How many have relocated to be closer to outdoor activities?

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Thread starter #1
I am seriously considering relocating to CO or the Pacific Northwest. My reasons for living in Florida no longer exist. I am not a fan of the wicked heat and humidity and I miss the mountains and the green spaces. Just wondering how many of you have made some kind of big relocation and what your experience was?
 
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#2
I moved to Colorado 15 years ago from Kentucky when I was 25, wanted a change of scenery and be closer to more outdoor variety. Stayed in CO for 7 years...2 in Denver, 5 in Grand Junction. I spent a summer in southern Utah (Boulder) before moving back to KY.
One of the best decisions I've made. I loved Grand Junction after discovering the Colorado Plateau, best of both worlds with mountains and desert. Made lifelong friends and realized the canyon country is my true love.

Back in KY for the past 8 years, this will always be home but I make a trek out to CO/UT every year for 2-3 weeks. Might move back some day, who knows.

My advice...get the hell out of Florida and go for it! Take the risk, enjoy the adventure.
 
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#3
I moved to Grand Junction from the suburbs of Chicago about 8 years ago to get away from the city and be closer to the outdoors. It's the best decision I have ever made. I have no regrets and am much happier here. I love exploring the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains almost every weekend.

It is a little funny that my main reason for moving here originally was so I could explore the backcountry with my Jeep (I was a big four-wheeler at the time....my trips to Moab with my Jeep were how I came to know Grand Junction in the first place). However, now I mostly use my Jeep to go hiking and backpacking :)
 
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#4
This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I'm curious to read about others' experiences as well.
 
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#5
I moved to Colorado from Los Angeles 4 years ago. My reasons were due to quality of life and cost of living rather than a deliberate attempt to get closer to outdoor activities. I "discovered" the outdoors after moving here. I don't regret it for one second. Best decision I ever made.
 

MVS

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#6
I grew up in MIchigan's Upper Peninsula, in a little town on the shore of Lake Superior. Most of you won't know this obscure area, which is essentially a forest with a couple of roads and a few small towns, a beautiful woodland of lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. As a boy I was accustomed to the woods, swimming in the lake, and hanging out by the river, before college drew me to more urban areas in Michigan, where I started my career. Nineteen years ago I moved to the Milwaukee area.

My traveling life has focused on the national parks. I took my first trip to Canyonlands knowing little about the place and nothing about Moab itself, and certainly with no idea that I would fall in love with it all. The hiking turned out to be fantastic, the Shafer trail a daring challenge to an overly-cautious guy who avoided risk, and the landscape beyond breathtaking. By now, I've done the White Rim Road and will do it again this October, when I'll also see Glen Canyon and The Maze. Just about every time I read I discover new things I want to try somewhere in Utah, and I wonder if I will have enough time in life to do all of them. I've also discovered the Black Hills in South Dakota and developed a fondness for Yellowstone, which I'll visit for the third time this year.

Would I move to be closer to the outdoor adventures that fill my daydreaming hours? Sometimes I think about it and consider how feasible it would be to move, but in the end it is away from my family, and that takes precedence. I'm always full of envy when I read this site, and imagine that everyone else here has a wonderful life where every weekend they pack their gear into their Jeep Wrangler, grab their photo equipment, and head out to explore and relax in the back country with their ever-faithful dog, but I know that I have to content myself with my trips and making them the best that they can be.

Yes, I will visit Utah as long as I am able, and also South Dakota and Yellowstone, and I;ll see the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, but in the end, I am a natural mid-westerner, and I need to have rivers that are blue, moderate temperatures, big deciduous trees and SHADE!!! It's useless if you just envy the opportunities that others have. The better option is to make the most of what is close to you, and if you live in the Midwest,it may be different, but there is still much to explore and to love!
 

genez

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#7
Moved here to Park City, UT about 3.5 years ago from Buffalo, NY. Have since moved and own a home in SLC. I lived in Buffalo for 30 years (my whole life) and we decided to just to up and leave. We were coming out here to visit about once a year and I love the outdoors and the mountains. I guess we initially moved out here so my wife could be closer with her sister - but they've since had a falling out and we don't talk anymore.
My primary reservation was employment, but it ended up being easier than we both thought - we came out and visited for 10 days and both landed the jobs we wanted and put a deposit on an apartment before we moved. We spent about 2 months tying up loose ends,sold half our stuff and loaded up the biggest trailer we could tow with our vehicle and made the drive out.

We do miss our families and friends back east, but I don't think I could ever move back. Our quality of life here is the best we've ever had. No regrets.
 

Wyatt Carson

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#9
When I was about 10 years old we lived in the Sonoran desert. Some of the places we lived before that and after that seemed plain, drab and unexciting comparatively (to me). So I did move back on my own and with the luck of the southwestern boom times it was also a full of stellar economic opportunities so I found it satisfying on all levels. The top five adventure states are very close at hand, the one I live in, AZ plus UT, So Cal, CO and NM. My town is surrounded by 5 mountain ranges (we call them sky islands) and of course the vast public lands of the west.

