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What Keeps You Where You Are?

Wherever your current home is, why do you stay there?

I stay in Louisiana due to fear of the unknown. I have what I consider a really good job. I have a decent income and the whole typical benefits package.

But, what I have that is unusual in my profession is that I support four really awesome attorneys who are essentially my direct "bosses." None of them is a micro-manager; all of them are smart and easy to deal with; all of them put up with my quirks - including often wanting to leave early on Fridays. 🙂 I have freedom of movement within reason. I put my time in and do my work and I get along with each of them very well.

I could go anywhere in the country and get a job. My fear is the unknown. Working for a jerk. Somebody who tells me you HAVE to take lunch at noon and take scheduled breaks. Somebody who requires x days notice of my desire for time off. Somebody who doesn't talk to me like an equal human being. Somebody who micro-manages - "How's your workload? What's on your plate? Did you finish that expense report I gave you an hour ago?" Et cetera.

That's why I stay in Louisiana. The two best side benefits are the nice weather most of the time and a relatively low cost of living.

When I retire or win the lottery, I will be happy to relocate.

What keeps you where you are? Under what circumstances would you relocate, if ever?

BlueWave 8 Feb 20

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I stay where I am because for the first time, in a LONG time, I am needed.
I care for two small humans every day, after school. I get them off the bus, make
sure everyone has a snack, the big one does his homework, and keep them from
getting into too much trouble before their parents get home. During the summer, I
make sure no one drowns, or kills one another.
If you ask them what my 'job' is, they say, "to keep us safe".
Best job I've ever had.

Very rewarding, indeed.


Absolutely nothing. I'm hitch hiking to arizona this coming weekend to get out of the cold. I'm going to try to survive for a couple of months in the desert. It ought to be a great adventure. When I get back to civilization, I'll tell you guys all about it. Someone will probably have to tell me to shut up about it.

That sounds very cool! Good luck.


I like these kind of questions because it gives me a chance to brag. I have lived over the world and country. Seattle became the best place I had found and it became my home. Later I had a long distance relationship which turned into a marriage. My late partner, from Texas, fell in love with Seattle at first sight. She also had the jitters about moving someplace she didn't know until her boss reminded her of her adage one must sometimes get out of their comfort zone to progress. After a number of years she felt there was a lack of community in our neighborhood. We then met someone and discovered an island in what is known as the Salish Sea. We visited here for several years and then moved. The sense of community, natural beauty and energy is unmatched anywhere I have ever been. My smallish island is head and shoulders over all the other, much larger islands and even the state! (which is provable)

Being retired helps me but there are lots of others struggling to make a living but willing to do so just to stay here. I know a young woman (who is a space engineer) who was living an a tent on a beach front park with her blind dog who was determined to find a place here (she did). I have a good deal of self sustainability, lots of great volunteer opportunities, friends. The island is progressive and atheists are aplenty and vocal (at one time there were 4 couples that were members of FFRF).

You bet fear of the unknown is a big impediment especially for a woman. It really helps to have connections and a marketable career. Unfortunately, Seattle has become difficult because the growth has created a traffic and affordable housing nightmare.

Thanks for sharing, Jack. I am envious. 🙂 My loose intention for time is to return to the Pacific Northwest. But who knows?

@BlueWave FYI I have put it out that I am a member of an Int'l travel group called SERVAS []. I am a host and host numerous people male and female, young and not so young (in Portland they are called honored citizens). I enjoy hosting and showing people around.


