GROW: The Book
Considering the discussions had on here in the last 6 months, I figured some of you might want to see this map (and article). It is quite interesting.
I love Canada but it's so cold. Of course, Michigan is not much warmer.
Yes, Canada is cold, but we don't have poisonous snakes or spiders in most areas. That's worth a lot to me. I can't imagine gardening while always worrying about what is living under the next leaf! On the other hand, the Netherlands is much warmer and doesn't have any of these either.
@Tave Haha! That is so funny to me as a die hard Canadian. I think if I moved somewhere warmer I would absolutely miss the cold and have to move back! There is just so much that you can't experience without it...driving in a cold, snowy blizzard through drifts & such (such a rush, especially knowing you made it through the experience safely), the world stopping because everyone is snowed in too (if only it happened more), the warmth of a fire after you've been chilled outside, shovelling (which I used to love), the panic & coziness of figuring heat & light if the power goes out, snowmen & snowforts...
Now, of course, it isn't always cold up here either! 😉
I imagine that Michigan could have "Lake effect" weather, which I hear isn't pleasant due to humidity. A dry cold, which we tend to have more of on the prairies, is much, much more comfortable.
@Annie Kate That is absolutely true about the bugs. I have been thinking about moving where it is colder.
@LaurieLovesLearning I do miss snow about three days out of the year. Last year, it snowed here for the first time in 40 years. It was enough to make a snowman. We had a blast.
Those maps are really interesting. I don't think I could have predicted any of it, except for the popularity of Canada and perhaps Germany. The big surprise to me is the popularity of Japan in the U.S. and Canada.
I have thought about Canada at various times myself, and know others who have as well, though the longer winters, shorter growing season, and the difficulties involved in making such a move always put me off. I know of others who have thought about, and a few who have actually moved, to Mexico, Latin America or South America. But I never heard of any Americans talking about moving to Japan; I wonder where in the country that is popular--West coast maybe?
And it's not just Michigan that has "Lake effect" problems south of the border. I have a dear friend who lives in northwestern New York state, and it seems to me they have some of the worst weather around--bitter cold and heavy snow, "Lake effect" problems all winter, plus high humidity making things miserable in the summer. Guess old Missouri, despite the summer humidity (and the creepy crawlies you have to deal with in the summer) isn't nearly as bad as it could be.....
@LaurieLovesLearning interesting article. I’m surprised New Zealand doesn’t rate a mention. I love where I live, wouldn’t change it for the world but if I had to make a choice, it would be New Zealand. Stunning, friendly, great soil, high rainfall and lead by a progressive woman.
Many young aussies travel to Canada, to either work the ski fields or in agriculture. In the past, many travel to England and backpack around the British Isles and then Europe.
When the Covid issue settles, Canada is on my bucket list. Watch out you may get a tap on the door one day!😁
It is always fun to see that kind of information. Personally, I don't know if I would ever want to leave Michigan. I'm not a huge fan of the cold, but most everything else in nature here makes it worth it to me.
@MaryRowe one of my cousins moved to Japan as soon as he graduated college. He chose his studies based off of what would benefit him most in Japan. It was his life goal. He grew up on the West Coast so I think that you might be onto something.
I was surprised at how many Canadians and Americans wanted to live in Japan too. Being a very multicultural country might be part of that push, however, possibly surveying one cultural area more over another.
Various populations when surveyed will change end results.
I know that we have a high immigrant rate, usually. Many are brought in to work at meat plants, etc., just like in the US because they will work for less.
Lake effect covers some of the SE area of my province at times, and the Toronto-Niagara region in Ontario.
New Zealand wanted to go to Fiji, I think, according to the map.
Aussies are cool. I would love to visit New Zealand and if I loved it, of course, I would not want to leave, but the call of my country would always remain & I would most likely not be able to stay anywhere very long.
I am always open to a visit. ;)
I'm saving my money to buy a little cabin in Wyoming. My retirement plan is to spend summers in Wyoming and winters in the Heart of Dixie. The heat and humidity are killing me!
Poland. The Isle of Mann, maybe Ukraine.
@Slippy I love Wyoming!
New Mexico is still the top of my list for retirement relocation. I looked at climate, cost of living and population.
Closer to my target weight!!! LOL
I am 11 pounds away...and 20 pounds away from my dream goal!
Another surprised voice here, on how many Canadians want to go to Japan. Personally, it is way too populated for my liking (I live a very rural lifestyle) and a bit closer to the centre of seismic activity than I am. We do get some shakers that are felt here in the middle of the province but not like what coastal regions or islands like Japan get.
Even though I would like to visit other places, I love where I live and can't imagine living elsewhere. Really enjoy our 4 season life. I would very much miss the snow, even though I do complain about it sometimes (mostly when it hasn't stopped snowing for a month).
