Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moving To California With No Money

California Beach

Moving anywhere with no money can be a pretty daunting tasks.  Moving to a state like California can seem downright impossible if you do not have any money.

One of the more popular ways people come to this site is looking for information on how to move to California if you have no money.  I have actually never blogged about this, I blogged about the advantages California has as a place to live, but I think it is a pretty interesting idea so I decided to actually write a blog post about it.

First let me say I think it is impossible to move anywhere with absolutely zero money.  There are just cost associated with any move so you are going to need some amount of money, even if it is just to pay for the bus ride here. So rather than talk about moving to California with absolutely no money, I am going to talk about what would be the absolute cheapest way to get and live here.

I also want to address one other issue.  Are you sure you want to move here?  I have left and come back to California three different times so I am well aware of the advantages of living here.  If you are planning on moving here with no money, it seems you are pretty desperate to move here and are probably running away from something not running to California.  While I love living here, I have lived in many other places and would say that most places are livable.   It is a much better idea to continue to live in your current area, save some money, and move to California when you have some means than to try and move here with nothing.  Moving to California will not be some sort of magical cure that fixes all of life's problems.  In fact, moving here with no money will cause you a lot of problems that will probably be worse than almost anything you are now facing.  It may not seem like it, but being broke in an expensive place to live is no fun either.

If you are still set on moving to California, keep reading. Be prepared to leave everything behind. I do mean everything.  If you really have no money to move to California, you do not have the money to haul your stuff over here either.  Not having stuff means you can save on moving cost and you can have a smaller place.  It also means you can sell all your stuff and raise some money to actually get here.  Put all your stuff on sale on Craigslist.  If you own the computer you are reading this on, you should put it up for sale.  If you own an iPod, you should put it up for sale.  You might not get a great deal for your stuff but it will put money in your pocket and that is the most important thing right now.

So now you have nothing to burden you down and you (hopefully) have at least a few bucks in your pocket.  The very first thing you have to worry about is not getting here but where you are going to live when you get here.  This is your biggest problem.  You have to have somewhere to live.  It is not OK to come here and go live on the street.  If at all possible, you want to find a temporary place to live that will not cost you anything.  Why?  Because to get a place to live you have to have a job.  But to get a job, you often have to have a place to live.  It is a vicious catch-22.  Find or make a friend here that you can crash on their couch for a while.  Find a long lost relative who might be willing to put you up for at least a month.  Whatever it takes, you need to find a place where you can live for very very little money.  This likely has to be with someone you know because no landlord is going to take you in with no job.  Your only other alternative is to find a place where you can live week to week.  There are many motels that you can do this at, but it is not going to be a pleasant, or even cheap option.  If you can find somewhere you can live rent free, your life is going to be MUCH MUCH easier.  Rent is by far the biggest expense that you cannot avoid.  Eliminating this as an expense means you can go much longer on a lot less money.

An alternative is to scour the classifieds for work that will provide housing.  This is often the case with nanny type positions.  While looking after kids might not be your ideal job, it is better than living in the street.  If you are desperate enough to move here without money than even the thought of looking after someone else's kids should not scare you.

The next order of business is to get a job.  If you have no money and no job options, it does not matter what type of job you get.  Even if you are going to have to take minimum wage, do it.  You need to have cash flow.  You are in no position to hold out for just the right job.  You have no money and are probably bumming off of people so swallow your pride and take what you can get.  If the job pays minimum wage than it will not be a big deal to leave the job once you line up something else.  But under no circumstances should you continue without a job.  Even a minimum wage job at 30 hours a week will put about $200 in your pocket.  That's nothing to sneeze at when you have nothing.

Spend on nothing but the necessities.  There are only so many things you actually need.  You need to have a roof over your head but you should have taken care of that by now.  You need to have food.  That is pretty much it.  Anything else, you need to cut out from your life.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a car.  I know people in California who get by just fine, albeit inconveniently, on public transportation.  Cars are expensive to maintain.  You need to do repairs, pay for gas, pay for registration, and pay for insurance.  This is not an option if you have no money.  If you have a car, you should have already sold it by now to raise money.  You do not need to have cable TV.  You do not need to have a cell phone (you do need somewhere that you can be reached if you are looking for a job).  You do not need internet access.  Almost anything you think you need can either be cut or obtained some other way (use the internet at the local library). If something is not actually helping you to survive you do not need it.

After you have secured a job, you need to find a better job.  You need to spend every waking hour doing something toward this goal.  You should be searching job sites, fixing your resume, or obtaining skills or knowledge that will help you find a job.  Searching for a job is a full time job.  If you are not spending 40 hours a week doing it, you are not trying hard enough.  This plus your day job means you are just working 80 hours a week.  That is no big deal.  Just do it.

While this plan may sound unpleasant or even frightening it can be done.   My strong advice is to still not do it.  If you can hold out, not move, and save money you should be doing that.

398 comments:

  1. Could be worse... you could be moving to New York with no money. I've had friends who did to pursue careers in the theatre. What's worse is there's not that much money in that business, but I guess if they're doing what they love...

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  2. I just found your blog today while searching "what type of californian am I." I am delighted to know that you also invest. I literally just started investing a month ago. I am looking forward to exploring "Cali" a little more before I make the move, but what can you tell me about Desert Palms? The place seems absolutely breathetaking.

    Carolina Girl

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  3. Do you mean Palm Desert by Palm Springs? If so, I think it is a great place to visit but I don't know if I would want to live there. It is hot as hell in the summer and can be pretty cold in the winter. Of all of the places to live in California, I honestly think San Diego has the most to offer. Close to the beaches, great weather year round, close to lots of things to do, and a place that actually has decent jobs.

    Best of luck to you if you decide to move to california. I've left and come back three times, so I think i know all the reasons it is great to live here.

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  4. Dear Terrence,

    Boy, did you hit the nail on the head! I am on the east coast, and want/need to run as far away from here as I can. And I want sun. Lots of sun. Sunshine & pleasent weather is the only luxury I can afford. This isn't a rash decision, I've been thinking about it for over a year, after hearing people who lived there complain that there's nothing to do in LA except enjoy the weather & farmer's markets and flea markets (unless you're famous, then there's more to do.) All I want is the weather (and the distance from my family is a bonus. Big bonus.)

    What would say is the minimum one should save prior to moving to CA? How difficult would you say employment will be? I am almost 3 semesters shy of a BA, and my resume includes hospitality, sales, and clerical work.

    Nothing is beneth me--I'll wash floors, dishes, take out trash, ANYTHING... I just want to have a roof over my head and occasionally eat.

    In your opinion, will I be homeless? (That is not preferable.)

    Thanks for any advice/comment you can offer.

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  5. Melissa,

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I can't tell you what to do, only you know your what is driving you to make such a big move in your life.

    I love L.A. I think it is a great place to live. Like I said, I've left and come back three different times. There is more to do here than what you wrote about. I think there is more to do here than any other place I've lived and I've lived in all parts of the country.

    But your situation sounds challenging. I do not recommend people move here and just take whatever job they can get. Having a bad job will set the tone for the rest of your life. My life is particularly good because I got my education and got a great job. Having a decent and well-paying job makes life just so much easier while having a dead-end job will hurt you in more ways than you can imagine.

    So I would finish your eduction out and look for a good paying job before you come here. The California economy is a mess right now, and there is no guarantee you will find a job, even a bad job, if you move here with nothing.

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  6. I just found your blog today and thought I would go ahead and jump in. My husband and I own a moving company in Florida. (small company) We are looking to make that move for various reasons. Florida has become a negative, narrow minded place to live. We have the thought of coming out there and starting our company and leaving all of this horrible attitude behind. My husband and I grew up here, so we watched it go from very friendly people to blank stares and flat out unartistic. We are artists in multiple facets and media as well. We are looking for a more artistic community to feel at home. We are trying to prepare ourselves for the possibilities. (ie; no go for biz, no jobs, etc.) I am also looking now at the prices of licensing and a home for two others that want to join us in the journey. We will be trying to save as much moulah as possible, however, we have also thought we should visit out there for a couple of days. Here in Florida I have been battling a sinus issue I have never had before for two months now. And I was hoping it might be better out there. My problem allergy is mold. The entire state of Florida is one big mold spore I think. So anyway, I have talked with friends thy live or have lived put there and feel I have a decent idea of what we need to do, but, another question would be, which town would be best suited for a small customer service oriented moving company? Thoughts on any of the above would be appreciated. Thank You.

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  7. Raven,

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I've left and come back 3 different times, so I know how other parts of the country are :) California has some great diversity and may have what you are looking for.

    Your initial thought of coming out here first to visit before a move is your best bet if you can afford it. I would caution anyone from just making a decision to move somewhere without knowing what they are getting themselves into. Lots of people think they will love it here and when they finally get here, California just rubs them the wrong way and they end up going the other way back.

    As for where to live, I honestly have no advice for you about where you might have the best success for your business. California is huge, and depending on what you are looking for, you can find a community that suits you. I personally love San Diego and the Central Coast but will probably always live in Los Angeles.

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  8. I've lived in California for years. In 2000, we moved to Nevada and have been here for 9 years. I can not get back to CA fast enough! I miss so much about it, and feel like I'm home when I'm there. I have family and friends there, and so does my husband. He's the one I have to convince in order to get back. He talks to people here and comes home with all the negatives. I get where he's coming from because where he lived last in CA, I couldn't stand. I lived in Huntington Beach, Riverside, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and other cities close by as a child. The schools are so very bad here. Our kids would be better off by far. He's convinced we won't make it there financially, but we aren't doing well here, and he'd get paid more there. True, there's state taxes, but the good far outway the bad. I have one relative here, and haven't seen her in over a year, if not more. I don't get out much because of the sickening heat. In CA, a.k.a. Home, I have relatives and extended family and friends that want to spend time with me, my family, and actually have a life like I did before! I miss the beach so much. My daughter and I spent a lot of time up and down PCH! I also miss the ability to head off to Disneyland at any time, even if it's just to hang out at the resort, have a meal, ride the tram, and look around at so much! My mother in law is there, also, and I really get along with her very well! I would love to be able to see her as often as possible. I think that would be best for my husband as well.
    I'm glad I found this site! Thank you.
    Dawn

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  9. there are other options. california has beautiful national parks where you can camp out for a while for little cash. there are also hostels all throughout the state especially in cities if youre less of a outdoors person. finally, there is couchsurfing.com and wwoofing. wwoofing is great because many farms, barns, beekeepers, etc will provide free lodging and food (and sometimes a small stipend) for 5 hours of work a day. my final piece of advice is to be friendly and gracious to everyone you meet along the way: this alone can change your luck. travel does not have to be expensive, and there are alternative ways to do the things you want to do. if you want something badly enough, you can find a way to make it happen.

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  10. Hi to all above persons.

    My Name is Genna and I have been reading the comments above. I live in Tiny New Zealand. Right in the middle of know where except a few hours flight from Australia. I am 24 yrs of age and have been considering moving to California but am trying to find out as much as possible, I have a husband who I met when I was 15 and have been married for 2 1/2 yrs now. He does have a great job on our Port here in Mount Maunganui and I also work there. He has been there for 9 years and started at the bottom and is now the Production Planner/Scheduler and I Supervise the Customer Service Dpt. I have been trying to convince my husband for years that a move/change would be nice. I have always wanted to do the work/travel thing and would like to do it before we have kids. I have always loved America and Cali is looking great.The thing is though we both didnt get very far in school. We both didnt make it through High School but have worked hard to get to where we are now.
    So will that make it hard in getting jobs there as everything so far similar to what he does requires BA's and good grades and all the rest. Cali is very different from New Zealand but if we are going to make a move,it wouldnt be to somewhere the same as home. We would like to get overseas experience in our jobs, especially my husband as he loves the Manufacturing side of things. Work hard, save hard but do some travelling round aswell. Our move wont be until 2011 as thats when our mortgage contract ends on our house and will sell and use the money from that.
    Will it be hard to start out there and will people be very helpful/inviting???
    Just hope we are doing the righ thing. NZ is so small so would like to see what America has on offer for us, if anything. Hopefully something for a few years.
    Any advice??????

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  11. Genna,

    Thanks for coming to my site and leaving a comment. I honestly do not too much advice for you on this one. If it were me, I don't think i would do it. Living in California, as I write on this blog, can be quite expensive. You add on the fact that you would come here without a job and without a high school education and I think you would struggle here. Most people would probably overlook the fact that you don't have a high school education (it would be assumed that you have it given your age and your work history) but any sort of white-collar job is going to ask if you have a college degree.

    If you can secure a job before you come here, that would be a different story. But given the California economy is experiencing 10% unemployment, and it might be hard for you to do that from overseas.

    But if it is your dream to travel and explore, than by all means go for it. As I often write, California is a great place to live, and I think everyone, if they can should do it. Best of luck to you and I hope it all works out whatever you decide.

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  12. Thanks for posting this blog. It's helped me out alot. I'm only 20 yrs old and live in Texas. I have it made here at home and am going to school but I feel like being here is a trap. Everyone I know who has grown up here, stays here. With this family, it's just crazy. I always feel the need to go out and experience something crazy and new. I've always wanted to live in Cali and I know it can be done. I am currently trying to get a degree in Audio Engineering/ Music Production. I know that work in the music industry is extremely competitive...but it's what I love to do. Everyone tells me I won't make any money doing it and will never be able to move out there, but i know i can. Can you give me some advice on what goals I should put first? Like, I guess I should finish school here and save money. But part of me wants to just get the hell outta here and go to school there. But with the money I have now, that's near impossible. Thanks ~Angela

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  13. Angela. This is advice coming from someone that works in the film industry. FINISH SCHOOL FIRST. I understand being itchy and wanting to move. I want to do the same. But, all the actors I have worked with (newbies) all have the same dream. They moved there, and they are struggling big time. California is in a bad place financially and moving there would make matters worse on you than previous times. How much time do you have left in school? If you are going to a good school I would definitely finish there. Because not only is living more expensive there compared to Texas, but, the schools are more, the food is more, everything is more. SAVE SAVE SAVE. Have at least six months of basic living expenses saved up not including the costs of moving there and the deposits and such. Research, make sure you visit there before you rent to make sure you are getting into a decent area. I have a friend that lived there a long time ago and he won't move back unless he has a years worth of living expenses. I do not want to be a downer, because I am not like that. But, I would rather give you the down stuff first. You can work hard and make it happen. Follow your dreams love what you do, And as long as you are passionate. You will succeed. Here is another reason to have so many months together. You will want to get acquainted with where you move to. And then I would look on craigslist to find opportunities to volunteer with what you do. Get used to how they do things out there. Get to know people, and be social. Network big time. If you are good you will get somewhere by not taking no for an answer. Hope this helped. If you want to ask more, please do. Good Luck.

