Before we get started, I need to prepare you for something. When you tell your friends, loved ones, or even complete strangers that you’re moving to New York, you will probably experience this phenomenon.
First, you’ll see excitement light up in their eyes, as if your move is going to let them somehow live out their secret inner dreams of adventuring in the Big Apple. They’ll probably ask you something like: “Oh really? What part of New York?”
Your response of “Buffalo” will evaporate that dreamy look faster than a drop of water drizzled on a hot griddle. The excitement etched on their face will quickly become shock, taken over by a false expression of cheer as they try and hold on to the delight they had for you only a moment before.
After the initial surprise, you’ll most likely see their face morph into concern, distaste, or maybe even disgust as they dredge up their mental pictures of the strange land known as Buffalo. The next thing out of their mouth if you live anywhere south of upstate New York is most likely something like this:
“Don’t you know how COLD it is up there? You’ll be buried in snow!”
Let’s get the introductions out of the way, and explain my personal answer to the big question: Why Buffalo?
My name is Angel and I’m 31 years old. My girlfriend Raelin and I met on the internet, on a popular roleplaying website known as Rolepages. It's similar to Facebook, but you play a fictional character (it’s actually not as silly as it sounds).
Here's a picture of us at nearby Niagara Falls:
I lived in Richmond, Virginia, and she lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina at the time, so we were able to visit and become friends slowly both in real life and in our virtual ones. Things progressed for a year or so and she moved back to her hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but by then we had fallen in love.
There’s a lot to get done when moving, but it becomes especially hard when the move is a very long distance. Since we went from Virginia to New York, we’re going to focus on moves that are about 500 miles away or more from home sweet home.
There are several major questions you need to ask yourself: How much stuff do I have? How am I going to move all of that stuff? What is my budget? How much money do I need to save? How do I tell my family? What if I have roommates, what do I tell them? What will be our new cost of living? Does my job allow transfers, or will I need to be on the hunt when I arrive? How long can I survive without a new job?
Jeez, that’s a lot of questions! But we’ll tackle them all, and as long as you think things through thoroughly, you should be able to have a fairly painless moving day.
First, let’s tackle the problem of stuff. How many possessions do you have? Are you going to take all of that with you? I highly advise having a yard sale, giving clothes away to charity, and getting rid of all trash or junk before you move. The things that you don’t need and don’t use will take up valuable real estate place in your moving truck, and ultimately waste money. This will also give you some extra cash to add to your budget.
Once you’ve streamlined your possessions, you have to decide how you’re going to get everything to your new home. There are surprisingly few options out there when money is definitely an object.
We’re supposed to talk about moving today, but instead I’m going to share a little slice of the Buffalo life instead, mostly because the experience is fresh in my head, and because my rambling isn’t as interesting as showing you what you can do in this awesome city!
Niagara Falls is a quick 15 minute drive from Buffalo, right up the 190 North highway. It costs a dollar US (5% discount with Canadian funds!) to get over the bridge onto Grand Island, but you can avoid the bridge and the island by taking the scenic route north on River Road.
The Seneca is on the US side, on Indian Reservation land. One of the valid forms of identification is a Tribal ID, which, I have to admit, I didn’t even know existed! (Chalk me up as another ignorant American).
So, here’s the Seneca: