A Very Difficult Choice

On October 2nd Bruno and I set off on a new adventure. We left California for Colorado. Leaving California was not an easy choice. In January of 2005 I moved to San Diego because I had this unshakeable feeling that I was supposed to be there. For 11 years it was home and it still felt that way—there is a big part of me that didn’t want to leave—but I made the choice to do so anyway.

In my defense, I have some very good reasons for doing what I did.

First: The cost of living.

California has always been expensive but things were getting out of control for me. 10% yearly rent increases are not uncommon (it used to be only the Bay Area was like that). Not to mention that the quality of the apartment I was renting did not match the price I was paying. I could live in a much nicer place for a lot less money in lots of other cities.

It became harder and harder to justify that expense and to deal with the ‘we’re doing you a favor by renting to you’ attitude from landlords. All I could think was I can do better.

South Rim of the Grand Canyon
On the way to Denver Bruno and I visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Who knew he would be a very popular attraction? People from all over the world wanted to pet him!

Second: A house.

In California my dreams of home-ownership kept getting further and further out of reach. I couldn’t even afford to rent a house! How was I ever going to save up enough money to buy one? Sure, I could have gone back to a full-time corporate job, but that would have been terrible for me and for Bruno. The price of returning to corporate was too high and I didn’t feel that the money would be worth it.

Third: Dogs.

I desperately want to be able to help another dog by adopting or fostering. That was out of the question in my apartment in San Diego. The only way I could have done that would be if I lived in a house with a landlord that was okay with large dogs (those aren’t common) and then there’s reason number two.

I could have opted to get a roommate and share a house. But that has its own set of complications that are not something I want to deal with.

Grand Canyon on a cloudy afternoon
I fell in love with these dry trees and how they framed the view.

Fourth: My creative work.

In order to be able to continue in California I needed to take on more freelance clients. While that would be fine by me, more clients meant less time for photography, writing, or any other personal endeavors. It was almost the same as getting a full-time job.

So I thought about it a lot. A whole lot. I even had a US map so I could look at all the different places that were candidates. Eventually I picked Denver and here I am. So far so good. My new apartment is a BIG improvement. It’s beautiful, with lots of windows and good appliances. It also has a huge wrap-around patio where Bruno has been enjoying sunbathing. And the rent is hundreds of dollars less!

I’m just beginning to explore and I’m finding a lot of opportunities for photo sales here. Of course there is the lack of major bodies of water. I don’t know if I will get used to that. The mountains are beautiful, but it’s not the same. Regardless, I’m very grateful that I could do this since I can work from anywhere. More to come…

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