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Old 03-05-2011, 12:00 PM
 
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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I graduated college last year and my husband graduates this year with a degree in Advertising. I'm a web and print graphic designer at a company here in Amarillo, TX but I'm originally from northern New Mexico near the Rockies and my husband is from West Virginia. He works part time at the same design company I do as an Account Manager while going to school.

We are dying out here in Texas. The strict conservative life in the Bible Belt and the lack of any diversity in culture or activities is just not working. I do enjoy the warm weather during the spring and summer, but it's not even that hot all the time. We definitely have bone chilling winters with the dry air and high winds from the lack of trees but without much snow. And we have dust storm warnings and it always smells like poop. Ha ha! We are both serious sports nuts and LOVE the outdoors.

I needed to get away so bad a couple of years ago that we found a summer camp in Maine and drove across the country to work there for the entire summer. Boston was a one of the cities on our list to stop and visit and we loved it. But I'm just worried that I only got the tourist viewpoint and not the resident.

We do need to find jobs there first before relocating. Is the Design and Creative Community good? Would it be really difficult to become a part of it since we don't really know anyone there yet?

Also, we're a young married couple that likes to have fun and have a lot of friends. Would it be really difficult to find a social scene for us?

I'm not too concerned about the cost of living. I know it's much higher, but that's not really a factor in the move. Pretty much what will make or break it is the job opportunities and fitting in socially.

Let me know what you think. Any info helps. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,530,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter10 View Post
I graduated college last year and my husband graduates this year with a degree in Advertising. I'm a web and print graphic designer at a company here in Amarillo, TX but I'm originally from northern New Mexico near the Rockies and my husband is from West Virginia. He works part time at the same design company I do as an Account Manager while going to school.

We are dying out here in Texas. The strict conservative life in the Bible Belt and the lack of any diversity in culture or activities is just not working. I do enjoy the warm weather during the spring and summer, but it's not even that hot all the time. We definitely have bone chilling winters with the dry air and high winds from the lack of trees but without much snow. And we have dust storm warnings and it always smells like poop. Ha ha! We are both serious sports nuts and LOVE the outdoors.

I needed to get away so bad a couple of years ago that we found a summer camp in Maine and drove across the country to work there for the entire summer. Boston was a one of the cities on our list to stop and visit and we loved it. But I'm just worried that I only got the tourist viewpoint and not the resident.

We do need to find jobs there first before relocating. Is the Design and Creative Community good? Would it be really difficult to become a part of it since we don't really know anyone there yet?

Also, we're a young married couple that likes to have fun and have a lot of friends. Would it be really difficult to find a social scene for us?

I'm not too concerned about the cost of living. I know it's much higher, but that's not really a factor in the move. Pretty much what will make or break it is the job opportunities and fitting in socially.

Let me know what you think. Any info helps. Thanks!
Most of the issues you cite would disappear in New England. You can be a permanent tourist in Boston for 15 years - I was. It never gets boring. There are however two issues here you need to understand.

One is the "social" thing. It takes a while to make friends in New England, that doesn't usually happen overnight. Not a huge deal really, but FYI.

Two, you do NOT NOT NOT have "bone chilling cold" in Amarillo. No, you don't, but let me assure you, you will learn what bone chilling cold is in New England, particularly if you live North or west of the city.

Boston is a great city to live in. There are day to day issues, but the tourist viewpoint is not an illusion. Boston is very nice. Liabilities are mainly congestion related. Sections of BOS pack > 25K people per square mile which means traffic, noise, long lines in stores, shortages of supplies in stores, trashiness, etc.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:36 PM
 
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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Thanks for the info. Glad to hear the tourist viewpoint isn't an illusion.

I figured it would take a little while to make friends. I guess I was hoping that we would at least find people similar to ourselves in comparison to here. As for the bone chilling cold, I have no doubt it gets freezing up there, but I can't ignore the many days of -22 degree weather this year. We actually visited Boston for a week for the New Year and it was much warmer even with the piles of snow, but I do trust your many years of experience there. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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Your age? If you're graduating from college in your 40's (as some people do) you may find it difficult to make friends in Boston. If you're in your mid-20's, I think you'll find it very easy to make friends in Boston, especially if you put yourself out there and you're comfortable talking to strangers everywhere you go.

