Why I Left NYC and Moved to Austin

the busy skyline of Austin, Texas lit up at night
Posted: 5/12/16 | May 12th, 2016

I’ve been a New Yorker for the last three and a half years. At least, as one who travels as much as I do can be called a local anywhere.

I love NYC — the hustle and bustle, the crowds, the variety of food, the cocktail bars, the culture, the theater, and the people! I loved everything about it and, as the center of the travel media world, it was a good place to be professionally.

Yet, as my lease expired and my roommates moved to Boston, I knew I didn’t want to stay longer. I needed to get out of New York. I needed a change. Running around the world makes it hard to create positive routines and habits in your life. They do not go together.

Over the last year or so, I’ve focused on being a better version of me: better sleep, healthier eating, more exercising, and a bunch of other things I won’t mention here. I realized living in NYC makes it hard for me to do that. Environment plays a big role in how we develop and change and my environment in NYC just isn’t good — it was too easy to always go out, attend events, drink, be a glutton, and spend money.

And, as someone who likes to take the easy way out, I need an environment that gives me that structure and forces me to change.

So when it came to deciding to stay or leave, I knew I had to leave — and that Austin was the best choice. I own a hostel in Austin, I have friends and business relations in the city, and I wanted a place that had more outdoor activities and a less workaholic culture.

I don’t believe you can run away from your problems — they follow you anywhere. But, when you are looking to change the habits in your life, the environment you put yourself in is important. You need a place where you can create a lasting foundation. You need to be away from negative triggers.

And people to help you do that.

I love all my friends dearly, but my Austin friends are more the “eat healthy, go to bed early, and workout” type, and I need that right now. It’s like when you are thinking about traveling — if you surround yourself with naysayers, you’re going to internalize what they say.

A supportive and encouraging community is what you need.

And I need someone who is going to shut Netflix off and take me to the gym.

It’s easy to keep on the course you’re going because it’s the path of least resistance. I could have easily stayed in NYC and tried to do everything I want to do there. I might have succeeded.

But I most likely wouldn’t. I know myself and my friends too well — our idea of a good time is not the gym; it’s the steakhouse and a bar.

I’m not done with New York City. I already miss it. My current plan is to be in Austin for a year and then move back to NYC.

Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll stay here — or end up in Paris.

Who knows!

The future is uncertain.

But I do know that I’m looking forward to this new city and adventure. I have an entirely new part of the country to explore and learn about.

And, to me, that’s what being a nomad is all about!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip?
Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.