When The World’s Your Oyster Where Do You Go?

Technology has advanced our society, undeniably. There isn’t a single facet of our day-to-day lives that isn’t affected or improved by technology. Communication is easier than ever, which means work can be done just about anywhere. With more businesses offering remote capabilities, when it comes to where you grow roots, the world is your oyster. So where do you go?

Big City Life

Live wherever you like? Fly off to the big city and live in the burrough that suits your tastes. You won’t have to worry about a commute, so distance from the office and traffic won’t be an issue to consider. In larger cities, you’re close to major airport hubs, which makes travel easier and less expensive. You’re also surrounded by attractions like restaurants, theatres, museums, and parks. Coastal cities such as New York or LA are teeming with activity. There’s always something to do or see, somewhere to go. Perhaps the only drawback to these larger metropolises is the cost of living. Commodities such as food, gas, and housing are all drastically higher than and rural counterparts.

Take It Easy In The Suburbs

Suburban life isn’t all that bad. They’re close enough to the big city that making the trip isn’t a huge hassle or time suck. Yet, far enough away to have a slower tempo without being a ghost town. Cost of living is slightly cheaper and you still have access to anything you could need. You can also own more property on a more modest income. A Manhattan penthouse will run you in the neighborhood of a mere $6.7 million. That same chunk of cheddar could get you enough land to start your own town in the right suburb. What you would spend on rent for a two bed two bath apartment in central urban areas, you could spend in mortgage payments on a four bedroom house with a backyard and garage. 

Cities On The Rise

Further in to the country, you can expect to pay even less. Some up and coming cities are even offering incentives to move to the neighborhood with the hopes that you’ll plant roots and invest in the town itself. Smaller cities such as Tulsa and Reno are gaining traction in upping their appeal to younger generations. More businesses are testing the waters, populations are growing, and there’s more to do at half the cost of living. You may not have as much variety as you would with a massive city, and travel to airports will be more of a chore, however the money you save without a commute, in a more affordable city, and you can jet off to the big cities for some fun whenever the mood strikes or Southwest has a sale. After all, you work remotely. All you need is an internet connection to get your work done. Escape to whatever destination, park it in a coffee shop and enjoy the sights at night. 

With all the options at your feet, where will you land?

You Can’t Take It With You, But These Places Will Take It For You

Moving is an opportunity to take stock of what you’ve been holding onto in your life. It’s the perfect moment to objectively step back and think to yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’ It’s human nature to hold onto useless things simply because we have them. For more serious cases, hoarding, there’s an emotional attachment, a sense of comfort and security that goes along with all this stuff. But for the normal, non-hoarder there’s still plenty of junk we just keep around because we don’t care to spend time evaluating its necessity to our lives, much less the effort of actually getting rid of it. Until you have to pack it all into boxes and move it to an entirely different house, city, state, or even country. 

Where your stuff end up, however, is equally important. Yes, last resort there is always the trash can. However, you should avoid overloading your dumpster – and later the landfill – with your unwanted stuff. Conservation goes beyond saving water and electricity. You also aren’t limited to just the Salvation Army. Here’s our list of places that will take your unwanted items and repurpose or recycle them for the betterment of society at large. 


The easiest thing to get rid of – and what we all have plenty of – is clothing. Now, with Thanksgiving here and gift-giving holidays right around the corner, is the absolute best time to empty your closet as you’ll be able to take advantage of sales and probably receive some gift-cards in your stocking. Before you go Goodwill, we ask that you first look for shelters in your area that accept clothing donations. Most – if not all – of them will readily take your clothing. 

Let’s hone in on something more specific: job interview appropriate clothing. This is an absolutely vital donation item to shelters that house the homeless. While it’s possible that you can be homeless and still have a job, there are many in shelters that don’t have either. Donating your lightly used work appropriate clothing provides a stronger opportunity for someone to get back on their feet. 

Retailers Recycle

It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t this time. Several clothing retailers will take your clothing and shoes and recycle them, often giving back to other institutions such as Habitat for Humanity and Nature conservation groups. Not only will they take your clothes off your hands, but they will give you a reward of a percentage or specified money amount off towards your next purchase. Some retailers include H&M, Levi’s, The North Face, and Madwell. 

Local Artists

Especially if you live in boomin arts community, some of your unwanted junk may be an artists treasure. Old pieces of metal, wood, glass, electronics, you name it, they may just have a purpose for it. Find your local artists community and ask if they’re taking donations. 

Electronics and Paint

Just like with clothing, retailers like Verizon will take your old electronic devices and ensure they are recycled properly. Paint stores will take care of your old paint and supplies, though we recommend keeping your tools for the many paint projects you’re likely to embark on in your new home. You can also do a search for community operated E-waste recycling centers. It’s an additional trip, but worth it to save the environment and closet space from all that waste.

City On The Rise: Tulsa, Oklahoma

It’s no secret. The Midwest is steadily gaining in tech and industry. While it’s still no coastal city, there’s plenty to attract young professionals to this region of the country. Gone are the days of being exclusively oil-based, now businesses are turning an eye to the tech and start-up sectors. One such city that’s using all its forces to entice new business and residents is Tulsa, Oklahoma. Currently a popular Google search topic thanks to HBO’s new series The Watchmen, Tulsa may have a less than sterling past, but a bright future ahead of itself.

Tulsa Remote is currently offering young professionals in tech, writing, and research the chance of a lifetime. $10,000 to move to Tulsa where they’ll live and work for a year. Fully-furnished apartments, remote offices, and regular networking meetups are also a part of this plan. The hope is that once folks get a taste of this big city with a small town feel, they’ll be ready to lay down roots, becoming full-fledged members of society who participate in arts and culture, or even run for local government. With that kind of risk-free incentive, what’s not to love? But you’re probably wondering what exactly awaits you in this unknown location. Let us tell you.

Tulsa has long been a test market for corporate chain and franchise businesses for the Midwest for a long time. With Tulsa University, the city boasts all kinds of demographics from college students, to families, to young singles living and working around town. But it isn’t only corporate eats you’ll find. Utica Square offers everything from small cafes and bakeries to health conscious eateries to fine dining, and yes, the corporate chains.

Tulsa plays host to some of the best festivals around, most notably their Oktoberfest, which ranks in the Top Ten in the nation. They also bring in folks from all over the state with their Tulsa Tough Cycling race. Other festivals such as Mayfest feature more arts and culture, and St. Patty’s Block Party celebrates… well, you can figure that one out. Open to all ages, there’s attractions for families and 21+ crowds alike.

Arts & Entertainment
National tours bring Broadway to you, and the Tulsa PAC is one of their favorite stops. Hit Broadway shows such as Hamilton, Waitress, and Fiddler on the Roof have all had their turn there. Concerts come in and out of the BOK and Cain’s Ballroom constantly. There’s also the arts department of Tulsa University with their stunning performances in dance, music, and drama for residents to delight in.

Family Fun
If you’ve already got a family, or plan to grow one soon, then Tulsa has everything imaginable for your crew to do on the weekends. The Gathering Place is a massive public park with specialized play areas for every age group. Only a 15 minute drive outside of the city to Turkey Mountain offers an escape from the downtown city life with beautiful bike trails that can be enjoyed by all. If you’re more of a reader, Cry Baby Hill is the perfect place for you. There’s even a bit of a sports scene with the TU Golden Hurricanes, Tulsa Drillers baseball, and the Roughneck soccer team.

Bars! Bars! Bars abound in Tulsa! It’s not just boot-scootin’ boogie type bars either. The plethora of themes you can pick from on any given night include: Retro, Bowling, Cycling, Tiki, LGBT, Country, Music and Dance clubs. Craft cocktails can be found in the Tulsa Arts District at Valkyrie, complete with a wall of spirits there’s no limit to what you can enjoy.

All in all, you’ll never run out of things to do in Tulsa. A hidden gem in the heartland, this cosmopolitan city with all it has to offer will make you feel like you’re living on the coast, but at half the cost. You’re never far away from nature or city life. You can grow as an individual or family and be richer for it.

