Moving to the U.S. 90% likely, where would you live?

Learner1

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The Seattle area has by far the best functional medicine and naturopathic doctors which are very helpful for ME/CFS, with Vermont and California being ok. There's also a great dysautonomia specialist there. And a top ME/,CFS specialist. California has ME/CFS specialists too.
Florida has Nancy Klimas' integrated ME/CFS clinic.

Massachusetts and New York seem like good options but it is extremely difficult to get help in either, doctors are excessively specialized, and in New York, done of the most useful tests are against the law.

Healthwise, I'd stay away from the rest of the south and midwest. Better quality food is available on the west coast.
 

christiankatz

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If you want to be near some good ME doctors, I know of two in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nathan Holladay and Lucinda Bateman, although last I checked, Lucinda Bateman was only doing research. But I believe she has trained some staff members to work with ME patients.

It's a dry climate, so hot and cold weather are more comfortable.
 
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Major thank you for all your responses, for the disclaimers as well as for the recommendations. I am actually a Canadian passport holder. My partner is French born and raised. He is an intermediate English speaker, definitely not advanced, definitely not a beginner. I was born and raised in Dubai (a bit like Los Angeles but way less interesting and completely lacking culture).

Went to Ithaca, NY for university. That's when I started developing an appreciation for the nature on the East coast. Lived for some time in Montreal and Toronto.

Based on all of this, I think we are looking for a place that is not overwhelmingly expensive (San Francisco is definitely out of budget).

What really shocked me (I should have seen this coming though) were all the responses I got on Facebook and here from almost everyone over healthcare. I work full-time as a direct support worker (I help disabled people in their daily activities and in daily tasks). It is a low-paying job. Considering it is taking everything out of me and I have very little energy to do anything else on the side, and that I am considering a part-time job in the future, money is something of a concern. However, I come from a financially comfortable family and my parents have been somewhat supportive.

How is it that I am considering this move? Well, I decided that I would consider applying to the U.S. diversity lottery (last year) one last time before considering a move back to Canada. I simply could not imagine living in a small area (population: 70,000) in the South of France for the rest of my life. I don't think it matches up with who I am.

I also have this image of the States being more advanced in all kinds of ways. I know healthcare is expensive, I get that. But I am fairly certain that medical practitioners are more competent, things are just overall more developed. Maybe I'm over-reaching / over-estimating.

So, back to the U.S. diversity lottery: I basically ended up getting selected for "further processing," meaning I have a very, very strong chance of getting contacted by the U.S. government to interview, at an embassy, for a visa (permanent residency) along with my partner.

I am looking a lot. This is what I miss / am looking forward to in a very impractical yet important sense: nature, pine and trees, east coast charm, homes on streets where we get all four seasons and where nature turns accordingly. Snow in winter, seasonal festivities, Halloween in the neighbourhood, etc.

This is of course a fantasy, but put simply, this fantasy is infinitely more likely to occur in the U.S. than in France. I am not exactly French at heart, although it is impossible for me to deny all the good things that come with living in a European country and being away from the Middle East.

I was looking at a chart of "Global cities" (a ranking on some Wiki page). Denver, CO sort of appeared on the list as a "Beta city" -- less developed than Boston or Vancouver, yet definitely more affordable. It gets all four seasons and has natural beauty. Denver seems to have it all minus the natural, "abundant" foliage, the oaks, of the East Coast.

I am trying to come to a consensus with my partner, who is very different than me in terms if what he appreciates outside of Europe: he appreciates the Caribbean, Miami, Florida, Cuba, San Diego. I could not really live in that sort of tropical and/or humid and/or beach-oriented environment.

It's all a little complicated to figure out. I've also looked at places like Philadelphia, Baltimore... Trying to find that sweet spot of New England style architecture, abundant, tree-lined streets and traditional homes, affordable, and not too extreme weather-wise.

Montreal somewhat represents all of this except it has extreme weather. I wonder what would be the closest equivalent in the U.S.

This is Outremont, a neighbourhood of Montreal: it is the picturesque representation of where I would like to live / grow old one day. It is a 10 minute drive from the heart of downtown Montreal. Houses are affordable (average of 380,000$CAN)

Outremont-7-1.jpg


What city + suburb in the U.S. fits this description? Is there simply no close equivalent? Is it impossible to find something like this without coming up against extreme weather in the winter? I very briefly looked at Philadelphia -- was not certain if it had similar styled suburbs as Outremont?
 
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Jyoti

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I live in Wilmington, Delaware. I just moved here a year ago from the Bay Area, but I grew up in NY State, lived a long time in Boston and Vermont before going to the West Coast. Wilmington is a backwater to be sure. A lot of people I meet offer their condolences when I tell them I have just moved from CA.

However, I really like it for a lot of reasons. First of all, while not technically a suburb of Philadelephia, I am just a 20 minute drive to the airport there and a bit further to downtown. The commuter rail gets you there in a few more minutes with no parking issues. Baltimore is a bit further but still very accessible.

Wilmington is inexpensive (housing is not inflated at least, and there is no sales tax) and where I live--unbelievably beautiful in the manner you describe loving. For me, after many years, it is a return to what I grew up with and appreciate. We have four seasons which are still fairly moderate--some snow, but we usually don't have to deal with a lot of shoveling or weeks of icy sidewalks and narrowed roads, incredible autumns and spring like I have seen nowhere else. It does get oppressively hot here for a 2-3 weeks in summer. We get the tail end of East Coast hurricanes, but no fires or tornados. There are more parks here and public gardens than I have ever experienced, tons of open space. I live two blocks from a river with walking paths that when I can get to make me really happy.

I have found two doctors in the larger area who have been much more helpful to me (and less expensive) than the celebrities I tried to get help from on the West Coast.

If you are coming from France (or CA) the food will be disappointing. I have had to work hard to find good produce, but after a year, I have come up with some decent options. Not what I left behind, but manageable. It is not as progressive as other places I have lived, but ... there is Philadelphia. Or NYC--not too far either--just under a couple of hours.

I enjoy the slower pace, the gracious layout and the less expensive cost of living. I would have absolutely rejected it pre-ME/CFS, but it works for me well at this point. It is a weird place in many ways--one I still ponder, but it is probably worth a quick google. Or...PM me.
 

Learner1

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I've lived in northern and southern California, Seattle, Washington DC, and the Boston area. We recently moved across the US from Seattle to Cape Cod. Natural beauty, quaintness, 4 seasons, but not too extreme weather were all on the list, and an educated place that is accepting of newcomers were all considerations. And, it is far less expensive here than an hour north of us in the big city. There are definitely neighborhoods that look like your photo here, but you'll find them in many east coast cities and towns.

Healthcare was also a consideration, and access to healthy resources. It has been surprising to find it difficult to find helpful doctors - everyone here is super specialized and only treats their favorite problems, and functional medicine doctors exist, but are few. And, though my health insurance is out of state, I've found limitations on services and prescriptions that narrow my ability to get care, placed by the local government and insurance company. Health insurance is extremely expensive - $13,000 per year per person with a $3,000 deductible and $6500 out of pocket maximum for things that insurance will cover.

Stores with high quality supplements are almost nonexistent, and organic food is limited - and what I see comes mainly from California and looks old, though there are some local farm products. Seafood is great, though I miss salmon from the Pacific Northwest.

The government here is pretty well run, we've managed the COVID pandemic fairly we after a shaky start.

The west coast has many beautiful areas, more creative healthcare, better organic food, but many areas are very expensive.

Having gone through a big move recently that ended up well for us, I encourage you to look beyond the romantic features of a new place and see if the practicalities will work for you, especially given your illness. The difficulties I've mentioned above have not been insurmountable, but have proven to be solvable challenges with some effort. But I think any place has pluses and minuses. France has some beautiful places, too, and it has a better overall health system that is far cheaper for patients.
 
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I think I'll have to just wait and see, take it one day at a time, and not overthink it as my partner has mentioned. It is undeniably a little scary to plan for such a big move and yes @Learner1 my illness makes it all the more concerning.

I'm sort of hovering between Philadelphia, Denver, and Seattle for different reasons. The hot and cold fluctuations are not extreme, so they all have that in common.

Pros/cons:

Seattle: the fact that it is prone to some major natural disasters has really worried me. My partner absolutely hates grey skies. Advantage: absolutely beautiful natural environment, apparently good healthcare/naturopaths/functional medicine doctors. Expensive to affordable based on my budget. Nice suburbs appear to be a close drive from downtown.

