Leaving San Diego

My family moved to San Diego when I was in 5th grade. I finished up elementary school here, then went through middle school and high school. I went back to the east coast for college and military service, and then came back to San Diego in 2000. In total, I’ve lived in San Diego for 24 of my 38 years.


I lived and worked near downtown until I left, and have lived in Carlsbad and Encinitas. I have friends all over the county, and have worked in Sorrento Valley, San Marcos, Oceanside, Hillcrest, Point Loma, Del Mar, and Poway that I can remember. I’ve had girlfriends in San Diego, I got married here, and have two little kids, one of which is in local school.

But it’s time to move, and here’s why.

1) It costs too much for what you get. Between my wife and I, we’re not “rich”, but certainly doing pretty good by global and national standards. A modest home for our family, our kids sharing a room, and parking on the street, is half a million dollars, easy. That might be normal in San Diego, but it’s really not normal.

2) Even with the costs, my wife spent an hour and a half in a car every day, dropping off and picking up our kids from school. The local elementary school where we lived is shit, so we got into a free charter school which is great. But it’s across town (in a part of town we couldn’t afford to live, incidentally). So my wife spends 1.5 hours a day in her car, or 7.5 hours a week, and that’s without calculating in anything other than just school driving.

3) Outside my office the month before I left, I watched police remove a woman’s body from a suitcase who was murdered, toss into the bag, and left by a dumpster.

4) When my kid goes with me to the office on occasion, we have to watch for human excrement on the street. She holds her nose as we walk past the pungent smell of urine.

5) I got piss on my shoes yesterday from a man taking a leak on a building and the stream ran down the sidewalk to where I stood, waiting for a friend.

6) The laid-back-chilled-out-beach-culture that used to be here is still here to some extent, but it’s always been at odds with the developers and tourism industry.

7) We say we hate sprawl, but we love it, because it’s what allows communities like Rancho Sante Fe to be far enough away that bums can’t get into it since you need a car to effectively get around town. If you’re close to the metro area, you can rely on a constant bombardment of transients and tweakers.

8) The politics of the place makes me sick. There are some good ones to be sure, but the churn of job-seekers who don’t give a shit about the office they’re holding and view it solely as a stepping stone and/or paycheck is deplorable. Every politician for the metro area lives in the nicest part of the metro area. Find me a council member from Golden Hill or Sherman Heights. Even those areas are incredibly expensive, but as an example Ron Roberts (County Supervisor) of course lives in a pimped house in Mission Hills and his commute consists of driving to to the embarcadero every day. Yeah, he’s in touch. :golfclap:

9) A trolley that doesn’t go to the airport, buses that want exact change in 2016, constant jet thunder over huge swaths of the metro area, jammed traffic, shit sidewalks, water mains in Point Loma breaking on the regular, and Charger fans.

I do love San Diego. I’ll keep a 619 phone number until the day I die. I always like coming here, and flying into San Diego is a beautiful site at night time.

It’s not so much that the city isn’t what it used to be, because in a lot of ways (like a very cleaned up downtown), it’s actually much better. But I’m starting to realize that it was never as good as I kept telling myself it was. There’s nothing shockingly exceptional about San Diego. Given the price to live here, the transients, and the traffic, it’s just not working out for me. A lot of this I think is because I have little kids and see things that are robbing them of a childhood, because frankly the city is just too dangerous to be a free spirited kid playing around.

To all my fellow San Diegans, SD is imprinted on me in a way that I’ll never be able to shake. It’s a great town, but for me it’s a time to move on.