Questions To Ask Your Movers

Moving is so not fun. Well, it’s exciting because you get a fresh start in a new house, sometimes in a new city or state. But the actual process of moving is tedious, and at times overwhelming. You have to set up new utilities, change you information on your driver’s license and with businesses that take your money (rude). You may need to find a new doctor or pediatrician, which means getting copies of all your medical records and transferring them over. Then there’s the actual moving. This involves packing, getting rid of stuff, and transporting it from the old house to the new. It’s completely understandable why you would want to hire movers. They take care of the boring stuff for you. The back-breaking labor of getting that giant sectional out of your tiny front door, into the new tiny front door and in its new home. 

But, just like with any service, you want to know that you’re getting the best possible team of professional movers to help you in this stressful time. The last thing you want on moving day is to have to deal with a set of movers that aren’t what you thought they would be. Well, consider yourself saved. We’re here with a set of questions to pose to potential moving companies that will ensure you hire the right people for the job.


Obviously, you want to be crystal clear on the rate, as well as what it includes. How many movers will be helping that day? Does the rate include packing as well as moving, or is the packing responsibility left up to you? Can you reduce the rate by packing yourself? Are you paying mileage for gas in the rates quoted? Does the rate include tip? How many hours will you have your movers, if it’s just across town? For cross-country moving, does the rate include hotel expenses for your movers? Get as detailed an account as you can of what exactly you’re paying for.


What is it? Moving companies are not allowed to sell you any insurance, but they are obligated to provide some type of insurance along with their service. Released value protection is the bare minimum. It won’t cover the full cost of any lost or damaged item, but they typically cover between $0.30 and $0.60 per pound of an item. If your company provides Full Value Protection, they maintain liability for your belongings including repairs, replacement, or reimbursement for the current market value of the broken piece. Even with full value protection some items still won’t be covered; items that qualify as being of extraordinary value. 

As there is no federal regulation for what movers must include in their insurance beyond released value, the terms and conditions are specific to each company. Ask your moving company what is included in their insurance, the cost for extra insurance, as well as any loopholes included in their contract. Sometimes, when you pack your own belongings it releases the moving company of liability for broken items. If this is the case and you’re thinking of saving a few bucks by packing yourself, you might want to reconsider this option for better protection during the move. Oftentimes, no one intends to break your personal treasures, but accidents happen and that’s the point of insurance.

If you’re still not satisfied with the insurance offered by your moving company, you can opt to buy extra insurance from a third party. These third party companies actually work with moving companies, but because movers aren’t allowed to sell you insurance, these guys step in to cover the rest of your needs. But before you jump the gun on this option, check with your renters or homeowners insurance. Your policy and plan may already cover moving insurance. Without federal regulations, these details definitely change from state to state, so do your research and come to the conclusion that’s right for you.


Once you’ve chosen and hired your movers it’s time to discuss the gritty little details. When can you expect their arrival? When can you expect to shove off to the new house? You’ll also want to have the proper contact information for your movers and a plan of action should you get separated. For in-state or city moves, this most likely won’t happen. Larger cross-country moves, though, it’s vital to both your security and sanity that you have a designated meeting point and chain of communication should you be separated along the way. With cell phones, it shouldn’t be too hard to coordinate these details, but you never know when someone’s going to forget their car charger and run out of battery. Better safe than sorry.

Hiring movers is a huge bonus if you can swing it. They take the brunt of the work and stress off your hands. As with any business, though, you want to know you’re giving yours to the right people. With these inquiries you can be sure that you’re set up for success and stress-free on your big day.

Helpful Tips For Your Cross Country Move

Moving is an exhausting, albeit exciting, process. Even more so when it’s compacted by the distance. It’s one thing to move across town. All you really need is a big enough truck and an entire day of back breaking manual labor and the bulk of the work is done. You can either go big to go home with a massive truck, fitting all your worldly possessions in a single trip transport, or save some cash in rental fees and make several trips throughout the day. Even if you’re only moving one town away, the stress isn’t that much worse. But going out of state, possibly crossing multiple state lines in the process is daunting to say the least. To keep you from being completely overwhelmed in this process, follow these tips and tricks to make your cross country move as painless as possible.


