Moving From Boston to San Diego and 8 Reasons You’ll Love California

Moving from Boston to San Diego

Naturally, a move anywhere new can be a bit scary. It’s a complex life-altering decision that takes not just time, but a lot of cojones to actually follow through on. Before moving across the US from Boston to San Diego we’d lived in New England for most of our lives. Eventually, we got sick of the long winters, and we’re yearning for more warm and sunny weather. So we started looking for where to live in California and were overwhelmed with amazing reasons to move to San Diego. Through our experience we learned moving is hard, but if you’re ready for change you can make it happen! Here’s how to move to California and our journey across the United States.

USA Travel Inspiration 

Why Are You Moving?

First off, what’s the reason for your big move? If you’re currently in the process of moving across the US or considering it, it’s typically because you wanted to make your life better in some way or another. We had a few different reasons to move to San Diego, but the biggest one was the weather.
We’ve already seen enough snow growing up on the east coast for a lifetime, and after visiting California a number of times we knew it was the place we’d be happiest. 75 degrees and sunny every day, close to the beach, and some of the best tacos in the world… What’s not to love? Now the only question was where to live in California!

How to Move to California

Where to Live in California

We’re sure you’ve considered many options if you’re moving across the U.S. With that said, if you’ve never been to the west coast at all you’re severely missing out! California’s got it all, and despite the preconceived notions it’s not just beaches and palm trees. When looking at where to live in California, know that there’s mountains, deserts, and many large cities. You can even ski at Big Bear Mountain just 2 hours from San Diego!

Up north near San Francisco and Sacramento you’ll find a completely different vibe than Southern California. At the center of the state, you’ll be blown away by Big Sur, the scenic nature, and the untouched beaches of this beautiful state. In the end, we decided on moving from Boston to San Diego. Just know there are plenty of other places to explore when looking for where to live in California.

Where to Live in California

Reasons for Moving From Boston to San Diego

There were several reasons to move to San Diego, but we’ll give you a few of our favorites. We should preface this by saying we’d been to San Diego a couple of times already to visit friends and loved it. That combined with the things listed below made it an obvious choice for this paradise in Southern California!

Nothing Familiar Travel

8 Reasons You’ll Love San Diego California

Weather: The weather is the undisputed reason to move to San Diego and California in general. With almost 300 days of sun per year, you’re guaranteed to spend all your days outside and at the beach.

Food: Being so close to the Mexican border heavily impacts the food scene of San Diego. There are endless burritos, tacos, and other great food spots, along with a large Asian influence as well. 

Beach: San Diego is filled with some of the best beaches in the United States! Some of our favorites were in La Jolla, along with the gorgeous sands of Pacific and Ocean Beach.

Downtown: Although the beach is the star of the show, San Diego also has a great downtown area to explore. The center of the city is highlighted by the Gaslamp Quarter and Petco Park baseball stadium.

Balboa Park: Another one of our favorite places to walk around was the humungous Balboa Park. This is not your average park as it’s filled with not only nature but stands and exhibits from around the world.

Mexico: As travelers, we loved being able to cross the border in just 30 minutes from San Diego. Baja California is dotted with amazing beaches, and closer towns like Rosarito are great for a weekend getaway or even a day trip!

Lifestyle: When looking for where to live in California you’ll see that each section has a different way of life. We would quickly find out that the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego was much different than anywhere we’d lived before.

Happy Hour: For whatever reason, they don’t have happy hour in Boston. So grabbing a discounted drink on the beach was definitely a perk of moving across the U.S. to California!

Reasons to Move to San Diego

Our Journey Moving From Boston to San Diego

Now that you know a few of our reasons for moving to San Diego, let’s take a look at physically how to move to California. Unless you have zero personal belongings you’ll likely be making a long drive. Unfortunately, for us that meant over 3,000 miles moving from Boston to San Diego!

During our travels, we’ve been on some long flights and even an epic 24 hour bus ride in Chile. However, nothing could have prepared us for this cross-country journey. You can supposedly do it in 3 days, but we took 5 and made some stops along the way.

We had a great time exploring some of the United States that we’d never seen before, but we’d be lying if we said it was all super exciting. Once you do this drive you’ll see just how big the U.S. is and that there’s also a whole lot of nothing in certain states! If you can swing it make sure you visit the Grand Canyon and other national parks along the way. 

