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NOTABLE! Has Moving to a Warm and Sunny Climate Made You Happier?

AgainstAllOdds

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@AgainstAllOdds, that's why I work in the early morning. You take care of stuff in the morning and then can spend the rest of the day enjoying great weather. It depends solely on you whether good weather distracts you or not. Back in February I traveled to a warm and sunny place. I continued waking up early and working in the morning and my productivity didn't decrease. I got the work done and then spent the rest of the day doing fun stuff outside. It's just a matter of setting the right routine.
You're right. It depends on the person whether good weather distracts you, but I think most people are like me.

Here's a map of the world in terms of GDP per capita:



Notice how the closer a country is to the equator, the worse their economy is. The further away it is from the equator (good weather), the better they are economically. There's a direct correlation, and my theory is that this correlation trickles down to the individual.

When you have less distractions (beaches, perfect weather, etc.), then you're more likely to get things done. That's just a fact.

The problem with that thinking though is that other factors are more important for success. Self-esteem for example is highly correlated to success, so if you're living in a place with bad weather, and constantly depressed, then moving to a (distraction filled) warm place could be a positive.

I think sunny climates make most people happier, but as entrepreneurs, it's not necessarily so. There's an increase in distractions, therefore decrease in productivity, and decrease in entrepreneurial happiness.

Also it should be noted that there's a difference between living somewhere and just traveling there.
 

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Notice how the closer a country is to the equator, the worse their economy is. The further away it is from the equator (good weather), the better they are economically. There's a direct correlation, and my theory is that this correlation trickles down to the individual.
There are many more factors at play than just the weather. Many countries close to the equator have suffered greatly because of other countries (for example most countries in Africa that aren't even real countries, just territories made up by European politicians). Then there are many countries with very young democracies or that have suffered numerous stupid rulers and countries with challenging geography.

Then there are many exceptions: Australia (most of the country has great weather throughout the year and it's a very outdoorsy culture), Spain, New Zealand (many parts still much warmer throughout the year than in other countries), the United States (does Florida or California have worse economy than northern states?), Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates (extremely hot the entire year - yes, I know they have oil, but natural resources aren't everything as plenty of examples from Africa prove), Singapore (one of the most advanced and developed countries in the world), Hong Kong, Mauritius, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan (southern parts are subtropical), Italy, Turkey, Mexico (maybe Turkey and Mexico aren't the richest, but I wouldn't really consider them "poor" countries), and so on.

When you have less distractions (beaches, perfect weather, etc.), then you're more likely to get things done. That's just a fact.
Or you're more likely to get depressed and don't do anything, but as you noted, it depends on a person and I agree that many people probably let the weather distract them.

Then again, if you live in a place where summers are short you'll probably neglect work during the summer because you know that good weather won't be there forever.

If you live in a place with great weather throughout the year, you don't worry about missing out on good weather because you know it'll always be there.

I personally have much less anxiety and feel better in a sunny, warm and dry climate because I know that almost every single day I'll wake up to perfect sunny weather, and that makes me energetic.
 

Olimac21

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Well it depends. I guess having a good "enough" weather is the ideal what I mean with this is a place where winters are not too harsh and at the same time during other seasons it does not get too warm to get you lazy.

In my particular case I moved from a decent weather country (Chile) to a harsh winter country (Sweden) and became more productive. Less distractions and more boring places tend to foster creativity, also as someone said beforehand the weather is not the only solution you have to determine your key needs (family, fun, job prospects,etc) and then see whether the change will allow you to meet all your needs.
 

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I used to spend a lot of time in Hawaii. In 2014(?), we were there a few months straight, with a month on Maui and a month on Oahu. It was then I decided to buy the lifestyle full time.

It was unpractical to move to Hawaii for family reasons, but we knew we were done living in the snowbank of the Midwest winters which can last for up to seven months.

We packed a 27" foot uHaul (the first of a few trips, actually) with a tow behind trailer, and headed south.

We crossed Florida Georgia line and never looked back. I live now where people vacation.
 

Daniel...D

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I live in a cold country and each year suffer for up to 6 months because of the low temperatures, lack of sunlight, short days, and people with permanent scowls on their faces. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave everything I have here and move elsewhere where I wouldn't live with anxiety, frustration, and stress for a half of a year.