If at all possible, take a trip to your new destination and spend a weekend getting to know the city. Before your trip, try and schedule a few appointments with realtors to view potential new homes. Buying a new home – or even renting a new apartment – sight unseen is risky. You could be stuck there for a year – minimum, more if you’ve signed a mortgage. It isn’t just the condition of the house, but its relation to everything else in the area, including your work commute. This is an added cost, but worth it to help ease your mind and create a smooth transition.


Yes, you can hire movers that will also pack for you. But honestly, they’ll be responsible for fitting an entire house into one truck and getting on the road at a decent time. There are two things to bear in mind throughout this process: stuff and time. The amount of stuff you take with you can make a huge difference. If the movers have to pack fewer boxes and pieces of furniture in the truck the whole process goes much faster. Everything from mattresses and furniture to knick-knacks and clothing should be subject to dismissal. Donate your items to a shelter or Habitat for Humanity to make an impact on someone else’s life and yours at the same time. Secondly, don’t wait until the last minute. Begin this preparation as soon as you close on your new house or sign the lease. 


When shopping for movers, check their insurance policy. The drivers should be insured and there should be a quality guarantee with your contract. Additional insurance you purchase yourself never hurts either. There’s a lot that can happen on the road. Protect your valuables and yourself.


Set up proper lines of communication and contact for your movers. Car chargers for your phones – maybe even provide one for your drivers – will save you. Appoint designated meet-up spots for meals, overnight stays, and rest stops. It’s okay if you lose each other on the road throughout the day. But always be able to reconnect and stay in touch.

Paperwork, Essentials, And Tip

Be sure to keep your precious valuables and important paperwork with you. Birth certificates, marriage license, and family heirloom china or jewelry items are better left where you can keep an eye on them. Have a bag packed with a change of clothes, hygiene products, and any other snacks or reading materials you might need for the trip. And, as always, don’t forget to tip your movers for their work. Withdraw cash from the bank the day before you set off so that it’s with you and ready to disperse when they do. 

It’s a huge transition and one that offers a lot of promise and possibility. Don’t let yourself get bogged down in all there is to do. Get a firm handle on these essential points and it’ll be smooth sailing from start to finish. 

Benefits of Hiring The Pros

Moving is a massive drain. There’s absolutely nothing fun about it. Unless you happen to be the spawn of Marie Kondo and really get your kicks organizing and decluttering. But it’s long, tedious work, especially if you’ve lived in your current home long enough to have junk drawers and closets. (Isn’t it crazy how much stuff we tend to accumulate over time and never think about throwing away a shirt that’s been in the bottom of the drawer so long it looks stale?)

So for the average person who doesn’t just relish the opportunity to pack all their belongings in boxes and haul it across town – or country – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: professional movers. Yes, you can hire people to do all that awful, back-breaking work for you. It’s an added expense, but let’s take a look at the reasons why you should hire movers (in case your arm hasn’t already been twisted).


Is there any better reason? Hiring movers means you completely eliminate the stress of having to physically pack everything into boxes and taken to its new home yourself. Cramming all your worldly possessions into a bunch of boxes can be a truly daunting task. Just cut it out of your life entirely and leave it to the professionals so you can breathe easy and focus on the other hundred thousand tasks you have before your big move.

Frees Up Time

Not only is the thought of packing your entire house enough to send one into a spiral of stress, but there’s also the amount of time it actually takes to accomplish this marathon of a task. Most people barely have time to eat three square meals a day let alone think about when they’re going to fit packing into their schedule. With movers, you don’t have to worry about this. If anything, your only responsibility is going through the stuff you don’t use or need much anymore. There’s no sense in packing and moving items that aren’t going to be used. 

