Now that we have been here for a while, we are quite certain that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. As far as we can tell, the information we gathered on the road about Arizona was fairly accurate. We will start with the negative. We knew immediately it was extremely far away from anyone we knew before moving here. We are 1700 miles from my parents and 5000 from Chris’s. Obviously it would be nice if teleportation were invented 🙂
The main disadvantage that pertains to Arizona in and of itself is dust storms. The atmosphere filling with dust is as unpleasant as it sounds. That said, we have not seen too many of them. We are nearly through the monsoon season, the time of year when the weather is most likely to turn on you, and we have only seen 4 or 5 dust storms. Usually, they are followed by rain, which dilutes it, although it does mean a storm will make you car absolutely filthy. We have a subscription to a local car wash and this seems fairly common here because a single storm can make your car look twelve times worse in about 2 minutes.
The good things are that doing nice things outside is easier than anywhere else I have ever lived. We have yet to get sick of swimming and we definitely aren’t sick of grilling. Now that the new pool is open and the grills are such a short walk, we have grilled something out there far more days than not. Nearly everything has been a successful aside from some pork ribs that just didn’t work at all but also took ages so by the time we knew it had gone wrong, we ended up having a frozen pizza. We have successfully done steak, beef kebabs, chicken breasts, chicken fajitas, breakfast bacon sandwiches and both turkey and beef burgers. The price tag on the item didn’t seem to make a big difference either. The frankly overpriced Whole Foods kebabs grilled up as nicely as a cheap Safeway chicken breast or a frozen Bubba burger.
The pool has really facilitated meeting people and means that even working from home, we have made friends. I think I’ve made more friends more easily in 8 months in Arizona than I did the whole time I lived in England just due to the life style making it easy and natural to interact with your neighbors. This is excellent. We may well have had very nice neighbors in England, but we rarely even knew their names. There just wasn’t a great mechanism to meet up.
Here’s a short video: