As you may (or may not) know, I have been contemplating moving away from Western New York.
I have lived in Niagara falls, Buffalo and Rochester all my life. I have never NOT lived outside of WNY. So this is a big step for me. As much as I complain about Buffalo and it's surrounding area, I have never actually lived anywhere else. I've never been able to compare Buffalo to Siesta Key, FL or Toronto, ON or Rural Valley, PA because those are places I've only visited. I love those places and I could see myself living in those places, but a relaxing vacation is not much of a gauge on what life would be like in those places compared to here.
Would I be happy living in the sticks of Pennsylvania surrounded by my huge family? Probably. But I would have to move there by myself. And what would I do for work? I'm sure somewhere down there they're looking for teachers, but if you think Buffalo is a close-knit community, it doesn't have anything on Rural Valley. I may also need to change my last name. Having a Spanish last name wouldn't do me any favors. And as relaxing as it is down there when I visit, if I lived there I wouldn't be able to sleep in and drive around and visit with family and get fed by family and take my time with life. I'd have to get up with the rooster and work for a living. It wouldn't be as relaxing as it is when I visit.
Siesta Key would be great. It's sunny and warm and there's almost never snow. But in the summer it's humid. More humid than WNY. Around the middle of July I want to kill myself it's so humid up here. Imagine what it feels like in Florida? Sure there's air conditioning and gulf breeze, but will that be enough? And I'm sure the cost of living is a lot more than it is in Western New York. Plus, Siesta Key and it's surrounding area is pretty much a retirement community. Not many people my age down there on a regular basis. So does that mean there are not many schools down there, let alone schools that are hiring?
But the point of this rambling blog post is to figure out what I would miss the most if I finally moved away.
Of course I have family here, but they don't want me to stay here just to be miserable. They don't spend much time in Niagara Falls once the weather gets below 60 degrees anyway. They'd come and visit. My brother and my cousin are making moves of their own to get out of WNY.
Friends? Most of my friends here are transports from another place. Or friends I've had since I was a teenager and aren't going to stay here much longer. If they do stay, I could always come visit if I come back. Or they could come see me.
Would I miss the night-life or the events or the weather? Sort of. Kinda. I don't really take advantage of the bars-are-open-until-four-in-the-morning aspect of Buffalo, but I do enjoy some of the festivals. Sometimes.
The architecture is nice, but I can take a picture of buildings. I don't need to be surrounded by the Gold Dome Building or the HH Richardson Complex all my life.
Honestly, there has to be SOMETHING here that I'd miss... I guess I'll go with the people. I will miss walking down the street or driving down the road and seeing people I recognize. They may not be friends, but I know who they are. They are customers I had when I was a barista at Caffe Aroma. Or they are people I met at the Powder Keg festival. Or they're that guy I always gave pocket change to or a sandwich to when I had it to spare.
What would you miss the most if you were to leave the place you've lived most of your life?