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  • Writer's pictureDan Berger

How and Why I Ended Up in Boise, Idaho

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Downtown Boise during sunset from Table Rock

I’ve told this story to everyone I’ve talked to over the past six weeks so I figured I should write it down. It’s a quasi-follow-up to my quasi-viral LinkedIn post (40k views compared to the typical 5k I get) where I shared that I moved to Boise, ID… just with a bit more detail. 😅

After spending all of March 2020 quarantining in my Washington, DC apartment waiting for COVID to pass (I’m an optimist, OK? 😂) so I could move back to my hometown of New York City where an East Village condo I had just purchased was waiting for me, I decided to take a quick break from this sedentary lifestyle and head to Sarasota, FL to visit my friend Oscar. I drove up to NYC, picked up a couple of friends, and then hit the road. What was supposed to be a week-long vacation turned into a four week party in sunny Florida but by the end of April we got cabin fever and decided to head westward, not knowing what lied ahead.

We covered 15,000 miles (I drive a Tesla so I had to use Superchargers (~80 times) along the way and visited 20 unique cities in 100 days. One of those cities was Boise, which, I would later decide, would become my new home. 🤯

The crosscountry path we took April — July 2020

It was around day 90 of the roadtrip and I was doing one of those long-haul drives (10+ hours) when it hit me: What lifestyle was I chasing?

Returning to NYC would be a step backwards. After all, I had already experienced it during my teens and 20s. I didn’t want to take the textbook approach of the stereotypical founder who exits. This was the first time in my life where, after selling Social Tables, I have 100% freedom and zero obligations. I could do whatever I want wherever I want.

Now that I had a “20 city sample” of where I could live, I got the clarity I was looking for: Boise. It was my favorite stop of all the places I had experienced. It’s where I learned what American “freedom” is all about: you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t bother someone else (e.g. open carry). It has breathtaking scenery that combines with whatever activity your heart desires (from sledding to wake surfing to base jumping to 150+ miles of trails). The people are incredibly nice, kind, and welcoming (“there’s nice and there’s Boise nice”). And the city’s economy is vibrant and its tech scene is growing. It even has its own version of SXSW called Treefort. (By now, I can write a book on what makes Idaho special but I’ll spare you the lecture.)

Since moving here, I’ve met with over 50 people in the business community, I’ve gotten involved with Boise Startup Week, I’ve made a commitment to invest in 2 tech startups over the next 12 months, I’ve transferred my YPO membership (from DC to Idaho), and more. Not to mention, I gave up alcohol and am on week two of a plant-based diet. Every day, I discover something new that makes this place more special than it was the day before.

So, here I am, writing this post from my Airbnb as I look for a more permanent housing solution and think about the venture(s) I will be starting in my new city. I can’t wait to see what my future in Boise holds. ✌🏼

P.S. Important PSA below 😂

Idaho Sucks. Don’t move here.

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