Social Question

SarasWhimsy's avatar

How many places have you lived?

Asked by SarasWhimsy (1637points) January 25th, 2010

Pennsylvania (where I’m from) has the highest “retention rate” for people born, raised, retired, and died in state in America (meaning the most people who have lived their entire life in one state. I’ve moved around the state quite a bit, but have always lived in this state. Is this common outside of PA? Have you moved in and out of several states. Do you prefer one state to the other? Is there really that much difference other than the weather?

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61 Answers

Jude's avatar


Sarnia (Canada). Windsor (Canada), London (Canada), & San Diego.

I taught in San Diego for a year, went to school in both Windsor and London, and Sarnia is my home town.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Interesting about Pennsylvania. I lived in Pittsburgh for 5 years, and there were so many people I knew who lived within a mile of where they were born.

Let’s see…
Born in Philadelphia, PA
Lived in a suburb of NYC for 18 years
Went to college in CT for 4 years
Did med school and residency in NYC for 8 years
Did extra training in Pittsburgh for 5 years
And I’m now in upstate NY! (Rochester)

The weather here sucks. Then again, the weather has sucked pretty much everywhere I’ve lived…

JLeslie's avatar

Suburb of NYC
Montgomery Village, MD (outside of DC)
East lansing, MI (college)
Boca Raton (lived in three different places in Boca), South Beach, Deerfield Beach, and Delray Beach, FL
Raleigh, NC
Suburb of Memphis in TN

@Dr_Dredd Move to Florida, it changes your life to be in the warm all year round.

Snarp's avatar

In childhood:
one city in New Jersey
two cities and several houses in Florida
one city in Wisconsin.

As an adult:
two cities and several apartments in Florida
one city and two apartments in Virginia
one city village in Germany (although this was really only for 5 months, count it if you want)
one city in Ohio. So far.

There are differences among states, but some of the bigger differences are depending on the size of the city. Having lived mostly in the south I’m used to southerners and southern culture, and I really want to get away from a lot of that. The weather is a major difference, but so are state and local taxes (none in Florida, some in Virginia, more in Ohio), labor laws, food (lord I hate the food here in Southwest Ohio and the Carolina barbecue popular in Virginia), and the general attitude of the people.

nicobanks's avatar

Although I’ve moved a total of 14 times (19 if you count when I was very young), I’ve only lived in 2 cities, both within the same province (Ontario). So, in the sense you mean, I’ve never relocated (but I’m only 28, there’s still plenty o time).

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Just two states. Texas & Iowa.

sweetteaindahouse's avatar

I have lived in Tennessee and three different places in Georgia. I hope to live in Europe for a few years in the future.

Blackberry's avatar

Oregon, Washington, Mississippi, Florida, and now New Jersey. Everywhere but MS is great. Each state besides MS has something great about it. NJ its proximity to NY and AC, Floridas weather, the northwest is where I’m from so I just love the whole area.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@snarp. You’d probably love this song by Bowling for Soup.

“There’s nothing wrong with Ohio
Except the snow and the rain…”

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Nothing was good about MS?

marinelife's avatar

I have lived in nine different states.

Blackberry's avatar

I kid…...there were some casinos and stuff, but some places in the south…..its hard to really connect with people there. It’s not a place for me. At least where I was, Biloxi.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry Yeah, I understand. We got lucky that we have fantastic neighbors right next door, but for the most part I am very aware that I am not a southerner while living here in TN.

scotsbloke's avatar

I was born (at a very young age) in Devon, England.
My Dad was a Navy man so we went where he was posted!
Moved to Portsmouth, England.
Moved to Stockport, England.
Moved to Musselburgh in Scotland when I was 8 or so.
back to Stockport for 18 months when I was 9 or so.
back to Musselburgh and did my high schooling there.
Moved to Dundee, Scotland in 1983. – Joined the Army in 1985 and “lived” in Aldershot for a while, then back to Dundee in 1989.
Moved to Dunblane in Scotland in 1999 (for 6 months).
Moved to Falkirk in Scotland in 1999, bought my first house here.
Finally ended up just outside Stirling, Scotland in 2003 and been here since.
As my Dad was English and I was born there, I call myself English – living in Scotland, but it makes no never mind really. I can speak with a good accent if I want to – both English and Scottish.

