I’ve gotten mixed reactions as I tell people in my life that I’m moving to Austin. Some have said that it’s great I’m experiencing new things while I’m young and that they know I’ll succeed. Others are in disbelief. I get “you know it’s going to be really hot in Texas.. right?” a lot. I also get, “you’re walking away from your job in this economy? Are you crazy??” Then there are the people who write me off as someone who will fail and move back to NY in few months time. Of course the people who think these things never actually say them to your face, do they?
Here’s a little back story on the move:
I’ve thought about living in Austin since I was a junior in college. I was considering applying to grad schools for advertising design and researched universities across the country offering this program. I eventually came across UT Austin as an option and found myself drawn to this up-and-coming city. I loved that Austin seemed to fuse together the creative industry with technology and business. I loved that there were outdoor activities I could take advantage of year-round. I loved the live music options and the city’s focus on entrepreneurship. I eventually decided that grad school wouldn’t be the right choice for my career, but my interest in Austin as a city raged on. The only thing that stopped me from figuring out a way to move to Austin right after graduation was fear.
At that point in my life I had just started a great relationship, I couldn’t imagine living that far away from my parents, and I even convinced myself that I would miss winter living in a warmer climate. Let me tell you, I will miss many things about New York, but driving to work in the snow is not one of them. I talked myself out of making the leap and chose the more practical route of staying near my college and searching for a job. While it was certainly the safer choice, I don’t regret this decision at all. My job has given me great experience, I’ve been able to save money by living in more affordable city, and I’ve had some great times with the friends I’ve made here.
This past winter I was forced to reevaluate my living situation as I planned ahead for my lease ending in June. Could I do another year in Rochester? I love this city, but I knew deep down that two years was enough. I was serious about wanting to explore other parts of the country in my 20’s and this time I knew I would do everything in my power to make Austin happen. So, I began to prepare for the move.
I had begun teaching piano lessons as a second job the previous summer and every cent that I made teaching was saved for Austin. I also put aside a certain amount of my work paycheck into savings every week and lived the rest of my life frugally. I rarely shopped for anything other than food and necessities, ate out sparingly at affordable restaurants, and started selling off some belongings.
Moving across country without a job in place is risky, I’m not denying it. In a month I’ll be packing whatever parts of my life that can fit into my Hyundai Elantra and driving away from everything I know. There’s a very real possibility that it could take me a few months (hopefully not more) to find employment, but I’ve worked extremely hard to prepare myself financially for this move. I’m confident that I will be able to sustain myself in Austin until I land a job.
I’m not going to go into every detail of the move in this post, but I do plan to cover the topic in the next month or so because it’s consuming my entire life right now. This move as a whole is extremely out of character for me. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I’m a calculated planner through and through. This move is the riskiest thing I’ve ever done, but I finally feel prepared to start this new chapter of my post grad life.
Have you ever considered moving across country? Have you gone through with it? I’d love any insight on your moving process, thoughts, or hesitations in making the leap.