Home / Travel Philosophy / “I Hate it Here” – Change Your Perspective and Love Where You Live – Or Get Out!

“I Hate it Here” – Change Your Perspective and Love Where You Live – Or Get Out!

Do you find the place that you live in boring and uninspiring?

Do you wish you lived somewhere else?

Do you constantly dream of other locations?

When you go on holiday, do you dread coming back home?

A month ago, Lee and I were visiting family in his hometown – a small working class Lancashire town in the North of England. I personally love it there. The surrounding countryside is lovely, cheap pubs are plentiful, there are many excellent museums and historical sites within a short train ride in any direction and the town is just the right size that so that I can walk to everything I need.

The Leeds to Liverpool Canal near Accrington, Lancashire
The Leeds to Liverpool Canal near Accrington, Lancashire

However, I have had this very same conversation with many locals:

Them: That accent’s not from around here is it?

Me: No, I’m from Canada.

Them: What do you think of it here?

Me: I love it here.

Them: *Astonishment and disbelief* Really?

They will then go ahead and tell me why I must be crazy, because Canada must be so much better than this part of the world – this horrible and bleak stain on the map that I have found myself in.

I’ve already outlined the reasons why I love it in Accrington in another post, but I think the point is more to do with perception. You see, I believe that I would have a good chance of enjoying myself whether I lived in Canada, or in New Zealand or Australia, Cambodia, Iceland, Sri Lanka, or Malaysia. It’s not this location that’s “terrible”, it’s the attitude of the people who are negative about it.

Attitude is Everything

Lee and I were in Banff, Alberta during our Cross Canada Road Trip. This absolutely picture-postcard perfect mountain town is so pretty it’s almost hard to believe it’s real. It’s nestled within the world famous Rocky Mountains, a crystal clear mountain stream runs through it and it offers world class skiing, hiking, canoeing and an international backpacker party scene. Deer and elk wander down the street in the middle of the day. Who wouldn’t love it here?

Banff, Alberta, Canada
Banff, Alberta, Canada – a picture perfect town

However, we still managed to have an exchange with a negative local who complained to us that Banff was “boring” and “too cold” and he couldn’t wait to get out. We were shocked that someone could be bitter about living somewhere that people travel from all over the world to visit – but the truth is that it’s all about attitude.

If you have a negative attitude about the place you live, you will not enjoy living there no matter how amazing it is. Never underestimate the power of negativity to find a downside to the most awesome things in the world!

With a negative attitude you could live on a beach in Thailand and complain about the sand that gets tracked in on your floor, or live in the most fascinating cultural district of New York or Berlin and whine about the street noise at night.

The truth is that no matter where you live, the location offers pros and cons. Of course, I’m not talking about people who are living in war torn communities in the developing world, as they actually have legitimate reasons to be unhappy where they are. I’m talking to those who live in nice town and cities in the developed world and constantly complain about their surroundings – without making any effort to change their attitude or move.

Change Your Outlook, or Get Out?

Don’t be one of those people who constantly complains about something, yet doesn’t do a thing to change it. Ok, so you don’t like where you are currently living? You have two options.

Option #1: Change your perspective and discover the positives of where you live. 

Option #2: Move. 

If you can learn to appreciate the beauty of where you are, you will be happy wherever you live. If you really desire to live somewhere else… then why not get out?

McAffee's Knob, Virginia, USA
Change your perspective! (McAffee’s Knob, Virginia, USA)

Option #2 Won’t Work for Those Who Can’t Master Option #1

If you can’t learn to appreciate the place that you live in, moving location will only be a temporary fix until the novelty of your new place starts to wear off. For example, you might be a Brit who always complains about the rain, the government, the economy, etc. So you decide to move to Spain and enjoy a better life for yourself.

At first, it’s brilliant! You drink wine, eat tapas and get a tan. Everyone back home is jealous. However, after a while things in Spain start to get on your nerves. Every simple thing takes forever, everyone is so loud and emotional, the bars are all filled with smoke and you can never get anything done in the afternoon because of the bloody Siesta.

Soon enough, you are miserable again in your new paradise and pining for home. Has Spain changed? Nope – it’s all you.

Stop making your happiness conditional on where you are – because there will always be something annoying and irritating about wherever you are. Instead, learn how to make the most of wherever you are, so that you will enjoy living there. That way, you will never have to move away from somewhere to “escape”, you will simply relocate because you are craving a different (not necessarily better) experience.