DominicX's avatar


First, I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and lived there until I was 11. Then we moved to San Francisco, where I lived regularly until 18, and now technically I’m living at Stanford University, but of course my family still lives in San Francisco and I go back there from time to time.

@scotsbloke How can you be born in Devon, Cornwall? That’s like saying I was born in Nevada, California…right?

scotsbloke's avatar

@DominicX It’s just Devon really but it’s “Devon and Cornwall” on the map so I say Devon, Cornwall – it’s just something I’ve always done.
I’m all a fluther about it now. lol

stump's avatar

Just Earth.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Knoxville, Clarksville and Nashville, Tennessee. Oil City and Beaver, Pennsylvania. Champaign, Illinois. Fort Knox, Kentucky. Fort Lee, Virginia. Fort Benning and Fort Gordon, Georgia. Okinawa. Vietnam. Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Fort Riley, Kansas. Waldorf and Mechanicsville, Maryland. Portsmouth, Virginia. Utica, New York. Cincinnati, Ohio. Trinity, Greensboro and Kernersville, North Carolina. Nacogdoches, Texas. And probably a few others I’ve either forgotten or can’t say.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

@Everyone I’m really feeling untraveled at the moment. Maybe everyone should come to PA? We’ve got everything here I’ve ever needed.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I have lived in two different cities, both in Colorado.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Six, with New York City being the longest-lived one.

<1 year in Buffalo, NY; <1 year in Grand Rapids, MI; ~1+ year in Muskegon, MI; 14 years in Milwaukee, WI; 6 years in Madison, WI and the rest in NYC.

I have always lived in the North, and it’s actually a little bit warmer in NYC overall than in the other places I’ve lived. It’s a latitudinal thing; NYC is further south. As for overall geography, New York state isn’t that much different from the upper Midwest.

Aethelwine's avatar

Four towns in central Illinois.
Northern California
Southern California
Central coast California
Flagstaff, Arizona
Las Vegas, Nevada

I’ve lived in Illinois for the past 19 years and I have no desire to move back to the west coast. I wanted to for a short time, but I have fallen in love with the midwest and I would love to move to northern Wisconsin if given the chance.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@aprilsimnel Also, NYC has the steam and railroad tunnels underground. I’m convinced this raises the ambient air temperature.

max53's avatar

I was born in Southern California and have lived most of my life in Colorado.

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, my father and mother were both from northern Minnesota, but somewhat opposite ends. My father struck out on his own and moved to Alaska, got married, had a couple kids, moved to Maine, got divorced and moved back to Minnesota, but not back to his hometown. He was in the Air Force and then the Army National Guard, and when he was either not on active duty or in the guard, he made his living in retail management. He have moved to Duluth, MN, which was about 3 hours southwest of where he was originally from, but which was probably the only “city” of any size within 200 miles of his family, and became a manager at a Target Store when he met my mother in the mid 1960s. My mother had also recently relocated to Duluth from about an hour and a half due north of where she was from, to attend college at the University of Minnesota. When they met, my dad hadn’t finalized the divorce and my mom refused to go out with him while he was still married, but a year later they happened to meet again, his divorce was final, and they were married in 1968. The next year, my father volunteered to go to Vietnam for a year even though he was already in his late 20s, and they started to work on a family. After my father came home, the Air Force transferred my father to Strategic Air Command in Omaha, NE, and that is where I was born in 1971.

After his tour of duty ended, my father began a retail management job at Zales, and was transferred to a store in Elmira, New York, that was home 2. They had very little money and agreed to do some work on their apartment in exchange for reduced rent. Then one day when my mom and I were at home and there was a public access cable channel on, an ad show came on for real estate rentals and I apparently at the age of 2, recognized our apartment on the TV and called my mom. Apparently the landlord liked what my parents had done with the place so much that he decided to rent it out from under them without informing them. So, we moved to another apartment in Elmira, and my mom’s sister moved in with us. Both of my parents and my aunt swear that the house was haunted by an old lady who liked to watch over me, but I’ve never believed in such things, so I’m not realy sure what that was about. Anyway, that was home 3.

