When I moved to DC 10 years ago, I was excited at the thought of living in our nation’s capital. I’d never lived
on the East Coast anywhere but the South! Boy, was I in for a very different way of life.
It was the first time I ever laid eyes on a 2 story Target and saw a gallon of milk for $5.00! When living anywhere there are going to be things you like and dislike. I’ve got 4 things that I just won’t miss about the East Coast!
1. Lack of Land
One thing I noticed almost immediately when I moved here is the lack of land. In the DC Metro area, it’s almost as if it’s a bad thing to have land that isn’t developed. Growing up where I did in Houston, we have plenty of land to walk barefoot, watch the rabbits hop across the yard, and not see your neighbors watching TV in their living room just by looking out your kitchen window!
Being from Houston where the temperature is hot and hotter, I am not fond of snow! The first year I moved here, my introduction to snow was over 12 inches of snow and I was stuck in the house for 4 days. It’s pretty within the first couple of hours of falling, but after that, I’m done!
Around here (DC), the “t” word is a very bad word-traffic. The traffic in the Washington, DC area is unbelievable! People (to include me), plan their lives around the horrible traffic. When I first moved to DC, I was able to transfer as a Manager for Bath and Body Works, which is where I was working in Tennessee.
At the time, I lived in Springfield, VA and was working in McLean, VA in an area called Tysons Corner. I kid you not;it is a 14-mile drive from where I lived in Springfield to Tysons Corner Mall. I had to be at work at 9am and quickly learned that leaving home at 7am would not always get me to work on time. Yes, you read that correctly. I had to leave home 2 hours before I needed to be at work to get there on time most days. Unfortunately, there is no way to really time things to know when and where you will run into traffic. There can be traffic at 10am or 3pm, Saturday or Thursday; it just doesn’t matter. I’m elated that I can live a life of freedom and break out of traffic jail. Don’t get me wrong, there is traffic in Raleigh, but I don’t have to leave my house 2 hours before I need to be somewhere that is just down the street!
4. Cost of Living
The cost of living compared to the South is just crazy! Why anyone would want to pay $2,000/month for a 700 sq. ft. apartment, or $800,000 for a townhouse that is only 1,400 sq. ft. is so beyond my understanding. As we are looking for houses in Raleigh, I’m so happy to see homes are reasonably priced. Many homes in Raleigh are 3,000 sq. ft., about $280,000, have land AND a pool! Now that’s great Southern living! I was listening to the radio last week and there was a segment about the most expensive places to live. Of course, DC made the list. My mouth dropped open when the radio host said living in Washington, DC with an income of $100,000 still was not enough and people still struggle because the cost of living is so high.
The 10 years I’ve spent here in DC have been full of learning, ups, downs, and I’ve met some truly amazing people who I’m honored to call my friends. Don’t get me wrong, living in DC wasn’t all bad and in fact, it was more good than bad, but I’m here to tell ya, these 4 things I’ve listed here, make me say, “How fast can we get the truck packed so we can go?!”
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