. But I’m finally going to STOP second d guessing myself once and for all, and leave. My family is never going to to be a close, Hallmark card commercial family anyway, so not even a point in staying for that.

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Cami October 22, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Thank you! I needed to read this. I haven’t been happy in— I can’t remember the last time, and my best friend and I were having this conversation the other day. I have never felt like I belonged anywhere I’ve lived and I think, at this point, more than just a city or state it’s the country as a whole. But, even still, I know that living in Baltimore is just not for me. This city is hurtful and hateful. I’ve been here 6 years and my depression (which I’ve had since I was 9, I’m 31 now) has only gotten worse and the bouts last longer than they did when I lived in upstate New York, Boston, Philly. I’ve even felt better visiting family in Houston.

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JuJu August 12, 2017 at 6:40 AM

I can tell you for a fact that it can definitely be a PLACE that makes a person unhappy, and that unhappiness does NOT always come from within. I, too, am sick of hearing the comment “it’s not the place, it’s you”. Talk about pathologizing individuals! Sometimes, believe it or not, feelings of unhappiness or frustration CAN come from outside of us.

I know myself well enough to know what makes me unhappy. It definitely is the PLACE that I grew up in. I was born in a small town that is very, very economically and socially deprived. It is a place of high unemployment, high crime and low expectations. Life expectancy is less than the national average, and there are higher than average rates of teenage pregnancy, obesity, alcoholism, drug misuse, mental illness and physical disability. This is possibly due, in part, to the town being a huge retirement area, but is also due to the fact that many of the younger residents are living on “welfare”. The place is dirty, dog-muck and litter on the streets, with many derelict buildings and empty shops (apart from the “sex shops”). The schools are poor quality, there are few attractive open spaces and limited recreational facilities.

Growing up in this town, I got badly bullied at school because I was considered a “swot” (anyone who tried to do well got teased, instead of supported). Kids (and adults) in the town where I grew up could be very small-minded, and it was apparently viewed as some sort of “sin” to want to do well, go to University, and thrive. Especially if this meant leaving your place of origin behind; that was sort of viewed as “treachery”! The only times that I have been truly happy are times when I have been well away from the place I grew up. Then, I have felt free to be myself – to study hard, to achieve, to do whatever job I choose to, to dress how I like, to live how I like… As opposed to the place where I grew up, that has the kind of “small town mentality” where everybody watches what everyone else is doing, and bitches behind their backs. Curtains are constantly twitching!

No way do you want to involve yourself when you cannot stand where you live. You see no point in doing that when there is little that appeals to you. All you want to do is work hard towards moving away and staying away.

Oh! And you might ask why I am stuck here? The answer to that was a combination of work and family commitments – a very DEMANDING extended family. A demanding drama-queen mother-in-law, a poorly mother and a nagging father. NOT easy to escape that! Every time hubby and I have tried, we have been criticized by one or other family (or both) for being “selfish”. As far as OUR families are concerned, THEIR needs ALWAYS come BEFORE our own – and if we attempt to think about ourselves we are accused of being “uncaring”, “spoiled” and “not the dutiful child”. The bitching has been pretty EXTREME.

So… “it’s not the place”? Utter rubbish! It sure IS the place! WHY wouldn’t I want to escape somewhere that I was bullied for years in school?

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Juliana September 16, 2018 at 1:16 PM

Hi Juju, I know you made that comment over a year ago, but I’ve just now found this article and hope you see this! I really appreciated you ur comment, it really made me feel better about how I’m feeling and made me feel much more validated. I’m in my 40s now and I still live in the general area that I was raised in. Not the same town, but 45 mins away. But even the cities in this region bore me to absolute tears. I have tried for years to try to “make” myself like it here and “convince” myself to want to be here and to just be happy and enthusiastic about living here like it seems everyone else is. I have felt like a failure for not being able to like it here and have mentally beaten myself up for feeling that way for decades now!! I have had brief stints in the past where I have lived away from here and I loved it!! But I just let the feeling of guilt of being far from family stop me from leaving. I always thought, ‘well, they all love it here, what is wrong with me that I don’t?” But I really do now think that is very erroneous thinking. Also, there are so many people I know who moved the heck away from here!! I feel so uninspired here, depressed and plus I also have many bad childhood memories associated with this area too. I’m in the process of creating a solid plan of action steps towards moving out. I’m visiting cities of interest to check them out, all about 3 hours drive from where I am now. Thank you again for your helpful comment. Did you end up moving? All the best to you!

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Teresa August 14, 2017 at 7:23 PM

What an absolute crock of s***.
Yes many of us have problems which will follow us even if we go half way across the world but living in an area completely not conduit to your personality goals and lifestyle is going to lead to a life of sadness and misery.
I dont understand how trying to force yourself to assimilate and fit in when you feel out of place and miserable and dont understand why people are the way they are where you live is a good thing.
I completely agree with a comment that living in certain areas just magnifies and intensifies your issues.