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  14. is 100,000 enough to move to LA and how long would it last me?

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  15. I'm 24 yrs old and saved up about 100,000 and i work at a hair salon. should i stay where im at or move to LA? its always been a dream for me to be in CA also. please tell me what u think of my situation.

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  16. First off I'm assuming you are talking about $100,000 U.S. right? If that is accurate, and you are indeed only 24, you are doing pretty well. Way ahead of me when I was the same age. How did you manage this with what seems to be an average job?

    In any case, yeah, if you have this much saved you are pretty much set. Can't imagine you going through that much money unless you like to live the high life. I could go years with that much saved, even if I wasn't working. But that's only because I carefully control my costs. If you do the same, you should be set.

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  17. I'm going to echo Raven's comments below. Finish school. Life is so much more difficult without a college degree. It is a pre-req for almost any white collar job. It is possible to live an OK life without one, it is just a lot easier to do with one.

    It is a bad idea to just drop out, move to CA, and hope for the best. Life should not be lived by "winging it". You need to have a reasonable plan to achieve what you want and it is not reasonable to drop out of school and move to California with no money.

    My answer *might* be different if you finished school and had some way to live in California without money (i.e. friends or family here). But short of that, it is a bad idea to move to a place as expensive as California in your current situation.

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  18. Genna,

    I say, "go for it"! On the one hand, California might be quite a bit of a culture shock to you, and I would not expect a lot of helpful friendliness, from complete strangers, but on the other hand, there are options! You can do a work/travel thing on farms/ranches/vinyards, depending on what part of the state you are visiting. Additionally, I know that this is not a great bit of advice, but you could always lie about your education. The public school system, in New Zealand, is much better than the public school system, in most urban U.S. cities. Therefore(and I feel I can ascertain this, simply by reading your articulate and grammatically correct post), you are likely much more knowledgeable and capable, than many U.S. college grads. As long as there is no obvious ignorance rearing its head, I am sure you can pass yourself off as a college grad. Probably, few employers will be likely to request transcripts from a New Zealand university, anyway, so just say you graduated! As long as you are applying for a job with a very small company, and the position is one that you possess all of the necessary practical skills to perform, you likely won't get caught.

    I know this is not the most honest thing to do, but hey, you do what you need, to get ahead, right? After all, this is America. That's how we roll. ;)

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  19. Hello Everyone, from Southeast Wisconsin. It appears this is an old thread, not sure if it is still active or not. My wife and I were recently married in October 2009 and are planning to move to the LA area in the fall. I am 25 years old and have a BA in Supply Chain Management. I have been with the same company for almost 5 years including an Internship and have worked my way into the International sales department. I also work part time as a Banquet Captain at a hotel in down town Milwaukee, WI. My wife is an optician at a Vision Center and is going to school for TV and Video production. As noted above we are planning to move to LA in the fall. I am very excited about the idea, but very nervous as well. I have two very secure jobs that pay well, but do not enjoy either of them. I have been browsing job postings in LA for nearly a year just seeing what has been available and what I could apply for when the time comes. One thing that I am struggling with, is how to properly apply and be considered for a job from across the country. My wife and I are both very hard working, out going individuals and I am confident that we can both land good jobs if we meet the right people. Any advice for going about the job search from across the country?

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  20. I've actually done a job search across the country on 3 separate occasions. I'll write a post about it which will hopefully help you out. Check back in a few days and I'll post something on it.

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  21. Thank you very much! I look forward to hearing your input.

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  22. I noticed that you have a link to the Intercontinental Hotel on your home page. Do you have any affiliation with Intercontinental? My part time job is through the Intercontinental in Milwaukee and I may have some transfer options within the hotel chain. The Milwaukee location is also partnered with the Marcus corporation which potentially gives me more transfer options in the hospitality world, if I want to maintain a part time job as well. Again, just not sure which way to proceed with investigating this as I am concerned as to how the Banquet Manager at the hotel would react if she knew I was considering a move in the fall.

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  23. Wow, who in the world has $100,000 saved up to move somewhere, not me! lol I'd travel the world with that kind of money. Anyway, your post was really helpful, it's always scary thinking about moving somewhere. I've been wanting to move to San Francisco but I know absolutely no one there and heard it's cold and crazy expensive. I currently live in Hawaii where my studio apartment is $1400, ridiculous. Are people in San Francisco nice or easy to find a job there? If you have any experience being in the SF area, please let me know what it's like and how much money do you think I should save up to move, $10,000?

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  24. Moving To California With No Money Is A Challenge But Can Be Done. I Know Of A Few People Who Have Tried To Do This With Not Much Success.

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  25. Hey Terrence,

    Currently I reside in Hawaii, and I am contemplating a move back to LA (lived there for a year back in 2000). I have enough finances to fly myself there and to ship my car there. I have family that I can stay with while I get myself situated, but definitely not more than a month. Upon arriving, I will have zero money; therefore I know the job hunt is on. I have a BA in communications as well as 15 yrs customer service experience. Do you think I have a good shot at a decent paying job that will afford me a decent rental? Thought about the move for over the last 10 years, but never committed. Worked various jobs in HI, but all dead ends. It would be ideal if I have money saved before I made the decision, but that is the same tune I sang before. In your opinion, do you think I should do it?

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  26. Hey Warren,

    I'm not sure what advice to give you. I tend to be fairly conservative when it comes to things financial because I think people are too impulsive and don't think through the ramifications of their actions.

    On the other hand, I think some people are too conservative when it comes to taking certain risks in life. If you wait for the perfect time in anything, you will usually not get anything done. I don't believe in getting stuck behind analysis paralysis.

    The job market is tough in California. If you have a job now, I would say you need to think carefully before leaving it. A month might not give you enough time to find a job. Then what do you do after that? If your answer is that you don't know, then I say you aren't ready to move here. I'm highly qualified and have never not had a job if I wanted one, and even now, I can tell you that the job market is kind of tight right now. My boss who got laid off a year ago is still looking for work.

    If you have a plan on what you will do if your job will take longer than a month, say it takes 6 months, than I say perhaps you can take the plunge.

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  27. Ok.. this all might sound a little unrealistic but I really want to do this and I'm gonna try it. Basically my current situation is that I'm 22, in a relationship, we live together in Ohio and rent is only $400 a month. I'm making enough to get by on basic needs and I have a 98 windstar that sucks up all my money with gas. LOL. I was born and raised in California during my childhood years until my mom remarried and then divorced and now we're stuck out here. I used to visit my dad out in California but he passed away when I was in high school.
    I have a strong desire to go back to California to live there and go to school there. My dream is to be a Marriage and Family Counselor and maybe even have my Masters by the time I'm 30. Almost done with my associates. Anywho... I'm currently saving for a car and I know your advice suggests against that if I plan to move to California with "no money" but I want a VW Beetle (which would actually go with the whole California idea.. lol) but seriously, they get good gas mileage and that's all I care about. I'm sure if worse comes to worse I could manage in California by taking a bus depending on what job I'd get... but then again it's been a while since I've been there but you could probably just get about anywhere by bus in Cali.
    Anywho, let's say if I wanted to up and move to California in about 9 months or so and managed to save about 1,800 from a new job I'm just about to be hired onto, and my boyfriend comes with me (so that could possibly work as a positive... possibility for 2 incomes coming through) do you think I'd have a good chance of surviving as long as I work my butt off to find any job?
    I do have friends and family out there that I could crash at for a while til I got my stuff together. I just don't know how that would work out with the boyfriend equation. I just wanted to see if you have any further words of advice because I know it seems like a dream that is out of reach and unrealistic but I live for the sole purpose of going back to California. Yeah... crappy Ohio is livable but I HATE snow/winter and my heart belongs to California. =D

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  28. I just came across this post and want to thank the OP for writing this all down for the people out there with this dream. I decided last march that I would take off to California with the little money I had saved up. I had about $4000. I had a lot of fun getting myself here as I made some fun stops along the way: hiking app trail, surfing east coast for last time, nashville, chicago, yellowstone, san francisco. I was lucky to have a friend already living here and a place to stay while searching for a new place. I was lucky enough to find a place to live and work within a month. That said, I think most of the people responding to this article are missing the message. There is no magic bullet. I did not forecast for how working a minimum wage job would affect me on many different levels. I have met many homeless people who take home as much money as me in disability every month, and they don't have to pay rent to anyone. They seem happier than me on many days. In fact, I would encourage any of you who are young like me and California dreaming to research the many wonderful strategies for living without a home. Urban or suburban camping/van living seems to be fairly common around here. I only mention these things because for many people they are a much better alternative to forking over 600+ bucks every 30 days. Basically, to sum up my point, this has not been the best career move for me. I'm dealing with it. But I'd like to offer advice to anyone who thinks this is the answer to think really hard and have a plan (and by plan I mean good job or a lot of money). Lastly, to the girl who is a 24 year old with $100,000 saved up: Wow. thats awesome. way to go. Don't blow it on moving to California unless you can line up comparable work before you get here. To everybody else: take a good look around you and really imagine your life without all the people and places you love. I bet there's a lot that your own backyard has to offer that you haven't even explored. Trust me the newness of a place wears off really fast once reality sets in.

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  29. I've been considering going to California for a year or two now. I love the music, weather and lifestyle (more laid back from what I've heard) The perfect opportunity is going to arise with grad school which I planning on taking advantage of. There are plenty of schools in Cali where I can get my business masters.

    Now I haven't visited California yet but I am going there this summer (either roadtrip or via plane) to visit Berkeley, UCLA and USD at least. What places should I go to get the greatest feel for living there (not 21 yet)? Anything I must do?

    Thanks for the awesome posts.
    -Oleg

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  30. Oleg,

    At the end of the day, you can find pretty much anything you want in California in terms of living environments. Want hustle and bustle? Try Santa Monica or Hollywood. Want a more suburban feel? Santa Clarita and Irvine invented suburbia? Want the stereotypical California beach, can't do much better than La Jolla or Malibu.

    If you plan on going to one of those schools, my advice is to just visit them all and then go around the surrounding areas. There is no one thing you must do. Just check out the neighborhoods, see the sights, and figure out if this really is the place for you.

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  31. Hey can i crash at your place terrence?

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  32. I was in New York for a couple of years and then I moved back to Chicago. I worked in production for a couple of years, so I do have some experience. I have a bachelors degree and a masters degree. I recently got my bartending licence. Don't have a lot of money or a car at this point. I am thinking about moving to California but not sure when. Do you have any advice?

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  33. As I've told others in this thread, I think you have to look very hard about your motivations to move to California. Moving here without money is extremely difficult so unless you really have something you want to do that can only be done in California (e.g. Acting) than the best strategy is to either find a job here before you make the big move or to save up enough money so that you can live in California for a few months while you look for work.

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  34. Hey, I am thinking of moving from New Jersey b/c I'd prefer the weather there and would love to organic farm there. Where in Cali do you live?

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  35. I live in the Los Angeles area.

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  36. I am 22 and live in arizona and my girlfriend is in california. she moved back there 2 years ago to live with her parents and go to school because we were losing everything. I had to stay here and work out some issues of my own. It has been almost 2 years now, and I still haven't started school... I am working a dead end job making about 150-200 a week. Most of that money goes to house expenses and gas... I do live with my parents as well, but it is a world full of drama and irresponsible behavior... I feel the need to constantly help them out and when i get stressed out i just want to go hang out with my friends and forget about everything. I feel like it has been too long and I need to get to california before our relationship falls apart more than it already has. We love eachother so much and I can tell it hurts more and more every day I don't do something. So I have decided that I am going to save up enough money to buy a vehicle that would get me to cali, and enough money saved up so I have funds for necessities... But I will live in that vehicle until I can get a job, and save up more money to start taking classes at school, and maybe stay at the dorms? I just need to know how much money I'd need to have saved before I drove. I am determined to get there and save us before we both break.... Weve been together 6 years, and she means the world to me... I need to do this. Please give me some advice. How much money will I need. I will take a descent job, I would have somewhere to shower and wash my clothes, but I have no problem sleeping in a car/ truck, whatever it may be...

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  37. I have family in San Diego, California (close family) that I could live with for free.

    I am about to start college, but I was going to do 1 year (or 1/2 a year) then move to California to live with them.

    I'm doing this to pursue acting. And this plan has been thought out by multiples and myself for almost over a year.

    What is your opinion? Finish my 4 year college and put California on hold... or go for it while I'm young?

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  38. Becca,

    I have no idea what your level of talent is or what actually makes sense for you. For most people, it makes a lot more sense to finish college and then pursue your dreams so you have a fall back plan but that plan doesn't work for everyone (and might be counter-productive as my post here states. http://www.doublejourney.com/2010/06/02/why-finishing-college-might-actually-hurt-your-career/)

    That being said, if you can go to college in California and do it cheaply by living with family, that might give you the best of both worlds.

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  39. I'm sorry it took so long for me to get back. I haven't been blogging as much lately and so haven't been able to respond back to people's comments.

    I can't tell you a dollar figure that would make me comfortable in your situation. My advice to people is always don't do anything hasty and have a solid plan. Part of that is having 6 months worth of savings so you can live in case things don't work out. That clearly won't work for you given your present circumstances.

    I do not think it is a good idea to drive to California and live in your car. This is especially true since your prospects for finding a job that will sustain you is made worse by the fact that you will have no permanent residence and have no college education. This will cause a vicious cycle where you will struggle to make money because of the disadvantages above and you won't be able to eliminate those disadvantages because you are struggling to make money.

    So in short, I would find someway to get enough money where you can sustain yourself for sometime when you get here. If you read my post, it clearly states you need somewhere to live. Your money requirement is a lot less if you can find a place to live for no money as rent is the most expensive thing here. Solve that problem first before you do anything. If you can solve that, than you can probably sustain yourself for several months with just a few hundred bucks.

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  40. Terrence,

    I'm 18 and pretty set on moving to Los Angeles. I could be going to Rutgers University for free this upcoming fall (I got a lot of financial aid) but instead I am choosing to pursue my dreams.

    My parents think this is foolish of me and I mean, I can see where they're coming from. It's just a college degree really isn't necessary to become an actor. Not only that, but I feel that if I do go to college and get a degree, I won't even want to act anymore. This is because I'd want a real 9-5 job out of college and I wouldn't be going to college for acting anyway; I would go for a back-up plan. But if I did get a "back-up plan," I think that would only distract me from my true dream of becoming an actor.

    Just because I don't go to college doesn't mean I'll end up homeless on the streets...I have over $10 K saved up, and I plan on working obviously when I'm out there. I know I'd have to work a job such as waiting tables, but I'm OK with that.

    If anything, maybe after living out there for a year or so, if I really hated it, I could just come back home and then go to college and get higher education.

