As probably nobody but me remembers, I posted a thread once about wanting to get off the merry-go-round of my job. As much as I like my job and my life, the hours at work are wearing. But the paycheck is nice, and if I take more time for myself, I need to find a job that pays less. That’s all fine, and we’re working on that, even though it will mean making serious adjustments in my lifestyle (such as it is).
But visiting a friend in Austin last week reminded me how much I like that city. And I discovered how much less expensive it is – a comparable house there costs one fifth of my house here. So what if I moved?
My family’s all here, but it’s less than a three hour flight to get home. I’ll miss my friends, too, but I have friends in Austin. I’m single and unlikely to meet any potential Mr. Campions out here, for a variety of reasons (including my work hours).
And that’s part of the problem and why I’m considering moving. As a singleton, if anything happens to my job, I don’t have any safety net other than myself. If I moved to Austin, however, I could maintain my standard of living with a lower salary. Housing prices are much lower, there’s no state income tax, sales tax is the same or lower, and property taxes are about twice what they are here but on property that costs a fifth of what it costs here. So, financially, there’s no reason not to go. And the benefits to my personal life could be incredible.
I realize that this is just a pipe dream right now, but, man, is it tempting. What if I just moved to Austin? Maybe that’s the way to get off the merry-go-round.
I looked at the Texas bar (I’m a lawyer) and I can waive in, which means I won’t need to take another bar exam (yay!). Although, frankly, the application process itself is pretty extensive – they want my job history, residence history, criminal history, mental health/substance abuse history, etc. Good heavens! Fortunately, the first two are relatively short/stable and the second two are non-existent (she says, finishing her second beer of the night).
Which leads me to this: the best part is that I’d be only an hour and a half away from heaven. Otherwise known as Shiner, Texas, home of the best beer in the universe. Misnomer, I’ll pop a beer for you. I should say, though, that while you’re welcome as a roommate, at those housing prices ($150K for a three bedroom house!), you could probably get your own house. Or three.
roger, mi spare bedroom es su spare bedroom, as they say. Austin is a fine leg to a TX-TN-OK tour (perhaps even the finest leg).
Bo and Brynda, I’ve done the moving halfway across the country on whim thing twice (three times?) before, and while it has its rewards, oy, is it tiring. Plus I’m allegedly a grown-up now – I always figured that by the time I hit my mid-thirties I’d be settled, not still searching for my life.
I understand… I’m pushing 40 atm… and recently decided to go back to college. With a new major. And might move in a couple of years if in doing so I could take advantage of a program at a new university. But hey, that’s me. Remember my mottos: Don’t take chances, take risks. Fuck 'em if they can’t take a joke. I’ll be mellow when I’m dead. Always… no, wait, never… no that’s not it. Gimme a second, lemme think… I know there’s more… something about Slack… crap, I can’t remember that whole speech Mickey Rourke gave in Spun either, but it was pretty good.
Campers, you sound suspiciously like Cow from Cow ‘n’ Chicken. Is that what you watch to detox after all that nasty legal nitpicking?
Oh, that’s nothing. Wait till you hit mid-40s. And talking of ageing gracefully, your kind offer, Pinkers, is also noted. Now to persuade the wife and daughter that America knocks spots off Australia or Mauritius.
Yeah, but that’s different. No, you’re right; I just never thought this is where I’d be at my age (but I play the really awful “when mom was my age” and “when dad was my age” game, and boy do I look like a slacker compared to them).
Good point. Single? Check. Healthy? Check. Hmmmm. . .
See, that’s another thing. My ability to watch drek on TV is quite limited. And I don’t have TiVo, so if I miss a show, it’s gone. I realize that if I do quit my job and move to Austin, when I give notice, I shouldn’t tell my boss it’s “so I can watch more TV,” but let’s be honest. Gene Simmons’ Rock School? Lost? Unknown cartoons I’ve never heard of and had to google? All of these could be mine. If I were an Austinite.
Austin is supposed to be one of the coolest cities in the U.S., with live music all over the place at dozens of bars and clubs, every night of the week. There is a burgeoning arts and film scene there as well, good restaurants, and generally a young, hip, educated populace. I hear it is like nowhere else in Texas (as far as the things that make it special and cool), and one of the best “college towns” anywhere. I’ve always wanted to go there myself, Campion. It sounds like you could make a great success of things there, although I’m sure you would do that anywhere you found yourself.
You will have to coordinate with roger, but mi spare bedroom es su spare bedroom, Lou. It’s a fun city, and honestly, I know I wouldn’t take near enough advantage of everything it has to offer, but for now I’m gonna keep dreaming about it.
My company has an office in Colorado Springs: I’ve never been to Colorado, but the idea of that state has always appealed to me. I’ve gone so far as to mention to one of the company founders that if the COS office is ever able to support a full-time tech writer, I’d move out there in a heartbeat. Of course, I’ve also volunteered to open our NYC office (even though there are no plans for an NYC office).
The hardest part for me, though – which you seem to have partly covered – would be the friends thing. I don’t know anyone in Colorado, but my two best friends live here and I can’t imagine how much I’d miss them and their little boy. I’m almost 34, and at this age it is very difficult to make new friends; everyone else already has their families and lives and circles of friends. I’ve lived in Virginia for 7 years and still don’t have as many friends as I’d like … it’s hard to imagine starting all over again somewhere even farther from home.
Still, if the opportunity to head out west ever seriously arises, I know I will give it some heavy consideration!