@jodienancarrow Let us know when you will be arriving in Canada! Would love to meet you and show off Canada. I am in BC so that is maybe where you will be landing. Vancouver is a popular entry point, particularly coming from Pacifica.
Good luck to everyone who is thinking about or planning for making a move. I hope you find your Walden.
@torey you can be most assured that if I plan a trip to Canada, you’ll be included in those plans. Same if you visit downunder!
Lake effect makes a huge difference. The snowfall difference between just west vs. just east of the same Great Lake can be dramatic.
I like places that have four seasons. Autumn is my favorite.
My dream is Wyoming!
About twenty years ago, I fantasized about moving to New Zealand. Now, I'm too old to work there and not rich enough to move there. I also love Canada! Would move there in a heartbeat.
I would love to go where alternative healthcare is embraced, GMO's are not allowed, people not companies control the government, all citizens are respected and cared for, it's not too hot or humid and there aren't poisonous snakes or critters.
@frogvalley I'm right there with ya!
I'd like to go to Alsace Lorraine, France because my ancestry is from there and it would be really cool to see where my relatives lived.
Though my husband likes Costa Rica because it reminded him so much of his youth while living in Gabon & Ivory Coast, Africa.
Honestly I'd just like to do some traveling and see some of the places I read and heard about. Actually go there and see it with my own eyes and not just in a book or on a screen.
@JennyT We have been invited to visit that area of France one day. My husband worked with a young man from there.
I agree that actually being able to do any travel at this point would be wonderful.
I have a bunch of National Geographic travel guides in my bookshelf. I can also look at a map, & follow the roads to destinations & actually have fun "travelling"...although nothing beats the real thing.
Being from Canada I guess I'll just stay put in this popular place. We used to live 5 hours north of where we are now. At that time my desire was to move farther north. But the job transfer took us south. Our acreage is in a beautiful area and really appreciate our blessings. But still I hear go north in my head still. Off grid in a remote area still sounds lovely to me. But to hubby! 😀
@soeasytocraft I would have happily moved further north had I had the chance when younger, probably the Yukon. But my husband's work wouldn't allow for a move that far north, so we have stayed in the central part of the province. Now, I am not sure I could deal with the darkness in the winter. I have been up there in the summer a few times and the longer daylight is amazing but don't think it makes up for the winter. My hubby would also not like off-grid, but I was always for it. Not likely now at this point.
We are also in a truly beautiful part of the country. Right on a major river and not far from high mountain ranges. We have access to several different climate zones for harvesting a wide variety of plants. Despite our cold winters we can grow most of what we need.
We have snakes but not poisonous ones and poisonous spiders are quite rare. Lots of big game animals.
We have small cities in this region but most of the area is quite rural and we live lifestyles accordingly.
@frogvalley We have a large number of alternative practitioners in our area; Homeopaths, Herbalists, Aromatherapists, Reflexologists, Massage Practitioners with skills in Therapeutic, Deep Tissue and Relaxation Massage, Shiatsu. Craniosacral and Hot Stones, Energy workers such as Reiki, EFT, TFT, TFH and BodyTalk along with Sound & Crystal Therapies, Ear Candlers, several Yoga studios and at least one Feldenkrais trainer. Also, some more main-stream medical type practitioners that are partially covered under our medical system; Physiotherapists, Registered Massage Therapists and Chiropractors. We are very fortunate. As to your other requirements, its not overly hot here in the summer and not very often humid, I've already mentioned the creepy crawlies that are here, but not sure we can fulfil the others. GMO seems to be everywhere, not sure who really controls the government as much as we would like to think it is us and we seem to be lacking the respect and care for some of our less fortunate citizens. But we are trying. I don't see many other places that have all that we do.
I am very grateful for my surroundings and the people in my communities.
This map, besides showing the world wants to move to Japan or Canada, shows how often we want what we don't have.
@RustBeltCowgirl, reporting in from New Mexico. I love it. Not interested in moving anywhere, anytime soon!
I get the interest in Japan.(Just so you know, the following observations are from my experience in Yokohama, which is quite a big city. Obviously the country would be different.)
I spent a month there visiting my sister, and my conclusion was that I liked it as well as the US. I wouldn't say better, but just as well. They have a very low crime rate, which made me feel safe, but then there are the earthquakes. They have processed foods of course( they invented High-fructose Corn Syrup, Instant Ramen, MSG...) but overall the food is very good quality.
