I lost my job in April, and the rest of the year was an absolute struggle. High cost of living, combined with unstable work took its toll on me. By August, I was at a breaking point, and by September, my girlfriend and I decided to pack up our belongings and move from California to Idaho.
Now, I'm a Cali boy, born and raised. I have lived in and around the Riverside area since I was about 3. Cali is what I know and love. The free-thinking, open-minded, tech savvy culture is what I always called home. 30 minutes from the beach, 30 minutes from the mountains. Vegas, Mexico, both 4 hours away. I essentially had life at my fingertips. Until... Idaho.
A friend of mine summed it up really well. "Welcome to Idaho, the fucking time machine of the US." Somehow I was transported back to 1992.
Half the town doesn't know what terms like "email" and "wi-fi" mean.
High School Girls all have the crimped over-permmed hairstyles again.
And flannel was considered haute coture once again. Not hipster-flannel. Lumberjack.
Everything is "just so" in this state. Idaho is such a red-state, bulls get pissed off and charge at it. On the radio station, there are 8 country stations, 11 religion stations, 3 classic rock stations, and a small mix of others. If you want to listen to music that was made in the last 2 years, you have very limited (and very censored) choices. No hip-hop or rap allowed.
Best of all, I still have California plates on my car. This labels me as a "liberal queer-o hippie" somehow, and gets me more sneers than I have ever expected. It doesn't help that I drive a Ford Focus, while the majority of people up here are in pickup trucks (called "rigs" here, for some reason...)
Highlights in this state include:
Dan Quayle's existence.
Idaho is so damn proud of their spuds, it's the feature on their license plates...
Famous Potatoes? Really?
There is even a Potato Museum in Blackfoot, a small town that shows it's "Tater Pride" every year with festivals.
Other Highlights of Idaho are....
I got nothing.
I moved up in October 2010, and am doing my best to make the most of things. Will I move back down to Cali, or will I forever be trapped in "The Gem State?" Only time will tell...