Dec 30, 2008

Moving to the Country; Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches.

Since last Christmas (which was spent with Trevor's family), Trevor and I had been planning on going to California to see my family for Christmas this year. However, we found out sometime mid-December that Trevor would have to work Christmas Day, so that plan seemed like it wouldn't happen. But at the last second, we found out he could get it off (thanks to his ability to make friends with his supervisors), so we rented a car and drove down to California to surprise my family for Christmas. We arrived shortly before Christmas Eve dinner and my mother died of happiness as expected and it was a grand time.

During this trip, Trevor and I spent a good deal of time discussing moving somewhere. Generally to whatever place we happened to be driving through (with a lot of emphasis on Vegas, since we were stuck in traffic there for at least an hour), but the two main factors were: we like warm weather and political/religious/cultural diversity. We do not get those in Utah. We were pretty set on moving as we drove through Nevada and discovered that it wasn't butt-freezing cold ever. I knew we had to move during a tour of Ridgecrest when Trevor expressed amazement at how many non-LDS churches there were in town (in Utah, you're either atheist or Mormon).

I've lived here for almost as long as I've lived anywhere in my life ("here" referring to Utah County; a move from Provo to American Fork doesn't really count as a move, since we still hang out with essentially the same people and the culture and climate are essentially the same). I think the longest I've ever lived in one place at one time was five years between the 6th and 10th grades in Ridgecrest. I'm almost at four-and-a-half years in Utah. And feeling antsy.

Trevor's whole life has been spent in Utah and Salt Lake Counties, so moving somewhere completely different is a little more intimidating to him (I don't mean that in a derogatory way, he's not naive or scared or anything, just inexperienced when it comes to life outside of northern Utah), but he seems to have warmed up to the idea significantly of late.

And so begins the research. Here is a list of things to consider (that I haven't run by Trevor, so maybe he'll differ on some of these, but I think it stands fairly accurate):

Things we care about
  • no/little snowfall (I'm more fond of snow than Trevor, but both of us agree that we would be fine/really happy without it)
  • well-educated population
  • job availability (both of us have the most experience working in the tech industry, but I'm sure we can find good work in any "growing community")
  • affordable housing that is not next door to a crack dealer
  • good public transportation
  • political diversity (liberal-leaning is preferable to conservative-leaning, but anywhere diverse is great)
  • vibrant music scene
  • personality of a town/city (we have several personalities we would be happy with, but we would prefer for the place has to have something unique to the feel of it)
  • air quality/water quality
  • decent amount of things to do (museums, theaters, restaurants, libraries, parks) (outdoorsy/athletic things to do will be taken into consideration as well, but aren't as important)
  • pretentiousness (most pretentious places are probably already ruled out with the "affordable housing" requirement, but it is something that will absolutely not be tolerated)
  • decent population of people in their 20s
Things we don't care about
  • hot weather (both of us are fine with 100+ degrees).
  • professional sports in the area
  • fabulous shopping (decent options are necessary, obviously, but we're fine without a plethora of designer outlets at our fingertips)
  • tax rates of different states
  • physical attractiveness of the general population
Any suggestions?


Rachael said...

Hey that's mine and Brian's list too, except Brian needs not too hot and some humidity. :) We're not currently having a lot of luck. :(

Erin said...

Maryland? I love Philadelphia (and PA in general) but it definitely gets cold. I think there are probably a hundred Cali cities that would fit your preferences, but if you're looking for affordability you could try the east coast. The south would fit your weather specifications, but not always your...well...desires for diversity and...well...I'll leave that comment out. But Maryland stays pretty warm (although there is some snow) and is close to DC, Philly, etc. You'd have to live close to the coast because the warm eastern current warms ups the coastal regions pretty well. Otherwise it'd probably be too cold. That's my favorite corner of the world. Tons of Universities bring lots of people in their 20's. I have no idea how the jobs are around there...Who knows. Let me know if you choose anything out here! Wamer...I'd say, Georgia? Maybe? The bigger cities might have what you need.

Trapper said...

To me it sounds like you are just coveting your neighbor's yard.

mom said...

My first thought was Lancaster since it is close to LA stuff and your mommy but I wonder if Arizona might be better. Your Uncle Don went to Devry Institute there and finished his schooling quickly.

Steff said...

I’m going to write you a short novel here and tell you why I agree with your mom on this one. ARIZONA!!! (I’d recommend the greater Phoenix area) Let’s just go down the list here:

-No/Little Snow: Check!
-Well Educated: Check!
-Jobs: Don’t know for sure, but in high school I never had trouble finding jobs and they always paid way more than my friend’s comparable jobs in other states.
-Housing: You can find lots of stuff for cheap in Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix. $500-700 range for a decent apartment.
-Transportation: Check! Good bus system and a new light rail system.
-Political Diversity: Politically it’s pretty divided. Democratic governor (until Obama takes her in January to head up Homeland Security). The state overall may be slightly republican leaning, but Phoenix/Tempe areas are liberal.
-Music Scene: Double Check- Great music scene (probably in large part due to ASU). And don’t worry—it’s not all about Country music.
-Personality: CHECK! It’s got a big city feel to it, but without billions of high-rise buildings and terrible traffic, and stinkyness, etc... It’s also got this awesome Western feel to it, but it’s not over the top—it’s not HICK western by any means (okay, maybe a few places are a bit hick, but it's kinda fun)
-Air quality: Won’t lie... not the best. But hey, it’s what causes the awesome sunsets.
-Water: Check.
-Things to do: Lots. Movie theaters, plays, museums, art galleries, shopping, you can always find killer, cheap, and authentic Mexican food, paved trails everywhere, parks, water parks, greenbelts everywhere, sports stuff as well (D-backs, Suns, Cardinals, college teams), botanical gardens, great zoo, awesome free art walks every week, free car shows weekly, Indian ruins such as Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot (google them), and I could go on forever...

Bonus #1: CITRUS. Everywhere. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are pretty much free because everyone has a citrus tree and can’t get rid of the stuff fast enough. It is great. You’ll eat yourself sick.

Bonus #2: It’s not like Utah where everyone is LDS, but you also won’t feel like you’re the only member in the whole state.

Bonus #3: Good freeway system. Basically no matter where you live, anywhere you’d ever want to go would be less than a 30 min. drive.

Bonus #4: Frank Lloyd Wright. His awesome architecture is all over the city and you can visit and tour his SWEET house, Taliesin West.

Okay I’m done. :) Sorry I missed your Christmas sweater party! I was sad and even bought some hideous Santa earrings to wear. But, Byron and I decided to leave for California a day earlier than planned to avoid driving in the snow.

Valerie said...

Alberta is definitely out, but I do agree about Phoenix.

Gina Prisbrey said...

Sounds like St. George to me!

Aunt Gina

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