Recently, I've been playing a bit with Google Earth. I've used it to look over places I've lived, gone to school and worked. This afternoon while poking around San Diego I realized that for some reason, I explored more of the San Diego area in the 14 months I lived there, more of the Phoenix area in the 4 months I was there on a long business trip, and more of the Seattle area in the 6 weeks I was there on a business trip, then I have the Chicago area in the nearly 15 years I've lived here. The time spent in Seattle, Phoenix and San Diego were all interruptions in the time I've lived near Chicago -- I first moved here in September 1989, spent time in 1995 in Seattle and Phoenix moved to San Diego in 1998, and back in 1999.
I can think of a few reasons for this, but I am not sure which of these is most valid:
- More free time while in the other areas
- More comfortable driving in smaller metro areas
- More comfortable driving in newer or more "western" metro areas
- More interested in the areas near the metro area
I think the first option does play into the Seattle and Phoenix experiences. The trips I took in 1995 actually left me with an unexpected amount of free time and freedom. My work load during throes trips ranged from a full 8 hours or more during the day or night, down to a couple of 30 to 60 minute conference calls during the day, and being on-call.
However, that cannot explain San Diego where I was working 40+ hour weeks most of the time I lived there, and was as involved with Church and Scouts as I had been in Palatine before moving to San Diego.
This leads me to conclude that it has more to do with the geographic reasons (the other three). Which, in turn, leads me to wonder if these kind of geographic reasons may explain, in part, why I have never felt like I completely belonged in the Chicago area.
On the other hand, I definitely feel I belong as part of the Chicago fannish community -- but perhaps that is because I discovered fandom in Chicago, and have spent most of my "fannish life" here.