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Old 02-15-2016, 04:30 PM
 
155 posts, read 154,669 times
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Hi all,

I realize this is going to be very general and perhaps pointless, but trying to get an idea of where people think may be a good fit for me in CA.. a little bit of info about me:

-30 yo quiet laid back single male moving from outside of Boston

-educated/intellectually curious, "spiritually-inclined" for lack of better word

-not particularly concerned with career/jobs more just looking for chill community with good people

-want to be on the coast, outdoorsy

-I've been to LA (Venice/Santa Monica) for about a week before and I think I can safely cross that off the list. I have also been to Marin county above SF for a couple weeks at a zen retreat which was really cool but remote. I was in SF for one night and it seems like a lot fun altho it is obviously crazy expensive and I'd prefer the warmer weather of socal. Went to San Jose briefly also which was absolutely gorgeous.

So I'm thinking about San Diego or just outside of it (La Jolla, etc.) which I've never been to, or also Ventura county/Santa Barbara/Ojai area. This would be a road trip so I will have my car with me and roughly 5 grand and not a whole lot else I plan on going to visit both.. just trying to get general feedback regarding both locations or perhaps anywhere else I may not have thought of.

Obviously I'd like to meet people and women so I dont want to be in a total ghost town or retirement community, but I don't necessarily have to be in a huge city either. I'm not really a nomad I like to get comfortable so I feel like when I find something I like I'll pretty much stick with it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,722 posts, read 1,748,133 times
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Santa Cruz county. You may like it. For some one spiritually oriented, it can be a very good place.
Lot's of young people, lots of different spiritual "streams", very liberal, tolerant, diverse, open, friendly .... a bit too impacted now but oh well.
"intellectually curious" ? hmmmmm. That's another story. Stay in the northeast? Depends on what you're curious about i suppose.
But do check out the Monterey bay area.

and, ummmm, you thought San Jose was "absolutely gorgeous"? I've not heard that before.
Anyway, Santa Cruz and county is just over the S.C. mountains ( hwy 17) from San Jose.

We have beautiful weather btw.

Last edited by blueskywalker; 02-15-2016 at 07:15 PM..
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:59 PM
 
8,391 posts, read 7,667,737 times
Reputation: 11026
Try Encinitas in North San Diego County. Check out the Self Realization Fellowship Center while you're there. But, you'll need a well paying job to afford Encinitas and even more so for La Jolla. They don't come cheap. Five grand probably won't cover first and last month's rent in La Jolla. And, speaking very generally, while I love living in San Diego, neither the city of San diego or the County of San Diego are really meccas for the spiritually or intellectually inclined. That doesn't mean you can't find folks with those inclinations here, but they are harder to find than say the Bay area. (By the way, La Jolla is actually part of the city of San Diego, not outside of it).

Santa Cruz is a good suggestion. And, perhaps look even farther north -- Humboldt, California, perhaps. Or maybe Portland, Oregon or Eugene, Oregon. I think you'd find your people there, and, while it's not as warm as California, the weather will definitely be milder than Mass. And, less expensive cost of living, which is a consideration if you just want to hang out and not be too concerned with a career.

Good luck!

Last edited by RosieSD; 02-15-2016 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:28 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 15,065,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weiwuwei View Post
So I'm thinking about...Ventura county/Santa Barbara/Ojai area.
Definitely check these out. SB and Ventura have the cooler, sometimes foggier coastal climate, Ojai the hotter valley climate. But Ventura is a short drive from Ojai. Actually Ojai is up the mountain and sits somewhat between SB and Ventura looking at the 150. There is some spiritual/metaphysical activities/stores in all, Ojai rules it though:
What is the most spiritual city in the U.S.A.? | Soul’s Code
Ventura and SB have colleges, all have a chill vibe. SB is more remote, and may be too pricey. There are areas south of Ojai on the 33 that are cheaper, and in Ventura too if you can take a little sketchy. However, low crime overall. There's a separate Ventura County forum that also serves for Santa Barbara County.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:24 AM
 
155 posts, read 154,669 times
Reputation: 163
Thanks for the responses, I had almost mentioned santa cruz in my initial post.. A friend went to school there and said he loved it. Is that a pretty small area though, population wise? I live in worcester, ma currently and thats about 180,000, id like at least a similar size area I think. San jose is close by though I suppose.

I dont want to overplay my spiritual/intellectual needs because it isnt a total must have and in fact many of these types can be quite obnoxious, but I do have a certain hippie/progressive vibe which I can see working in the northern cal locations.

This is a tough situation! By all accounts san diego is supposed to be awesome, however will be difficult to afford from what im hearing.. Im not opposed to some kind of communal living situation though.

Any other ideas much appreciated, thanks again.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,722 posts, read 1,748,133 times
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If you want a "progressive hippie vibe" i repeat, Santa Cruz county. It's not all there is but if that's what you're looking for stay to the north and .... check out santa cruz county.
The county has a population of about 270,000. Santa Cruz proper has a population of about 60,000.
Each community with it's own uniqueness but it's all one place. Live rurally, semi-rural, suburban or urban .... ish.
Although it's expensive ... so you'll have to live with other people if you don't have much money.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:01 PM
 
155 posts, read 154,669 times
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2014 well being list of happiest places to live has 2 california counties in top 10: san jose/santa clara and ventura/oxnard.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,722 posts, read 1,748,133 times
Reputation: 1342
Quote:
Originally Posted by weiwuwei View Post
2014 well being list of happiest places to live has 2 california counties in top 10: san jose/santa clara and ventura/oxnard.

Thoughts?
Ummmm, San Jose and Santa Clara? Really? I dunno. I don't think that Silicon Valley is a "happy" place.
I wonder how they measure happiness?
I think of it more as a kind of "hell realm".
You know the Bob Marley song "Time Will Tell"? with a refrain of "think you're in heaven but you're living in hell ..... time alone, time will tell" There ya go.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:55 PM
 
8,391 posts, read 7,667,737 times
Reputation: 11026
Quote:
Originally Posted by weiwuwei View Post
2014 well being list of happiest places to live has 2 california counties in top 10: san jose/santa clara and ventura/oxnard.

Thoughts?
I never put any stock in those "top places" lists. They're mainly designed to sell newspapers/magazines/draw web traffic. The aggregated data they use may or may not have anything to do with what matters to me. What makes one person happy may not matter to me (or you). And, if you look, you're just as likely to find another "happiest places" survey that has a different list because they used different criteria.

So my thought: make your OWN "happiest places" list. Pick the criteria that matter to you and then go look for the places that come closest. You've gotten some great suggestions here, now it is up to you to decide. When you visit, try to spend several days, and, if possible, rent an apartment or airbnb room that is actually in a neighborhood. Shop at the local stores, drive the local roads, do local activities, talk to the locals. In short, try to live like a local while you're visiting rather than a tourist. That still won't tell you with 100% certainty whether anywhere will end up being YOUR "happiest place" but it will help you figure things out.

But, in the meantime, try to get some more money into your savings account. You'll be happiest when you can afford a decent place to live and food to eat, especially if you're heading to California without a job plan.

Good luck with your research and ultimate decision.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
1,722 posts, read 1,748,133 times
Reputation: 1342
^^^^^^^^^^

Good post, good advice.
You've got to do some real traveling and see and feel for yourself.
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