I like to keep to myself and come and go alot. This is fine in the city but inthe country i was berated and had my neighbours jump down my throat so often attempting to demand each time where i was going i had to scream at one to leave me alone. They all avoid me now how is tha a good thing? . I feel nothing but distressed and angry and anxious when i am driving or on the train home on my sizeable commute thinking about all the time and money i am wasting to this house and area i hate. I hardly see m friend s because they live to far away. The sports and hobbies i like to participate it dont exist out here which would be a way for me to minimise my issues and fit in with the community i will have to drive 30-40 mins to get to one.
I have postponed university repeatedly just because it is so difficult to travel and pay for everything and look after an entire house, so im throwing my education to live here how is that a good thing?. My neighbours and the general community all have ideals tha died inthe last century-still very religious and old fashioned. I was raised in suburbia and modern thinking i don support having ten children,i dont go to church etc so how am i ever going to fit in and be happy here by developing a complete fake personality and deluding myself with drugs perhaps? Some people just arent a good fit for certain areas or lifestyles.

What a joke. I cant wait to move back to an area that has all the things i want and need nearby.

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Johnny G August 15, 2017 at 7:29 AM

I agree, I bolted to where my wife’s family was in the South *GA after my mom passed away. I left California and no matter what am dying inside everyday. I think GA is the worst place on earth, no culture, horrible hwys, racism, ignorance and absolutely nothing to do. I screwed up sold our home and now rent prices are sky rocketing and I have to finish grad school. Dying dying … I miss liberal culture, beaches, good food, and roads that are flat and mountains and people with dreams and desire.

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emm jay October 14, 2017 at 11:34 AM

hi im in the same boat as you, jersey shore here

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Jill Tipton December 26, 2017 at 1:12 AM

I agree. It can be the place you live. But it’s really bad if you don’t have money to take vacations and get to see the places you want to live. I think if possible people should move and experience different places as long as they are able to make the job change. It makes life more interesting. I’m ready to get out of hot and humid all the time. It is affecting my health. I need a much more temperate place with seasonal changes. I feel better in much cooler weather. So I’m hoping for a move soon.

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linda January 19, 2018 at 4:55 PM

I also call bullshit on the whole “it’s you, not the place” thing. I am tired, tired, tired, and am ready to GO. I live in a large southeastern city that starts with an A! Take a wild guess. Have lived here 35 years, I wanted to leave 20 years ago but my father lived here and I didn’t feel right leaving family. He died last year – I can go. When I first got here, it was fun – the 80s, friends, partying, etc. Now it’s grown into one large, congested, hell-hole of traffic and noise and business. Nothing matters here but money and business (thanks, Andrew Young) – people are stressed to the max from the traffic and working. I need nature, I thrive in it. I dont’ want to be alone, but I need space, peace, and quiet. Asheville, here I come.

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Ariel February 2, 2018 at 10:41 PM

Tell wherever you go there you are to the people in Syria facing hell right now.

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Dan April 9, 2018 at 11:23 PM

Stef Daniel, what about when the places you move keep changing too fast?

I was born in Southern California in the 1970’s, surrounded by orange groves, and living in what seemed like paradise. Fast forward 20 years and 2 million new residents and I couldn’t stand the place. The pollution, the crowding, the lack of green space, the rudeness that seems to come living in an overpopulated area.

So I moved to a suburb of Portland Oregon in 2006 and what do you know, it turns into the fastest growing city (percentage wise) on the entire west coast. Going from about 8,000 residents when I moved here to over 20,000 now. With new, 4 story tall, apartment complexes going in at an insane rate. Of course they keep adding sub divisions and condos and apartments, and improve the infrastructure ZERO.

My new home has turned into everything I hated about where I was born. Every free space is being built in the name of “progress”. The friendly small town vibe has turned into a typical rush, rush, push, push, city living. Just 5 years ago when I had my windows open it sounded like I was camping, wind blowing through trees. Now it sounds like any big city, sirens, traffic, honking horns, people yelling, etc.

Now what? Move again and watch another nice area get over developed? Move to Alaska or Siberia? The world is over populated. Is my frame of mind the problem or is the human race simply breeding too much and overpopulating the planet like bacteria in a petri dish?

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Jonathan June 11, 2018 at 7:46 PM

I appreciate the positivity of the article and its aims, but I do think it downplays a bit that different places are, well, different. You can’t ever “make” yourself happy somewhere you hate. You can be as happy as you can be, make the best of the bad situation, that’s definitely on you. And ultimately I’d argue that where you live isn’t the main or even one of the three main reasons for being happy or unhappy, BUT it can seep into everything that you do. I’m stuck in my hometown for about two more years before I finally leave to my dream city, and I grew up here, I’ve spent much of my life here (lived in Los Angeles for about 4.5 years), but I have nothing in common with the vast majority of people in this city nor do I like the weather or the culture or anything else about it. I know the hard work that I do is ultimately what will make me the happiest, so I need to focus on that, but day to day, where you live can eat at your ambitions, your mood, your attitudes about life, which makes it harder to do those more important tasks and focus on the good. If it was just about “having a better attitude,” then you could argue nobody should ever move, because it’s all the same thing, it’s just your attitude. I think we all know that’s not true or accurate.

