The Pros And Cons Of Living In California (Raw And Real)

Moving to California seems to equate success in most people eyes. That’s the way it’s portrayed in the movies and when my friends and family found out I was living here, they all said ‘good for you’. People really view it as if you’re moving up in the world once you’re living here. Let me make it clear, I love living in California for so many reasons (which we’ll get into) but it wasn’t exactly what I expected when I first came here. So I thought I’d share with you all the reality of living in the Golden state just in case you’re thinking of moving here too.

  1. Pro: My very first pro (and it’s my favorite) is all the sun we get here! It truly is the sunshine state. I’m one of those people who thrive on natural sunlight. I’ll actually start getting a little depressed if I don’t get enough. But that is no issue here at all! All day, everyday the sun is out, bright, and beaming. And I love it! It seriously makes me so happy. I cannot say enough good things about the sunshine we get. We do of course have rainy days too with overcast, but in my opinion, it’s not that often at all. I actually like those days too so it doesn’t really bother me.
  2. Con: You have to drive really far to get most places (at least from where we live). I personally live close to the state’s capital, Sacramento, so we’re right in the middle of California. To put it in perspective for you, we have to drive 2 hours to get to San Francisco, 7 hours to get to San Diego, 5.5 hours to get to L.A, and 2 hours to get to Yosemite. That may not seem so bad to you, depending on where you’re from, but for me, coming from Massachusetts, that was a huge shock. Back home, everything is less than an hour away. You could literally be in another city in 15 mins and our beach was only half an hour away. So when I first moved here, I did not want to go anywhere because I couldn’t stand the long drives. I just had never done that before. But now I’m getting more used to it. The longest drive we’ve done is 4 hours and I’m sure I’ll be able to do even longer trips soon enough.
  3. Pro: There are different climates for everyone here. If you prefer the colder weather and some snow, you can choose to live up north in the sierras. If you like it hot, come to the valley. And if you want more of a cool and breezy, overcast climate, then the bay area is the place for you. You can basically find a place that is just right for you right here in California. Whatever specific climate preferences you have, they can all be met here.
  4. Con: It is sooo expensive to live here. To give you some perspective, we live in a not so safe city and yet to rent a modern, average sized home you’re looking to pay $2500! Or you can rent a house that’s not so up to date and remodeled for $2000. And again, we’re not living in an amazing city or anything like that. So just imagine if you were living in San Fran or L.A (one of the more popular cities)? It was reported that in San Francisco, a person making six-figures is considered to be in poverty…and that’s no joke! They’re barely getting by on that six-figure salary simply because their city is just so expensive! It’s to the point that if prices get any higher, we’re unfortunately thinking of moving out of state!
  5. Pro: We have some of the most amazing places to see here. I’ve mentioned them before (San Fran, L.A, San Diego, etc..) but you don’t have to go very far to see them and they’re all right here in California.
  6. Con: Because California is so expensive, you may end up having to live in a not so safe neighborhood (because it’s all you can afford). Since California is a more densely populated state, there’s more crime. Now, I personally have never been a victim of said crime, our close group of friends haven’t either but you definitely hear about it in the news. I don’t think you should let that scare you from moving to California but I think it’s just something to keep in mind.
  7. Pro: There are so many hipster and modern places here. From our new juice bars, boba cafes, and more vegan restaurants popping up, California is very much alive with the times. I love being able to try new and exciting places to not only eat but also shop. There are also so many craft shows too where people make and sell their own handmade goods.
  8. Con: We do not all live on the beach. This is a big one, but basically California isn’t exactly what you see in the movies. We don’t all have the beach in our backyard and surf all day. It may seem silly but I really believed that’s how California would be, based on what I saw on TV. You definitely can still find beautiful beaches here but we don’t all live by the coast. Like I mentioned, I live in the middle of California so it’s more city life than anything else. But going down south is where you’ll find the coast and all the beautiful beaches. So just expect that not everywhere you visit here will look like the movies.
  9. Pro: Hollywood! I’ve never personally been there yet but if you are looking to make it in the entertainment field, then California is the place for you. This is in fact where a lot of TV and music is produced so if you want to be a part of that, then it’s good to go right to the source.
  10. Con: There are dozens of homeless people here. Now before anyone gets mad I just want to say, I don’t have anything against someone who lives on the streets. That’s not the problem. What the problem is for me is that a majority of the homeless people here are on drugs or are alcoholics. They tend to lash out and do crazy things because they are under the influence. That’s when it gets dangerous. Living back home in Massachusetts, in all my 18 years of living there, I had only seen 2 homeless people. Coming to California, now that’s a whole other story. I have seen maybe probably about 30 that I’ve seen in passing with but there is also an area where they all set up camp and it’s probably close to 80 people or more who live there. Again, I have nothing against them as individuals. I know they’re people too. I just have a problem with how the drugs and alcohol affect them. There have been occasions where there were people walking around high in Target (and one time they were actually doing the drugs IN the store) and they had to be escorted out because they were yelling and getting mad at the customers and wanting to start fights. That’s when it starts to involve passerby’s and can be a danger for us.

So there you have it: my pros and cons of living in California. I bet there were probably some you never knew about before. I hope my cons didn’t scare you guys from wanting to move here. I honestly love it and I think for me my favorite part is all the sun we get here. I just soak in all the sunshine and it makes me happy. Let me know in the comments below which pro or con that was most surprising to you. Would you still move here? I do hope so 🙂 I hope you guys enjoyed this article and as always, I’ll see you in my next one. Bye!

Paula

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