Travel or Live in the Big City?
Depending on your background, big cities are either a sparkle in your eye or a sight you prefer in the rear view mirror. Some cities have reputations for being beautiful places to visit, but not as impressive to live in full time. Other cities sweep visitors off their feet in a romantic fashion that begins plans to relocate there as soon as possible.
The big question for big cities is whether to travel or live within its borders. There are undoubtedly many things to consider when you decide to make any city your new home or a travel destination. Here are four items you must consider before making a final decision.
Cost of Living
Even though the United States is one country, it doesn’t mean everything costs the same from one city to the next. There is often a difference in the cost of living that should be considered. For example, how affordable is it to live in Chicago rather than visit for a week? It’s doable to budget and save for a week-trip somewhere, but it’s another ballgame to afford daily living depending on your salary.
If the cost of living is within reach for you, the next item to research is whether it’s better to rent or buy. Let’s pretend you’ve chosen Indianapolis as your future home. The Indianapolis real estate market, is presently in favor of buyers over renters, so it would be wiser to spend your dollar buying a home rather than renting one.
For those with an established career, you should search for available job opportunities in your industry. Most cities have strong sectors that can make it harder for people to relocate if their career falls outside them.
Here are a couple of examples. San Francisco, CA and the Silicon Valley are hubs for technological innovation, but an aerospace engineer may be more successful relocating to St. Louis, MO where there is a Boeing plant.
Starting over might be your motive for relocating so doing research on the popular industries and applying for jobs with a salary that is similar to your current one is wise before you pack up and move.
Unless you work 24/7/365, you probably have some free time and specific interests you enjoy. Are these available in your city? For baseball fans, quite a few metro areas offer multiple teams nearby, but if you enjoy going to professional football games, you’ll have to drive quite far if you’re living in Portland, OR.
The number of museums and other attractions can be part of your ultimate decision. If you enjoy going to art museums, it’s important to consider how often you’ll go to them when you have a “normal” routine rather than making a special trip with the specific goal to visit them.
“This weather is so amazing!” It might be the first time you visit a city because you planned it that way. The New England area has lovely temperatures in the spring and summer, but it gets below freezing and experiences several feet of snow during the winter. Phoenix, AZ has fantastic winters that only require a sweater some days, but summer days will see triple-digit temperatures for weeks at a time.
Research the area’s annual average weather to make sure it’s something you can live with. If a season or weather phenomenon is too extreme for you, that’s a sign it might be a place to travel to rather than live.