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All You Should Know About Life in California

14 Dec All You Should Know About Life in California


If you’re dreaming about moving to California, or if you’re already planning to do that, there are some things you need to learn before. Of course, sun, beaches, delicious food and splendid nature are present, but did you know that it’s one of the most expensive states in the US?

California is diverse and beautiful, and many people dream about visiting it at least once in their lifetime. However, it can be challenging to actually move here. The homelessness rates, as well as the tax rates here, are among the highest in the country. If you’re dreaming of endless summer, breathtaking landscapes, sunny beaches, and liberalism, California may be the place for you – but you need to be prepared.

Even though it can be pretty tough to accommodate yourself here, it doesn’t always mean you have to give up on your dreams. In this article, you’ll find the five most important things you need to learn about California. Read them carefully, decide whether that’s something you’re looking for, and think, what you can do to make your dream come true. Remember: nothing is impossible. You just have to be prepared.

1. It’s Expensive

California may be known as a free and diverse Golden State, but it also costs a lot of money to live here. San Francisco, a dream of every millennial, is the most expensive city when it comes to renting or buying property – even New Your is cheaper. If you want to buy a house in San Francisco, Los Angeles or Silicon Valley, you must be a millionaire or learn really fast how to win Fantasy 5 California. Otherwise, you’ll need to share an apartment or live in a cheaper area.

The income taxes are also very high – if you’re earning a lot of money, a great deal of it will go to the state government. However, the property taxes are below average here, and, of course, you’ll get a lot of services for the money you paid. Gasoline is more expensive here than in any other state, and eating in a nice restaurant can easily cost you a couple of hundred dollars. If you want to have a good quality of life here, you need to earn more than $100,000 per year – or live in a small town.

Because of all this, the homelessness rate in California is among the highest in the US – in 2018, there have been more than 150 thousand homeless people here! You can barely turn a corner in some cities without seeing a row of tents people live in. Of course, many nonprofit and government companies are trying to ease that problem – but a lot still has to be done.

2. It’s Beautiful and Fun

If you love nature, you’ll love California as well. It’s the best place for all the outdoor enthusiasts – those who prefer active time-spending as well as those who enjoy sitting at the park, admiring the landscape. Here you’ll have a whole variety of places to see: forests and parks, mountains and beaches. If you want to spend the day outdoors without spending much money, you can go hiking or swimming, or even simply riding the bicycle along the seaside.

Not only all the possible outdoor activities are available here – but other leisure activities as well. Music, dance, sports – everything’s at hand, and the weather is fantastic most of the time.

3. It’s Diverse and Progressive

In California, people of color and immigrants are the majority, with Los Angeles County being home to the highest number of immigrants in the country. Because of that, the state is famous for its diversity, with people embracing it and fighting for it – the state politicians wanted to declare the whole state a sanctuary for immigrants. It is thanks to this diversity, many say, that California has become such a culturally rich and financially prosperous place.

It can also be said that California’s diversity is closely related to it being the most progressive state in the US. People here are used to fighting for freedom and liberalism, which sometimes can lead to conflict with the federal government – like, for example, when it came to the law concerning vehicle emission standards.

However, even though the state is diverse and progressive, you can still easily encounter historical inequity here. Racial gaps in education, homeownership, and poverty levels can be especially clearly seen in smaller cities like Stockton or Fresno.

4. It Is Crowded

You may have heard that California is crowded, but you must be prepared for how dramatic the situation is. People are everywhere. The roads are clogged all the time. Reservations for a restaurant have to be made at least a week in advance – otherwise, you will have to wait in the line for at least an hour. The checkout lines are long. The lines at the coffee shops are long – every day, all the time.

People are waiting in lines for half of their lives here. You will have to adapt – make reservations, order and pre-order online, walk a lot (if possible, because you will need a car most of the time unless you live in San Francisco).  

5. It’s On the Front Line of Climate Change

And it can be dangerous. Droughts, water shortages, floods, mudslides, and earthquakes are a normal part of California’s yearly life. It doesn’t mean you’ll fall victim to any natural disasters, but house insurance is a must if you’re buying property. Each fire season is getting longer and fiercer than the one before, and the temperatures are rising. The fog is everywhere, and sometimes it can be dangerous.

However, California is also known for fighting climate change. The vehicle emission standards here are strict, renewable energy is extremely popular, and many people go vegan or vegetarian (in California, it’s easier to maintain a healthy diet than in any other state).

It Can Become Your Dream Home

Yes, life in California has its ups and downs, and for some people, it can be extremely challenging. You have to be prepared for many perks: high tax and rent rates, natural disasters, overcrowding… However, it all goes away when you see the place with your own eyes: long sunny beaches, magnificent mountains, green forests, people of different backgrounds fighting together for liberty, democracy, and a healthy climate.

If this is what you’re dreaming of, California can truly become your home. You might struggle a bit financially, but living in California is achievable if that’s what you want. Sometimes we need to fight for our dreams, but nothing is impossible. Good luck!


(Beata Hardzei)