    Is this realistic? Can I support myself out there? Am I a complete moron for doing this??

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  41. Patrick,

    Sounds like you've got the plan sewn-up. Keep in mind it's never too late to go back to college if acting doesn't work out. Keep your hopes up and you faith in lock. Best of luck.

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  42. Despite what college has done for me, I do not think everyone has to have a college education. In fact, I think most people are actually over-educated for the eventual jobs that they take.

    If you want to pursue your dream, and that dream doesn't require college, I think that is fine so long as you can reasonably take care of yourself. From the sound of it, it sounds like you can since you already have 10k saved up even before you head off to college.

    Yes, you will have to take odd jobs and find work while you are out here, but if you find a half decent job and are careful with your savings, you could live here for a year and see if you can make things happen. If not, college will always be there later.

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  43. Terrence,

    Earlier you mentioned that you have done a cross country job search 3 different times and that you would write a post about it. Not sure if you ever ended up writing about it, but I couldn't find it. I would love to hear your advice on the topic.

    I've found that many employers do not even consider people from out of state. I'm 25, have a college degree, a good job and a good amt of $ saved up. I don't plan on moving to San Diego until Aug 2012. By that time, I will have saved even more $. I do not want to move without a job, regardless of how much $ I have saved. I want to be able to use my savings for moving costs (if needed), furniture, emergencies, etc. I may or may not be able to transfer with my job, 2 years is a long time away. I would love to have my relocation costs covered, but this is not a necessity, as I want to move regardless.

    I know how to look for jobs across the country, but I need help on how to land a job across the country. What worked for you in your job search and do you have any good tips or advice? Thanks!

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  44. Hello,

    First I want to thank the author of the article and all the authors of the post, then I wish to tell of my plan. I took a road trip from NYC to CA and saw all parts from RT-80 down to San Diego. There is not one part of CA I didn't fall in love with. This was in 2002, I was an engineering student. I graduated in 2004 and still wanted to pursue CA but I figured to get hired as an IT person, I need experience. I continued for another 6 years gaining general IT experience and finally I formulated what I think is a well thought out plan. I was let go of my job 9 months ago and eventually stumbled into the idea of working for a nationwide chain. I finally found employment with one, and asked during the interview if an out-of-state transfer to CA was possible. I was given a definite yes on both being hired and transfered. That began my one-year plan. I am working up the Cisco career path to the point to qualify for the CCIE, the highest level of certification, who's one of two testing sites is in San Jose, CA. If I pass, the job I will attain will exceed 100k/Year. I plan on going to SoCal, but there are still a few parameters in my way. firstly, how much money (aside from the enormous amount for the exam) should I bring with me? Secondly, I will be driving as there are issues that prevent me from taking any form of public transportation (long story.) I am sure my plan still has bugs which could be worked out within a year's time, but I welcome everyones input.

    Thanks,

    Frank

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  45. I was looking on the internet about moving to california, I really miss the west coast I grew up there not california but arizona and other place when my dad was in the army he is retired now. I was in california in 90's for vacation and love it my aunt is out there.and I so want to move ASAP I live in fayetteville nc my hometown which I hate, the west coast is so much fun and lay back. I love your blog it was very helpful. once everything is good for me, I will be packing up and moving . the only thing i will miss is my family and some few people thats it. if I had a chance to start all over again i would of stayed with my dad on the west coast 17 years ago.

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  46. Fayetteville NC. What a beautiful town with everything in order.
    It reminds me of Swizerland in the summertime. Why would you want to leave such a beautiful place, Camelia?

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  47. hey im 19 yrs old and have roughly 2500 dollars saved up and just want to move out to california. is it even logical in any sense that i could get a job within a month? my parents opinions are biased obviously since they do not want me to leave i was just wondering if you see this as a possibility it would be appreciated

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  48. I am 56 and living in Illinois and desire to relocate to southern california next year. I have a law license in Illinois and California but most likely cannot get employment in that profession. my credit is bad due to business losses resulting from the crash in 2008. I have $35000 and possibly as much as $250000 more coming in in the next 6 months. I lived in newport beach 22 years and desprately want to return to southern ca even though the high life I lived is gone. Perhaps I could team up with others hoping to move, show them california, and work and even live together to make the move. I know southern california like the back of my hand and would be a mountai9n of strength and knowledge for those likewise seeking to relocate. I will be looking for a job in southern ca and will likely have to start over in a horrible economy. Any thoughts from anyone? Dennis.

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  49. Hi, I'm a 37 year old black woman with 2 minor children.I have been thinking about making a move to Cali. I must admit I'm afraid I have about 3500 dollars saved.I do not know anyone in cali but a 19 year old dancer(an not that well) I want a change the south is whack but I need to know is there a lot of racism and I need a entry-level job is getting a job there too awful right. I would like to meet a great group of friends.I 'm a late bloomer so I want to go back to college for fashion.I have crazy style .What is the best place in cali for myself an my children.My daughter is 15 she whats to act.I really want to move to there.My life has just reset I did not push the button it just kind of happened.
    Nita,

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  50. California is really my dream place ti visit. I always wanna visit there with my family. Every time I make ready myself for it, but due to hectic schedule of office always it pending. very soon going there..

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  51. Hi Im 19 and will be 20 in 6 months I am a model but I really want to pursue acting. I live in arizona but i feel like Im stuck and that I should be in california. I have no money and no job but i get $925 a month while enrolled in college. My plan is to enroll in Long Beach city college then take a bus to cali with at least $500 saved up and stay in a cheap motel untli i start school and get the money to get my own place. I also plan on finding a job within the first month. Do you think my plan is good? I dont want to end up homeless and I am very careful about my decision saying that it could be life changing, but because i get $925 a month it might be alot easier.

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  52. i don't know, i think most of these comments are a bit dramatic. i left my born/raised home of michigan nine years ago at age 22, moved to orange county (brea). no, i did not go alone (then boyfriend, now husband) & yes, he had a (decent but not amazing) job lined up. YES, it is expensive in terms of how far your dollar will go *but* to me it's worth every hard earned penny spent if it's where you want to be! seriously, it is nowhere near impossible to do, i'm not sure why anyone would get the impression that it is. we're talking about moving somewhere within your own country, right? the country is relatively small (at most, your drive could take you 4-5 days at the furthest point of distance), it wouldn't be hard if at some point you decided you wanted to go right back to where you came from. bottom line is this: if it's what you want *and especially if you are young, childless, etc* then please go for it :))

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  53. I dont know why anyone would want to move to cali! Have lived here my whole 42 years and I hate it! People are very unfriendly, super rude and down right scary! Gangs everywhere, pimps, hookers, crime! HATE IT! HATE IT! HATE IT!

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  54. Hi there advice giver, I have always dreamt of living in San Diego or Los Angeles every since I was a young man. Now I wonder if moving there now is a great move because I now have two girls and a son who are still in middle school and elementary. My children even now talk about wishing to live in either San Dieago or LA by the end of the year. The fear I have is I am a father of three, retired cop from the DC area and I have my Masters degree makes we wonder would moving now be benefitual to me and my children. Looking at the job industry seems to be very unrewarding at this point. However, they are so wanting to relocate now. It was not be like I would move with no money. I would move with a retirement which is a small amount. DO you think that moving to California now would be a safe and good life for me and my children.

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  55. If you love your children do not move to this cess pool

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  56. I am 26 years old I am a drummer have traveled all over the country broke playing bars and some bigger venues living with 4 other people in a conversion van not knowing what or when your going to eat your next meal or when the next time you will shower will be. I am now in Washington state moved here with nothing but suit cases of clothes, my car and my drums. I am moving to San Fransisco next week to further my music carrer and can't wait! Sure I am broke basically moving down there using my last pay check from work. I am going to be crashing in a practice space and going job hunting crazy right when I get there. I truly belive that life is short and being unhappy is no option if you want to do something go and do it nothing can stop your dreams but you and only you! I look at what my friends are doing back home and seeing how they are doing the same thing as they were doing when I left and I am traveling the country playing music and living in places I have always wanted to live in. Sure "money" freaks me out sometimes and the thought of not knowing what the cards of life will deal you next. But to tell you the truth I love it! I look at it as an adventure a new chapter in my life and I know I will meet some great people and experience some amazing things! All i have to say is that if you want something bad enough take it before your to old to do it and wonder "what it would have been like living in California" or wherever you may want to live. Just do it!!

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  57. I'm biting my nails right now at the thought of moving back to California. Things weren't working out so much for the last time I was living there. I have a 2 year contract job overseas but I haven't saved a lot of money, in a little over a month I have to head back to the USA because my visa expires. I'm 26 and a college graduate but I haven't had a lot of work experience, some but nothing too solid. Also my 2 year job overseas was ESL so it's not very much of a career builder. I have no car, no place to stay as of yet, and no job! It's very frightening , because of how expensive the cost of living is, even if I were to watch every penny. I might just backpack through South America with the money I have and then plan my next move? I do miss California though but it's really a struggle to get situated because of high cost of living, and unemployment issues . Should I take the plunge and try to rent a room in the Bay area? I have so much anxiety about this!

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  58. Jessica,

    Where are you from originally? Do you not have family? The best thing you can do with no money and no job is always to try and stay with someone who will let you get on your feet. This will usually take a few months so it has to be someone, like family, who won’t mind if you can’t get a job right away.

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  59. I'm from California originally but I can't stay with my family due to estrangement. So I'm looking to crash with a friend for awhile. However it'll be better if I find a place on Craigslist. :/ But I have to come back to California I don't have a choice haha because my overseas visa expires. I'm so stressed, thanks for the advice

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  60. Hello, I am looking to move to Los Angeles from Pennsylvania. I have about 4200 saved up and want to move there and find a job. I can't take my dead end job anymore and need to start somewhere new. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with about 4 years experience with at-risk children. The thing is, it is impossible to find a job online without living in LA. Do you think I will be ok moving out there with the amount I have saved up? How hard is it to find a job or two to pay rent? Do you know of any employers looking for people?

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  61. If you absolutely can't crash with a friend for any length of time, my suggestion then is to find the absolute cheapest place you can until you find a job. This often means finding someone with a room to rent which might be nothing more than an empty room. This is good enough until you get an income. You can actually live pretty cheap in California if you are willing to make some sacrifices.

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  62. Hello,
    I live in north carolina and plan on moving to san francisco with $6000 total between my boyfriend and I. Do you think this is enough money to move and also be able to drive our things in a uhaul to san fran? We have a lot of vinyl and kitchen essentials and a bed we'd rather not have to buy when we get out there. Just wondering if it would be cheaper to buy things for our apt once we are out there or bring our things with us.

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  63. Moving isn't cheap. To move my stuff from Washington to California cost me around $2000 and I really don't have that much stuff. If you drive yourself, you will actually end up spending more. I did a quick check, and to rent a Uhaul truck from NC to CA, for the absolute smallest truck you would spend about $1800. You add to that gas, and you are probably looking at at least $2500 just to move your stuff.

    So ask yourself this, is your stuff worth $2500? Keep in mind, you could probably sell some of your stuff so you just have to do the math and see if all of that comes out cheaper than if you were to just chuck everything and move here with nothing.

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  64. Hi, question for you, Terrance. I've been, like most others and yourself, called to the West Coast. The major reason is weather. Here, we (i.e. 3 children + wife) have horrendous seasonal allergies (dust mites/animal dander/pollen/mold). As allergies are inherited genetically--little surprise.

    Live in NJ currently, moved to Tx 4 yrs ago due to rapid esacalating housing prices, moved back to NJ due to poor job prospects (we went to Fort Worth--should have chosen Houston).

    Wife is optometrist, I am a computer engineer. Hence, salaries are good.

    Our impediment is 2 fold:

    a) heavy education debt--around 200k still (and we are almost 40 yrs old)
    b) no expensive assets to sell---so we cannot offset the housing

    We bought a house in NJ, about 4k monthly mortgage--but were unable to put more than 5%$ down due to high cost. We would have barely a profit if we were to sell now/soon.

    Hard to save with high debt. Therefore, we have little money to swing over to cut down the housing prices. We are looking in San Jose area for obvious reasons.

    In short, the prices for some real estate on craigstlist seem reasonable. But realtor.com and the like show a different story.

    Also there are pockets from what I've read in San Jose (i.e. dont live here, live there)...

    We've both been out to Calif several times, but do not want to fail as many people have (mainly on acct of sticker shock and reality settling in).

    Advice most welcomed....
    Thx!

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  65. One more thing--the problem we have is the real estate--that is the major issue. Sure we can find something in a downtrodden area, and pay 300-400k, but that is a risk we are not willing to take.

    In short, we can reside outside of SJ proper, and make the commute, other things being equal.

    We are expecting #4 child in 3 mths time--hence, we need some space (4 kids, wife, live-in nanny, myself).

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  66. Must you own? Things in the bay area are VERY expensive, even in the San Jose area. It is one of the reasons I've been somewhat reluctant to move up North. If you have an open mind, I would seriously consider renting a house. Rents are not equal to the cost of owning a home. I've done very very well not owning. I would not own in California right now but I think it is much more reasonable to rent the equivalent house.

    By the way, if you read the blog you will know I lived in Jersey. I too had allergies when I was there that I don't have here. So if that is a major factor for you, California might be a good fit.

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  67. Thx Terrance, for your response!

    I have not decided on renting v buying to be honest. Good to hear that your allergy issues have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

    I will look into renting--haven't really looked into it, so can't really comment on it!

    Thx again!

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  68. I am planning to move to ca also like many others. I want to go to school there...I am going to take industrial Design classes at the academy of art university. I have been to the school a couple times before. any online classes sucked and I failed because i didnt sign in when the teacher did but I live in va and worked. so i want to actually go to the classes and pass them. Here in va I have been laid off...and the dead end jobs are all I have...I really hate va...I even moved to minnesota and did good there...came back to va and It went down hill again. I hated the weather in mn. So I wouldnt like detroit either for car design unless I was on full scholarship or I had a banging job there. Ca has inspiration for design...detroit not so much ive heard.
    So im moving there maybe on a low budget really low, but school starts, and I could work at car dealerships. I hate this situation cause i feel like its the only way to try to get ahead...and i have a slight mental issue. But ma is kicking me out cause i dont have job so i figure go to ca for school to get better job. My fam didnt teach me the things to get ahead...and i saw where the dude said if u get a dead end job from the start then thats ur course afterward too. THats with everything. My first car has been sh**, and the rest of them has been too. Only when i got into a relationship with someone with a nicer car, i got a nice civic which i drove to ca to live. I chickened out. I want to get into real estate there if i can too. I have fas... and ssi has been denied. So i have to do something. it gets worse as I get older...like it already has...what really smart people do i talk to on what to do cause ma fam sucks. I need a mentor really bad...what do u suggest.? I do have the will to go there and get things done...but im scared of the predatory aspect of San francisco, academy of art housing rates are outrageous!! they are ripping people off.!