To anyone who has moved from a cold, dark or wet climate to a warm, sunny and dry climate - has it made you noticeably happier and greatly improved your quality of life?

If you have family and close friends back in your cold state/country, do the benefits of living in a sunny and warm place still outweigh the cons of missing them and essentially having to build a new life from scratch?
That moment when you want to move into the less warm place because you hate high temperatures and summer. But I can't do it because i realize that, yes, i will miss all my friend and family and i also have a high paid job here, so...
 

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That moment when you want to move into the less warm place because you hate high temperatures and summer. But I can't do it because i realize that, yes, i will miss all my friend and family and i also have a high paid job here, so...
I wasn't aware there was anyone that wanted to move North.
 

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To be somewhat positive for us that are stuck where we're at for now -

Cold weather is good for one thing - focus. Gonna be in the 20's and 30's for the forseeable future here in good ol' coastal North Carolina, so instead of distracting myself with the pool or playing in my wannabe tropical gardens, I am learning the fine points of patent law and license negotiation. Cause heaven forbid it was 80 degrees outside and I just couldn't make myself focus. :blank:
 
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Bishop

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I used to spend a lot of time in Hawaii. In 2014(?), we were there a few months straight, with a month on Maui and a month on Oahu. It was then I decided to buy the lifestyle full time.

It was unpractical to move to Hawaii for family reasons, but we knew we were done living in the snowbank of the Midwest winters which can last for up to seven months.

We packed a 27" foot uHaul (the first of a few trips, actually) with a tow behind trailer, and headed south.

We crossed Florida Georgia line and never looked back. I live now where people vacation.
The humidity, mosquitoes or hurricanes would get to me. I think the people are equally crazy to the ones in California, but they have a reddit page dedicated to them: Florida Man! • r/FloridaMan
 

AlessioLC

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For me i'm from France, near Paris and it's cold af everyday, rainy and grey..
i'm trying to open my first business in the French Riviera and actually want to live there as i've passed my holidays here for 10 years and lived a bit there too (very short time).

I can't stand being in the North, i'm Italian and i need sun! So yes warm and sunny lifestyle is definitly gonna help me.
 
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Paul Weese

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I live in an alpine community in Colorado and moved here from a mountain town in Montana. I think a person should live where their "beach" is, and the community has enough people and resources to foster success. College towns are definitely a plus.
 
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Cyberseraph

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I moved from Germany to Bangkok in Thailand about 3 years ago because I don't like cold winters. I can tell you that Bangkok is probably the hottest city on this planet. While I'm happier to live in a warm place, in the long run, the heat and humidity are killing me. You walk out your house and are already covered in sweat after 5 minutes. It does affect your productivity. At the end, you end up staying mostly in indoor places with aircon.

I might move to another country in the future, where it's warm but no humidity. How is Florida like? I heard it's the same story?
 

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@Cyberseraph - if you want to avoid high humidity and sticky weather, then you need to avoid places with a tropical climate.

I'm not a fan of high humidity, either (even though I like tropical landscapes), so when looking for a potential place to move to I only consider hot semi-arid, hot arid or Mediterranean climates.

If you're used to tropical or temperate climates with a lot of green landscapes then semi-arid or arid climates might not look that beautiful in comparison, but I think it's an acquired taste - and with a semi-arid or arid climate you usually have reliable sunshine and low humidity all year round and that is IMO ultimately more important than a lush landscape (with a lot of rain).

Mediterranean climates aren't as hot all year round as hot semi-arid or arid climates (and it rains more often), but if you're after something more balanced then it might be a good choice, too.
 

silvergirl

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I can relate to a lot of this, I lived most of my life in Switzerland and UK. When I couldn't take another miserable winter 6 years ago I took a job transfer to Singapore (everyone thinks it was this great career move, but it was really just about the weather for me). The humidity isn't great and can be overpowering, but I preferred it over being cold.
Just moved back to England for my first winter in years and am really struggling with the cold.

My ideal climate is Southern California. Not humid, but warm, but also cools down a bit, so this is next on the list. And I have started a business there to make that happen.
 

