My husband is a rare native Angelino, born and raised in Los Angeles. I was born out of state, but having moved to my father’s central California hometown when I was a toddler, I consider myself a native Californian as well.
Having lived together in Los Angeles since graduating from college in 2000, I assumed we’d follow in my husband’s footsteps and raise our family here, eventually upgrading from our tiny condo near the beach to a larger house on the westside.
We have debated moving somewhere somewhat distant and out of state, but still on the west coast so we’d be relatively short flights from our families. We never spoke in defined periods of time, though.
It was always just “someday.”
Our eyes were slightly on Seattle or Portland, which felt like a bit of a pipe dream, as neither of us had ever actually been to either of those cities. We’d just loved what we’d heard from friends who lived there.
Then, my husband was presented with a job opportunity in Portland, OR that was too good to pass up. He accepted the offer, and we’re moving there in just a few weeks.
While a big move was always on a radar, the decision to pack up and go was not easy. My husband’s big worry was whether we could see Portland as our “forever” city, the place we’d finally find our dream house and continue building our dream family.
I assured him that as big of a hassle as it is to take our family to another state, far away from our the rest of our families, no one says it has to be our “forever” city if we don’t want it to be. Our hope is that we’ll fall head-over-heels in love over time.
If it doesn’t happen, we can continue our search for a “forever” city. We’re young. The world is our oyster.
I’m curious how others’ decide where they want to make their roots, so I polled our writers, whom I assumed were already in their forever cities. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case at all.
Daisy: Chicago is not our forever city, though we’d happily stay longer and raise our kids here. Eventually we’d like to settle down forever in New Orleans or Charleston. When we are there, we feel like we are home, with the old history and the food and the culture. I’ve lived in New Orleans for 4 years, and my husband and I have both been to Charleston numerous times; we just love both places.
Angie: We’ve been in Orlando for 15 years, but I still can’t say it’s our forever city. I grew up in a small town in the Florida panhandle where our parents still live, and we’d both love to move back there. But because the job market isn’t stable enough for a move up there, we’re here in Orlando for as long as we can see. We love our neighborhood, the schools our girls attend, and being so close to attractions (Disney, hotels, etc), but Orlando has never been “home” for us.
Allison: We are not in our forever city. We moved away from it (Austin) to Houston for my husband’s job. We love Austin so much and feel like we are home the moment we drive into the city – the vibe, the people – its just us – laid-back and chilled. We both grew up a few hours from there and it has always been one of my favorite places. We lived there for several years. We would kill to raise our kids there, but my husband’s job industry is here, so we try to get away when we can for the weekend. We absolutely plan on moving back somewhere down the line, whenever possible.
Greis: I’m definitely not in my forever city, though I’ve lived here forever (30 years). I’m not sure where my forever city is yet. I’m hoping to figure it out!
Shauna: I’ve lived in Fort Worth my whole life (except for the years I was away at college) and I love it. I can easily see me living here my whole life, but I also think I would love to live in Boulder.
Emily: I’ve lived in Indianapolis all my adult and married life. It might be our forever city. It totally is, if we don’t move back to west Michigan where all our family lives. But, I can’t see us leaving Indy anytime soon.
Ali: We live in Toronto right now. I didn’t grow up here, but my husband did. I would not have said it was our forever city, or even our forever country, but the longer I am here, the more it grows on me. We have amazing friends and amazing careers here. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive to live here and that our winters (and falls and springs) weren’t so brutally cold.
Holly: I’m not sure we know what our forever city is. My husband and I both grew up in the Toledo area and have lived here our entire lives. We enjoy living here but aren’t at all opposed to living somewhere else. What we really want more than a forever city is a “forever” home. One with several acres of land, fruit trees, a pond, an outbuilding for my husband’s studio space; just outside of the city limits. Where that will be, we don’t exactly know.
Tena: It never dawned on us that we wouldn’t just live here forever. We were born and raised in Missouri. All of our families is here. But, I’m not opposed to living anywhere else, I just wouldn’t know where to begin as my husband’s training to be a policeman is valid in Missouri. We do dream of living near an ocean, and everytime we travel, we like it better than home, but doubt that anything like that will ever materialize. Midwesterners are awfully adventurous.
Brittany: This is such an interesting question at this time in my life, because it’s something Andy and I are endlessly discussing. I always thought our home here would be our forever home, but as our lives become less and less tied here, we realized we have absolutely nothing holding us here. What an amazing feeling to suddenly think, wow, we could live anywhere we wanted!? We think we want to move to NJ. It’s very much on our radar. If not there, then the PACNW.
Mishi: We are definitely not in our forever city. We are in a great place to raise our family, but it isn’t the place that we feel is perfect for us.
Meghan: We are in our forever city. A) My husband was born and raised here B) His business (Heating & A/C) is here, and has been here, in his family, for the last 30 years. C) It’s Santa Barbara, so…it’s hard to beat. But, like Ali, I just wish it wasn’t so damned expensive.
Meredith: Oh, the never ending debate at our house. My husband is loyal to his company to a fault. While I love where we both work, I am not loving where we live. I want more. More options. More culture. More opportunities for our children. More doesn’t even have to be far away from our families. For me, more is Columbus, OH. But for my husband, change is difficult. So we make the best of our city. And pray that it comes back around again. I mean, after all, we were both born and raised in this area, but sometimes, I think that’s the only thing keeping us here — fear of the unknown.
Heather B.: I was born and raised in Albany and live here now. Though everyone and their brother thinks that I should live in DC and cannot fathom why I don’t live there. However, a) it’s way too expensive b) I don’t want to be sucked up by in the Beltway bullshit, and c) I’d have to move well outside of the city to VA or MD to have a family. Unfortunately, Fairfax is most definitely not my Forever City. I know that here, I could have great schools and a very low cost of living, and my family is here. One big problem, you can’t meet anyone in Albany and DC is much better for that. I often think of moving to Austin or Boulder or even SLC. But, I’m (relatively) young and single so ask me this question in 10 years.
Katie: I don’t know where our forever city is. My husband would really like it to be New Orleans, which I love dearly, but where we have no family and most of our friends have moved away as well. I would love to plant roots and raise kids somewhere along the California coast, if money wasn’t a factor. My heart absolutely belongs in Ventura, California, where I spent the summers as a kid. It’s close enough to family, but not “that” close, and it holds a lot of really good memories. But my husband hates the beach. So, we may only ever know a current city instead of a forever one.
How about you? Do you have a “forever” city? Are you there now? How did you know it was “the one”?