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  69. First of all, I will say that I can fully understand the urgent desire to get to California. I lived in Southern California for over 20 years. I do know people in the entertainment industry. I will let you in on a secret. Many of the successful people who grew up in California and are successfully living in California as adults, left Caifornia during the college years. I would say over 75% of the truly successful native Californians that I know went to college in another state. Once you really get to know people here, you will understand that they all went to college in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, or New England. Only after they completed college in some of those places, did they even attempt to move back to California. Trying to go to college in California is not a good idea. You might get through college, but then you will be so broke that you will have to leave. If you want to make a long-term life in California, then you better get your college education wherever you are first. By the way, I did go to college in California and it was one huge struggle financially, and I had a spouse that was making over $50K a year during those years. When we first moved there we qualified for low income housing because he only made $50K a year. We no longer live in California, because after 20 years of career growth and an eventual household income of over $130K per year, it still seemed paycheck to paycheck. We also got tired of paying taxes for closed libraries, closed parks, and a water bill of over $300 a month. And we were frugal and careful. That's just the reality. We tried for over 20 years and people that were older than us said, "if you ever want to be able to breathe, you are going to have to leave." People who raised their kids in California, found that their grown children could never afford to buy a home there and they are all moving to Colorado and other states. Now this is not to say that we don't thoroughly enjoy California. We do! In fact, we are able to enjoy it much more now that we have left and we no longer have a house to worry about there! Every April we fly out there for two whole weeks and we can do whatever we want, go wherever we want. We can afford to go to all the places there, that my friends who still live there cannot. We know at least 10 couples that are enjoying California like this. We joke that it is our secret society, because we live it up out there for 2 weeks and then go back home where it's cheaper and start planning next year's trip. I have come to the conclusion, if you cannot afford to go out there for a vacation for two weeks, then you most certainly cannot afford to move there.

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  70. Wow so I've learned a lot about moving to California from this blog! Just to kind of give you my story... My boyfriend and I are both 21. I am graduating with a bachelors in sociology in may (so excited), I hope to go for my masters in justice policy in the fall, n I am thinking about becoming a police officer here in San Antonio, Tx. My boyfriend is an animation student at the art institute of San Antonio n he has about 3 more years until he is finished. He wants to go to the academy of arts university in San francisco when he graduates, which is awesome n i totally support it, but it kind of conflicts with my plans to become an officer. We love each other very much n I know we are meant to be together, but I don't think either one of us really understands the reality of moving from texas to cali! The cost of living is so much higher there, but i know the only way he will able to find a good paying job is to move somewhere like Cali. Any ideas on how much money we should save before making such a commitment? How many years? Maybe an actual dollar amount? I know someone said roughly 6 months of living would be good. Any other things to consider or stuff we might be leaving out? Thanks for any advice!!!

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  71. N I totally should have read the last comment, the one before mine, before opening my mouth lol everything you said makes total sense, which sucks! Haha but you are absolutely right, especially paying out of state tuition! I just don't know where else he would go. Still, any more advice? Thanks!

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  72. @hopeful89
    thats where i wanna go for school. turns out I really dont have alot of choice in the matter. I'm going for Industrial design/ transportation design major.

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  73. Hi Terrance!
    Thank you so much for this post. My name is Angela. I currently reside in the Metro Detroit area. I was born and raised in Michigan, having left a couple times for a few months to work in both Seattle and San Diego. In 2009, I was laid off of my job here and could not find work for 19 mos. In January 2011, I started a new job that abruptly and unexpectedly ended less than 2 months later. In December 2010 I earned my Michigan Realtors license and had hoped to carve out a career here working with foreclosures and rentals and was working hard to build that when my job ended last week. Michigan's unemployment agency offered me $141.00 per week for 18 weeks which is not nearly enough to survive on even in Detroit!.

    Due to job loss both times, I'm behind on utilities, other bills, and am facing eviction if I can't be moved out by next Friday. I have friends in Los Angeles who offered me a room in their home and and a former employer who offered me a job. The job only pays $12.00 an hour and I'm worried that I won't make it on that in California(of course I'm not making it here either). I'm 42 years old and have lived in my own place for years so I don't know how well I'd do living with someone, best friends or not. My former employer's company is relatively new and I'm not sure how stable it is (but even the big employers are not really that stable now days). I have a pretty strong resume having many years experience in Administrative Support and was working on completing my degree when I was laid off the first time.

    Another frightening thought is that because I'm from Detroit, I'm not accustomed to public transportation. We drive around here and I'm a little afraid of having to figure out just how to get where I need to go in LA without a car. Although I've been to LA before to visit my friends for a week and enjoyed my stay there, I'm not sure how I'd feel about living there. I have about $600 to complete the move with my friends holding off on charging me rent until I can earn a little bit from the new job and have taken your advice selling my bed and car to raise additional funds.

    Guess I'm just riddled with all kinds of worries. I am single, no children. All of my family reside in Michigan yet although they are aware of my situation, non have offered or are in a position to offer to help me. I feel confused, afraid, stressed, stuck and optionless. For years I'd wanted to return to California and can't understand why when I have the opportunity am I so afraid of going. Everyone I've talked to said to go, that I will be just fine but I guess I'm not convinced. Each day that passes I wake up in panic. I'm supposed to be there March 15 and start my new job on March 21. Can you offer some advice?

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  74. Hey Terrence!

    I guess i'm a special case on this blog, because i dont even possess a green card >.>
    I was born and i'm still living in Austria (Cental Europe). Actually i got about 4000€ on my bank's account, which
    is 5500-6000$.

    Well, my question is, if there is a possibility to move to California (Los Angeles or San Francisco would be cool ;P)
    without a green card? Maybe for at least one or two years, so i can get things like getting the permit to stay in the
    country fixed.
    The thing is, i don't know if i am even able to get a job and work in california without a green card.
    Apart that, i'm 18 years old i went to school for 12 years and i graduated highschool(i think that's what you would
    call it).
    And would native language German would be an advantage to get a job in cali, or would it be even harder to find a job
    as someone who isn't speaking english perfectly?

    Wow, a lot of questions!
    I would still be glad if you would find some time to awnser some of them =D

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  75. Hello Terence! I like this site very much! I wonder what advice you have for someone who was born in Calif., came back to visit a few times, but lived away for many years in the Midwest. I am a widow, and I would like to retire to California, and will be getting about $1600 per month Social Security. I will also work part time if I can find it, and spend some time painting and enjoying the wonderful weather! I was wondering what you think of Senior Housing there--either apartments, or mobile homes mostly (is it nice, bad, what?) and which is the nicest but most affordable place to live for a nice senior person like me in their early 60's? I have children who live out there, but they haven't been real helpful (too busy with their own lives, altho they say it would be nice if I moved there). I want some honest answers, don't worry, I would rather hear the truth than not hear it before I make my decision. Thanks!!

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  76. Chris,

    Even with money saved, it might not be that easy for you to just migrate to California. To come here and live, you would need to get a Visa. Visa's aren't easy to come by because an employer has to sponsor you. Without a college education, the likelihood of that is small.

    The only other likely way would be to come to school here. If you can get into an American University, you can come study here on a student Visa.

    But, I am by no means an immigration expert, so there may be other solutions I have not written about.

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  77. I wish I could be more help, but I am by no means an expert on how Senior's live in California.

    Many people live in California on less than what it seems like you would be bringing in. Can it be done? Absolutely. Will it be more comfortable than your current situation? Hard to say. One of the things I tell people about the move here is that don't come simply for the weather. Look at your budget, look for housing that fits into that budget, and then see if the downgrade (if there is one) is worth it to you. Budget slightly more for taxes and there you have it.

    If you are barely making ends meet on your current income, then you won't be able to make it work here. It is more expensive, but if you can make it work, it is worth it.

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  78. Terrance, you should be a motivational speaker after reading these blogs I'm ready to go out and get what I want!!!! lol

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  79. Thank you SO much for writing this...
    I'm currently living in Canada and really want to start a new life somewhere.... fresh.
    I'm beginning to get so sick of the people I know up here that just.... aren't pleasant and always leave me in horrible situations that are really starting to effect my mental health. So I wanted to change my name and move down to California.
    This blog helped SO much you just have no idea.... so... thank you SOOOOOO freaking much you really rested my nerves alot with this.

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  80. Hey Terrance,

    Seems like you have quite the following, on people wanting to move to California! I have loved the west coast ever since visiting my family in 5th grade, up in the antelope valley. I have family in San Diego, LA, and up in AV. I have some friends in LA as well. I try to get out to Cali at least once a year and every time I get back east, I can't stop thinking about the sunshine, and lifestyle out west. I am single, I have a decent job, a college degree, and am finishing up a certification as a fitness professional. I am weighing seriously a move, I want to do it right though! I have people that are willing to put me up for a month or two, and I should be able to make some savings to get out there. I am thinking 10 - 12k is the number? Do you have any advice?

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  81. Heres my Thing , I'm Moving to CA within 2 Weeks for College So I'm Needing someones input of If I can make it . So here I go .

    I'm starting School on May 30th , 11"

    Ok I receive SSI & SSA which is About $700.00 Monthly so here I go

    I found Airplane Tickets For about $199.00 Or so
    Found A Temprary Apartment @ Oakwook for About $121.00 A night 2 Bedrooms
    I am Applying For Food stamps Once I get to CA ( Already Printed Out A Application )
    I get my Hair Cut Which maybe about $15.00
    I Do plan on shopping at Wal-Mart & Dollar Stores For Food & Clothing & Needs

    I do know that The Salvation Army & Certain Catholic Churches Help People with Monthly Rent So I do Plan going & getting Help at Local Charities Churches & I'm Catholic anyway so I'll Join A Local Catholic Church & ask if they have any Services for Helping with Rent & Food cause Some Catholic Churches Help pay for Rent & Supply Food & stuff .

    The Good Thing is I'm into Real Estate Investing & I Just got A Note Buyer who Offered me About $25,000 Per Note If I Find Them Real estate Notes So I've Token The Work load So I can Make Some Extra Cash to pay & get By while in CA & In College .

    I'm Wondering If I'm Doing the Right thing By Doing my Research online now in Searching For Ways to Pay My Rent & Food & all as well as Searching for Discounts , Food & Rent Funding Sources Such As Charities & Churches ect ect . Before Moving in A Few Weeks Which will be May 2nd .

    Another thing I've Joined A Airline To get Discounts on Tickets , & I'm searching for ways to Save on Transportation around Los Angeles as well .

    I think I'm Good , I'm Booking My $121 per Night Apartment This Monday & Buying my Plane Ticket On the 30th Of April For May 2nd to LA .

    My College Admission Is about $75.00

    So I'm wanting Someones In put Of Rather I'm Doing it right Or If I shouldn't Do it ?

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  82. ohhhh also Oakwood has Free Interenet So that would Save me A Monthly Bill on Internet Cause I have & Am taking my Laptop for School & Work I'm only taking 2 Bag's with me & I'm carrying On my Laptop on the plane.

    & I know I'm Moving fast Due to School & I , But My Realistic Thing Is If anyone wants to Move to CA or any were Have at least $25,000 or better Have $50,000 to get By For Awhile .

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  83. After reading this I think Florida is for me!

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  84. Well I will say this because its true! Most degree having young people have a very hard time finding jobs. The reason is because they think some degree is an automatic ticket to career. Wrong for the most part my friends. I'm educated but work a great blue collar job, and guess what I bet I make more money then most of the people on this forum. Have a good day. There is no substitute for hard work and common sense!

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  85. terrance,

    if u don't comment back i understand u must be busy...
    i googled "how to move to California" and this was the first one.
    i seen how you love to give advice to people who want to achieve there goals in life, well i am asking for yours, i want to move away from Connecticut, i have burned all my Bridges with job connections in my area, my family thinks im going to end up in jail, along with some of my friends, and i honestly want to start over, i feel like i have some positive energy to put to use, if anything, like you, i want to help people, show them life isn't that hard but at the same time i feel like....how can i do that if i failed at life here, i want to move to California because i feel like there is more opportunity and more understandable people out west. i want to embrace it all and just run away and everything be ok, but does some one like me, who has tried to the military and working in retail and failed miserable at both even have a chance out there? by the way i tried college in one semester one of my professor told me to give up...its not for me

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  86. rose^ how in the world do you get $925 a month for going to college?
    My name is Beege and I live in Northwest Indiana I HATE it here. My dream is to pursue modeling in CA. I'm currently going to IUN for dental hygiene. I have $5,000 saved but dont want to blow it on an apartment... I'm going to be 20 soon and sick of living at home, I also have a cat to so this makes things a bit harder..

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  87. where are the apartments for only $121 a night that is way cheap!??

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  88. i'm heading to l.a. i want to start an caree in the movie, i'm 40yrs old. no job just quit about two yrs ago. i have about 10'000 i hope that an enough to start with. i just wanted to know if it is. yes i'm trying to get away to start an new life on my own. i have my own place, but my family, wont leave me alone. but i away want to move there. so i going to try.

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  89. To all the people who have left comments above that I have yet to respond to let me say this. I stand by what I wrote in the original post. There are ways to move to California for very little money. Do it if you feel you absolutely must. Don't do it though if you think this will cure some problem you are currently facing in your life and all you are trying to do is to get away from that problem. There are easier, and cheaper, ways of doing that.

    I love living in California. I would recommend it to almost anyone who wants to do it for the right reasons. The key phrase there is "for the right reasons". It is never a good idea to make too many big life changes at once and moving to a new state is just that. If there are lots of other things going on in your life, take care of those first. That way, you can come to this beautiful state with a clean slate.

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  90. I am new to this thread and can appreciate all the comments/feedback and enjoyed reading your blog Terrance. I'm due to move to CA soon - but in most cases am most fortunate than others where I have secured a well paying job $110,000 annually. I have about $8,000 saved to (relocate all my things and car, including myself and find a decent apt/with a deposit). My moving costs are looking like it will total $3500 max. I'll be working in Silicon Valley and since I plan on continuing to save as much as I can, and since it seems like an expensive area what are my living options without hitting my budget. I would like to limit the use of my car and be near that area. I've visited 3 times (like Berkeley, downtown Oakland, alameda and south east bay) and don't know what I should do. Any feedback is appreciated.

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  91. Navsy,

    I don't think you have too much to worry about. You can live in most areas comfortably on what you make. I don't know what other expenses you have but housing wise, I don't think you will have too much of a problem unless you feel it necessary to rent or buy a house.

