I understand your "good grief" but never imagined that someone who indicates no preference to live near family as someone who has no strong ties or doesn't love their family . My mind just doesn't think that way. I see the person who is willing to relocate as independent (not emotionally needy) and adventurous; willing to take risks.
I am sorry if I offended anyone with the "near family: mine", but as a mom I can't help but see that toddler shouting "mine". I guess you almost have to have kids to understand what I am referring to.
Although that isn't the way your mind works, mine doesn't work like yours. I in no way seeing someone preferring to live closer to their family as selfish. You don't know what their reasons are; rather you are choosing to make a rash judgment. Though I did indicate that I would live near family (either), I prefer to live close to my family because I have a mother with serious health problems. But, that doesn't mean that I would be entirely opposed to living somewhere else......which makes my desire to stay close to home a preference, not a set in stone, end all be all. But without someone asking me about it, you are making the assumption that I am selfish, unadventurous, and unwilling to try new things. In fact, I have done all, love to travel, and love being spontaneous. I also love my family.
You don't have to have kids to understand what you are talking about. But I do ask you this, do you view people who answer "prefer my current location" in the same light? We all have our reasons for our preferences. It is up to all of us to determine whether or not we want to get to know that person and ask why their preferences are what they are instead of judging them.