I moved from San Francisco to Austin in September of 2018 and the short answer of whether I like it or not is: YES. I do.
I miss San Francisco but I know I made the right choice.
Nothing to do with Austin directly (or does it?) but I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. Have great friends here whom I adore. Doing well in my career (for the most part!) and also really, really happy in my relationship with Dan.
He is SUCH a good guy. I moved for love… and THANK GOD it’s working out because that was one risky. ass. move.
Don’t get me wrong: it hasn’t been easy. But nothing ever is, and every moment has been worth it. I really feel like I’m living life with my soulmate right now.
If things didn’t work out with Dan -and I pray they do!- I would still stay in Austin. I’m really loving it that much here.
What’s it like moving from San Francisco to Austin?
Austin really does live up to the hype– it’s such a cool city.
There is always something going on. Community is felt. People are really nice and open to meeting others. There are a lot of entrepreneurs and cool companies to work for. A lot of conferences, concerts, workshops, and events being held here. Amazing coffee shops and restaurants. The music scene is awesome!!
Lots of nature, too.
My least favorite thing is the traffic and freeways.
THE FREEWAYS ARE HORRIBLE. They scare me so much. Especially the 35. Especially the 183 near the East Side. Especially every freeway in Austin. No thank you!!!
Not a bunch to complain about. 😉 The summer was WAY HOT, sure… but I really did just fine with it. It’s also more affordable than San Francisco… but it’s still not “cheap.” And rent prices are going up every year.
I love the culture in Austin. It’s a very healthy city.
After a year here, you realize how “small” Austin is even though it’s actually quite huge in size. Just like San Francisco (which is tiny in size but jam packed with people), I am always bumping into someone I know when I’m out and about.
The first six months were tough. I had a hard time finding friends that I pictured sticking. I’m a true blue introvert- so having to put myself out there and be “on top of my game” when meeting people really exhausted me. I longed for friends that I could just be myself around. Be relaxed.
I remember one night Dan was getting ready to go out and meet some guy friends and I said, “I wish I had a group of girls here I could just call up to hang out”…. there were a lot of nights like that. I felt so lonely. But at the same time, a part of my cup was full that was missing when I was in San Francisco– Dan.
Love is important, but female friendships are priceless to me. My whole life friends have been a HUGE priority for me. I don’t think anyone can truly love a place… until they have good friends around them.
I think moving anywhere new, even to a place as social as Austin, it’s going to be tough for a while. I’m talking months, maybe even a year. So if you’re moving, just be prepared for that and understand that it’s part of the process. The only way to not go through it is to stay in the same place and NOT move lol.
Only now, a year later, do I really feel like I’ve truly gotten to the point where I am nurturing what could be life-long friendships. True friendships take time! It can’t be rushed.
Let’s talk about close friends. There are people I’ve stayed in super close contact with who were SO HAPPY for me from the start when I moved to Texas, and people who… it just hasn’t lined up since I moved. Misunderstandings. A lack of communication. Resentment I suppose. Friendships fell apart after I moved and I put the blame on both sides. I’d be lying if I said that didn’t bother me. It’s been a huge source of contention in my heart. I’m someone who strongly believes in loyalty even in the bumpiest of roads so for friendships to just crumble by the wayside… I have a hard time accepting that. In the end, both parties need to do what’s best for them.
Didn’t mean to get dark– just want to keep it real about the realities of moving to anywhere! Not just Austin.
If you make a really big move, like one that not only disrupts your life but also the lives of others who are used to your consistent presence… it’s going to be hard. Everyone will handle it differently.
My parents were totally supportive, most of my friends were totally supportive. Others were not.
Austin vs San Francisco
I moved to Austin to start a life for myself, one in which I could grow strong roots. Maybe my own family one day. Who knows! But that wasn’t happening in San Francisco… for me anyway. And I gave it 4+ good years!
I’ve visited SF a few times since moving and each time I am there I am so ecstatic to be in that city. It makes me feel so nostalgic. I owe that city a lot. I miss it so much… those memories, the people, the city itself… it’s all so precious to me. And yet– I don’t know that I could ever move back. If I did- it’d have to look like an entirely different life. One in which I’d live in a part of the city I never really got to know. I’d need something to feel new to me.
But alas, (is it nerdy to say alas? lol) I don’t see myself moving back for a long long time. Even with the constant fomo I have when I see literally any photo of San Francisco. Even with people I love still living there. Even with the business opportunities I left behind. No… I feel I belong in Austin right now. I am so grateful to be here at this point in my life.
If you’re considering a visit- highly recommend! But beware, you’ll probably fall in love and will want to move here! And no one in Austin wants anyone else to move here. 😉 BUT— when face to face, they will welcome you with a big, sweet HOW DO YOU LIKE TEXAS and genuinely hope that you’re loving it. Because nearly everyone loves it here.
Myself included. <3
Written by your home girls at The Violet Fog