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Awesome Job – Not So Awesome Location

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When I read the job description, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was exactly the type of job my husband was hoping to find (with his field, there can be quite a few variations for the actual duties a job could entail). I quickly emailed the job to him and brought the link to his attention.

He reviewed the job description, and agreed that it was exactly what he was looking for. The location also didn’t appear to be so bad. It was in Virginia, and I’ve heard some good things about the state from a reader.

“Did you look at exactly where this job is?” my husband asked.

Because I was so pumped about merely finding a job like that, I didn’t even dig deep down as to the location.

“There are over 2,500 people per square mile.”

At first, that number didn’t mean all that much. So I looked at the area where we currently live: 90 people per square mile.

Oh my…that’s a big difference. I looked at the area where I grew up and there are 80 people per square mile. What can I say? I’m a small town girl!

The city my husband spent his teen years in has 850 people per square mile. I lived there for about six months (during a past financial hardship), and I remember how much I didn’t like feeling crowded. I was extremely unhappy with the hustle and bustle. That’s with 850 per square mile. I think going up to 2,500 would be too much of a shock for us and in the end we wouldn’t be very happy.

We were hoping that there would be a less populated area within commuting distance of that city. Loading up Google Maps and looking at the satellite view of an area is a great way to check things like that out. The area is actually near Washington DC and it’s all heavily populated. Bummer.

Sadly, we will have to pass on that job. There’s a fine line we have to draw with this job search. Money is important, but we have to try to be true to ourselves and the type of simple lifestyle that we desire. Otherwise, we will end up very unhappy.

NOTE: You can find the info about where you live by going to City-Data.com.


44 Comments

  • Reply Christy |

    Too bad you don’t say where exactly the job is or what your idea of “commuting distance” is.

    I live outside the Northern Virginia megalopolis, on a dirt road on a mountain, with chickens, with neighbors who keep cows and goats and horses. Lots of folks around here commute in; they’re willing to put up with the traffic so that they can live out here in a rural paradise that’s only abut 60 miles from the center of D.C., while still earning big-city salaries. Some people live even further out and still see the commute and traffic as a fair trade off for rural living.

    I’d be happy to tell you more if you want to email me.

  • Reply FlatGreg |

    Ah, good old Northern Virginia. I grew up there and it was crowded then, but now it’s insane.

  • Reply Mrs. Micah |

    NoVa can be a nice area. And you could join our PF blogging happy hours!

    I came from a college in rural PA to live here and it was a bit of a shock…I think the worst part is actually the cost of living. If you can get past that, it’s not so bad.

  • Reply Jen |

    Hi there–I live in Nova (Fairfax County). Yes, tons of people, tons of traffic, and it is super-expense to live here (thank goodness we bought 10 years ago–our house has tripled in price/value since then). There are a lot of pluses, though, best public schools in the nation, great cultural opps, very diverse population, great food, etc. But if the people and congestion freak you out sight unseen, then you made the right move.

  • Reply Da Big D |

    I live closer to DC then Christy (Hi Neighbor!) about 30 miles outside. I have about 2 acres and live on a dirt road.
    The real problem isn’t the people, but the cost. The more you make the more it costs. But it really depends on where you live. You can live with a lot of people in 1 mile or no one within 1 mile.

    Heck I work with a guy who drives 1.5 hours each way! He lives in North Carolina where its cheap and gets big city pay. Its a trade off, but he does telecomutte 1 day a week as well.

  • Reply Dasha |

    Wow. I just looked up my hometown- Brooklyn- 34917 people per square mile. And it feels rather “empty” compared to where I work- lower Manhattan. Oh, perspective ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Clever Dude |

    Here in Rockville, MD, we have over 5500 people per sq. mile, but it doesn’t feel like it. Sure, during rush hour, there’s a lot of cars on the pike, but every other time it’s a breeze.

