Living the dream in California
Jenni Prisk, originally from Christchurch, has embraced civic duties in her new home in San Diego.
What inspired your move, and how long have you been there?
My husband Kim (also a Kiwi) was invited to join a university team putting lung experiments on the space shuttle and Space Station. We arrived in San Diego at the end of 1983.
What do you do there?
I’m a communications trainer and coach in my own company, Prisk Communication, with clients across the US. Additionally, I chair the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women & Girls, am president of the Association of California Commissions for Women, a member of the SD Rotary Club (the fifth largest in world) and review live theatre on Facebook at Scene by Jenni Prisk. I do lots of other civic activities too!
What are the greatest advantages to living there?
In San Diego, it’s the weather! Very temperate all-year round. It’s easy to network, good for business, the gateway to the Pacific and there’s great outdoor living and dining. And it’s far enough from the White House.
The traffic gets heavier annually on the freeways. Not many large companies are head-officed in San Diego.
How expensive is it compared to New Zealand? How much is a beer?
It’s comparable dollar for dollar with regard to commodities. Now that NZ house prices are rising, there will be a comparison there too in the next five years. Cars are cheaper than in NZ and salaries are lower. A six-pack of a good beer is US$10 (NZ$14).
What do you do in your spare time?
Go to the gym, walk on the beach, garden, go to the theatre and travel.
What’s the local delicacy and would you recommend eating it?
Mexican cuisine as we’re only 18 miles (29km) from the border and, if made in the right restaurant with good ingredients, it’s excellent.
Easiest way to get around?
Car, because a full public transport system is sadly lacking.
What’s the shopping like?
Grocery stores are excellent with the number and quality of products. Merchandise shopping is widespread and very good too.
Best after-dark activity?
Dinner and good wine with an ocean view.
Best time of year to visit?
All-year round, but summer, from late June to September, is the premium time.
What are the top three things you recommend for visitors?
The beach and ocean activities, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Balboa Park with its 24 museums and galleries.
Besides family and friends, what do you miss most about home?
Saveloys, the way of life, the gorgeous scenery, Tip Top Hokey Pokey icecream and the people.
How easy is it for you to get back to NZ?
Pretty easy. We come ‘‘home’’ once a year and rather more often at the moment as we are building a house in Kerikeri. We’ll be living between both countries.
For Kiwis looking to move there, which industries are seeking fresh talent?
Nursing, engineering and biotech.
Jenni Prisk says San Diego is the gateway to the Pacific and the city has a temperate climate all-year round.
There’s great outdoor living and dining in San Diego.
Jenni with Peter Yarrow of folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary.