West Coast – Where to move?

I’ve been wanting to move for a while now.  I don’t hate Baltimore. I know I would miss it. But I need a change. I considered moving several years ago, but didn’t because I ended up meeting the band I was in and that took off. So I willingly stayed.
I’m not going to move right now.  I need to finish school. Then I need to start my career and get some experience for a few years, save some money, and then go for it. So it’s going to be a while before it happens.

One thing that’s important to me is the weather. But unlike a lot of people, I don’t want to live someplace where it’s hot year round. I think places with Mediterranean or Marine west coast/Oceanic climates would be ideal. This basically mean it’s those “in-between” temperatures most of the year: not too hot, not too cold: Spring and Fall weather, basically. I can’t stand humidity anymore. I can’t take these windy and cold winters in Maryland. It’s not that I can’t just suck it up. My body physically reacts badly to it! When it’s cold outside, my back muscles really tense up. They tense up so much that it hurts. There’s nothing I can do to just make the muscles relax (unless maybe I was prescribed a pill, but I’d rather not go that route if I could avoid it). And when it’s really hot and humid out, my skin reacts badly. This summer, I’ve been breaking out worse than I ever have in my life.  But when we get a few days or a week of not-as-hot weather, my skin improves a lot.
The weather also really affects my mood. For one thing, when the clocks go back in the fall, I can’t stand it. I realize that most of the U.S. changes the clocks in the fall and spring.  But it does get darker almost an hour earlier in Baltimore than it did when I was growing up in Dayton, Ohio because of its latitude in the time zone. We’re closer to the beginning of the time zone, but Dayton is at the end of the zone.

I think West Coast would be right for me. Not just because of the weather, but because of the culture and economies out there. And I just need something different from Baltimore. If I moved somewhere else on the East Coast, not only would I not have the desired weather, but it would be too similar to here.

So what cities have my desired climate in North America? There’s San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, Canada. San Diego/SF were my first choices. But the cost of living is so ridiculously high there, that I just don’t think they are the best choices. Everyone I know who’s been to San Diego says the people are nice, their sinuses/allergies are virtually gone (that would be great for me), the crime is relatively low, and it’s generally an awesome town. (Though most places would have lower crime than Baltimore). But I need to live somewhere somewhat reasonable. I know I’ll eventually be making more money, but that doesn’t mean I want to pay a lot more for the same things and struggle for basic needs.
I’ve always kind of considered moving to Canada in the back of my mind. The country seems beautiful.  Maybe it’s just the “grass is greener” thing, but it seems better in general there. I know it’s not perfect. But they seem to have less serious problems than America does.  But the thing is, a lot of Canada is cold. Vancouver has the Oceanic climate. But it’s also very expensive. Its housing is about the 13th highest in the whole world. That’s bad.
So that brings me to Seattle and Portland. They seem like awesome towns. They are pretty liberal. They have good music and arts scenes. Of course, that’s important to me. When I was a teenager, I wanted to move there just because a lot of the bands I liked where from those two cities (as well as Olympia). But as I’m getting older, there are other reasons I think it seems decent. Seattle has a great economy. It seems like a pretty city. I know these cities aren’t cheap, but I think they are do-able. All of the people I know who’ve lived in Seattle say good things about the place. When I tell most people I am thinking about Seattle, they tell me it rains a ton there. But if you look at the annual rainfall, it’s less than Baltimore. And Baltimore doesn’t get an extreme amount of rain.
According to Wikipedia: “Despite being on the margin of the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, the city of Seattle has a reputation for frequent rain. In reality, the so-called “rainy city” receives an unremarkable 37.1 inches (94.2 cm) of precipitation a year, which is much less precipitation than New York City, Atlanta, and Houston and most cities of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Seattle’s worldwide reputation for rain derives from the fact that it is cloudy (not rainy) an average of 226 days per year (vs. 132 in New York City). Most of the precipitation falls as drizzle or light rain, with downpours happening only occasionally. The spring, late fall, and winter are filled with days when it does not rain but looks as if it may because of cloudy, overcast skies.”
People think it’s weird but I like overcast weather. Yesterday (before it rained), I thought the weather was near perfect. It wasn’t too dark out, but it wasn’t annoyingly bright. The temperature was great. It was overcast. That may sound weird, but that’s how I feel. My body just feels better when the weather is different and my mood is affected.
Of course, I can hear things about cities from people and I can read articles. But I won’t know for sure where I want to move until I go around and visit the places. I am hoping by next year to visit Seattle and Portland. I need a vacation anyway and it would make sense to go somewhere I’m considering living.

