January 19, 2022

Triumphs & Regrets of Moving During the Pandemic


new york Moving During the PandemicA few months ago, I got into a conversation with several of you over my DMs about a topic I want to dive deeper into. It started with me going back and forth with one woman who made the move from Brooklyn, NY to a different state (unfortunately I cannot recall where) where the rest of her family still lived.

She shared with me how unhappy she was with her move and how she missed NYC every single day. We chatted via DM for a while and I truly commended her for taking that risk [of moving] to see if it was meant to be the right choice. Because ultimately, how do we really know if we don’t try?

That conversation lead me to ask others about their experience; “Has anyone moved and regretted it?” Or conversely, “Has anyone moved and it was the best decision they could have made?” More on that below.

Admittedly, part of me asked for my own selfish reasons. I was and continue to be in a weird place with New York…


There was a time, pre-pandemic, that I didn’t feel any resentment towards New York. Sure, like any relationship, there were days that NYC would annoy me but the overall feeling was a positive one. The hustle & grind is something that becomes part of your life when you’re living in the city, even in the outer boroughs, and it is one of the things I (mostly) enjoy(ed). It has kept me motivated.

It has kept me on my toes and it has presented me with so many more opportunities than if I wasn’t living here. I love everything about the city and its people. Also, I get defensive whenever I’ve hear someone talk negatively about it around me. I’ve said this before, but it’s like someone talking about a family member or even your mother. As a New Yorker I’m allowed to complain, but unless you’re from here or have lived here most of your life, don’t you dare do the same. At least these are the thoughts that run through my head.

Today, almost two years later with two small children and still living in the midst of a Pandemic, my current relationship with NYC feels different. What once felt magnetic and special, with all of the things this city has to offer, now feels exhausting. Tied into another long winter of this and I often wonder, “What else?”

I have zero doubt that eventually things will feel like the old New York City, but whether we have the energy to wait it out or not is to be determined.

Right now we have zero plans to move, but I truly don’t know what our future holds. I may read this post in a year or two from now. I would think “wow, I was in a weird place then.”  OR we may end up elsewhere and be thrilled or on the flip side, be miserable and realize, the grass is not always greener.

At this point, the biggest factor is that our entire crew is here. Our families and all of our friends that we grew up & went to school with and eventually, started raising families alongside. Additionally, our new friends we’ve met along the way that we’ve grown to love so much. It’s something that we’re incredibly lucky to have and not something to take for granted.

But I digress.

I know I went off on a massive tangent, but I felt the need to share my own thoughts about moving before sharing the submissions emailed to me below. I received a lot of them so I’m going to have to break this post into a series of parts. Here are the first of several personal stories about a move recently made:

Triumphs & Regrets of Moving During the Pandemic

From NYC to Arizona

“‘New York or Elsewhere?’ is a question I’ve had to ask myself a lot since March 2020 and I’m still not sure I know the answer.

Rewind to January 2020. I was living in Brooklyn, NY and working PR for a fast-growing womenswear brand. I even had the pleasure of sending you a dress for an event (seriously such a highlight for me!) My lease was coming to an end. Then, my then long-distance boyfriend was not making the move to NYC to live with me, as we had discussed. So, I had no other roommate prospects. As I desperately searched for an affordable apartment in Manhattan and a roommate to share it with, I decided to move my things into storage and bunk up with a friend for the next month while my search continued.

I eventually ended things with my long-distance boyfriend, a relationship that had dragged on for far too long, and was enjoying my newfound single life while bunking up with one of my best friends. It had been the first time in a long time that my self-confidence was back. No longer held back by an unhappy relationship and dreaming of my new life in an apartment in Manhattan – I was so excited to see what NYC had in store for me.

One night I was out with my girl friend feeling the best I had felt in a long time.

I even had her give my number to a guy I’d been making eye contact with at the bar. It was not my typical move. We then went to another bar and I was drunk off all the attention. I was getting from several of the guys around me. At the end of the night in an Uber on my way home, my confidence took over. So, I thought it to be the perfect time to text my ex who had ghosted me four years prior in my hometown of Kansas City, MO.

