I was wondering if you could help me. My long term girlfriend split up with me in November and for my own sanity realised I needed to get out of the UK. I’ve always wanted to ride trails in California and I realised now is the opportunity to do that. I am planning to test the waters with either a 3/6 month travel visa, to check out the lifestyle and see if I can make some work contacts. I have a rental property in London that will keep me topped up for that time.
Can you give me any general advice? Any recommendations on where I should look to live? I would like to be close to trails and surfing, but not too far from town. I plan to buy a car to get around, which either I can keep sell or keep at the end of the trip. Do you have any advice for getting a job in California? I don’t suppose any of you would be looking for a computer literate graduate student?
First thing you have to do is leave your bubble of safe and normal. Everything will fall into place. As for advice the resource you want is bicycletouringpro. That guy has a website and has been living on the road and cycling while renting his home out when he is away. He has a book (that I have not read) that detail how he does it. He is open about his finances, even though his website is geared toward getting a beginner cycle touring there is a lot of good info there.
Don’t box yourself in to California, there is a lot of good riding all over this country. If you put down roots somewhere and get a job over here then you are anchored. Buy a van, you can travel and live in a van for next to nothing. Check out warmshower and couchsurfing websites, there are options to stay mobile, live cheap and comfortable.
Good luck and change that picture, new picture should be you and your bike.
CA is great, anywhere along Highway 395 is heaven. Not a lot of jobs, just several outdoorsy small towns. Beach areas are expensive, look to the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo, or Pismo Beach areas. Don’t discount Oregon. Much cheaper to live there, and many outdoor towns, look at Bend or Medford. Idaho? Boise absolutely Rocks! Good luck!
If you want surfing, mountain biking and a job, there is not much better than Santa Cruz. You can surf a world class break year round and ride to world class trails from the break after work. There’s also an amazing organization called Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz doing trail building and advocacy. The surf and MTB community is very strong in Santa Cruz.
California is indeed expensive. I’m in the foothills of the Sierras between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Personally, I’m thinking about trying to talk my wife into retiring to Sedona, Arizona. 😉 Honestly, it’s a tough question to answer. There is epic riding all over the western U.S. (and the east coast doesn’t suck either). 🙂
You may want to hook up with Forest Trails Alliance in Northern California. Mountain bike, building trails, adventure, spike camps in the coastal mountains…. live again. Volunteer positions with benefits, Apprenticeship youth program 18-26yr, or Staff positions currently available for upcoming projects in the Napa Region.
I’m not a surfer, and I thoroughly enjoy visiting California, but if you’re not married to the idea of traveling specifically to California, there are a lot of other places that will be considerably less expensive to live.
I know NOTHING about surfing, and but if there’s decent surfing in the Gulf coast, that opens up 5 more states with an ocean, and warm weather.
Dude, you’re a British citizen. Don’t rule out Vancouver BC! Awesome riding, west coast vibe, and it’s part of the commonwealth, so it should be way easier for you to live there long term. You can definitely surf and ride in Northern Washington state as well, which is not too far away and all it requires is a wetsuit. Seriously, the Cascadia region has some of the best MTB in the world during the Spring/Summer/Fall months and some of the best skiing in the world during the Winter months. California is super expensive, especially if you want to be close to the good surfing spots. Hazy, smoggy sunshine is overrated.
Just saying, don’t fixate on California and don’t forget that Western Canada has a lot to offer as well. Or, better yet, chill in California until your Visa runs out then head up to Vancouver and visit the U.S. at will.