Denver: weather that appeals to both of us. Does not have the incredible nature of Seattle (it does, but it is not the kind of nature that one lives "in" -- it doesn't have the lush abundant nature, large trees, etc). But then again, maybe I should de-romanticize as mentioned above and take the best of what I can get. A little unsure about the medical resources but Denver seems to offer something in the way of competent doctors/medicine. Expensive to affordable based on my budget. Does not appear to be a walker friendly city.

Philadelphia: four distinct seasons, weather does not appear to be extreme, connected to other hubs on the East coast. Not sure if it offers much in the way of major universities and by extension if anybody there is known for their medical expertise. Appears to be affordable. Nice suburbs appear to be farther away from downtown.
 

Learner1

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Seattle: the fact that it is prone to some major natural disasters has really worried me. My partner absolutely hates grey skies. Advantage: absolutely beautiful natural environment, apparently good healthcare/naturopaths/functional medicine doctors. Expensive to affordable based on my budget. Nice suburbs appear to be a close drive from downtown.
Gray skies are becoming fewer with global warming. Seattle is spectacular on a sunny day. In 35 years of living there, there were no natural disasters.
Denver: weather that appeals to both of us. Does not have the incredible nature of Seattle (it does, but it is not the kind of nature that one lives "in" -- it doesn't have the lush abundant nature, large trees, etc). But then again, maybe I should de-romanticize as mentioned above and take the best of what I can get. A little unsure about the medical resources but Denver seems to offer something in the way of competent doctors/medicine. Expensive to affordable based on my budget. Does not appear to be a walker friendly city.
Boulder has good functional medicine. I think you need to recheck your ideas about the weather - extreme temperature changes from day to day, golf ball sized hail, very cold in winter, hot and dry and brown in summer.
Philadelphia: four distinct seasons, weather does not appear to be extreme, connected to other hubs on the East coast. Not sure if it offers much in the way of major universities and by extension if anybody there is known for their medical expertise. Appears to be affordable. Nice suburbs appear to be farther away from downtown.
You might look into University of Pennsylvania Medicine.
 

jaybee00

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Washington DC ( parts are expensive)
Asheville NC
Raleigh/Durham NC
Pittsburg PA
Parts of Baltimore have serious crime issues
 
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As someone who lives in Washington DC I will say that housing in DC is incredibly expensive and DC lacks ME/CFS doctors. The DC/Maryland region does have some good doctors that are knowledgeable of hEDS and dysautonomia (for instance, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore has a POTS clinic). However, all the good doctors in this area are out of network and expensive.
 
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I live less than an hour from the hot bed of research in the Bay area in california. I'm no better off if I lived in a small town in the midwest. The research is here, but it won't get to me any quicker than anybody else

The fact is, healthcare is unaffordable. If you can work, you'll likely be enrolled in an HMO There's not much that can be done with this disease other than preventative care like everywhere else.

Now if you want to go another route finding specific doctors specializing in this disease, you'll have to pay out of pocket because they won't be in your network. Nor will be the treatments. Just to start would probably cost you $6,000 to get in the door. There's no guarantee it will help, and I've known people that have gotten worse

If you want to come to United States by all means. But if you're coming because of healthcare, research, etc.. you would be coming for all the wrong reasons.

Good luck on whatever you decide
 

Mouse girl

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Well, one thing is, if you do move here, you can move back, right? I think if you are from France, the healthcare situation may be incomprehensible. It really is insanely expensive and you never know what is covered or what things cost. I have three insurance policies, one being medicare which is really really great. This would not pay for any kind of CFS/ME specialized care. Even when I don't really have any extra health care except bare minimun doc visits for meds, I still pay out of pocket for meds and care besides paying the insurance policies. But, if you have family that will help you, then that's awesome.

New Jersey can be cool. It's right outside New York but i think more of the fun areas are probably expensive now. I don't know what extreme weather means to you, to me, east coast is kinda extreme weather but i'm from So Cal, we just have hot or very hot weather. lol

Boulder is really neat place in Colorado. Expensive though. Colorado has massive wild fires now too. But, i don't know what areas are more prone or not. Seems in the US, it's either on fire, flooding or hurricanes. I think there are lots of great places out here but hard to know without experience; i moved just 20 mins outside of LA and it's horrible. The culture is sooooo different and it's such a hard place to live for so many reasons. i miss LA so much and will always regret this move because i do'nt know if i can afford to move back now as housing prices have gone insane this year. Moving can be good but it can be really really bad too. I would try staying out here for a month or so if you can before moving here. Cape Cod looks lovely to me but to me. Upstate New York can be really cool in some areas too, or just up from New York but do't know how affordable it would be anymore. Housing is very hard to find right now due to covid.
 
