I remember exactly what I was doing when I decided to move across the country…again. I woke up at 6:20 am on March 20th: the first day of spring. I was so excited because the winter, this year, was particularly cold. I got cleaned up, kissed my cat, grabbed my coffee and purse, and left for another day of work at URBN. I made it one step out of our front door and fell into 8 inches of packed in snow. It was spring, and I couldn’t go anywhere because the sky opened up and buried the city in snow. After five years of this, I decided I had enough. I walked back inside to immediately start complaining to my boyfriend. “Austin, why are we still here? I’m practically done with school and it’s FREEZING! We’re from Las Vegas. What are we thinking?!” Neither one of us were fans of Philadelphia’s frigidity, and growing up, we thought 6oº F was chilly.
That morning, we put our heads together and got to Googling. We needed a new home that was warm, had plenty of greenery, a bustling creative industry, decent property prices for our future…the list went on. Austin, TX fit all of the items on our wishlist. We seemed satisfied and scared. Moving across the country for school was really hard in 2014. We left our family, friends, and most of our belongings behind. Was this really something we wanted to do again? Our roommate, Jon, burst through the front door. He was soaked from the snow. His car got stuck as he was driving to school and he looked miserable. After cluing him in on our plan, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation. We were ALL moving. It was going to be arduous and painful at first, but we couldn’t survive another snowy winter.
For months we pinched pennies and made a cohesive plan. We were all applying for work constantly, and I switched the rest of my schooling online to finish my master’s degree on-the-go. In July, we were packed up and the boys took off in the U-Haul. I stayed behind with the cat to finish some accounting and marketing homework. She and I would be flying into the city in a couple of days to meet up with our little family.
Leaving Philadelphia felt weird. There was so much I didn’t like, but there were some things I’d severely miss. Autumn was always beautiful, and driving next to the Schuylkill River on Martin Luther King Blvd. always felt so peaceful. I’d sit with my kitty in the yard and write essays while she chased birds and squierrls. This was the first real home Austin and I built together. Leaving was bittersweet, but I was amped for our new adventure.
After my kitty and I got off the plane, Jon picked us up at the airport. Looking out the window, this new city immediately felt like home. It was as though the best parts of Philadelphia combined with my childhood home. It was nearly 100º F and I was beaming from ear to ear. Adjusting won’t be easy — there’s a lot left that we have to do. We have to find work, explore, find a staple Chinese food restaurant… We have each other though, and we’ll make this place our new home. If anything, we won’t be shoveling snow any time soon. That, I can promise.