“Last January, as the peak of the pandemic began to recede, Dave Andrade took a trip from his home in Santa Cruz, Calif., about an hour south of San Francisco, to the desert community of Palm Springs, where friends had recently moved to escape big-city life in the Bay Area.
“After three days of this trip, I was like, ‘I love it. I could really see myself living here,’” he said.
Mr. Andrade, 34, grew up in Santa Cruz and went to college in San Francisco, where he lived for about a decade after graduation. He returned to Santa Cruz in 2019 to be closer to family, and then to ride out Covid lockdowns. But he didn’t have many friends nearby, and he didn’t want to return to the Bay Area…”