As I hit publish for this post, San Diego is nothing but a memory...
There is no doubt that San Diego is a beautiful city and there is plenty to do around here. My very favorite things about San Diego are, surprise! - its beaches and compared to other places, the nicer weather.
But in spite of all this, we have decided to donate our things, pack what we want to keep, move on and move out of San Diego. Here's why...
We came here 6 years ago, shortly after getting married, young and hopeful for a good new life. Along the years we have made great memories here, grown a lot individually and as a couple, but also dealt with A LOT of unnecessary nonsense.
We are people who usually keep to ourselves and like to mind our business. We try to be respectful of everyone and stay out of people’ way. But the more you do that, the more people in San Diego will try to overstep your boundaries.
We came here from New York State and on many occasions kept hearing about the “NY attitude”, but let me tell you, there’s a lot of attitude here as well. We call it the “San Diego attitude” as it seems people here feel like they are entitled to anything and everything. Don’t get me wrong, there are very nice people here, just like in any other city but boy, it’s hard to find them sometimes.
After being here for 6 years, we have found ourselves at a crossroads in regards to our future. The next natural step in our lives would have been buying a house, settling and keeping the “secure” jobs we had. But you see, that idea did not spark any joy in us. We felt like we are too young to settle in a place just because that’s the path majority follow, and the price of settling down in San Diego is way more than the value we’d be getting.
The housing situation in San Diego is laughable in my opinion. The house prices are ridiculous considering what you’re getting. As far as renting, there are too many unprofessional and even shady - yes, I used the word shady - companies here that only care about making money, even if it means stepping over your rights; if this was not your experience, I’m super happy for you, but in our case, that is what we’ve dealt with living here.
Don’t get fooled by the word “luxury apartments” that is widely used here - there’s very little luxury, unless you don’t mind rude neighbors, leasing staff unprofessionalism and inability to do their job. The luxury comes from the many brand new buildings as the city is in a rush to provide housing for the many moving here to experience the San Diego living (just like we once did).
We used to rent an apartment in a huge, brand new complex. It was beautiful but we could hear EVERYTHING from our apartment!
The city of San Diego quiet hours are generally between 10pm to 7am. We had random neighbors having parties at 1 and even 4am during workdays, other neighbors using the super loud washers and dryers conveniently located near the bedrooms in the middle of the night, or the random music-loving neighbor blaring it all day and all night.
Calling the non-emergency police line to report these issues was an adventure in itself as we’d wait on the line for well over 30 minutes for someone to pick up the phone, only to get nowhere. Many times we watched the police come and watch the parties without taking any action. The same would happen when we’d report these neighbors to the leasing office.
We also had the luck to have the property manager as our neighbor at another apartment we lived at, which turned to be the rudest, unprofessional and most inconsiderate person to live near, considering that she would have been the one to lead by example...
Probably there are good places here to live, but we haven’t found them and truth be told, we are over looking for them, reason why we ended up moving into a hotel. Honestly, living in a hotel - and this comes from someone who strongly dislikes them, has been the best living situation we’ve had in San Diego.
Another major turn off for us in this city has been the traffic... it's not Los Angeles traffic yet but it's getting there. Truth is that San Diego is growing fast, and is not in any way prepared for this growth. The roads are fairly narrow with few lanes, which in many areas can’t be expanded due to infrastructure, causing a lot of congestion. This has been super frustrating for us. Many people have come to accept it and use the time in traffic as their “me” time. This “me” time though is causing a lot of distraction and slowness in traffic which leads to accidents and such. Hey, kudos to you for trying to make the best of a situation but remember the ones around you and be focused!
A lot of people choose to live way out of the city and commute due to the high housing prices in San Diego, which is also contributing to the congested traffic.
If you try to go anywhere here, you must time it just right or you’ll get stuck in traffic. Example: one day when we were off from work, we decided to go to the beach. Usually, about a 20-25 minute ride from where we used to live, we left around 10am, got there in 30 minutes (due to the extra-long San Diego traffic lights) and spent a few hours relaxing. We decided to go back around 2pm, in order to avoid the rush hour traffic. We were late on the timing as it took us well over an hour to get home. What’s the point of having all these beautiful places here if you can’t get to them to enjoy whenever you want to? If you do want to venture out, I recommend you best leave after 9am and come back after 7pm, not earlier.
We realized we were not happy here, that we’ve outgrown this city and that we don't have to accept the reality we've lived in for all this time. Instead of settling and taking it as “this is how it is”, we decided to quit our jobs, take a break, travel through Europe first - more on that to come - clear our minds and regroup before figuring out what’s next. Once we’re done with that, we want to “live” in several places before we “settle” in another city again. Who knows, maybe on this quest, we realize San Diego is not that bad.
I'm sharing this with you not to deter you from experiencing San Diego or life anywhere for that matter. Life is meant to be lived well, in harmony with yourself and those around you; living in misery or struggling is not the answer, no matter your circumstances. I get it - taking this step has been one of the hardest things we've done but we can't help but feel we've made the right choice. Being authentic to ourselves and our values has become one of our goals. What is yours?
Know that having a quality life is not too much to ask for and we, as well as you can make it happen... at the end of the day life is about the choices we make. What do you choose?
Until next time.