I had convinced myself I was over him. However, in that moment I wanted to let him know he really messed up. That he missed his chance with the most amazing girl who was currently killing it in NYC. Truthfully since the moment we met those years ago, I knew he was the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with and no other guy would truly fill the hole he left in my life. Nevertheless I concocted the most perfect, straight-to-the-point text and hit SEND.

The next morning I awoke to a text from HIM.

His name hadn’t appeared on my phone in years and I jumped in the shower, cursing myself. I mean what was I thinking!? The last thing I knew from recent social media creeping was that he was in a perfectly happy relationship with another girl who apparently filled the gap I thought I would have left. Most of the confidence I felt when I sent that text to him was placed in the belief that my number would be blocked and the message itself would’ve been redirected to float around in cyberspace.

But to my surprise, his response was there on my phone and by the time I mustered up the courage to read the text, to my surprise it wasn’t a pity reply. Instead it was one of interest! So I responded back and he replied again. We texted all morning as I goofily smiled on the subway commute to work. It continued all day and my coworkers were confused why I wasn’t more upset about my recent breakup.

And it continued on.

As I boarded the plane to PFW for work and again as soon as I got off the plane, we kept chatting. We started FaceTiming at any free moment we had. Eventually, I booked a ticket back to visit my family in Kansas City as well as an excuse to see him.

By that time, we had already told each other we loved each other and trying to figure out the logistics of another possible long distance relationship. He was planning to move to Phoenix, AZ for work and to live close to his family. For all I knew, Arizona was not a fashion capital of the world and I had a career to chase in NYC.

March 12, 2020: I boarded my flight to KC and that night John and I had our ‘second first date.’ That night it was done deal. We knew we couldn’t let the other person go again. But I was planning to fly back to NYC in a few days and thinking how would this even work?

Just two days later I got an email from work that due to the growing concerns of COVID-19, we would be working from home until at least June. I cancelled my return flight and moved into his house.

A month later, I was laid off from work. I still planned to return to NYC at that point but we all know how quickly plans would change in the those early months of the Pandemic.

I ended up hiring movers, booked a flight to NYC and oversaw my things get loaded onto a truck from the storage unit in Brooklyn, to be driven to John’s basement in KC. Was a I really doing this? Leaving my dream of living in NYC to move with the love of my life to Phoenix, AZ? The things we do for love….

We’ve been in Arizona just over a year now and I can’t help but think about the ‘What ifs?’ What if the Pandemic never happened? What if I didn’t move to Phoenix? Also, what if I never sent that text from the back of the Uber?

Life hasn’t been easy. I’ve put my career on hold these past months after working my entire life to get to where I was in NYC. It’s been hard feeling like I’ve gone backward while trying to make fashion a thing in AZ. I’ve spent a lot of time rebuilding my confidence after losing my job and been struggling to find something else. Although I love John and know I made the right decision to move here, it hurts that I feel absolutely no connection to this place and it doesn’t seem to have welcomed me with open arms either.

At this point, I don’t know if I’ll ever have that opportunity to live in NYC again.

And on the same token, I wonder if I’m capable of living that NYC lifestyle again if it were to present itself once more. It would be different to live there while being in a serious relationship as well as being a dog parent, while  planning for your future life of hopeful marriage and kids.

Of course looking back on my time in NYC, I remember all of the things I loved about living there. But there were also a lot of pains and struggles. My job took all of my time and energy. I went into credit card debt trying to afford life there. I felt so lonely so often, and the straps on my grocery bags would always break trying to carry them home on the subway. But I moved there and lived my dream of working in fashion. Also, I met some of the best friends I’ll ever have, grew up and learned how to take care of myself. Really, I came to understand so many things about myself in those moments alone.

I hope to find that same sense of home and belonging in AZ that I felt in NYC.