You don't have to wear your backpack when pretending to be a tourist in your hometown...
You don’t have to wear your backpack when pretending to be a tourist in your hometown…

How to Love Where You Live – Treat it Like a Travel Destination

Do you know why you love the destinations you visit on holiday more than you love your home town? It’s because of the way you experience them.

When you are visiting somewhere as a tourist, you experience all of the best aspects of that destination and very little of the bad. You stay in a nice hotel, splurge on a meal in a restaurant, go sightseeing in the prettiest part of the city and visit the best attractions. You spend a little more than usual and you treat yourself to nice things. Of course you are going to love it there!

What if you viewed your “boring” hometown in the same way? Give a try someday. Pretend you are a tourist to your region and go a Google search for the fun things to do in your area. Take your camera with you, snap photos of your town’s nicest buildings, sit in the prettiest park and have a picnic, eat at a new restaurant, visit your local museum or go for a hike along a local trail. Imagine you are seeing this place for the first time and see the beauty that is there.

Pretend you are researching your location in order to write a book or an article about it. What is the history of the town? What famous people lived there? What did that Victorian building in the main square used to be when it was first built? What are the significant events that shaped your town and gave it it’s identity. The more layers of history you uncover about a place, the more interesting it becomes.

Also, think about what people different than you might see in the place. Perhaps you find your small rural town boring because there is nothing to do, but if you were a parent with a young family you would appreciate the safe streets and friendly community. Again, it’s all about perspective.

You’re Not a Tree! Uproot Yourself and Try Somewhere Else

“Okay, so I’ve done all of the above and now I appreciate the unique beauty of my location and what it has to offer. However… I’ve lived here a long time and this place just doesn’t fulfil me any more. What should I do now?”

Perhaps it's time to dive in and explore somewhere new!
Perhaps it’s time to dive in and explore somewhere new!

This is where Option #2 comes in – moving somewhere new. If you are craving a change of scenery, there is nothing wrong with going somewhere else. Perhaps you can go work abroad somewhere else for a year? Maybe you can move from the big city to the countryside or vice versa? Maybe you want to pack your bags and go backpacking for a while? Go for it!

Of course, it is important to remember that your new destination will be flawed as well, so remember that you are not running away from a terrible place to somewhere better – you are simply seeking somewhere that suits your interests at this stage in your life.

Do you love where you live? Have you ever acted like a “tourist in your own hometown”? Do you crave a life somewhere different? Share your thoughts in the comments with us. 

About Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

59 comments

  1. Very nice post. Too many people think they can escape to some “greener” pastures. While that may be true, most everyplace has plenty of positives and negatives. It is easy to take the positives of where you are for granted and ignore the negatives you don’t face (until you move).
    Getting out is great. But don’t expect greener pastures to make everything wonderful. There are certain traits of you and the place that can make getting out the best idea – I don’t like cold, other than that I think I would enjoy Banff (mentioned in the post) a great deal.
    While there are conflicts between you as a person and where you are not that make people want out – I think often it is a frustration with those negatives you have been dealing with. Some people love the new experiences – so getting out is often close to ideal. But if you don’t really figure out what will make you happy wherever you are getting out often just changes one set of frustrations for another.
    Political frustrations I think are this time a whole bunch. While your government is likely doing tons of totally annoying and lame stuff. Finding a government anywhere that isn’t doing tons of that is very hard (there are a couple, from my perspective, that I find better than most but they tend to be in very cold places – which I don’t like). Often you don’t care about the lame things done elsewhere until you are stuck directly inside of the consequences. I think getting out with this as a big reason is fine, it just seems lots of these people are frustrated with the new location after a fairly short time.

  2. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. When we moved from Minnesota to South Carolina people thought we were crazy because, “It’s just too warm”. Now we’re asked all the time about how cold it gets back in Minnesota.

    We had a house sitting job in Belize and we were miserable. Opting for the ‘Get Out’ option we moved on. Complacency doesn’t mean you have to give up quality of life and yet finding a balance seems to be more useful.

    Enjoying your posts,

    Nick and Silke

  3. You live in some utopia with the blinkers on. People like you do not have a clue what it’s like living ina crime ridden, noisy, dirty area.

    Sound like one of those pathetic hipsters

    • Hi Mike,

      I think you might have missed this paragraph:

      ” Of course, I’m not talking about people who are living in war torn communities in the developing world, as they actually have legitimate reasons to be unhappy where they are. I’m talking to those who live in nice town and cities in the developed world and constantly complain about their surroundings – without making any effort to change their attitude or move.”