I was also somewhat considering Las Vegas, which I never thought of until recently. Obviously it’s the desert and not Mediterranean. But it’s still not as humid as the East Coast. And I’d rather have really hot summers than have the hot summers and cold, windy winters we have here. I’m not a gambler, so I didn’t think Vegas would be for me. But talking to my friend Tommy who moved there, he made it seem like a place I might really like. He doesn’t gamble, either. There is a whole other scene there for the locals.

So who knows for sure where I’ll end up living. I have several years to decide for sure. But it doesn’t hurt to get a good idea sooner than that.


11 Comments to “West Coast – Where to move?”

  1. i don’t see why not. it would be funner that way.

  2. The ladybug & I are hoping to make the move to Seattle next year. So it’s got my vote!

  3. Oh wow! Good for you!
    If I end up moving there, we have to keep in touch. Well, we should keep in touch anyway. But you know what I mean, hehe.

  4. Recommend SF or Seattle or even Vancouver
    In the overall picture of what you’re looking for I believe the Bay Area is a good fit for you. IT and the art scene, political climate etc. It’s also got a better mixture of intetnationalism (not like LA or NY of course, but…)
    Seattle, my sis and older brother lives there now, my sis and I refer to it as the new San Francisco because of the tech boom of the 90’s in the IT sector, it kinda became LAized know what I mean???? Portland, ehhh, not really. When I moved up to Seattle from LA many moons ago, I said to myself, “I’ve never seen so many white people in my life, so this is America.” LOL Anyways one thing I hated about Seattle was their identity crises, wanted to be liberal like SF yet tried to act with the cosmopolitanism of NY city and sometime people try to act liberal because it’s the popular thing to do. But based on your weather demands Seattle might be a good fit.
    But for your overall demands the Bay Area may be the way to go. By that time you’ll be making enough money anyways plus get to know a couple of church groups (your moms can help you out in that dept) and some people rent out their basement (make it into a studio or 1 or 2 bedroom apt, real nice) and you can rent from them for a reasonable price. Since I know you like IT and arts, Bay Area, at least that’s my suggestion. Seattle’s IT scene = MS & Amazon

  5. Re: Recommend SF or Seattle or even Vancouver
    That’s so cool that you lived in some of those places. It’s definitely a benefit to get advice from people who have actually lived there! Thank you so much for your input.
    I get what you’re saying about SF, but the price thing does still turn me off. The basement thing could be a good thing to get started, but after a while I would want my own place and it’s ridiculously expensive out there. Then again, the housing market in general is horrible and so maybe things might get better.
    I know that in Baltimore over the past couple years, the housing prices have gone up a huge amount to the point where people can’t afford houses anymore and then apartment prices are going way up since a lot more people have to rent.
    Do you mind me asking when you lived in those cities? Just curious.
    Thanks again for your input!

  6. Re: Recommend SF or Seattle or even Vancouver
    In Seattle, I lived almost everywhere!!!! The Eastside (Bellevue, Kirkland, etc) consider that the suburbs where it’s almost all white (rich white folks or rich minorities). But if you’re in the art scene, the Central District (around Broadway) is the way to go, but if you want realtively cheap houseing the U District (near the University of Washington). Both these places offer a relatveily easy commute to downtown. Just let me know what kinda neighborhood you want and I’ll let you know about it, as a matter of fact my sis still lives in Seattle, so I can get the 411 from her anyways to confirm my suspicions.

  7. I’ll record a podcast for ya
    It’s a thing that can be put into black and white. I will record a podcast and put it on http://www.gcast.com and hook you up with a link, I think this will be better, if you give me the OK, I’ll record this weekend, let me know.

  8. Re: Recommend SF or Seattle or even Vancouver
    That is VERY HELPFUL information. Now I have a much better idea if I do go visit there and look for places to move.
    I’ll probably contact you closer to when I visit, if that’s okay with you, to go into more specifics.

  9. Cool
    Sounds cool I still recommend the Bay Area especially if you’re going to the legal dept. you can work for a law firm that specializes in IT anyways go to http://www.jimmyr.com there are some cool free university courses online (Berkeley, etc). or ITunes university.
    Anyways I’ll start recording this weekend.

  10. Re: I’ll record a podcast for ya
    Cooooool. I still need to visit there! I’ve always wanted to, even when I was a kid.
    Maybe you’re right. Maybe I should just live in a cheap apartment in SF than live in a nicer house or condo in Seattle.

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