New Year, New Home

We have left the Bay Area, and headed North. We have moved to the Greater Seattle area - specifically the Eastside, between Bellevue and Redmond. We’ve given up the old apartment in San Francisco for a larger, nicer house…for a lot less in rent. A lot fewer bars & restaurants, a lot more trees, parks and lakes.

But Why?

The typical Bay Areas response is: “But why??? It rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest!!!!”

A few things:

1. Yes, it rains more here than San Francisco, but not as much as people think. It’s not even in the top 10 cities in the US for annual rainfall. Boston, New York, Washington DC all receive more.

2. Rain is OK. In fact rain is good. You don’t get lush forests through irrigation. You also don’t get clean streets just from street sweepers. 

The main attractions for us are:

  • Much better lifestyle for us. It’s easy to go mountain biking, running, hiking, skiing here.

  • Much lower rent. Yes, rents have gone up a lot here, but it’s still much better value than San Francisco. I pay much less rent here, but I get a nice place, and the water doesn’t run brown first thing in the morning.

  • Great technology scene - Seattle is Cloud City. The big players here are Amazon and Microsoft, but there are a lot of great technology companies here. I won’t feel isolated in the slightest.

San Francisco lifestyle is great if you are 24, work for FAANG, earn > $350k/year, and don’t care about vast inequality. But that’s not us. We’re in our 40s, and don’t earn that much. Hidden cash-only bars are less interesting than having a little bit of space, and getting out into nature on a regular basis.

So What’s Next?

So what’s next - are you changing jobs? 

No, not right now. I will continue to work for Extreme Networks, focused on network automation and Open Source software.

But you’ll be a remote worker now?

Yes, but due to office moves, I was only going to the office once a week anyway. I expect to visit the Bay Area roughly one week a month. I won’t be at home all the time anyway - there are lots of great StackStorm users for me to visit in Seattle.

Looking Ahead

We’re looking forward to our new life here. It will take time to re-establish personal relationships. We’re in suburbia now, so that means no decent cafes, no bars within walking distance. 

But I expect to do a lot more trail running and mountain biking this year. Maybe I’ll even take up kayaking. No skiing this year due to Anna’s broken arm, but there’s always next winter.

One thing we do know: We’re going to get a dog. Many people in San Francisco have dogs in apartments, but we don’t believe in that. Dogs should have outside space. Now we have that, and we can add a dog to our little family.