On Tuesday I posted that I was considering moving, and the response was beyond overwhelming. I was in San Juan for the day with very limited internet access, and once I actually got online there were nearly 200 comments. This is incredibly touching, so thanks to all of you that showed such interest and provided such great suggestions. The Deal Mommy even wrote a post entitled “There will never be another 22 (or 32, or 42)! A response to @OneMileAtATime, and a challenge for you!”
I was planning on responding to each of the 200+ comments individually, but after getting started I kind of realized my comments function isn’t all that practically designed for responses to 200+ comments, so instead I’ll address them here.
I’ve read each comment several times and will focus on responding here to the ones that ask questions and that I can add value to. Though of course all comments are much appreciated and will be considered.
Are you sure NY is out? For a ‘creature of habit’ moving to a place with close relatives nearby is much and much easier than going to live somewhere all on your own. Additionally, it’s easier for your parents, they’ll only have to fly to one city to visit their children.
Something else to consider would be moving to a new city / country every 4 months or so. EG NYC in the summer, then Berlin/Munich, then Singapore/Bangkok/Bali, etc .
I’m not ruling New York out long term, though short term it’s not the first place I’d like to move. New York is a bit too hectic for me at this point, and a bit too expensive as well. Eventually I’d consider living there, but not at this point. And I’d also eventually consider moving around permanently (like you say, three places a year), but I’d first like to see how it is being away from family “full time,” while still being only a domestic flight away.
My parents actually eventually want to retire in Germany, so if they do I’d consider living over there at least part time.
Why not Miami? Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and South Beach all offer lively areas for the young, are much nicer than Tampa, have convenient access to a major airline hub, and warm weather. Plus, you’d only be a few hours away from your parents by car – let alone flight.
Interesting. I don’t know why, but Miami has never been on my list. As much as it’s an interesting place, I’m looking to move somewhere else to get a complete change of scenery, even if it’s only for a year. I don’t really know anyone in Miami and I don’t think it’s enough of a change of scenery to warrant the move… at this point. If nothing else I love mountains, and that’s one reason I want to get the heck out of Florida.
Have you considered living outside the US? Books like The Four Hour Workweek and sites like http://www.sovereignman.com extol the virtues of living in other countries where the dollar goes much further than it goes here (especially in Southern CA).
I agree with others, you’re young, you’re primary source of income is from online marketing, you can live and work anywhere there’s an Internet connection! I would *love* to be in that situation!
Definitely something I’d consider a year or more down the road. But at this point not something I’m quite ready for yet, especially since I want to be sure my parents survive without me. 😉
Los Angeles – great starting point for Mileage Runs, Mistake Fares, best AA hub 5 hours to the east coast, 5 hours to hawaii, 8 hours to asia!
You know, being close to places isn’t really a selling point. 😉
Only eight hours to Asia? That doesn’t sound like a lot of miles! 😀
Kirby A writes:
Another vote for LA, and not at all because I live there. I’m a young person, and yes it is expensive, but I live on a student’s budget and I still manage to get out and do fun things all the time. Traffic isn’t really an issue if you’re a savvy driver (which I have no doubt you’d be) and it’s a beautiful place to live. I recommend it.
You should consider Santa Barbara. Great climate, they have an airport, and it’s gorgeous there. Close to everything CA has to offer. University towns tend to have a great age mix for long term livability.
Are there any places your folks enjoy visiting in the states that might make the transition easier for all of you? Will give them a great reason to visit and you’ll enjoy your time together much more.
You will get closer to your parents as they age, so don’t overlook that. They are not on the planet that long..
Seattle area is nice when the weather cooperates if you can adjust to it. If you enjoy cloudy gloomy rainy days, coming from FL I would think you wouldn’t like such depressing weather.
I’ve traveled a lot over the years. Still love coming back to CA to live. It has great variety from mountains, ocean, city life, nature and variety of climates that make it a great place to live. There is a price for everyone. Don’t let that scare you away.
I’m sure they’d like visiting me wherever I am, though the problem is that they own a couple of small businesses that require them to be there just about every day. That’s not to say they couldn’t visit, though it’s definitely a lot tougher for them than others. I’m sure they’d enjoy anywhere on the west coast.
