Hey, BeninBeta here, and today I’m going to talk about why I’m happy to leave the Bay Area in California.
I’ll talk about how we got here, what’s good about the Bay and why I’ll be happier in Colorado. Before we get into it, hit the subscribe button and if you find this video interesting please hit that like button too.
How we Got to Cali
My wife and I lived our first 40 years in Wisconsin and that is where all of our family and most of our friends are. I worked as an educator and then as technology coordinator for a school district and then a small university in Wisconsin. We had a great life in Wisco, nice house and neighborhood and everything was very affordable. But both Misty and I were getting tired of the fairly brutal and long winters in Wisconsin. We had visited Colorado a couple of times and really liked that area and often thought that would be great place to retire of move to if there was an opportunity.
Since i worked in technology I applied now and then for different positions and one in 2019, a company offered me a position, but it was in Mountain View California. We had been to that area several times, and while we liked it we knew it was very expensive. But in the end we decide to take the shot, thought at first Misty had decided to stay behind too see if I liked it. It didn’t take too long after day after day of me video calling while walking the dog in Aug and Sept and a couple of visits along with Wisconsin experiencing a terrible rainy winter before Misty was on her way out too, after having snagged a new job as well. We both made big leaps into very different roles as well as to a new place where we didnt’ know anyway. The biggest issue was COVID for us as it shut the Bay down for 2.5 years only a couple of months after we moved. That likely impacted our experience here too.
So why would we want to leave the bay area then? Let’s start with what’s good about California.
First as I mentioned already the weather, south of San Francisco at least is pretty fantastic if you love sun. You can generally guarantee that it’ll be sunny and 65-85 pretty much everyday from April to November. The winters are mild, but can be rainy, which we experienced this year, 2023.
Compared to Wisconsin, the outdoor activities suited us much better. We love hiking and the foothills around the Bay are great to hike year round. Plus you get a little elevation which was hard to find in Wisconsin. Along with that you have amazing outdoor spaces like Muirwoods, Big Basin (we were able to hike that before the fire), the Santa Cruz coast, John D Grant State Park, Almaden Quicksilver (our local favorite, Yosemite, Sequoia, and Pinnicles are all close by from 30 mins or less to about 3 hours. So we have really enjoyed that. The ocean is nice too though we’re more mountain people.
There are a lot of things to do here and may great coffee shops, cideries, breweries and restaurants too. Though we found it hard to sometimes find restaurants that met some of our dietary preferences and we have found better options in Colorado for most of those as well. we tend to prefer nature the quite over the city in general so that may be why we didn’t find as much as we could have.
Air Travel to and from the Bay is very easy so that’s a huge plus when we wanted to other places or when someone came to visit.
Being able to drop to just one car was pretty awesome too. Public trans is pretty great in the Bay and we live walking distance to many of the places that we shop.
The last one I’ll mention is the diversity of people here. I really learned a lot about other cultures and enjoyed meeting people from a diverse background especially during the first few months before the Pandemic.
That's about it where I’d draw the line of what we liked.
Why am I glad to be leaving the Bay?
One of the big reasons would be what Colorado offers us that we don’t get here, but that might be another video.
Firstly. though since I arrived here with our Dog Rue, we have both suffered from pretty chronic allergies. When I’m in the Bay I generally have a plugged left ear the entire time I’m here and am always itchy. Rue is worse though she has had several skin infections, and suffers from Red itchy skin becuase she has contact allergies and she seems to be allergic to contacting California. We have lived in two different cities and both continued to suffer. We both are on allergies med and she gets a monthly shot while I take drops. We have to wipe her feet and private parts after pretty much every walk and bath her weekly. In Colorado those issues really subside.
I think alot of that is due to point number 2. It’s generally just dirty here. I can just taste dirt when we walk outside and everything get filthy if you leave the windows open. The air quality can get pretty bad, especially during fire season, but when we wipe Rues feet after a walk theyr’e just filthy. Again they are not like that in Colorado.
I would also mention that while I love the sun, I also like season’s and miss fall and even a little bit of winter, both of which we get in colorado, and still get 300 days of shine. So that’s another one for me.
Now to some bigger issues.
People. While I have met some great friends here, all through work, people in general are kind of jerks here. When we hike the majority of people don't acknowledge you at all, even when you greet them. We miss that midwest nice for sure. If a stranger is nice to you here they probably want something from you.
Further, there is a lot of homeless people here, but the issue is not that there are alot, it’s that people don’t care even when they say they do. If the government tries to setup housing people whol own homes here, which tend to be on the wealthy side will protest and really just want them shipped some where else so the problem will never go away.
That leads me to the last two reasons.
Traffic is terrible here most of the time. It was amazing during the pandemic, but if you don’t leave early on a weekend to get somewhere, you’ll probably sit in traffic. Forget going somewhere during the week. Add to that crazy people and motorcycle laws that allow them to split lanes and it’s just insane. One time we were riding with a friend and there as a guy actively trying to get rear ended. He kept pulling in front of different cars and smashing his breaks. What is that?
But the number 1 reason is cost. The cost of everything here is just insane. Taxes super high and for what? Car registration super high, gas, ridiculous, and groceries are high too. But the worst one is housing. The median home price here is 1.68 million dollars. Rent for a decent place that takes large dogs in $4000 for a 1-2 bed apartment and for a townhouse 4500+. And being from Wisconsin we just have a tough time with that. We cannot afford a house for sure and don’t want to pay that amount for.a nice place to live. if you don’t have a large animal, it’s much less expensive but we didn’t want to give up our dog.
So there you have it.that’s the good and and bad about the bay area from my perspective. Was it worth moving here? Yes we needed that push to figure out where we wanted to settle and to prove we could adapt to different jobs, so I’m grateful for the opportunity, but I’m ready for the next chapter.
Thanks for watching and I hope to see you next time. Remember Die with Memories not Dreams! See you next time!