I’ve moved six times in seven years. That’s not a fun way to live.
But by far the most challenging move what the one I made from Los Angeles to Boston just about a year and a half ago. There are several obvious reasons for that.
1) Distance — Pull out your nearest map. Now draw your finger from LA to Boston. That’s 3,000 miles. Well, I should be accurate. I went over to Google Maps and looked up the driving distance. 2,997 miles. Not counting rest stops and fast food runs. Great. Here are some directions for those of you interested in driving. (I flew.)
2) Convenience — Look around you. See that lovely desk you’ve had since grade school? That nice office chair? Not coming with you. What about your wonderful mattress, or the towels you love, or that easy chair, that giant beanbag, the posters and pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the snow globes, that Nerf hoop or that great shoe holder? Also staying. If you decide to fly here, which I strongly encourage, you may be able to take two suitcases worth of stuff with you. Be thrifty. Remember, you need clothes. You can always buy stuff here in Boston.
3) Sun — There is more of it in California. Don’t be fooled: the weather here in Boston isn’t always as bad as people think it is. Look, I love the sun and the beach, but there is something to be said for cold weather. First of all, it makes hot chocolate way more effective. It’s also fun to see your own breath. Snow is pretty for at least three hours. Rain is good for the Earth and stuff. Cold weather makes football more awesome. Who doesn’t enjoy a good pair of mittens? But there are times when I really miss wearing sandals and shorts every day — in December.
4) New City, New Culture — People here are different from the ones back home. They’re more up-front, and it can come off as brash. But they’re honest, mostly polite and won’t bite you if you ask for directions. The streets here are laid out like they were planned by a mouse with its tail on fire. Intersections can be very dangerous, so make sure you are always being cautious. Find the nearest grocery store (that was a challenge). Everyone jaywalks, and no one seems to mind, but that doesn’t mean it is a smart thing to do.
5) Friends and family — You may not be able to go home for Thanksgiving, and Christmas might also be a problem. Remember, you will be a long way from home and your usual crowd. But this can be a big positive as well. Meet friends and make new connections. It’s a great chance to experience something completely different and see what the other side of the country has to offer. Boston is a wonderful city and you should take advantage of that.
Trust me. The move may be difficult, but once you get here and settle down, you’re going to love it here. Most people do. There’s so much to see and do here and most of it is a short train ride away. Take the leap.
Just remember those bag fees.