In the immortal words of Biggie Smalls, “if you don’t know, now you know.”
On Thursday, August 15th, Jamie and I will be packing up a sixteen foot moving truck and road tripping 1700 miles to Austin, Texas. Our route will take us through the heart of the American East, winding through Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas before landing at our new home.
It’s not often you get a chance to start anew. Snag the opportunity to break free of your pre-conceived notions and hurtle into the unknown. Between the two of us, we have 42 years worth of experience living in the New York / New Jersey area. New York is our home and the decision to leave everything and everyone we know was not made lightly. In fact, it’s scarier beyond belief.
But the opportunities in the Lone Star State are massive as are the challenges. As a result, I decided to start this literary travelogue to document our journey from the Big Apple to The Lone Star State. This introductory post will detail why we’re going, where we’re going and the ridiculous life changes this move is going to allow us to make. Everybody we speak to has been asking us these questions and as my Groompa used to say, “I don’t want to chew my cabbage twice.”
The Burning Questions (My Chewed Up Cabbage)
Q: When are you leaving?
A: We’re picking up the truck on August 15th, packing it up with everything we own and heading out that evening. It’s a 16 foot truck. The notion of driving this thing cross country is terrifying.
Q: How long will it take you to get out there?
A: Four days by Google Maps, but we’re giving ourselves five just in case. We’re also planning on stopping in cool places along the way. The itinerary is next week’s task.
Q: Why are you leaving?
A: Two reasons: Jamie got a job in Austin as the Director of Operations for her brother’s design company and I’m heading back to school for a writing degree in the Fall of next year. The cheaper lifestyle of Austin will allow me to work less / focus on writing when I head back to the classroom and Jamie has a new career challenge she’s been desperately yearning for. Win win.
Q: Jamie has a job and you’re aiming for academia. I get it. But what are you going to do between now and next year.
A: Work! My company has assured me I’ll still have a job remotely but they are not quite sure what that will be just yet. My life’s dream of working from home in my pajamas will finally come true.
Q: What are you doing with your place? Didn’t you just sign a lease?
A: A two year lease, as a matter of fact. If you know anybody who needs a place on the Upper East Side at a very reasonable rate, have them give us a holler. We need to have a new tenant approved by the time we vacate or we owe the financial equivalent of three kidneys in penalties.
Q: Do you have a place in Austin?
A: Yup! I have no idea the address but it’s four miles from Jamie’s office, 12 feet from mine and across the street from a mall with a movie theater. It’s also nearly half the rent and double the space. And I get an office. Joy!
Q: What about a car? Metrocards don’t work in Texas.
A: While I’ve been lobbying for a horse-drawn carriage to go with my new cowboy hat, Jamie has suggested a more modern mode of transportation. It’ll be the first thing we figure out once down there.
Q: Is Ming coming with you?
A: Who do think is going to pull the carriage? Oh yeah. Motorcar. Still, he’s coming for the trip. You can’t have him.
Q: Will you get all Texas on us? You know, become a member of the Tea Party, wear cowboy boots and talk with a drawl?
A: If I can live on the East Coast my entire life and not have a New York / New Jersey accent, I can live in liberal Austin without too much trouble. But I may get some cowboy boots. I could totally rock some cowboy boots.
Q: Will we ever see you again?
A: Relax, my friends. We’re moving to Austin, TX, not Jupiter. Despite some common misconceptions, Austin is a relatively cheap plane ticket to Newark and my entire family is here, so we’ll be back fairly regularly. Plus, my job has yet to tell me how often I need to come back to maintain employment, which could be not at all or once in awhile. That’s still in the air.
Flippant Q&A aside, this is a huge change for both of us. A difficult change. As I said in the opening, we’ve both built a life here and this move is the product of circumstance and an attempt to move forward with the rest of our lives. This choice has been one of the hardest either of us have ever had to make. In the end, this will be a rugged transition but as life has taught us, the best decisions are the toughest ones to make. Sometimes, you just have to go for it.
Stay tuned to this blog as I’ll be updating regularly with pictures, updates on the move status and panicked 3:00 AM ramblings about where I’ll find decent Chinese takeout. Spoiler alert: probably not going to happen. Also, if you’ve bothered to read this far we both love you to pieces and you’ll always have a place to hang your hat if you ever swing by our new neck of the woods. Especially if you’re sporting the giant belt buckle and boots to go with it.
With love, friendship and the occasional Dwight Yoakam tune,
Bill and Jamie