I moved here after a series of cross-country moves about a dozen years ago and overall I have few regrets. As you note, the cost of living is much more reasonable than when I was working for Bay Area startups and I like the idea of living somewhere that seems more grounded and substantial.
For me, the most challenging thing is the local tendency to live in the recent past. You can’t sit in a Minneapolis bar that doesn’t have a “Replacements” quote scrawled somewhere on the wall. People fondly recall the “glory days” of the 1980s and 1990s when it seemed as if the Twin Cities was on the cusp of becoming the next hip Seattle or Austin.
And yet these same locals are a bit dismissive towards local artists and entrepreneurs. There is this small town sense that if you’re still living here, you’re not ready for the “big time.” Which makes for a weird psychic push/pull dynamic. I’m proud to have a small startup website that does very well nationally. But it’s annoying that it’s easier to get attention from the press anywhere else than the Twin Cities.
Apparently, we live under the old adage that “No man is a prophet in his home town.”