      This article is directed to the many people I have met who live in decent areas, yet still complain about it.

      • Dear Kelly,

        Thank you so much for your posts!! I’m sitting here in tears with thankfulness. You are truly right. I moved from the city / suburban city area to Podunk nowhere in northern Michigan. I used to visit it and think it was gorgeous. Now that I’m here all I do is complain… that you for making me realize I need to stop and re-look at things. Although I must confess I’m not certain I’m ready for the cold winters… I can certainly make it a much happier place 9 months a year in my own head & heart!

        • Thanks for your comment Sandy… I’m glad this post touched you so deeply. I wish you best of luck in seeing things from a new perspective! Send us an update and let us know how it goes.

  4. Amazing post! I truly inspired me to start moving and to visit and explore these wonderful places! Thanks for sharing! All the best! 🙂

  5. Hi, I really liked this post as it’s true(in due respect). I have lived in a beautiful Northern East Coast beach town for more than 15 yrs now and I never liked it from day 1.I had to come here under duress as I was happy and didn’t want to leave the place I bore my 3 children.I loved it and was hoping to have a future there. So when I arrived in this new pretty town I never really gave it a chance.I lost many good times with family and making new friends, I was alone and my health and quality of life suffered, I was unhappy, unhappy deep down because I had a bad attitude towards it. I made all excuses but the thing is I never got out and explored the place and what a beautiful place it is. So,What can I say, you already said it. You must be happy then you will always go forward wherever you are.Thanx Belinda

  6. Some of us are forced to live in areas that we despise (for good reason), and we don’t have the ability to move. Case in point: I live on a Marine base in Japan, and we obviously can’t leave until the military lets us. The locals are incredibly unfriendly (even hostile at times), the city is filthy (they still use nightsoil on many of the farms in the area), and the base itself is outdated, unhealthy, and lacking in even the most basic necessities. I consider myself a very positive and adventurous person, but when I can’t even purchase food from the local commissary because it’s six months out of date and my brand new home is infested with mold that Housing refuses to acknowledge or rectify, it’s a little impossible to maintain a good attitude. I agree that a good attitude can solve many of life’s problems, but there are instances where nothing will make a place tolerably inhabitable.

    • Sarah, are you a prisoner?

    • I couldn’t agree more Sarah! I had to move from the Woodstock area of NY, one of the most progressive places in the country, to Tampa Bay FL, one of the most conservative crap holes. There is truly no way to be happy here. Guns are everywhere and it is actually legal to kill someone. The people are the most self-absorbed, shallow thinking jerks on the planet. Getting cut off in traffic is a daily occurrence, because the self-centered attitudes take control in all things. As far as the comment about being a prisoner, spoken like a person with no responsibilities. Yes, some of us are prisoners without being in jail. The reason that necessitated my move was so that my grandchildren didn’t go into foster care and now I am still co-raising them. Which leads to one more problem. People my age here are done with raising kids and do not want anyone in their lives who still have children at home. In addition, if an activity doesn’t involve drinking or partying, they won’t do it. They are lazy. But then again, it’s hard being active when the constant heat beats one down. There is literally nothing to do. So it’s lonely as hell living here. The only thing I can cling to is that I volunteer at a wonderful aquarium/animal rescue hospital, where two movies were made. So I came to this page wondering how others are coping in their own hells.

  7. I hate where I live. I moved because my husband got a new job. Unfortunately we can’t afford to move back to where we lived or anywhere else for that matter. I miss everything about our old apartment. I can’t believe I ever complained about it when we lived there because now I want nothing more but to go back. I will try and change my thinking about my new home and location. Hopefully someday this empty feeling will go away.
    ~

    • Mel, I totally understand what you mean. My husband and I moved from a major northeastern city to a small city in the south. I lived my whole life up north with some schooling out in California. I hate living in a small town in the south. Unless you’re super religious, incredibly conservative and raised here, you won’t fit in. Not even the people from here like it here: The state is corrupt, the school system is awful and I count the days until his job will allow us to transfer. Oh, also, I’m having a high risk pregnancy following a loss and I’m bedridden with my entire support network up north.

      • Hey Monica, I am in the same situation–living in a small town in the South. People are super religious, closeminded, non-starters and I don’t fit in…I know now, after wasting many years living here, that I never will. I hate it here. This place has absolutely nothing to offer me, not even a decent job…I feel trapped here and I am counting days until I move out of this hell hole.