My dad got transferred again, this time to Fargo, North Dakota, which was considerably closer to home, a little closer to his family than to my mom’s, but we had an apartment there (home 4) until my parents decided to buy a house (home 5), also in Fargo. My dad re-enlisted, this time into the Army National Guard, and managed after a couple years (I was 5 at this time), to secure a job in Minnesota about an hour from my mom’s family and 2 hours from his in the northeastern part of the state, working as a service tech for Ma Bell, AND was able to transfer to the local Armory. My mom’s sister who had lived with us in New York had agreed to move in with us again when we moved back to Minnesota to a house they’d had built that was actually only about 40 minutes away from most of my mom’s family. My dad made weekend trips for a couple months to bring all of our possessions to this new house, but after he’d gotten everything moved in, but days before we were set to move ourselves in, a forest fire destroyed the home and everything we owned.

So, for home 6, we found a small town in northern Minnesota called Cherry and they bought a trailer home, where we lived for most of a year, until finally, my parents settled on a home in the country just on the outskirts of a small town called Chisholm, which is next door to Hibbing, which is where both Bob Dylan and Kevin McHale come from. It was a small, and small minded, rural mining community which shunned development (a town of 5,000 and not even a McDonalds), and THAT is where my parents live to this day, but the area never appealed to me.

So, I did my school years, and then 2 years at community college in Hibbing, then I transferred to Bemidji State University on the other end of Northern MN (pretty close to where my dad grew up), and moved into the dorms (home 8). After 2 quarters in one room with a roommate whom I to this day consider to be my best friend, I managed to get my own room one floor below (home 9). After college, I moved back home for about a year while I looked for work anywhere but there. I was hoping to find something in Albuquerque, but I probably applied for jobs in 25 different states, and even in Guam. But none of it panned out, and I had to strike out on my own eventually.

So, I moved to the East Side of St. Paul, Minnesota and started my career. I had a small one bedroom apartment (home 10), starting in April of ‘94. I met my now wife in June of ‘94, and in early August, my apartment (the East Side being a fairly bad part of town, unbenounced to me when I moved there), was broken into, I was robbed, and my wife/then girlfriend told me I was moving in with her and her roommate in a northern suburb of St. Paul (Maplewood), so that was home 11. After a year, our roommate moved on, and after another year, we began looking for our first house. In February of 1997, we moved into a house in St. Paul in what is called the Como Park area, and I’ve been here ever since.

So, I’ve lived in 12 places, 5 have been outside of Minnesota and 7 have been inside. However whenever it’s been MY choice where to move, it’s still been within this state. When I finished college, I wanted to get the hell out of Minnesota, because my entire impression of the state was based on living in a pissant, depressed town with no culture, no shopping, nothing to do but drink and fuck (and I was unable to find a partner for the later), but when I relocated to the Twin Cities area, it was everything I’d ever wanted. It has all the appeal and attractions of a well known tourist destination…we have museums, night clubs, casinos, outdoor activities, the largest mall in America, great restaurants, theater, and it’s a very clean and literate and polite culture here. It’s basically as good as Chicago, but 1/10th as crowded and 1/10th as dirty. So, I don’t forsee ever leaving Minnesota…I hate the cold weather, but whereas growing up in far northern Minnesota, I’d expect 40 below for 2 solid weeks every winter, it rarely gets below 10 below in the cities, and then usually only for a day or two here or there, the weather is actually not that bad here, I have roots here now, my son is in a great school, and I see no reason to ever leave.

But never say never….

wundayatta's avatar

Three countries, four states, eleven cities, sixteen different abodes, and I have moved 26 times—give or take. When I got to my current city, and bought a house, I vowed never to move to another city again. I need my roots.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I was a Navy brat and then went into the Army after college. I was born in New Hampshire and own the family homestead that goes back to 1783. I’ve lived on every continent, including Antarctica (wintered over at the Pole in 1980) and 17 different states. I currently live in a small cabin in central Maine, fighting depression and contemplating a new, solitary life.

TexasDude's avatar

I’ve only lived in Tennessee. As much as I like adventure, I should have lived in as many places as @stranger_in_a_strange_land though. Guess there’s always time to move, huh?

Sandydog's avatar

Scotland, England, Belgium,Spain.
Spent about a year altogether in Ontario where my brother lives – lots of holidays in US !!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I feel that a “lucky 7” move to London would be the last one. I’d travel, but London would be home for the rest of my life. So who’s got a good deal for me in Kentish Town? ;)

RAWRxRandy's avatar

Well in Illinois, i moved from downtown to Bufallo Grove. But in general:(In order)
-New Zealand
-Virginia, America
-Chicago, Illinois
-Buffalo Grove, Illinois
-New Zealand

tinyfaery's avatar

I’ve have never lived in any other state than CA. I did live in B.C., Canada for about 7 months, but that doesn’t really count.

