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The 5 Best Cities for a Fresh Start

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 59 / LIFE August 15, 2012

Few things hold more intrigue than a fresh start—packing everything you own into your car and driving off to a totally new city to make a name for yourself. But if you don’t have a plan, you’re going to end up living out of your car in some border town. Start over the smart way: with our help. Here’s a list of our best picks for where to begin again.

Nashville, Tenn.

Forget bad country music and cowboys. Nashville’s got a cost of living you’ll be hard-pressed to beat. Add to that one of the country’s highest concentrations of nonprofit charities, and this place will be the last fresh start you’ll ever need.

Omaha, Neb.

This city’s got some of the country’s lowest unemployment rates and a rich supply of young, local farmers eager to put their harvests to good use. Best of all is its wildly robust independent music scene—along with its profusion of interesting venues.

Pittsburgh, Penn.

The recent influx of creative talent into Pittsburgh has put the city’s famous work ethic to artistic use. Check out its bevy of hip, affordable housing and the exploding creative job market. You’ll feel right at home in no time.

Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Double the cities, double the opportunity. Minneapolis and St. Paul are twin pillars of cool, each boasting armies of indie businesses and thriving churches. And with one of the nation’s highest volunteer rates, you’ll know you’re never far from a kind soul.

Austin, Texas

Believe every last word of hype you’ve heard about this city. It has good music, good art and good food, and its job market is growing faster than any other in the country—with no sign of slowing. So get in the car and start driving south already.

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