    My general advice to people, especially those who will have cash flow like yourself, is to find a place as close to work as is reasonable. That will save you from having to drive very much (which is one of your stated goals) and believe me, traffic can be a headache in the Bay Area. If the immediate area around work is too expensive, I'm sure there are surrounding neighborhoods that can be affordable.

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  92. Your situation reminds me a lot of mine. I also spent 2 years overseas doing ESL and feel like I'm now behind professionally compared to a lot of my peers. I wonder what you ended up doing because you posted this a few months ago? At the moment I'm staying with my parent because I haven't ever saved up a decent amount of money and figure it's a start. I'm working at a bank, and even though it's not my thing, it pays well enough. My tentative goal is to keep saving and living within my means, and eventually move out to California and pursue writing in the video game industry...and either fall on my face or gain some valuable experience.

    If you have family in Cali that would be the best thing...they may want to help you at least get on your feet. Hey, feel free to contact me, too. It helps to know that someone's in a similar situation, and to give and take advice.

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  93. Hi, nice blog. I visited Cali last year [LA and nearby areas] with my wife...loved it! I retire from the UK Police service in a few years and intend to move to Cali. I have 2 houses here and intend to sell one to release capital to buy outright a place there [approx 400,000 dollors]. being rent free I hope my police pension will be enough to give me a comfortable life style. I`ll be 50 when I retire so able to really enjoy Cali. My only concern is getting the relevant visa/permissions etc. Before I start researching are there any points you can offer or sign post me to a useful site.

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  94. Hey Terrence!

    Im glad i found this, it is indeed an awesome read. i'm looking to move to california with a friend to get into the filming industry and to ride longboards/surf.
    I am currently 17 and i'm living in the UK. I have a small fund in getting everything kick started. What would you recommend that i do and is there any tips or advice that you would give me in my current situation??

    Lui Dodds

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  95. Hi Nita,

    I live in Az and i sooo want to move to CA. I don't know anyone there. I have a 6 yr old son. i am also 37 yrs old and asfrican american. R u still thinking about moving? I plan to visit there within the next month or so to check things out. i have a bachelor's degree in social work and am half way completed with my masters.
    Maybe we can stay in touch and chat about our plans to move.

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  96. Lui,I would wait untiul you are atleast 21 and have saved atleasat 6 months worth of living. The only reason is its a different country for one and sometimes you have to be 18-21 years old to have a decent job to survive there. exspecially since the econmy is so down right now. but that doesnt mean not to go when your able then. LIVE YOUR DREAM!!

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  97. Terrence,

    I am planning to move to California.

    I have a college degree, approximately $15,000 set aside, and depending on where I am going to live, friends that I could stay with while I work to secure a job. I am looking for a starting level computer tech position and to the end have secured a computer certificate (A+) and have the customer skills based on my current job. I have visited California (as well as other states) to make sure that California is indeed the place for me.

    I feel that I've done my due diligence in planning.

    My question is:

    1) What areas in California do you recommend to live in? Looking for an Asian population, suburban, ability to hike. I understand it's subjective, but educated advice from a native doesn't hurt.

    Thanks

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  98. Hi,
    I about to go into my senior year of college in Boston and I've lived here my entire life. I am going to have some student loans to pay and such, but I want to experience something new and since I no longer play hockey or ski I have no use the cold weather or snow. I have a friend who grew up in So Cal and says its the best place to live. How difficult would it be to move out there with a bachelor degree but minimal experience?

    -Brian

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  99. hey i would like to know were the cheapest place to live is in Cali, still by the beach.

    me and my boyfriend of 3 years would like to finally move out on our own ill be 18 in a couple of weeks and he will be 20. we are very motivated to do what ever it takes to survive in Cali i am a hair dresser and he works in construction. we don't have very much saved up but like i said we can survive on water and ramen noodles we are hard workers and very devoted people. we are going to move there and were not going to give up. my boyfriend will work any job literally. we have saved up about 20,000 we can get minimum wage jobs lined up before we go except we don't know what part of Cali to move to. the only thing of value we have is his motorcycle we don't plan on bringing anything with us. we are going to drive thier on that, so what we take with us will literally be on our backs.
    any suggestions?

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  100. how did you do did you make the move ? I just left Savannah Ga and agree it is a sower place just looking for the weather Dan ps Iv'e have a CDL

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  101. I am looking to move from Orlando, Florida to Oakland, California. I have spent time some time in Oakland and really love the area. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in December of 2008. I have been applying to every company I can think of in the Oakland area since I graduated. However, I have had no luck obtaining a job. People always say that you should have a job before moving. However, from my experience I feel that you are not looked at as a serious canidate if you live out of state. In my cover letters I tell employers I am able to fly out for interviews and pay for my own relocation costs. I have even volunteered my services just to gain experience in the fields I am pursuing. I am so frustrated with the process and it has left me feeling very burnt out.

    I can not bare the thought of spending much more time in Orlando. There are no jobs here and Orlando does not possess many of the the things I am seeking in a city. I love the culture, music scene, and having more professional sports teams available to me in Oakland. I have some family that lives in Santa Cruz. However, Santa Cruz is about an hour away from Oakland. If I move to California I will have to sell my car. I do not know how easy it will be to get back and forth between the two areas without transportation. If there is anybody that can give me advice on what a good plan would be I would appreciate it. Also, if there is anybody has any connections with people in the Oakland area that could help me land a position I would appreciate it. I am open to various avenues in regards to work. Most of my job experience is in radio broadcasting, retail, and administrative work.

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  102. I'm so glad I ran into your site! I've had a longing to get back to San Diego to spend the short time I have left. I'm not ill , or anything, but my family isn't known for longevity, and I'm already in my 60's. I just miss S.D.- the only place I've ever loved. Last year, we had a few tragic events in my family. A house burned down(no insurance) A neice's baby was badly burned, and after 2 amputations, this 19 month old angel passed on. 3 months later a beloved younger sister died. I moved home to be with family, and now I feel worse than I did before. I have a NEED to get back to the ocean. I plan on selling everything, giving my children their inheritance, and heading back to the shore. I know it won't be easy, but I'm sure I can find a housekeeping job at a hotel or at a hospital( I worked for a few years at a hospital). Your blog at least gave me a little encouragement. I am in an emotional hell, here, and I cannot wait to get back to my beloved California.

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  103. Wow! I am so glad I came across this interesting blog. I've learned a lot from other people's feed backs and comment for Terrence. It's amazing how interested everybody are about migrating to California despite the poor status it has due to Economic reasons.
    I'm also glad that this thread is still active as the last person that left a comment on here was just a few days ago. However, I do notice that Terrence hasn't replied to this thread for nearly two months now. I'm sure he has been busy, but I hope he is still checking this blog... For I am still interested to hear his feed backs/ advice to the above comments.

    Terrence,
    I am originally from Southern California and have been away for over a decade now. I have been to a lot of states and nothing feels as great as living in Southern California. I recently moved back about a year ago and moved out to another state for a guy and ended up putting my things into storage with a promise of going back for it. But things are not working out for us and it has alter my future plans. I am planning to move back soon, but I don't have any money put aside. I had just gotten let go from my job and am hoping to rely on the unemployment benefits that will get me by for six months (if I'm eligible for it) while I find something out there and pursue a new career. I am planning to wing it only because I am currently in a unhealthy relationship and I have not other reasons to be here, but for the person I moved here for. I am kind of in a limbo... A part of me really want to go because I am not happy here, but there's also a small part of me that is afraid to go back without any money put aside.

    Any guidance or any feed backs will be greatly appreciated. Thanks Terrence!

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  104. Terrence,

    I find your blog interesting and have never really read a blog or replied to a blog before. I am also Asian and moved from half way around the world in the Philippines to Chicago when I was one and my parents, grandmother and I lived in a one bedroom apartment.

    I grew up in WV, and have lived in VT, VA, NC, SC, FL and in Torrance, CA for a year during 2001 when I was 30 at the time. I am currently living in Vegas planning on moving back to LA when I can find steady employment to save money to move back.

    LA is the only place that I felt like home where you can find anything you want inasmuch as having the whole east coast crammed into one city. Despite having to abandon my college degrees and student loans I want to move back as bad as someone living in Mexico willing to risk it all to cross the border.

    Any thoughts on moving to California with no money, student loan debt and no car after having a life changing experience and deciding I do not want to be a Chiropractor any more since Chiropractic is a scam and the first commandment says thou shall not steal so I no longer wish to be a professional criminal.

    I imagine anything is possible since people do move to California with absolutely nothing except the desire to live a better life and history repeats itself because man will ever be animated by the same passions...

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  105. I imagine anything is possible since people do move to California with absolutely nothing except the desire to live a better life and history repeats itself because man will ever be animated by the same passions…

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  106. Em. I don't know where you are coming from, but I'll give you the same advice I would most other people. Don't come back to California just to get away from something else. Coming here without a solid plan on how you will support yourself is a bad idea. This is especially true now because of the very bad shape California is in job wise (unless you are in a technical trade)

    If you can somehow support yourself when you get here and loved it when you were here, than by all means come back. But don't do it without coming up with some reasonable way to live for a few months until you can get back on your feet.

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  107. HEY TERRENCE: im trying my hardest to move to L.A but im trying to do acting and tv hosting and i see on craigslist the have alot of ads for that and were i live in N.C they have no auditions here at all and i will love to go to N.Y but its to cold up there so when i saw your blog it really helped me to really look into what im trying to do so thanks for the advice.....im just just trying to figure out were to start

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  108. Hi,

    I have the itch to move, like so many others and am a firm believer that you should try to move where you want to spend your weekends. Bay area is it for me but damn, it is expensive. Well, I make about 100k a year and am going to another company for a lateral move but will be a virtual job where I work from home except when traveling to client sites 50 - 75% of the time.

    My question is how can I reduce my expenses moving from the exorbitant DC Metro area? I'll save on only having to commute roundtrip to the airport once per week when traveling and food will be reimbursed during the week when on the road. Little gas and mtc. required for my car.

    Does this open up options for me. I've acquired a lot of debt over the years so paying that down. It is most of my take home so don't have much saved up.

    Easy transition or should I move to Tupelo, MS and save oodles first before considering a move?

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  109. Hi,

    I have the itch to move, like so many others and am a firm believer that you should try to move where you want to spend your weekends. Bay area is it for me but damn, it is expensive. Well, I make about 100k a year and am going to another company for a lateral move but will be a virtual job where I work from home except when traveling to client sites 50 – 75% of the time.

    My question is how can I reduce my expenses moving from the exorbitant DC Metro area? I’ll save on only having to commute roundtrip to the airport once per week when traveling and food will be reimbursed during the week when on the road. Little gas and mtc. required for my car.

    Does this open up options for me. I’ve acquired a lot of debt over the years so paying that down. It is most of my take home so don’t have much saved up.

    Easy transition or should I move to Tupelo, MS and save oodles first before considering a move?

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  110. First of all thanks for this article it is very precise and realistic, both things i like when talking about such and important topic like moving. I want to start off by giving you a little info about me and why i want to move to California. I am 19 years old, have a 2 years old son and a sister who currently is unemployed and lives with me. I am originally from Cuba came to this country 10 years ago. I curretly live in Nevada a dry, unfriendly, uninviting place. I come from an island .10 years in this country and i still havent gotten use to the heat here, Winter is extremely cold as well. The idea to move to California was my sisters she is 21 and a model. The modeling jobs offered here in Vegas are stripping or escorting, nothing more. She wants to further her career and become an actress, now i know 98% of the population in California aspire for the same thing, but she is determined. We have no family besides us 3, so I am the supporter in this situation. I am not a big fan of Vegas myself and often times have been persuaded by strangers to also get into modeling, i myself dont like that. I study Massage Therapy and have about a year to finish. I dont want to be in Vegas for another year. I have worked in Fashion and Sales for quite some time now. My question is do you think we can make it with a 2 year old?. Also what do you think will be the best place to move to if we do that is close to hollywood for her auditions. , safe for my son . I dont want to be living in a dump eighter . I do have 5,000 saved up but i wouldnt know what to do to start this process. II am scared and intimidated after reading your article. We are very smart mature young woman very driven and ambitious but i realized in this country you need to have a degree to get anywere. I would love to hear your thoughts and advise for my situation. Thank you. btw sorry for the typ'os its very late and i am typing in the dark :)

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  111. How many times did you move and come back?

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  112. terrence im kevin im from puerto rico! i want to move to california cause i want to get the hell out of here. but im a little bit afraid because i would be moving by myself i dont know anyone i have some savings thats it. what do you think i have to do? im moving with my girlfriend but we dont know where to go. we want to find a job, we want an affordable place to live. please help me

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  113. I am a 17 year old singer sing writer and will be moving to California on the 12th of June. guess you could say running away to start my career and live my life. I will be movin' there by flight and will bring what All i can fit in a suit case, but thats pretty much it. Im planning on selling all uneeded things so i would have more money once i get there.

    As soon as I land I will be searching for a job. though it will take alot of time out of my work being a nanny would provide a roof over my head. I have 1,879 dollars saved up just from sellin' uneeded belongings for the move. and have a limited savings. would that be enough to start out?

    If all goes over well I would not have to be a nanny I would just stay with my friends Uncle witch happens to be in the buisness of stage lighting. so thats very helpful. But I would still need a job. does this plan sound like it would work? If not could you give me some advice. I have already decided the day I am moving so that cant be changed but anything else?

    Thanks,
    Jacquie

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  114. Jacquie,

    Please read above your post and research. NOT a good idea and may be one of the WORST mistakes of your life.

    Don't do it, especially at your young and impressionable age.

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  115. I was wondering, did you go to college in California? I am 17 and in my senior year of high school and have been seriously considering going to an art school there. I wanted to know how diffucult you think it would be for me, from New Hampshire, to go to college there.

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  116. I loveeeee your post thankyou :)

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  117. Easy to move. Hard to get a job with no experience.

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  118. There is no where cheap to live near the beach. The coastal areas of California have the highest living costs in the country. Maybe up near Oregon is cheap.

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  119. Hope you make it. It's a good idea. There are so many opportunities.

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  120. It would be easy if you have the money and talent. The bay area is a great place to attend art school.

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  121. Lol! Wow! That's funny Matt. I'm moving to Cali this December with my son. I'm only 20.. Been married for almost 2 years now. We're both from Cali. We've lived in Utah since 2007. Going to make a change and go back. Hubby just left 2 weeks ago to start a really good job out there. Now it's my turn! Majority of my family and the Hubby's fam are all out there. So we'll have a lot of babysitters. lol. Just hoping and praying everything will fall into place. I know it's going to be hard as hell, but I'ma do my best to stick it through and work my butt off like no other. ha. A good friend of mine once told me, "You're going to have to get through ALL the rough patches to get to where you wanna be in life". And it's sooooooo TRUE!! We're all going to struggle no doubt! No reason to NOT give it a try. As scary as it sounds, everything will work out for all of you. :D. Ya'll are not alone! You're always going to have to start from the bottom to get to the top. Good luck guys!

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  122. Dear Terrence,
    I'm moving from Ohio to Cali.. with no car. and maybe at most 50 bucks.. and a full food stamp card. ssn, birth certificate, and i.d, bags of clothes and a prepaid cellphone and mp3 player. am i all set to go? I'm 19.. and i know a lot about surviving but walking there.. i don't know what would i do? hitchhike? also when i get there. i need to qualify for medical cannabis. i already researched the symptoms and i qualify. how do i go about doing that? with my ssn birth card and i d ? please email me at my brothers email. thank you very much. i plan on leaving this weekend so if u can get back to me soon. I'm sure it would help me more.

    max..

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  123. Hi Nita and Pam,

    I am a 52 married black woman married to a native California. I lived in California for 25 years and absolutely love it. However, my husband and I had to relocate to South Carolina where my family is because we went from a 6 figure income to unemployment. I would encourage you both to SAVE YOUR MONEY. Make plans to move. I believe that everyone should have lived in California at least once in their lives as well as visit someplace abroad such as Spain. I have done both and it's absolutely worth it. But if you do not have any more or a job going to California you will be absolutely miserable, especially with small children. We were struggling so much by the time we moved, due to the economy we were walking around like zombies saying aloud "I can't believe we're here." Love definitely got us through because by the end we had not much else. We re going to return but not for the next couple of years. You MUST have a job. Good luck.

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  124. WAIT IT OUT Jessica dear. It's not going anywhere and the last thing you want to do is get to there and beat yourself up for being there. My husband is dying to go back, but we just simply can't afford it. We can barely afford where we are now and we're both college educated people. I'm so adamant about us waiting it out for another year or so, if he must got, he may end up going without me. I love my husband with every beat of my heart but we struggled so badly, it was the first time in my life I felt a real possibility of being homeless - literally. We have owned 3 houses in California. The last one was a 1800 sf beautifully designed condo (I am an interior designer by trade) in the middle of Ontario. We could walk to the new arena, the Ontario airport and the snow capped mountains of Mt. Baldy was right outside of my kitchen window. Mortgage was $3,200 a month, rest of the bills totaling monthly expenses to about $8,000. We paid that in bills for 10 years. Then the crash came. Before we moved to Columbia, SC we were living with my sister in a spare room in her double wide trailer in Perris and were absolutely grateful and thankful to be there. We sold many of our things just to make the move. I sold a leather rug that I paid $400 for for $50.00.

    DON'T MOVE YET. It's ugly out there financially dear. I don't know you but I want the best for you and I don't want to see you struggle. Your mother doesn't want that for you and I don't know here either. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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  125. I think he said three...if he even mentioned it...

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  126. Max I'm also getting ready to move from ohio. if you have not moved yet & are still looking to move please get a hold of me as maybe we can help one another out on this huge move.

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  127. Ok so I am coming fresh out of an abusive marraige, I am 27 & completly reliant of my social security check, my ex. has agreed to help with some of my costs till I get set up, I have litteraly 1person in cali that's there for me, whom is already living with other people so I don't have the option 2room&board there, im lookin 2 be in the pittsburg area I was there for half a month before coming back to ohio to prepair for my move. To be honest I dont even know where to start. my marraige i was kept trapped in a basment away from all forms of the outside world.. no doubt I knew it was time to make changes. I have a little bit of cash but still no clue what i'm doing. with winter settin in im sitting on 2weeks to find a place so i can move. I have no where else to go or stay. I am basicaly posting this cuz im no fool to knowing im going to need some help at first-I know where the local social office for assistance is but again can't do much bout that till I get there. leading me to recognize its going to be at least 2-3months before I have all my assistance transferd. Its unsettling how many cheap living arrangements im running into that involve inappropriet payment methods. Im affraid it would end up where i have no choice in this. If anyone has any advice or anything I won't be shy (I could use all the advice I can get). This move is actually the only option I have. I dont really have anyone else in the world where I can go. sad but true (yay for controlling ex's joke)

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  128. Hey!

    I'm a 23 year old guy from Northern Ireland. A friend and I are considering coming out for a 3 or 4 month period at the end of our degrees. (Sept 12 - Dec 12).

    While we are coming out to enjoy ourselves we are gonna get a part time job to pay for the fun things. I'm also considering getting someform of an agent. I reckon that while I'm there, I might as well chance my arm in the entertainment industry.

    Any advice?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Melissa, are you in California yet!?

      I want move to california because i can and im sick of my everyday life and im in the mood for a adventure.

      Terrance do you think my success rate will be good if i have 2k saved?

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    2. Im looking foward to becoming a famous actress, singer, dancer. Im going to move but my parents have no money. So i need to know if its free

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    3. "There are only so many things you actually need. You need to have a roof over your head but you should have taken care of that by now. You need to have food. That is pretty much it. ". Ha.

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    4. hello there, i've been searching of how will i get to anaheim california. i'm from philippines, i wonder how it will cost me, and if it is easy. what if i come in there as tourist and find work? will that work to be remain staying there, is that possible for me? i have a friend already there to stay, so maybe i won't be so worrying about the rent. maybe just the fare the travelling documents and if they will really allow me? pls. help me.. thank u

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  129. I have been reading this blog and other information on moving to LA/California, especially locations where I can hopefully get most any work related to the TV/Film industry. I know you responded over 2 years ago, but I decided with the economy being as it has been, that 2 years might tell me whay I need to know now more than if I'd asked you 2 years ago.
    I have a BA and a host of experience scattered all over. I even went to LA back in 1987 and did some extra/background acting work and took a few acting classes. Even then I lived in my car near Burbank and stayed in a motel by the week when I had the money. I also waited tables part time. It was daunting then trying to figure out how to live there. Yes, if I had maybe 2 or 3 roommates, I should have been able to make it. But, one never knows when someone will decide to go as I found out people come and go to California fast and often. I did like it out there other than the smog in the valley. I have wanted to go back ever since I left.
    I am curious how the film industry work is now? I have read other blogs that have people stating that even after years of expeience in the film industry they are having a huge problem getting work out there.
    I am interested in many areas of the film industry. I know I do not have enough moving to actually move there. I have a dog that has been with me for 12 years and he is #1 for me right now. Moving out there means finding a place where he can have a life too. I do not want to work 100 hours per week and have his sitting there waiting on me. So, I know I have to go out there and find a place that I can maybe have a room and work where I am staying, plus maybe some other work on the side. There is the need to trust someone. That is always a hard one. If it were just me, then I could suffer more.
    I know things have changed out there. Some things maybe better, other things are a lot worse. Yet, I still think about going back or somewhere that I can get into film industry work.
    Maybe you have a suggestion of a city that is more affordable and I can get film related work? I know the usual answer is that if you want to work in film, might as well go to NY or LA.
    One interest is to work with sound. I need training though. I am very interested in doing that, or I think I am. Writing and other interest are also there. Sure, if I actually got an acting job, I'd be as happy as anyone could imagine. But it is not my main focus as I just have not did that much. I grew up in a pretty remote location and acting was just something you saw on TV or heard on the radio. When I went to LA, I tried extra acting and I got around those sets and I have wanted to be a part of it ever since.
    So, why did I leave? Lack of money for one. I had things I needed to get back to and I just never got back out there, mainly do to the lack of money and the cost to live there. I rarely see jobs listed there to apply for that pay anymore than than do in the midwest. Hard enough to get by here and jobs are not easy to get here either. But, there is not film industry here. That is my main reason to go there. There are other things I like about LA and the area, but the film/tv industry is first on my list.
    Sorry about the long reply, just really itching to get into that work and I am just not a young person anymore. Thank you!

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  130. LOL Too funny. You are so wrong but thanks for the laugh. :)

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  131. Glenn

    An irish accent barely got any1 out of the gutta,so m intriuged by wat knd of entatainment u wanna on try ur luck on ..jus enjoy ur vacation n 4gt bwt n cut da unnecessary costs

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  132. Hey Terrrence,my name is Agathoklis and i m from Greece!I'm always thinking to move to bay area chasing the start up dream !I have 10 grands of savings and a website project in the pipeline but my english sucks!I'm studying finance and management but i can to do a job to this section with this English level.I don't even sleep with the ideas which comes up to my mind all night and i got stuck to this situation!Any idea?

    best regards

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  133. Hi Terrence,

    I lived in the East coast all my life, Philadelphia to be exact. I've been wanting to relocate to Cali, but do not know anyone from there. I have around 20k-40k saved up and a Bachelor's degree. I am a web designer/developer. Would it be easy for me to relocate and find a job quickly?

    Thanks!

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  134. Hi I am A single parent 26 year old with 2 children, and I plan to move to a different state like California. The thing is I have no plan, and I have never been to California. For people that have been there, I need some advice. I need a plan to start over with very little money and 2 children. I want to know if I can find a job easy while I am there and If I have 2 children with No help Is there any kind of help out there that will help me pay for daycare while I am working. I plan to have atleast 2 mths worth of money saved towards an apt snd see how well things go, if they don't go so well then I can always go back home where I have a nice town home. But Detroit, Michigan is where me and my children live right now and this city and state is very dangerous and poor and Id rather raise my family anywhere but here. If u have some advice for me can you please send me an email @ mya54321@yahoo.com

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  135. Wow I cannot believe I found this blog. I am someone who always dreams of moving away from where I live .I live in the midwest kind of like one of the others who posted on this blog .I live in Wisconsin.I live on my own and I am not well off I don't get paid very well. My thing is I am accustomed to life here in the sense that I am aware that living in hte midwest the cost of living is lower than places like California.I really wish I could move to San Francisco. I do not have a college degree but I have some college. I have already done stunts like leaving my hometown then coming back when my plans fell through but I also think I went to the wrong state.After moving away I came back with only a carload of my belongings then put my mind to finding a job once I was back I had to stay with a friend temporarily .I am struggling currently being on my own as well it would help if I had someone to live with the economy kind of sucks too. I understand and have weighed out the being responsible part .I am 39 years old, single and have no children.I have a cat and I adore him greatly.I think one of the reasons I sometimes would like to move away is because California seems like a more liberal place and a fun place to be .I havetalked to a lot of people and I know there are a lot of people hwo move out of California due to the cost of living etc but I went to San Francisco for the first time ever last year and I did stay at a hostel. A month later I went to Lose Angeles and stayed in a hostel as well.I find I do not like it here so much it could be maybe dissatisfaction with my personal life, income etc etc I have more than one time pondered the running away vs running to notion people have of those who desire to up and leave. I also given that I am kind of more liberal thought California would be a good place for me and I loved it there sooooooooooooo much.I really and truly hate the winters here immensely it is so bitter and cold.Also, I am a vegetarian and want to be somewhere interesting and more broad minded.I always perceive California as being a place that is more open minded than the good old midwest.Often times I hear a lot of people say yes but you have beautiful seasons there and midwesterners are much nicer and harder workers than some other places.I say people are people and wherever you go there you are.I really want a change.I am not well off. I do not have a college degree I work menial jobs.I am super thrifty and resourceful when it comes to skimping by and I am more creative minded.I feel like nothing falls into place for me here even if I did try to go to college, and I have a little bit which I cannot afford really any job I would want is not here anyhow and I don't know what I want because I have not been exposed to some things.I do not per se think leaving where you live is a resolve to your problems and in fact it cancreate further problems and I know that jobs are hard to come by period I just wish I could start my life over. I hvae no savings.I am never getting ahead it seems IO am living to survive most of the time .I just keep wondering if I left would I find some avenue to go down which is more suited to me that I feel more passionate about ?I even try to change my attitude about where I live but am not able to .I am not well off but life creeps up on you too and if you do not take chances how will you ever know?I don't ant to do something stupid as I already know how hard that is I almost wish I had someone in my life wh oshared the same idea as it might make it easier ffor me.

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  136. W,

    You're 39, what are you running away from at nearly 40 years old? Read everything above and you should be dissuaded from a really bad move. Stay where you are and figure your life out. San Francisco is NOT a place for you to, umm, figure out what you want to do.

    C'mon now, read above.

    Happy Holidays!

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  137. I just read the comment above.... I am too from wisconsin. I hate it here! I want to move to LA soooo Bad. I am a inspiring fashion designer, I have my products in some local stores in wisconsin. I have had contact with a couple stylist in LA and they all say I should be in LA, that is where I will make my money. Wisconsin has nothing to offer, it full of people who do not understand fashion. I hate the snow, and the freezing weather... and I lived here all my life :( I feel like will never move foward with my dreams if I contiune to live in Milwaukee.

    The promblem is, I have a child and I am a single mother. I am working towards completing my degree in business managemet. I work in customer service and I do not have a degree. I have over 7 years in the customer service field so I hope it will not be to hard to find a job. I have tried to save money but it seem like everytime I save something comes up, and I have to use that money for it. I am trying to figure out the best route to do this, because This is my dream and I want my son to have a better future. Does anybody have any suggestions or has anyone moved with a child and little money? The most I think I can come up with is about 1500.00.... PLease HELP!

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  138. I feel like most posters are not reading and hence, a never ending brick wall is in effect.

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  139. Hi Terrence,

    I am thinking of moving with my boyfriend to Irvine, California in the mid of June or July 2012. My boyfriend had lived in Newport Beach and Irvine for several years and now he wants to moved back to Cali to be close to his daughter. We both held a good job. He's a computer engineering and I am an accoutant. He also had Insurance Business going. I am from TN and some of my family are here. I do want a change in my life and TN is very boring state with less to do and shop. I love shopping and sightseeing. My daughter and I have a mixed feelings about moving to Cali. Will job be hard for me to find in the accounting field? I have a few money saving up and I will sale all of my furnitures if I decide to move. Would much appreciated any advise you can give me.

    Happy Holidays!

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  140. So I did move to California (Los Angeles) with no money or more accurately with $500 besides a $150 plane ticket. And most of that was from the money I made selling off most of my DVD collection. I disagree with selling off the computer and iPod although if you have expensive versions you can sell them off for cheaper ones if they're not important to your career. What I did was stay in a cheap hostel for a few days while I looked for housing. I found a week to week place and I spent $200 for two weeks. I also paid $75 for a metro pass for a month. Then I looked for jobs, ANY job. I found a great job with a movie theater, I definitely recommend that if you have little experience as you get free entertainment and a flexible schedule so you can look for another job and it was much better than your typical fast food job. Supermarkets can be good too.

