Do I love it here in New Hampshire? Yes I do! Though moving from the Midwest there were a few things I was quite surprised by and wish I had known pre-move. Hopefully outlining a few of those things here will help future movers arrive just a tad bit more prepared.
People are incredibly friendly here. I had lived in both small towns and big cities out West but people mainly kept to themselves. It was a real culture shock when everybody here was saying hello, chatting it up, and coming over to introduce themselves when we moved in. I was taken aback at first, but found the cultural tendency towards being neighborly to be a pleasant surprise. It’s wonderful living in a community where people genuinely care, and it’s been easy to create a new social network as a result.
New Hampshire requires an annual vehicle inspection. It’s not expensive and inspection places are easy to find, but I had just never heard of such a thing. When you register your vehicle you have 10 days to complete an inspection (and any necessary repairs) at which time you’ll get a sticker in your windshield. I’d recommend scoping out the area and seeking out reviews for inspection shops before getting your new plates.
It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL here. No amount of looking at pictures online prepared me for the pristine beauty all around. Mountains, forests, crystal clear rivers and lakes…. and when the fall colors peak you gotta see it in person to believe it. Every day the view just takes my breath away.
Some areas have limited mobile service. Here in the North, Verizon and US Cellular are the best bet. Double check coverage maps before moving and consider switching your phone service ahead of time. If you plan a visit an inexpensive prepaid Verizon or US Cellular phone may be worth looking into. Cable and internet services are fine in all but a couple dead spots.
We’ve discovered some endearing local quirks. My personal favorite is how here in Berlin, NH we seem to have our own little time zone. We half jokingly call it “Berlin time”. People are very laidback and everything is an -ish. 11ish. 6ish. In 2ish weeks. The natives tend to be very relaxed in general, no dirty stares if you arrive 5mins late to church.
Here in New Hampshire most homes and businesses use heating oil. Some use propane or electric, a few use wood pellets, but there is no natural gas. In a midwinter cold snap there may be a waiting list for oil deliveries, but it turns out oil companies do offer the option for automatic delivery. It’s arguably less financially advantageous, but peace of mind has value too. The idea of actually having to schedule a tank refill was a new concept to me, so for those coming from a natural gas area know that you’ll need to keep an eye on your fuel level.
Our Welcome Wagon was awesome! Despite advance planning we still had pretty short notice of our actual move in date. I requested move-in help online but didn’t really expect for anyone to be available. Lo and behold 5 people showed up at virtually a moment’s notice to help! One person traveled over 2 hours to help get us moved in. We wrapped up the task with a couple large pizzas and sharing our mover stories.
Stepping into the unknown can be both exciting and scary. Of course there’s no way to predict every possible contingency but hopefully these few things I learned along the way will help future movers enjoy a smooth transition. Nothing is without it’s ups and downs of course, but for my family making New Hampshire our home has been an amazing adventure. On behalf of the entire porcupine community we hope you decide to join us here in this journey of life and liberty!
Tiffany moved to New Hampshire as a participant in the Free State Project in August 2017. She currently organizes two monthly meetups for the North Country Porcupines and acts as a resource/contact person for new FSP movers to Northern NH.