I’ve been doing this whole ‘where should I live after London?’ thing and have not come to any real conclusions. If I stay in Europe, London seemed like the perfect option, but there’s always the possibility of relocating to Africa for a bit (leaning towards Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania or South Africa) or going back to the US. Now, being a NorCal native, something inside is calling me back to California. Unfortunately, the job prospects (for what I’m interested in) don’t seem so enticing. Ideally, I would like to relocate to a city with job opportunities and a good university with a PhD program that fits my interests. Those are really my only two requirements, but it’s tough to find a place that fits the bill.
So far the winning cities are London (LSHTM), New York (Columbia or NYU), San Francisco (Berkeley or Stanford) and San Diego (UCSD), though I’m wishing Chicago could be on this list. London would be great only because I’m now familiar with the territory and am kind of settled here… it feels like my second home! Now, as for NY, despite being from the US, I have never been (give me a break… I’m on the opposite coast!), but I tend to liken it to London in my mind. If that’s the case, then I think I would love New York, plus I’ve always felt a bit compelled to enjoy East Coast living. The downside is that my entire family is in California and living without them for at least 4 years makes me sad. San Francisco? Well, SF is seriously like my home away from home. I’ve been there more times than I can count and I love the feel of the city; it’s undeniably unique and has a character that really can’t be replicated. Plus, that’s where the fam is originally from so the force is strong with that one. The only thing that I find disheartening is the weather. It might be California, but the weather is more similar to London… never gets super cold, but it never really gets super warm either. It’s mostly cloudy and foggy and I find that kind of weather rather depressing. Not sure if I could cope with living in it for years.
Last, but most definitely not least, San Diego. Gorgeous city, gorgeous people and even better: my dad’s brother’s family is in SoCal. Plus, I have a million friends that live in SD (it’s like the place to relocate from Sacramento). I had mentioned to my dad that I was looking at an SD-based PhD program and he was very supportive. I even mentioned that it might be fun if my sister relocated to SD to finish up her bachelor’s there. It got me to thinking though… if we relocated, maybe my dad (and grandma) would consider relocating and we could all be in San Diego. It’d be nice for my grandma to have access to all of us, plus it’d be a nice change of pace for my dad who has only known Northern California life. After talking to my dad last night, I can tell that he’s actually considering this as an option! If that’s the case, it’s all the more incentive for me to really reconsider a move to San Diego. There are some job opportunities for my interests (although not as many as elsewhere), but there’s a university that I know could be a great place for me to continue my education and possibly work with in the future!
The thought of being able to go anywhere when this year is up is so exhilarating. I’m almost positive that I will be doing a stint in Africa in the fall and will probably be back in London for a bit. Now with this talk about San Diego, I can actually see myself settling down there and I feel like life is slowly starting to fall into place.