It's colder outside in Boston in winter than Texas, true, but we have better insulation and central heating systems, which helps to take the edge off. And, you dress for it. One of the coldest places I ever spent winters was in central Texas Hill Country, in a stone house on a slab, no insulation, and a crummy heat pump. It warmed up enough by mid-afternoon to swim in the creek in January but the nights, and mornings with frost on the windshield, were wicked freezing! Also, in Boston, no summers with temps of 104-105 every day for weeks, 90% humidity off the Gulf, fire ants, scorpions, rattlesnakes, chiggers, brown recluse, etc.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:35 PM
 
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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Thanks for the response. I'm 23, so that helps to hear you say you believe it would be an easy transition socially. I am a pretty outgoing person in some situations, so that's good.

And you really make Boston sound like bliss with the comparisons. I want to leave tomorrow! Ha ha! Thanks again.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:03 PM
 
158 posts, read 455,878 times
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Amarilllo has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the whole country. Many places with low unemployment rates have a hard time getting people to move there like SD and ND. But you make Amarillo sound really bad. I like Texas, but have only been to Austin, SA and DFW areas. Didnt think it that "Bible Beltish" at all.

If money is no obstacle, go for it. That's a big problem for many. I wished I moved around more when I was younger. Do it for a year of two and leave if it doesnt suit you. Regardless of what happens, I'll guarantee you'll have an experience to remember. There' s a lot of different stuff here to digest that you wont find in other parts of the country.

Regarding your main point, I think Boston is one of the lease "tourist trappy" cities I've ever been to. Its not as if you leave the guilded path and it all falls apart. I know many cities have there "good" areas, their "downtowns", all there "things to do" carved out in particular neighborhoods, and then a quick turn and your in a ghetto, a cookie cutter suburbia or some great expanse of nothingness. In Boston, Greater Boston, and many places in New England there are suprises, charm and things to do around every corner.

Last edited by lukec; 03-05-2011 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:34 PM
 
100 posts, read 302,526 times
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Drifter10, although individual experiences might vary, I actually found it very easy to make friends when I first moved here from the west coast. The best places to meet people for friendships were at coffee shops, libraries and at professional events (there are plenty of such events in the Boston area). I also made a few friends at my apartment complex.

Boston is a great place to live - it is way safer than almost all areas of TX and there are a lot of things to do around here. However, the only downside, as others have pointed out, are the 4-5 months of really cold winter weather!
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:27 PM
 
21 posts, read 38,465 times
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@lukec
Ya, I was extremely lucky to find a job after graduation. The employment rate here is horrible. Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas are awesome. I really like all three cities. Unfortunately, Amarillo is nothing like those places. It's a great place to raise kids, I think, if you really want to protect them. I don't mean to make Amarillo sound like it's the worst place in the US. There are actually some good things about it like the really low crime rate, super nice people, and gorgeous sunsets. But being a designer and artist in my early twenties, I really need to move on.

I really love your 'test the water' sort of idea. I think it's great to just try it out first and leave if it's not what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the response and the reassurance of the charm that I saw in Boston. It's great to know that what I saw is what is really there for everyone and not just tourists.


@forrestgump
Thanks for the response! I'm so glad to hear you found it easy to make friends. Makes me feel a lot more at ease about 'fitting in.'
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:50 AM
 
170 posts, read 373,585 times
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We just moved to the Boston area from Austin, TX. Having never been to Amarillo, I can't compare it to Austin. But being a non-native Texan, I could tell that I was never going to love it there. Austin is a fun place but it just never jived with me. Having moved there when I was 23, I didn't have much experience with other places so we couldn't ever decide whether this is just how it feels when you move somewhere new or whether the problem was that we weren't a good match with Texas. So we stewed about for at least six years, making lots of changes in order to make Austin feel more like home. It never did. So we packed up and moved to Massachusetts a few months ago and already I feel more of a connection to this area than I ever did to Texas. The charm of the east coast and New England feels much more natural to me than the vibe of Austin. I know this isn't the right place for everyone but if you have a sense that it might be a better fit than Amarillo and you have the means to make a change, it's a good opportunity to learn more about yourself and your interests. I wish we'd moved sooner rather than trying to make Austin work.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:34 AM
 
63 posts, read 98,120 times
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Boston is a far, far leap from Texas. I have lived in both.

I must share the skepticism of "relocating" in ones 40s to a large, static Northeastern community. Outside of the pleasant experience of Quincy Market and Cambridge during a weekend-trip, the Boston area is very much a community of locals or a community of transient professionals. At the expense of being broad, you might find the locals far more private than Texans, and you might find the professionals far more aloof than Texans as well. I had the benefit of my graduate school network and social opportunities there, but I cannot imagine just uprooting and living there. Not quite "friends" to be sure, and it is damn cold.

Follow the heard and move somewhere warmer.
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