        • Adela Vallarino

          Marcia and Monica, I hear you guys. Recently my husband was offered a job in the tropical country of Panama. Following all the ‘web hype’ we were positive and it meant more money. Panama is actually as expensive as the US, customer service is the worse and traffic takes forever to get through. The apartment we got is on the top floor and is spacious. But people play their awfully loud music till like 4 am every night. Everything is so congested that I can hear the bus driver across the street shouting obscenities very late at night. Oh and we live right under the building’s pool area where people are always there being loud and obnoxious. The party never stops here. I am counting the days to head back to Los Angeles. I miss the friendly quiet people believe it or not.

          • Hi, interesting comments in this thread. My wife and I have lived in a wonderful place in the south that we fell in love with nine years ago but now we seem frustrated and ready to leave. However, I think the issue may be internal rather than external so I want to work on myself first. I have one thought about a few previous comments like this one “People are super religious, closeminded, non-starters and I don’t fit in…I know now, after wasting many years living here, that I never will.”
            Where we live this can be the case also, but there are pockets of people in different neighborhoods that fit our mindset. We are lucky in this regard. So, maybe look for other areas in the same town. Thanks and best of luck.

  8. I miss the area I grew up. I had to move to Cleveland Ohio for college and can’t wait until I graduate. I miss the country and southern weather. But mostly I miss working with my horses daily. I have had some good times in the city, but the crime and cost of living is just awful.

  9. I do consider all the ideas you’ve introduced on your post.
    They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very brief for newbies.
    Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time?
    Thank you for the post.

  10. I really appreciated this post. I moved from the largest city in my country to a small one to study. I thought I needed a change of scenery but the real reason was I think I needed out of the family home and my own place therefore I only applied out-with my city. Now I cannot help but kick myself for not aiming for them all as my family, friends, partner especially are all back there meanwhile I am in the small city that has a lack of people, character and stuff to do. It has been really getting me down lately.
    I am making attempts to meet more people but it is quite difficult. This article was kind of a kick up the bum to stop complaining and accept it, as I have tried to transfer but it isn’t possible. Hey, as I write this snow is falling outside my window 🙂

  11. I lived in Canada for a bit in Montreal, now I live back in the UK. From my comparison, I prefer Canada.
    The big skies, cities even the chain shops. I lived there enough for novelties to wear off in my opinion 4 months each time.
    I am now back in the UK but my 5 year plan is to emigrate to Canada. I guess some people are drawn to different places. Im not being negative about where I live and I heard some people moaning about things when I stayed in Montreal.
    I currently live in Edinburgh, many consider this to be one of the most beautiful cities!

    • I would love to try living in more places, Edinburgh had being on my list. I wish I can get on a plane out of NY,but what always stopped me was I had being happier here once before, and then so many people don’t seem to dislike it like me. So I am always thinking it’s just me, anyhow my main point is I had never realized it’s a very real thing for many people to hate where they live.

  12. I am hating the house I live in. I need to try and change my attitude I am from Boston Massachusetts USA. I want to go to florida

  13. I can’t say that I am hating where I live but I definitely don’t feel like spending my whole life here without trying to live somewhere different,somewhere more beautiful, more interesting and kind of exotic. We live once after all and we should explore and discover all our lives long. This is my philosophy! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  14. I uprooted for my hubby’s job from Phoenix to CT. I am not a New England girl. I have lived in many different places, and this one is the pits for sure. I wish I had a dime for the number of times people from CT tell me I was nuts to ever move here. People seem to be generally miserable here, and I miss the sun and sunny faces in AZ. There’s urban, and fun and chic and cool. Then, there’s just urban. I want to go home, and it’s been the longest two years of my life. I love NY City, RI, VT, and even NH and ME (I have lived in both) and CT definitely has much to improve upon.

  15. I don’t agree with something you wrote. You said ‘option #2 won’t work if you can’t master #1″. Well, myself and also another friend I know both hated where we lived. We each found homes and we’re good now.
    Being unhappy in your home does NOT mean you cant be happy somewhere else!

  16. “Don’t be one of those people who constantly complains about something, yet doesn’t do a thing to change it.” What if you don’t currently have the financial means to get out of the place you hate living in?! I Utterly HATE where I live, asking me to love this place is like asking the impossible of me. Unfortunately I don’t have enough money to move out of the place I currently live in, Heaven knows I’d give ANYTHING to get put of here but right now we can’t.

