As almost anyone knows, there is no easy solution. Many times a job dictates where you live. Sometimes a job takes you to a place, and you never leave. You end up loving the place, and everyone lives happily ever after.
There are people among us who need to be inspired by where they live. I will admit to being one of those people. For years I wanted to live in Canada. There were a lot of reasons, but the challenge of the climate, the beauty of the wilderness, and the sense of having survived in a tough environment all played a part.
When I got a job with Apple Computer in 1984, where I lived ended up not being as important as working for Apple. Eventually with growing children, where I lived once again became very important to me. I even took myself off the management track so that we could settle on the side of a mountain overlooking Roanoke, Virgina. It turned out to be a wonderful place to raise a family, and I ended up a manager at Apple in spite of where I was living.
Once I became a manager, I had the choice of moving away from Roanoke back to Northern Virginia where my office was located. We weighed the decision and decided that we were done moving while our kids were in school. Three moves over the space of five years was plenty to absorb.
That decision meant a lot of travel for me. Specifically three weeks out of the month, I would leave Roanoke and drive nearly four hours to my office. For years I stayed in hotels until my daughter graduated college and ended up in a town house where I managed to secure a bedroom.
Our living in Roanoke came down to my willingness to accept the burden of travel and make the best of it.
Tonight I was reading the response of a forum member on City-Data to someone who wants to live on the North Carolina coast near the beach. The forum member found travel in Eastern, NC "tedious."
As someone who traveled the Shenandoah Valley so much that I could estimate my arrival time to within a minute, I probably could have found my travel "tedious." But I did not. Travel was my willing sacrifice for living where we wanted to live. I might complain about it, but it became part of my life.
I would never discourage someone from making the necessary trade-off in order to able to live in a place that inspires them or makes their heart beat a little faster. Life is too short.
Perhaps our forum member would suggest that the young person yearning to live near a beach pick a town along Interstate 95 and live there because travel is "easier." It might be easier but the beach is over 100 miles away instead of ten minutes.
Choosing to live along Interstate 95 is a lousy decision to make if you are already fortunate enough to be able to pick where you live. Who cares how much you have to travel if you are happy?
Why not pick a place where you will be happy and consider whatever extra travel that necessitates a price well worth paying?
After all, I doubt that you can find a place nicer than the North Carolina coast on February 8, 2009. It was one spectacular day.
There are more thoughts on this on my View from the Mountain blog.