    And I grew up in an area with 500 people per sq. mile. That really seemed barren.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Christy – I’ll be emailing you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mrs. Micah – That’s funny because one of the things I thought of was that I could join all of you for a PF blogger meet-up LOL.

    Jen – A huge downfall of our area is that we don’t have much diversity at all. And the food? Well, at least it helps curb the temptation to eat out! A plus too, would be that you could probably find what you need at a store. We have very few choices when it comes to stores.

    But yes, the congestion is difficult for me to handle. When we lived where my husband used to live for that short period of time, I never felt at ease even after six months. I was a fish out of water.

    Da Big D – My husband doesn’t mind commuting too much. When we lived “in the city” he still commuted to another city 1 hour each way. He liked it as a sort of a wind-down or prepare for work time. That’s a big reason why we purchased our really fuel efficient car (which we are really thankful to have now with the high gas prices).

    I re-read my post, and I hope that no one thinks that I putting down the DC area by saying it’s not an awesome location. It’s just not an awesome location for us.

  • Reply Sherri |

    I do hope you and Christy email. I lived in and around DC for 4 years and there are definitely a lot of pluses and minuses depending on your priorities. I understand location being very important, though. When I was selecting grad schools to apply to I definitely took location into account, since I was going to be living there for at least 5 years. I ended up not applying to some top schools just because I couldn’t picture being happy living in some locations. Luckily, it all worked out and I’m at a great school in a location that is perfect for me. So here’s to you two finding such a location and job for your husband!

  • Reply alison |

    I’m going to ditto Clever Dude – I looked up my city and was shocked that we have 3205 people per square mile (about 225,000 total). It really feels like a small town with big city amenities. I’m definitely a small town girl also – the town I grew up in had 282 people. Maybe if the job is that amazing it would be worth some more research to see if you could make it work? Just a thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Minimum Wage |

    2,500 people per square mile! Horrors!

    Density is 4,000 per square mile where I live.

  • Reply Aristotelian |

    Tricia,
    I agree with others, you should be more open minded. You don’t say what your husband’s field is, but from the description of his search it sounds similar to my job market (I’m an academic). In my field, I can’t afford to be so choosy. At this stage in the job search, it can’t hurt to apply. Maybe you can accompany your husband on the interview trip and get to know the area. If your husband is in a field with a tight job market, this should not be a dealbreaker! The DC area has a high cost of living, but lots of opportunity for high paying jobs and great schools in the suburbs.

  • Reply Aristotelian |

    Let me add that I am from a big city, but I’m now moving to a town of 2,000. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would move to this location, but now it has really grown on me, and we are even about to buy a house there.

  • Reply Tricia |

    It has been very interesting hearing about everyone’s cities. It definitely gives some perspective!

    I did email Christy, and I look forward to her reply ๐Ÿ™‚ I also looked a little more into the area. I gasped pretty loudly when I saw the median home price. I don’t know what kind of salary the job would offer (it didn’t say), but we may not even be able to afford to live there with our combined income.

    In light of everything, though, my husband and I discussed it a little bit more and he may apply for the job to see what happens or to at least find out a little bit more. We’ll talk some more about it tonight.

  • Reply Sherri |

    PS – My city is over 9,000 per square mile. Never knew we were that “dense.”

  • Reply Chief Family Officer |

    I think it’s really wonderful that you have well-thought out priorities (people seem to panic too often when unemployed). You inspired me to check the population density where I live – over 6500 per square mile. Interesting!

  • Reply Mimi |

    Tricia,

    We’re military and moved to the DC area almost 2 years ago (our last assignment was rural Louisiana…population 1 runaway tiger, fifty locals, and the nearest bookstore 65 miles away).

    We live a bit farther south than the others (hi NoVA people!) in the Dumfries area and I can say we’re pretty pleased with just about everything we’ve been able to do up in the DC area. We rent a large house with a yard in a very nice area…it was too expensive to buy and I couldn’t deal with the traffic congestion further north.

