On Geographic Arbitrage and Corn Fields

Thank you Rich Karlgaard www.life2where.com for helping me finally pull the trigger on the big move from the "skyrocketing coastal markets" to the flyover country.  Reading Karlgaard’s book "Life 2.0" and Po Bronson’s "What Should I Do With My Life", have really helped me to grasp what it means to exit the California race for AM freeway position and enjoy a fuller life.  Now, I’m taking my CA income and job to Des Moines Iowa. 

We were able to spend some time there and my business travels keep me in the Midwest quite often and I’ve come to enjoy it.  I realize that living there, snow, cold, etc. will be a shock for a while.  But, as I frequently say to friends and family, "I don’t know about you…but I tend to drive 2 hours a day to work inside an office after exiting a climate controlled car and then it’s too jammed on the freeway all weekend long to actually go anywhere without popping a vein and I have 2 kids under 3….so what am I missing by moving to a different climate???"

As discussed in Life 2.0, we’ll probably find a very nice house of roughly 2.5 X the size for about $250k.  Yes, you can write a check for houses like that coming from CA.  I wont but the thought of saying, "I’ll write you a check right now if you take $25k off so I can go buy the Volvo instead of the Hyundai" feels nice.

The most important aspect of this move is obviously my family since money in the bank and a great house doesn’t mean jack if things aren’t good at home.  My wife is a native Californian with relatives all over with frequent interaction.  I’m an only child with parents in Ohio and have a very small family who doesn’t get together.  This has been a long road for her and to hear her say to our friends and family that, "This is the right thing for our family and for our future" makes me beam with joy.

I plan to chronicle the move  and plan to write essays/articles on my "transition" to that Midwest lifestyle…and I can’t WAIT for "The Iowa Caucuses" :).

My friend who just moved from CA to Utah told me, "You know Doug, on Sunday, you just want to put a bullet in your head".  After laughing for about 5 minutes and joking about "Knowing who isn’t Mormon by looking outside on Sunday at 11AM and watching smoke rising from the backyard BBQ and listening for the roar of NASCAR on the idiot box"…my friend admitted that he’s actually starting to wind down a bit and is enjoying the slower pace.

I look forward to that. 



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