How To Respond When Someone Asks Why You Moved AWAY From NYC

Naively, I thought that once I moved, my decision to move wouldn’t be questioned anymore. I had dealt with the incessant barrage of questions (“Why do you have to go so far?” “How long will you be away?” “You’re not running away to escape, right?”) and assumptions (“But I thought you loved your life in NYC…”) from family and friends before I took off. And I knocked ’em each down with honest, appropriate answers.

But ever since I’ve arrived in Sydney, I’ve gotten questioned about how I could ever possibly move away from NYC. I get it. The city is THE city. It’s the center of the universe. It runs 24 hours a day. It has a pulse. It’s alive. I love it. But do I miss it? Not the way you’d assume. For those of us who have lived the corporate NYC life, busting our asses to be able to just cover the laughable rent and trying to enjoy the best of the world class nightlife, we can tell you that living in one of the world’s best cities is effing exhausting. What I like most about it – how there’s always something new and interesting to see or do or eat – puts an abusive amount of pressure on my shoulders. And don’t get me started about how everyone is judged by their job titles and who they know…

So after 5 months of continuously hearing “but why would you ever leave NYC for Sydney?!” I have come up with a number of response options:

The Friendly Options: 

  • Oh, the grass is always greener.
  • You love my city, I love your city. We should run the UN!
  • It’ll always be “home” to me.

The Sarcastic Options: 

  • I loved the smelly garbage and Subway pee-ers too much. I had to break up with NYC.
  • So you visited NYC once? No, please, tell me more about what it’s like to live there.
  • You’ve never moved halfway around the world alone? Loser.

The TMI – But Most Honest – Options: 

  • To be honest, I got run down from going out and working in NYC that it was simply not sustainable to maintain my lifestyle.
  • I could have taken the easy route in life of staying put, plugging away, and living someone else’s dream. But I chose to take my dreams into my own hands and make them happen!
  • When you grow up in the Tri-state area, you get jaded at a young age. I will always appreciate the culture, food, and opportunities that were made available to me at an early age. But it’s not new and exciting. It’s just home.
  • What can I say, I love this country!

Really, I think of my move as gaining a city, not losing a city. It’s corny but true. So while part of me automatically gets defensive after rounds and rounds of hearing the same question, thinking “I don’t have to justify or rationalize my decisions to anyone!” the truth is that making an international move is something most people couldn’t imagine actually doing. So sure, I’ll respond as if it’s the first time I’ve heard it to represent the #ExpatLife in the positive way it should be 💁🏻.

Manhattan Life
Living in Manhattan: when it’s good, it’s great.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Julia P Colicchio says:

    I’ve been working in your neighborhood for the past two days, and lemme tell ya, I want to move now! *enter nyc accent* The place friggen sucks! 😉


    1. Julia P Colicchio says:

      sorry *OLD neighborhood !


      1. It’s all fun and games until you’re in between Subway stops, packed beneath an armpit, listening to the same MTA announcement for the 3rd time in a row… ;


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