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Leaving North Carolina 15 months later
Lessons learned from an out-of-state move
Like the thousands of New Yorkers before me, I headed south to North Carolina by car in October, 2011 with all my belongings.
I left NY after my father had passed away that year and wanted to leave to escape the sadness as well as start a new life in a warmer climate where economically things were better. North Carolina was touted by many to offer a better quality of life which it does in many ways. Unfortunately, 15 months later I had to move back to NY.
Like my favorite football team the Cleveland Browns, I drove often to the red zone and came away without scoring a touchdown. Or in other words, without a decent paying job. This despite a lot of effort and money spent resulting in frustration. I came close more than once finishing as a finalist, but all to no avail.
Instead, I had to resort to working two low-paying, humbling stop-gap jobs and crammed in freelance copywriting work at times. Still, doing all that 7-days a week was not enough. In January of 2013 when my best chance to land a job as a Marketing Manager in Durham was put on pause for 6 months, I said enough!
Thankfully I landed a decent paying job in NY a few weeks later resulting in a February 1st start date. I then proceeded to leave NC pronto. With limited space in my car, I sold my large furniture at a big discount. Lesson to share; when you make an out of state move without a good paying job or sufficient income, buy just the basics cheaply via Craigslist, garage/yard sales or possibly rent. Buy only new if the prices are low enough. A mattress is the exception, only new will do.
I will miss North Carolina's greenery, peacefulness as well as my friend from High School who lives in Raleigh and his sister's family who all treated me like family. I'll miss a few new friends I made, the friendly employees of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, the new roads, the warmer weather, the good housing deals in NC. However, I won't miss being called a Yankee nor waiting until 11:22pm for the evening number to be drawn.
The first week back in NY, I feasted on pizza and bagels. I was feeling good despite packing on a few pounds. It felt great to be around my long-time friends and remaining family. Two weeks after arriving back, New York's winter reality hit hard; a record-breaking 30" of snow fell upon the North shore of Long Island. The big plus in North Carolina is weather-wise is; it hardly ever snows. In the 15 months I was there it never snowed. Only on a handful of mornings I had to scrap ice off my car windows. Otherwise, you'll enjoy warm and mild weather most of the year and won't have to deal with the worries of hitting a huge pothole like you would in NY on the LIE or BQE.
As they say, home is truly where your heart is. I'm happy to be back where I'm from despite the occasional winter weather challenges and the related cost of home heating oil. I still enjoy spending a few days each month in Manhattan. That's where I feel most alive. There's simply no place like NYC. It's almost like I never left, but I did for 15 months.