Double or Nothing: Our Move to Philly
If there’s one thing I’ve done consistently throughout life, it would be moving. During my 25 years, I’ve relocated 17 times. That’s 17 opportunities to try something new. 17 opportunities to roll the dice and see what hand I’m dealt. What could be more exciting – and terrifying – than that?
When we decided to pick up and leave Nashville after only one year, we knew we had to take a risk. Nashville had been the safe choice for us – Jack had been offered a job with a Fortune 50 company nearly nine months before graduation. It was hard to say no to the promise of a sure thing and the opportunity to relocate. With little hesitation, we ultimately decided to accept the offer and take the leap. If anything, at least we were trying something new.
Though living in Nashville had its highs, it was also a place where we experienced excruciating lows. Jack’s job was incredibly taxing, both physically and emotionally, and we experienced incredible loss after the death of a loved one back home in Norfolk. Instead of feeling the thrilling excitement of being in a new city and chasing opportunities to meet new people, we found ourselves feeling isolated and in the throes of a suffocating depression.
It took some time and a lot of thought to decide what our next move would be. We wanted an urban city with plenty of job opportunities in our fields (editorial for me, marketing for Jack), and a ton of cultural things for us to enjoy (art and food, YES PLEASE!). We also wanted to be within a six-hour driving distance to our hometown. With our criteria set, we began to search for our next destination.
New York City was the obvious first choice, but after some research, we realized that the cost of living was way higher than we were willing to sacrifice. We toyed with the idea of heading out west, but that completely missed our six-hour distance mark. So we started researching major cities close to Norfolk. Washington, D.C. was out simply because it was too familiar – we had been taking trips there since we were kids, and we were ultimately searching for something brand new. Familiar just wasn’t going to fly.
That’s when Philadelphia flew onto our radar. We had taken a spur of the moment trip to Philly a few years back and had absolutely loved it – hands down one of the best trips we had ever taken together. We researched the job market and were stoked to see tons of openings in our fields. We would be about a two-hour train ride from NYC and could definitely explore connections and opportunities there for down the road. Philly’s cost of living is so much more affordable, too. We could actually have enough income to pay rent and still have spending money for a social life. It was a no-brainer – Philadelphia was our city.
We saved enough money to get us by for a few months while we searched for jobs and went on our way. We found a reasonably priced apartment between the neighborhoods of Germantown and Mount Airy and got right to setting it up. It has definitely been one of the most thoughtfully decorated places we’ve ever lived. Though it’s not finished by a long shot, I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and can’t wait to keep adding our personal touches.
While we planned many details of our move to Philly ahead of time, we ultimately decided to take a major risk when it came to our employment statuses. I can’t say that it’s not a little bit scary waking up every day knowing there is a countdown to when we’ll run out of money. But when it comes down to it, the thought of staying in the same place we were six months ago scared me even more. I’m grateful we had the means to make this move and even more grateful we have the tact and tenacity to hustle our asses off and make ends meet until we find steady jobs.
When it comes to life and risks, sometimes it feels easier to lean towards the “safe” choice. But sometimes, it’s just as important to make the decisions that terrify you. Moving is an experience that is both exciting and frightening all at once, but it’s never one that I’ve regretted. Whether you experience trial and error or success and triumph, all are opportunities for growth, connections, and new beginnings. It’s safe to say that no matter what happens, that’s a risk I’m willing to gamble on.