    My husband works up in the Arlington area and commutes about 45 minutes each way, time he uses to get caught up on sleep or reading. We consider it a fair tradeoff for the excellent elementary school our daughter is in and the cultural things we’ve been able to share with her. Her favorite outing is the National Gallery of Art. Most of the museums and galleries have free admission and there’s always something fun to do. Driving south is also wonderful if you want to experience a different kind of adventure…the fall leaves are gorgeous in VA and horse country will take your breath away.

    Like you, I was really hesitant about encouraging my husband to take the position he’s in now, mostly because I’d heard about the high cost of living and traffic congestion. That being said, though, we’ll be leaving this next summer, and I think I’ll miss everything we’ve seen so far. Just trying to cram it all in before we leave is tricky :-).

    Best wishes to you, and feel free to email if you have more questions!

  • Reply arduous |

    I completely get your trepidation. I’m a big city girl myself, and I know I’d be pretty hesitant to apply to a rural town, even for the perfect job.

    However, I am a firm believer that it never hurts to apply, so I agree with other commenters that you should apply and take things one thing at a time. You might find an area that while still somewhat dense, has more of a rural feel, or the money might be good enough that you are willing to live in a more urban environment for a year.

    I don’t think you should take a job if you know for sure you’re going to be very unhappy, and kudos to you for doing your homework and knowing yourself well enough to know what you want out of life, but don’t turn down a job you don’t have yet. You never know. If this company likes your husband, they might be able to offer him guidance on a job in a more desirable location or they might be willing to pay a lot of money. And if another job pops up soon, you could use this job as a negotiating tactic. “Oh so and so is offering this much!”

  • Reply Colleen |

    Tricia,
    I grew up in the Washington DC area. I left the area for 4 years in the 80’s and moved back because I missed the area so much (as well as family). There are so many opportunities job, culture, history, etc. We live in a rural area in Maryland but many people commute to No Virginia. It depends on where you live and how long you want to commute, but it is still an exciting place to live and raise a family. It’s all what you make of it I guess. The biggest drawback in my mind is the cost of living. If your husband could take the train in and you live further out you would probably like it alot.

  • Reply Dedicated |

    Hi Tricia, I just checked out your site link for the City Data – so cool.

    Anyway, I plugged in my LITTLE town and felt I should comment. My town is perfect in size – and we came up 2339 per square mile. I figured we would be on the low end. I actually live 3-4 miles outside of town.

    If you can, maybe take a road trip and check it out. This size of a town is very comfortable. We know most everyone – drives the kids crazy ๐Ÿ™‚ Keeps us all safe.

    Also, reading the other data – I realized that it isn’t completely true. For instance, we have a huge gay/lesbian population. Yet, stats are showing 0% and folks aren’t in the closet – it just is. Another thing I saw just scanning, was school populations were below actuals. And the other big item for me, is we have a huge rehabilitation business for the mentally challenged in our area. This business gets those challenged and helps them to integrate into the neighborhoods, work and become self-sufficient (as much as they can be). They had this population very low, when in fact we have a huge population of these folks. This is big in my town and the whole community is really involved with helping these folks.

    Anyway, good luck – no matter which path you take.

  • Reply Jay Dee |

    Tricia …

    I’m a retiree and no longer in the job market. But during my time in the business world I had a chance to see the internal workings of the employers, and I will offer some unsolicited insights … hopefully without too much cynicism.

    Not applying for this job could be a major mistake, especially if the prospective employer will foot the costs for your husband (or both of you) to visit the place of employment for an interview and an orientation, both to the company and to the area.

