When you moved to New York City, you were SO excited to live in the city that never sleeps. But it’s been several years now, and you’re scared to admit it to your friends, but you kind of want to take a nap. Are you finally ready to leave New York?
Here are some factors to consider when deciding if it's time to make a move:
We can’t say it often enough, New York is an expensive city to live in. If you're tired of struggling to make ends meet, it may be time to consider moving to a more affordable city.
New York is a fast-paced city, where (see above) it can cost a lot of money to have fun. If you're looking for a more relaxed or cost-conscious lifestyle, you might feel more comfortable in a smaller city or town.
Job opportunities that compensate appropriately in proportion to cost of living are limited in New York, and unfortunately some employers in industries like the arts have the attitude that you should be grateful to be there no matter the salary. If you’re not happy with the opportunities you’ve found here, it may be worth researching areas with jobs and industries that are more suitable to you.
It can be tough to make new friends as an adult — if you're feeling isolated or lonely in New York, consider the approach of moving to an area where you already have close friends or family nearby.
It’s really hot in the summer. It’s very cold in the winter. Pollution is a big problem all year round. If the environmental factors of life in New York are impacting your health, there’s a chance those factors could be improved by moving elsewhere.
How to prepare to leave New York City
If you're seriously considering leaving New York, there are a few things you can do to proactively prepare in case you decide to take the leap. These include:
Start saving money
Moving can be expensive, so it's important to start saving money as soon as possible.
Network with people in other cities
This can help you get a feel for different cities and make connections before you move.
Research different cities
Read articles, watch videos, and talk to people who live in cities where you think you might like to live. Reflect how they do and don’t line up with the ideal factors you’d like to have at your next home.
Visit your top choices
Don’t decide on a place to move based on research alone - make sure you feel positively about actually being there in person, which can give you a subjective feeling that may not have been captured in your research.
When NOT to leave NYC
There are two major situations where we do NOT advise moving from New York, or at least delaying your decision temporarily. Make sure to think about whether these factors are influencing you when considering your move:
Going through a major life change
We get it, there can be a strong urge to burn your whole life down right after you transition, or get a divorce, or experiencing the death of someone you love. However, moving adds more stress onto an already stressful period, especially if you have a support system in New York and you’re looking to move to a place where you don’t have one.
Trying to run away from yourself
There are concrete factors that moving to a new city can achieve — more activities that you enjoy, better housing, your dream job. On the other hand, moving CAN’T address those subtler challenges that you may have avoided tackling — like feeling insecure while dating, struggling with intense moods, or not having a good sense of who you are. New York can be a tough place to live, but it’s not the source of all of your problems. Consider whether the source of your urge to move is something that will actually still be a challenge somewhere else.
All in all, moving to a new city can be a big decision, but it can also be an exciting adventure. If you're feeling unhappy in New York, it’s okay to think through the possibility of moving to a city that's a better fit for you. Therapy can help you weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your final decision. We’re ready to help — click the button below to schedule a free phone consultation.