“Fear is the brain’s way of saying that there is something important for you to overcome.” – Rachel Huber
A few weeks ago, I moved to Las Vegas from San Francisco. I moved to Las Vegas because I needed more space for my hobbies. Before I committed to moving, I was scared of the unknown. I lived in the San Francisco bay area most of my life, so living in another city and/or state is a huge change for me. However, Las Vegas grew on me each time I visited. My relatives live in Las Vegas, so I visit them sometimes. After several weeks of living in Las Vegas, I am still adjusting to living there. So far, Las Vegas is a comfortable place to live.
Here are the perks of living in Las Vegas.
1. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets
Because of the wide open spaces in Las Vegas, there is a lot of sky,…so no buildings, structures, street poles or wires blocking the way of seeing amazing sunrises and sunsets.
2. Clear, blue skies
When I lived near the ocean in San Francisco, almost everyday in the summer was foggy. The lack of sunlight made me depressed, so I bought a therapy light to mimic sunlight. If I wanted some real sun, I would have to drive 20-30 minutes away from where I lived. Now, I just step outside and can easily get Vitamin D! ^_^
3. Delicious food everywhere
Everywhere I go, there is delicious food. A lot of good cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and restaurant chains are located near my new home in Las Vegas. When I lived in San Francisco, it would take me more than 15 minutes to drive to a food or drink place I liked.
4. Traffic is a breeze (compared to SF, LA or NY)
In Las Vegas, it literally takes me less than 30 minutes to drive everywhere.
When I worked at the Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA, it took 1.5-2 hours each way. Whether I drove or took the shuttle provided by the company, the time difference didn’t change. I felt like I was wasting my life away by sitting in traffic. Sadly, I can’t get back the countless hours of my life that traffic stole from me.
5. Quality of life improved for me
In San Francisco, I paid ~$1,500/month to rent a 300 sq. foot 1-BR in-law unit located on the bottom floor, with a window view of the inside of the garage (where neighbors can see through whenever they do the laundry), and a window view of a broken backyard fence where creepers peak through often). There was a small kitchen area, with an old oven and fridge. Since there were no counter space, I bought a small kitchen island cart to use for cooking and creating art. Whenever I went to the bathroom, I always felt like a sardine in a can. The bathroom had poor ventilation and was located next to the small kitchen area. When I had to cook or bake and I had visitors using the bathroom (and going #2), it was foul. All the candles and air fresheners didn’t really help.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
For the electricity, I paid $60-80/month (even when I was traveling and barely used the electricity). The electricity bill was shared with one other household that only had two adults. I suspect that their adult daughter lived with them, so that was why the electricity bill was high.
For the garbage bins, they were shared with a few households in the building. Four garbage bins were completely filled the evening of Garbage Collection Day (The garbage truck came once a week to collect garbage). Therefore, I had trash bags waiting in queue (in the garage) to be thrown away the following week. The cycle repeated week after week, and I had to rush to the garbage bins to throw away trash as soon as the garbage truck emptied the garbage bins. It was like a Garbage Bin Filling Race – whoever filled up the garbage bins the fastest, wins.
For receiving mail, packages got stolen often. Amazon Customer Service probably got annoyed that I kept calling and telling them that I never received the products I ordered.
Currently in San Francisco, you are either an adult renting a 500 sq. foot studio apartment for $2,000+/month, an adult renting a 800 sq. foot 2-BR apartment for $5,000+/month, an adult that owns or mortgage a 1,000-2,000 sq. foot house that costs more than 2-million dollars, or struggling to get by and live with your parents, relatives, or roommates.
In Las Vegas, I pay $1,300/month to rent a 900 sq. foot 1-BR apartment. The extra space is amazing and a huge benefit of living in LV. The bathroom is triple the size compared to the bathroom in my old apartment in SF, and it is nowhere near the kitchen.