  17. I have been happy in almost every place I’ve lived in my entire life – except Toronto. I have lived in A LOT of places. Sometimes it really is just where you live. The traffic, the culture, the lack of anything inspiring… I miss Calgary, I miss Vancouver, I miss Belgium, Florida, Dubai, Gibraltar, Curacao, heck – I really dislike the UK, but I even miss London compared to Toronto. Some places are just miserable lol.

    Unfortunately sometimes you get stuck due to finances and income :-/

  18. i dont really like the area i live in at the moment :but for time being will look at the area as if i am on holiday ;that seems like good advice ;i would like to move somewere more rural so i can enjoy outdoor life more ;you only live once ,so why not

  19. Great post. I lived in England and Hong Kong and love both while both places have their pros and cons. I moved to america due to my marriage and am really struggling to adjust. Thanks for writing this wonderful article. Everyone in HK should read it, it is one of the greatest cities in the world. Hopefully i can change my attitude towards where i currently am now. If not, hopefully one day my hubby will find a job in Hong Kong!

  20. I moved from a small developing town in Sonoma county, to LA, where my boyfriend works, and I have never hated a place to live before. I am originally from New York, on long island, and I loved it there, visited Sweden, Italy, Puerto Rico, and all up the east coast. I have driven and seen most of West coast, but LA always gives me massive anxiety, from the traffic, to the lack of eye contact, to the fake rich people, to the suppressed low income people. I live smack dab in the middle of east LA, and I have never in my life had a problem with any location. I have tried doing my best to keep positive for the last 2 and a half years, and we cannot afford to move, which tends to make me feel more trapped in this place. I have tried making friends, but everyone is really incredibly flaky, and I cannot find a job because of how popular it is here, I could be a great candidate, but there’s twenty other people a hair of a fraction better than me. I try not to let that discourage me. I tried joining a yoga studio, and reaching out. I have asthma too, and I have never had such poor breathability in my life. I get T old that I’m just not trying enough, and I stay at home too much, but I have no money to get out. I contacted my doctor about seeing a therapist because I have been chronicly depressed about this for a while. I just want to be free from a place that takes so much away from my quality of life. I do give to myself to find balance in that, but since it effects my mental and emotional life so much, my healthy patterns are almost non exsistant. And Everytime I go away, I truly Fred coming back to LA. I do not know why anyone would like to live in a huge city. It’s so unhealthy.

    • my darling Carina! I am exactly where you are now!!! I lived in Central Ca. for twenty years and loved it. Through no decision of my own, I now live in LA and I absolutely hate it! It is barbaric, smelly, intrusive, boorish and slutty! Why anyone would choose to live here is beyond me! My home was shady and cool and leafy and quiet; a warm day was 65 degrees. Here at its coolest it is 85 degrees but usually well into the nineties.And the sun blasts everyday. Every damn day!!! I lived in a house before, now and top this if you can…i live in a room..one room in a house with no trees.But I have met some incredible people and many wonderful puppy dogs that I routinely visit and share a kibitz. But I pine for my house and my life, and the beautiful quiet. Here everyone with an IQ of one is damn sure you want to hear their music of choice be it from their house next door or their idiot car screaming down the street at a thousand miles an hour. I hate it here, i will always hate it here. Change my attitude? Wrong answer! Never and that means never!! Oh btw I also have asthma, but seem to have more trouble with the digestion side of things than the lungs since moving to this nasty carnival.

  21. Carina, im currently live in California Orange County and love warm weather. My husband has accepted job in Boston Massachusetts. I probably have to move within a mouth from now June 2016 and am so depressed already just thinking about leaving California. I love adventures but can’t stand cold.
    You should drive to Orange Courty, go to beach. I want to stay here. I understand in LA downtown area is not clean and feel unbreathable. Enjoy this weather. Hope you will appreciate this weather.
    I’m still deciding… If I figure out how to make money without leaving my dogs and I stay here 🙂

    • Soso CA is a hard act to follow. Im counting the days until we go back. That said, Boston is an amazing city!!! I hope you have a great experience. But I have felt the depression you are feeling.

  22. This article was so truthful and down to earth, thank you Kelly!
    After living in a place for years that I only ended up in because of my husband, I’m itching to get out!! I couldn’t explain it to him in any other way than “I’m not satisfied here”.
    I desperately needed to hear this perspective that I forgot about.
    The place that we live is amazing, I’m just at a point in my live where this place doesn’t suit my interests.