I have a job that I love, plus my kids live here in the Houston area.

balou Level 8 Feb 20, 2018

You’re very fortunate. It means so much to have a good relationship with your work, and in my experience, it’s not easy to find. I wouldn’t give that up except for the most extreme of circumstances.
I could probably move somewhere else now because I’m retired, and I wouldn’t mind better weather, but I have friends and family here, and moving is a lot of work and expense. I’ll say inertia is probably what’s keeping me here... and I like it well enough.

skado Level 9 Feb 20, 2018

I did all my adventuring when I was in my twentys- hitchhiked all over Europe and Noorth Africa, mostly alone. Lived in a commune, occupied houses in Amsterdam, marched in countless anti-Vietnam War marches. Had my kids in the commune and then started thinking on how to raise them.
Bought this house from 1860 because the vibes in it were strong. College degrees, interesting work, many opportunities. A large city close enough to commute. My little hamlet with good neighbors. Planted things. Now I am here for good. My neighbors all know and love me ( or at least tolerate me) and I don't feel the itch to move anymore.


I am stuck here in the mean time because of college. My job is above average for my area and my experience. I'm only 21 after all. But as soon I get my associates I'm hitting the door to move to procure my bachelor's and then masters further down the road c: .

Do you already know where you will go for your bachelor's?

@BlueWave Not as of yet, I know the degree I need to obtain. I mean I just started my very first semester so I'm kind of rushing things, but I like to plan out my future. You know the whole phrase "shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars". The only degree for my masters that has interested me is the..."Master's specialization in Computation in Neural and Artificial Systems" from "Radboud University" here is a link if you want to see what I am talking about. " [] "



that sounds serious

@btroje a weighty matter for sure

Blame Newton, before he discovered it, people could fly.


I grew up an army brat so nothing keeps me wherever I am. So far post college I moved after 4 years in Corpus. Moved to El Paso to get to a bigger city. Now 2 years in El Paso, still looking to move to an even bigger city. St Paul MN is a high option and in the vicinity of San Francisco is a high option.

Myah Level 6 Feb 20, 2018

Twin Cities are one of the better places to live in the US. At least I think so 🙂 . Probably more expensive than El Paso but a helluva lot cheaper than San Fran. Have you been here before?

I have been there for an interview but didn’t get it. A great friend recommended it to me as he had grown up there. I also have family that has moved there and they all recommended it.

My company has a sister refinery there and I am waiting for the opportunity to transfer

Was gonna say there's lots of people on this site, including me, who would be willing to show you around but it sounds like you already have folks to do that. Which companies refinery?

If I ever get there I wouldn’t mind that. It’s always great to meet fellow atheists in a new city


Sounds great!


Ohhhh, hang onto those bosses! I worked at a law firm and had exactly the opposite experience. You HAD to take break at a certain time. If I had a doctor appointment and it went 15 minutes over the hour I was allotted for lunch, instead of being able to just stay 15 min later I had to either take it unpaid or use vacation time. The attorneys were super stuck up too. If I saw them in public they wouldn't even say hi!

But to answer your question, right now my daughter is the only think keeping me where I am. She graduates next year so I'm trying to determine where I'll go. If my parents are still healthy, I may move to South Carolina (I'm in MN now). Otherwise I'll just move to the Twin Cities. I like my job well enough but I'm an administrative assistant and I can do that anywhere. The company I work for is good but also has some annoying things so I don't feel super married to them.

Second one in this post that's mentioned the Twin Cities. C'mon! The more the merrier.

@kmdskit3 I'm SOOOO tired of MN winters. It makes me a hermit and not want to go anywhere or do anything.

Yeah, even with my joints I still like the winters. Good luck!


I like where I am. The weather's great, sun almost always shines. I have a wonderful career that pays well with a fairly high standard of living and opportunities for time off with money to travel.


My son . His mother convinced me to move to the hellhole that is Burnley, England , and when he's old enough in gonna ask him to move somewhere else with me .


Only my children or I'd be gone like the wind


First of all read the blog Fascinating workplace discussions.

What keeps me in Omaha. 3 adult kids, one grandchild, one on the way. I've already moved 23 times, I really don't want to move again. Courtesy of the military I've lived in Europe and Japan, and all over the US. I could move again, but I'm pretty vested in being near the grandbabies as my kids rarely lived near grandparents. I could get a job almost anywhere but really I'm 60, I don't wanna change if I don't have to.


