My objective in writing these blogs is to help answer questions or shed light on issues from an insider’s perspective about living in Bend Oregon. I don’t get a kickback or referral fee from any place or any person mentioned in my blogs. Therefore, you can rest assured that my opinions are entirely altruistic and that I don’t have an ulterior motive or hidden agenda.

For this blog, I have compiled a list of questions about living in Bend Oregon that I hear most. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am honest and blunt. So, in true, unfiltered Melissa Gottlieb fashion, here are some authentic answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Bend is in the middle of nowhere, but it’s growing fast. So who is moving here?

Those who have the money or those who telecommute and make money. 

New residents are often cashing out with a salary from a city where there’s a higher cost of living, making a living in Bend Oregon very affordable. The combination of comparative affordability and a family-centric, slower-paced life with access to unparalleled recreation make this a prime destination.

Those who prioritize recreation over materialism.

Bend’s population would rather have roommates and live paycheck to paycheck in order to have access to the outdoors and live the “Bend Lifestyle.” I equate it to those who live in a 200-square-foot studio in NYC with bars on the windows because they LOVE living in the city. Like NYC, Bend has a cult following and being here is the priority.

Those who have a two-salary household income, with or without kids, and want a safe, healthy lifestyle where the work/life balance is attainable.

2. I hate the cold weather and snow. How bad does it actually get in Bend?

I hated winters back East. They felt long, depressing, and I was always cold. I’m one of those people who gets cold and can’t warm up. Surprisingly, since we moved to Bend, I like winter. It does get cold, and there is definitely snow, but the lack of humidity makes winters manageable. You need to wear layers and obviously, you’re aware of the low temperatures, but if you’re dressed appropriately you don’t get cold. The snow here is also so beautiful that it sparkles like diamonds on a clear day. If you scoop out a hole in the snow, it actually appears blue because it’s just that clean.

3. How is the food in Bend?

This answer has to be taken with a grain of salt (pun intended) considering I’m from New York City. The food here, in general, is adequate. There are a lot of restaurants in Bend, but I can’t say that many of them are fantastic. The lack of quality and variety have been a disappointment, I have to admit. If you are a foodie, this might be something to consider.

4. Is there diversity in Bend?

Again, coming from New York City, my answer is probably skewed. It’s definitely improved since I lived here in the ‘90s, but Bend still has a way to go before it’s considered “diverse.” Bend still feels very much like living in a bubble. From a diversity and cultural aspect, it’s still pretty limited.

5. If I’m not an exercise addict, will I feel out of place?

This question is my favorite! Yes, it’s true that Bend is filled with some of the best athletes. People come here from all over the world to train, which is impressive to watch. Honestly, it took me about two years of living here not to feel guilty that I wasn’t outside doing something “active” when the weather was beautiful. However, like everything around you, you get used to seeing everyone out running, biking, and hiking all of the time; it becomes white noise. I gave up my dream of keeping up with the Joneses a long time ago considering my neighbor trains triathletes and Iron Man competitors.

I would be happy to answer anything in my blogs if anyone has questions. My goal is to answer to the masses about living in Bend Oregon, but if there is something that I haven’t touched on, please feel free to ask in the comments below!