  23. I too have realized more and more recently, the last good number of years in Queens, NY, could have been much better. I actually for a long time knew I did not want to live here, I had actually left and somehow came back!!! Needless to say, I have probably being in a sort of limbo since then, here in body more than spirit.
    I was about to leave recently but got a lot of anxiety, and got very confused very quickly. I guess I was rushing and had other emotions going on. I still want to move, but can’t can’t seem to make it happen!! I am not sure what is stopping me, or why I can’t get a fire lit under my ass to get into action.
    I can’t say it’s all about loving living here that gets to me, I am more concerned about where I will be later in life, and I really have no family here in NY. but yes right now is very important also!
    I wish there was some way I can get busy packing or get busy living..any suggestions greatly welcomed.

  24. Mark and Sarah, thank you!!! I moved from southern CA to North Carolina (my husband is also in the military). We tried to look at the move as an adventure, but one year in it’s been an all around awful experience. It’s such a lower standard of living here. There’s nothing to do, all the restaurants are subpar compared to what we’re used to, people are so small-minded, zero job opportunities for spouses, more trailer parks than trees…I really can’t think of anything to like about it. We’ve given it our best shot, but now we’re just counting the days to get out of here! I don’t agree with this post that it’s all attitude, sometimes life just deals you a really sucky hand and all you can do it wait for the next one! Hope you’re situations improve!! I’m counting the days until we return to civilization!

  25. I can totally relate to this article. I grew up in Maine and miss it every day. My husband’s job is in Maryland and he can’t find any jobs in his field in Maine. I feel like a prisoner. The cost of living here is so high as is the crime. It’s difficult to change perspective, but I know it’s what I will have to do to survive. I think we will be here forever. So depressing. I miss Mayberry! It’s nice to know other people feel this way.

  26. I don’t have a problem with where I live. I currently live in Carlsbad California weather is perfect mile from the ocean really couldn’t get much better. My problem is my heart is in Hawaii we moved there in 2003 and had to leave because of family health issues took me back to Utah then I went back to Hawaii where my heart is and then again my dad got ill and I had to leave and take care of him in Utah until he passed away. We were going to move back to Hawaii once again but then two of my boys decided to stay on the mainland so now I am torn I currently live in Carlsbad and want to be in Hawaii both places are amazing both places also have equal downfalls. No matter how much I appreciate where I’m at I am drawn to Hawaii every morning when I wake up that is where I want to be and it has caused a depression not that I’m choosing to be negative I just truly missed Hawaii but I am torn because I don’t want to leave my children. Thank you for the article but in this aspect even changing my attitude about where I live does not help the feeling of not being at home in Hawaii where I belong

  27. While I totally agree that attitude is everything I think there is a big piece missing here. When you visit a town, you are visiting. You are living there day in And day out. While it might be quaint during your short stay to shop at a limited grocery store or sit cozy by a fire, when this is your daily routine it is much much harder. When you come to a ski town to ski you are there for that sole purpose. You are not trying to live a “regular” life there. Yes, I find you can find the positives anywhere you live and try your best to make the most of where you live. That being said trying to say that about towns you just visit and acting like they just need a better attitude lacks the empathy of hearing why it can be a challenge to live there year round.

  28. Thank you for the article. I also moved from Canada to northern England for my partner . When I meet people here they often have same reaction as you described “how you moved here from Canada??”. I’m in general very positive person but I find it challenging to live here. If you’re a tourist here then that’s amazing but if you’re all settled down here then it’s different.
    I have my days when I get frustrated and miss my family and friends in Toronto. Today is one of those days so my husband sent me this article to feel better.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  29. Couldn’t disagree more with this article.It Is the people of the town where you live that makes it likeable or not.
    I am an open person, friendly and positive. I lived in Italy and in Calgary and I loved it. But here in Red Deer , it sucks, people sucks , they are not friendly period. Maybe you should just live several years in different places before coming to this conclusion/article.

    • I totally agree! I’m somewhere now where the people are shallow, uninterested. Come from vibrant communities elsewhere in 3 countries where people are engaging, interested in helping others, interested in community, and open-minded. It really doEs matter where.

  30. I don’t think is only a “you must try game”… I am the only foreigner in a very small village, where my husband was born and grew (and both his parents!!). People ignore me. I am friendly, I tried to mix, but I was not accepted for thousand reasons: I am not religious, I have no kids, I don’t speak the local dialect (I learned the language of the country,tho…)… it is sooooo frustrating. When I go to parties, I end playing cards or games with the kids, because somehow they love me! I even got a Godson, because he asked me to be, but I couldn’t baptize him, as I am not registered as catholic in the local church.

