Like many days before, I waited outside the mall where I walk each morning. An enormous flock of birds surged through the area, swimming by over half a minute. There's nothing more natural than moving to where life is more hospitable, and the flock was rapidly heading to warmer weather guided by habit and instinct.
With that in mind, my wife and I are strongly considering relocating to a new home. There are a few open questions and challenges to picking up, and moving tomorrow.
- Where's the best place to raise a family?
- Where can we both find fantastic jobs? The economy's sucking isn't helping. Ideally there will be a strong hacker/builder community and plenty of awesome bio labs nearby
- We'd like to be in reasonable range of our families. But a few hours away by car is comparable to a five hour flight across country. To balance distance, many vacations would be dedicated to visiting family if we move outside the area
- We prefer a milder climate, warmer is better but killer humidity and heat are no good. I love walking and being outdoors 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit, Michelle enjoys being outdoors in the 50-80 degree temperature band
Given those desired features we've narrowed the list down to a handful of locations in the US. We haven't looked internationally due to travel times to visit family.
The Bay Area
We've visited northern California twice this year. San Francisco was awesome in our first visit. Our second visit was down to San Jose. While Michelle was busy at the conference, I was on foot searching for wifi and exploring the city. I'd prefer living anywhere in the valley North West of San Jose, within easy commuting distance to San Francisco. Living in the city would be cool, but expensive and likely a longer commute depending on job location.
Public transportation was fine, and we don't mind driving. There are plenty of molecular bio labs in the valley, but to do clinical work Michelle will need a special certification (rough exam). Until then she could take on a challenging research lab position. Outside of the valley are gorgeous natural surroundings with Red Wood forests and an amazing coastal view. It's too cold to swim without a wetsuit but neither of us are beach junkies.
While Boulder is on the cold side with mega snow, there's a dense culture that's startup/hacker friendly with plenty of bio labs in the area. It's a place we have yet to visit, so the odds of us moving out there are slim but it's still on the list. According to friends the outdoors stuff in the region is amazing, and it's a shorter flight back east or out west.
closer to New York City
Michelle has really been shining at her current job and I'm psyched to see her so happy. It could be a great place to grow a lasting career for her. Staying in the area means accepting local seasons where it's too cold in the winter and too hot/humid in the summer. But we're close to most of our family, and can use time off to travel wherever we want.
On my side Manhattan is having a surge of startups in the tech scene. But the companies are all small and vulnerable to a resurgence of the economy and the sucking sound of high paying wall street jobs. Manhattan could use a couple of big startups to draw in talent. The city has already succeeded in making sure Long Island is a ghost town when it comes to a startup community, by drawing people in.
Where will we end up migrating? We're not sure. I do know we're excited about building a great foundation for a family, and not afraid to move where life is more hospitable.