There’s also the reality that the human mind, once it decides something, has trouble thinking differently. I know in this city, I probably notice everything I hate far more than I would if I lived in my dream city. I’d be more forgiving because I’d make excuses for it. I have experience with this, even. When I lived in Los Angeles, because of the film industry, I always made excuses for the city because I felt it was where I’d always live. I was able to convince myself I loved it for about 3 years, until I realized I was just kidding myself and it was honestly a horrible place to live. No place is perfect, but some just really suck. The people make a difference, your unique experiences with the people of a place, though that can be challenging too because either you’re part of the main culture or the counter-culture. If you live in liberal cities and you’re a libertarian, it’s going to be harder to fit in. So you need something else in common, like with LA I loved how everyone was into filmmaking and I found nobody really talked politics honestly, we were all too busy talking film. The problem is the competitive nature leads to a lot of fake people and users, which you have to be equipped to handle. It’s not easy making friends in that situation.

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Helen September 9, 2018 at 8:55 AM

I agree with you about the positive theme of the article illuminating that people should make an effort and give things more time before leaving a place. There are however restrictions on what some places can offer. If the place doesn’t offer the right kind of people & culture for someone, it won’t change. I’ve finally made a decision to leave that’s long overdue. I stayed for the money at the sacrifice of fun, vibrant people & my own lack of decision about finding the next right place to be that has all I want. I have to accept no place will be perfect! And after living in regional towns for 5 years I gotta get me to a cosmo city. I probably could’ve made more of an effort with people here but the effort I did make told me my kind of people aren’t here and they have no energy or vitality. Its a government administration town – great outdoors space, in fact an abundance if it, but it’s empty and most night spaces are eating establishments – b.o.r.i.n.g. I feel social media has had a huge impact on increasing social isolation locally – particularly small country towns. Some people are inherently lazy – if a small town doesn’t have much to offer in nightlife or social groups and people can chat online, many have stopped going out. I’m rambling. Some people are more nomadic than others and also learn more about a place quicker than others – I feel these people may need changes of location a lot more than other people. Good luck everyone. If I could give you a word of advice – if you feel it’s time for a location change – do it & do it soon! I feel I’ve missed out on a lot of social interaction, love & fun living where I live and I can’t get the time back. Don’t wait.

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Josh October 4, 2018 at 10:42 AM

I think the article makes some valid point and most commenters have, too. I tend to agree that certain areas fit certain people better. What I think this article is trying to say – and missing the mark a little – is that take the time to look around, be involved in your current community, and make an effort to make yourself happy and engaged where you live. Don’t simply say you hate it. I personally know people that hate where they live but they can’t tell me WHY. It sounds like most of the commenters have already tried to make it work where they are and they know themselves better than to keep trying to get blood out of a turnip.

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I Hate Houston April 10, 2019 at 7:55 PM

So it’s me and not the:

100 days of 100 degrees each summer
Annual 100 year floods
Congested traffic, under-built freeway system, and pot-hole filled side streets.
Corrupt (at the highest levels) and incompetent city government
Outrageous property taxes
Stifling humidity in summer and pollen in spring
Pervasive poverty (or at least an greatly extended lower middle class)
(and if that isn’t enough, no way to watch any sort of hockey anymore except on TV)?

I think not!!

Can’t wait for retirement!

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Al July 8, 2019 at 7:34 PM

Toronto. Enough said. Holy moly.

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Lynne September 9, 2019 at 10:10 AM

The DMV is a nightmare. Born and raised in NJ and moved to MD 2016. Not nay is the traffic horrific, everywhere you look there is construction for new residential developments like there aren’t already enough drivers on the over crowded roads. I’ve become a hermit because I don’t want to deal with weekend traffic. I’m not ready to slow down and truly miss the convenience of NJ transit.

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Bernardo September 13, 2019 at 11:04 AM

I’ve lived in a southeastern US city for 15 years. 15 years ago was then, today local taxes are going up fast, traffic is getting worse, road rage is rampant, behavior-altering heat and humidity lasts six months. I’m looking for a new locale but my fear is that I might end up in a place worse than this. You never really know a place until you’ve lived there. My perception of this place is much different today than when I arrived. It takes time to form an opinion. That is the scary part of moving to a new area. Things might actually end up worse. I’ve read horror stories about ex-pats who now feel stuck where they are.

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