Quoted from wayinla:
Wishing the best to all those affected by the wild fires. California is a BIG state - depends on where you live but everywhere has high property tax and cost of living. But I love where we live, the Beach Cities. Air quality is good and so much cooler than living inland. I get to go to the beach everyday and surf, though our spots are now being inundated with people who have discovered it due to COVID. It used to be so quiet and chill. Hoping that they go away after the craziness dies down.
I don’t think a lot of people realize the scale of the state. So many people from other states are always worried I am about to burn up. As bad as it all is right now, all of that is about as far away as if your were living in NY and there was a fire in Maine.
There is a huge diversity as far as what it’s like in different areas. Southern California is different than Northern California. Central California is more different. Even in just SoCal you can live at the beach, in the desert, in the mountains, and everything in between.
In NorCal SF is different from San Jose, which is different from the valley, and so on. Go north from SF/Sacramento and you still have hundreds and hundreds of miles of wide open land.
SoCal is basically a complete desert with far too many people living there, all stealing the water from NorCal (in NorCal people’s’ minds). In SoCal it isn’t unusual to have zero rain over a span of 8 months. In the northernmost part of the state, annual rainfall approaches 50 inches.
There are forests that stretch forever. There is all of Yosemite and Mammoth. There are hundreds of miles of Pacific Ocean coastline.
There are some really really nice places to live, depending on what you like. My preference if I could get there would be Central a California, north of Santa Barbara in the San Luis Obispo area. That is a totally different living vibe than being in crowded SoCal.
So, it it worth it? If you can afford the overpriced real estate to get where you would like to be, maybe so. The weather is ridiculously and consistently good. There are tons of things to do. Some things are expensive, but not everything. Most people, in general, are nice. There is a lot of diversity and always has been, and it seems to be no big issue for everyone to get along.
The biggest downsides? First and foremost, water. It is a major limiting factor, and that probably can’t be improved much. Continual expansion of population only makes this worse.
Second? The absolute dumbest and worst group of politicians on the face of the earth. In the end you get what you vote for, so I suppose this is what most of the people want. If you are a business owner, an entrepreneur, a hard worker, or anyone who actually makes a contribution to society, the levels of government control and taxation are onerous. Everyday citizens have basically no rights or protections, and criminals are well-loved and allowed to do whatever they want with no punishment. This is the main reason many people leave.
My final note. At least among people that I generally come across, by far the number one topic of discussion is this: where can we go to get the hell out of here???!