Where to now?

So Joel hates his job.  This has been an ongoing issue for quite some time now; however, I wasn’t let into all of this until after I had Lila.  Joel would leave for work in the mornings saying, “You know what would be the best thing to happen to me today? They could fire me with a severance package.”  As you can imagine, it was SO COMFORTING to hear this as I held a newborn baby in my arms.  Anyway, Joel is dying to move ASAP while I try and nail my feet to the floor.  I am not a big fan of change, and have only changed cities 3 times in my life.  Joel is on the opposite end of that – by the time he was 17, he had lived in 20 different houses.  My parents still live in the same house since I was one.  Anyway, when we moved here, we never expected Huntsville to be a forever home, but now….I kinda want it to be our forever home.  But it just isn’t an option anymore.  My top cities I’d like to move to don’t have jobs posted for his profession.  BUT, we’ve found out that just by emailing others in the profession in that city, he can usually find a lead on a job that maybe hasn’t been posted yet.

Here’s where I need your help.

I need some ideas of places to move.  Here are some of my preferences:

  • Size – Ideally it’d be a little larger than Huntsville but smaller than a major city like Memphis or Atlanta.  I want there to be plenty of options of things to do on the weekend (and during the week for me while I’m at home with Lila), but without the 30 minute commute to run to the grocery store.
  • Location – Our family is in the South, so I prefer to stay somewhere in this area. But, as Joel and I have contemplated, it could be fun to live in a place out west just for a few years and then move back here once we want to get settled and have Lila in school.  Besides, I’m a Southerner at heart; I don’t know how to live out West.
  • Climate – um, here’s where I adore the South.  We don’t handle the cold very well.  Joel acts like it’s no big deal to throw a coat on, but let me tell you – homeboy is MISERABLE in the cold. He grew up in Fiji and in the Philippines for heaven’s sake.  He prefers to wear flip flops year round (which isn’t realistic).

Joel is in desperation mode and is willing to move anywhere.  This next city doesn’t have to be a forever home and could be just a transition city – WHICH COULD BE FUN (I keep repeating this over and over to myself).  However, I don’t want to get settled into another city and then be reluctant to move again.  Plus, it’d be almost impossible to take a quick trip to the beach or even visit our families if we were living somewhere like Denver.  I feel like the world is my oyster, but it’s a little overwhelming to look at a map and try to find out information about a city.

Any suggestions?  Where have you visited that you thought would be a great place to live?  The Carolinas?  Any places we should avoid?

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