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spending 3 months in California, but where?

spending 3 months in California, but where?

Old Aug 31st 2014, 3:58 pm
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Default spending 3 months in California, but where?

Hi everyone,
I'm a UK citizen and would like to set off to California in around 5 weeks - at the start of October 2014. I would be very grateful for any pointers or tips from anyone who's done a similar thing or has an informed point of view. I don't plan on working out there (maybe volunteering), and have plenty of savings. I hope to buy or hire a car while there. I don't drink so not too interested in busy nightlife & bars. I would like to find an expat community where i stay, though.

My requirements:
1) Not very cold weather
2) Friendly people
3) Rents not too expensive
4) Picturesque but not too remote
5) Can rent a room for only 3 months.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

You might want to add the reason for your journey.
No volunteer work allowed if you are VWP it.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

My reason for going is to be somewhere I've never been before, and experience things, live life and meet people. I understand British citizens can stay for 90 days in the States without a long visa process...? Don't know if that's correct.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Originally Posted by modernanxiety View Post
My reason for going is to be somewhere I've never been before, and experience things, live life and meet people. I understand British citizens can stay for 90 days in the States without a long visa process...? Don't know if that's correct.
Why California and why near expats, both seem a little counter to your objectives. The more clear you are, the better people will be able to help.
Yes you can stay 90 days with VWP/ESTA
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Just because it's far away and sounds cool, there are songs about it, and I like not knowing much about it and just exploring. Expats because I like British people, I like people from all different places! Just in case I miss home
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Originally Posted by modernanxiety View Post
My reason for going is to be somewhere I've never been before, and experience things, live life and meet people. I understand British citizens can stay for 90 days in the States without a long visa process...? Don't know if that's correct.
Correct, you apply for ESTA. Please remember that it is for 90 days, and not a day longer, you might want to book your return journey for 88 days to ensure that you do not overstay, particularly with say weather problems on the day you are due to fly out. The reason doesn't cut any ice with the authorities I'm afraid, even 1 day overstay is seriously frowned on by the authorities and may well lead to a ban from returning for some time.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Originally Posted by modernanxiety View Post
Just because it's far away and sounds cool, there are songs about it, and I like not knowing much about it and just exploring. Expats because I like British people, I like people from all different places! Just in case I miss home
Have you thought of buying/renting a small RV. Thats the transport covered, plus more options for where to stay. If you dont like it, move on.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

To give you a more direct answer, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara come to mind.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Originally Posted by SalopianFunk View Post
To give you a more direct answer, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara come to mind.
......mirrors my thinking in that all 3 are University towns so likely to have a Brit expat community, which you say you'd like.
And the UC system has an Extension system open to all which includes courses of several weeks duration which meet once or twice a week. Might give you a focus and a sense of temporary belonging.

I was thinking of somewhere like Mendocino - it's in "wine country", utterly gorgeous - perched atop a craggy cliff on wild coastline. The town is tiny, full of craftspeople/artisans...but doubt there you'd find a Brit community, as such.
A 3 month rental would be easy, I would think, as it is a tourist destination - and you'd be coming at an off-season time

ps: Re UC Extension classes - Just realized - may not be open to all....you may(?) need to actually live here....not sure 'bout that

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Old Aug 31st 2014, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

It's not at all clear what you want. A three-month holiday in Malibu? Helping deprived kids in South Central LA? Travelling around the state? Which songs are you thinking of? Why would you them want to be with British expats?
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?



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Old Aug 31st 2014, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Originally Posted by SalopianFunk View Post
To give you a more direct answer, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara come to mind.
Santa Cruz is full of weirdo's. Change Santa Cruz for Monterey.
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Old Aug 31st 2014, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Shake it, shake it baby.

Might as well post this again as I then went off to listen to it


Can't stop now


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Old Sep 1st 2014, 11:55 am
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Default Re: spending 3 months in California, but where?

Thank you all for your input – it’s very much appreciated as I have no clear idea myself. I guess the song that really inspired me was California by Phantom Planet, yeah I know it’s dumb, I’ve never even seen the TV show! Um, anyway I had a look at the places that were recommended and Berkeley looks amazing, very liberal and a nice small City. On the other hand Monterey has the better weather during winter and a good arts scene. Santa Barbara is a big place by the looks of things, with an interesting history. Mendocino is perhaps a bit too small, I don’t know anyone in the US so don’t want to cut myself off too much and need to find things to amuse myself particularly on the theme of learning, the arts, and personal development. I am happy to go with one of the suggestions on this forum but need to think and research more (and any more input would be AMAZING). I don’t know whether I’ll be staying in one place or moving around. What is the situation with renting a room in a houseshare for just a month?

I don’t think I’d have the gumption to rent an RV as I’m quite new to driving and like to be on terra firma

Just out of interest, no-one has mentioned L.A, is it really that bad? Just a sprawling crime-ridden metropolis or does it have its charms?

Thanks again everyone!
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