I was with a friend's uncle the other day, a man from Baltimore who happens to love Portland. I'm not sure what he does professionally, but he sells jewelry on the side and has made his way out there on several business trips. He hesitated to give me any advice, because he correctly assumed I had heard enough, but finally just said, "It's harder to get out of an area once you've established yourself there." I know that there are always exceptions, but it rang true in my ears.
I keep noticing my favorite etsy sellers and artists and fashion designers are from the area. It's odd, really.
And I just got an e-mail from a sympathetic writer who experienced a bout of unemployment. It simply said this:
"I found that leaving the DC area was the answer to my problems. It's a tough place, in so many ways."