Austin: Pros and Cons

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?

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47 responses to “Austin: Pros and Cons

  1. courtneyryan369

    The odd part is, I’ve been considering making the move from NY to TX too…(Of course Boston and Seattle are in the mix too.)

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  2. courtneyryan369

    The odd part is, I’ve been considering making the move from NY to TX too…(Of course Boston and Seattle are in the mix too.)

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  3. You will make the decision that is best for you. It sounds like you are really excited about the possibility of moving back to TX. =)

  4. You will make the decision that is best for you. It sounds like you are really excited about the possibility of moving back to TX. =)

  5. I just blogged about this today! Sounds like Austin is a perfect choice for you and I’m still looking.

  6. I just blogged about this today! Sounds like Austin is a perfect choice for you and I’m still looking.

  7. I’d say Austin! I wish I could move to TX… maybe in a few years.

  8. I’d say Austin! I wish I could move to TX… maybe in a few years.

  9. I’ve never been to Austin, but I’ve heard is it a very cool city. If not there, maybe another city in Texas that is close, but not so close that you’d feel suffocated?

  10. I’ve never been to Austin, but I’ve heard is it a very cool city. If not there, maybe another city in Texas that is close, but not so close that you’d feel suffocated?

  11. With regards to the family thing if you set expectations up front with them, that might help so you don’t feel bad for not seeing them. Example: I live in the same town as my family and we do family dinner every other Sunday guaranteed. This takes the pressure off.

    They have learned that if I have extra time and want to see them, I’ll call them. And vice versa.

    So maybe that could be a tactic to take?

    Is there anywhere else in Texas you’d like to move that’s relatively close to Austin so you can get the best of both worlds somehow?

  12. With regards to the family thing if you set expectations up front with them, that might help so you don’t feel bad for not seeing them. Example: I live in the same town as my family and we do family dinner every other Sunday guaranteed. This takes the pressure off.

    They have learned that if I have extra time and want to see them, I’ll call them. And vice versa.

    So maybe that could be a tactic to take?

    Is there anywhere else in Texas you’d like to move that’s relatively close to Austin so you can get the best of both worlds somehow?

  13. i heard the same thing about the rising employment rate in Austin and other Texas cities.

    It sounds like it would be a good move. go with your gut.

  14. i heard the same thing about the rising employment rate in Austin and other Texas cities.

    It sounds like it would be a good move. go with your gut.

  15. Sounds like Austin is the right place for you right now. I understand what you mean about family but it’s all about setting boundaries. Yes it will be really hard at first, but once you guys get into habit things will be fine.

  16. Sounds like Austin is the right place for you right now. I understand what you mean about family but it’s all about setting boundaries. Yes it will be really hard at first, but once you guys get into habit things will be fine.

  17. Ashley, it sounds like there are a lot of wonderful things awaiting you in Austin and I think you should go for it!

    I think it’s great that you were able to experience NYC for awhile, but if you can’t see yourself being happy here then I don’t think it would make sense to stay.

    I really like your approach to weighing the negatives vs. positives. The reality is that anywhere you go will have some negatives, so I think you’ll have to decide how important to positives are and whether or now you will be able to deal with the negatives.

  18. Ashley, it sounds like there are a lot of wonderful things awaiting you in Austin and I think you should go for it!

    I think it’s great that you were able to experience NYC for awhile, but if you can’t see yourself being happy here then I don’t think it would make sense to stay.

    I really like your approach to weighing the negatives vs. positives. The reality is that anywhere you go will have some negatives, so I think you’ll have to decide how important to positives are and whether or now you will be able to deal with the negatives.

  19. This strikes me as a very well-thought-out list!

    Traffic and summers, eh, you’ll acclimate. And as much as your family may get on your nerves, I think it’d be worth it to be closer. There’s something really exciting about doing something totally new and far away and independent … but family’s family. You’ve only got this one shot, this one life, and being close to the people you love is (at least to me) a major priority. It totally tears me up every time I sign a new lease here, as I often wish I was at least closer.

    Even though it will be familiar, you’ll have your own experiences, and it’ll still be new. I’m so excited for you! What an awesome time in your life : )

  20. This strikes me as a very well-thought-out list!

    Traffic and summers, eh, you’ll acclimate. And as much as your family may get on your nerves, I think it’d be worth it to be closer. There’s something really exciting about doing something totally new and far away and independent … but family’s family. You’ve only got this one shot, this one life, and being close to the people you love is (at least to me) a major priority. It totally tears me up every time I sign a new lease here, as I often wish I was at least closer.

    Even though it will be familiar, you’ll have your own experiences, and it’ll still be new. I’m so excited for you! What an awesome time in your life : )

  21. So exciting. Sometimes I wish I could pick it up and go to a new city.

    Some time in the last few months I read in one of those top 10 lists that Austin was such a great city. Nightlife, entertainment, etc. It seemed like a pretty cool place. I’ve never been to Texas, but it made me want to visit one day!

  22. So exciting. Sometimes I wish I could pick it up and go to a new city.

    Some time in the last few months I read in one of those top 10 lists that Austin was such a great city. Nightlife, entertainment, etc. It seemed like a pretty cool place. I’ve never been to Texas, but it made me want to visit one day!