Safety Guarantee

Wanna know something else that’s panic inducing about moving? The thought of your fragile, sentimental, passed down from generations valuables being smashed and utterly ruined during your move. With professional movers, everything is packed in such a way that your delicate valuables will be protected no matter the distance of your more.

Less Physically Exhausting

If you’ve ever moved anywhere – by yourself – you know the physical demands moving places on your body. If you’re a gym rat, it might not be any more difficult than your regular workout routine. If you don’t even think about going to the gym, you’re in for a sore several days following your move. Even if you are a physically fit person, the act of moving is a marathon. It’s an all day event of heavy lifting and walking (sometimes backwards) with large cumbersome objects. You’re already going to have to unpack everything in the new home. Save yourself a lot of fatigue and leave it to the professionals.    

Time Management For Big Moves

A lot goes into moving, especially the longer you’ve been in your home. Even more so when your move is cross-country, or anywhere outside of your general area. But, often times there’s no other option. Careers being what they are and start-ups popping up all over the nation (tech being one of the main culprits) can lead to a complete uprooting of your life. Like that isn’t stressful enough; new job, new town, new everything. Then there’s the task of actually moving.

Like we mentioned, the longer you’ve been in your home, the more stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. So the simple task of packing up your house can take weeks all by itself. But it isn’t just packing that you need to think about, there’s much, much more. For such stressful endeavors, having a timeline for your move (with a list of things to cross off at specific times) is the secret weapon to mastering a big move. Create your own timeline by following these guidelines.

8 Weeks Away

If you’re given this luxury, two months away from your move is the time to get balls rolling. First and foremost, you need to take care of the place you’re leaving. If it’s a rental, contact your landlord. If you own your home, on the market it goes. As with any commercial business, consult your friends and local review sites to help you find the best realtor for you. Grab a binder and some dividers to keep all this paperwork organized and easy to find.

Next, you’ll want to take stock of what’s in your home and consider whether to hire movers (very helpful the farter away your move it, honestly) or go it alone. Do you research and find the right company for you (and always get a written contract).

Once you’ve come to your decision, drawing up an inventory list of all the items in your home (categorized, if you’re so Type A) and decide here and now what you want to take and what you want to leave. The less stuff you have to move, the more money you save. When it comes to furniture condition, sentimental value, and cost to move versus buying new will help you decide what stays and what goes. Lastly, start saving newspaper and coupon flyers for packing. These are great, and free, for wrapping glass.

6 Weeks Away

Start packing! Yes. That sounds crazy. But you’ll be surprised by how long it takes to pack one room, let alone a whole house. Start with storage; seasonal things that you plan to keep, but don’t use as often and things you don’t need right now.

As you pack and sort, put all the leave behind items in bags and boxes and take them to the proper donation sites. If you’re getting rid of clothing, consider a shelter instead of a thrift store. Job Appropriate clothing in particular can give someone in need that extra boost to turn their life around.

If you’re moving out of town or farther, you’ll need to start gathering all your medical records (pets, too) and looking for new physicians. Keep these in an accordion folder and easily accessible should an emergency arise. Scheduling a check-up for pets and family during these next two weeks is also advisable to ensure everyone is at peak health. Lastly, begin the change of address process.

4 Weeks Away

Lock down your moving arrangements. Whether it’s a helping hand from friends or the movers you’ve hired, touch base and make sure everything is on schedule.

Travel arrangements. If you’re driving, get your car(s) fully inspected now so you have the time and funds to make any repairs that are needed. The last thing you want is to break down en route in the middle of nowhere. If you’re flying, book your flights and secure trustworthy freight for your vehicles.

The packing continues. If your movers are also packing, it’s still a good idea (considering how much stuff you’re bringing) to pack some of your possessions. Movers will usually provide packing materials, but grab some bubble wrap in case there’s something extra valuable you want to handle.

2 Weeks Away

Check with your utilities companies about turning off or transferring services. Contact the companies in your new city and set up services for when you arrive.  

Check your pantry! It’s a waste of money to throw away food. Get creative and start cooking everything you’ve got. You can always stick your non-perishables in a grocery bag and take them with you (PB&J sandwiches for the road trip are gold), but don’t waste any boxes on food.

