Again, if you can do it right now, do it. The main point I wanted to make about why southern ca is a great place for young surfers is that the surf does not dictate your life. You have a giant city with millions of jobs. When there is surf around you everyday, it allows you to really focus on your life. Your family. Your career. Cause every spare moment you have, you can go surf. No matter the tide, the time, the season. There is always a wave. And if you live by the beach, you NEVER have to travel. The wave at the end of my street is where I surf 90% of the year. Its easy. When I only have 45 minutes in the middle of a hectic day, bam.. at the beach. In and out. Got a hand full of waves. Get on with your day. If you can tolerate 6 days of rain each year, and an earthquake now and then, Itís a dream come true for any surfer. Do you want to have the ability to surf anytime you want? Answer that question, then pack your bags.
And 6-7 years ago, when I spent every weekend in Baja, we literally thought of re-locating down on the coast of baja somwhere. Perfect empty surf. A beach front home for 40K... But if you add up the variables of living "off the grid", it becomes a huge risk and a potentially sketchy way of life.... When baja turned terrible, we stopped even considering it. But again, I moved out here with my girlfriend, now wife. So, if it was just me, I may have fallen off the grid a little more, but if you dont have anything holding you down, it may do you some good to fall off the map. I mean, hawaii feels like you fell off the map, so that is a safe starting point. I know panama and baja are totally different, but I will never live with my wife and kids in some shady 3rd world region. Just not an option for me now.
US territories... the best mix of third world and America if you don't mind simple living but don't want to live in fear violent coups. Everyday in the FSM I surf ...most days barreling head high+ waves. For a while I thought it was just me... that I was the only one from the East Coast that had stumbled upon this off the grid gem... no way was it really this good. Come to find 2 other guys, not only from the east coast but from VB. They confirmed what I was feeling... neither of them wanted to go home either.
I have family up there. I visited before I moved out to SD cause they offered me a room in santa cruz. I just didn't get the same vibe up there as I did in socal. Lots of clouds. More rain. Heavy, heavy, sharky surf... And the local economies are much smaller. So relocating to Central CA (Santa Barbara up to Santa Cruz) is more like relocating to a midatlantic style region on the west coast. There are no palm tree up there. They get rain. Its not 85 in January. Its a different world. Very rugged. GREAT SURF!... dont get me wrong. OUTSTANDING SURF... but a completely different culture. If you want palm trees and warm weather/water, central CA is not for you. If you want isolation and empty, big swells, then maybe you would do better in Santa Cruz (if you can find work)....
You will be wearing a wetsuit in August in Santa Cruz. They max out in the high 60s in the water.
You can live around SF and surf the areas surrounding, but the markets and stuff are no good outside of SF.
Cool areas. But different lifestyles for real. I thought it was an amazing place, but not what i was looking for. To each their own though.
I think central california has a ton to offer, but I think you need to be more established to start over up there. You need money. You need a career. in SD/LA/OC you can come out here, then figure it out....
This thread is named "Califonia Dreaming" so I am offering a socal point of view. Central CA is obvisouly california, but personally after living here, I think they should seperate California into 2 parts. Everything north of Santa Barbara... And then everything south. Two different worlds. the state of CA is so huge. Its like the difference in living in Southbeach and then Central Jersey all in the same state... It should be broken down into many different subclimates and subcultures.
If I weren't married and did not have a kid, I would be OUT LIKE A LIGHT. Do it now while you can. Trust me. I got one of my friends hired at my company and he relocated to our office on Oahu within 4 months and he is loving it. Although after being there for 3 years, he's contemplating moving to San Diego. Don't be fooled though, there are plenty of jobs on Oahu depending on your skills.
I agree completely. My plan throughout my college career was to move to CA as soon as I graduated. Then I met my current girlfriend and things changed...its still in the back of my mind sometimes, but I know shed never go and I wouldnt want to go without her. I cant help but wondering what it would be like though, I could have been out there for a year already.
Poor guy. I basically could have written this paragraph 5 years ago.