To find out more about my list and criteria Read Below!
- Flagstaff, Tucson, AZ
- La Jolla, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, CA
- Boulder, Denver, CO
- Atlanta, GA
- Boston, MA (I know I probably won't move here but I have always wanted to visit)
- St. Louis, MO
- Portland, OR
- Austin, TX
- Seattle, WA
- Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, Canada
When looking at cities I had some loose criteria. Ideally the temperature range is 30'-90' there are some exceptions mainly Canada and Colorado. Normally, I loathe the cold and snow. Mainly I loathe Midwest snow. It's too wet and heavy to really do anything fun with it and it just turns gray and ugly after a day or so. After skiing in Montana I see the allure of a snowy mountain place if there are fun activities to go with it.
Proximity to a large body of water is also really important, ideally the ocean. Growing up so close to Lake Michigan has been wonderful. So many of the summers as a kid we went up to vacation houses of friends and spent so much time hanging out by the lake. Looking across a large body of water is so soothing to me and I would hate to remove myself from that source of peace.
Another check mark on my list is the cultural feel of the city. A city being described as hipster haven or has a great art culture made it closer to the top. I identify with those artsy/hipster parts of Chicago the most so ideally my new home will have some of the same markers.
I also green-lighted some cities that have only one or two of the criteria above because I have friends there. I see it as a chance to see some of the people I love while checking out a potential new city. The idea of not having to start over completely when it comes to my social circle is very appealing. And those cities come with the added benefit of a couch to crash on.
The next step in this journey is to plan everything. I have limited money right now and want to save for my move so I am trying to do it all as cheap as possible. That means for locations that are close doing a longer trip to cover more ground. For lodging, I have a couple of options. I know I don't want to stay in a hotel or resort, partly because they are expensive and partly because they don't give you a pulse on the city. I am looking at hostels, house/pet sitting, and B&B's in cities there isn't already a couch for me to surf on.
I am super excited to plan this trip. Going it alone is going to be a great experience for me and I get to tick off some states I've never been to before. Please look forward to a post about what has worked best for me in keeping my costs low but my travel value high. Until next time!