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  • I had no real reason to go outside today, but the day was so freakin’ great. So after finishing my morning work I left my apartment. I walked about a mile to a newsstand, got myself the latest New York Review of Books, walked another half mile to my favorite Italian café, got myself a cannoli and chamomile, and sat in the sun to read.

    It is way too easy to become spoiled living along the coast in California. People move here from elsewhere and they always lament “I miss the seasons.” My reply is always “Fuck the seasons! Give me 70-80f every day of the year! Give me shorts and sandals in the middle of winter!” Rain, snow, summer heat and winter cold, you all can have that. The 100f summers I grew up with in the desert? Bah! The sub-zero cold I had to live through in Moscow? Been there, done that. Give me the ten degrees of separation.

    For the last dozen years I have lived first in Santa Barbara and now in San Diego, with some Indiana, Russia, and Azerbaijan thrown in along the way. Those two cities have close to the best weather in the world, that wonderful Mediterranean climate. And honestly, I can’t handle any changes in the weather. When I visited the frigid Mid-West this winter, I drove 30 MPH down the interstate, I had no concept of how to drive on ice through a blizzard. When I returned home it took me a week to thaw out, and I swore that barring some unforeseen major reason, I could never live in that weather permanently. I need my 75f and ocean breeze.

    However, I’m getting antsy, the bug has bit me. And not a vacation kind of antsy, but a time to move antsy. San Diego has been fairly good to me, but I feel my time here has run its course. This is not something that has just recently popped into my head, but it is nearing the time to act. My problem is, where do I go? Really, where is better than San Diego?

    Options:

    USA – East Coast? Got plenty of friends in DC, Philly, Boston, NY. But hurricanes and humid summers and freezing winters? Pass. Mid-West? No continental climates, please. I need the sea. Florida? Humidity and hurricanes. Seattle? Portland? All that rain would probably send me into the depression that is always lurking below the surface. Again, I am spoiled, I need the weather. So that rules out anywhere else in the USA.

    World – SE Asia? Central America? As much as I have a Vietnam itch, not a big fan of the jungle, hot and humid with too many little monkeys and big bugs. Mexico City? Landlocked and polluted. OK, who has the right climate? Mexican west coast? Drug war. The Mediterranean itself? Portugal, Croatia, Turkey? Been to all but Portugal, those are definitely doable. South Africa could work. And then there’s the bottom of South America - Argentina, Uruguay, Chile. Those places have been on my next-to-do list for a while, my desires to go there exacerbated by fellow hometown exile Renee’s travels to the region. Maybe Buenos Aires will do.

    I have to make a decision soon enough, even though I have my fall teaching schedule already set so I won’t be able to leave until the new year. But I’ll have to start saving, refrain from any big summer trips (sorry Costa Rica), talk to my department chairs about teaching more classes online, sell my car (yes!), etc.

    San Diego is very comfortable, maybe too comfortable, and it just may be time to get out of that comfort zone. Well, except for the weather.
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