When thinking about how to start their lives, many people think about where to work, or in fact, what kind of work they’ll be doing. While these are, of course, very practical considerations, choosing the kind of community you want to live in is just as important.
There are various things to consider when choosing a place to live, and it will do you well in the long-run to think about each factor carefully and at length.
As mentioned, choosing a community where there are jobs that suit your profession is a very important consideration. While the rise of “telecommuting”, that is, working from home via online conferencing, has lessened the need for people to be in the office physically, you still need to think about the spaces you’ll be spending time in after work.
In one study, researchers found that cities with high volumes of creative people tended to have a culture that propagated artistic talent. In another study, cities with high concentrations of entrepreneurs saw a proliferation of a capitalist mindset. Researchers call this a “clustering force”, and is the result of similar people flocking to the same physical space and elevating their expertise thanks to their proximity to one another.
Not only does moving to a community with high concentrations of people in the same industry as you a good way to improve in your industry, it also helps you find better employment opportunities and better career paths. The networks you can create in these specific communities can not only provide you job security, it also provides you an opportunity to mix and mingle with people of the same interests.
Skylines and Urban Beauty
It might not be the first thing to consider, but the physical beauty of a city is actually an important factor in deciding where to move. According to a recent survey, people who gave high ratings for their community’s aesthetics also enjoyed a higher rate of overall satisfaction with their community.
This is because being surrounded by aesthetically pleasing buildings, streets, monuments, parks, and other spaces can psychologically and emotionally uplift people. Studies conducted by researches in the University of Barcelona showed that cities with large amounts of greenery enjoyed a healthier and happier citizenry.
Rest and Relaxation
A pretty city, of course, is useless without recreational opportunities. When relocating, always consider the kind of rest and relaxation facilities that your community offers.
These opportunities, of course, depend on your tastes: a person who enjoys arts and culture might not have plenty of places to go in a city full of businessmen and entrepreneurs who enjoy clubbing and partying. Likewise, outdoorsy types who enjoy a little bit of hunting or fishing might not enjoy a community that focuses on museums and theater offerings.
Find a community that can satisfy your recreational passion and you’ll find your day job so much more bearable, if not enjoyable.
Good Weather and Nature
It’s been a comedy trope since time immemorial: people from the east coast are rude, but warm, while west coast types are lazy, but friendly. But is there actual science behind this?
The theory that climate affects behavior actually stems from the 19th century. In his “Frontier Thesis”, prominent historian Frederick Jackson Turner posits that the American love for freedom and independence stemmed from the people’s occupation of the frontier, with the wild, often harsh, landscape teaching people how to be innovative and building a hardiness that ensured a long life in vicious surroundings.
As time went on, this theory was used as an explanation for the different temperaments of people living in vastly different geographies: people in the east coast are subjected to brutal winters, which taught them the necessity of being curt, but also teaching them that community is essential to survival. Meanwhile, those living in the west coast enjoy balmy, more relaxed climes that allowed them to be more laid-back, while generations of immigrants from both further inland and across the seas taught them to be more open and friendly.
While it’s not a hard science, considering the climate of your future community does play a significant role in shaping and affecting our individual personalities: those wishing to live in the northeast must have sturdier constitutions, while people seeking out warmer climates need to be able to relax and be open minded.
Proximity to Family and Friends
Setting out on your own and forging your own path is definitely exciting, but no man is an island. Eventually, we will long for the comfort of familiar faces, friends, and family.
Finding a community that is near family and friends is an important consideration to make before going to a new place. In fact, economists calculate that people who moved far away from their hometown spend around $135,000 a year just to see family and friends. So if you’re moving to a new and far place, make sure that the community you move to will have jobs that can pay for your trips back home.
Cost of Living
Perhaps one of the most important considerations when shopping for a new community, the cost of living can vary wildly depending on which part of the country you move to. People from the Midwest can be shocked at prices in the coast, while those moving from big cities to the heartland can find that their money can stretch out longer than back home.
While it would seem that moving to a city with a low cost of living is the obvious choice, it can have drawbacks; properties might not be to your liking, communities might not be a match to your personality, or other factors. Meanwhile, cities with high costs of living can have more opportunities, more great places to live in, but all for a high price.
Figure out whether or not your new job can afford you a life in your community of choice. Cross-reference various expenses you might make with the potential salary you can get.
Home is Where The Heart Is
No matter where you go, it’s important to remember that any community can be home if you work hard enough. Be open-minded and get close to neighbors, and always try to find the positive in every situation. You’d be surprised at the kind of home you can build if you just keep your eyes, mind, and heart open!