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My dad ran his own consulting firm, and my mom, an artist, always thought the next place would be better.

Evangelism dominated my public schools in Georgia and North Carolina.

“How is it ­possible that one city has so many things we care about? Beyond its deep Nordic roots, Minnesota is home to the second-largest Hmong diaspora in the United States, plus sizable immigrant populations from Somalia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Mexico, Russia, India, China, and Korea.The day after my college graduation, I peeled off to Philadelphia, and later New York, and never looked back. magazine), I started a “USA Rankings” doc that organized each place we visited into one of three categories: the YES List (our top ten), Stranger Things Could Happen (numbers 11 to 30, including surprise entrants like Chattanooga, Tennessee; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Livingston, Montana), and a definitive NOPE pile (everywhere else, with insufferably richie-rich Aspen coming in dead last). Like single dudes forever swiping left, we were fueled by the thrill of the hunt and the fantasy of what might be lurking just around the corner.Besides, when we found the one, we’d know it deep in our bones. Our speed dates lasted as little as one hour (#sorrynotsorry, Dublin, Ohio) and as long as six weeks (Seattle, Atlanta, Minneapolis).Some suitors — like Asheville, North Carolina; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Sedona, Arizona — didn’t make it past the first date; they lacked some essential quality we demanded in a long-term partner.Other times we hit it off with a city early on, but the more we hung around, the more our differences punched through the surface. But after spending six weeks there, the rose-­colored glasses shattered and we saw what the tech boom had actually wrought: an inflated housing market, huge income disparities, and unbearable traffic.

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