East and West, New York and LA—the two extreme sides of this country are so different that, at times, they can feel like different countries altogether. So when you find yourself moving from one to the other, needless to say, there are going to be a lot of adjustments for you to get used to. Here are some of the things you can expect to happen if you decide to make the big move.
1. The way you get from A to B completely transforms.
The car is king in Los Angeles, but upon moving to New York, you’re bound to discover fairly quickly that it’s often not worth even owning a car at all. People tend to get around using the subway, walking, and through hiring the occasional taxi. Conversely, when you move in the other direction, you will soon find that public transport is no longer a staple, and you will have to drive just about anywhere you need to be (with plenty of traffic on the way).
2. You have to get used to a completely new climate.
The perpetual sunshine of LA could not be more different from the four contrasting seasons that you will experience on the East Coast. Whether you are moving east or west, you will no doubt have to completely transform your wardrobe to adjust to the new climate.
3. You end up answering endless questions about your previous city of residence.
Whichever direction you are moving, be prepared to answer the same questions over and over about your recent move—it’s just part and parcel of moving someplace new, especially when that new place is across the other side of the country. “Oh, you just moved from ___? That’s a big adjustment! How are you settling in here in ____? What made you move?” And so on.
4. They speak a whole different language.
OK, so maybe they don’t literally speak a different language, but there are a so many nuances in the speech, slang, and culture of each big city that sometimes it can feel as though they really do. Lucky for you, it should only take a few months to get used to the new city and you’ll be talking about the MTA like a pro.
5. There is a whole new social scene to get used to.
And along with the language—in fact, a large part of what influences it—there is a whole new social scene to get used to. And though drinks with friends is a near-universal activity, certain location-specific features mean that you will have to adjust to other things accordingly. For example, it’s a lot more common to spend a day or evening at the beach when you live in LA than in New York.
6. You get involved in a lot of arguments about food.
In n’ Out versus Shake Shack, pizza versus Mexican—one thing that locals of any given city are particularly passionate about is food. It will be hard for you not to romanticize the food in your previous city, but don’t worry: you will have plenty of people with whom you can debate the matter.
7. You still spend just as much money.
Another universal fact about large cities, especially LA and New York, is that they are not cheap places to reside. From the cost of rent, to transport, and even food, you won’t need to adjust your budget very much as high prices will break the bank on either coast.
8. The concept of space is completely different.
When compared with the history of New York, Los Angeles is a relatively new city. It is for this reason that it was built for cars and roads. It also means that there is generally a lot more space to be found in LA. If you make the move across to New York, you will probably find that what constitutes a large space is no longer as big as it once was.
9. You meet plenty of diverse and interesting new people.
While it can be a difficult adjustment at first, one comfort of moving to one of these big cities is that you will meet a lot of other “outsiders” like yourself, who moved from similarly far-off places. Meeting new and interesting people every day is one of the best things about living in a big city.
10. You miss home occasionally, but still love your new city.
All of these things may be a scary prospect at first, but it doesn’t take long to fit into the rhythm of a brand new city. If you embrace the differences, rather than fighting against them, you will soon find that any homesickness fades away and you will grow to love your new home as much as your old one.
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