Jude's avatar

@tinyfaery sure it does. Did you like B.C.?

tinyfaery's avatar

Loved it. I’d live there if I could.

deni's avatar

I’m from Pennsylvania too! And someone just told me this. And it is so evident. Barely anyone from PA ever talks about having any desire to leave. Them Pennsylvanians just wanna stay put apparently. I just left though. I moved to Colorado. So it’s only the second place I’ve lived I guess if we’re really talking about location but I’ve lived in 4 or 5 different houses in the Pittsburgh area so….whatever that means.

JLeslie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Get into the sun and palm trees, I think it will help your depression. I am not trivilizing your depression, I am just commenting that living in a sunny place for years, I never took it or granted, always felt like I was on vacation, and was much happier.

deni's avatar

this is a great question, by the way. really interesting answers.

RareDenver's avatar

I think it’s 12

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve hated every warm weather place I’ve lived. Either deserts or redneck southern Army posts or Navy ports. I’ll buy a sunlamp before subjecting myself to those kinds of places.I actually like cold weather, bring on the blizzards, I’m ready.

JLeslie's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land But, Southeast Florida is the north. If you like the cold weather, that is a whole different story.

Snarp's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Sounds like what you need is a place at a southern latitude, but in the mountains. You get the light that comes of longer winter days, but you can pick your temperature by altitude. Ecuador would do the trick.

Aethelwine's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I was going to say that I’ll take your cabin in central Maine if you decide to leave. I prefer the cold myself. :)

answerjill's avatar

0–18: NYC suburb
18–23: Baltimore, MD
23–25: Providence, RI
25-present (33): Boston-area

poisonedantidote's avatar

too many to count. over 30 with ease.

Bluefreedom's avatar

If we’re including everywhere we’ve lived, here is where I’ve resided over the years:

Las Vegas, Nevada
Rafsanjan and Sarchesmeh (Kerman provinces), Iran
Phoenix, Arizona
Watertown, New York (Fort Drum)
Seoul, Korea (Yongsan)
United Arab Emirates (Al Dhafra)
Masirah Island, Oman

SarasWhimsy's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I’m with you, bring on the northern cold and winter and snow I got screwed with it this year that’s for sure – hardly any snow to be seen.

JLeslie's avatar

@SarasWhimsy We are not even in February yet. February is usually the snowiest month. You still could get what you want.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@SarasWhimsy Do I have a deal for you!!! Come to Iowa….....

casheroo's avatar

I was born in Michigan, and lived there for 4 years..then we moved to PA and have been here ever since. My husband would never want to move out of state, and I don’t think I’d like to either.

ultimatemaster's avatar

500. i need to keep the cops off my trail.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@SarasWhimsy @jonsblond and @SimonedeBeavoir are all asking for my cabin when I decide to return to the civilized world. Maybe a lottery or time-share?

daemonelson's avatar

I’m in Adelaide, South Australia. Have been for my whole life.

Though, apparently, I’m rather young. So I still have a good chance to move around the place.

Nullo's avatar

Started off in Redwood City, California, lived there for twelve years. Then we moved to Cassola, a little town in Veneto, in Northern Italy, then moved to a larger town, Lucca, a ways south in Tuscany. Then we moved to Missouri, where we spent six months in Rolla before moving (finally!) to St. Louis.

Snarp's avatar

@Nullo I love Lucca.

Nullo's avatar

Zomg, you’re the first person in a long time to know about Lucca! You visit it much?

Snarp's avatar

@Nullo Just once, for about five weeks. I had a great time. And it had the best Gelato in Italy, in my opinion.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Six, all in England. When I was a young child my dad was in the Navy so we moved around a fair bit then.

Nullo's avatar

Awesome :D Where did you stay? And where’d you find your gelato?

Snarp's avatar

@Nullo I stayed in a little apartment outside the walls off of Via di Tiglio near San Filippo. There was a great gelato place right there across from the church that we went to most often. I also went to Gelateria Veneta, and also to a place that I think was near the intersection of Via del Fosso and Via della Zecca.

Brian1946's avatar

I’ve lived in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

I’ve lived in the states of California, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

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