Last week I posted an article on why I was moving, but I didn't talk about the actual move. The decision to move was a tough one. We really liked the school our son was attending, and liked the path he had gone through so far. We had some great memories in our home. But we have been feeling a little cramped, and with an increasingly indifferent State Legislature when it comes to Autism coverage, it seems Utah, as much as we love it, is becoming a difficult place to live with a child with Autism. So, I started looking for other places to live. I had the following criteria I wanted fulfilled in a new place to live:
- Great place for Autism coverage
- Moderate climate (my wife doesn't like the cold, and I can't stand heat)
- Close to autism-friendly attractions
- No hurricanes (my wife's rule)
- Small homes
The small homes section I chose because I wanted to more or less force our family to wittle down our collection of "stuff" so we would have a simpler feel to our home. I managed to get rid of my jeeps (sold one, and gave the other away), culled out a lot of clothing that I didn't wear anymore, and cleaned out a lot of stuff from the garage that we just didn't use. My wife has done the same thing with her stuff, and we have done the same with the boy's stuff. We went from what would probably have been a 20 foot truck move to probably a 14 foot truck move (though we will probably go with a 17 footer, as it's the same price at uhaul.com).
Anyway, I started looking at different Countries about a year ago. Autism is well supported in the UK, Ireland, and Germany (from what I had read), and I've always wanted to live in Scotland, and so I started applying for jobs. The problem is immigration to the UK is difficult, particularly now. While I would qualify with a sponsor from a company, none that I applied for were willing to make the leap for me. It was a pitty, since there was one job in particular for which I was considered that would have been awesome. So, with Scotland out, Ireland going through a very rough economic situation, and Germany being out since my wife isn't keen on learning the language, I started looking Stateside.
So with that criteria, I looked at all the States that have great Autism coverage and programs. While there were a lot of States on the East Coast, California managed to pick up all the criteria we had, provided we chose a large city. That's problematic, because the Sunshine Tax is pretty high in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area. But, I started to apply to several jobs and we crunched the numbers. We started paying off debts, cards, and anything else we could, cleaning up our "stuff", and did a lot of praying. It wasn't until after I had made the decision that we needed to move that I told my wife I was applying for jobs in California (she's from San Diego and has always wanted to move back there), so she had no bearing on my choice of location. Though once I told her I wanted to move, and where I wanted that move to be, she told me I could have a motorcycle if I got her back to San Diego. Good thing I came through, since I got my motorcycle two months ago. ^_^
Anyway, it was a nerve-wracking decision, because of obligations here in Utah and my teaching schedule here at the University of Utah. But it was a move that needed to happen, one that was a long time in coming, and one that took a lot of soul searching, planning, and prayer. And after applying to 45 different companies (at least), and for about 50 or so positions, I landed a job at the University of California, San Diego. This was the school that was my second choice for my PhD (the first was St. Andrews in Scotland). Perhaps I will still be able to make it to that PhD goal, when the kids are a little older.
Anyway, it was a great journey looking for a new place to live, and I'm looking forward to the move in just over two weeks to San Diego. Once I'm there, I'll post some of my experiences of Autism in San Diego, so don't worry about me going away. But, just in case you were wondering why I was quiet on so many topics in the past few months, it was because I was a little busy. ^_^