Thoughts on Moving
Living in New York is a tricky thing. Some people can go their whole lives living here. Others burn out after a year or two. I get it; its not an easy place to live. As Greg has always said, New York is perfect for people who are either loaded or who are too young and stupid to care about their financial health. And its true. Middle class 30-somethings are a rarity around here. As someone who moved to New York in her mid-twenties -- who started a new career and friend base from scratch -- I think New York is a dream. I didn't grow up with the idea that New York was the place for me, but now that I live here, its hard for me to imagine living elsewhere. But I've also only lived here for 3 and a half years. The charm of living here still far outweighs the inconveniences I experience on a daily basis. The career opportunities, the architecture, the ability to get drunk and take a train home instead of figuring out a safe form of transportation still excites me. I love spending my weekends going for a walks through the park and surrounding neighborhoods, stopping for a drink or snack along the way.
But let's be realistic: living in New York is hella expensive. And its exhausting! If Greg and I realistically want to have kids at someone point (which, please stop asking me when I'm going to have kids people. I am a person with interests outside of my uterus -- but that's a post for another day) we most likely can't sustain our current life. We can't continue to leave the house at 7am and return at 8 or 9pm from our work day. No daycare will keep a kid for that long, nor would we want them to. Plus kids shit and puke all the damn time and there is no way we want to drop off clothing at the laundromat every other day because we don't have a washer in the building. I carry my groceries home a mile most of the time because our closest grocery store is Kosher, meaning its expensive and closed Friday evenings and Saturdays. And yes, there are three Targets within our borough, but attempting what's considered a simple errand in suburbia turns into a 5 hour activity thanks to the never ending traffic and limited parking options. I know people have kids in the city and I know they make it work, but for us and our lifestyle, we recognize that it's most likely not something we want to bank on.
So the question then becomes, "where do we go?" That in and of itself is a tough question to answer. Neither one of us is committed to living where we grew up and our list of want's doesn't always overlap completely. I want to find a town that I can go a whole weekend without getting in a car (i.e. live near a main street with shops and restaurants), whereas Greg wants to be close to the beach or huge park. Greg craves space and storage while I'm fine with a smaller home and yard. I dream of living close to a Trader Joe's, while Greg could go his whole life without ever stepping foot in another TJ so long as he lives. Where we do agree is value (home prices, salary, etc), proximity to a beach or mountains, diversity, kid friendly activities (i.e. museums, science centers, library, etc.), respectable school district, access to an international airport; you know, responsible and boring adult things.
I recently inspired by an article I read in AirBnB Magazine about "speed dating America." Essentially this couple made it their mission to explore cities in the U.S. to find the best fit for them. And it got me thinking about where we may possibly end up. When we went to Denver a couple years ago, we fell in love with Boulder, CO. When we visited Minneapolis this summer, I found myself really drawn to the state of Minnesota. And while we never prioritized living near family, Plymouth, MA is a super nice town that we both love. And yes, we recognize the downside to each of these locations. While Denver is a booming economy for both our industries, its become very expensive and the commute between Boulder and Denver is not ideal. While Minnesota contains 7 major fortune 500 companies (Target included!), its fucking FREEZING in the winter. Plymouth has history and charm but New England housing is expensive and we'd most likely still be looking at hour or more long commutes to find work in Boston.
We have no intention of moving from New York anytime soon. We don't plan on having kids in the next few years and we still very much enjoy our life here. But that doesn't mean we're not exploring other cities (or towns) during these upcoming years as options for our next home. Louisville was great! Despite the lack of beaches or mountains in close range, we both loved how affordable the city and surrounding towns were. Plus all the amazing restaurants, boutique stores and coffee shops made us feel like we wouldn't get bored.
Tell me, how'd you decide where you settled down? What was important for you and your family?
And in case you're interested, our short list right now includes:
1. Plymouth, MA
2. Minneapolis, MN
3. Louisville, KY
4. Boulder/Denver, CO
5. New Orleans, LA
6. Salem, MA
7. Charlottesville, VA
8. Munich, Germany
9. London, England