West Meets East

A Western man travels East in search of love, opportunity and happiness.

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Name:Michael Strickland

This blog chronicles my adventures as I leave my native California and travel east to northern Virginia to start a new life. I can only imagine the funny stories I'll recount here as I experience a wildly different climate, culture and way of life.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Here I Come

I was born in San Diego, and have lived in southern California most of my life. During that time, I've watched as my sleepy beach hometown has expanded to become a sprawling coastal city with growth problems approaching those of its northerly neighbor, Los Angeles. This growth was largely stimulated by the hordes of people who have moved here over the past 25 years. Now, San Diego no longer feels like my hometown, and perhaps nine out of every 10 people I meet are from another state.

Most of these people seemingly came here to escape wherever they came from, echoing sentiments like "The winters were brutal" ... "The humidity was oppressive" ... "The traffic was horrific" ... "The people were rude." And on similarly. So of course, I expected all manner of playful mockery from these people upon my announcement that I'd be moving back east, giving up the country's best climate for cold winters and hot summers, leaving behind beaches and palm trees for farmland and deciduous forests, turning in a laid-back lifestyle for the bustle of the East. Interestingly, the banter never materialized.

Instead, I've heard time and again how much people like D.C., what an amazing city it is, how it's their favorite American city, what a great time I'll have, and so on. From the feedback I've received, it seems like I couldn't have chosen a better place to move. Yes, the winter will be cold—but not New England-cold. True, the summer will be hot—but Europe will be as short a plane flight as the west coast (and flights to the Caribbean will be shorter). And the people may be a little more uptight, but not the one I'm moving to be with.

Ready or not, here I come.


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