    Even though you have no intention of taking the job, just the experience of preparing the application, a resume, and a cover letter … making yourself marketable and getting an invitation to come in for an interview and visit the company is a valuable training experience in itself. Too many potential employees feel that all they need to do is really want a job and they will be hired just by filling out an application. Not so. Competing for a position is a sales job on your part. You have to first make yourself marketable and then go beyond that to make yourself more desirable to the employer than all others who are applying. Your experience, adaptability, flexibility, confidence, knowledge, and skills are just a few of the qualities that an employer is interested in. You are not doing companies a favor by applying … they all are looking for somebody who can add to their bottom line, and you will have to demonstrate that you have a good potential for doing that. And it never hurts to do some Internet research to find out all you can about the company … what it does, how big it is, how well it is known, who key personnel are, how it is organized, etc. You can always drop some references to that information in the cover letter to the resume you supply with the job application. The interest you show in the company could be just the “leg up” you need to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd, to get your resume read, and to get you on the “short list” of prospective employees.

    The first thing you must do is to make your potential so apparent that you get the invitation for an interview. That’s a major hurdle to overcome in itself. If you apply and don’t get such an invitation, search for a reason why. You’d be surprised at the number of companies that already have somebody in mind for the job, but are willing to spend a little advertising money to see if there is anyone else in the marketplace who might be a better candidate or equally qualified but willing to accept less salary. And sometimes job advertisements are just a generic way of telling people in the field that the company is around and what fields it hires in. Maybe the job doesn’t even exist, but the company will accept applications and use them to build a data base of people who might be available should the company be awarded a new contract and have to “ramp up” its number of employees rapidly. Lots of other reasons may underlie the advertisement also … or it could be a legitimate opening. It can be pretty hard to tell at times.

    All you have to do is go through the experience of mailing out hundreds of resumes and getting no responses before you begin to get the picture. The trick is to not let self-doubt enter into your mind, and to find ways to eliminate the weaknesses in your plan for marketing yourself. Learning to market yourself in a one or two page resume is a skill in itself, but your goal must be to have a resume so appealing that it enables you to get a foot in the door, so to speak. And it should enable the prospective employer to extrapolate your attributes and envision how you could help the company’s profitability.

    And if you do get an invitation to come for an interview, just going through the trip, the interview itself, and the “courtesies” will be educational. (It certainly could help you later in knowing what to expect when you find a job opening in a geographic area that does present possibilities.) And during an interview you may also be able to “network” … meet people at that location that eventually could direct you to others in the field (or other companies to you) that work in geographical locations that are more acceptable to you. (You don’t want to make that an obvious goal during the interview, however.)

    One thing about higher profile jobs, the longer you are out of the field and the less current you are with recent developments … even the jargon of the job … the less attractive you will be to an employer. The exposure to work places, working conditions, salaries, benefits, the on going work, upcoming developments will all be beneficial background that you can call upon for any subsequent job applications. Nothing will put a resume into a wastebasket faster than an applicant whose work experience and knowledge does not match the requirements of the job. (“Of course I’m a fry cook at a fast food place, but I can develop any national advertising campaign you have in mind. Trust me … it can’t be that hard!” Yeah, sure … ) You can use an interview trip to give you exposure and lots of insight into the field.

    You have to be proactive in job hunting. Nobody is going to do it aggressively for you, and none of your competitors for the position really wants to help you out. In short, nobody looks out for you like you do. Figure out what it will take on your part, and just do it.

    It may even mean that you take a job for a year, even though it is not to your liking, just to add it to your baseline of experience and thereby show later prospective employers that you are not out of date. And you can use this short term job as a springboard to other companies and other positions elsewhere in areas that are more palatable to your tastes. Focus on your long term goals, just as you have done for working your way out of debt.

    Just a few rambling thoughts. Don’t be too naive in your look for work and work hard at doing it. Good luck.

  • Reply Beth |

    I agree with others who are encouraging you to be more open-minded with this. Sometimes we feel certain something won’t work and our limited vision closes a door of opportunity. It certainly can’t hurt for your husband to put in an application and see what happens. I suspect that you are anxious about the change/move in general and facing an additional challenge (or more extreme change than planned) is feeling like too much. I think the possibility exists that it could work out to be comfortable for you. The possibility also exists that it might not be ideal, but it would be a sacrifice that is required to resolve your financial issues and allow your husband to move forward professionally in his chosen field. It might provide the income you need now and give your husband valuable experience and connections to move to a more ideal situation a few years down the line. Keep the BIG PICTURE in mind.