Moving Across the US

Finding a Job After Moving From Boston to San Diego

Welcome to the scariest part of most people’s move! While the lucky ones may have accepted a job already or were promoted to a new position, some people are taking that leap of faith without any source of income. Neither of us had actual jobs lined up when we started our trek across the states. Sounds crazy right?
Well with all the resources we have at our fingertips today finding a job can be easier than ever. Monster, Indeed, Linked In, and many other job sites are great places to toss your resume up and find some work.
While we may not have accepted jobs already, we were setting up interviews weeks prior to our arrival in San Diego. Here are some more basic tips on finding a job after your move! 

Location: If you’re looking for a job, moving to a city over a small town gives you a clear advantage in your hunt. Also, remember that many jobs are specific to location depending on what type of work you do. 

Referral: Sometimes life is all about who you know, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Getting a referral for a job gives you the upper hand over other interviewees, and an overall better shot at landing a position. There’s no harm in asking for help. Plus your friend will probably get a nice bonus if you’re hired!

Part Time: Don’t be too proud to get a part-time job while you’re looking for something more permanent. In a place like San Diego there are endless bars and restaurants where you can make some extra cash while you continue your job hunt. 

How to Move to California and Where to Live

Where to Live in San Diego California

Now that you know the basics of how to move to California it’s time to pick out your new home! Although not having a place to live seems like a scary thought, this can actually be the most fun part of moving.
Picking what part of your new city you want to live in is essential in ensuring the best life moving forward. Talk with friends who live in the area, or who might have had a good time visiting to figure out the best location. Here are a few of our favorite areas of San Diego we can recommend living in:
  • Pacific Beach
  • La Jolla
  • Ocean Beach
  • Downtown
  • North Park
There is a slew of apartment and house rentals in most places, but make sure to leave some time to check out your new home. We were able to stay with friends for the first few days until we found a place.
Don’t forget to have fun before you get into the swing of your new life and fall into a routine. Visit the different towns, play tourist, check out the farmers markets, and best restaurants. This is a new chapter of your life so enjoy it!

Moving from Boston to San Diego California

How Expensive Was Moving to California?

Can you believe that we spent the same amount of money driving across the country, getting an apartment, and furnishing it, as it cost us for 4 months of backpacking in Asia? When you have been traveling for a long time and return home, things add up fast.
We still can’t believe that we used to think it was expensive to pay more than a couple dollars for a meal in Vietnam. You don’t have to be rich to move, but it’s smart to have some savings to fall back on.
As for making money in our new home, we were able to make a living while also saving up for our next adventures. Using all the tools we’ve mentioned here, we found jobs and an apartment within the first few days of moving from Boston to San Diego.
There are some heavy tax implications in California that you can research yourself but it was more than worth it for the weather and other perks of this state! 

Reasons to Move to San Diego California

Have any questions about moving from Boston to San Diego, or want to share your own advice on where to live in California? Comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Moving to California Travel Guide

USA Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find great flights using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic road trip! 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for tours all around California. Visit the San Diego Zoo, skip the line at the USS Midway Museum, or go on a Sea Cave Kayak Tour in La Jolla! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

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  1. July 23, 2020 / 12:35 pm

    Hi there! I’m moving to SD from Atlanta (mid pandemic) in September and I would LOVE to connect and pick your brain some more about your move. This article was incredibly expansive for me and I’m so grateful to come across it. ?? I’m also moving without a job lined up!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      July 23, 2020 / 6:32 pm

      Hi Kasey! Glad you enjoyed the article and we hope it was helpful. Feel free to contact us at or @nothingfamiliar on social media. Best of luck with your move!! ( :

  2. July 8, 2020 / 8:55 am

    I was in USA only briefly a few years ago when I was speaking at a conference. There’s so much that I didn’t see and would love to go back!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      July 8, 2020 / 7:12 pm

      Yes! There really is so much to see in the US. It’s so massive ( :

  3. Bob Tilewick
    April 20, 2020 / 5:50 am

    The best of luck, travelers. I’d bet it was a terrific couple of years. Congratulations!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      April 20, 2020 / 4:08 pm

      Yes we loved our time in California! Thanks and good luck to you, too.

      • April MacLean
        February 21, 2021 / 7:39 pm

        Does that mean you left CA? We are considering the opposite- we live in Riverside and may move to Boston this year. I’m really worried that I’ll end up hating the winter, but everything else seems so wonderful!

        • Brigitte & Jake
          February 22, 2021 / 10:36 am

          Yes we lived in California from 2016-18 before we started traveling full time! We will always go back to visit the East Coast, but I don’t think we could ever live there in winter again. The seasons are amazing to see, but it gets so cold for 3-5 months out of the year so just keep that in mind. Good luck! (:

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