Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Florida & Not California? °o° *•._.•* ‘ *•._.•* °o°

When I made my announcement to my friends and family a couple of months ago, one of my friends asked me “Why Florida and not California?”.  A fair question, because we did think about that.

Mark and I have been to Disneyland in California several times together. We both have countless visits to the West coast parks logged in before we even met, but we have only been to Florida a couple of times each, and never together (until recently on our Scouting Orlando trip). 

When the idea started to gel that we wanted to move to another state, and then the idea to live near Disney started to percolate, Florida was the first place that popped into my mind.  We both dearly love Disneyland because of the intimacy of the park, as well as the history and nostalgia of the original, but there were a lot of factors to weigh in against.

My first concern about relocating to California was about the cost of living. From what I have read, and what friends have told me, it costs a LOT to live there.  I realize that income may be commensurate to the cost of living there, but I would rather make a lateral move than to try to win an uphill battle.  In addition to that, we want to own our home.  With the cost of real estate anywhere in the state of California, it would be totally prohibitive.

We had to ask ourselves where were we likely to find more available jobs as well?  With Florida’s unemployment rate as low as it is right now, I have been keeping tabs on a regular basis, and I have been seeing recent signs of improvement.  It’s staying even with Arizona’s rate, which are both slightly better than California’s.  The cost of living index is very similar to ours here in Phoenix. This doesn’t guarantee either of us a job of course, but I think both Mark and I are more competitive with our job skills in Florida, then we would be in California.

By size comparison, our “intimate” park is approximately 1 square mile in total.  That includes both parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) and downtown Disney.  Disney World is 47 square miles!  One of the questions friends ask is “Don’t you think you’ll get tired of Disneyland”?  Well, in truth, we might. With as much as Disney World has to offer, however, we can move from park to park to park.  Add in two water parks, Downtown Disney, DisneyQuest, the upcoming Pleasure Island as well as all of the other parks in the vicinity, and beaches on either coast (don’t forget the Florida Keys and Miami) I don’t think we’re going to be bored!

Now let’s talk weather.  I guess no one would choose scorching heat and dripping humidity over the breezy, mild climate of Southern California. But when you consider where we are coming from, we are trading hot-as-hell for hot-as-hell (if you will pardon the phrase).  In Phoenix, you spend your summer months indoors as much as possible, and you run from air conditioning to air conditioning as quickly as you can.  I imagine it will be the same when we get to the tropical heat of central Florida, but the difference is that we will be living less than 30 minutes away from Disney World (and we will have a pool in the back yard)!

It wasn’t a quick and easy decision. We wanted to make an informed one, so we have done a lot of research, and have discussed endless scenarios. I think we both have fallen in love with the idea of living in a state that is so much different from the one we live in. 

Besides, Mark is scared of earthquakes.

Comments are welcome. Positive feedback encouraged!

Mouseketeer Ken

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