California, love it or leave it: Why many Californians are leaving the state
SAN DIEGO, August 3, 2021– There is much not to like about my home state, California these days, and many dissatisfied Californians are packing up and leaving.
Among a few of the disagreeable aspects are destructive fires, increasing taxes, gas price increases, escalating home prices, increasing rents, dreaded commutes, roadways in disrepair, rising homelessness and political gridlock in Sacramento–there are far too many to mention!
It is impossible not to acknowledge the extent to which political imbalances can be destructive and lead to massive recall efforts from dissatisfied Californians who are rising up and saying “enough!”.
Californians mass exodus out of the state
What difference will all the grassroots efforts truly make to stop the decline of the coveted quality of life, while repairing all the damage which has been done?
California residents and businesses have been migrating to other states with the pioneering spirit in search of a better life.
In answering this question, this writer endeavored to embark upon a personal journey to find where there might be other possibilities for more suitable lifestyles.
First, research began on an international level, seeking more information relative to foreign countries where an American citizen can become a dual citizen.
The most compelling were Australia, UK, Ireland, and Portugal, though there were more countries to choose from.
Cursory research resulted in both seeing the potential benefits of being able to travel more frequently throughout Europe and the lure of a great adventure.
There were in some cases requirements of residency, waiting periods prior to access of medical care, requirements of varying currencies and taxations, issues of family history and ties to particular countries, and there would simply be no way in which they would be placing Regan, my Wheaten Terrier, in quarantine.
Upon acceptance of the undesired barriers international living would provide, research promptly began on discerning the finest places in America to reside in based on a variety of indicators, i.e., value, job market, and overall quality of life.
The US News published their 2021-2022 “150 Best Places to Live in the US” report and other data, with the following cities among the top 25:
1. Boulder, CO
2. Raleigh & Durham, NC
3. Huntsville, AL
4. Fayetteville, AR
5. Austin, TX
6. Colorado Springs, CO
7. Naples, FL
8. Portland, ME
9. Sarasota, FL
11.Ann Arbor, MI
13.San Francisco, CA
15.Fort Collins, CO
19.Green Bay, WI
21.Salt Lake City, UT
25.Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
26. Our nation’s capital, Washington, DC (added this as a 26th city for interest)
There is an undeniable pattern of states which can have colder climates and snow, which this native San Diegan has never lived in and never so much as made a snowman, which seems a bit out of range.
Living at sea level has made trips to Colorado require quick exits from embracing its splendor, due to the high altitude.
With an admitted attraction to Florida, the thought of hurricanes gives a pause for thought.
Then began research on the cost of living, and California ranked high multiple times, with my hometown, San Diego ranking 4th place, simply justifying why this research began in the first place.
In Ideal-Living’s “100 Best Places to Live 2021 Relocation Guide,” it featured their perspective on where the best places to live and retire to might be.
Ideal-Living’s rankings were based on tax friendliness, retirement benefits, climate cost of living, population, demographics, housing costs, availability of schools, quality and access to health care, access to airports and entertainment:
1. Naples, Florida
2. Asheville, North Carolina
3. Nashville, Tennessee
4. Milford, Delaware
5. Beaufort, South Carolina
6. Phoenix, Arizona
7. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
9. Fort Myers, Florida
As discernment continued, safety and environmental change was tconsidered, which led down a completely different research road.
What is the level of safety in some of the “Best” American cities?
Is my current neighborhood safe to live in?
What is the long-range impact of global warming where my home is now and where it could become?
Fortunately, my current neighborhood is considered very safe, though I was shocked that some of the other surrounding counties have room for improvement.
Global warming has been devastating to my home state, as has been our leadership’s management of it.
Cities on the pacific northwest, and those north of California, have been experiencing unprecedented hot temperatures while many experienced tragic fires.
Some predict that coastal cities in places like California will become completely lost as sea levels rise on our eastern and western shores.
There are thoughts that ultimately countries and cities would ultimately survive which are islands on ocean waters and therefore self-sufficient relative to water consumption and use and, while being afforded to stabilize temperatures.
It is not at all unusual to read news stories and view maps showing the U.S. predominantly in bright red danger zones, indicating horrific environmental conditions as our future in the majority of states.
What is the truth relative to the quality of life overall at any given time and any given place on our Globe; and, what constitutes quality of life for each and every human being?
There may simply be no easy nor predictable answer for anyone.
Where that leaves this writer is with unknown answers at this time, and with a mixed mindset.
The optimist mindset is grateful for the quality of life which is evident today and for which there is unending appreciation.
Creating a life borne out of hard work and dedication now brimming with purpose and meaning, while making a positive difference in the life of others, is a great gift.
Why anyone would want to leave anything so compelling or important; and, will the grass possibly be greener in a new city, state or country is a great unknown.
Perhaps it means each of us can be part of the solution to what is perceived as social ills, injustices and predicted problems related to the quality of life.
We are each here for a reason.
And it is up to each of us to find our purpose, answer our own questions and make the answers our own.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
About the Author:
Laurie Edwards-Tate is Communities Digital News senior health and aging specialist covering healthful eating, living, and aging information. Since 1984, Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm, and children. Laurie is on the Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.
(Main image: Thanks to Matthew Hamilton @thatsmrbio for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