After 2 years in New York City, I was ready to get out. I’d had a fun time there, but it was expensive and hard to save towards my financial goals in one of the most expensive cities in America, so I decided to leave.
The Drive Down
I have a friend whose sister is a flight attendant and can fly for free. He flew up to NY and I got him an uber to my place. He spent the night and we enjoyed some Chinese food and the next day we took an Uber to JFK airport and picked up a rental minivan, a Chrysler Town & Country, and drove back to my apartment and loaded up my boxes. I’d already packed everything up, so the loading of the minivan only took about 30 minutes. After that, we were on the road. We took turns driving in 4-hour shifts and after about 20 hours, we completed the drive from Brooklyn, New York, to St. Petersburg, Florida.
We unloaded the car at my parent’s house and I dropped my buddy off at his parent’s place in St. Pete, then dropped off the car at St. Pete-Clearwater Airport. The total cost of the 1-day rental car was about $117, much cheaper than the $1,600 that I was quoted by U-Haul (they charge by the mile). The rental car, plus burritos, snacks, gas was just under $300 total.
In New York, apartment hunting is all done on Street Easy and a number of other startups based in the NYC area. In St. Pete it was pretty much all on Zillow with the exception of a few Craigslist postings that weren’t that great. After about a week of hunting around, I found a place that my friend Lauren actually used to live in years ago. Stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, in-unit washer and dryer, and about 800 square feet, all for $1,100. Compared to Brooklyn, I was living like a king and paying less than half of what that same apartment would cost in NYC.