  • Reply Sandy |

    Tricia –

    It would be good job-hunting experience for your husband to apply for the job in Virigina. You just never know what good things may come of an opportunity if you don’t try.

    As for moving – many years ago when I was first married, I had a good neighbor across the street whose husband was an officer in the service. I asked her once how they handled moving so often.

    She said their secret for their family (father, mother and five children) was to treat each new place as their permanent home. When they came into a new community, they joined a church, joined clubs, became active in local affairs, and made new good friends. They didn’t treat life as a temporary “about to move to the next place” situation but looked on each place as home and enjoyed the plusses of each place they lived.

    Larger areas generally have better medical facilities, a wider variety of shops, groups, restaurants, museums, parks, etc. from which to choose those that most satisfy you. There generally is something for everyone. Admittedly traffic is a bummer – blocks of life out of each day – but having lived in both very large cities and small towns, we have been able to enjoy the benefits of both.

    Sandy

  • Reply dogatemyfinances |

    My Texas city is 3000-4000, depending where you pick. And this city is SPRAWL, nothing at all like NoVa. Believe me, it’s hard to feel cramped here, unless you try.

    Methinks the population density, with nothing more, is not that useful of a calculation. Even NoVa is a big place with lots of options.

  • Reply mapgirl |

    Hi Tricia!

    Broaden your ideas to what is possible. Drop me an email too. For instance, I have co-workers and friends who live where there is low density (ex-urbia) and commute inward to suburbia and are pretty happy with their lives raising kids (both human or goat), chickens, etc. It all depends on how you structure stuff.

    One of my friends commutes into MD from Front Royal, VA three times a week so they can have a single-income with a SAHM to raise their kids. Another wanted to be able to hunt on his property and he’s a daily commuter. Another wanted lots of acerage (5+) and took a roommate to get it.

    It’s doable depending on what you really want and where exactly this job is. The DC area is vast and wide and there may be more possibilities for low density living than you think. After all, perception is not always reality (to ironically quote an Mercedes Benz ad).

  • Reply Anonymous Reader |

    “Jay Dee” is on the right track. Look at your husband through the eyes of a potential employer. Here’s a candidate with a spotty work history and no recent experience in his field. If there are competing candidates with consistent work hisories and current experience in the field, who would you pick?

    Your husband needs to approach every available job that is even remotely related to his field in a positive, aggressive manner. He needs to apply for every one of them and then he needs to sell every employer on his enthusiasm and attitude as well as his knowledge and skills.

    If the job he gets is in an area you don’t like, you just live with it. You do what “Sandy”‘s neighbor did and make the best of things. If your family’s top priority is to get out of debt and become financially secure, your husband needs to get permanent employment and move forward. A couple of years in a suburban environment won’t hurt if you and he are truly motivated.

    More excuses for not pursuing jobs are just that, excuses. It’s clear to me that your husband’s top priority is not getting out of debt and making the family financially secure. If it were, he would be doing what your readers are suggesting.

    Soon your husband will become essentially unemployable because of his employment history. What will your relationship be like if that happens? What kind of role model will he be for your son? If I were in your position, I would stop offering or accepting excuses and insist that he find and keep full time work.

  • Reply Jay |

    A lot of people are offering good advice here, and I agree that one has to keep one’s options open and be flexible. But in the end only you will live with the effects of your decision, and we’re talking about a decision that could take several years to undo if it is the wrong one.

    Living in the city is a real shock. I know because I moved to Brooklyn from Vermont. I came to love it but it wasn’t an easy transition, and it would have been much more difficult if I had had kids.

