Why I’m moving to Austin

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austin  028I moved to Austin, Texas this weekend.

If you had asked me a couple years if I would ever move to Texas I would have laughed at you. Laughed in your face. It probably would have been rude, actually, but I mean…. C’mon. Texas???

And then I made friends with Sean Platt.

Let’s back up …  

Last year at this time my life started falling apart, so in order to feel like I had some kind of control I started grasping for a plan. Any plan. What could I do to take control back of my life?    

I could move. I could give myself a true fresh start in some place else entirely.

I love L.A. I really do. But I was tired of it. Too expensive. Too much traffic. Too many bad memories.

I didn’t have any reason to stay in Los Angeles, and plenty of reasons to move somewhere else. Anywhere else. So I started from scratch …. What are my priorities? What do I want in a city? What do I not want?

A partial list …

  • I want to live somewhere that I already know people
  • I want to live somewhere I can afford to buy a house within the next couple years, that I can afford to not have to get a full-time day job and that will allow me to be able to save money or spend it on travel
  • I don’t want to have to drive in the snow
  • I’d prefer to live somewhere liberal and creative if possible

 There’s more. And nowhere is perfect, really. If I had more of a regular income right now this would be a totally different decision. 

The primary factor came down to where I know people. I mean, to be honest, because of the miracle of the internet I have friends everywhere. All over the country, for sure, and if I were to go to Germany or Australia I could scrounge up a couple coffee dates too.

But the only places I know more than 1 or 2 people are Los Angeles (which we’ve already eliminated), Phoenix (where Andrew and I got married and lived several years. It would not really be starting over), Couer d’Alene, Idaho (but the only people I know there is Andrew’s extended family. Also, snow) …. Portland and Austin.

Which narrows my choices down to Portland, OR and Austin, TX …

austin  047

Portland is gorgeous and amazing, and I do know about 3 people there.

But in Austin’s favor ….

… The cost of living is slightly lower than Portland. Which leaves me more a buffer to build up my freelance income, will let me buy a house sooner and travel more.

… I have a lot of friends there. A lot. And a couple more planning to move in the next few months. I already have a monthly dinner date with several friends, 2 of them went and looked at apartments for me.

… Because the company I work for is more or less headquartered in Austin, I would be traveling there every 6 months (at least) anyway. This company has big big plans for the next few years, so if I stay with them it will make more and more sense for me to be living in that city.

The dinner table photo above is of a bunch of writer friends I saw when I was in Austin last September. These are the people I’ll be seeing regularly now.

I’m not saying I’m married to Austin (in fact, I’ve been fantasizing about living in Washington DC if I could afford it). I could totally see myself living in Rome for 3 months or renting a cabin near Yellowstone for a summer. But right now, this is the best option for me.

I am so excited to be starting over here!

Have you ever been to Austin? What did you think?

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  • Kristin | My Life as a Teacup February 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm edit

    I am SO excited for you and have kind of been geeking out over your move updates on IG, etc. It sounds like you’re going to LOVE it there! I’ve never been to Austin myself (my trip last summer got cancelled; but that means I’ve got a ticket to Austin to use this summer!)

    Reply
  • Amy T Schubert February 6, 2016 at 6:42 am edit

    Thanks, love :) This definitely feels like a totally different life and moving was a really good decision for me.

    Come visit any time :) xo

    Reply
  • Whitney February 4, 2016 at 6:53 am edit

    I hope you love Austin! It’s such a fun city. I’m in Dallas but have a lot of family down there and we go all the time. My grandparents live in Georgetown- you should definitely explore some of the smaller towns in the hill country. Most of them have sweet town squares and good things to eat!

    Reply
  • Amy T Schubert February 6, 2016 at 6:43 am edit

    Thanks, Whitney! I want to explore ALL of it :)

    Reply
  • Charlotte Steggz February 7, 2016 at 8:48 am edit

    That’s so cool! It really looks like such a cool place.
    There’s an Austin Podcast called Breakfast for Dinner, which I highly recommend. Nicole (Writes Like a Girl) is so lovely and seems to know all the best creative people there.

    Reply
  • Misti February 26, 2016 at 8:51 am edit

    Oh wow, welcome to my city! Austin is pretty great and cost of living relatively inexpensive…but those cocktail prices can sneak up on ya, for sure….in any case, welcome and get ready for summer!

    Reply
  • Mercedes Conner March 9, 2016 at 4:35 am edit

    You have your reasons… I personally like Austin and I had an amazing time as a tourist. I believe that every place has its beauties and living in a different place will always bring you some good experience and knowledge about yourself and the place you are living at. I wish you all the best and if you someday feel that you want to move again, may be to Washington DC, don’t hesitate. Live is full with amazing things to discover! :)

    Reply
  • Tiana December 30, 2016 at 11:27 am edit Reply
8 comments

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