Why do I keep obsessing about this?

by Bob

Hello friends. I thought I would reach out for some advice.

My retirement is good. But over the past few years, I've wanted to move back to where I grew up. That would require a move to another state. A state with pretty bad winters. But the countryside is beautiful, hills, rivers, lakes.

Presently I'm living in a large city where you can find anything you want. Great medical, outstanding food. Been here for 50 years, but never felt this was my home, just a place to work.

If I move back to where I grew up, I wouldn't have any friends, and would have to start over from ground zero. But I always felt, or at least think I felt, that it was my home. My family is all gone, passed on. Friends are mostly passed on too. So there is nothing keeping me here anymore, except that my parents are buried here.

Where I live now is expensive, way too large, almost impossible to go downtown due to huge traffic, crime, etc. If I move back to where I grew up, its a mid-size city, but it has a lot of crime. And doesn't offer near as many amenities as where I live now.

So anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, comments or insights, please let me know.


Comments for Why do I keep obsessing about this?

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Sounds So Familiar
by: Louise/Colorado

Your story really hit home with me as my situation is very similar.

I'm living in a big city and have for the last 50+ years and have enjoyed all that it offers. There has been a huge influx of people and as you mentioned with the increase in traffic, crowds at events etc spoiling much of the enjoyment in attending them.

For some time I have found myself wishing I could return to the small town where I grew up. It is no longer as small and has become very expensive as has the city in which I presently live.

Don't know many of the residents as they moved there after I left or are gone. What is not gone are the mountains at the bottom of which this small town is built.

Wish I had some great advice for you.

For the most part the reason I'm still in the city is that my Children and Grandchildren are here BUT -- yes that small town will always be "home" to me. I visit as much as possible which helps but realistically know I will never live there again. A lot of nostalgia and wonderful memories in my small town home which I am so thankful for.

path not taken
by: Carol from West Chester PA

Only you can decide which path to take. But my two cents is this. I am a widow, living alone. Have a good life, loving and helpful grown children, friends, etc. Retired in 2012.

For the past 6 years when it was too late, I started to wonder what would my life had been like if I had taken a different path in my twenties. I am now 77. After chewing on this obsession for 6 years I am starting to realize going back now would never live up to my dreams.

I suggest you take a vacation for a week or so wherever you are thinking about moving to. See if the changes will make your life better. If you can not visit then do googles. See how the neighborhood/s etc. have stayed the same or changed.

Whatever you decide I hope it gives you happiness.

Follow your heart
by: Sandy

Bob - I know it sounds trite to say that home is where your heart is, but I think it is applicable in this case. If you don't feel at home, in spite of the amenities, why not just go to where you feel more comfortable.

If you don't find the joy you were expecting, you can always move back. Nothing is permanent in life. And if you do find that it is all you expected, then good for you!

You will have to work at making friends and finding a social circle, but that's part of life.

I actually think you already know the answer to you question, don't you? All the best in your life journey.

Moving Dilemma
by: Canadian Retiree

It sounds like you are in a dilemma about what to do. I can’t really offer any advice except maybe think about it from a health point of view.

You state health care is accessible where you are. My husband and I are both retired and we live near a hospital and have Drs. I’ve thought about moving to a smaller town but some towns in BC lack good medical care. It’s important to find a Dr. wherever we go.

Hope this helps.

Check it out.
by: Mavis / Western Canada.Location

Hello Bob,

My advice is to return to your home town for a short stay and see if it feels right. Best not to burn any bridges or leave friends behind until you are sure.

You now have freedom to chose where you ill spend the rest of your life which sounds good but can be quite a challenge because that wonderful freedom can be scary and the old town may have changed too much for comfort.

follow your heart
by: \\

There is a reason you feel this way follow your heart. I think it is very common to want to do this more than we know. Maybe there is some spiritual healing you need to do. Just a thought.

Don't Close Any Doors
by: Fern/Canada

I did what you plan, but a lot of compromises were necessary, and turned out it was a failure.

All I can suggest is that you rent and try it our for about 3-6 months. You can volunteer to make up for the lack of friends, but volunteer in an area of interest, not necessarily in health or hospitals.

The problem with being in the country is the lack of service, the long travel times, it can be uncomfortable, and physical limitations will arise. If crime is an issue are there retirement communities that provide security?

Like when you buy a car or a home, list the 'must haves' and don't compromise on them. List the 'nice to have' and consider what you would do if they are not available. Weigh out your answers and see if they add up compared to several other alternatives, including staying where you are.

Find others who you trust and ask their opinions. Keep searching until you feel the answer in your 'gut'!

Trial run
by: Laura in Vermont

Something is definitely pulling you back to your old home town. After 50 years, though, that place will have changed quite a bit.

What about taking a trip there later this year so you can get to know the place your home town became. Then you can decide if you want to move there.

While there, look at the places you remember, the area you want to be in, the amenities that exist now, and the whole picture. Talk to people and see what they say about life there. Get your data and then come home and see if you still want to move or if you have gotten it out of your system.

Moving to another state is expensive and hard. Be sure by taking this trip. If you can't afford the trip, you may not afford the move.

by: Deb / Ohio

Can you find a place to rent in your old hometown for just a few months in a neighborhood you think you would like to live in? Or even a shorter visit.

While there, look for opportunities to engage in your favorite pursuits to get a sense of what your life would be like, including adjusting to traffic, weather, etc. Might reveal the true picture of life there.

