Moving someplace new is never easy. In fact, relocating is one of life’s top stressful events, read about it here. I have written about moving to Bellingham and the surprises I had Here and Here, and how wonderful, and how weird Bellingham is to live in Here and Here. At this point you’d think I’ve covered Bellingham, but I may have glossed over some things that aren’t all beautiful sunsets and kind people on the streets. Here are the realities of moving to Bellingham, and what you really NEED to know.
Things you should know if considering a move to Bellingham:
- It is the whitest place I have ever lived. People have said in my Bellingham Living group on Facebook that they have gone months without seeing a person of color. I have not gone that long, but I have certainly gone days.
- The cost of living is high, for reals. Sales tax and home costs are high. Do your research before you get here. If you want to buy a home, contact me, (360-325-9076), and we can discuss your options…but even though we don’t have state tax, or sales tax is higher than average, and our “sin” tax for alcohol and other “sins” is really high.
- The job market may not be what you are expecting. If you have always been easily employable, know that you will be competing with an overly educated, young, group of people that are also expecting to easily find a job here. With Western, Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College all spitting out graduates there are lots of college grads working minimum wage jobs here.
- Child care might be an issue…look into your options and availability before you relocate.
- Socks and sandals are real here. What? It’s comfy.
- The rain, the darkness, the chill…you might really get SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it is a real thing here. The darkness with the VERY early sundown, the cloudy, dark days, the cold, the wind, the temperatures can all be fairly miserable for a while in December and January.
- Passive is the only aggressive you’ll experience here. If you are direct, and expect the same, reconfigure your expectations and take a course in passive aggression. It must be taught here in elementary school because directness isn’t common. Can’t we all just smile and be peaceful? I guess so!
- Umbrellas are about the only accessory you will be judged for carrying. Wear a dress, go naked on your bike, wear heels and sweats, nothing will get the double take judgey look like an umbrella in the PNW.
- We accept EVERYONE here, everyone is celebrated, respected, and included. If you are flamboyantly gay, if you are a hunchbacked nerd, if you know every trivia question ever asked, if you are over 50 with pink hair, if you are single and putting the “sing” in it….no one cares here. In fact being different is what is normal here, so be exactly who you want to be. For me, no more heels, no more hair coloring, driving my 12 year old Prius with pride, and y’all love me anyway!!!
- Friends become family here. Maybe because so many climate change refugees are choosing to live in Bham there are lots of us looking for “our people”, it has been easy to find my family in friends here. I have never felt more loved or accepted anywhere…except honestly my high school’s 30th reunion….I somehow became way cooler as I aged.
- FOMO when it is sunny outside. Fear of Missing Out is what FOMO stands for. It is real, everyone gets outside on the nice days, so if you’re stuck at work or inside for any reason, chances are you are experiencing FOMO.
- Your list of MUST DO’s never gets any smaller. I have been here for two years. I have made it my JOB to do everything there is to do around here for two full years. Yesterday I was shown Bowman Bay by Deception Pass. New favorite place. I am constantly discovering new favorite places.
- Last but not least, climate change is real, and the climate change refugees are real. People are relocating to Bellingham from all over the country. With climate changes happening down south making it hotter, stormier, and less desirable of a place to live, people are pulling up roots and looking for the best air quality and best year round temps, and Bellingham is winning.
If you are considering a move to Bellingham please do your research. Need some help? Call me! Text me! Message me on Facebook 360-325-9076