I was in Texas recently for a few days. It was my fifth trip to Texas. I went in May 2010 to Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio. I went in August 2011 to Dallas and Austin. I went in September 2011 to Dallas. I went in April 2012 to Austin, and lastly August 2012 to Austin. Every time I go it feels like a magic land of opportunity.

So why a picture of Oregon for this post? I am looking for a job, and I have been speaking with a firm in Portland. The technology they are using seems interesting, and they seem interested in me. (I am also talking to some people in Austin, but the Portland discussions are further along.)

Yet I am not too thrilled with the idea of going to Portland. I know this is kind of irrational. I need a job, Portland does not have a reputation for having a lot of religious nutcases, it has more water than Texas, and I know someone in Portland who said that I could stay with them for a while.

The negatives are that Oregon has fewer metro areas than Texas, and Portland is smaller than Austin. However, the Portland metro area is bigger than the Austin metro area. I have been reading a lot of articles and seeing news stories stating that Texas has good job growth. Oregon is not mentioned too often. Plus I have nobody I can stay with in Austin. I would have to get by compoletely on my savings, and to paraphrase Keynes, my job search could outlast my savings. My plan was to stay with my friends in Portland and find something there if nothing works out in Chicago or Austin. Is it smart to go directly to your backup plan?

Plus: I have been looking at and planning on moving to Austin for a while. If I move to Portland, it’s kind of like admitting defeat. I would not be doing what I want. Circumstances would be forcing me to do something that I was not planning. I am trying to get control over my life, and if I move to a city I was not planning on, am I in control?

Cross-posted from Everyday Freethought website

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Comment by Everyday Freethought on August 19, 2012 at 1:50pm

Alan Perlman: I wonder if that is always true. I live in an area of Chicago that is farther from the train lines than my last place. (The rent is cheaper here. I guess I did not consider all the factors.) I think location can have an effect on happiness, although it is not always the determining factor. But I do think that a lot of times people overestimate the benefits of relocating.

Comment by Everyday Freethought on August 19, 2012 at 1:36pm

Steph S: How long have you lived in Austin? I have not spent a whole lot of time there, but it seems nice. This summer was not as hot as last summer, which was really brutal.

Comment by Alan Perlman on August 19, 2012 at 1:21pm

Having lived in paradise (Hawaii), I can attest that happiness does not depend on where you are, but on who you are and who you're with.  I wouldn't have been happy anywhere with my 1st wife.

Comment by Steph S. on August 19, 2012 at 12:14am
I live in Austin, TX - I like it myself.

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