Yesterday Maria and I looked at the best apartment in the world, and today she applied for the lease; assuming she gets it, we’ll be moving in mid-February, and I will probably just be leaving my stuff in boxes in anticipation of leaving Kentucky. My very, very tentative plans for the move are to buy my brother’s truck for the transportation involved and drive to wherever I’m going sometime between February and April.

For those of you paying attention: yes, this means I’m going to get my driver’s license.

There really isn’t a better time in my life to do this. Everything I need to do my job fits in a backpack, and I can work from any coffee shop in the country. All that’s missing is a destination.

Excluding New York City and the South in general, where should I move? I want to live in a metropolitan area with a healthy tech sector. Also, truck or no truck, I want somewhere with good public transportation. Chicago (sorry, Flora) and St. Louis don’t really interest me; all the places I’ve traditionally talked about are coastal, but it’s not like I surf. Said places:

  • Boston: I understand there is neat stuff here, and also they put all the cars underground.
    • Downside: I’ve never been there and I might dislike it for the same reasons I dislike New York (cold, dark, smells bad, cost of living).

  • Providence: I’ve been there and I liked it a lot.
    • Downside: Not really a rising-star tech city, and rumor has it the sun sets for six months at a time. Iffy public transit (but highly walkable).

  • San Francisco Bay Area: Been there and liked it too. Kind of the standard to which I compare all other potential destinations.
    • Downside: I would be a twentysomething male web developer living in the SF Bay Area. Also, insane rent.

  • Seattle: High scores in tech and coffee-shop availability.
    • Downside: See SF Bay Area.

  • Portland: Apparently the place where kids move these days.
    • Downside: See Boston.

  • Hilo or Honolulu: Ian might be in Hilo in August, plus, y’know, Hawaii.
    • Downside: This is a stupid idea.

  • Greensboro or Raleigh-Durham: The model of a rising tech area; driving distance from Jon and Amanda.
    • Downside: Jon and Amanda might be moving, and more importantly, this defeats the whole point of getting out of the South.

  • San Diego: I’ve been there and I liked it; solid tech score; not wet, dark or smelly; people can crash my place for Comic Con.
    • Downside: Poor public transit. Would probably be considered outcast for weird skin patterns that emerge when I tan.

  • London: I have beautiful illusions of this place.
    • Downside: This isn’t actually a possibility. I’m pretty sure I cannot legally work there, or afford to live there under a weak dollar. Also I’m enjoying those illusions and would dislike having them crushed. Consider all this repeated for Sydney and Toronto.

The pachyderm in the pantry is that except for the unlikely choices (North Carolina, London, possibly Hawaii), I have no friends in any of these places, and I am spectacularly bad at meeting new people. All of my current friends were obtained through academic programs with enforced social contact or Internet. So, friends on Internet: where should I move?

Update 1038 hrs: Maria got the apartment! Who wants to give me driving lessons?

Thanks to everybody who has commented or emailed with advice and information. You guys are the best Internet ever!