Salt Lake City...(8 Posts)
For a liberal atheist family who have lived most of our lives in London? Possibly great (climate looks amazing) or probably a disaster (social isolation for kids and parents)?
Any thoughts/experiences would be fantastic!
I have no personal experience, and I don't even know people who live there, but maybe those two sites could give you a flavour of it.
I have family who live there, and run an athiest podcast. I think they find it quite hard - one said he lost friends when he "came out as an athiest". Did you also hear about this www.towleroad.com/2016/09/jason-christensen/
I haven't been to Salt Lake City but I have visited Utah.
I couldn't find diet coke with caffeine - not available even in Walmart.
You have to go to a special shop, where you are registered to buy alcohol
There are signs in supermarkets, inc Walmarket, which state you have to be over 40 to buy cigarettes
You can buy guns in Walmart. (To be fair this may happen in other states as well)
you can buy tea and coffee
Makes it sounds as if I spent all my time in Walmart
Yes, the guns/Walmart thing happens in other states.
I did a college semester in SLC and found it very hard going as a non-Mormon. SLC is about a non-Mormon as Utah gets and even then it was pretty Mormon. Don't get me wrong the LDS people were very, very nice but I did feel they lost interest in socialising with me the moment they realised I wasn't interested in taking up their religion.
The majority of social events are based around church wards and the further out into the suburbs you go the more ward centric everything becomes. I had 5+ strangers a week ask me which ward I was in and if I had served a mission/if I had come over to the US to serve a mission.
I made some good friends and enjoyed my time there. The winter sports facilities are fantastic and dirt cheap in comparison to Europe. Living is cheap, rent was very, very low.
That said I wouldn't move there with family unless we were a part of the church. Lots of people will say it's an exaggeration but the LDS church and it's ways are ingrained in the fibre of the majority of the people, schools, work places and general way of life. I know many people who settled there for a while after college and found it very, very difficult to make friends at work or in their suburbs. Most of those people moved to other states (not Idaho or Northern Arizona either) when they had children as they wanted more for them socially.
There is a lot of information on the City Data Utah forums www.city-data.com/forum/utah/36263-questions-about-being-non-lds-utah.html
I've been there just passing through on the way to other places, a couple of times, and it weirded me out quite frankly. The LDS all have their own system of sign language, and whenever they're talking to you, they're signing messages to each other across the room. They also really like to shake your hands and stare you intently in the eyes while telling you that Jesus wants you. They have their own universities and young people all have to go on a mission for a year - and for most of them the mission is to give free tours in SLC, while privately passing messages by sign language.
I've been to other areas of Utah (which is incredibly beautiful in the south, btw. and there are still some 'odd' laws - like not being able to buy alcohol without buying a meal - but it felt far more 'normal'. SLC itself just felt really saturated by the LDS, and I think it would be hard to live there unless that's the environment you want.
It is, by far, the cleanest city I have ever been to.
Thank you all so much! I have to say, as much as I LOVED the job, I have decided that I don't think Utah is a place I want to live with my family. We would have to be prepared to really commit to 5 years to make it worth while. It would be an experience, but I would want the experience to be as easy and smooth for my children as possible. I just think it is too much of a risk for a family of 4. It it had been just me and my partner, I'd have gone in a flash (or at least applied!).
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