I live in Northern Ireland, now I am retired I don't think I'll be moving again. I moved with my children so many times in their lives my daughter gave me an ultimatum that she would never again move with me.


I'm too broke to move anywhere, and I'm in a mortgage for at least another year. Beyond that though, my mom lives in the same town I do, and she's getting up there in age. She's done so much for me that it would feel wrong to move out unless I had a damn good reason. Once my finances are in the black again, the possibility will pop up, but I've got a long way to go.


When I was younger I would move with a sense of adventure. Now I agree with the fear of the unknown. Plus I built my own house here from the ground up.I have to pay off the land but after that I will have no bills unless I buy a new vehicle. I am not sure I could recoup the cost if I moved and I sure couldnt redo what I have done here at this late date

and now I have paid it all off


I have a special needs child who will need help from family after I'm gone. I stay here so that she will have that security and a connection to her family.


Interesting read, @BlueWave. Ty. This site has so many interesting people and topics!

Finances are always an issue re locating, naturally, as is the family and friends issue. Yet, I would travel ANYWHERE, that was reasonably safe. I adore meeting new people, seeing new places, learning learning learning, expanding my horizons.

Actually, I crave all that! 😀 !!!


My kids, the food, the people, good fishing, great crawfish, got a decent job where I bounce from company to company where the moneys at. Oh and I do like the environment in Louisiana. People are a ok for the most here.


I am taking care of my elderly Mother in her home so we can avoid the nursing home. After she passes I'm really wanting to go to N.M.
I don't really like it here, this where I grew up and I don't care for the environment (8000 people, 20 churches) everyone is nice but being socially ostracised for being an atheist is for the birds.

N.M.? Oh New Mexico?


I am always drawn back here to Massachusetts ( when I’m in the U.S.) for several reasons...No#1- for me, people of ‘like’ mind. Socialist Democrat, Liberal, open minded for the most part, educated, science is considered important, appreciation for history & the arts, no one cares what or if you have a religious affiliation. No#2- educated people. Whether formally educated or you self educate, all is encouraged and accepted...and information is easily available. No#3- Diversity of culture. Well traveled people. This is a big one. We have people here from every point on the planet. Love it. No#4- access to a very good mass transit system...the T (our underground system), commuter rail, buses, name it, you can get “from here to there”. Having spent long stretches of my life in the U.K. and Europe, as well as several places lived in the US...and have visited every state, except Alaska ( and that’s on my ‘to-do’ list), Massachusetts offers the best mass transit systems in the country. No#5- We have history. And plenty of it. Native American, colonial, African American, Revolutionary War, Whaling Era history. And being a student of history, well this suits me down to the ground. No#6- Science & technology as well as a very healthy appreciation for the Arts. And yes, we have lovely museums.And then there is No#7- miles and miles of gorgeous coastline. Islands and beaches that are breath taking. Beautiful mountains in the western part of the state, lakes and trails and farm land. For the outdoorsy people, you can enjoy nature in every season. So for all these reasons, it keeps me where I am for now., is not always.

Okay, you've talked me into Massachusetts! Giving notice today and packing up!! 🙂

Thank you for your thoughtful response, JJ! And, welcome to the group!


I was like that too, so I decided to take a chance with a woman I had so much in common with,we were close in age and values so I took a chance and moved to Montana, but I was realistic about it all,it didn't work out but I don't regret taking a chance in finding that one special woman for me, I'd do it again because life is short.


I LOVE my home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is a great college town with an extremely well-educated (and liberal) population. There are tons of things to do - restaurants, museums, book stores etc. all of the benefits of a big city without the city! I grew up here. My parents are here, my son is here (for now). The university means lots of job opportunities.
I would not leave here just to live somewhere else - there would have to be a good compelling reason, like an educational/career or relationship reason.