Arun Siva

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For me yes; i had several surgeries and the arthritis was miserable in Chicago and in michigan; the minute i moved down south everything seemed to get better; i made the change and relocated my family as well; everything has been merrier nonetheless. I however, believe that environment is critical and you are a byproduct of it *unless you have extremely good will power to go against the norm( in my case south side Chicago which is affectionately known as CHIRAQ. Moving from all that coupled with the arduous winters helped maybe 10-15% of my overall mentality
 

Evil_Jester

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Warmer weather makes me want to work harder. I'm always in a good mood and I socialize once a week -- this drives me to work more! When it's cold I don't socialize much and my drive is lower.
 

Cyberseraph

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when looking for a potential place to move to I only consider hot semi-arid, hot arid or Mediterranean climates.
@MTF Thanks for the elaboration. Are you from the United States?
If yes, what would be your preferred Mediterranean or semi-arid location in the States?
 
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@MTF Thanks for the elaboration. Are you from the United States?
If yes, what would be your preferred Mediterranean or semi-arid location in the States?
I'm not from the US but if I were to move there primarily looking at the local climate I'd choose between:
  • Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas or Yuma, AZ - but that's mostly typical desert, not semi-arid climate;
  • Palm Springs, CA or Las Vegas, NV - also hot desert climate;
  • San Diego, CA and surrounding areas - for a mix between Mediterranean and semi-arid climate;
  • coastal California in general for typical Mediterranean climate (perhaps Santa Barbara)
 

Paje

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I live in Calgary AB. I am very in tune with my body and instantly felt the change in my energy levels when it started becoming dark earlier. I felt lethargic, and waking up to work out was a struggle thinking I have to warm up the room so I can do yoga without feeling cold. I am dedicated to move out of Canada by the end of this year. Not sure how yet but I know it is possible and there's an easier way and a fast way than most people make it seem.

If you want to get in touch and talk about plans of moving to a sunnier, warmer place, message me. We can exchange research on certain implications on Tax, Health care, etc as Canadians living abroad. :)


Cheers!
 

Karl Anderson

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I moved out to Southern California in my mid 20s from cold, and gray Boston, MA. I absolutely loved it, I literally forgot what rain was haha.

I ended up having to move back home to Boston a year later because I ran out of money. Sux so bad. Anyway now I am 30 and NEED to move back asap. Can't stand living in Boston! :arghh::arghh:
Which area in California did you stay in? I'm planning on moving to SoCal from upstate NY
 

Christian McGhee

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I live in an alpine community in Colorado and moved here from a mountain town in Montana. I think a person should live where their "beach" is, and the community has enough people and resources to foster success. College towns are definitely a plus.
Nice, I live in Boulder Colorado, and agree.
 

GIlman

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It’s Jan 15th. Having weather like this makes me happy. Lived in Northern Utah, Wisconsin, San Antionio Texas, Northern Nevada, and here.

It’s a personal thing but i don’t like cold and i’m happy to be able to spend time comfortable outside all year long. 86D5D472-0E35-4D0C-B9DA-EE6252A2E379.png
 

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TKRR

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Erie/Cleveland area for me... and boy do I hate it. All my family and wife's family live within 2 hours (we sort of split the distance between our families, so we have no advanatages of living near family (like babysitter etc...) and all the disadvantages of living in snowville.

I have never liked it and my wife despises me this time of the year, haha. I told her... 5 more years of this and we are moving. She can pick... hurricanes or earthquakes, but it needs to be somewhere a lot nicer out. I've never been bothered by heat. My real goal with my business is to make enough that I can have a place in a warmer location easy, while allowing the house I currently live in stay to appease my wife (it is a nice house and neighborhood, but lets face it... for only about 4 or 5 months out of the year).
 

BeFound Faithful

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I live in a cold country and each year suffer for up to 6 months because of the low temperatures, lack of sunlight, short days, and people with permanent scowls on their faces. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave everything I have here and move elsewhere where I wouldn't live with anxiety, frustration, and stress for a half of a year.

To anyone who has moved from a cold, dark or wet climate to a warm, sunny and dry climate - has it made you noticeably happier and greatly improved your quality of life?

If you have family and close friends back in your cold state/country, do the benefits of living in a sunny and warm place still outweigh the cons of missing them and essentially having to build a new life from scratch?

Pollen killed me living in New England, both outside Boston and on Nantucket Island. I can still see the yellow layer of dust on the car some days.

In Southern California I basically have no allergy problems, so in that way I'm much happier. Life improved.