Sometimes the vision we have of a place does not match the reality. Or it might seal your decision to move there.

Follow your heart
by: Anonymous

You know I have dreams about the house I lived in for the first ten years of my life. If the house was still there think I would buy it and just go visit it every now and then but... the house has been torn down and no one I remember still lives there. Nothing is how I remember it. The neighborhood is dangerous and not what My heart remembers.

But think about going home and renting a small place for six months, lease your current home if you need the money. Don’t do anything permanent until you get the lay of the land. Your hometown just may be what your heart is looking for but then again it may not.

Give your heart time to find out before you possibly make a mistake you cannot remedy.

Good luck! My heart still longs for my old home but the memories will have to hold me.

move home
by: Cindi H

Can I be the first to say - just do it anyway!

I grew up outside of Chicago and moved with my family to NC in my last year of HS. While I loved many things about NC, it was never "home". The weather was hot and humid a good bit of the year and I didn't get outside a lot because of it.

Fast forward many decades. We finally had all the children grown and out of the house and we had retired. Our vacations for the past years had always been to head up to NY, PA, Ohio just so we could enjoy fresh breezes again and feel energized.

I really didn't think we would ever be able to move - we'd been in our home over 30 years blah blah blah. One day we made the decision and said "we're not waiting here to die. We're heading north again (hubby grew up in NW New York). We now are settled in a smallish town in NE Ohio and love it! We have spent more time outdoors here in two years than I had in 50 years in NC. I have tons more energy.

Covid has interfered with getting to know a lot of people so far, but the parks in our area are lovely and should we ever stop driving our county has a great transit system of small buses that will even pick you up at your home for a small fee. we're not far from Cleveland or Erie should we want more "action". I've met a few people I'm getting to know.

Really, this feels more like "home" than NC ever did. I had never even driven in snow before and was delighted to find that snowplows were extremely efficient out here. I wasn't sure how well I'd deal with cold and snow again, but we get walking in the parks in all kinds of weather (think "layers")

You've still got a lot of good years ahead of you. There are new people to meet, new things to do. Live the life you want to live. I can highly recommend it!

by: Anonymous

It is probably your memories of growing up years. My suggestion, go for a month long visit and see how you feel.

by: Pam

Nostalgia and memories are great. They have their place in your mind. But you’re looking back to the past.

You need to be in the present and look to the future. Maybe you do need a move but not back to your home town. Reflect on what you would need to make you happy and fulfilled and find that place that will meet your needs.

To move or not to move...
by: Jim from NY

You could rent an apartment or Condo to see if there is something, someone or even some part of this area that you like. "Test the waters before you jump in", is one option.

You might want to try living in a new place
by: Michael - Sunny and Warm Venice Florida

Bob - it sounds like you yearn for the days when life was more simpler. It also sounds like you want to move and try some place different. Maybe you could find a place that reminds you of home.

I grew up 5 miles from the beach in New Jersey. I moved 2 hours away for work. When I retired 4 years ago, I chose a place here in Venice, Florida that was 5 miles from the beach. I can ride my bike to the beach.

I spend my summers in the mountains of upstate New York where I have a 50-acre farm. I have done this for the past 25 years.

So, I live in the suburbs near the beach for 6 months, and then head to the country for 6 months.

I love the open space of the country. There are no traffic lights in my small town. I can ride my bike for 40 miles and see more cows than people.

So, think about where you might like to relocate, take some vacations there, and then go for it!

If there is nothing holding you to where you are, give it a chance. Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

What to do!
by: Wee-zer

Bob, sounds like you are tormented with 'should I stay or should I go' syndrome.

Have you been back to where you grew up in the last few years? Maybe things have changed to the point that it isn't as idealic as you imagine.

What I would suggest is that you go there for a month and stay in a hotel, rent a car and drive around to see if it is still what you think it is. Then you mention you have no family or friends. Perhaps, you could make a point to go to the Senior center and see what that is all about. Meet with the people who run it and find out what goes on there. Maybe meet some of the seniors and see what they do in the town. What they like to do. Ask about the medical clinics, hospitals. Have a list of questions a mile long to answer all your questions. Find out where you might like to live. In a 55+ place, senior apartments or a small house. See what the prices are and what the pros and cons are.

On the other hand, you could see about downsizing to a smaller home or apartment where you now live. Maybe you could move to a different area where it is cheaper to live. What do you do where you currently live to occupy yourself? Can you find that same thing if you move back to where you grew up.

You will have to go and investigate what you might be getting yourself into. Spend some time driving around, going to restaurants, find the shopping areas, maybe even interview a doctor you might use if you moved there. If you contacted the Senior center, maybe they could arrange for someone to spend some time with you to help you acclimate to the new surroundings.

Make a list of pros and cons. If you desire to move back and there is nothing holding you back, why not do it! It could be fun to start a 'new life'.

You mention the place you are considering moving back to has bad weather. That is where you would want to find a condo or senior apartment place where they take care of the snow plowing and shoveling. If you buy a home, you will have to hire someone to do that.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

Stay Put
by: John A. / Tyler, Tx

I think you answered your own question without realizing it; crime, location of friends, things to do, etc. Bloom where you are currently planted.

Going back to old haunts usually doesn’t work and forging new relationships that are meaningful will be tough.

The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. Find a way to live within your means since good friends are valuable and not easily replaced.

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