It's not a cheap place to live, but it's not as bad as you might think. In Yokohama, at least, the food cost weren't bad at all, depending on how you eat. I heard that beef is really expensive, but I didn't check the price as my sister doesn't eat it. On the other hand, seafood is fairly cheap and very fresh. With a few exceptions, fruit is quite expensive ($12.00 lb. grapes anyone?), but the vegetables were comparable with the US, and a very nice variety. You can actually get decent tomatoes at the grocery store there. Considering these were big city prices, I thought they weren't bad. I know for a fact that you can get a one bedroom apartment with a small backyard for around $700 a month.
The healthcare is pretty good, and they are more open to alternative medicine than the US. The countryside is beautiful, though honestly, I think most places can say that. It depends on your taste.
Traveling is easy. They have the best mass transit system in the world, last I heard.
There is the language barrier of course, but lots of Japanese do speak some English. I can't imagine moving there without trying to learn the language though.
I think what might be drawing a lot of Westerners is that there is the exotic appeal of a far eastern culture, in a country with a great healthcare, stable government, all the modern conveniences, religious and political freedom, and low crime rate. It also used to be very easy to get a job there teaching English, but I hear that is changing.
I planned to spend a year or two there myself, but that fizzled out. I still might eventually.
@blevinandwomba It is getting harder to get a job teaching english in China too. Now, you need to also have a degree in something.
You forgot another great thing about Japan. It has great natural bathing pools, so I hear, and judo. How could you forget something that is so integrated into their culture as that! 😬😆 (I'm just bugging you) We even watched a video of an unofficial judo fight in one government meeting. That's integrated and serious. Haha! But, I guess it isn't unheard of.
Judo is what their police force officially trains in and when Japan was asked what sport the country wanted to see introduced into the Olympics, they chose judo, as it is their own...kind of like hockey is known as Canada's sport. Judo is just way better though, in my opinion, of course! At least, if practiced properly, the fights are fair, aren't hot headed and not ego based. They are respectful, even if often, not comfy. I only wish it had more coverage during the Olympics. 🤔
We have encouraged our kids to jump at the chance to train there if any opportunity arises.
@Acequiamadre Oh, do I have a ton of questions for you.🤩
Leaving the country once would be nice. I personally would just like to see some different parts of the world. As for temperature thanks to living in Virginia I get exposed to extremes for each season (sometimes all on the same day).
I used to want to sail around the world, but it never happened. Not every dream we have in youth makes sense as a tangible adult goal.
@soeasytocraft Yes, if you're going to move to a challenging "frontier" location like the Yukon, you definitely want to do it as a young adult. But for most of us, those places are a bridge too far.
It does surprise me that so many Canadians live so close to the US border. To me, the real beauty of strength of Canada is all the open space that starts farther north. You have gorgeous mountain ranges in Alberta, ranches and wheat fields on the plains, beautiful coastlines in British Columbia, and more. So why does everyone jam into a few southern cities? :-)
Most Americans do the same thing, of course. Our cities are growing and our rural populations are shrinking. I'm just the outlier who said NO to that and happily moved to a lower density area. I've lived in the suburbs and worked in suburbs and city downtowns, and have no desire to ever do it again.
I've been to Japan, and I consider it well worth visiting. I can't imagine living there, though. It's a fascinating culture, but it's not my culture.
@VermontCathy Some of it has to do with soil (that the cities make waste of), accessibility/trade and settlements historically...that is where the cities took root.
On the why don't Canadians move further north question...permafrost, marshes, blackflies & mosquito populations (both of which can get extreme), & lack of accessibility due to freeze/thaw, unpassable marshes, lakes & rivers. Manitoba's ice roads have not been opened up yet due to warmer temps this year. We have a lot of water in the north. It is also hard to build permanent buildings on ground that will sink into mud in summer. In the interior of the NWT, there would be little in the way of food & shelter & the winters can be very harsh too. Nunavut (just north of Manitoba) has its small communities closer to Hudson Bay. It is a totally different culture & way of life there.
It is much harder to survive the further north you go for multiple reasons. Some also have difficulty with the prolonged dark in winter as well. I think Torey mentioned that. Food is also very expensive.
Some of the Canadian Rockies are very rugged. I have heard that you have to be very tough and smart. I have heard complaints from those tough ones saying that you need mountain skills and an eye for land. Too many people from the city/people with no experience buy a beautiful dream piece in summer without understanding the hardships of narrow trails, steep mountainsides, heavy snowfalls, being stranded, even just getting building crews & more up a mountainside, emergency access, do they have water or can the get utilities, how are they dealing with sewage, etc. I've been told that those people generally don't last very long without a lot of help, and even then sometimes can't tough it out. This is from someone who has lived in that type of lifestyle her whole life.
There is very much overpopulation, believe it or not, in much of livable BC due to its beauty. Whatever isn't inhabited generally is that way for good reason.
I don't know if @torey or @soeasytocraft or any other Canadians have any more to add?