That's right - after living in the Bay Area for over 40 years, my wife and I have decided to take the plunge and make a cross-country move. People who we've told of our exciting news almost without fail ask "Why Tennessee?" and our reply is always the same - "Why not Tennessee?!?!"
Leaving the state we have called home for our entire lives has not been an easy choice, almost all of our friends and family live here, and we know only a few people in the area we're moving to (Chattanooga) - but we are now empty nesters, so the opportunities are endless as far as where to live. We love to travel, and Chattanooga provides a great centralized location for starting out road trips - we will be less than a 10 hour drive from Washington DC, Orlando, New Orleans, or Chicago - so, Why Not Tennessee?!?!
Cost and standard of living are important to us. Cost of living-wise, our dollar just simply goes further in TN - median home prices are 1/3 of what they are in CA, the price of nearly everything including gas is remarkably cheaper - and did I mention no state income tax? Standard of living comparisons have us moving from an area of increasing frequency of crime to a decreasing one, lush scenery (especially during summer months while CA is in fire season), and a thriving economy - so, Why Not Tennessee?!?!
On the personal side of things, Audra and I had a "dream date" 18 months ago where we discussed what would be our dream life in 5-10-20 years - this dream included a house in the woods, on a lake, with plenty of room to have friends and family come and stay a while - we felt blessed that we found our dream home a short year and a half after that dream date, and it was in our budget - so, Why Not Tennessee?!?!
We are hitting the road in less than two weeks, and plan on keeping everyone posted with our travels - trekking across the country with only the belongings that we can fit into our trailer, plus our dog (no, she won't be in the trailer, she'll be one of our copilots!), the adventure is just getting started! We hope to inspire and inform people along the way, and just maybe leave you asking yourself "Why Not Tennessee?!?!"