    Get money any (legal and ethical) way you can. Freelance, go online and look for anything, teach skills to people around you, volunteer and look for any opportunity to become paid. I saved up my money for my job and found a place 5 minutes from work (before my commute was 2-3 hours each way by bus/train) by the beach sharing an apartment. So yeah, I lived a block from the beach, had a decent job for my skill level and worked my way up to get better skill experience (marketing, scheduling, bartending) and connections. I also saved up to buy a car for $750 that works completely fine which helps a LOT in LA (you can survive without one better if you live in Santa Monica or Downtown esp if you work there).Now I'm going back to school and I'm well on my way to making a lot of money after college. So it CAN be done.

    For me, California is WELL worth it beyond any amount of money it takes. Don't be fooled by people saying the cost of living is super high. Yeah it can be if you have expensive tastes. But if you live cheaply (share an apartment! sleep on a couch), spend only on necessities (rent, food, cheap transportation, internet/go to the library), you can make it happen and work your way up. And yes, the internet can be a big help for improving your skills and finding the best places to turn to.

    If moving to California is your dream, do it. Follow your dreams. It is the land of them after all.

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  141. QUESTION!

    Alright so i have been pondering on this decisions for months.
    I am 17 living in the state of Washington and half my family lives in cali; which is where i want to live asap.
    I want to become an orthodontist.
    I am a senior in high school but im in running start which is a program where i attend college full time for free, my first two semesters consist of classes for high school but my last quarter is fully up to me. I will be getting my diploma with my high school class though.
    Anywayyy.
    My parents are extremly strict and i didnt take high school very serious till this year. Last time i checked i had a 3.27 cumulative gpa but after my first semester in the community college i attend i got a 4.0, 3.1 and 3.0 in my classes which is for high school but im not sure if it still counts as classes that i would need to take for an associates....
    I want to move to cali once i get a car; i dont have a job because my parents wont allow me to get one.
    I have family in cali that is completely supporting me with the decision to move in with them. they say that i should take loans to go to school as an orthodontist in california and they will provide me with a place to stay and food.
    if i have the "basics" down should i go for it since it seems pretty do-able. if i dont get accepted to the schools in cali should i just stay in wa and finish my associates here and than move to cali an become a transfer? what diffrence would that make? My heart is set on being an orthodontist and living in cali and i dont want to spend a week longer here if i dont need to.
    i was thinnking of doing on campus jobs if i do go to cali....
    i dont know.
    associates here in wa where i hate and be a transfer *dont know how that works* or move to cali after i graduate hs with family and go to community college there/ attend my dream university if i get accepted. which i doubt since i have a 3.2 with a low sat score. i just want to start living my life without my parents holding me back acting like i cant do anything on my own after all these years of their lessons and advice.

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  142. 2K with 3 more zeros behind it and you should be good for a bit... 2K good for about 2 weeks

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  143. hi yall... just wanted to add to this.. even though i'm a little late.... I moved from Philadelphia to Santa Fe in winter of 05 looking for work and start school there.... within a few weeks it became evident there were NO jobs for 27 yr old white guys from Philly... i'm very artsy and intelligent and tough with a background in construction and insurance ... (i became bored with that)... i had 40000 cash in my pocket when i left.....my girlfriend hated santa fe right off the bat and left for S.D., cali.... i followed suit a month later... that lasted a miserable 4 months.... no work.. and my $$ was flying out of the window... also Cali would not let me into their contractor loop.... with draconian laws making me a criminal for doing odd jobs without a license... F' California... so i left ... went back to new mex.. this time TAOS... i dug living in my travel trailer in the woods... it was great... i trained to be whitewater raft guide ! however i was duped... they took a 1000$ for training then said well seems we have tooo many guides good luck.... i was worried but stayed persistent and started a company videotaping whiterwater rafting trips... then was warned by the state for various BS reasons... so i stopped but was hired for rafting... when i look back i should of told the state to shove it and kept doing it... ive learned not to be afraid of anyone while living on the road... i continued to raft but only in the summer and moving back to Philly... that worked really well until i decided to make Taos home.... big mistake.... after dead tourist season after dead tourist season... i eventually was completely broke.... now i'm 40,000 in debt and out of business.... i think more about killing myself these days than even cracking a smile..... be careful!

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  144. Hey! I'm 20 from New York. I plan to move out to LA HOPEFULLY this summer. I have about $8,000 (I know that's not "no money", but it isn't much). I will obviously get a job as soon as I can. My best friend lives in Long Beach, so I have a place to stay when I get there (that's if my mom doesn't get me a hotel room). My best friend and I are moving in together. My mom will probably help with the move, but since we're in this recession I don't know how much she can spare for me. And plus, I don't want her to pay anyway. Back on the topic, the place we're looking at is in walking distance of pretty much everything we would need; grocery store, library (free internet and plus I love to read!), restaurants, coffee shops, public transportation. Seems pretty good and the rent is $750, but it's only one bedroom which is okay.

    All that information was probably not needed, but... I just want to know if $8,000 is enough to get started. Thanks!

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  145. Terrence, or whoever..lol,

    I just turned 30, but am still a kid at heart, and have lived here in the northeast suburbs of Houston,TX my whole life and am really sick of it! I feel like I know everyone and everything about this place and it has become very mundane to say the least. Yes, we may have a decent economy here but our coastline is very polluted and just outright disgusting. Everything else is just a flat sandy mud-pit with not the slightest hint of a mountain. 3/4 of the year is 100+ degree weather combined with 90+ percent humidity. Fungus and morons run rampant! I am newly married with no kids and am looking for a place to live where I can be happy. My wife and I took our honeymoon in Maui and I really didnt want to come home! What a paradise! But I am not only looking for a beach. I just came home tonight from our vacation in Breckenridge, CO and am not feeling good about coming home! We are both sick of this place. The people are without culture, and boring. Probably due to the fact there is nothing to do here. combine that with the weather and we are ready to move, somewhere, anywhere! I have been thinking of California, and have dreamed of it since I was a teenager. We are both avid snow-skiers, and have vacationed in Breckenridge 3 times, and South lake Tahoe once, and of course our trip to Hawaii. It is my idea that we could move to Cali and have the beach to the west and the mountains to the east..The best of both worlds so to speak. But I really know nothing of the place except the week we spent in Tahoe last march. I have heard California can be very expensive but there must be places there similar to here as far as jobs and cost of living. My wife has a nursing degree and is working at a hospital here that has a branch in Bakersfield, But the wiki page on Bakersfield does not sound good. I am a contractor, and have built a small appliance business here which I am also tired of. But with my entrepreneurial skills I am fairly confident I could create something there just as I did here. How big of an economical mess is California really in? I find the media hard to trust, and am seeking the advise of some locals. What are the people like there? I have heard they are friendly and hospitable, but I have also heard they are cold, and selfish. So I am not sure what to believe. I don't plan to move there with no money as the blog is titled, but would like to make the right preparations and have a good place to start my research. I am a fun-loving, intelligent, social, friendly person, as is my wife, and we are looking for our own little paradise to start a family. What are some good towns to research? Preferably northern California as we are sick baking in the hot sun! Sacramento? San Jose? Stockton? I am just looking at a map..What are good industries there? I am able to obtain a degree before we move, But am not sure what i would have the best chance with. I am trying to make a 4-5 year plan so a BS would be no sweat. Any advise will be greatly appreciated, the more points of view i can find will only multiply my chances of success!
    Thank you,
    your future neighbor....Andrew

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  146. I have faith in this guy; he's a very talented artsy guy and all he needs is to get tougher!! I've seen his work; hes an amazing human being at that...I want to see that smile again and if it means buyin him a ticket to TAOS well I can make it happen! his #1 fan!

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  147. Not sure your even paying attention to this anymore but..What do you think would be a reasonable amount of money to move to california with? I want to move due to weather. I currently have a great job but...i hate the north east its cold and evil. I currently have about 30,000 in the bank, and i throw another 2,000 in every month that i am here. Does that sound like a safe bet? Also I do work in a techniqual field so maybe I can fair a little better then others.

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  148. I am pursuing my dream of living in the West. I am only 19 years old. I will have only about 1500 bucks in my pocket and my car. I don't know how I'm going to do it but anything is possible to me and I desperately want to pursue this dream. You seem to obviously know what your talking about so I was wondering if you could help me. Me still being 19 and this will be the first time out on my own Im still not sure how to world operates just yet. I know for a fact that 1500 will be nothing to live on for awhile while out there in California but I figured it would get me a place for about a month or so to get a job and keep the money flowing. I want to move to Moreno Valley, CA. I don't know if you have ever been there or maybe even passed through but I need to know exactly what I am getting myself into. If you could be let me know. Thank you.

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  149. Sounds like a nightmare to me! Tack another zero on to the back of your 1500 and maybe that'll get you through a few more months. Research, plan, save, get a college degree, get a job, save some more, network, get a better job etc.

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  150. Hi, my name is Jessica I'm 21 and I'm looking to do an internship on the West Coast for the summer. I am interested in acting and want to intern at a talent agency...i'm not interested in Los Angeles but somewhere with beautiful beaches, nightlife and people my age. I want to meet geniune, relaxed artsy people like myself and am looking for the right part of Cali to reside in for the summer. San Fran is a dream of mine but i would like to start out somewhere smaller where i have a chance to be really be part of the community. ANY advice from someone who's been there is amazing. Thanks for all your help! :)

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  151. Hello just come across this blog while searching for ways to live in ca...
    like many im in a place where i want to get away from i hear many say saveup your money and get your education... but what if you not in the postition to do that?
    so anyway im just going to get to the point ill be going to calling in a few days ...even after reading everything here and many other sites i feel my need to get away outways the negitives sooo on the 16 of this months i will be there heres the thing iv been searching and iv yet to find a decent place to go im a litle confused but i have been leaning on san jose i will have little money maybe $400-500 to hold my self when i get there i can use all the info anyone can offer me regarding this ill be checking the blog asmuch as possible also if nay one wants to reach me on my email iv listed it i can use all the info and help i can get thanks for your time and i hope for a speedy responce... ^^

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  152. so let me say this. at the beginning of june this year, me, my sister, and our bestfriend are moving to california. im 19, my sister is 18, and our best friend is 17. like many of you we are moving bc of our past. we 3 did drugs and we did pills and drank almost everyday. the reason we are moving is not to run away but to start over. i have lived on my own and so has my sister. so i know the cost of living on ur own. however i need some advice on what i should do? please dont say not to move because we have already made up our minds and we are moving to cali. we just need to know of the best place to start out at and please pray for me seeing as ill need it for a safe move. please email me at show_choir2007@yahoo.com thank you soooo much.

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  153. Angelica, read. Did you take the time to read this forum before posting a question on what you should do? Do that and you shall find your answer.

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  154. Everyones desire to relocate is valid.Seeking the elusive American dream!!However positive thinking and self confidence are not enough.Most people feel they will move out quit their job and once they get to California everything will eventually "work out".The right way to do it is to go to the city first and rent a room.Most renters will not rent to someone without employment verification,but someone will rent month to month with first and a deposit(with no credit check for those cash people that never borrow)Some people with no credit are the best renters since they pay with cash and never borrow or owe money.).They know you will HAVE to eventually get a job so that does not have to be an issue.Failure and giving up after facing the dilemma and quandry of needing a place then getting a job,and needing a job first to rent a place,is no option,if a person wanders around the streets thinking what am I going to do with no place and no job and relatively little money.Failure is no option because if a person regresses and goes back where they were with their" tail between their legs"they will face the same problem of being home(less) and unemployed where they came from.So stay where you want to be and rent a room,Now you will have 2 to 3 months to find a job any job OK There will always be time to UPGRADE.... See y'all later in San Francisco with 17000 people per square mile a few extra wont hurt will it???!!!LOL

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  155. Hey, liked the blog but I wanted to ask you a question. I don't know if you have much info on florida, I will say though I've been through a rough couple of years in NC and frankly can't stand this place, the beaches aren't really that great and everything else is just....boring. Ready to make a move but the problem is by the time I get there. I'll only have about $300 to live off of. I could find someone to stay with if I tried i'm sure. I have 4 months to go. I am a car detailer looking to do mobile detailing all accross miami if possible. I just want your opinion on this if it would be a good move in general. Thanks a lot. - David

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  156. anyone looking for a roommate in the down town la area?

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  157. Wow. This site is very informative. For some reason I thought I was the only 37 y/o looking to make a change and move to California. I have an extensive background in Social Work, and although CA income limitations are not forgiving to someone with a social worker's salary, I am still ready to move on from Chicago. I have visited many times, both northern and southern, as a single african american lady, I think that Southern CA has a bit more to offer. I am nervous about finding work, but I remain optimistic.

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  158. Hi, Im Gary Arceneaux. I live in New Orleans but need to move to Cali for a big reason. I am into screenwriting. I am Afr. Am. and currently live with my parents and i am 26.No one in my family is interested in my career. Saddest of all, most of them are jealous of me because i'm going for some thing big. I've been writing stories since i was about eight. Bummer. I do have a writing partner who lives in San Diego, California. Unfortunately, he stays with his mom and he's at least 14 years my elder. He only wishes i could be there but i can't. He tells me about film festivals and many other thing's that I've never heard of that I must attend as a screenwriter to become known. I get so jealous. It's great here, but not for someone who does what i do. I have no relatives there. I had an interview and am hoping i start working around here. I don't really have much but I wanted to ask how should i approach moving to San Diego? ?? I'm way in New Orleans and I am lost. Any help would be appreciated.

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  159. wow just reading all this and with my mind already geared toward survival skills for when i move makes all my stuff seem like trash! i have been planning to move to california because it is my destiny. my fiance-to-be is there waiting for me! BUT, i have waaaaaay too much stuff and more stuff. before reading this, i had always been a hoarder, wanting to keep everything, and being an avid crafter, its HARDDDDD! i cant get rid of anything :(. maybe some advice to help me let go might help. there are just too many MUST haves. i realize they are just stuff but i cant get rid of it. in my current area its not easy to just sell my collected items or art and i dont trust craigslist. any suggestions?

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  160. haha i live in florida and hav an awesome job as a car detailer for BMW i make 600-1000 a week no taxes but my love for California will overcome it all one day and im packing a back pack hoppin on a bus and Moving to Cali

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  161. u sound like my x who works at a hair salon. dont be a joke. 100k is more than enough follow your dreams babe

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  162. I currently live in the LA area, and seeking an honest, clean roommate to share!

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  163. What if we just got group of us to do it together? I feel it would be much easier with people in the same situation!
    Mike

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  164. hello, this is derrek. do you have a contact #. i was wonering if you could work with me once i get to l.a and prorate my rent and give a small discount for the first month? im coming from texas and just wanted to touch base with you.

