I've seen this question pop up quite a bit in various forums. People are feeling like they're in limbo because they have good reasons for wanting to leave wherever they're at and move to a different part of the country. However, parents and others are trying to convince them it's not a good idea due to the pandemic.
At the end of the day, everyone has to gauge how much of a risk they're willing to take to realize their vision as well as their max timeline. From my experience, it is feasible to move during COVID while staying safe and healthy. Ultimately, there are many excuses for why one shouldn't move to a major city during this time period:
- Cities are dirty and congested
- Heavy concentrations of people make COVID easier to spread
- On the West coast, wildfires are a persistent threat – and depending on where you choose to live, could have a negative impact on your place of living
- Cities continue to be expensive, so if you don't have a source of income, life will be hard
- You will theoretically be moving away from your social safety net, so that will also make life tougher
If you decide to move, know that it will be an uphill battle. However, for most people, it will be worth it. At the very least, you will be able to prove out your hypothesis and figure out whether or not the journey is worth it for you. Just make sure you have a back up plan in case of failure.
Potential Benefits of Moving Somewhere New
- Get a head start on a new career path or interest ie. beginning to connect with people in the tech industry to make it easier to transition to the new industry.
- Enjoy more activities you enjoy which makes life more pleasant ie. living in LA makes it easier to play tennis more regularly since the weather is favorable year round.
- Reduce seasonal depression. ie. enjoy clearer skies this winter and weather the pandemic winter.
- Get an idea of whether you want to live there long term. ie. spending a few months of the pandemic in a new city will help you learn the neighborhoods and what life is like there. Even if the city isn't exactly the same as what it was like pre-pandemic, you'll still be able to understand the big picture idea.
What this might look like:
- $2-4k of savings in case your employment or source of income falls through
- Cheaper/alternative housing in case your planned housing falls through
- A way to transport yourself around the city, beit ride sharing, leasing a car or buying a bike
- 1 person from "home" that you can call and check in with as you go through your transition
- