Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure: Where Do I Go?

Gadling.com: Top 10 Travel Spots in the United States

You know, out of the places on this list I've only been to three. I've been to far more interesting cities, towns and mountain ranges that didn't make the top ten list, but the fact remains that I ain't seen nothin' when it comes to my own country. Since I'm not recontracting to work another year in Japan this means I'm going back to the U.S. in August. Rather than just staying in the Albany/Capital region of New York forever, I intend to relocate somewhere new - preferably somewhere with less snow and lower living expenses. There are so many options. Where am I supposed to begin? I guess making a list of considerations has been overdue. Here are five so far.

1.) Austin, Texas.
+The only city in TX with a considerable number of Democrats and Thai food places. Job market OK considering. Warm weather, little snow. Lots of young people and artistic types. Friendly to country and cowboys. There is a decent airport. Living costs reasonable compared to Northeast.
-Far removed from pretty much everywhere else in the country. TX is flat and plains-y, a stark contrast to the woods and mountains I'm used to. Rich Tex-Mex food means it will be extremely difficult not to get fat. I'd need a car to get around.

2.) Boston, Massachusetts.
+Near home, visiting the folks would be super easy. Lovely city and I already have a lot of friends and acquaintances there. Great public transportation means I wouldn't need a car. Lots of young people, great restaurants and entertainment. New England is familiar.
-Cold snowy winters. High MA income tax. Rent and other costs of living very high, would need to share living space. Completely urban environment may be off-putting and overwhelming due to competitiveness.

3.) Knoxville, Tennessee.
+A change of pace from the Northeast. Family all over town. Comparable size to where I grew up. Proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Decent if not great arts scene. The airport is OK. Cheap cost of living, could probably afford my own place.
-Southeast means lots of conservatives and other people who non-ironically voted for Mike Huckabee. College football dominates everything. More sheltered worldview than bigger cities. Would need a car to get around.

4.) Tucson, Arizona.
+Definitely no need to worry about shoveling snow in winter. Beautiful surroundings and lots of outdoor recreation. Active arts/nightlife/entertainment/music scene. Airport is fine. Cost of living reasonable though not especially cheap. Good food.
-So hot in summer that I could die if my A/C unit breaks. Would need a car. Would also need to learn Spanish to be an ideal job candidate. Somewhat isolated from the rest of the country. Currently host to a whole load of political and racial tensions that may take a while to clear.

5.) Los Angeles, California.
+Ideal climate and weather. I already know lots of people there. Unbeatable restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Excellent international airport. Proximity to beach, desert and mountain hiking. I would have no trouble keeping weight off.
-Very expensive to live in; would need roommates, car, and connections. Cutthroat competition for everything, possibly very isolating environment. Rampant eating disorders. Traffic and pollution a real concern. CA income tax very high.


  1. Do I even need to suggeest which one to pick? Not because I'm biased or anything. :)

  2. put roo in for 1 vote for number 5! California rules. If you live close to the beach (Santa Monica woooo) pollution isn't a concern. Unless you're counting all the legal weed in your lungs...


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