Monday, October 13, 2008

Going national

For my entire life, California has been home. But what if my family has to move to another state because that's where I find a job? Leaving home is never easy, and leaving a place you love and where you have roots must be one of the most difficult decisions anyone can make.

Simply looking for work outside of the Bay Area can bring to mind all of the benefits and drawbacks of a new location. Applying for a job, no matter where it is, can instantly send you into daydreaming about the job and put you behind the desk, at least in your mind. You can imagine working at the company, the commute, possibly living in the city where you work, and all of the social activities that go with that area. For us, for example, the question of "Is there professional baseball nearby?" looms large.

So how far do we go and still feel comfortable? Texas, North Dakota, Minnesota, Connecticut and Nevada are all possibilities, although some much slighter than others. And can we sell our home in this horrible housing market? Or rent it and hope to break even why paying rent or another mortgage in another city? Or do I bypass these out-of-state jobs and continue looking in the Bay Area, hoping something will happen before unemployment benefits run out?

Besides the great weather, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and San Jose being so close, my parents and many life-long friends live in the Bay Area. We love our neighborhood and the friends we've met here, not to mention the schoolmates and friends Emma has met.

So this week we're taking a closer look at one state, Texas, where we have relatives and where we think at least one city, Austin, might be a good place to live. We don't expect to spend much time in Austin, but will try and will check out other areas of the state whose unofficial motto makes me want to at least buy a T-shirt. Later in the week: Blog updates, including BBQ restaurant reviews, from Texas.

Wherever we end up, it will be an adventure. Maybe if we're lucky, like Dorothy, we'll end up back at home.

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