I am being deported.

Sunset on Westcliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CAThree months in one place seemed like a long time back in December. I could unpack! Use a machine to wash my clothes! Cook food!

I’ve enjoyed this time in Santa Cruz. I got some work done on my project(s), socialized with Americans, and took lots of pictures. (Hence I’ll be spraying a few on each blog from now on. I also tried a shareware HDR program to blend images…but it’s free and ergo, crappy.)

Three months has become three weeks.

I decided I wanted to stay here and work some more, but then I started looking for housing. I knew the housing market here is crazy, but I didn’t have the perspective before. For example, according to this blog, a proper 1 bedroom apartment in the upscale Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona costs the same as a crappy little 310 square foot studio with half a kitchen and no insulation in Santa Cruz, and you’d be lucky to find the studio at all.

It wasn't actually foggy. Weird software, but I like the image.I’ve walked through the Eixample. It should cost twice as much as here.

According to this site which compares Cost of Living between cities, rental prices are 68% lower in Barcelona than Santa Cruz. 46% lower in Rome. 42% in Paris.

I am being deported. By the rental market. So where do I go?

I only got to see the corner of South America, with a long beautiful loop of countries starting in Peru and winding south, east, then north. I have a prospective project I could work on there, a list of great NGO’s to visit, and most importantly, I speak the language. That is invaluable in improving a traveling experience. I loved the parts of the continent that I saw, and am hungry for more.

(Rental prices are 80% cheaper in Lima than Santa Cruz…)


Westcliff fence around sunsetOr, do I go to Southeast Asia? Specifically, Mynamar is just opening up, and going now would be a different experience than it will be in even a few short years. It’s more…authentic…today than it will be after tourism really gets going. I hear tales of what Thailand was like 20 years ago… I want to be telling those tales about Myanmar in 20 years.

So, blog reading people. Where do I go?