Monday, April 19, 2010

Benefits to Staying in Tucson

As you know if you've read my last couple of posts, I may be staying in Tucson for longer than I had been planning on thanks to some of the dynamics of my new job.  I have been planning on moving away from Tucson for a little while now, and so staying longer than I was hoping is a bit of a mental adjustment.  I think it might be therapeutic to try to write down reasons why staying will be good.  Some of them I might go in depth on, others I might just list and think about later.  They aren't listed in any particular order, just as they pop into my head as I recall what I've been thinking over the last couple of weeks:
  1. I will get to be closer to family and friends.  My parents live here, and will probably stay here at least another couple of years themselves, so I'll get to stay closer to them.  My brother is here in Tucson as well.  My sister is in Phoenix, which is a much shorter drive from Tucson than it is plane-ride from Portland.  And all but a handful of friends I have are in Tucson.  The other friends who have moved away but that I stay in touch with are in San Diego, Portland, and Seattle, but they number only a handful in Portland, a couple handfuls if you count all three cities.
  2. I will get to hike more of the Arizona Trail.  I decided in late fall last year that I wanted to try to hike as much of the AzT as possible before moving away.  I'll now have more time to do this.
  3. It may be a better way for me to get better at gardening.  I'm still rather novice with the whole gardening thing.  If I moved away to Portland, not only would I be learning about gardening, but I'd be learning about a new climate at the same time.  This might make it more difficult to learn about gardening in Portland.  By staying in Tucson and getting more experience, I might learn more about the universals about gardening here in a familiar climate, then be able to transfer that knowledge to gardening in Portland, and only have to learn about the new climate, not both at the same time.
  4. I'll be closer to the Grand Canyon.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before or not, but the Grand Canyon is easily my favorite place on earth (so far as I've explored it, of course).  By being only about 5 hours drive from it, it'll be much easier for me to get in some more epic backpacking trips.
  5. I'll get to experience one or two more of Tucson's "not-summer" seasons.  Here in Tucson there are basically two seasons.  One is when the daily highs are over 100, and the rest of the year when they're not.  While those three months of summer can be pretty miserable, the rest of the year is really awesome.
  6. I'll have more time to explore Portland and the surrounding areas of Oregon, and decide what I like where.  Since I haven't been to Portland yet, and was just planning on about one trip to test the water before diving in, I was mostly just going off of what I knew about the Pac-NW from word-of-mouth and my trip to Seattle.  By having time to take a couple of trips, I'll be able to make a better decision.
  7. I'll have time to make a more organic decision about where I move.  Since my new job has a HEAVY presence in the Pac-NW, I actually have some decent options.  Headquarters and a distribution center are near Seattle, so if my promotion path leads me that direction, it could be an entirely acceptable alternative to Portland.  Also in Washington, my company has numerous retail stores in the Seattle area, as well as several others in Washington and Oregon.  All of these would also be acceptable.  If I move to any of these for my company to fill a position that becomes available, they'll pay relocation expenses, which I heard today can be in the range of $5000 or more.  This would make my movement to the Pac-NW a much more organic experience for me.
  8. Staying in Tucson provides me to opportunity to save more money.  Cost of living here is very low, so my paycheck will go further towards growing my land fund, etc.
  9. Because of a malfunction, my truck is better suited to Tucson than Portland.  The heater core in my Durango has quite a leak, which causes steamed coolant from my radiator to leak through my vents when I run my heater or cooler.  I bypassed the coolant flow from the heater core to prevent this, and so my truck's A/C works fine, but the heater does not work at all.  Staying in Tucson will either give me the time and money to repair/replace the heater core, or to buy another vehicle (or a second vehicle) that would work better during times when I'd need the heater in the NW.
  10. Staying in Tucson is a choice, not my only option.  Of course I will always have the option to just move to Portland if I want to, and find a job there doing whatever.  Choosing to stay in Tucson and move to Portland or elsewhere in the NW when the timing feels right means I'm doing something I know is right for myself, and not something impulsive or foolish that may end up with me moving back to Tucson because all of my options elsewhere failed.  This may have been the case if I had moved to Portland much closer to when I started this blog, which was my original plan.  If I manage a more organic move like I talked about in reason #7, I'll know that I'm ready and that things will be right.
So, there you have it.  My list so far of why staying in Tucson isn't so bad.  (It is just coincidence that there are exactly 10.  I'm not big on "Top Ten" lists, that just happens to be how many I can think of right now.)  I hope it proves to be good for me, and makes my pursuit of homesteading that much better once I jump into it headlong.  Thanks for reading!

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