When life is going well, it does not seem reasonable to leave your comfort zone, especially when there are people that depend on you. My family consists of my wife, two kids, and me. So, why move?
I was a Senior Mobile developer for a company in downtown LA. I would take the train to go to work and back home, life was sweet and work was going great. Honestly, I never thought I would leave the West coast until, one random day, a recruiter contacted me for an opportunity in Buffalo, NY. Yeah, you know who you are and I just want to say, THANK YOU 😊.
In my case, it turns out that there were many reasons why I would consider moving outside of my current area but did not notice them until I got the call that changed my life. Having a well-established routine in life can work wonders, but also make you lose sight of opportunities.
Bye-bye CA, Hello NY.
As you may guess, we ended up taking the opportunity and moved to Buffalo NY. Here are some of the biggest changes that happened for us:
- Commute: From 3 - 4 hours a day 🥴, to 50 min a day. Yes, even in snow days 🥳.
- Weather: Is for sure colder than LA but we loved to see the trees changing colors and we all had a great time playing in the snow.
- Slowly but surely becoming a Buffalo Bills fan.
- Buffalo wings and pizza lover.
- I am bald now 🤣.
Where to start?
The following are subjects/questions that helped us make the decision and the lessons this move had taught us.
What do I know about the new place?
I knew pretty much nothing about Buffalo and as soon as I started researching the place, I found many lovely surprises.
- Really close to Canada. I can go to another country in less than 1 hour, have fun and be back before dinner!!!.
- Green, green and more green everywhere.
- In the forums it seemed that people love to support the community, schools and local businesses and were super fans of the Buffalo Bills. Now, I know how true this is. I can not find a way to describe it but I assure you, it is awesome and you need to live it to understand it.
- Lakes everywhere.
- Best wings.
- Great schools.
- Weather: all seasons.
Cost of living comparison. Math time!!
Make a list with the expenses you have, rent/mortgage, food, bills, school, hobbies, etc. so you have a rough idea of how much difference is going to be in the new place. You will have the information necessary to make sure that your new salary will cover your expenses and reduce/increase your initial excitement, especially, if the new salary feels higher/lower than your current one.
Make sure you take a look at pictures and blogs that showcase the good and bad aspects of the new place and take it with a grain of salt. We are all different and for some people, a colder or hotter weather seems the worst change possible.
Jobs around the area.
You should have a plan B in case things do not work as expected. Hopefully, this won’t be the case but better to be prepared. To lower the risk of this happening, make sure you ask all the questions you can on the job interview, like:
- Time off / Sick time
- Moving expenses
- Life work balance.
- Try to meet at least 2 members of your team on a social setting.
We decided to move most of our stuff across the country and it was not a nice experience 🥲. In short, try to avoid working with Brokers that just arrange the transportation and instead, look for companies that will manage the entire process from beginning to end. Otherwise, you will end up in a horrible telephone game. In our case, our stuff arrived one and half months later than the promised date 😭. Depending on your case, there may be other considerations to make like:
- How long until your current lease ends?
- If you own a house; rent or sell?
- Already have big vacation plans?
- Selling your Car.
- Moving expenses.
- Contract vs fulltime?
This is a funny one. After we moved, I realized that my bank does not have any branches in Buffalo. For some of you, this may seem common knowledge but for me, it was a big surprise. The closest branch was hours away. Not a big blocker but good to know, especially if you need or use cash in your day to day.
Other topics are:
- Do you know anyone that lives in the new place?
- Can you find the same or similar ingredients you use to cook in your day to day meals?
- Moving to the city or suburbs?
- Plan in advance so you can sell as many things as possible before your move. You will be surprised at how much money you can get from Garage sales.
- This may not apply to you but if you have family in other countries this change can also impact how much it will cost to visit them.
At the end, what matters is that you feel comfortable with your decision and embrace the adventure!!!.
“¡Eso es to… eso es to… eso es todo amigos!”
“Th-Th-The, Th-Th-The, Th-Th… That’s all, folks!”