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  165. I just want to say thanks for posting this blog.. I've always dreamed of living there due to the stories i heard from my family. They actually lived there before i was born. I This blog helped me a tremendous amount. I never planned to move with zero dollars, but i wasn't sure what type of budget i would need. I plan to move close to the end of this year, against my family's wishes. I feel kinda trapped, and feel that if i don't get out soon, i'll be stuck in this horrible tiny town forever. I've actually done a bit of research and found a few places that have single apts for cheap and in what seem like nice areas. I would recommend anyone whose trying to move to not rush into buying/renting a 2/3 bdrm apt/home. Also there a (dare i say) rooming houses that offer, reasonable room and board, they have some for males and females, as well as coed houses. I know they aren't anyones first choice, but it's definitely a cheap option.

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  166. Thank-you! I have been in love with the idea of moving to Ocean Beach, California with my long-term boyfriend and 2 pitbull pups in the coming year. I have wanted to live there since I was 13 years old, I'm 21 now. My boyfriend is 22 and very talented...he's a tattoo artist and electrician, and currenly works with the mentally handicapped. He could be anything out there. I on the other hand was 1 semester away from graduating with an associate degree as a registered nurse. 5% points were wrongly taken away from me and I "failed". Either way, I have not completed college and was worrying about not having a degree or being able to afford housing with a minimum wage job or something similar. But we don't have children, and we're both very young...21 and 26! I think it'll be worth it. So it might be a little rough from the get-go, but I think things will look up :) Thanks for having an optimistic attitude about the issue!

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  167. Elizabeth MicletteApril 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Hello,

    Did you do it? I am looking to do the same. I have a brand new car paid off and many things I could sell. I also think sharing it with someone else could help cut cost! I am going to look for that.

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  168. Elizabeth MicletteApril 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    I agree! Get a great place! Getting a group together. I have the new car, Chrysler 200 hardtop convertible. Transportation taken care of. :)

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  169. Elizabeth MicletteApril 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Funny you say that, my brother relocated to Florida, been there several times and totally want California. But I live in terrible Rhode Island. My god, I hate it. Just a matter of a job.

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  170. I am looking to relocate to the Oceanside/Temecula area from New Mexico. I have spent time there recently and decided this is where I belong. I'm bringing a college degree, over 20 years work experience and saved about $30k. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!! I am alone in this one. Have distant family in the LA area as well. A friend in Temecula is letting me stay with her till she moves to Texas in the summer. I have to make this move now, as the song says, "This is your time, this is your life." My kids are grown and on their own and all I have is "me". I am nervous.....

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  171. Wanted to add - I'm driving out there for a couple weeks and while I'm there I plan on visiting the Labor department to get registered there. I've already begun distributing my resume at the federal job sites, and plan to follow-up once I'm there. I've checked out the rental sites as well, so I'm aware of the high cost of living. Gas prices are high as well, but public transportation is viable. Cost of living vs. salaries seem somewhat comparable. Do I think i'm going to land a job making millions of dollars? No, but it would be great. I would like to believe that my ideas of what I expect vs reality are quite close. I know it won't be easy, but nothing in life is.

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  172. I Am A College Student At Tallahassee Community College And I Plan On Moving To Califrornia, Newyork, or Atlanta To Pursue My Dreams And Go To School. Im Sure It'll Be Hard But I Think I Can Move Pass It, With A Little Faith And Determination. I'm Just Not Sure Which Way To Turn. I Have A Strong Passion For Acting. Thats Actual My Major "Theatre" I Also Model Print And Runway, I Am An African American Male. I Feel Like Either Place Would Be A Great Place To Support My Dreams. I Just Need Help Or Suggestions And Thoughts From Others.
    Please And Thank You.

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  173. I am willing to get up and go down there Eli's. I don't have a car but I can help in many other ways. I am sick of living here in new York and need something new. I have always been obsessed and loved California. I am ready to move now at the spot of a dime if someone wants. To come along or do it in a group.

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  174. hey guys I am a guy from from tn and stresses in my life is forcing me too move and I have chossen cali.all I need is a place to stay and ill have a job in a week after I get there but I won't have but maybe a hundred bucks on me when I get there any suggestions for the san diego area.even homeless shelters or any kind of free housing.any help will be greatly appreciated.

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  175. Hi was reading this because I have a very different heart set plan. I'm a 25 year old man and I am going to be taking a solo bicycle journey across the U.S. I'm from Oklahoma and reside there currently. I plan on taking my first route from Oklahoma to California. But I want to do it for a cause as well. So I've been offering to help out charities in doing this bicycle ride. You know like wearing their logo's and passing along a message of support to the people I encounter along the way. I'm not completely broke and I will have some cash to take with me along the way. I also plan to make a video documentary of my travels. Posting it on FB and possibley my own webpage. The reason I looked this up is because I've been to Cali before, and though I know the hardships of living in such a place, things like money and such don't concern me, as long as I'm constantly moving. Maybe I can do quick temporary jobs along the way. I'll be taking with a bicycle trailer and such maybe possibly a animal companion. I dunno for sure yet. I have this calling in my heart to make this quest. Because if I stay here in this piss ant little town and do nothing, that will be the death of me.

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  176. I have son that wants to move to California and he doesn't have any idea of what it takes to make that kind of move. If you could give me some pointers, it would greatly appreciated.

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  177. HEY ,
    im josh i currently live in columbus ohio .. i want to move to cali so bad its my dream place ive wanted to buy a bus ticket and just be on my way the temptaion is so hard to resist .... i know knowbody there and i think thats y i like it .. im trred of the same thing every day ... i am struggling due to me beaing so nice and i just wnt a break .... are there any tips at all for finding a way to make this happen

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  178. Hey, I am going to do this with serving job to start, in September. I am going with 4-5K, a college degree and a smile. I want to move west because I am miserable in Chicago. Work is so hard to find here, because the competition is steep. Not only are the natives here, but so is everyone from Detroit/Michigan. Its flat and boring, and a drinkers town. I am not very successful professionally here and born and raised! I work 2 jobs to get my bills paid, I can be doing the same thing in Cali away from the scene here in Chicago. Its just too much, San Diego has such a better pace, landscape and appeal for me. If san diego doesn't work, I am just going to try Oregon, Colorado or something right after. I am ready for the adventure, So why not go, I think with a part time job lined up and a 2 months worth of bills, I will be okay. I do not live extravagantly and know how to land jobs to make ends meet, I have been doing it for 30 years. :/ Cali here I come? Wouldn't you do the same??? I have doubts everyday, but something saying ...if i have a mini plan..that should do. nothing to lose.

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  179. I Just. moved from Cali to Florida, lived in Florida for a year, then moved.2 Georgia where in at now. I def will be headed back to. California possibly after summer. If u are legit i have connects there i lived there For 18years getting ready to go back. If ur interested in Grouping up to make it cheaper to travel & live then heres my e. hell_destroyer_007@yahoo.com.

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  180. Terrence,
    Hi my name is Shava I have my Masters degree in Public Relations. Tried to move to Cali back in 2007 I was 22 years old. I wanted to persue singing and songwriting. But I ended up moving back to Michigan because I wasn't finished with school. Since then I've lived in Louisiana and Atlanta. Atlanta was cool but it wast where I truly wanted to be. After I finished school I had planned to move to California but people were telling me about the economy being worse there and that it wasn't a great idea. But I honestly believe that it would be great for networking. And lots of career opportunities with my experience in music writing and marketing. I just want to take the chance and Go. I was looking at North Hollywood and I've been saving and I have family there I just need the job opportunity. I've been mastering social media marketing and other forms of PR. I guess I writing you to find out where is the best place to look for career opportunities.
    Love your post my friend sent this too me earlier today!

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  181. i don't think having a bad job will set a tone for the rest of one'e life, the main fact should be the determination of the person, because every successful man will always have a story to tell of the past, it's a phenomenon that is mend to be

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  182. Eliz I agree!!! I live In the absolute worst town in Ohio and I cannot stand it any longer.. I'm absolutely willing to sell everything I own and just pack up and leave for the sunshine. Me and my friend are trying to make the move together, but we agree it would be much much easier to make the trip as a group. Split gas ect.. Seeing as how you have a new car and your in rhode island you could just swing through Ohio and pick us up :D haha. Anyways if anyone is actually serious about this shoot me an email!! Seaggtastic09@hotmail.com

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  183. If having a bad job sets a bad tone for the rest of your life, then the majority of Americans are doomed.

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  184. I've read a great amount of the comments above & I realize that I am just another one of you ! I am 17 years old tomorrow; but ever since i was age 13, I dreamed of living in "Cali" , the big city and do big things. Not for a single day has that dream left my mind. I believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I am from rochester new york and there is nothing here worth holding me back. I am ready to leave anything and everything behind. I want to go to college out there but my family doesn't really have that type of money. I am still young and I want to start making moves NOW so i can be ahead of the game ! weather that means to start saving $ or applying for part time jobs out there... i have not a clue. I am optimistic and open to anything new, i want adventures and stories to tell. If anyone knows sites where i can meet friends from there or to further help me in any way just let me know. At any rate, i am so thankful and glad i found this blog it was exactally what i was looking for and it was a ton of help.

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  185. I loved this article - got me thinking about intentional communities as a way to get back to Cali. I am from there and have moved back once which was a fiasco and now am considering going back again as a long-term goal. I am currently in Denver - haven't worked a regular job for 3 years but I am from Berkeley and I would fit right in there. I just went back for a visit and although the economy sucks I am pretty sure that I could get a job and live out there again - it's more my style. So I started to look up intentional communities in NoCal and there are alot - many I could live in, I am sure - so that's what I am going to be investigating for a while.

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  186. Well like the rest of you I feel like I need to get away, but I'm in college and planning on finishing up before I move out there. Though I am thinkin of spending a summer out there and of course as a kid always making plans of future roadtrips with friends but they all bailed or lost interest. So I'm leaving later this month, may 24th from South Texas going up to oklahoma city first and then few days later, may 28, gonna head out from oklahoma city to L.A. and well just wanted to see if there are any other people along the way lookin to find a ride and maybe split gas on the way to cali, if so reply to my comment so we can start planning for cali! Haha I'm 19yrs old turning 20 in December, college kid with a car and just looking to get out of my boring life for a while.

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  187. Ashely,

    This is great. I want to move to CA in the worst way. I am from MI and have children and a husband, but it is not an issue. The issue is jobs. I am a follower of Christ and God is calling me to minister to others and CA just keeps calling out to me (even before I was a Christian). My husband has lived on the streets in CA and has been all over CA. He is certainly the type of person who can live on nothing and survive, which is good for me because I have been kind of pampered. I agree, I am not going to sell my very personal items like my cell phone and kindle, but I can totally get by without our furniture now and we love junk store shopping so I am sure we could find things there. We do have a friend who lives in the Huntington Beach area and might be able to help us out.

    I am glad I read your update. This makes me feel so much better about taking a chance/risk. I am being pushed by God to make this huge change in my life...as I said, I am kind of pampered and pretty sure He is trying to change me, ha ha. I hope things are still going well and keep on pushing hard for what you aiming for. God bless you!

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  188. This is a cool idea. I envy you having such an opportunity. Unfortunately I'm still in high school and have no time or money to get away.. but I think its awesome that your going to see LA!!! I was wondering if you would be so kind to fill me I on your adventures just so I can see what its like there. reason being; I plan to go there for college and Im sure its very different from here in Rochester New York. think about it & let me know. I'd be delighted to hear your story. if your interested, please email me at adamxperez@gmail.com thanks u !

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  189. You don't need a cell phone or the internet? What are you fuckin crazy? The internet helps you find work and in this day and age a phone is a must. You don't need the latest iphone but a basic cell is a must. The library closes after a certin hour and having the internet can help you look for work at any given time. Not having a vehical I gotta be honest LA taking the bus is a damn nightmare. You're better off working out a deal with a car rental place because when renting you're fully covered with insurance, and repairs. Moving anyplace without a dime is not wise, you become a burden to other people and probably wind up in the wrong crowd all together. I recommend getting $5000-$10000 together and hit the ground running in the job hunt. Get a hospitality job, any city you go there a dime a dozen. You'll find something. Also to meet people and surround yourself with relatively normal people I would suggest volunteer work with a local organization like "Friends Of The Bay" or if you're striving in entertainment (which in LA most people are) volunteer at the Sag-Aftra office(if you're union) meet fellow artists. Try volunteering at a local theatre company or at the LA Zoo. The bar scene can get expensive so volunteering may help you meet people.

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  190. No offense but you'd be beyond screwed. You have two kids and you can't move just because you want to. You're best bet would be stay put and better the current situation your in now. LA is a dangerous city too and can be gritty. If you want free child care that would most likely be through public assistance and that has to be done through a social worker and is another song & dance. Stay put and figure your stuff out, don't bring your kids through a hell of a ride just because you need a "change". It maybe cheaper to do counseling. In no way am I trying to be rude or disrespectful I am just being brutally honest. I am sure you're a great Mom.

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  191. I have moved to Ca with little money...Yay! Goal acquired! But, yeah my roomy that I have is a old closeted dude with limited reading ability and very antisocial other than one or two people. Everything that I wanted in a roommate this time around he b.s'ed his way into gaining my trust. Sounds good and all on the phone but in person is another story. The point was to grow and learn for the new roommate about Ca. Basically he strays away from all of it and calls everything B.S. Nice! Good I don't pay rent yet, til I get a paycheck...Yay! But the job is the same crap I had before. Makes me feel dumb compared to everyone seeming to be into some kind of computer stuff.
    The roomy told me to not to buy a car back in va... I didnt and now suffer. Bart is expensive, and you leaving your time up to them. working on the track or delays or whatever else.
    4 months being here and I find the people are zombie like. A lot of Asians who can't really drive like you would want to drive...I mean they have big powered cars and drive like they have a Ford Fiesta. I don't understand their ways of life either. They seem to be very afraid of everyone that's not white, no matter how they are dressed. The fashion here is very dark. Once and awhile you'll see more bright colors. Even on the showroom floor is black, grey, silver and white. One yellow car on the showroom. No Red, blue, or green.
    The Gays are not as free as you would think, better than other places but my ear falls off when my gay friends tell me how much non dating goes on. I mean most are lonely, no family etc and they still just hookup. A real stupid thing for battle for marriage if they gays are dating properly. People hand out Condoms like candy...but it should be profiles on other gays looking for a partner. But hey its whatever.
    You cannot be naive and slow to be here. You will get left behind. If you are going to go to school that's good. Or if you are starting a business. But I don't know where to begin to find a job where I can start clean and get a descent wage to live here. I have to have a degree for the things I want to be. But i have to reexamine them. I'm reading Napoleon Hills book, and I have a long way to go.

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  192. I want to move to Los Angeles from Florida. I just have a couple years until I finish my degree in Accounting. I NEED to get out of Florida.

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