Set aside boxes for the things you’ll be packin the days before you move. If you need more boxes, grab them now. Not having to run to the store for more boxes at zero hour will save you time and stress.

Organize your going away party! Whether it’s in your home, at a restaurant or bar, or at a friends house, you will want one night where there’s no packing, no moving, just a long moment to enjoy time with all the people who love and will miss you. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be a good time.

The Week Of

Revisit your list. Where are you? Are all contracts signed, sealed, and delivered? Is there anything you’re behind on? Don’t fret. More important than anything is that you’re rested and feeling good about where you are in the process.

Leave out a good knife, cutting board, skillet, pot, baking sheet, baking dish, spatula, and plates, cups, and silverware. You can make a variety of food with these items, and they’ll all fit in one large box. Plan your meals for this week to save some money and grab those groceries. Pack the final dishes away 2 days before moving and treat yourself to one last meal at your favorite restaurant the night before moving day. No one wants to do dishes the day before they move.

All In All

Your schedule might vary depending on the amount of time you actually have before your planned move. Adjust these finer points to fit your needs and you’ll be organized and less stressed.

Summer Sun, Roadtripping Fun: Pacific Coast Highway Stops

California native or out-of-town visitor, the drive up the Pacific Coast Highway is bucket-list worthy. Miles and miles of winding roads, cliffs and beaches, and sunshine with the ocean breeze blowing through your hair (you’re nuts if you don’t find a convertible for this trip). With summer officially here there’s no better time to plan a trip along the coast. Starting in Orange County and stretching all the way up to San Francisco, without any stops or traffic the drive tallies up to ten hours. But with so many stops between points A and B, you can easily take your time and stretch it out over 5 or even 10 days. To help you decide just how to chart your trip, here are 5 stops we recommend…

Malibu, CA

Dana Point, near San Clemente, where PCH begins (in our case) to Malibu is roughly 85 miles. Depending on the time of day and traffic, that drive comes out to 2.5 – 4 hours in traffic. Perfect for a morning drive to lunch on the beaches, dine on the Pier at a less touristy area than Santa Monica. Plus, there are hikes like Solstice Canyon featuring waterfalls and a little castle.

Ventura, CA

A mere hour without traffic from the Malibu Pier, this beautiful ocean-side city is the perfect place to park it for the night. You can take advantage of any number of ocean-side hotels and fine dining, or rough it out on the Channel Islands National Park.Time your trip right and you can make a pitstop in Oxnard for the Strawberry Festival. Or just stop and grab some fresh berries to snack on during your last leg of the drive.

Santa Barbara, CA

While you shouldn’t pass up the chance to go to Napa, stopping in Santa Barbara is a must along the way. This little slice of wine paradise is home to many a vineyard, as well as the quaint little Dutch town of Solvang. Worthy of being a full-day experience, this is the best first full stop to break up the driving, especially if you don’t have a whole lot of time. Only an hour and a quarter from Ventura, you can arrive early, check into your hotel and roam the vineyards.

San Luis Obispo, CA

Also near vast vineyards, this city is home to the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the state’s fifth-oldest mission. After a trip to the Mission, stop by the Museum of Art, shop the downtown Farmer’s Market, or enjoy the scenery with Pismo Beach, Bishop Peak, or Lopez Lake. Enjoy nightlife with the Fremont Theatre or the Madonna Inn.      

Dealers Choice: San Simeon, Big Sur, Monterey

For the final big stop, if your time is limited, before hitting the final San Francisco destination, choose any of these three locales. If you can stop at all three, go for it. For more surf and beach, Big Sur is calling your name. Explore a Hearst Castle developed by William Randolph Hearst in the city of San Simeon. Monterey offers up an array of attractions like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, and missions, parks, and a jazz festival in September, there’s plenty to do to keep you occupied for at least a day before crossing the finish line in San Fran.

There are more stops than this along the way, no doubt. Find a bar and hit up the locals for their favorite eats around town. Take as much time as you can or want and enjoy the ride.

