Despite my desire to become involved in my campus and community, there are times that I wish I lived closer to family. Since I don’t have kids (and, as a result, don’t need occasional free child care) these times are typically related to visits home. On a daily basis, I am happy with where I live and I actually prefer my current are of the country to the area where I grew up. During trips home, however, the presence of parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins is enough to make me wish that I had a more mobile job.
There are several problems with this desire. The first is that I am happy where I am professionally and I recognize that lots of people end up with colleagues or administrators that they dislike. The second is that, as you may have heard, academic jobs are hard to come by. Beyond this, there are not a lot of colleges and universities in the area where I grew up and several of those that are in the area are not the kinds of institutions that I spent seven years in graduate school preparing to work at.
Despite these problems there are a few schools in the area where I would be willing and/or qualified to work, so I suppose that every fall I will check job listings looking for one of these schools but accepting that I am likely to stay where I am. I am probably equally likely to convince my entire family to move here.