For the electricity, I pay a flat rate fee of $30/month. For the garbage bins, there are gigantic bins everywhere. I never feel like I have to rush to throw away garbage. There are mail package lockers, and I always get the products I order online.
6. Abundant parking
In San Francisco, I parked blocks away from my home. Finding parking in shopping areas is a pain. People fight for spots. It is like throwing a piece of bread to an army of pigeons. When a free spot opens up, all the cars rush to it.
Besides parking space, my car was stolen, robbed, and damanged before…..right outside of my home, in the streets of San Francisco and Oakland.
In Las Vegas, I have my own shaded parking spot, and I always find parking everywhere I go. The abundance of parking space is amazing!
7. Quietness is an underrated luxury
In San Francisco, I was unable to study or make content most hours of the day due to noise pollution from my neighbors. The walls are extremely thin; I heard my neighbors clear their throats all the time (making extremely loud “hacking sounds”), stomp around or pound something on the ground daily, move furniture around constantly, blast music like no one lives nearby, and yell at each other). The upstairs kitchen is directly above the bedroom which prevented me from sleeping at night and prevented me from working or studying during the day, since my upstairs neighbor would be noisy all hours of the day and use the kitchen sink garbage disposal every night. I had to wear noise-cancelling headphones and play Cicada shrilling sounds for majority of the day to stay sane and be able to focus.
The public transportation train was a block away so I heard it go by every 10 minutes, and there was random construction till the late evening. If I had a dance club as a home business, the noise pollution wouldn’t have bothered me. But because I make video contents, the noise pollution was intense and it prevented me from being productive.
In Las Vegas, I can make video contents any time of the day and not have to worry about noise pollution. I can even sleep more than 7 hours a night, undisturbed. Quietness is such an underrated luxury.
“The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.”- Napoleon Bonaparte
8. Close to a lot of places
In San Francisco, I was 10-15 minutes away from the ocean (walking distance). This was a good perk since I was able to see beautiful sunsets (when there was no fog) and de-stress from the noise pollution. I was also less than 5 minutes away from a coffee shop and public transportation (which is nice when I needed to go to to Downtown San Francisco). However, I was 15 minutes away from good restaurants, stores, and shopping areas. I was also an hour away from Chinatown and Japantown (my favorite places).
In Las Vegas, I am less than 15 minutes away from every restaurant, coffee shop, store, and shopping area that I want or need to go to. I am also 10 minutes away from Chinatown and Koreatown.
9. Comfortable living
In San Francisco, there is a coin-based washer and dryer in the building, which was nice because I didn’t have to travel 15 minutes away to the nearest laundromat. I also had access to the backyard, which I used to grow flowers and placed a portable hot tub for relaxation.
In Las Vegas, there is a new washer and dryer in a small room located inside my apartment. The apartment complex has huge swimming pools, a sauna, BBQ grills, fitness room, movie room, club house, dog parks, mail package lockers, and free massages once a month. Honestly, it feels like I’m living in a nice, boutique hotel.
10. Full of culture and diversity
Being born and raised in San Francisco, I saw the sad and drastic changes that happened within the past 10 years. The SF bay area used to be very diverse, and filled with cultures from all over the world.
Ever since I moved to Las Vegas, it reminded me of how San Francisco used to be. There are a lot of different cultures, diverse people from all over the world, it is growing, and filled with opportunities.
11. Affordable airplane tickets
One of my living requirements is that the city I choose to live in must have an international airport. San Francisco has one, and it is truly a luxury to be able to fly anywhere in the world at any given time. Fortunately, Las Vegas has one as well, so I am to fly anywhere, anytime (when I have time and money).
All in all, the return on investment in Las Vegas is better to me. After conducting research and analyzing the differences between different cities I want to live in, I bet on Las Vegas (pun intended). I am hopeful about Las Vegas, and look forward to the adventures and new opportunities that await! If you end up moving to Las Vegas one day, let me know and I’ll give you a tour of your new hometown. I believe in paying it forward! ^_^