I hope that choosing love won’t completely ruin my chances of having a successful career in fashion. Yes, I hope in the long run, I don’t look back and wish I would’ve done long distance with John to build my career. Also, I hope ‘Elsewhere’ exists when it comes to finding it all for myself. Carrie Bradshaw once said, “In NYC you’re either looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment,” but I think the same might be true for everywhere else. Hopefully somewhere exists that I can find all three. I’ve never been more happy with the boyfriend-part of that equation.

So for now, I will look to my friends and the influencers I follow that have remained in NYC and reminisce about life there. But I was also keep moving forward here. Also. not let this new place stop me from finding a successful career of my own.

So it’s ‘Elsewhere’ for now but who knows what life has in store… maybe I should send a drunk text to remind NYC of the great girl they missed out on.”

Update: Two months later since our original back & forth/the above email, she’s gotten engaged and started her own personal styling business which has been met with great success!

From Queens to the Midwest

“Pre-Pandemic, I moved out of NY for my medical training. I was born & raised, NYU undergrad, medical school, and residency, all in NY. I couldn’t imagine summers not in Rockaway Beach or just hopping on the subway to Flushing because I wanted really good Dim Sum.

So, I moved, with a defined 3 years of training, to St. Louis, always with the plan to return home to NY in the end. I just wanted a couple of years to see what it was like living someplace else. I was single when I moved, then met my husband, so I/we could just hop on a 2 hour direct flight to NY for the weekend whenever we felt like it. So, I didn’t feel like I was missing out. My friend was having a birthday party – fly home. No big deal.

I finished my training at a real crappy time for the NY job market in my specialty, so I took a job in the Midwest. Shortly after I had a baby, and then the Pandemic hit. It’s honestly been the most isolating experience of my life. I’m a pediatric ICU doctor, so I took/take COVID very seriously and didn’t fly until last month. Most of my family, 90% of whom live in a 10 block radius in Belle Harbor, have only seen my toddler once.

My best friend had 2 babies over the course of COVID who I haven’t seen yet.

I watched in horror during the early days of COVID as my medical friends suffered, struggled and commiserated with me. Also, as a fellow New Yorker/doctor here, about how helpless we felt being removed from home. While our friends and families in New York were getting sick and dying, the overall right-leaning population where I live thought it was bullshit. Meanwhile, I was just praying none of my family was going to die.

I miss NY like missing a family member. I miss its smell, the sounds, the food, the overall feeling. Also, I miss my family and my friends. I miss not feeling ‘othered’ by my NY accent, politics, and just the general demeanor. I miss not wondering if I’m coming off as actually nice or if it’s what people who know me here term ‘New York nice.’

Also, I would never call leaving New York a mistake. It has brought me so many wonderful things, like a beautiful baby boy and husband. I just wish I could have had those things without leaving, or without the feeling of being stuck. Also, I spend time everyday looking for jobs closer to home. Some of which I’d have to sacrifice parts of my career that I love. Most days I think it would be worth it.”

Thanks for talking about this. Most of these things are written by those who’ve left who aren’t natives. It’s such a different experience.

From the City to the Suburbs

“If I had to choose between ‘thrilled’ and ‘regretful’ after leaving NYC, I’m afraid I’d have to choose the latter…

Everyone talks about the benefits of the suburbs, but no one talks about the challenges.

After almost a decade of living in NYC (first in Brooklyn, then in Queens), we moved to the south shore of Long Island where I grew up. To be honest, it just felt like a good time to try the suburbs. We had two babies under two years old and stayed in NYC throughout most of the Pandemic until June 2021. By then, we didn’t feel particularly pushed out of NYC. We were still enjoying our time there. However, I felt curious about what life in the suburbs would be for ourselves. Having more space to roam, living 10 minutes from the ocean, being closer to family, having access to considerably cheaper childcare. All of the quintessential benefits you hear about moving out of the city.

It’s only been 6 months

The other day I asked my husband, ‘If all of our stuff was in storage and we could either move into our current home or back to the city, where would you go?’ It took him a while to decide but he did ultimately say he would choose the suburbs; he likes to fish and surf, and his commute is a lot better from here. But for me, the choice was obvious – I would move back to the city.