Hi @Bluewave On first reading your post made me sad, so I read it a couple of times. I would say it is not the fear of the unknown that keeps your there, I would say you like your job, climate etc.
The reason I was sad it it reminded me of my youngest brother at first. He lives in the suburb adjoin the one we grew up in, his wife grew up 2 suburbs away. Their kids are almost finished university and are self funded anyway, my brother and his wife are reasonably well paid, but old enough to retire in 2 months and they certainly have enough wealth in retirement funds to see them through. Yet they plan to stay living where they are, and work another 12-15 years. They visit me often and say how much they wish they could live here, they could afford my house probably 10 times over.
They could move in an instant, but they fear change. What if there is an economic down turn and they don't have their income and so on. I have nothing in the bank, not enough in my retirement fund to repair my car should it breakdown, I work 2 days a week on very low pay, far less than welfare in this country, I get no perks such as health, superannuation any anything. I tossed in all he has, to live as i do on a day to day basis. I will be dead one day and i am glad I am not missing out on this enjoyment. If you won the lottery, where would you move to and why? Then, what is really stopping you from doing it now? I think from what you have said that you like your life which is great.
I am where I am now because I don't fear change, and that has cost me a lot financially and often.
I think you like your job, bosses and conditions and don't want to lose them, in which case, I think you are doing well and most likely reasonably happy?

I stay where I am and how I am because this is about the closest I have been to being happy.

What a nice and thoughtful response Rugglesby....Thank you. 🙂

Yes, I consider myself happy, and I am me wherever I go.

I wish fear of change itself would have stopped me from moving here nine years ago! I'd have a whole lot more money in the bank and I'd still be near a few family members and friends. In adulthood, I have lived in Los Angeles, Seattle, and now New Orleans. It was precisely a lack of fear that got me here. I got a wild hair, sold nearly everything, shipped the rest, and here I am.

Yes, I really like my job. And the climate in New Orleans is a bonus. Beyond that, it would truthfully be a challenge to come up with too many more things I honestly like about the south.

For me, I long to be back with mountains, blue lakes, clear rivers, very tall trees, hills, mountains, and more like-minded people. Not even necessarily atheists, though that would be a bonus, but just a higher percentage of liberals.

Having grown up dirt poor, seeing my my mom lose a house to foreclosure, and seeing too many people struggling to make ends meet in their later years -- I simply don't want that. I want to travel and go to restaurants and not worry about whether I can afford any little experience or thing that gives me comfort, joy, or happiness. A lot of people love thrift store shopping. outgrew its charm when I was a kid. 🙂 Some people love living simply in the truest sense, living off the land, and in all ways possible to live simply. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, it just doesn't fit me.

I do sometimes think about taking the risk to get back where I feel more comfortable -- I've actually been fortunate in both of my last two law firms supporting attorneys who were wonderful people. So, of course it exists beyond my experience here. But, would I be lucky enough to find it? Any attorney can be delightful during an interview. And then some turn into a secretary's worst nightmare.

I'm no longer willing to give into wild hairs. I want to be smart about my financial decisions. I've sold and given away nearly all of my possessions several times. When I bought this house a few months ago and completely furnished it, that locked me into two personal commitments. 1. Keeping the house long enough to recoup some investment (at least five years); and 2. NEVER having to buy all these furnishings again (except, say when an appliance dies). I know how expensive it is to move furniture and stuff across the country. Also, like I said, the cost of living is a factor I take into consideration. The house I just bought would have cost about three times as much within 40 miles of Seattle.

I spent my first 43 years as a carefree risk-taker; starting over was never a big deal to me. I find that now that I'm getting older, I'm more pragmatic, thoughtful, and cautious about protecting my financial stability and freedom of choice and movement.

Until I retire or win the lottery, I'll have to rely on vacations to get bits and pieces of places I'd like to one day live.

@BlueWave vacations are good, they are how I find places I want to live

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