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Santa Barbara: Paradise?

I recently moved to Santa Barbara from Orange County, and the constant comment I get is “Welcome to Paradise.” I guess I was a little puzzled by what was meant by this comment; why is Santa Barbara called Paradise? Then I read The Independent‘s article about people who make great sacrifices and struggles to stay in the Paradise of Santa Barbara. I must admit I have only been here a short time and still have not realized Santa Barbara as “Paradise.”

I always thought of paradise as a pleasant and peaceful place where one can enjoy life without a lot of struggles to survive as voiced by the people in the article. What I see are people doing the same things others do anywhere on the planet: eating, working, giving birth, getting sick, dying, and trying to define themselves. Yes, there are beaches, nice weather, and a small town atmosphere; however, it’s no different from many other places.

So, please, tell me; what makes Santa Barbara a land of milk and honey to warrant such sacrifices?

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