I have lived in the city of Boston for two years now. I have been working in the city for five years. I traveled from New Hampshire in a long commute during rush hour both ways before finally making the plunge to be a Massachusetts resident. Boston is on the rise to being one of the most expensive cities to live in the Unites States, especially for renters. It was a rude awakening moving here to learn that rent, utilities, car insurance, license and registration, health insurance and so much more would be more expensive. Most expenses at least doubled. This is something to plan for if you are moving to the city.
There are things to think about when moving or visiting a big city. Especially if you are coming from a smaller town.
1. Driving in MA
Everyone hears that Massachusetts drivers are called Massholes. Massachusetts residents don’t like that very much but I learned quickly that driving here is a whole new world. Drivers are aggressive. Being alert and prepared when driving here is essential. Often drivers do not use signal lights when changing lanes and with the heavy amounts of stop and go traffic people speed up to high rates of speed and quickly slow down without warning. Distracted driving during these busy times, or any time really, is very dangerous. Especially near the city where traffic is dense for long periods of time. They say “Boston is and hour from Boston” for a reason; traffic is constant and consistent. So be aware and alert when driving near the city.
Waze and GPS Apps
People also complain about Boston’s layout. It is not grided like other planned cities. If you miss a turn it may be blocks before you get a street that goes the direction you need it to in order to reroute. A life saver for me is Waze. Not only does the GPS app help with directions it tells you when police are around, slow downs in traffic and alternate routes.
2. Public Transportation and UBER/LYFT
Being in the city transportation is difficult. If I haven’t made that clear, it’s an absolute nightmare in Boston. Our subway system is called the MBTA and we call it the T for short. Using the T or Uber and Lyft make things so much easier and definitely safer when out for a night of drinks! Whenever you can use public transportation its usually more convenient.
Although the other side of public transportation is safety. Always be aware of your surroundings. Let people know when you are in cabs or on the T at night, especially when alone. Safety is key.
3. Get Involved in Social Activities
Moving to the city was one of the best things my husband and I ever did. At first it was hard having our friends back in New Hampshire and Maine but we began to build a life in the city. There is so much to do in the city, you should take advantage of it when moving or visiting. We went to concerts on a whim, went to sports games, did pub crawls, and I even did work out classes to socialize and branch out.
4. Budgets and Knowing Your City’s Financial Climate
One downside I stated about moving to the city is the price. Everything is so expensive. Learning to budget is going to be key. Trust me I learned the hard way. Credit cards and spending did not do me well, but hey I learned and I’m on the up now. Boston is so expensive. Everything seems to be about money and things this day and age. I try to focus on making memories. But I budget those times so I can balance my income and my happiness lol! I suggest googling a simple budget plan to get you started or speak to a financial specialist. Start simple and make it a habit.
5. Downsize Your Personal Property
The city means more people in less space. Apartments are more expensive and much smaller. There are less closets and additional prices for storage units. Its necessary to downsize. I am a pack rat! I Save everything for sentimental value. But i have had to make choices to downsize that were difficult. There just isn’t as much room in the apartments in the city. Be conscientious of this when moving and packing. It will save you a world of headaches when trying to move in and place everything. It also avoids clutter and chaos, which for me make me more productive when things are open and in their place. (I know, OCD much?)
6. Learn About Your Community
When moving to a new city it makes life easier to get the lay of the land. In Boston it can be confusing to get around on these roads so knowing your area makes things easier. Drive around, learn where your grocery stores are, gas stations, coffee shops, shopping, post offices, and banks.
Other important places to scope out are: Voting locations, RMV & City Hall and Courthouse & Police Stations. Although you won’t need them often they are important to know about.
7. Safety in the City
Today we all should be more aware of our surroundings. The city is no exception. Buddy systems are great, especially for women. Being alone in an area you are unfamiliar with can be scary and potentially unsafe. I’m not saying worry all the time, just be aware of where you are and what you are doing. There is a lot going on in this world and I always am Miss Independent but there is a serious need for safety and awareness. That awareness is knowledge and wisdom.
Please be safe ladies and understand that sometimes these safety concerns are random and we must be prepared for them. Be conscious of cabs and subways. Be aware of the people around you on the streets when alone or not. Be aware of you drinks in bars. Keep your loved ones in the loop about your whereabouts. I am not an expert in defense but there are many things you can do in an attack. Be loud and make yourself known. Don’t fight for the purse. Just to name a few.
8. Make Time to Explore New Things
The city has so much opportunity. There is something for everyone. Take advantage of the wonders it brings. Go to the shows and concerts. Go to the sports games. Hit the big amazing recliner movie theaters. Go to the outdoor events. Enjoy the parks and outside seating at restaurants. Explore different communities. Get to the beach. Go on the boat. Take the history tours. Whatever it is that you like try to make it a part of your life. We only live once so live it to the fullest and make memories. The city can give you a life of joy and opportunity, if that lifestyle is your thing! The move to the city is the best thing that my Husband and I ever did!