Growing up on Long Island, I never really considered leaving New York. I went to college here, and aside for my one year abroad living in Oxford, I had never lived anywhere else. New York was my home, after all, and even though it was a bubble, I didn’t recognize it as such until I left. The whole point of New York, I thought, was that it’s not homogeneous. You can have varied experienced, meet varied people, and just live different lives in a shared space. But moving back to NYC is a choice that I’m actively making now after several years of travel. There’s a downside to New York that had never occurred to me until I left.
New York is expensive, man! Sure, it’s not San Francisco, but it’s close. The cost of living is pretty high, and my last brief foray in NYC ended in a move back to Long Island shortly after. Part of this was due to depression, but a lot of it was due to money. I just didn’t have it, and I didn’t have any job prospects that would allow me to live there in a sustainable way. Between security guard work at the Met and what little money I was making from freelancing as a recent college graduate, I wasn’t exactly able to live any sort of lifestyle that I could now. But now, moving back to NYC is different. The city won’t swallow me up or leave me adrift. When I move back, I’ll have a fiance, a great remote job, abundant freelance work and creative projects to work on. But more importantly, I’ll have a life I enjoy living.
Last time I had an apartment for more than a month it was in Granada Spain, and it ended up costing me around $300 a month. An apartment obviously costs quite a bit more in NYC. But there’s also a lot of benefits to being there. My entire network of friends and family live around NYC, for one. But I’ll also be able to take advantage of living there.
Last time I lived in NYC, I bunked in a Krash house, a defunct ‘co living’ startup that I thought would help me network and find some interesting work. But it turned out, without much post-college experience, I was just another kid who might as well have been going to his internship every day. I didn’t have much to contribute to the environment, and I didn’t get much out the limited networking opportunities I was capable of exploring. As such, my move to NYC was largely a failure, and I left shortly after back to Long Island for another year. Then, I got more into traveling with my girlfriend, until we were both able to work remotely enough so that we could start doing it full-time.
Moving back to NYC is not exactly a budget-friendly choice, but it’s the best choice I think we can make right now. There’s no better place for two individuals with a lot of free time, a lot of ambition and some excess income. There will be a ton for us to do and explore, and we can travel regularly and keep ourselves from stagnating. There my be cheaper places, but I can’t myself anywhere else right now. That’s not to say that that won’t change — it always does. But if we’re going to be in one spot for a while, moving back to NYC seems like the way to do it.