I miss the life, the energy, and the people. I work from home in the suburbs, which is a great perk, but it’s also extremely isolating. When I worked from home in the city, I walked my dogs 3x a day, saw tons of people and got to breathe in the energy of  NYC. I miss walking to pick up fresh fish or groceries from the corner store. Also, I miss people watching while sipping tea and working from a cafe. I miss having STUFF TO DO with the family. Like a kids museum, Central Park, amazing playgrounds, easily interacting with others, etc. It’s worth mentioning that I live in a very walkable town, with a pretty cute main street with shops and restaurants. But there is nothing like NYC.

Ultimately I think it comes down to ‘How do you like to spend your time?’

Do you enjoy a lazy Saturday at home, waking up slowly, maybe doing a house project? Do you truly enjoy gardening and taking care of your lawn? Hopping in the car to go grocery shopping with ease? Maybe the Suburbs ARE for you. But if you find yourself waking up on Saturday thinking, ‘Where will we explore today?!’ then I think life is a LOT easier in the city.

What no one tells you about all the ‘space’ in the suburbs is that so much of your time is spent taking care of it – your money is spent on the upkeep & maintenance and your energy is probably spent thinking about it. I miss our 1,000 sq ft spot I could clean it in 20 minutes and then spend the rest of the weekend exploring the city.”

From Brooklyn to Skaneateles Lake

“I was born & raised in Brooklyn and absolutely loved my childhood! Mostly because my whole family lives on the same block in Dyker Heights. There’s around thirty of us on the same block. It was amazing living there and just seeing everyone all the time. However, Brooklyn has definitely changed since I was growing up. I wanted my kids to be able to have that country lifestyle with land to run. Also, all the kinds of activities we love to do as a family.

Covid really pushed up our time to make the move sooner than we would have otherwise. I never left my house during the early Pandemic months and it just was not healthy. My husbands family is Upstate and we owned a cabin on Skaneateles Lake, my favorite place. So even though it’s 4-4.5 hrs from my family, we decided to sell the lakeside cabin and buy a home. It was the hardest thing I ever did. During the first few months were filled with phases of feeling happy and sad simultaneously.

Now almost a year later, I can say that I’ve never been happier and it was the best decision for my family!

I still go to Brooklyn once a month to visit. It has been really hard going from having so much help, seeing my mom and brother everyday, to this but it’s so beautiful here and we love it. I believe if you are unhappy or in a rut you have to make a change. And even though it was so hard in the beginning, it was worth it in the end.

Although, I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to being this far from my mom and brother. The fact that they can’t just run over for lunch or dinner breaks my heart and it’s still an adjustment, but a positive one… mostly.”

From Charlotte to Boston, back to Charlotte

“To start off, I moved about 8 years ago from Upstate to Charlotte, NC for college and I LOVED it. Of course there were bumps. However, overall I was generally thrilled and felt like it was exactly the right move for various reasons. Around 7 years later in the summer of 2020, I graduated with my PhD from that same school and felt confident & excited for my move to Boston with my fiancé and 3 pets; to start my ‘dream’ career at a biotech/pharma consulting firm. Of course I was cautious due to the ongoing pandemic, but I had worked so damn hard for many years and I finally ~made it~. So, I was determinedly optimistic about this move.

Cut to two adults working from home with our three pets in a very small space, in a city where we knew absolutely no one. Enjoying all that Boston was offering at the time (a cold winter, parking tickets, etc) and none of what I had spent years & long nights imaging. No travel (apart from my dimly lit bedroom to my equally dimly lit living room to work and back). There were no cocktails after work, no meeting new friends in yoga, at a bar or wherever one gathers socially.

I won’t continue to complain since we were healthy, together, fed and had a roof above us. However, I saw my fiancé quietly suffering. Taken from the only ‘home’ (aka Charlotte) he had previously known, and shortly after tragically losing his sister. We missed our friends so much. I convinced myself this was not our fresh start that I had previously hoped for.

