Why Angelenos moved during the pandemic

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An estimated 12% of Californians left the state between March 2020 and much of 2021, including thousands of Angelenos seeking a lower cost of living, less traffic and new opportunities. KCRW interviews three former Angelenos who have taken advantage of the pandemic to reconnect with their roots and lay the groundwork for the future.

That includes Lexi Notabartolo, who moved to Philadelphia after realizing LA would be too expensive to settle down and buy a house.

“This whole area was my mother’s great horror story – [although] charmingly. She met my father here. But also, she comes from Whittier. You couldn’t get a tortilla here. You have them in boxes,” Notabartolo told KCRW. “There is this really tenacious belief, especially [among] people who were born and raised here say, “Yeah, this city is great. But no one else knows. So how did you figure that out? »

Cozette Livingston moved from South Gate to Crestline in San Bernardino County to spend more time with her son and grandson.

“The highlight of my day is checking my mail. Then I’ll stop at the grocery store for anything I need. And the good thing is that the grocery store is literally in front of the lake,” she describes. “And when the sun shines on the water. Everything becomes shiny and pretty and everything is so fresh here. I don’t have to worry about traffic where I live. I can take my grandson for a walk and not worry about him getting kidnapped or something. I still don’t let him play outside on his own because there are bears here.

Ana Sheila Victorino moved to Mexico City to reconnect with her late father in 2019.

“When my father passed away, the call to move to Mexico became stronger because for me, moving to Mexico and having that experience was a way for me to connect with my father,” Victorino says. “All the reasons that kept me from making this happen were slowly rising and the call was getting louder and louder.”

Victorino adds, “So when the pandemic started, the things I was doing that were in physical locations, we realized they didn’t need to be in physical locations. We can do this work remotely. So I was like, ‘Oh my god, everything is aligning for me to finally make this happen.’

The pandemic gave her the chance to find parts of herself she always longed to connect with, including her ability to speak Spanish.

“Spanish is my language of love. Spanish is the language in which I was first loved. Spanish is a language in which I learned to love. special in my heart. I felt like I was not fully able to express myself in a language that I feel is closest to my soul,” explains Victorino.

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