Last week, I felt bad that I hadn’t written anything since our kickoff post. That feeling was inflamed yesterday when Sara called it an embarrassment.
“What kind of person starts a blog then doesn’t blog?”
Well, apparently, I do. I defended myself by pointing out that for it to be an embarrassment there would have to be some sort of writing frequency expectation from my audience, which assumes there’s an audience out there actively waiting for me to write something, which there’s certainly not.
“You know what? I keep refreshing Jason Riley’s Twitter feed and he hasn’t posted anything in a couple weeks. Do you think everything’s okay?”
– Nobody, ever
So, my lack of writing consistency is not an embarrassment, meaning that I win this argument because I’m not going to give my wife a visible opportunity to prove her point or make her case any further.
Almost like we’re trying to decide an election or something.
(I was initially worried that joke might offend all zero of my liberal readers, then I remembered that liberals only read headlines, so I’m definitely safe from being cancelled.)
Let me start by saying thank you to the many
thousands hundreds of you that are following our journey, and for the hundreds three of you that reached out and asked the very obvious question that I failed to answer in my kickoff post:
So, what exactly are you guys doing?
Great question. Here’s what’s up:
San Diego is a truly fantastic place to live. We have an endless coastline, nearly a dozen charming and unique beach towns, striking mountain ranges, and the most outdoor-accommodating weather in the entire
country world. It’s nothing short of a geographical paradise.
OMG, we’re in the desert!
OMG, this desert has an ocean!
OMG, this ocean has mountains!
If you’re measuring the value of your life by exploration and opportunity, then look no further than North County San Diego. We live in an area of South Oceanside called Fire Mountain, about 3 miles from an unremitting beach, and 30 miles from either everything Orange County has to offer, or everything downtown San Diego has to offer.
One of the very best things about living in San Diego is going somewhere else and remembering why you live in San Diego.
“Wait, it gets cold here in January? That’s insane!”
“You’re saying water FALLS from the sky? Wild!”
It’s not very hard to make an indisputable case for staying in San Diego. It’s a little bit more difficult to make a case for leaving San Diego.
But I’m always up for a challenge.
California is home to the highest base sales tax rate and marginal income tax rate in the U.S. As a business owner, I’m paying an exorbitant amount of taxes that are only complicated by recent laws (like AB5) that significantly impact the way that I can operate my business in relation to freelancers and contractors. Those are big reasons why California is the 3rd worst state in the country to run a small business.
Speaking of laws, California has the strictest child vaccination laws in the country, including the elimination of personal and/or religious exemptions. We also passed the state gas tax (Prop 6) in 2018, putting us in a forever back and forth battle with Hawaii for the highest gas prices in the country.
When you start to scrutinize complex challenges like overpopulation (24 million people live in SoCal), a soaring homeless overpopulation (CA is home to 25% of the entire countries homeless population), then couple that with minor inconveniences like endless traffic (San Diego is 14th worst in the U.S.) and the existence of Gavin Newsom (there’s not enough room in these parentheses for commentary), at some point you have to ask yourself:
“Do we really want to live in SoCal forever?”
And that is precisely the question we hope our journey will answer for us. On this open-ended adventure, we’re examining things like:
The average home price in Carlsbad is $949,757. Imagine how far our money could go somewhere else? We love the beach, and the mountains, and the weather, but can we be happy without one or even two of them? SoCal feels like home, but are there other cities or towns that have potential to feel the same?
Right now, today, the very simple truth is:
We don’t know.
We’re about to find out…