    It is all very complicated. =( I am not totally depressed because I have a very interesting online life: friends, my work and from time to time I even cross the border to another country to be part of meetups I get to know online. Mostly in Belgium or Luxembourg, where people seem to be much more friendly than in Germany.

  31. I miss my old home on the coast. Felt inspired there. Crabbed off my dock, walked the beach, ride bikes, outside concerts. Just enjoyed nature and friendly neighbors. I moved to Charlotte NC and hate it. Big city feel ,traffic,neighbors not friendly…. Stuck ! Can’t go back for job reasons. I’m depressed and miss my home. 3 years and miserable!

  32. I live in a city on a small island in the Mediterranean.
    I am originally british but have loved here since I was 5. Niw I am 30, and married.
    Me and hubby both feel the urge to leave, since our way of living, ideas, mentality does not really match up to where we live…
    He is in a job he does like and doesnt pay well, but works good hours. ( until 2)

    I have managed to start my own business, doing something I enjoy, but for me and hubby work isn’t everything …

    I hate being one of those people that stay somewhere because of work and i feel this is what i am doing..

    We both want a more simple life.. In my country, in the city people are very materialistic and there is nothing nature oriented here… It’s hard not to get caught up with the daily routine and materialistic life style….
    We rent a lovely house, family is here, both of us work good hours, but here there is nothing to do….

    We love nature hiking walking…. Our country is smaller that London… We are in a very small place, and people are not expectance to anyone who is a bit different…
    We feel a bit left out…

    And we are not Orthodox, and dont really have a church we can go to and feel part of….

    This is why we are thinking to move… Go to The Uk, and live in Wales or Cornwall ( we love the places 🙂 ) life is so simple there and the places are beautiful.

    But don’t know if it is right to do so…
    My business? In some way this makes me feel secure… But i feel it’s just not the life style we wont… Miney making life style…

    Any input would be appreciated…

  33. hi, it’s good you like where you live
    every one else, please call the police to have this writer go on a trip to vietnam, Pakistan or middle Asia, maybe this writer needs a lttle time to know about the world and get experienced.
    after this, the writer will block this post and write about war, stress, and studying hard and poor people.
    thank you

  34. We moved to NH so our kids could attend college they were accepted to……regret it big time. I hate it here…..people are weird, odd, low class …..rude at best…..there is nothing to do but ski mountains if you are rich and able…..or hike in summers hoping a bear won’t block your way……I cannot move because once we moved here, my husband linked up with some loser who destroyed our marriage then she moved on to someone else…….i don’t have the money to do anything…….my car died and now I am stuck in a small crappy town with buses that only run 8 to 4 weekdays…….it sucks and i wish I had never moved here but sent my kids to the U of Fl instead……..

  35. Hi Kelly! I’m happy I found your post. I’m a Brazilian living in Eastern Europe,and I came for one year of exchange program, but finally married a local. And reading your text just made me remember to be positive again. The country I am is ok, but people are so cold and unhappy that just destroys my energy. Sometimes is difficult to keep up in such environment, based on that even locals really want to move abroad. But I’ll be focused on seeing the bright side! 😉 Surely that are many.

  36. Thanks for this post–and all of the comments. I found this after Googling “how to learn to like where you live.” Originally from the US west coast, I’ve lived in Mexico City for more than seven years. It’s a fascinating place, but 22 million people live here and the stress that comes from the constant struggle for space has worn me down. I recently returned from a long trip to South America and now, I constantly fantasize about living in Chile or Uruguay–countries whose entire populations are smaller than that of this megacity. Before I make plans to move south, I really need to try to like living here again. Reading this was the swift kick in the butt I needed.

  37. Oh to be so lucky. Sigh…

    My husband proposed a move with a new job offer. I went to visit and cried, literally cried. I knew it would be bad. He said either we all go, or he would and threatened that he would not commute back to see us if he went by himself. Sadly, we all went.

    This place is so redneck it is embarassing. The nearest biggest town is an hour drive. Grocery store is filthy, tiny and has minimal necessities. Dollar store is the only other place to grab a pair of pants in case of emergency. The mall in small dirty drug infested town nearby closed down. The only people that like it here have spent their lifetime growing up here and all they do is fish and hunt. I don’t.

    The job was supposed to make us good money and we would build the house of our dreams on the lake. Nope, he lied. It makes decent money, we bought a fixer up in the center of town. Parents show up to parent teacher conferernces either in so much make up it looks like clown day or in dirty hunting boots, straight out of the field. They even park on the lawns around here, right. beside. a. driveway. Ugh..

    The only place the locals go is the Casino, um no thank you.

