I’ve been thinking about this moving back to Texas thing a lot more. I had a long conversation with my therapist yesterday about my post-graduation plans and she suggested that I choose the place where I think I will have the best quality of life. It seems so obvious, right? So I decided I will make a list of each location I am considering and compare them. I’m not sure if I will post each list, but for today I will start with Texas, specifically Austin, because that is my top choice.
Factors to consider which will affect my quality of life:
Family: My mom and sister live in Austin. My grandfather and my cousins also live within a 3 hour drive. I would love to be close to my family and be able to see them whenever I want without it costing $300 for a plane ticket and day worth of travel time. The flip side to this is that I will see my family a lot more which will most likely create more stress.
Friends: My two best friends live in Austin. We are serious life-long friends (they were both at my first birthday party) so it would be amazing to live in the same city again. We could do happy hours, dinners, and slumber parties together. I also have friends from high school and college who live in the area so that would be an added bonus.
Jobs: I don’t have a job yet, but from what I can tell, there are many more opportunities in Austin than in NYC. And according to my friend the job opportunities in Austin are supposed to grow 3% in 2009 unlike the rest of the country where the numbers are decreasing.
Transportation: This could go either way. I often complain about having to take public transportation and how much of a pain it is, but if I had to drive to work everyday and get stuck in traffic I know I would hate that too. But, I do miss driving and living in Austin would mean lots of driving. This would also involve buying my own car which is kind of exciting.
The weather: I enjoy the weather in Austin. The winters are mild/non-existent, and spring and fall are perfect. Summers are scorching hot, but I will be driving (not walking like in NYC) and there is air conditioning every where. Plus, pools and lakes are a no-brainer.
Food and Drinks: I really miss good Mexican food. Austin has some amazing restaurants and they are super cheap compared to everything in the northeast. Also, drinks are much cheaper in Texas. I can go to happy hour and get a margarita for $2.50. In NYC you can’t find one for less than $8.00, if you are lucky.
Apartments: The apartments in Austin are one of the main reasons I want to move there. They are much larger and much cheaper than NYC. For a comparison, right now I live in Harlem and pay around $800 a month for a bedroom that is 7 x 9 and share my apartment with two roommates. In Austin I could pay the same rent and get my own one-bedroom apartment that is almost 1000 square feet. I think the choice is obvious here.
Entertainment: Of course I would be able to find entertainment in any city, but I already know most of the fun places in Austin. There are lakes for swimming and tubing, the bars downtown, good restaurants, live music, etc. Austin is a fun place.
There are tons of positives to living in Austin, but I don’t want to idealize the situation, so let’s talk about the negatives too.
Being too close to my family will stress me out. I know this. I will feel guilty if I don’t see them as much as they would like. I will get caught in the middle of arguments. It might strain our relationship… this is one of the reasons I moved so far away in the first place.
I really don’t like Texas summers. They are too hot for me and I much prefer the cold to the hot. But then again, last summer in NYC was miserable because there wasn’t enough air conditioning.
And the traffic. I hate Austin traffic. Self explanatory.
I’m thinking for the looks of this list that Austin is still my number one choice. There are many more positives than negatives. Now, who wants to give me a job so I can move there?