    The East Coast megolapolis is not the only place where one can make money. And corporate settings where you become “unemployable” if you don’t put the corporate system’s needs ahead of yours are not the only settings where we can make money. There are many ways to earn a living in smaller cities and in more entrepreneurial settings, too.

  • Reply Nine Circles |

    By all means, your husband should at least apply for the job. Depending on what kind of job it is, you never know how much an employer may sweeten the deal to make it more amenable if they really want to hire you. That could include telecommuting options or compensation for a longer commute if you want to live further outside the urban area. At any rate, there is nothing to lose by applying.

  • Reply chickpea |

    Wow – 90 people per square mile! That sounds like frontier to me… jk! I grew up in a small town in New Jersey, about a 35 minute commute to midtown Manhattan, where everyone knows everyone. My younger brother’s current high school history teacher taught some of the middle age teachers in the district – he’s in his 70s. Our football coach was a member of the high school’s football team when he went to the high school. We’ve been going to the same pizza shop for 20 years, and now that I’ve moved into the next town over (less than a mile from my parents) – the delivery guy is sure to tell me that my parents ordered pizza the same day or the day before. In short, I’ve always seen my town to be a small working class town.

    With a population density of 7914 people per square mile! It’s funny how perspective works, because 2500 people per square mile is still three times less than the density of the town I grew up in (population ~ 21,000).

    I agree with everyone else who’s suggested that you keep your options open and at least encourage your husband to apply. You never know what may happen, and your husband has nothing to lose by applying!

    Best of luck!

  • Reply Jen |

    I agree with everyone who thinks your husband should apply anyway – you never know. Plus, population density isn’t the absolute indicator of how a town will feel. I live outside of Boston in a small city whose density is 5544, but it has a small town feel to it. We have an old-fashioned Main Street, and the residents are very civic minded – people help each other and say hello to each other when they pass by on the sidewalk. It’s friendly and very comfortable. My town may still not be your cup of tea, but you might be surprised if you came here.

    My point is, you just never know. It isn’t just the number of people in an area, but also their attitudes.

    Oh, and cost of living is always relative… I’m sure DC/NoVA is more expensive than where you are now, but is cheaper than New York, and I’m fairly certain cheaper than Boston ๐Ÿ˜‰ So if your husband does apply and get the job, be sure to carefully consider cost-of-living changes. Plus, it isn’t always an apples-to-apples comparison… Sometimes one thing might be more expensive while something else is cheaper. For example, my housing in Baltimore was cheaper than my housing in Hartford, but car insurance was more expensive in Baltimore.

  • Reply Tricia |

    I just want to pop in and add a little tidbit to the conversation.

    The field my husband can work in is not related to academics. For a while (over 5 years ago), when he worked at a job in his field he was making $24,000/year starting salary and this was in a larger city.

    I almost feel that some commenters think this is a higher paying job – but it isn’t. For an interview for this job, it is highly doubtful that any reimbursement would be given. It would come out of our pocket.

    I’ll write more later when I can, about a few things that may also provide some insight.

    Oh, and my husband is working on the application today.

  • Reply nancy |

    Hi Tricia, I am born and raised in LA. I know that sounds strange to some here. It is all I know, I am used to it. It is NOT as bad as people make it out to be. Sure there are lots other more beautiful places to live. I do not make a lot of money by far,
    but I do not commute, do not need to take the freeways ever, and live 10 min from work.

    I HAVE seen rural area, I died and went to heaven! All I could think about was the commute!
    My whole point is, city life isn’t that bad at all! You’d be surprised, it not bad at all!

