Why I moved to California

Six weeks ago my family and I left Washington and made the move to California.

My initial posture towards this idea was “California? Why would we move there? Isn’t it just a overpoppulated expensive state?” As a teenager who had an chill community in Washington and a life she quite enjoyed, this attitude was to some extent justified, but nonetheless, biased with little open mindedness. 

California is indeed known as the LA state and will most likely carry that reputation into the foreseeable future, I mean, our homeless population is exceptional, but it turns out Cali is an amazing state. and I’m here to let you in on it’s secrets. 

Over the last six weeks or so of living in this state, my view and overall opinion of California has been completely obliterated! It turns out, Cali is one of the greatest states on the map. With mountain ranges everywhere, gorgeous sunsets, an unending amount of fun activities, waterfalls, lakes and rivers, trees, and thriving wildlife everywhere!

California is home to nine National Parks — more than any other state in the country! — and each one differs immensely from the next. 

I thought I would be bored in California but I am finding myself more active here than I ever was in Washington! In Cali, we have activities available year-round! From hiking, biking, rock-climbing, swimming, camping, fishing, and more, to skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and plenty of indoor activities! Californians truly know how to have fun and that’s coming from someone who hasn’t even experienced a California summer yet! I could go on and on about the beauty of California and all the things you can do here, but I’ll keep it short for time’s sake. 

I did love Washington. 10/10 for beauty, the coast and rainforests are insanely gorgeous. I even made this blog to document my life there, and all the adventures my friends and I went on. Honestly, If you asked me two years ago, i’d probably tell you i’d live in Washington for the rest of my life.

So why did I move?

1. Covid 

We know the drill: in 2020 everything changed, for everyone. And for me, it made me realize how quickly my freedom could be taken away. 

Life went from jumping between school and activities, to a sudden stop. 

And in this calm silence, “quarantine” whatever you wanna call it, I realized that I never really fit the “Washington mold”. And my family and I had very opposing ideas, perceptions and beliefs to the rest of our fellow Washington population. 

A huge reason we chose California was for all the opportunities and activities here. 

And in Redding. Covid doesn’t really exist. 

2. Cost

Not all of California is super expensive - The closer you live to natural disaster hazard zones, the less your cost of living will be. So the cost of living here in Redding, is actually a lot less then the western washington coast’s continuously rising living cost. 

Wildfires do smoke this place up almost every summer, so i’ll update on that, but for now things are pretty great here.

3. Accessibility

The best reason to live in Cali, and the reason we ultimately decided to stay here in Redding, was because of the nature, activities, and national parks. The diversity of nature and accessibility of the California wilderness is awesome, coming from someone who was lodged up at the edge of a peninsula my entire life, where every time I wanted to go somewhere, it took 2+ hours to get somewhere that wasn’t a tiny town with 1 grocery store. I now live right in the middle of all these cool places, that I can just hop in the car and drive to, that’s crazy!

4. Community

The west coast is stunning, but damn, the people are just about as salty as the ocean.

If there’s one thing iv’e learned about living in quite a few different states, it’s that the people are so different everywhere you go. Living in the south, everywhere you go, people call you “ma’am” and “sweatheart”, Southerners have a genuinely kind way of speaking. Meanwhile, if I could sum up the oregon/washington coast.. I’d say a lot of the people are a living embodiment of the “karen” meme. That being said, I am a teenager, who spent most of my time around other teenagers, and teenagers aren’t necessarily the nicest, most caring, or most chivalrous people to be around. So take that as you wish, but the people/teenagers i’ve met here in northern California have been awesome.

And as a teenager, community is very important. And let me tell you. Redding is loaded with kids, communities, and schools that provide an exceptional education. Before I knew it I had already found community and friends. Redding is also one of the safest places I’ve been to. The people here are so kind and welcoming. 

5. Leaving the endless pouring rain

Rain is a pretty lame reason to leave a state, and i'm not gonna lie, I do miss Washington sometimes, but the weather in Washington was non-stop, constant, un-ending rain, all day, all night. The washington/oregon coast is an incredible summer road trip destination, but the rest of the year it’s a very wet, swampy, rainforest.

Yeah that pretty much sums it up, I might come back here and add a few notes, but I love Redding, it’s really cool here. And Redding is a great home base for now, until I decide to travel somewhere else on this globe.

Cheers, 

Sophie Lukin

Published by sophie lukin

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