Thanks for all the great replies, I really appreciate it. I guess to make things more clear, I'm applying for Teach for America so all I'm able to do is rank how highly I want to be placed in each region. I ultimately do not have the final decision. It is a 2 year committment then I'm able to continue living/working there or do as I please.
What I make depends on the region. San Fran I'll make ~40k and in areas with lower cost I'll make less. They adjust it pretty well though. I figure I will probably be rooming with some other teachers if I do indeed get the job just to save cost. So while cost of living is somewhat important, I won't let it deter me from a great area.
even taking roommates into consideration, it is damn tough to live off of $40k in san fran. It sucks and good teachers deserve to be paid more.
i know that in just about any asian country they will pay you a decent salary plus living expenses to teach English (so everything you make can go into the bank). you don't even have to know the native language. I know some people who have done it when they just didn't know what to do with their lives and they had a great time and experience. Also, they pay caucasians more then they pay asians.
Not everyone likes bums at every corner asking for change and food. And fights on the bus. And just the general busyness of a big city. And tourists everywhere.
Never even been to SF, but I would love to. And I have been told and it seems like a terrific city to live in. It is costly though. I will tell you one thing and that is SF and Dallas are probably better than Chicago.
If you pick Chicago, it is probably because your a fat ass that likes deep dish pizzas.
Houston doesn't have much in terms of outdoors but other than that it's a decent city. The summers are absolutely unbearable though. The humidity is crazy high. I'm sure the humidity is somewhat similar in Florida.
-Traffic kinda sucks. Great downtown in my opinion.
Dallas-Pretty much the same as Houston. I'd say its better though. Better downtown...traffic not as bad but there are still crazy drivers. Summers are way more bearable. You also have Forth Worth which is a cool city as well.
NO STATE INCOME TAX IN EITHER CITY!!!
San Antonio-Very, very mexican.
I'd go to Colorado if you're an outdoorsman. You will never get bored no matter what time of year it is. I'm moving up to a city in New Mexico that's an hour away from the CO border and I'm pumped about it. SO MANY ACTIVITIES.
I'd go Colorado Springs, Denver, San Fran or Dallas.
I haven't been to Houston since I was a child but I do have some friends from Houston and they claim that Dallas is miles better...that Houston actualy does resemble the Texas hick stereotype...
Almost everyone I know from other cities in Texas (San An, Austin, Houston) says that the people here in Dallas come off much more arrogant though...and I can see it, lotta cocky people here...although probably no where near the levels of cockiness found in the North East...
I've been to San Fran, just WAY to expensive there...have ot be a damn millionare ot live in a closet...no thank you...infact no thank you to that entire state and their collapsing economy...they are all coming here to Dallas for a reason...
Why does everyone want to live in Chicago? Snow is the worst seasonal life altering impediment. On top of the rain and wind that is hibernation type of weather. Only bears should want to live in Chicago and i'm mean REAL bears not NFL fans. I hate snow sooo much
I would take San Fran. I hear from everyone that has been there including my bro its extremely clean and a unique place where they want to go back. Everyone seems to love it but i guess you have to have been there. I've talked to more than a handful of different peole that said that too. Nobody ever talks bad about it. It also supposedly has some of the best restaurants in the country i believe. Weather is real big with me so i'd take SanFran myself. I notice a big difference in my mood relating to the weather. I'm always at my happiest at the beach when its like 100 degrees and mopey-lazy when its raining/snowing/windy. Snow is the worst though. Shoveling, getting stuck, more shoveling, i HATE IT!