  • Reply angiebaby |

    Hi Tricia,

    I love reading your blog and I think you are a lovely person. Since it’s a new year, I’m not holding back on my opinion. I’d like you to think outside the box a little more in the future. The fact that your son is growing up in rural Wisconsin or Upper Michigan could be a disservice to him. I too grew up in a small Midwestern town and have lived in San Francisco, London, and L.A. – so I know a bit about life getting crowded. While public education is superb in the Midwest, how great can it be if there’s no diversity? Can’t you two try Minneapolis, Duluth, or Madison? Are you agoraphobic by chance? I’m frustrated with your inaction – call me Judgemental Judy but I think it’s time you guys grew up and got some responsibility. Where is that German work ethic midwesterners are known for?!? Quit whining and get working – there are 300 million people living in the U.S. – surely there is a happy medium, no?!

  • Reply Sherri |

    You’re very brave for having this blog and being so receptive to comments. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think I could handle so many people telling me what they think I should do!

  • Reply Frugal Babe |

    I grew up in rural West Virginia. We had neighbors who ate squirrels and my father took down the outhouse and put in an indoor bathroom in 1978 when we moved there. The current population density there is 26 people per square mile. Now, my husband and I live in a suburb of a fairly large city – population density of 3700 people per square mile. I don’t like being crowded, which is why we’re in the suburbs instead of downtown. I love life in the country, but I’ve come to appreciate the middle ground that the suburbs provide. I can walk to the grocery store, post office, and library – in fact, I only put about 5000 miles on my car each year, mostly for trips to see my parents or friends who live around the state. In any city, the population density will vary tremendously from one area to the next, with the inner city bringing the average way up. Our house backs to open space, and our street is so quiet that often 30 minutes goes by without a single car driving past. It’s possible to find a little oasis of slow country life within a bustling city – and still get all the benefits that go along with it. Good luck to you and your family, I hope that 2008 brings the job your husband is looking for in a location that you can all live with.

  • Reply amaranta |

    i like the city data website, although it freakd me out when i clicked on the ’28 registered sex offenders in your zip code!’

  • Reply Tricia |

    Wow! Lots of opinions!

    JayDee – Thank you for taking the time to write all of that advice. It is all very good, and we appreciate it.

    Beth – You are right. There is a lot to consider and that makes me nervous.

    Anonymous Reader – To be fair, I should mention that my husband has recent freelance work under his belt. Freelance work for very cheap pay for non-profits that he has done on his own free will (he approached them with the idea), in order to learn more about his profession and to keep his skills sharp.

    I bite my tongue because I want to publicly state what he does. I think that would change a lot of opinions. But I won’t, because sometimes the world is really small I don’t want this blog to somehow negatively affect his job search.

    angiebaby – Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion ๐Ÿ™‚ Lack of diversity does concern me, and that is a major problem with where we live right now. A few miles away, and it’s a different story. But I was raised in a rural location and I feel that I turned out fine. My husband did apply for a job in Milwaukee (that really wasn’t one he’d be happy at – but he could do) and one near Minneapolis. I’ve only mentioned this one job on here because it was a great fit for him. There have been other jobs applied for and I think some commenters are thinking he hasn’t applied to any but the one in VA. That’s not the case.

    I never heard of “agoraphobic” so I had to look it up. That doesn’t fit me. I don’t have a problem with visiting more populated areas and I don’t have a problem driving in traffic. From my experience, though, the pace of life is a lot faster. My life is not hustle and bustle (work time is an exception). I like to stop and smell the roses. I do know that I am an introvert and I do get refreshed by solitude.

    When we lived in the city, even in the wee hours of the morning all you could hear are cars going by and sirens every hour or so. Even going to the local park it wasn’t quiet. I like being able to go into the woods and being able to hear the worms eating leaves. Or going in my yard after a rain and hearing the popping of earthworms coming out of their holes. Of course, the piรƒยจce de rรƒยฉsistance is being on my porch and being able to catch a beautiful display of the Northern lights because there is very little light pollution.

    Some people can think that’s crazy to enjoy those things. I’m fine with that, because I’ve had friends who didn’t like the woods. Everyone has a right to their own likes and dislikes (as long as they don’t break the law and don’t hurt anyone). That’s how I feel about things.