    The “countryside” is all owned by farmers so there will be no picnics with kiddos, or sight seeing or swim on a hot summer day. Besides, the bacteria growing in those places keeps us out. Literally. There are notices everywhere.

    Obesity is everywhere. Yuck. Fried food. Fried pies. Fried taters. Please people…any farmers markets around here???? Even the kids are obese and so overweight some middle school children are wearing 3 x shirts.

    There are no bike trails, heck I nearly die each time I walk my dog on these narrow streets. People could care less if you are walking or biking. They fly by, doing well over the speed limit and often times yell at you for being on the road. If you try to get to the country well arm yourself for those “good old boys” that believe their dogs can roam the country and they bite! Animal control will pick them up and next thing you know, their kids are giving my kids a hard time because their dog gotten taken away. Next time you go by, they will have twice as many.

    Not to mention the state of Oklahoma is one of the worst in animal cruelty. Porches with tied up emaciated dogs….oh I cry as a type this.

    Growing up I wanted a beach. My husband knew that. He is originally from Houston. Where did we go? A small run down town, far from anything. It is depressing. Each day, I nearly mark my calendar to how many more days until I can run far from this God forsaken town.

    Since the move almost 5 years ago, there are no date nights. No special outings. No celebrations of any kind really. It was the worst thing we ever did.

    So no, we can’t just change our attitudes. Sometimes, it is REALLY what it is.

  38. I definitely recognise my own attitudes in this post and some of the comments. Having moved from the north of England to the south Wales coast, our friends and family think we are mad but after a year we are done with it and it has made us appreciate that we actually loved where we were. Unlike many commenters here we have no ties, and thanks to the lack of good jobs and expensive housing we haven’t even taken our stuff out of storage yet so we are looking for work back home and moving asap. 🙂 I can’t wait to get back to normal!

  39. UTAH!!!# am here and situation i am in is despicable
    63 years all over the world now I am in hell
    My advice isn’t attitude
    It is fly in go snowboarding
    Or ski go to airport and leave
    That’s right in not mormon

  40. I think its more about the lifestyle. I live in the North East and the thing that gets me is the bad weather and routine. Truthfully the sun is my tranquility – orange light puts me in such a wonderful mood. I’ve always dreamt of a place like Spain where life just seems to be in colour. Here I remember it in black and white. Its depressed, grey, full of chavs (people who swear, smoke, all wear tracksuits and look identical) and nothing happens! Then they all grow up have children and hate adventure, fun and wildness. Its unbelievably dull. Nobody does anything, like they find a career and do for it, never enjoying it and the worse part about that is that they don’t care! Furthermore is health, my skin hates the cold and decides to flare up, also when your cold you want fattening things, meaning everyone is like that and its hard to workout when everyone around you judges you for trying. Spain has exotic fruits and salads that would be much more enjoyable in the heat. There are so many more points, but you just know when you don’t belong somewhere and here is not it. I’d recommend it if you were in search of a peaceful life but I like places with culture, such as Japan and a routine which involves the sun. Its not that I don’t appreciate it, I mean safety wise I’d say its not too bad but as a lifestyle, I prefer to make memories with excitement.

    • I needed to read not only this article concept, but the individual feedback as well. I truly needed to know that I’m not alone in my mixed feelings of despair, frustration, isolation and/or confusion. Sometimes those of us in misery don’t necessarily need “company,” but a bit of empathy and understanding sure go a long way to make us feel heard and understood. Reading the stories of others has finally made me feel a sense of validation. Feeling lost where I’m supposed to be at “home” has been one of the strangest, most difficult emotions I have ever experienced.

      Due to tragic circumstances, I have little to no control to change city that I sincerely dislike for so many reasons. Even worse, I dislike D.C. for personal reasons that significantly impact my quality of life beyond factors, such as pollution, noise, over crowding, cost of living and crime – all of which also greatly deter from my quality of life. Nonetheless, I am currently stuck, waiting for a specific “out” and wondering how to make the best of a truly awful situation in the meantime. I appreciate the suggestions in the article. I can implement some of them – most definitely. I can make the most of a city people travel the world over to visit, and I can make connections. I needed those reminders. In the throws of situational depression, it’s hard to remember these tips though. It’s truly difficult.

      Thank you to all of you who shared your own experiences. The next time I’m hating having to ride a train across town just to shop, or having to visit the doctor because the area’s pollution has worsened my already declining health, or worried about my safety while waiting for a bus, I will remember that I am not alone. We are not alone.

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