Work And Live In The City?

Large cities draw people to them with their abundance of work and entertainment. Anyone will make a trek to the city for the right type of entertainment. Performing arts centers cozy up to a slew of fine dining restaurants that combine for a magical evening. But it takes a special fortitude to work in the city, especially if that work involves a commute of 45 minutes or more. Driving an hour or more for a delectable dinner and spectacular show every month or so is nothing. Driving an hour or more one-way to put your nose to the grindstone and work 8 hours then spend another hour driving back home every day of the week requires a strong mental state and one hell of a podcast to not go crazy in the process. So why do people even bother with commutes?

Cost Of Living

The biggest denominator when it comes to choosing suburban or city living when your work is in a large city can come down to finances. Hopefully, you have a job that can afford you the luxury of living in an apartment near enough to work that you can either walk or get there within 20 minutes or less driving or taking public transportation. Unfortunately, the reality of today is not every job does afford for one to live near their work, cover the rest of their overhead, and support a social life. In 2017 it was estimated that a person living in the City put 65% of their income towards rent alone. To live in a one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Los Angeles you’re looking at prices starting around $2,100. For a one-bedroom. If you have a family and need at least 3 bedrooms that price jumps up to almost $4,000/month. And this is just apartment living.

Live in a city like Long Beach (which with a commute to Downtown LA running at least an hour in rush-hour traffic, each way) and the difference is staggering. A house in Los Feliz (a much shorter commute for a DTLA worker) runs about $810 per sq. ft. That’s almost double the price per square foot in Long Beach which clocks in around $467 per square foot. While Los Feliz is a wealthier, more affluent neighborhood, the median cost of homes in Los Angeles still sits at $523 per sq. ft. Wherever you live in the country, though, it’s common knowledge that living further away from work in a separate suburb will bring your housing costs down, and you’re likely to get more bang for your buck in terms of space.


Another common factor in deciding whether to live and work in the city can come down to your family situation. If it’s just you and your spouse, combined incomes could afford you a nice condo or luxurious apartment in the city where you can live, work, and play. Add a baby to the mix and you’ve now got a much higher overhead with doctor’s visits and insurance, childcare, and diapers, toys/books, etc. Then there’s the issue of space to consider. Once baby needs their own room for sleeping as well as play time, your once cozy 2 or 3 bedroom apartment or one bedroom home now feels crowded and there’s no room for anyone with toys and walkers taking up every inch of valuable real estate in your home. And they only need more as they get older. Public schools are often a much higher caliber in suburbs than urban cities. You can also afford a house with a yard and separate rooms for playing the further away from a city you get.  


If you’ve never had to commute day in and day out for more than 45 minutes each way, you have no idea the toll it takes on your mental health. Divorce lawyers actually attribute long commutes (45 minutes of more, everyday) as a contributing factor to almost half the marriages they absolve. While divorce in and of itself is a gray and sticky situation unique to each individual, having to spend 45 minutes or more of your day just getting to work and then another 45 minutes or so getting home seriously wears on a person’s mood. That mood is transferred to their partner and if they’re not careful it can slowly erode even the best relationships. Unfortunately, the cost of living element often forces many of us into these types of situations. But there are little tricks to try to alleviate some of the stress of driving such as an engaging podcast, carpooling with a fellow co-worker or your spouse, if it’s manageable, and diligently exercising and practicing meditation which are natural mood enhancers.

In the end, the debate between work and life in the city versus suburban living with a crazy commute comes down to the quality of life you’re able to create out of your financial and work situation. Loving your job, an overwhelming sense of satisfaction instead of dread when you go into work is top of the list. You spend most of your time at work. If you aren’t fulfilled in what you do or where you work it’s going to negatively affect the rest of your life. The financial ability of being able to take vacations, go on regular dates with your significant other, and maintain a healthy social life with friends and family can also make the long commute you suffer worth it in the end. Like anything in life, it’s a delicate balance that you have to manage, given your particular set of circumstances. But always remember the immortal and wise words of miss Maya Angelou “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

Big City Livin’ or Small Town Life

Where you live plays a huge part in who you are as a person in the world. There’s an undeniable difference in the rhythm of a big city versus a small town. That rhythm alone – the pace at which people plug along day after day – affects so much about a person. In movies the Big Shot Big City Lawyer is always in a rush, and the Small Town Simple Farmer can’t be hurried along for anything. And it’s true; people in larger cities move faster. You can always tell a tourist from a dweller on the streets of NYC or Hollywood.

