When Florence Chan left New Jersey for Wisconsin in 2015, she never imagined she would move back to her home state.
Ms. Chan, 28, a UX designer, grew up in Milltown, a borough outside the city of New Brunswick, and attended college just down the road, at Rutgers University. Like many others who grew up in small towns — Milltown is just a square mile, with a population of 7,000 — she was ready to get out, to go somewhere new.
As a child, Ms. Chan regularly visited Manhattan with her family, and “always wanted to live in a bigger, busier city,” she said. “Growing up in New Jersey, I didn’t particularly enjoy the state itself. Even as an adult, I was like, ‘I’m never moving back to Jersey.’”
But last August, she and her fiancé, Paul Smirl, who grew up in Wisconsin, moved into an apartment in Hoboken, N.J., 45 minutes from her parents’ house and just across the river from New York City. This unexpected move was facilitated by a series of happy coincidences.
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