Living in Idaho is one of the best decisions my wife and I made for our family. It was a hard one, for sure. We were making a decision to move away from close family members we loved dearly. But looking at the move for our family, and our goals for raising our kids, Idaho was definitely the right choice.
Like many people who grew up in “the state that shall not be named,” we moved here for both economic and cultural reasons. But we weren’t just running away from California (there, I said it), we were running to Idaho. We didn’t come here to change the state to become more like California, although that is the perception of some locals who see the influx of Californians and worry about the direction of their state. No, we chose Idaho because we like the culture, the economics, the real estate, the economy, the outdoors—all of it. We don’t want to change a thing.
The culture here is more laid back than the Golden State. Living in Idaho, you might sit at a four way stop and have others wave for you to go ahead, even if it’s not technically your turn. That happened a lot when we first moved here, though it happens less and less now. It is also more of a conservative political climate, except for certain pockets of more left-leaning political demographics.
The outdoors here are to die for. Living in Meridian, we can be out camping within an hour and a half next to a river with no fellow campers next to us. We often take the camping trailer out boondocking (no hookups) for a weekend, or for several days midweek to avoid other summer campers. We almost always get a perfect spot within a few feet of the river.
For those who love fishing and hunting, you’re within easy reach wherever you go. There are whitewater rapids to shoot in the summer, a more gentle river floating experience if you prefer, paddleboards on a lake or pond, or jet skis on one of the larger lakes.
In the winter, Bogus Basin is within a 30 minute drive of Boise for skiing and snowboarding. A little further away you’ll find Brundage, Tamarack, or Sun Valley. Snowmobiling is also a big thing around here for some people. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard it’s fun. I’ve snowshoed on trails. My latest experience is mountain biking (mostly on streets so far) on my new electric bike. I do intend to take it on trails at some point.
One of the most attractive things about Idaho is the real estate prices compared to other markets. Of course, it’s a rising market, and has been for awhile, which is great for homeowners, but not as great for local first time buyers who are getting priced out of the market. That is a source of friction for some people about the influx of people moving here.
Nevertheless, it is going to happen, until it stops happening. As long as it’s happening, let’s enjoy the state and let’s not turn it into the state(s) we came from. Deal?