Well, I have officially accepted and am currently making the preparations for moving to Mobile, Alabama. I was just in Mobile and New Orleans this weekend, speaking with people from my new company, NetPoint, which is doing all of the preparations for the upcoming Steel facility that is scheduled to open soon.
My main decision for accepting the position comes from several angles, most importantly, the connection to Lili’s family (Her Dad has worked for NetPoint for years, in Sales and seems happy), which is going to be a key point in my family. I also have not been happy with Seattle for a very long time and its time for another change.
I am going to use this time to go through my feelings about Seattle. First off, the weather is simply not appealing. The months of darkness, 4pm sunsets followed by cold winter days, with weeks of pure cloud coverage does not make this a very appealing place for someone like myself. Here we are in in the middle of March with highs in the lower 50’s and the average daily temp in the 40’s. It’s not the rain that gets me, but the consistent dreary weather.
Next, its the cost of living here. Seattle is a gem of the norhtwest as its the biggest city in several hundred miles either direction which seems to make it the most expensive. This would be fine if the realtime wages were up to the cost of living in such a place, but I do not find this to be the case. Housing is the most annoying of all here. Home ownership is the keystone to the American Dream, but not in Seattle. The stress of having more than 400k worth of debt for a family home in a nice neighbourhood is too much stress to think about over 30 years. Economic prosperity is due to take a down turn in the future– and then what happens to people who have invested all of their extra incomes into their home?
Then, there is transportation. Gridlock here is terrible, the roads are terrible and there is no sign of things getting any better. Politically, this place has some of the worst leadership in the country. You have a mayor that invites mayors from other places to look at his green planning, while cars sit idile on the freeways everyday. It really is a sad state of affairs and I am tired of them.
Seattle, I have given up on you.
“But what about Mobile?” my Seattle friends quip.
Well, the jury is still out on Mobile, of course. I will say that the intial findings are not all of that surprising. First, hot, deep south weather. Sun all the time, when it rains, it doesn’t last longer than 20 minutes. The beach is 40 minutes away and its the Gulf, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. (Note to Seattle: its water that you can swim in, year round.)
Cost of living is about 50% what it is here in Seattle. For $200,000 you can own a 3 bedroom house on half an acre of land. Southern culture is some of the friendliest in the country, so if you can put up with the bible belt and hot weather, its a much better choice, in my opinion.
I will always hold Seattle as a special place in my heart, but its long overdue to say goodbye once again.