I have a very special place for Austin in my heart. I am glad that Austin was the very first city that I visited and stayed at when I first landed into the United States 3 years back. Since then I have been to many cities in US and Austin continues to top my list of places to live in because of its live culture, friendly people, creative spirit and entrepreneurial vibes! However, I was pleasantly surprised on my first visit to California last week, mostly roaming around San Fransisco and San Jose. I was deeply mesmerized by the bay area, the amazing career opportunities, Michelin star restaurants and the awesome drives. For the first time in 3 years I seriously asked myself if I should consider moving out of Austin to California, San Jose to be specific! So, here’s a list of 5 things that I am considering:
- Weather: We all know how unpredictable the weather in Texas is. What they say about the Texan weather is that if you don’t like it, wait for a couple of hours. Although it was hot in San Fransisco during my visit, but it was hot in a pleasant way unlike the scorching heat that one has to bear in Austin during the summers. Also, the temperature is moderate all through the year, here in California! That’s a +1 for California!
- Cost of Living: The cost of living is almost 50-60% higher in San Fransisco/San Jose as compared to Austin. From schooling to taxes to grocery to petrol, things are way costlier here in California. Unless you are compensated fairly at job, for the difference in cost of living, you will always feel the pain of the escalated prices. Also, at least 2 earning members in a family seems almost indispensable. For a single person, its best to share everything – from cars to houses, sometimes even beds! That’s clearly a +1 to Austin, so it 1-1.
- Job Opportunities:On my way from San Fransisco to Cupertino, I stopped at Mountain View to visit the Google Office, Menlo Park to visit the Facebook office, Palo Alto to visit Stanford and then Cupertino to visit the Apple office. This drive was merely 45 mins long. This gives you an idea of the uncountable opportunities that exist for you in the Silicon Valley, especially if you’re an engineer. That being said, Austin is known for its growing entrepreneurial spirit and it’s often termed as the Silicon Hill. With Amazon, Facebook, Apple and now even Google growing its presence at Austin, it’s only fair to say that Austin will match up with California in terms of job opportunities in a couple of years or maybe 5! So it’s +1 to both and the score stands tied at 2-2.
- Visiting Attractions: Some of the best attractions in Texas are – Big Bend National Park, South Padre Islands, City of Austin, Riverwalk – San Antonio, Guadalupe, Alamo, Gulf of Mexico and a few more. When it comes to California, there’s Disney Land, Pier 39, Alcatraz Island, Twin peaks, San Fransisco, Pacific Ocean, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and many more. Be it family travels or solo backing – California clearly wins this one! So its 3-2 in favour of California!
- Traffic: Texas has a lot of land, seriously a lot! Austin is manageable when it comes to traffic and finding a parking lot is difficult but not a nightmare. San Fransisco has run out of all parking spots, and I’m saying this without any exaggeration at all. Even if you’re lucky to find a parking spot, the parking costs as much as the daily cost of renting a car. Texas wins this one and my confusion still remains with an even score of 3-3!
Now I seek your advice in helping me decide between which is a better place to live in – Austin or San Jose. Or it’s neither and you have an even better option for me? Please do share your views in the comments below: