Would welcome thoughts/suggestions!
I've been feeling stagnant after living in a small college town for several years and am considering moving to a bigger city, but change is HARD. Current cons:
I would miss a lot about my current town and Colorado!
If I wind up not quickly finding a community or the new place doesn't live up to expectations in some way, I will probably feel really isolated and awful for a while. Maybe I should wait to move for a more concrete reason, like a job.
I'm a little worried about a friend.
Yeah, fine, change is hard, but this kind is about exercising agency and is usually good for people. I've been thinking about this for so long and am already dealing with the slow bleed of stagnation, so I should probably just get over it, right???
Places I'm thinking about:
SF and NY are maybe at the top of my list in terms of cool stuff and interesting, energetic, intellectual communities I'd probably like, but share the same problem of being enormously expensive--I haven't yet done a deep dive to even figure out if I could afford it.
DC is similar in being expensive but with cool stuff and communities; advantages are being close to family and I could probably live with a friend. The disadvantage is that it's effectively just moving back home, which isn't exactly what I'm looking for right at this moment.
Chicago, Philly, and Boston are lower down on my list but the cost of living in any is probably more affordable than SF/NY/DC? When it comes to visiting friends/family elsewhere, Chicago is roughly equidistant between the coasts and Philly is roughly equidistant between NY and DC.
Would recommend what @JamesGrugett and @Marsteralex did: spend 2-4 weeks in one of your top candidate cities to get a feel for what living there would be like!
Cheering for SF, of course; Rachel and I are out honeymooning Jun 24 - Jul 2, so you're welcome to take our room during that time~
As a native coloradan who no longer lives there due to pursuing education and then a job in the southeast, I would recommend mixing it up! As someone who loves colorado and always will, I think that in some ways it can be a suffocating due to how expensive it is and how it lacks a diverse range of people. Now I know this is dependent on where you live and whats important to you, but I think that any of the options you mentioned would be strong choices. I have the mentality that if I feel like I have stopped growing in a place, then it’s time to leave because I don’t want to become stagnant or regret staying in one place forever. Life is about experiences so you should try something new if it is speaking to you!
But again, do what’s right for you. I wish you the best with this decision!
Depending on how much space you need you can probably live frugally in most cities, including SF and NYC. Just don’t own a car and cook your own meals most of the time. Only you know if you need personal space. You can get your own room but would have to share everything else.
There are lots of great cities, almost any over 1M will have interesting things to do. What about Denver?
I <3 SF and have lived here 30 years so I am biased. If I was just doing it from a small town I would probably go for NYC. It’s harder there though.
“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft”
How’s it going? Got a date or season yet?
Go for it! Change is good.
Re: SF or New York or DC: I'd ask around and cram into a small place with housemates. Meeting interesting people is probably the most important thing. Living conditions don't matter so much. Also, saving money is not that important yet.
I'd steer clear of a non-top-tier city.
@JamesGrugett def agree in principle, no qualms about packing in!
but i do wonder if i'm underrating the other cities. Chicago and Philly are BIG--surely a lot of people really value living there. it seems like it might be easier to hear interesting things about a city with a single huge field dominating the landscape, like tech in SF or policy in DC?