Thursday, January 11, 2007

Moved to the South and Couldn't Stand It?

I need your input for a book I'm writing, and that's why I decided to start this Blog. Let me explain…

Many young singles, couples and families, as well as many of the 76 million baby boomers approaching retirement age will look to relocate to other parts of the country where they will either boom or bust. "Woe Is We -- a tale of two New Yorkers relocating to the South… and back," is the true story of one boomer's bust.

Written by a New Yorker under the nom de plume Yan Kee, "Woe Is We" debunks the myth that the quality of life is infinitely better in the South where lawns are trimmed daily and trees are planted ever-so-neatly 9.5 feet apart. Unlike the glossy Chamber of Commerce variety of sugar-coated propaganda many people rely on when researching "Best places to live," "How My Retirement Went South" exposes the truth about what lurked behind this contrived beauty through a combination of personal observations and experiences, surprising research revelations, and media tidbits. Also shared in the book are the many hardships we endured and sacrifices we made during our two-year stint in the South -- the cost of listening to other people's opinions, not doing the proper due diligence, and not following our own instincts.

There are over 57 million sites on Google dedicated to helping people find the "Best places to live," more than 11 million dedicated to "Relocating," and over 2 million dedicated to helping people find the "Best places to retire." Since I think every town or city in the entire US has had their 15 minutes of fame on one of these sites, or in some glossy magazine at one time or another, I felt compelled to share my experiences about living in one of these towns that, despite popular opinion, turned out to be not so great.

But why do I need your help, you ask? Well, as it turns out, we met a lot of people along the way who did the same thing we did. They moved to the South, quickly became disenchanted, and moved back to where they came from or somewhere else. Sadly, other people we met got stuck living there because they had no choice but to stick it out even though they hate living there. This book is dedicated to all of those people.

You see, the problem is you only hear about the "Happy Ending" stories. It's like the guy who gambles – he only tells you how much he won, but he never tells you how much he lost, right? The same goes for statistics on the subject of "Returnees" as I call them. Demographers only tend to focus on trending where people are moving to, but don't think about tracking the number of people that move and return to where they came from or somewhere else. And that's a large number to be ignored, believe me.

That's where you come in. Since I've been a computer guy my whole life, I thought I'd harness the power of the web, and try a novel approach to building a chapter for my book. The chapter is entitled "Stories From The Blogoshere," and I plan to populate it with your stories. Think of yourself as a "Guest Author" in my book. Stories must be true and should be no more than one page, or so, in length. You can post your stories on my blog, or you can e-mail them to me offline -- whatever you're more comfortable with. Please be advised that no stories will be published without your written approval. If possible, I’d like you to include your first name and state. If you feel uneasy about that, you can just use your online nickname, or just say “anonymous.” Either way, please include your state. If you’re uncomfortable with any of this, please do not submit a story. Lastly, please refrain from submitting stories about moving back to where you came from because you missed your kids, your brother or sister, or your best friend's wife. While I'm sure they are interesting, they are not within the scope of the book I'm writing.

Thanks for reading my blog and I look forward to hearing from you! I know you're out there, and you've been waiting for a chance to spill your guts. This is it! By the way, if you know someone who has had a similar experience, please pass along my invitation to them.