Pros and Cons of Places I’ve Lived…

Through personal adventures, being a military kid, orders and other assignments, I’ve lived in 4 different places. Here is my break down:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Iowa
  4. Virginia

West Virginia

Pros: The outdoors (mountains, lakes, rivers, hiking, biking, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.) I’m not really into hunting but it’s one of the best places to be if you’re a hunter or fisherman. Warm and hot summers, low population so there’s not much traffic, southern hospitality in most towns, community festivals and fairs, cheap living, and low crime rate. West Virginia is the home of the Seneca Rocks, Smoke Hole Caverns, Canaan Valley, and Snowshoe Mountain. People come from all over the U.S. to go skiing, snowboarding, caving and mountain biking here.

Cons: High unemployment rate, low education level, high property taxes, cool springs, spring and fall are both very wet seasons here, cold winters, a lot of snow, not much of a night life or entertainment venues, terrible street and road maintenance, low or no cell phone coverage in some areas. West Virginia can be dull and isolated. If you’re a sports fan, the closest pro sports teams are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. There’s also not a lot of opportunities here for musicians or young professionals. Most jobs here are in the coal mines, oil fields and other industrial markets. Most men go into the industrial jobs or military. Most women go into the nursing and other medical fields.

Massachusetts

Pros: Boston and the Greater Boston area, the attractions in Boston, science, museums, art, history and history of the American Revolution, culture, music, sports (Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and Revolution), education is great, public transportation is convenient, some of the best food you’ll ever find, Irish Pubs, Italian restaurants, breweries, high employment rate, salaries are higher than most places, beaches, lighthouses, Cape Cod “The Cape”, Salem is the best place to be for Halloween because of the history of the city. Salem is mostly known for the witch trials of the late 1600’s. Western Massachusetts is the best for outdoorsman and women who like to hunt, fish, hike, bike, etc. There’s a perfect balance to city and country life in Massachusetts.
Cons: High cost of living, high taxes, politics, heavy traffic with some of the most aggressive drivers in the country, winter, snow, some neighborhoods have a high crime rate, and almost everything in Massachusetts is illegal.

Iowa

Pros: Cost of living. It’s cheap to live here, especially real estate. You can get about whatever you want in a home. You can live by water, on a golf course, in town, in the country, new houses, old houses or whatever. If you want to buy land, you can find it at a reasonable price. The price of most homes are less than twice the annual income. That is an excellent ratio that could never happen in other states. The local farming is some of the best. I worked with a lot of people that farm on the side. I bought half of a cow for a reasonable price from a guy I worked with. We had the cow butchered and filled the freezer for a few months. There is no shortage of meat or corn in Iowa. Eventually you get burned out on it but you’ll never run out of resources here. Iowa is a good balance of city and country. You’re close to Chicago, the Twin Cities, Iowa City (U of Iowa), the Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline). I-80 is convenient for travelers. You can take it to New York, San Francisco or anyplace in between. Traffic? What traffic? Crowds? What crowds? Believe it or not, the population here is diverse and the people are polite. If you needed help, someone will help you out. Just like the last 2 places, there’s plenty of areas for the outdoors and the cities in Iowa are good for the nightlife, club goers, pub goers and music. There’s a lot of things to do here. Spring and Summer are the best seasons.

Cons: The “cool factor” isn’t really here, but it could be a lot worse. There are not a lot of technical jobs. Most jobs are professional (medicine, law, etc.) farming and industrial. There’s no fresh seafood so you might want to bring your own, radio stations are horrible, winters can have a lot of snow.

Virginia

Pros: Virginia is for lovers. Like Massachusetts, there’s a perfect balance to city and country life here. Virginia Beach and the Greater Virginia Beach area, Richmond, Charlottesville, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech. There are no pro sports teams in Virginia but the minor league teams and college sports make up for it. You’re close to Washington DC, Baltimore, Charlotte, and the beaches of North Carolina are just a few hours away. I’ve never had a problem finding a job in Virginia. There’s a lot of opportunities for whatever occupational desire you have. The cultural diversity, restaurants, beaches, museums, music venues, nightlife and southern hospitality are some of the best. The Virginia Beach area is home to military families and personnel. I grew up in a military home so I’m used to the culture. The Norfolk Naval Base is the largest naval station in the world, supporting 75 ships and 134 aircraft alongside 14 piers and 11 aircraft hangars, and houses the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces. Western Virginia is much like the state of West Virginia. Obviously, because they’re bordering states. But western Virginia has many outdoors opportunities like hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, etc. Virginia is good for families because of the sense of community. Spring and Summers are the best seasons.
Cons: There’s not a lot of bad things I can say about Virginia. If you live in one of the metro areas then traffic can be hectic during rush hour. The politicians aren’t the greatest if you’re into politics, there’s not many places to go for skiing or snowboarding unless you’re willing to drive out of state. When I lived in Virginia, the winters were cold but it didn’t ever snow much. When it did snow, it seemed like the drivers forgot how to drive because they weren’t use to it. The summers can be very humid but you get used to it. If you live near a pond, swamp or river then the bugs will be annoying.

When there’s an opportunity to travel I will most likely take it so this is subject to change or to be updated.

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