    Ok. I went off a little there. But hopefully you see a little better where I am coming from.

    But it does bother me what you said about work ethic. My past employers would definitely disagree with you and so do I.

    Sherri – Sometimes the comments aren’t fun when they attack instead of inform. But, I always keep in mind that no one can know the whole story.

    Frugal Babe – Ah, squirrel. I haven’t had that in ages! You mentioned something about family. Us moving to VA would put us farther away from our families. We really would like to get closer if we can. If we go farther we have to make enough to be able to afford to visit more often and that would likely mean paying for plane tickets. Right now we make the trip usually once a year and that’s not enough.

    Ok, whew! Now it’s time to update my net worth ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Lynnis |

    I commute to northern VA from WV. We have an enormous house and lots of land at an affordable price. Our drive is just over an hour to work, but it’s spent looking at scenery, not traffic. Life is full of compromises.

    I do know someone who was living in rural southern VA and whose hubby got a job in Northern VA (with the requisite huge salary). So of course he thinks he’s redneck riche and buys himself a new hummer to celebrate. Then they moved up here and couldn’t afford anything close to work and were not prepared for the staggering cost of living. They are struggling and not better off than they were maybe small bucks in a small town.

  • Reply deepali |

    Hi Tricia,
    I live smack dab in the middle of DC and have been here for 12 years, including time spent living in NoVA. The thing you have to remember is the density measurements are average, and you’ll find that in this area, most people are concentrated in specific spots – namely around metro stations. If you don’t need to live on a metro line (or can live further out), you’ll be all right. I’ve got friends in Frederick County who live practically in solitude.

    The real question – what kind of housing situation do you want? Do you want things to be acccessible? Are you ok driving a lot? Do you need an active nightlife, etc? Can you handle a doubling in rent?

    I grew up in a suburb in Ohio – DC was my first real big city living experience. But I’ve traveled a lot, and I’d say, compared to other places (in the US and abroad), the DC area really has a small town feel to it.

    Feel free to email if I can help in any way.

  • Reply Zooey |

    I just want to add that you need to be true to yourself, but also that *some* places are what you make them. I grew up in rural northern Michigan, then Detroit, then lived in Chicago for six years. I am now living in San Francisco, and know that I’m a city person. I’m a white woman, but when I’m surrounded by a bunch of other people just like me, something just feels wrong. I also like far too many kinds of ethnic food NOT to live in a city!

    But, that’s me. I’ve also learned that a HUGE part of things is what I make of them. San Francisco is NOTHING like Chicago, in my opinion, which is not what I expected when I moved. My neighborhood isn’t dense, there are a few million less people, there’s more green space, etc. It feels like a slowly paced small town to me after living in Chicago – no exaggeration.

    Part of me wants to say “Oh stop it, move to a major population center and make some serious cash!” but only for a minute. Frankly, I admire you for being true to yourself and not compromising on what is MOST important – and on not giving up the MOST important things for money. Work is not everything, and I admire you for putting (and keeping) your foot down on that point.

  • Reply Money Blue Book |

    The DC suburban area ain’t so bad…it’s a popular place due to the great schools and high standard of living. Just don’t actually live in DC…the area is a crime haven.
    -Raymond

  • Reply Ian |

    Hi Tricia:

    I live in what is considered the NOVA area. I work in DC and have about an hour to an hour and a half commute. I will say the big reason for my commute is that we choose to live in a less populated area, and the view from the form of my house is of the Blue ridge mountians. As far a salaries go, they are generally higher here because of the cost of living. I will say this area was hit hard by the housing bubble so things are getting cheaper each day. It’s not so bad. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line.

  • Reply Chris |

    I don’t blame you for passing up on the job. If I moved to a place with 90 people per square mile I’d go insane from solitude! We have 3,000/mile here and there’s barely anyone around to talk to as it is.

So, what do you think ?