Daily Prompt: What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?
It’s interesting that this question was posed today, as the answer has actually been on my mind since yesterday when a college acquaintance announced via Facebook that he and his family are relocating from a major Midwestern city to small-town Charlottesville, Virginia, where we attended college a decade ago. When questioned as to what prompted such a life-changing decision, his response really struck a chord: “Mostly quality of life considerations around short commutes, good schools, low cost of living, and warmer weather. It was an easy decision once [my wife] and I decided we would rather maximize time with [our baby daughter] than maximize our income.”
For the very same reasons as stated so eloquently above, I, too, hope one day to pack up my family and head for greener pastures — that is to say, outside of New York.
First, let me make one thing clear: you won’t currently find my house listed on any local real estate web sites. My husband and I have cobbled together a good life for ourselves on Long Island and are not at the point where we’re ready to ride off into the sunset. Our families are here, most of our closest friends are here, and we’re both employed in our chosen fields by well-established companies nearby (mine a whopping four miles from my house, making for an amazing daily commute).
But being fortunate enough to have lived in a different state for several of my most formative years, I — unlike many people who were born and raised anywhere within the New York metropolitan area — am of the firm belief that there is life outside of New York. Life with significantly lower housing costs and property taxes, significantly fewer traffic jams, significantly more open space, and significantly better weather.
I’ve also outgrown my love for New York City, which used to be my go-to explanation as to why Long Island was so great — it offered both accessibility to the city and an escape from it. While I’ll still hop a train into the city once in awhile to meet up with a friend or take in a show, my westward trips have dwindled over the past several years as I’ve come more and more to loathe the traffic, the crowds, and the incredible expense of doing pretty much anything in Manhattan. What this means is that I now inhabit the overpopulated, overpriced suburb of a city I don’t care all that much about.
So, if it some point the stars align and the right situation presents itself, I would be open to stepping firmly outside of my comfort zone and relocating to a different state with a slower pace of life. My husband and I have already had conversations about this and are on the same page, so it’s mostly a matter of seeing how life plays out in the coming years.
In the meantime, I’m trying to kick the habit of watching House Hunters on HGTV and seething with jealousy over what $250,000 will get you outside of New York…