Here is the video of our top five states:
South Carolina is beautiful, especially the coastal areas. It has the beautiful, successful city of Charleston. We learned that the city are actively courting tech companies, which makes it a smart city and a city that is likely to continue to do well. It has beaches. It has one of the friendliest populations in the country. Its nature and architecture are attractive. Charleston in particular was full of people who loved living there and were extremely open. Even if we don’t move to South Carolina, this is another place we’d both love to visit in greater depth.
We only spent a few days there, but we really enjoyed all of it. It is a lovely, affordable state.
The only cooler state that really popped for us enough to be in the top five was Oregon. Oregon is a little more expensive, but it does have the extreme advantage of having Puppet Labs, one of the companies Chris is most suited to work for. It also smells amazing with all its epic pine forests. Portland is a fun, trendy city and we know people there, so that is always a plus too. People in Portland seem to love Portland, so that is also always a plus, It is also one of the most bike friendly cities in the country.
We spent about a week in Oregon, in part due to needing a rest and wanting to spend time with our friends, but also because it’s just a great place to be.
3) New Mexico
New Mexico is epic, beautiful and full of extremely friendly people. The climate is extremely pleasant and the sun sets are some of the best in the country. The Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area seemed like a place that works and there is some work there as well. It seemed like an affordable place as well where the only especially high cost is water. We also really enjoyed South Western culture, which made it a comfortable place to be for us.
We only spent 3 days in New Mexico, but we very much enjoyed all of them.
We spent a week in Florida. We saw several cities in large part because there are more major cities in Florida than most states. Florida is a very easy place to like. If we were able to live somewhat near the beach, this would be a lovely place to live. The Florida coast is what it is about. We didn’t even bother going to Orlando as neither of us want to live in a swamp and the further you go inland, the more swampy it becomes. Florida has the advantages of being beautiful, covered in beaches and having a more Midwestern style service culture than anywhere outside of the Midwest. It was also more affordable than we expected somewhere so beautiful to be, not to say we naively think that beach front property is anything like cheap, but it doesn’t seem like a heavily taxed state. Fuel and food were not especially expensive. We have heard some downsides from one of our Youtube followers (if you aren’t close to the sea, the bugs get quite bad, the driving can be bad because of all the snow birds, etc), but Florida still has lots of perks. It has jobs due to tourism. It has great weather most of the year and frequent sun. It also has a few cities that looked like they could be viable. Whether we move there or not, we will definitely be back to visit this beautiful state, as there are still plenty of things we want to do and see there.
We spent a week in Arizona, in part because we were tired, but in even larger part because we didn’t especially want to leave. Arizona is stunningly beautiful, people were friendly and it looks like we can afford it. It also looks like there are jobs there in both of our fields. Arizona also has the plus of having lots of cool bits of tourism we haven’t done yet. We know that if we move there, we will have all the amazing things in the north of the state we haven’t seen yet that people tend to rate highly. It also has some excellent neighbors in Utah and New Mexico, both gorgeous states with friendly people as well. Even though it doesn’t have its own beach, it does have neighboring California if we just need to see the sea.
A minor plus for it is being a Safeway state. We have to have our curry sauces 🙂 We have been rationing out the massive quantity that we bought in the last Safeway state we were in (Montana) for use in Wisconsin during our job hunt.
On a more personal note, it also just clicked. We want to do this in a logical way, but of course, just liking something is important to when it comes to things like this. We both like being warm, in the sun and surrounded by epic nature. Arizona completely fits the bill on all those fronts.