You probably are too young to know the Shangri-La reference unless you studied lit or are an old movie buff. Shangri-La is a mythical place in the mountains of Tibet imagined by James Hilton in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon. It was a perfect paradise cut off from the world, with no violence, no protests and no famines. Many Tibetans today believe it exists, and even the present Dalai Lama thinks it might be hidden in an astral plain. Bali Hai is real (a mountain in Hawaii) but also a mythical island in the South Pacific where only good things happen. Glocca Morra is a dreamy, but fake, place in Ireland where everyone is in love and dances the day away. All three places are featured in great old movies—check 'em out if you want to experience utopia.
Utah is becoming, for some, the paradise only Mormons could envision long ago when Joseph Smith told his fold to head West. For today's techies, Salt Lake City has just been named No. 8 on the realtor.com list of potential Silicon Valley 2.0 cities. That list looks at other cities known for big tech companies and trends, and it's finding that workers in many traditional tech locales are being priced out of housing and are seeking better areas to live in the U.S.—and we're looking good in their eyes. That research is backed up by another report from SmartAsset, a financial tech company that studies which markets are best for home buyers. Salt Lake County ranked among the best places in their recent report. DK Eyewitness Travel in April named Salt Lake City No. 5 and Provo No. 16 in their list of the "20 Best U.S. Cities for Making a Fresh Start." And for senior citizens, the Beehive ranks No. 2 among all the states with the lowest proportion of "senior isolation," with 22.5 percent of seniors living alone (as opposed to places like North Dakota, where 32 percent of seniors live alone). This is according to seniorcare.com.
For those of us already living here, this garden of Eden is still a pretty idyllic place. The skiing is fantastic, the red rocks and opportunities for employment are seemingly endless. Yet, the veil is lifting and the smoky mist hiding us from the rest of the world is making us sick. Our Shangri-La is bursting at the seams with traffic congestion, housing issues and too many low-wage jobs. I'm afraid our secret is out; and the masses are coming.