I love a reinvention. It sounds like wanderlust and frankly, if you can go I always say why not. Nothing holding you in place leaves you open to new possibilities. My one hesitation is your daughter and her schooling…you would want a good school system for her…which kind of rules most of Florida out cuz schools here suck…badly…which is unfortunate, because there is no state tax and it is fairly felony friendly, lots of AA…tho not east coast crunchy unfortunately…that is one of the things I miss most about Vermont…very eco conscious and progressive…I really miss that.
My daughter lives in Minneapolis, it is a great city, LOTS of parks and healthy outdoor things to do…some crunch for sure, good healthcare…fairly progressive…sadly winters are WAY too long. Same for Vermont, which is nirvana…especially Burlington area but EXPENSIVE and too long winter.
Asheville NC …a really neat area, gorgeous, crunchy, progressive. Austin TX…same. I cannot speak to felony friendly. Durham sounds like a good thing for you.
We left Vermont after 20+ years for Florida…very different…pros and cons. I left Massachusetts for Vermont many years ago and loved it but it wasn’t a huge geographic move but I didn’t know a soul…just me and my daughter…best move I ever made.
Look around online at local newspapers and such…can often get a feel for places. Even from trip advisor or facebook…follow the info on restaurants, grocery stores, shops, bike paths, co-ops, daycare, social services…it gives you an idea of the place and what they offer.
I have traveled all over the U.S. and there are some VERY special places. You just need to find yours. Is it Durham?