Disclaimer: please don't hate. I'm not here to raise housing prices or spend more than you would. I buy used cars and my house costs 1/4 of what I could afford. This is a serious thread.
Tldr: I need to move somewhere near mountains that my wife won't hate her life at. Ohio, outside of NE Ohio, is literal cancer and even NE Ohio is only tolerable.
Long story: I've been wrestling with this for a long time now. If you add HS, then I'm looking at 13 years of wanting to leave. I never wanted to stay in Ohio. I didn't even want to go to college here but did because of parental pressure and because I got accepted into my degree program straight from HS. The only reason I'm still in Ohio is because of my job. I love it and wish I could move the hospital with me. Another main reason was my pension wasn't fully vested and I'd lose money if I left early. Now that my pension is vested, I'm free to leave. I just got board certified in my specialty which increases my worth. I shouldn't have a problem getting a job anywhere because of that. Additionally my hospital underpays across the board; a lot of things have happened lately which makes me realize they don't value us as much as I thought they did and that's been quite a shock to the already low morale we had going on. This goes to the top, beyond my manager and director who are both fabulous. So basically my sole reason for being here has also been kinda ruined.
Traveling to do my passions which are mainly outdoors things is very expensive. I work to fund my endeavors. I spend a lot traveling to places I don't necessarily need to if I lived closer.
It's all getting kind of depressing and to the point where I need to make a change in the next year or two. Our original plan was to move to Charleston, SC which I LOVE but it still would put me far from the rest of things I value more. I kinda flipped out on my wife the other week and told her I need to leave Ohio and I need mountains. Her response was constructive lol "just not Colorado"- that's fine cuz it's a big country. She says she's about warm climates but she's also from Cleveland and puts the fans on in the winter time so I'd beg to differ if she could ever tolerate southern heat.
Anyway do any of you have ideas for wtf I should do? Is there anywhere not super rural with somewhat temperate climates to not scare off those cold weather haters but within 60-90 (or even 120) minutes of skiable mountains? I'm at the point where I've realized that my sanity matters most, and I'm moving, even if that means I move alone.
I sat on this conclusion for a while so this isn't a rash decision. Only issue is I have to know where well in advance so I can transfer my license and take a law exam. While I shudder at the prospect of California, I am open to all suggestions.