At least for now, and the past 5 days.
The problem with people from the north (like me) is that they tend to stereotype people from other areas by whatever we think they are, based on ... accent, body type, or some other pre-conceived notion that lends itself to whatever style we assumed.
What generally happens is, we get there, and realize that, other than some accent (it turns out, I have one, too) or some other oddity, they are ... people. Go figure. People with jobs, lives, wants, needs, and desires. No different than the rest of us. What a culture shock!
While I realize two things: (1) Travelers face different types of people than residents. I have mainly dealt with service people and wait staff, and (2) I have only been here for 5 days, I still can tell the things that make us the same as people - God forbid. It's the other things that make me wonder how much better life would be here than in New Jersey.
For one thing, the lack of traffic. If someone complains about how over-crowded America is, tell them to visit northern Alabama. In five days, I have been in traffic twice. Both times, it was because of an accident.
Another thing is the pace of life. It doesn't seem as though everything has to happen in an instant. People apologize for making me wait a normal amount of time. I really don't care. And, the accent. I find it charming, especially in women. There is a poetic nature about it that is at once romantic and pleasing to my ear. I have yet to be yelled at or corrected, so perhaps my perspective is warped, but so be it.
I hesitate to talk politics. I know I'm in a deeply RED state. So red that, if I lived here and voted, I'd have to recognize the fact that my liberal Democrat vote would be so diluted as to make it meaningless. I don't know yet if that would bother me. I'll get back to you on that - maybe.
I'm always looking for potential retirement areas. Northern Alabama has placed itself at the top of my short list.