My parents, my sister, and I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the second half of my fifth grade year. I moved away in 1994 to go to grad school, but my sister and her husband plus my parents and most of my close friends remain in the area. Some live and work in the heart of Silicon Valley and others nearby.

i heart silicon valley

For a long time, I thought I would move back someday, somehow. This past Spring, we almost did when there was a strong promise of a job for me. But after talking to Marv, we decided that this wasn’t the time to return even if Silicon Valley feels like the center of the world (at least for my area of expertise – genomics and the Web).

Today’s NY Times article further confirmed our decision not to move back.

In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich

No one knows for certain how many single-digit millionaires live in Silicon Valley. Certainly their numbers reach into the tens of thousands, say those who work with the area’s engineers and entrepreneurs. Yet nearly all of them still have all-consuming jobs, not only because the work gives them a sense of achievement and satisfaction but also because they think they must work so much to afford their gilded neighborhoods.

Marv and I have a good life even though we live in London, UK, also one of the most expensive cities in the world.* Granted, we’re business expats so needn’t worry about some basic needs like housing, car, etc. Even more important, we’re able to save money for Stephen’s college education and still enjoy our life of books, video games, and toys. I’m sure we could do the same in the Bay Area made all the easier because we’d be with family and friends but my biggest worry is: I’m not sure I could resist joining in the chase.

Umberto Milletti of InsideView:

Here, the top 1 percent chases the top one-tenth of 1 percent, and the top one-tenth of 1 percent chases the top one-one-hundredth of 1 percent.

For now, I’ll enjoy watching the race from the sidelines. It’s a lot more comfortable here in my dining room next to the River Thames. Thank goodness for the Internet! We’re so far, yet still so close.

*Moscow has London beat, though!