I am a native Californian who moved over a decade ago to TN so I could afford a home, so I totally get this. Plus I am also looking to travel. One other thing I don't miss is the CRAZY horrid traffic...Are you sure you want to deal with that mess, LOL? I am also looking to travel at some point...One place in Cali. that has a great hippie Vibe is either Arcata or Eureka. If you can get an assignment there, check it out! If you like it enough, it's still very affordable, but small town!