My Assessment of Las Vegas as a Place to Call Home in the U.S.

May 7, 2015    

I just left Las Vegas. I rented a room in a nice house on the northwest edge of Las Vegas. It was very quiet and I walked in the hills behind the neighborhood each morning. One day, I walked late in the day, just before dusk, and a jack-rabbit ran past me! I was in Las Vegas for a month and did not visit The Strip once.

The dryness did affect me at first, but my body seemed to adjust after just a few days. I had some nosebleeds and dry skin. My back actually got really itchy for a few days. I started putting lotion and cream on it 4 times a day when it was really bad. And my host had a back-scratcher, thank goodness.

The traffic was very light in the area where I stayed. The roads are wide and mostly empty! It was very easy to get around. There were several movie theaters within 20 minutes and plenty of restaurants and coffee shops (mostly Starbucks).

There is a grocery store that sells a lot of organic food and high quality food in the area. It’s a chain I’ve never seen anywhere else. It is called Sprouts and is more affordable that Whole Foods. There are several Whole Foods in the area and I shopped there, too. There was also a Trader Joe’s not far from where I stayed. Overall, I was very happy with the grocery store selection.

There is also a vibrant dance community in Las Vegas. I only went dancing once (Tango), but the people were very friendly and some of them dance other dances besides the Tango. Even the dance instructor hung out and talked with me after the lesson, during the practica.

There are also some really beautiful natural areas to visit in the Las Vegas vicinity. I spent one weekend visiting Red Rock Canyon. It has countless hiking trails and is very beautiful. That was about a 30 minute drive from where I was staying.

Another weekend, I went to a state park called the “Valley of Fire”. It was truly amazing to see. I can’t get enough of the colors of the mountains in this area. From there, I went to Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The water level was low and is getting lower due to a drought in the area, but it was still incredibly beautiful. I will never forget having a glass of wine in one of the marina’s with a view of the lake. The only thing that might have made it better was having someone to share it with!

I didn’t end up transferring my car title to Nevada because I forgot to bring my car title with me. I may not be hanging onto this car for long anyway. The cruise control doesn’t work so it’s not good for long-distance driving.

I did get a mailbox at a place that will forward mail to me and also scan in letters I receive if I ask them to. I will change the address on my Nevada driver’s license to this address.

I just learned (by reading the DMV website) that there will be two different types of driver’s licenses. In October 2020, you will have to have the REAL ID one if you want to use it to board flights.

The other one (which is a Standard License), will be marked “Not for Federal Official Use”. I can use my passport to board flights starting in 2020 or I can get the REAL ID version before then. In order to get the REAL ID, I’ll have to go into a DMV office with proof of my residency there and a bank statement or credit card statement with the address on it.

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