So, you’ve finally decided to relocate to North Dakota despite the general economic downturn in oil prices worldwide? I don’t blame you.
North Dakota is still a good choice to make your move to; it has the lowest unemployment rate out of all the 50 states, and still offers high-paying oilfield jobs in spite of the recent downturn in oil prices. There is a stable market for housing, The home security system market runs slow because the crime rate is low, and North Dakotans live within their means. Not surprisingly, most North Dakotans are generally happy people.
Of course, nothing can be oversimplified as many news outlets or blogs tend to put things – people have problems, life is hard, yada yada yada...but you already knew that.
Thing is, you need to prepare for North Dakota. As the old Neil Young said...are you ready for the country?
So if you are, or were, a towner like I was, follow my advice when you make the move to North Dakota.
Prepare for the Weather. SERIOUSLY.
I used to think that winters in Albany were bad...until I moved to North Dakota. See, a 20°F night isn’t what constitutes a bad winter day here; that’s warm and toasty. You had best better get used to temperatures ranging from 0 to -35°F (that’s in the Williston oil boomtown, where everyone moved to years ago). That’s a negative sign, not a typo. Cities like Fargo and Bismarck in Eastern and Central North Dakota see an average of 38-45 days and 50 to 52 inches of snowfall every year. It’s not as much snowfall as in New England, but it’s not the snowfall you really need to worry about; it’s the Chinook winds that mean serious, bond and soul-chilling winters that are terrible for any non-native. So if you’re moving from Los Angeles...well, let’s just say you’ll need to purchase 37 pairs of thermal underwear and a snow blower (Snow Shifts will clarify any doubts you may have about this).
Life is Slower. Savor It.
The North Dakotans are the nicest people in the world you can get to know...and they love their peace and quiet. No one is a hurry, everyone knows about everybody and his mother; this is a fact of living in North Dakota you’ll have to accept. Once you’ve accepted the fact that you live in a smaller town, you might find it even a good thing, especially when the cop who busted you for running a red light is your next door neighbor.
Women, Expect to be Headturners.
This one is for the single ladies; if you haven’t really gotten the attention you deserved in New York or in Los Angeles, moving to North Dakota will automatically make you a headturner. Now, nothing’s wrong with that...it’s just that men outnumber women in this state six to one. Expect to get looks and stares when you come to North Dakota especially as a single lady. It’s not creepy...North Dakotans just appreciate anybody coming to their hometown more than your former towner neighbors do. After all, this is a state that nobody knew ever existed, right?
And after having lived here for six years, I don’t think I’m leaving it anytime soon. The American Dream still is alive and well here.
And life is still good out in the prairies and the Great Plains of the American Midwest.