Pros + Cons of Living in San Diego
It’s been almost a year since we moved from LA to San Diego so it feels like a good time to share my thoughts so far. I’ve also had some of you ask my opinion on moving here from other places and what the pros + cons were, so I’m combining those posts. Obviously I’ve only been here a year, and a lot of this is relative to our situation, but here’s the 411 so far.
+ Laid-back living: Our lifestyle feels so much more relaxed, which is the biggest upgrade to our hectic life. Everything about SD feels laid back. People don’t care as much about status, what you’re wearing, how many followers you have, and all of those things that felt important in LA, which is refreshing.
+ Proximity to the beach: This depends on where you live but we are 15 minutes from the beach – much easier than trying to get from the Valley to Malibu. Our whole family loves the beach so having it close has been a major pro. I learned after exploring other cities (that didn’t have a beach) to live in that being close to the beach is essential to my happiness.
+ Weather: The weather here is perfection. We’ve been through all four seasons now and I can’t complain. I do NOT miss the 100+ degree days in the Valley.
+ Natural beauty: Overall it’s a beautiful place to live. It’s a big city but everywhere you look you see a mountain, beach, trees, etc., and I love that balance. Things here also feel less congested compared to LA, which I appreciate.
+ The Great Outdoors: We’ve always been active and it’s nice having more options with places to hike, walk and explore. This goes alongside the natural beauty component.
+ Kids activities: I didn’t realize how amazing San Diego was for kids until we moved here. Between the zoo, Safari Park, things like Legoland, the beach, sports stuff, parks, etc., there’s no shortage of things to do with the kids. While LA obviously offers places like this, it’s much easier out here. No traffic, easy parking, less crowded…just seems like we can jump in the car at any point to do stuff with the kids and it doesn’t require major planning like it did in LA.
+ Scenic drives: So this is specific to where I live, but I have to drive 10 minutes to get to any stores, Capri’s school, etc. and I LOVE my drive. It’s scenic – green, tree-lined roads, hilly, beautiful skyline. It honestly brings me so much joy. The calmness of the roads out here is also something I really appreciate about SD, and anytime I drive back to LA my body physically tenses while driving. Which brings me to one of my other favorite things about living out here…I barely ever get on the freeway. With the exception of going to DTSD or back to LA, I never get on a freeway anymore and I feel a major shift in my demeanor because of this.
The common theme here is obviously ~chill~ vibes, which is very very very me. While my quality of life has most definitely been upgraded since moving, I think being here is just good for me. I don’t feel torn in 100 different directions to be places, attend events, include everyone in every detail of my life, and so on. I like my space (figuratively and literally) and this move has provided me with just that.
+ Food: Okay okay, before we get crazy here, let me explain. Coming from LA I have pretty high standards for the food scene. I also like a full package – vibes, decor, quality food, good service, good location. What I feel I’m encountering out here is: Good food / no vibes. Cute restaurant / weird location. OR, extremely casual / good food, which doesn’t really justify me paying a babysitter for a date night if I can’t really dress up a tiny bit and enjoy the ambiance. DTSD has some nice options but it does feel kind of far and more of a place to make the trek for a special occasion. There is no shortage of breweries out here but not really my vibe.
+ Missing family and friends: This is situational to us since the majority of our family / friends are in LA. I will say, though, that I’ve been putting myself out there and finally feel like I’ve found some friends that I’m clicking with. I didn’t expect to find friends overnight so this isn’t a huge deal right now but a personal con.
+ Support Staff: I’m not ashamed to share that I have a nanny (& housekeeper, pool man, gardener) — but it was extremely difficult to find people to fill these positions. After multiple trials with different people I ended up using an agency because I quite frankly don’t have the time (or the network out here) to keep searching for people for it to end up not being the right fit. This is one thing I feel I really took a loss on, which was giving up my network of people I can rely on for different jobs.
+ Less drive: This goes alongside the laid-back lifestyle (which is a pro) but I have definitely noticed less career motivation in San Diego. When you run a business here or are just the type of person who vibes with driven people – like me – this can be a con. I’m very thankful that all of our employees relocated with us from LA to SD!
+ Cost of living: Relatively speaking to the country, San Diego is $$$ to live. It’s actually cheaper than LA in terms of what you can get for your money but it’s still an expensive place to live.