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If you are going to be needing to get social assistance for living costs, better not to come to North America. Your basic subsistence is much more guaranteed in western Europe, from what I understand.

Canada is has a more European style health care system than the US, with hospital and doctor visits covered, but dental, pharmacy, glasses, counselling etc are not. Getting onto disability here is tricky depending on province but more standard than in the US.

As others have said moving to the US as a chronically ill person is feasible if you are very wealthy and risky otherwise.
 

perrier

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Major thank you for all your responses, for the disclaimers as well as for the recommendations. I am actually a Canadian passport holder. My partner is French born and raised. He is an intermediate English speaker, definitely not advanced, definitely not a beginner. I was born and raised in Dubai (a bit like Los Angeles but way less interesting and completely lacking culture).

Went to Ithaca, NY for university. That's when I started developing an appreciation for the nature on the East coast. Lived for some time in Montreal and Toronto.

Based on all of this, I think we are looking for a place that is not overwhelmingly expensive (San Francisco is definitely out of budget).

What really shocked me (I should have seen this coming though) were all the responses I got on Facebook and here from almost everyone over healthcare. I work full-time as a direct support worker (I help disabled people in their daily activities and in daily tasks). It is a low-paying job. Considering it is taking everything out of me and I have very little energy to do anything else on the side, and that I am considering a part-time job in the future, money is something of a concern. However, I come from a financially comfortable family and my parents have been somewhat supportive.

How is it that I am considering this move? Well, I decided that I would consider applying to the U.S. diversity lottery (last year) one last time before considering a move back to Canada. I simply could not imagine living in a small area (population: 70,000) in the South of France for the rest of my life. I don't think it matches up with who I am.

I also have this image of the States being more advanced in all kinds of ways. I know healthcare is expensive, I get that. But I am fairly certain that medical practitioners are more competent, things are just overall more developed. Maybe I'm over-reaching / over-estimating.

So, back to the U.S. diversity lottery: I basically ended up getting selected for "further processing," meaning I have a very, very strong chance of getting contacted by the U.S. government to interview, at an embassy, for a visa (permanent residency) along with my partner.

I am looking a lot. This is what I miss / am looking forward to in a very impractical yet important sense: nature, pine and trees, east coast charm, homes on streets where we get all four seasons and where nature turns accordingly. Snow in winter, seasonal festivities, Halloween in the neighbourhood, etc.

This is of course a fantasy, but put simply, this fantasy is infinitely more likely to occur in the U.S. than in France. I am not exactly French at heart, although it is impossible for me to deny all the good things that come with living in a European country and being away from the Middle East.

I was looking at a chart of "Global cities" (a ranking on some Wiki page). Denver, CO sort of appeared on the list as a "Beta city" -- less developed than Boston or Vancouver, yet definitely more affordable. It gets all four seasons and has natural beauty. Denver seems to have it all minus the natural, "abundant" foliage, the oaks, of the East Coast.

I am trying to come to a consensus with my partner, who is very different than me in terms if what he appreciates outside of Europe: he appreciates the Caribbean, Miami, Florida, Cuba, San Diego. I could not really live in that sort of tropical and/or humid and/or beach-oriented environment.

It's all a little complicated to figure out. I've also looked at places like Philadelphia, Baltimore... Trying to find that sweet spot of New England style architecture, abundant, tree-lined streets and traditional homes, affordable, and not too extreme weather-wise.

Montreal somewhat represents all of this except it has extreme weather. I wonder what would be the closest equivalent in the U.S.

This is Outremont, a neighbourhood of Montreal: it is the picturesque representation of where I would like to live / grow old one day. It is a 10 minute drive from the heart of downtown Montreal. Houses are affordable (average of 380,000$CAN)

View attachment 44767

What city + suburb in the U.S. fits this description? Is there simply no close equivalent? Is it impossible to find something like this without coming up against extreme weather in the winter? I very briefly looked at Philadelphia -- was not certain if it had similar styled suburbs as Outremont?
I live in montreal
The house in the photo is way way over 1 million dollars, perhaps moving on to 2 million.
All the houses in Montreal are now over 500 thousand. Nothing for 350 thousand. Maybe far off island. Even across the bridge in Chateauguay the prices are now 400 thousand. I believe you are still conceiving of very old prices from ten or twenty years ago.
 
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