Smaller city tradeoffs
The pace of living in a smaller city hasn’t been so hard to get used to. People are down-to-earth and easy to connect with. There’s a lot of outdoor space, and except for some boiling-hot summer days, it’s mostly good weather.
It took me some time to get used to Sacramento’s delayed public transportation system. We have only one car, so I usually ride my bike and take Uber. The cultural amenities are sometimes lacking: there’s not much of an art scene and there aren’t many museums to visit. Eventually, I’d like to see more activity in the city’s parks, which I think would foster a better sense of community. When you live in a big city, those kinds of things are easier to come by.
Wages in Sacramento are lower than in San Francisco, but because most things are more affordable, it seems to level out. However, it’s nearly impossible to own a home on your own in San Francisco because of the cost. Moving to Sacramento has made it more affordable for me to buy a house and have space for my dog to play, which is really important at this stage of my life.
The pros-and-cons list paid off
I’m the type of person who says, “I’m going to do these things in five years, these in 10 years,” and I list the pros, cons, and tradeoffs I’ll have to make to reach those goals. So on the brink of relocating, I’d say, think about what you want to be doing in five years, 10 years. Will this new place let you achieve those goals? Do a pros-and-cons list of a place for things like its cost of living, career opportunities, home affordability, etc. For example, a new place may take you longer to move up your career ladder, but it could be more affordable than a place with high-profile jobs.
What’s worth more to you? It’s valuable to have that plan for yourself before you leave your current place behind so you’re not just in the woods when you move someplace new.