I’ve discovered the cure to my Los Angeles homesickness – going back to visit.
My wife and I moved to Washington (we live on the Sammamish Plateau about 30 minutes from the MSFT campus) almost 2 years ago. It took a year to get used to the idea of “seasons” and the need for separate summer and winter wardrobes. The rain doesn’t bother me as much as the darkness in winter – if you work 9-5 and have an office without a window you could go weeks without seeing the sun. My wife misses the beach and swimming as an outdoor sport. I miss pro hockey. And of course, we miss our friends and family back in LA.
Sometimes, it feels that we made the wrong choice. But this past weekend I think has cured that for good. It took an hour and forty-five minutes to go 20 miles on a Saturday afternoon. I can’t see the Santa Monica mountains that are only 10 miles away. Hell, I can barely see the building off the freeway from all the smog. It’s hot, my eyes burn, I’m frustrated and I’m really glad I don’t live in LA anymore.
We’ll still come down to visit. My wife Julie grew up here so her mom, dad, step-dad, three of her brothers and one of her sisters live here. My uncle lives out in Palm Springs, but he gets into the city on occasion. We have tons of friends – Julie and I both went to college here. But I’m never moving back.
One interesting thing that this visit has made me realize: I need to get into downtown Seattle more often. When I lived in LA, I lived in the main city (not the Valley or Orange County). There is culture and diversity that you can only find downtown and I’ve been spending too much time in the suburbs. After 10 years in the heart of the “urban jungle” of LA, I guess the pendulum swung too far back the other way.