I lived in Florida (went there for college) and it was just too humid. Going to Aruba a couple years ago, same thing.

Don't get me wrong.

The desert heat is very hot here, but at least it's dry.

But those are only outward.

Miserable or happy has much more to do with how much or how little I take responsibility and make better choices for the life I want (IMHO).

That said, I can't see myself moving back to Massachusetts. I've been in SoCal for over 20 years. I met my wife and we raised our three kids here. It's home.
 
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David Young

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You're right. It depends on the person whether good weather distracts you, but I think most people are like me.

Here's a map of the world in terms of GDP per capita:



Notice how the closer a country is to the equator, the worse their economy is. The further away it is from the equator (good weather), the better they are economically. There's a direct correlation, and my theory is that this correlation trickles down to the individual.

When you have less distractions (beaches, perfect weather, etc.), then you're more likely to get things done. That's just a fact.

The problem with that thinking though is that other factors are more important for success. Self-esteem for example is highly correlated to success, so if you're living in a place with bad weather, and constantly depressed, then moving to a (distraction filled) warm place could be a positive.

I think sunny climates make most people happier, but as entrepreneurs, it's not necessarily so. There's an increase in distractions, therefore decrease in productivity, and decrease in entrepreneurial happiness.

Also it should be noted that there's a difference between living somewhere and just traveling there.
There is no doubt that sunny climates suite some individuals. However, not sure the global distribution of GDP support this hypothesis. GDP reflects numerous complex issue above and beyond a personal preference for warm weather.
 

DamienRoche

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I live in a cold country and each year suffer for up to 6 months because of the low temperatures, lack of sunlight, short days, and people with permanent scowls on their faces. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave everything I have here and move elsewhere where I wouldn't live with anxiety, frustration, and stress for a half of a year.

To anyone who has moved from a cold, dark or wet climate to a warm, sunny and dry climate - has it made you noticeably happier and greatly improved your quality of life?

If you have family and close friends back in your cold state/country, do the benefits of living in a sunny and warm place still outweigh the cons of missing them and essentially having to build a new life from scratch?
Ya know, I used to think I was bipolar. I lived in the UK up until 2 months ago, when I moved to Thailand. I did also quit my job and move back to freelancing.

Since then I've realised I wasn't prone to depression or bipolar or have a chemical imbalance - I was living in a crappy climate as a wage slave.

I have never been happier in my life, and I know for a fact I will NEVER live in a cold climate again. I don't have to. I can live in Asia for the rest of my life if I want to, and I probably will. If I do ever move, it will be another warm climate, and it will be somewhere that doesn't require me to work 40+ hours a week to survive - though, voluntarily, I'll happily work double that if it's something I 100% CHOOSE to work on.

Yes, weather has a definite effect. There are many studies done on this (will reference if nobody has referenced above). But also your work/life balance has a major effect. Nobody is happy being a drone for 40 hours a week. You have to cut off part of your humanity and numb yourself to such a lifestyle to even endure it.

..and yes, it is worth the distance from your family (doubly so if your family is destructive). Primarily because it gives you the opportunity to learn how to truly be alone without a support network. I've matured very quickly over the last couple of months simply because I've been left to face every facet of myself every day, and particularly my mood. I've now largely learned how to manage myself - I know exactly what knocks me off balance (lack of morning/night routine personally), and I know how to keep myself contented and enjoy solitude.
 
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rogainer

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I've posted here before but have to again because yes yes yes yes YES moving to a sunny place has improved my happiness. My ancestors were probably from a hot place. I need that vitamin D!!!
 

Tommo

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I live in a cold country and each year suffer for up to 6 months because of the low temperatures, lack of sunlight, short days, and people with permanent scowls on their faces. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave everything I have here and move elsewhere where I wouldn't live with anxiety, frustration, and stress for a half of a year.

To anyone who has moved from a cold, dark or wet climate to a warm, sunny and dry climate - has it made you noticeably happier and greatly improved your quality of life?

If you have family and close friends back in your cold state/country, do the benefits of living in a sunny and warm place still outweigh the cons of missing them and essentially having to build a new life from scratch?
Yes. I moved from Newcastle England to Australia 20 years ago and it's great for my health and my outlook and better for my daughters growing up here imho
 
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