After realizing my office was not reopening anytime soon (they actually sold the space) and exactly one year later, we made the long move back to Charlotte.

I know it was the right decision for us at the time. However, almost everyday I mourn my “What would have been” life in Boston if there was no Pandemic. If things were ‘normal,’ would it have still fallen short or would it have lived up to every expectation?

I’m in this weird limbo of not feeling where I should be and not being able to do anything about it. I do not know where that place for me is. Also, I have always been a woman of action. I know what I want and I do what it takes to get there. But now I have whatever is called ‘Writers Block’ when deciding your future. I am a cog in the stupid f*cking Big Pharma wheel. Mydebt to Uncle Sam confines me like many others.

Long story short: I’ve moved away from “home” then moved back and neither move felt like a good decision; so maybe sometimes it sucks like that. I think we would have learned to love Boston at some point. This could happen as things normalized but we also will be very happy here. It’s what you make of it, or at least that is what I tell myself.”

Follow me on Instagram for more updates.



  • Ejona

    Loved all of these stories! Can’t wait for more

  • Courtney

    This is the content i needed. Currently contemplating the same situation after 13 years in nyc being alone. Would love to read more

  • Caroline

    Thanks for sharing 🙏🏻

  • kacie

    OMG I loved reading these stories! As a Brooklynite myself (of almost 7 years now) I too have struggled with this great What If? lately. I love NYC, but the pandemic feels like it’s speeding up my timeline to maybe eventually leave NYC for the ‘burbs. Especially since I’m almost 30 now and am planning my wedding…Any way I just wanted to say that I loved this post and hope you keep sharing more of these stories in future posts 🙂

    Xo, Kacie

  • Gina

    Loved reading these! I’m a mom of two toddlers who loves life in NYC and can’t see myself leaving but of course we wonder about the path not taken and if our children are missing out. Hearing everyone’s stories is really meaningful. It’s also a reminder of how much this pandemic continues to take from us– we were not meant to live with this much uncertainty or instability for so long.

  • Pooja


  • CDB

    We made the decision to leave NYC over 10 years ago, but these stories are so relatable. Great post.

  • Teresa

    Love these stories. Thank you so much for sharing! And I think these women benefit from sharing their stories. I am in such a different place in my life from you big city ladies but still appreciate reading about what people in big cities are experiencing. This is one of the main reasons I follow you! Thanks again and look forward to more. 😁

  • MicMacinMN

    Great post – really liked reading such a variety of viewpoints!

  • Veniceblair

    The first story is the best with a silver lining.
    I don’t live in NY but the pandemic didn’t affect us as it has to others. I’m not bragging I’m just giving my POV. To us it made us be more fit bcuz of the Oculus games and bcuz we don’t eat out everyday, we eat at home mostly. It made us spend so much time together at home and when u’re having fun time goes really fast. My dogs are so happy we are at home everyday. I get all my things delivered n sometimes groceries I feel like living in the future not in the past where u need to go to a place physically. We stopped going to the movies too bcuz they are on my tv now. There’s a lot of things that have changed for the better like an updated lifestyle. I like the ways things are I have no complains. We just got COVID from going to a New Years club party. We are vaccinated but u can still get it. Since we are healthy we only had 2 days of fatigue n headache took ibuprofen DayQuil, ate soups, fruits n hot tea, n gone. It didn’t bother us much, at least we have more antibodies now. I know everyone in this world would get COVID just like how the flu started back hundreds of yrs ago. It is inevitable. COVID may be the only way ppl start being healthy n caring for their body mind the way it should be. Ppl need to understand eating animals makes more harm than good. Caveman ate animals bcuz they didn’t have restaurants or grocery stores to shop at. U need to be healthy in case another virus shows n ur body can’t handle it. Do ur research n u will see how the best diets are Plantbased Vegan Vegetarian n even Pescatarian just make sure in a limited amount n seafood is not full of microplastic, try not to contribute to the killing of many species, limited consumption is key. There’s many organic options n organic supplements to fill the gaps. Like they say “U’re what u eat” is so true. I know the ppl who have been affected by viruses the most don’t have a healthy diet they carry many preventable diseases, some pass along for generations. If ur previous generations didn’t teach u how to be healthy u have to start now U need to break the cycle for u n ur next generations. A lot of diseases are preventable, is just that ppl don’t want to put any effort into changing their bad habits n traditions. I know the topic was about moving but I advocate for animals bcuz they cannot speak, all animals have feelings n they don’t want to die just like u wouldn’t if u reincarnate into one. I know this civilization is not even a type 1 yet, but we need to start improving it if not we will never move forward in life. Improve urself improve the society improve the world. Educate urself don’t just eat something that came from suffering n death. Most ppl live in denial n indifference all their life. No one tells them they need to change. If u love someone try to teach them the right way to be healthy for themselves n for all the species n for the planet. We can’t travel to another so we have to take care of this one.