It was well worth it.
 

Wyatt Carson

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#11
Bob Wire's post is profound...

Moved here to Park City, UT about 3.5 years ago from Buffalo, NY. ...
Girlfriend, the one that I married also came across the country from Buffalo where she had lived all her life. She saw this place on one of her "college trips" with some of her girlfriends and decided to come out here to live. I'm glad she did, the best adventure buddy ever...
 
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#12
I met my girlfriend here in Grand Junction, but she is originally from Milwaukee.

Girlfriend, the one that I married also came across the country from Buffalo where she had lived all her life. She saw this place on one of her "college trips" with some of her girlfriends and decided to come out here to live. I'm glad she did, the best adventure buddy ever...
 
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#13
I moved from urban VA to the mountains of CO in 1982, at the age of 21. As a teen, fishing the local rivers and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains whetted my appetite for other bigger adventures in wild country. I received a degree from Colorado State and moved around the west and Alaska for, well, probably too long, but being able to work and play around the west was an awesome second childhood, and it was addictive. I was fortunate to work in some truly awesome places. Being paid to work outdoors and research all kinds of predators and a host of other species truly was unforgettable. After moving to AK for graduate school, I am now married and raising 2 kids up here. I cannot imagine how dull and unsatisfying my life would have been had I stayed back east. There was nothing about my "being" that was satisfied back there.

I went back for my 15 year high school reunion. I was a bit intimidated as I had never made more than 20 k a year and in no way by most American standards was I a "success". I was always semi-broke, living out of my truck for half the year, no benefits, no security, and nearly feral. Here I was commingling with guys (it was an all-male school) that were lawyers, doctors, CEO's, engineers, etc and they were the least happy group I could have imagined. I realized at that point that I had lucked out into a truly great life by getting the hell out and going where I wanted/needed to be.

TLDR version: Get out, get out NOW. Follow your dreams and enjoy yourself.
 
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#14
We all have similar stories, I guess. I moved from Tennessee to Colorado for 3 years, and then I moved to Utah for 9 years. About a year and a half ago I moved back to the south-east to be close to family. It's nice to see family more often, but after 12 years out West I miss the Rockies almost every day. I'm going to enjoy seeing my nephews while they're little and then I'm going to move back out West when they're old enough to spend summers backpacking with us. In the meantime, I'm spending about 3 weeks every year backpacking out West.

Once it gets in you, it's hard to get it out. I used to say, "You can take the boy out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the boy." I'm not so sure I believe that, anymore.
 

Wyatt Carson

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#15
...but after 12 years out West I miss the Rockies almost every day....
a similar thing happened to me while living in Hollywood Florida for a year. The Gulf Stream was magnificent but I swear a 2-foot wave could have swamped the entire east coast of FL. It is a flat, 2 dimensional world and without a striking backdrop of mountains there was something major missing. The lack of deserts was just as disheartening.
 

Jackson

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#16
I'm probably younger than most on here, but I'll add my two cents. I originally came to Utah from Indiana for college. I have family in a few of the Western states, so I had seen how great it is out here on many occasions. Regardless, I still had every intention of living in the Midwest or on the East Coast after graduation. The plan was law school after graduation, and I figured I could go back to Indiana for that. Graduation got closer, and I realized leaving here was not what I wanted to do. So I applied to law school at the University of Utah and got admitted a few weeks ago. I start there in August, and I'd really like to live in the one of the Western states after I'm done. So I guess you could say I'm staying out West at least in part due to my love of the outdoors.
 
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Thread starter #18
Thank you all for your input. You have encouraged me to make a big move. As some one who tends to be very cautious and pragmatic it is a big decision, but one I think is worth making. My goal is next spring/summer. That gives me 14-16 months to orchestrate it all. Looking very seriously at Colorado Springs. Big enough to support my work and small enough to not be outrageously expensive. Planning on a trip out there in September. Half backpacking, half scouting apartments, neighborhoods, and employment.
 

slc_dan

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#19
Thank you all for your input. You have encouraged me to make a big move. As some one who tends to be very cautious and pragmatic it is a big decision, but one I think is worth making. My goal is next spring/summer. That gives me 14-16 months to orchestrate it all. Looking very seriously at Colorado Springs. Big enough to support my work and small enough to not be outrageously expensive. Planning on a trip out there in September. Half backpacking, half scouting apartments, neighborhoods, and employment.
FYI, if you haven't yet learned, Colorado Springs is known as the kinda Evangelical/Strongly Christian area in Colorado. Might be great for you, might not be great for you either.
 
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Thread starter #20
FYI, if you haven't yet learned, Colorado Springs is known as the kinda Evangelical/Strongly Christian area in Colorado. Might be great for you, might not be great for you either.
Hmm, not no go for me, but something to consider.
 

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