I also live in Tampa and honestly, I have mixed feelings about it. I met a lot of great people from my gym (you live in N Tampa right? You know crossfit sparta? It’s on the corner of Bearss and Nebraska – lots of USF students/grads there) and so it’s been fun but I certainly travel a lot (from normal people standard, not flyertalk/blogger standard). The thing about Tampa before I started traveling was that it sucks. Even other parts in Tampa like Hyde Park, downtown, etc are ok at best. I live in Harbour Island and I can’t wait to get the hell out of there.
But… it’s close to St Pete/Clearwater – it’s not unreasonable to make a last minute trip (driving *gasp*) to Miami. The winters are mild. So I guess in a way, I’m starting to like Tampa for what it offers considering I get to get away from it almost anytime I want to.
Definitely true, and I’m often too quick to dismiss St. Pete and Clearwater. The thing is I’m not a huge beach person, so the area probably doesn’t offer as much to me as it would to others. My mom tries to convince me to go to the beach just about every weekend, and I say no every time. If I go to the beach for a day I look like a lobster.
I’m with @DealMommy. You have no commitments, I assume your parents are still relatively young and healthy (that is, they’re probably my age) and you have a completely geography-free career. In fact, your career almost requires you to spend half your time in hotels anyway.
So why not become a hobo for year or two? Use your parents address as your home address and rent apartments by the month in whatever city you’re interested in (or whichever one presents the best mileage running opportunities in a given season).
You could spend a month in Rome, followed by a month in Bangkok, then Lisbon, then Miami, then Munich. Go to the temperate cities in the summer and in the winter retreat to Mexico or even Melbourne, Sydney, Buenos Aires, or Brazil.
I’m assuming that a peripatetic existence appeals to you since you pretty much live one anyway. Why not make it official and become Lucky, No Fixed Address?
This is interesting. As much as I like being on the road, the thought of being “homeless” is still pretty scary. The destination and journey is more fun if you have a home to return to, even if it’s not much. So in that case I’d probably still keep my apartment (which isn’t all that expensive), since at a certain point I’d probably go crazy being in a different bed every night. But I like this idea…
“I don’t like cities where it snows for months at a time, so I’ve eliminated the Northeast. I don’t like the middle of the country because it’s not ideal for travel. And that leaves the west coast.”
I can’t find Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte in you map.
This is what’s kind of funny, because I think half of the moving “game” is mental. I had never really considered anything within a two hour flight of Tampa, not because I don’t think they’re interesting places, but because subconsciously they don’t seem “different” or far enough away to warrant a move. Though maybe I should consider them.
Hey Ben- I would agree with Stuart and consider the Bay Area, you’ve got two International airports, great climate,and loads of smart young adults out and about. The cost of living is ridic, but given your travel sked you could rent a decent room and not feel claustrophobic, tough but worth it IMHO. Your independent lifestyle would fit in well in these parts and I’m sure you’d meet lots of like-minded peers to hang with and get inspired by. Would be happy to talk more if interested!
As much as I like the Bay Area, it’s never a place I’ve considered living, perhaps for all the wrong reasons. Guess I should reconsider…
Jason H writes:
Well.. you’ve already eliminated a few major cities with a fun vibe as “fly over country” so I guess suggesting the Denver/Boulder area would be moot.
Have you considered a US Territory? Perhaps the US Virgin Islands?
The major issues with the USVI is that flights are really expensive, so it wouldn’t support my travel obsession very well. Sometime (way) down the road, definitely something I’d consider, though.
I won’t suggest where you should move to (or not) but I do have a piece of advice: ask your landlord to switch to a month to month lease, and offer to give 60-90 days notice if you ever move out. If you’ve been a good tenant, they probably don’t want to lose you, and having 60-90 days notice is enough time to find someone. Month-to-month lets you mull this life changing decision over a bit, rather than trying to figure it all out in a week.
My apartment complex is run by a national management company, so they’re pretty inflexible. I have to give 60 days notice and they have a month-by-month plan, though it increases the rent by about 40%.
Have you ever considered D.C.?
I can’t say it’s somewhere I’ve ever wanted to live, though maybe it’s time to take another look.
Why don’t you use all those airline miles and hotel pts of yours and move around to a different place every couple weeks for a year? You could try ~25 different places, both in the USA and internationally. If you really like a certain place, stay there longer, get an apartment for a month, etc. If I had your job and nothing holding me back, I would love to do something like that. You could even go to Hawaii and stretch your hotel pts twice as far by getting a room every odd night and then every even night you can sleep in the hammocks outside on the grounds.
Hah! As crazy as it sounds, I just might…
If I could live anywhere, it’d be London. But I haven’t been to New Zealand yet, so what do I know?
Where *you* should live-well, that’s another question. One only you can answer.
So here’s some questions you can ask yourself to help determine what’s best for you:
1. Flip a coin. Stop. Don’t look at the answer. Which choice are you kind of hoping comes up?
2. Look back from your deathbed. Imagine you’re 80 or 90 or 135,but you know, kind of sick of the whole living thing. From this position, which choice would you regret, or regret more?
3. Fear vs. Love. A bit theoretical, but in general, chose love over fear. This can be kind of tricky,though; we almost all have some both fears and desire involved in everything. But where you would live if you knew six months from now, the weather was nice, you could easily afford everything you needed, your social life was fantastic, your relationship with your parents was great, etc.
4. Say yes. This is an impromtu “rule,” but it can be a powerful one. But frankly I was a little hesistant to say it to you, because you have so many adventures and experiences outside of Tampa. Only you can decide if you should choose it in this situation.
So those are totally shamelessly stolen from an article Martha Beck wrote a long time ago, and I couldn’t give you the source of the top of my head. And one of those decision-making exercises might not even be from that article. But I digress.
One other thing to remember is that almost all decisions are reversible. And these two choices clearly are. You could spend a month or a year in Seattle, or Portland, or LA, or all three, and Tampa will still be there. Likewise, those places on the West Coast aren’t going anywhere.
As of now this almost exactly sums up my thought process.
So I am guessing I can’t talk you into Chicago?
I don’t think I’d survive the winters…
How are you going to execute this move in the next month? Don’t you have travel booked for the next 330 days? It seems like you’d need to decide TODAY that you are going to move to X in Sept 2013, and start setting up your travel plans from there.
Surprisingly enough I’ve more or less kept my schedule open as of now. I actually have two months to make the move, though, as I just have to provide notice of whether I’m leaving this week, and then have till November to actually move.
I am really curious now…sorry for my indiscretion but…Is your income entirely derived from your blog and/or travel consultancy?
If so, congrats! That’s amazing to enjoy the freedom to live anywhere.
Regarding your move, I think you should give more thoughts to NYC. We had 1 day of Snow total in Winter 2011-2012, so far from “months”! And the weather is pretty good otherwise, lots of sun. In terms of culture, it’s like living abroad, with so many folks. I am foreign but feel at home in NYC. For travel, obv three large airports. And finally for traffic…well it doesn’t matter, no real New Yorkers owns a cab. So you can save that gas and insurance and parking, and use subway/trains/buses to your travel adventures?
To answer your first question, yes. And as far as giving up a car goes, while the savings are substantial, I wish I would have thought about that before signing a three year lease just a few months ago…
Lucky, that first pic of yours is from India… how about actually living in India and giving that a try?
I loved India. It may just have been my favorite place I’ve ever been. But I’m not quite ready to move there. Definitely want to visit again soon!
How about a new poll question to see what your readers recommend?
Almost tempted to put this entirely in you guys’ hands, though I have a feeling I might end up regretting that. 😀
What kind of nightlife do you like?
Sleeping in my W bed. Yeah, I’m that exciting.
Have you considered Guam?
I’ve never been, so can’t say I have. And don’t think it’s an especially economical place from which to travel.
Then I guess Port Richey would out of the question? They have a Hooters there, though.
To sum it all up, here’s what I’ve am leaning towards and learned:
- Portland is out of the picture… for now.
- Seattle is a bit cheaper than California, has beautiful mountains, and the weather sucks most of the year though is amazing part of the year.
- In California I should really consider San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and everything inbetween. That’ll only make things tougher!
But here’s what it really comes down to for me — I need to get the west coast “out of my system.” I’ve lived on the east coast my whole life and have always been interested in living on the west coast. I don’t know if it’s better than the east coast or not, but I feel like I’ll be wondering until I actually try living there. If I move anywhere else and don’t love it I’ll be kicking myself and saying I should have moved to the west coast. If I move to the west coast and don’t like it I’ll leave after a year and say “wow, I’m happy I can mark that off my list.” So I feel like it’s one of the few places I can move with no regrets, because it’s a place I’ve always wanted to try living… if that makes any sense.
Thanks again SO much to everyone for their help. Of course I continue to welcome suggestions, and will be sure to keep you guys posted. I need to inform my apartment complex this week that I’m moving out, and I’ve decided to go through with that. That leaves me about ~60 days to finalize my move.