Granted, these assumptions are very general and not everyone fits “the mold” of where they live. These are the people most likely to migrate to a coast or inland, to find a place more suited to them. But why is this the way it is? What creates this rhythm? Let’s ponder…

Distance and Space Between

The most notable difference between big and small cities isn’t their size, necessarily, but how much is crammed into the area. Seriously, just think about the irony that in a large city like Los Angeles where every centimeter of space is being taken up by someone or something, there’s less space to own, let alone exist, than in a small town like Kingfisher, OK where the nearest shopping mall is over an hour away in Oklahoma City. And Los Angeles is in the midst of massive development everywhere; tearing down old, flailing buildings and making way for high-rise, high-occupancy buildings with fine dining and shops on their first floor.

This isn’t to say smaller towns of 50,000 people or so are deprived of all civilization. It’s still the 21st century. They have shopping centers and more densely populated areas. But they also have space between things, yet nothing is more than 10 minutes away. It makes tasks like going to the grocery store less daunting.

Volume of People and Things

Further down this difference line we get the number of people and things sharing these small or large seeming spaces. Add this one factor to the example we just used of grocery shopping and this mundane, necessary task changes instantly. Unless you’re there the moment the doors open to Trader Joe’s on a Tuesday, there will never be a time when it’s “not that busy”. As the day goes on, it only gets worse. And it’s not just the crowds of people you have to muddle through, it’s the cars and traffic. Grocery shopping in a smaller town might take an hour if you’re buying a lot and taking your time browsing the aisles. Step out for a total of 10 things and you’ll spend half an hour sitting in traffic just getting there and back in a larger city.

More people in a smaller amount of space lends itself to an array of habits and feelings like you never have enough time for anything and so your life is a constant grind of go, go, go! There’s a heightened sense of urgency among big city dwellers that doesn’t exist in smaller towns.

As far as things and things to do, it’s not that there “isn’t anything to do” in a small town, there’s just only so much to do. Listening to Cory Booker speak about his time as Mayor of Newark, NJ, he spent a lot of time trying to attract businesses to his smaller town. Newark’s a town of close to 300,000 people and it was a tough sell because the investor’s didn’t believe that the smaller town could sustain a business of their size. Booker was able to get businesses there and the city got a nice little boom, but think of towns that are smaller than that. They aren’t likely to have luxury movie theatres like the Arclight or a Starbucks on every corner. Theatres with spoken word, original plays, or open mic comedy nights don’t exist. There’s one local, community run theatre – if you’re lucky. Orchestras and museums aren’t in every small town. The Arts are the last to flourish in smaller towns.

Again, though, it isn’t that they don’t exist, they just aren’t a huge portion of what there is to do in a small town. It’s encouraging to see more small boutiques and coffee shops pop up that have locally sourced goods and ingredients to sell their customers. Even things like Wine and Paint nights are becoming more trendy in smaller areas. But it’s not like NYC where you could go out every single night forever and still have something new to do.

Proportional and Relative

There are many more differences on a substantially nuanced level between the densely and sparsely populated areas of the country. But these two main points are the biggest factors in what we first noted was the main difference – a city’s rhythm. Less people and more room gives the sense of having more time and less need to rush. Flip the script and it’s no wonder there’s more stress and demand for instant results, and less feeling like you have room to breathe and relax. It affects people differently. Some people were born ready to run, and so they feel at ease in a faster paced environment. Others are content to take their time and enjoy the view, so the slow beat of a small town’s drum appeals to their senses. Whatever type of person you are, if you feel you were born in the wrong environment, you can always change it with a move.