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I grew up in Redding. I’ve lived all over the state of CA – north, south, and central. It’s a huge place. I enjoyed the bay area the most out of all the places I’ve lived, but I’m appreciative of my hometown.
Redding is a difficult place to be a young person however, and that is why I left. There are very few well-paying jobs and opportunities in the tri-county area period. The only profession that is doing well is nursing. There is surprisingly high incidence of drug use and drug-related crime in Redding when that was not as much of a problem twenty years ago. Locals always joke about this being due to there being nothing to do when it gets dark. This is more of a problem on Reddit than to most people, but Redding is also a highly conservative and religious town. If you’re not amongst the religious right you feel out of place as if you were in the Bible Belt. I think Redding has its natural charms, but there is more opportunity elsewhere to grow and learn.
I’m not sure what part of England you live in, but without pausing for thought I’d say England appears to be more exciting. I’m sure that there are similar problems as well. I guess the grass is always greener.