Where to live? My latest dilemma.

It’s almost over! A six month deployment turned into eighteen months is almost done and I’m about to head home.

Head.. where? Oh, right, I’m homeless.

I don’t have my own place to return to since I haven’t lived in the US recently, but luckily my friend and coworker offered to rent me a room at his house for an attractive price. The catch? It’s in the absolute middle of nowhere. It’s car-dependent for everything except the grocery store 2.6 miles away. The Office is ten miles away, so that is bikeable during fair weather.

An aside: Once I arrive at The Office, I get to climb in a 15 passenger van and ride an additional hour to The Job Site! WTF?!@#! The only upside is that it’s a four day work week.

I know, I know, either way this situation is preposterous, but it’s what I’ve got to work with for now. Let’s look at the pros and cons for both locations.

Grantsville, a.k.a. The “Shorter” Commute.

The good

  • $500 per month rent in a brand new house, all utilities included.
  • The only occupants will be myself and the owner. Total bachelor pad.
  • Next to zero noise pollution due to the remote location.
  • Open land to fly R/C’s.
  • Shorter commute to work.
  • No rental contract makes leaving anytime a breeze.

The meh

  • It’s in the middle of nowhere, so I can say good-bye to any mid-week social life.
  • 2.6 miles to the nearest grocery store. Not ideal for frequent trips on foot, but biking is feasible.

The bad

  • 60 miles one way to go paragliding
  • That means no mid-week after work paragliding
  • 66 miles one way to ski resorts. Consider that only once a week.
  • Zero mid-week social life outside of work colleagues. Who want’s to hang out with their co-workers outside of work anyway?
  • 2 hours 20 minutes round trip commute to the job site.

Salt Lake City, a.k.a The Fun Place

The good

  • A walkable, inner city location
  • Ideal population density for a 30 y/o single person
  • 30 miles to ski resorts, and a City Ski bus for $8 round trip.
  • 22 miles to the nearest paragliding spot.
  • Mid week after work paragliding!
  • Mid-week social life is possible
  • Farmers markets within walking distance

The meh

  • I’ll have to pay “real rent” prices. Small price to pay I suppose.
  • Could have increased noise pollution due to location.

The bad

  • Insane amount of car-time per day: 3 hours 20 minutes round trip commute!

When I read this I think to myself “holy shit that’s a lot of commute time”, and it is. It’s borderline insane. Once I finish up my vacation,  I’ll spend 12 full twenty-four hour days commuting back and fourth to work by the time the year is over. 17 days if I live in SLC.

Either way it’s a ton of time. Like, a whole ‘nother average two-weeks-per-year-vacation amount of time. What would you do with an extra 17 days?

Aside from the social and recreational advantages of being in SLC, the opportunity cost of living there while having to commute to The Job Site is expensive enough to merit real consideration.

Coming in at 70 miles per day, the cost of commuting from SLC proper to The Office per IRS mileage rates is a staggering $37.80 per day. Add in a Mustache mobile for $6,000, $400 per year for auto insurance, $436 for gas, and driving through the end of 2016 costs at least $11,523, plus maintenance, registration, depreciation, and various other things. Sheesh.

Weighing in the pros/cons and overall travel required to keep this job, both options are equally terrible. If it weren’t for the additional commute, I’d choose Salt Lake City. But if it weren’t for the job, would I choose Salt Lake City?

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