Why I’m Relocating Across The Country And Why You Should, Too (Maybe)

If you took a look at my last five years, you might guess that moving is one of my favorite and least favorite things to do:

  • At 18, I opted to apply for music programs exclusively in California and Chicago, both of which are quite far from my hometown of Syracuse, a small city in Central New York.
  • At 19, I moved from the gross, thin-walled dorms on campus into a house with a bunch of friends in which I was a terrible roommate (I am now apologetic about this fact) and we drank entirely too many Mickey’s forties.
  • At 20, I moved into a lovely apartment with my close friend.
  • At 21, my close friend allowed her married 34-year-old deadbeat boyfriend to move in with mooch off of us while abandoning his poor wife… for 3 months. I wound up moving in with some lovely ladies from Craigslist who were all my age, plus the greatest little chihuahua, and had a lovely time.
  • At 22, I moved back east to Syracuse to save money.
  • And now, 6 months later, at 23, I am moving back to the West Coast and relocating to Portland, OR.


I, a young woman who does not particularly like hippies and PBR and the feeling of used books on my fingers, am moving to the highly satirized (and highly fantastic) city of Portland. A big portion of this decision is my desire to own chickens — which apparently a ton of people do in Portland, even if they live in the city itself. I also prefer small cities to large ones, as I find them (A) cleaner (B) kinder and (C) cheaper. Since I typically don’t even get dressed for work, let alone actually go to an office (well, besides last week!), I was able to make the decision and buy my plane ticket on a bit of a whim.

Now, despite recent personal stories, I actually do very little things “on a whim.” I don’t vacation spontaneously; I don’t randomly quit my job; I rarely even stay out late if that wasn’t my original plan. And I most certainly don’t suddenly decide to move back across the country when I had spent hundreds of hours just six months ago packing up, donating and generally ridding myself of all of my accumulated belongings.

But, lo and behold, here I am: Seeking New Beginnings Sam. Because apparently, I am living in a 90s comedic drama.

Share This Post:
    • CMJ

      I’ve done this twice and it’s challenging but ultimately rewarding. Break a Leg…err, good luck! (My theatre nerd is showing)

      • Samantha_Escobar

        I agree; it’s definitely been helpful both times and I’m glad I did so…but hopefully the third time is the charm, too. :) Thank you!

    • Amanda Chatel

      That’s Ms. Chatel, Sammie.

    • jamiepeck

      I have often thought about picking up and moving somewhere else…my dude and I lived in Berlin for a month this past summer and loved it there…but I am simply too in love with my group of friends here to even consider a long term move at this point. I think we are on the verge of starting a cult together.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        I have never been to another country besides the US and Canada, so I would now like to believe that in every other country, there are just 20-somethings starting cults together.

        Also, I think I have been to Bed Stuy once to look at an apartment. It was the only one that had a price like $200 under my actual budget, my goodness.

    • Nikola

      I started planning a move to Portland earlier this year, but I chickened out :(

    • Ms. Pants

      Working on building up my bank account so I can do this very thing. But I’m moving the other direction. My soul is in New York City and I need to be reunited with it more than a few times a year, tops.

    • LS

      As a native Portlander, I fully endorse this decision! You will L-O-V-E it! And I am sure, Portland will love you back

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Thank you! I am so afraid of Portland folk not liking me, but then I always meet people from Portland and they seem so damn friendly. :)

    • Judith

      Wow, I’m from the Syracuse area as well, and am currently trying to do the same(ish) thing. Granted, Vermont is much closer than Oregon, but it’s still a scary thought! After moving home after college in Plattsburgh, NY this past summer, I find myself needing to be closer to that type of environment again. It’s pretty boring around here for a 23 year old. Luckily, I have a group of friends who will (hopefully) be doing this with me, so that takes a lot of stress out of the situation. I also suck at saving money, and planning things, so we will see how it goes. Good luck with your move!

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Hey, snazzy! Congratulations on doing the move. :) It does get boring around here, guh…but my god, the amount of snow today will absolutely make it even more dull and inaccessible. :(

    • MR

      Dinosaur Bar-B-Que – Pork Ribs. :) Good fortune to you. I once landed in Portland, Oregon on my way to re-see the Redwoods and came back East through San Francisco. More of my one-way air bootleg travel. Just rented a car at its airport and headed right out.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Oh my GOODNESS, yes. Best restaurant in Syracuse, besides Strong Hearts (irony). Yay!

      • MR

        I was only there once in ’06. I was setting up a volunteer feed from here to there on a political campaign. We were on the defensive there, but pulled everyone out to go on the offensive down in Westchester shortly after. The victory in Westchester was to change the whole political direction of the state. And I left rhetorical reform behind over 2 years ago to join the elements of true reform since then. Also on your small city preference I agree wholeheartedly. My brownstone is the size of my parents and cost a tenth as much – and it is still a very expensive house Upstate. Meanwhile, my work is a nerve center and very intense, so it’s nice to leave work and enjoy the calmness of small city life outside work’s doors. Plus all the open space in any direction from my downtown, I like the outdoors. Lastly, my use of Portland’s airport as a springboard to the Redwoods was less than 3 years ago – and I still think it very weird karma that of all places to re-start you’d choose there. :)

    • anya

      It’s definetly fun! I don’t think it’s that scary, my first big move alone was from the Southern U.S. to Europe when I was 17

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Whoa. Now that is a big move!

    • http://twitter.com/commenceauthor Edie

      I’ve lived in Portland for almost five years now, and love it more than any place I’ve ever lived before. We are a city of artists, writers, lovers, eaters, hedonistic and skeptical owners of dogs, chicken, and maybe a kid (not I, said the duck). We live with roommates in weirdly spaced massive houses with couches on porches, and never EVER use an umbrella. Brunch is the most important meal of the day, and you had better like your beer hoppy.

      Drop a line, I’ll be a new friend! We don’t even need to connect on OkCupid for it.

    • Christina

      Oh gag. Good luck with your depression in the nine months of dreary, overcast skies.