Planning to pack my bags…

I’ve been thinking about my departure from the City of Roses for quite a while. It took not only some soul-searching, but some real searching to come to a conclusion of where the heck I may want to go…

So, how does one really narrow down a place to land when the land is so expansive and the spaces are WIDE OPEN?

Well, it started with daydreaming. Wistful daydreaming. And lots of list making. And lots of Post-It Notes. Then, narrowing down the country a little bit. Where didn’t I want to live?

I love the Pacific Northwest, it’s where I’ve lived my entire life. I’m a die-hard Seattle Sports fan, but I’m OK with no longer being in the Pacific Northwest. So, that ruled out Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. And for that matter, California. So that narrowed the county quite significantly.

Google Maps.png

The interior of the country, I love the idea of a wide open space to roam and exist. However, one of the first things I identified is that I wanted to remain in a somewhat metropolitan city, and I really didn’t want to live in Texas. So, there went the middle of the country.

Google Maps1.png

I realized pretty soon that I wasn’t super excited, either, about the idea of living in the South. Too hot, too humid, to many storm worries (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) So, the South got the chop. Sorry about it. (Sorta)

Google Maps2.png

Now, here’s where things got interesting. I have this wall in my home-office that doesn’t have anything on it and as I work from home, during the day, I thought of all the cities that I would possibly want to live in. This created an interesting list. My first pass included the following:

Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
Indianapolis, IN
Columbus, OH, Cleveland, OH, Cincinnati, OH
Detroit, MI
Pittsburgh, PA
Rochester, NY
Wilmington, DE
Trenton, NJ, Newark, NJ
Richmond, VA

Then, I started with details about each city –


And teased this back in August:

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Filtered some of this data down by a couple criteria, first eliminating where there were duplicates within a state, then narrowing down by a few key things: Gay Bowling Leagues, Demographics, Cost of Living, and (this one seemed to be most important to me) proximity / travel to other areas/things I might want to explore.


Like a math problem, I eliminated the outliers and found the mean and landed on three finalists: Indianapolis, Columbus, or Pittsburgh. 

Once I got from the large list to a more manageable list. I really dove into what I liked/disliked about each city. Then I checked in with my work to confirm that I could take my job with me. (So I didn’t have to worry about that part of the equation.)

It came down to two finalists:


And the destination I chose is:


What do you think?


3 responses to “Planning to pack my bags…”

  1. Seems you thought it through.

    Great that you had choice with keeping your job no matter where you landed. Another city with bridges and a river will surely feel like home sooner vs later.

    Having loaded my car multiple times and moved across state lines, regions of the country and multiple time zones… My advice is this. Get out and about once you land. It is a trap to take time to settle then explore. Screw the boxes… Go out! Meet people and find your place in YOUR new community!

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