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The city is gorgeous and I loved taking public transportation to work, getting that time to myself to read a book, and then walk through the streets to my office. Austin is vastly less expensive and without income tax but that's offset by property taxes and horrific transportation and population infrastructure (throughout the state). Wanting to say sweet nothings to my spouse and not give the neighbors a free show. Short drive to Bay or Tahoe, or whatever else you want to do. Yes, we own a home and are adjusting to life in the suburbs. We miss walking to get Bloody Marys and brunch on a Tuesday. But on the flip side we can BBQ on our patio and have company stay over in our extra room and not on the floor like in SF.Texas has room to spread cities, essentially forever, so while one would think there'd already be high speed rail to San Antonio, an hour away, or subway in any of the cities, Texas builds freeways while the cities and developers shun parking. We are able to buy a nice home with some property, something we couldn't buy in the Bay Area despite my wife and I making 20 to 30 percent more than average families on the Peninsula. I always made decent money and lived comfortably in the East Bay. Price played a huge part, I wanted to be able to live comfortably in a city and housing costs in the Bay Area made that impossible, especially at my age.I so missed our radiant California sun melting the heat into my bones.I missed the sunshine, the bay, the views of San Francisco, being able to get to the ocean, Pt. the golden hills and the oaks, the excellence of the medical care and other services, the vitality and the huge numbers of volunteer organizations. It's difficult making a move in your 40s when you leave all your friends and colleagues behind and start fresh in a city where you don't know anyone. Also, Oregonians generally don't like transplant Californians, so it's awkward when the "where are you from? On the plus side, we now have a beautiful home that we can afford, with a yard, a garden, and a basement apartment that we Airbnb.
SFGATE is exploring how people's lives change after leaving the Bay Area, for better or for worse, in a new series.Whichever it is, “I won’t know unless I leave the bubble,” he said.