  23. i have heard so many great things about austin and have always wanted to visit. if i ever go i will definitely be letting you know, haha. in the meanwhile i vote on austin for ya 🙂

  24. i have heard so many great things about austin and have always wanted to visit. if i ever go i will definitely be letting you know, haha. in the meanwhile i vote on austin for ya 🙂

  25. Gwen B. (aka skinny bitch)

    you are over thinking this way too much. I don’t see any reason for you to stay in NYC career and money wise. You shouldn’t even be having a hard time choosing. I know sometimes it can be hard to give up something you love, but what you will get back instead is way worth it. Don’t you think. And you need to stop stressing about your family stressing you out. You are already trying to make it hard on yourself.

  26. Gwen B. (aka skinny bitch)

    you are over thinking this way too much. I don’t see any reason for you to stay in NYC career and money wise. You shouldn’t even be having a hard time choosing. I know sometimes it can be hard to give up something you love, but what you will get back instead is way worth it. Don’t you think. And you need to stop stressing about your family stressing you out. You are already trying to make it hard on yourself.

  27. it sure sounds like you have already made your decision!!!!!!!!!!

  28. it sure sounds like you have already made your decision!!!!!!!!!!

  29. insomniaclolita

    If moving there makes you happy and you know it, I think it’ll be a great decision 🙂

  30. insomniaclolita

    If moving there makes you happy and you know it, I think it’ll be a great decision 🙂

  31. Running In Stilettos

    Move to Texas, for the love of God! If I can’t live in my home state, I want to read (and envy) my fellow bloggers lucky enough to breathe the Texas air each and every morning!

    Ugghhh…why can everyone else move there and I can’t?

    Boooo Marine Corps life 🙂

  32. Running In Stilettos

    Move to Texas, for the love of God! If I can’t live in my home state, I want to read (and envy) my fellow bloggers lucky enough to breathe the Texas air each and every morning!

    Ugghhh…why can everyone else move there and I can’t?

    Boooo Marine Corps life 🙂

  33. i’d much rather live in texas than new york. that’s not even a question. i’m hoping to move out to california, colorado, arizona, or new mexico eventually for the open space. for the stars and the air and and the horizon. i say go for it.

  34. i’d much rather live in texas than new york. that’s not even a question. i’m hoping to move out to california, colorado, arizona, or new mexico eventually for the open space. for the stars and the air and and the horizon. i say go for it.

  35. erin - heart in ireland

    Good luck making your decision, it seems like Austin would be a great place to live!

  36. erin - heart in ireland

    Good luck making your decision, it seems like Austin would be a great place to live!

  37. I hear fantastic things about Austin and have considered moving there myself (I still might). It sounds great!

  38. I hear fantastic things about Austin and have considered moving there myself (I still might). It sounds great!

  39. I love making pros and cons lists. They help you get all of your thoughts out in front of you instead of floating around in your head so you can focus better. It seems to me like Austin has a lot of positives!

  40. I love making pros and cons lists. They help you get all of your thoughts out in front of you instead of floating around in your head so you can focus better. It seems to me like Austin has a lot of positives!

  41. About three years ago, I was in the same boat as you. I was torn between staying in London or moving back to Athens.

    The family thing, was right at the top of my list too. I hadn’t lived close to them in over 6 years and I relationships were just starting to get better. I attributed this to the distance.

    But now, looking back, it wasn’t the distance at all that was improving our relationship. It was the changes that I was going through as I was getting older that did it.

    Its been hard being back here with them. But my therapist and I have been working relentlessly to find a way for me to be with them on my terms.

    And now? Its not a bed of roses, but I don’t stress about it anymore. I don’t get involved in arguments (I’ve always been the moderator) and I’ve set up certain boundaries that they have learned not to cross.

    If you ever need someone to talk to about this? I’m here.

  42. About three years ago, I was in the same boat as you. I was torn between staying in London or moving back to Athens.

    The family thing, was right at the top of my list too. I hadn’t lived close to them in over 6 years and I relationships were just starting to get better. I attributed this to the distance.

    But now, looking back, it wasn’t the distance at all that was improving our relationship. It was the changes that I was going through as I was getting older that did it.

    Its been hard being back here with them. But my therapist and I have been working relentlessly to find a way for me to be with them on my terms.

    And now? Its not a bed of roses, but I don’t stress about it anymore. I don’t get involved in arguments (I’ve always been the moderator) and I’ve set up certain boundaries that they have learned not to cross.

    If you ever need someone to talk to about this? I’m here.

  43. A pro/con list is the best way to make an informed decision. And I think you’ve done a great job. Maybe you should try Austin for six months and see how it goes? Having family close though is a big plus.

  44. A pro/con list is the best way to make an informed decision. And I think you’ve done a great job. Maybe you should try Austin for six months and see how it goes? Having family close though is a big plus.

  45. Margaritas for $2.50? Oh, honey. DUH.

    I only live 30 minutes from my parents and the only time I see them a ton is when there’s a holiday. Otherwise, I blame my work schedule or gas prices for not seeing them all the time. And I think that after awhile, you get used to living that close and don’t feel obligated or pressured. Worked for me :o)

  46. Margaritas for $2.50? Oh, honey. DUH.

    I only live 30 minutes from my parents and the only time I see them a ton is when there’s a holiday. Otherwise, I blame my work schedule or gas prices for not seeing them all the time. And I think that after awhile, you get used to living that close and don’t feel obligated or pressured. Worked for me :o)

  47. Ashley,
    There is a huge amount of real estate between NY and TX. Why not split the difference and move to Chicago?

    It’s a great city with super public transportation, you can work on an advanced degree at any number of nearby universities if that interests you.

    There’s more culture, and good Mexican food, in Chicago. And the people are really great. Warm. Unlike NY. I live here, and it could be worse, but Chicago does have warmer personalities.

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