  • Fiona

    Please continue to share more of these stories! I must have missed it on IG. I’m in a similar boat – contemplating moving from DC to NC. From the city to the suburbs and I’m a nervous wreck over it.

  • Aishwarya

    Your Post are Giving us Hope that Pandemic Gone Soon from World, I am Your Regular Reader of This Blog.

  • kamran

    very nice Blog Excellent

  • Priyanka


  • Testboymail

    Nice Article… Thanks for sharing.

  • Miju

    I love these stories. I really resonate with “how do you spend your time, it costs time and money to upkeep all the space.”

    My now husband (fiancé in NY) and I moved down to Miami and we are still in culture shock. We don’t regret moving out of Manhattan, as it was a dark place to be during the pandemic. The brutal winters were intolerable in 2020-2021 when we had to be stuck in our apartment all day and night.
    I think we miss the old NY so much, we have this romance with the city. We go back to Manhattan once a month from Miami for work, and every time we go, it’s a let down. We feel like the people who couldn’t get out are left in the city, the city feels like the life has been sucked out *even with* all the gen z kids moving in thinking it’s the best time ever. We are still in search of a location we can settle down, but nothing compares to old NY. It’s a slippery slope 🙁 As for now, we will stay put in Florida where the weather is always nice and there’s no state income tax. 🙁

  • anna

    good job

  • Ose a

    Moving is always so stressful but it was the worst during the pandemic. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  • Security Doors

    Looking great Very useful information

  • Jessica

    Loved this. Very relatable. I had the same dilemma throughout the pandemic. I decided I put in a transfer from NYC to Buffalo, NY, where I was born and raised. I knew that the city had changed drastically over the past few years, and I missed it. My transfer for work was approved 1.5 years after I submitted it. Since moving out of the city in October 2021, if has definitely been a culture shock. I went from being independent on my own for the past 5 years in the city, to moving back in with my parents as a 30 year old. I am still adjusting to work here, as it’s much slower, and all of my friends are married with kids. I miss the energy of the city, the restaurant and bar scene, walking and exploring a new neighborhood every weekend, the social scene/everyone is always up for happy hours, dinners, and easily getting in 10,000 steps a day. It is nice to be closer to family, but I can’t help but wonder if I am going backwards. My social life has completely dwindled away. I am reluctant to purchase a home here because I just don’t know if I will be happy here. Sure, it has been nice to purchase a brand new vehicle after not having one for the past five years living in the city, but I do miss walking around the city, and people watching most importantly. You have the world at your fingertips in the city, everything and anything you could want is within a few blocks of you. Other aspects of the city made me want to get out though. The crime, not feeling as safe walking around, not as many commuters around. I work in the court system so I hear crime all day, every day, and knew it was at its worst. Also, my employer was very difficult to work with, and that was a large reason for wanting to get out and come back to my hometown. Thank you for sharing this post with these differing viewpoints. It’s very relatable and comforting to hear everyone’s struggles. I would love to see more of these in the future!

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