A Southern Swamp Rat in the High Desert

Moved 2,600 miles from Florida to Idaho and talk about differences! It's almost a whole other country! I will discuss our move and the differences between the Deep South and the Northwestern High Desert as only a Southern-Bred Swamp Rat can. Check out my new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/idahoswamprat. My updates are irratic, but they are fairly regular. Stay tuned!

Hello from Jacksonville, Florida

I cannot find enough words to thank you for the wonderful, informative blog you have created. I have enjoyed reading all the details of your experience in Idaho and found it very interesting. I hope I will not bother you with some questions concerning my situation and plan to move to Idaho.

Two years ago my family (husband and one asperger daughter) and I moved from Alaska to Jacksonville, Florida, hoping to enjoy Florida beaches and the warm and nice winters. Unfortunately, it did not work the way we thought. With a college degree from University of Alaska, I thought, it wasn’t going to be a problem for me to find a decent job to support our family. Wrong!! Here I am two years after, still looking for a job (now for a cashier’s position), even though I have a bachelor’s degree…

In this situation, I am desperately looking for a way out, and Idaho has been in my mind on and off for about a year. According to the statistics I read, Idaho may be a better place to find employment. Do you think Idaho offers more opportunities than Florida? I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Initially, I am planing to come there only, without my family, but I don’t know where would be a better place, city to start. Is it easier to come to Boise or any other city? Do you have any suggestion on what will be wise for me to do, since I have never been to Idaho before?

I will greatly appreciate your helpful information and will be looking forward to your future posts.



My Answer:

Florida is very picky when it comes to employment and what credentials they will/won’t take from other states. I’ve known a lot of teachers with teaching degrees from other states that Florida would not accept and made them go back to school. I could be wrong but I don’t see such a problem in Idaho. I would recommend the Boise area, but it’s the only area I’m really familiar with. The other areas to look in to would be Twin Falls and Coeur d’Alene, near the Washington Border.  I really don’t see you having a problem finding a job, but I could be wrong. 

Boise has their very own help wanted site at boisehelpwanted.com. Maybe you can start looking there and apply for things before you even visit. Boise is a very high-tech area with Xerox, Dell computers, Hewlett-Packard, and T-Mobile among others having vested interest in the area. I don’t know about more opportunities in Boise as opposed to Jacksonville, but I think the opportunities are easier to find. The Boise Chamber of Commerce has regular job-fairs that are actually decent and productive. My husband acquired a job at Xerox through one of them.

I would recommend looking on-line to get a basic idea of the area and if it seems like something you’d be interested in, come out and visit. We’ve been pretty happy here. My only concern, to be honest, would be for your Asperger’s daughter. I don’t know how old she is, but it’s been a challenge to get proper services here for my son, who also has Asperger’s and is mainstreamed. I taught in Florida for over 20 years and am still at a loss on how they do things here for the most part.

Thank you for your kind words about my site. It was a brain child when I saw all of the differences between the two areas. Feel free to pass it on to anyone else who may be interested and if I can be of further assistance, just let me know.

Idaho Swamp Rat

1 year ago