The paradox of choice.
I’m moving !
Two years ago I moved out of my ranch house in LA back up to my hometown in Silicon Valley to spend time with my family and get my blog and business up and running. It’s been wonderful to see old friends, spend time in the house I grew up in, and enjoy the beautiful Bay Area. Now I’m ready and excited to create a new home base somewhere. But where??
If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
My ranch home in LA
With so many opportunities for remote work these days, more of us are able to build a solid career from anywhere. While the images of lounging around on the beach with a laptop aren’t entirely realistic, you can certainly choose to live somewhere beautiful, affordable, and which gives you access to the things you like to do.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to grow up in the Bay Area and to have spent ten years in Los Angeles and a year in Melbourne as well. I may be back in California someday, but for now there are a number of reasons I’m leaving and a list of things I’m hoping to find in my new home.
In my process of choosing a place to move, I’ve made a list of things I’m looking for, and a list of places I think are good options. My next step is going to be to spend some time in each place and then narrow it down to one. I won’t give away my list of places yet, but I’d love to hear any of your tips and stories about choosing a new place to live!
Factors to Consider When You’re Deciding If and Where to Move
Why are you Moving?
Whether you just graduated, are retiring, or are just in the mood for something new, knowing why you’re moving is the first step to finding the right place to go.
Do you have a career that requires to yo be in a certain type of place? Can you work from anywhere or will you need to find a new job when you move?
Kids and Family
If you already have kids, thinking about the type of lifestyle you’d like them to have as they grow up is crucial. Or if you’re single and hoping to meet someone and start a family, think about places where you might meet a partner looking for the same. Maybe you’d like to move somewhere where you have extended family nearby or to be near your parents as they get older.
Cost of Living
How much can you afford to spend each month, and what things are you willing to sacrifice? Maybe you’ll have a smaller house in one city but better career opportunities. Perhaps traffic is worse in a place you’re considering but the great weather makes up for it.
Culture and Hobbies
What types of activities do you like to do outside your work? Would you rather spend your weekend going to museums and shows or hiking in the mountains?
Do you prefer hot and humid, four seasons, a temperate climate? If you like to do outdoor activities the weather also affects your lifestyle.
Whether you choose to live in a big city or a small town, it’s important to have support and friends around you. Look into local religious organizations, athletic activities, and other groups to see if the place you’re considering has a community for you to become a part of.
Why I’m Leaving the Bay Area:
In a few years my parents plan to move to Hawaii (very excited about that!) My sister still lives in the area but most of my friends have left SF and LA recently. There just isn’t as much keeping me here any more.
Cost of Living
I’d like to be able to buy a house, and can’t currently afford to do so here. Everything from housing to food to gym memberships are very expensive in California.
I love the sunshine, and SF doesn’t have enough of it for me.
It was worse in LA, but the Bay Area has also gotten out of control. One of the reasons I left LA was when I realized how many hours in each day I was wasting just sitting in my car. I have better things to do!
Although the influx of tech culture to SF has brought some positive changes, the culture has become much more homogenized. Most of the artists and creators have now left the city. I’d like to live somewhere where people have a different mindset.
Challenges I’m Facing in Moving to a New Place
I’m All Alone!
Unless I move back to Los Angeles or maybe to New York, I may know one person wherever I’m moving to, and maybe nobody at all. The idea of building new friendships and a lot of lonely nights is not something I’m looking forward to.
Establishing my Business
It will take time for me to build up a network and find clients in my new city.
My biggest fear in moving is that I will struggle with my mental health. As I experienced when I moved to Australia, being alone for long periods of time and going through many changes all at once can trigger depression or even a total mental breakdown. I hope that my awareness of this will prevent it from happening.
What if I Don’t Like It!
I guess it would be partly embarrassing and partly frustrating if I picked up and moved to a place and six months later I decided to come back to SF. But I can’t worry too much about that, what happens happens.
What I’m Looking for in a Home Town/City
Of course, what I’m looking for is the perfect place (for me.) It may not exist, but these are a few of the things I’m hoping to find.
LA and SF are not known for having the best public transportation, and while SF is walkable, the hills and the weather often keep you from walking very far. I love to wander and can be on my feet all day.
Like I said, I hope to buy a house!
I’m an endless Summer type of person, but I also enjoy some Fall colors, brisk mornings and a good snowshoe trip.
As you know I travel often, and I want to be able to visit my family regularly, so access to a pretty large airport is important to me.
Nature and Wildlife
I love animals and to spend a lot of time outdoors.
My dream is to be able to walk out my door and go hiking, surfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding…
Culture and Community
Both for my career and my personal life I would like to be somewhere with a thriving cultural scene and opportunities to meet people.
I’ve narrowed it down to 10 places. Looking forward to getting out there and finding my new home.
What are your criteria for the perfect place to live? What do you love about your home city? Let me know in the comments below!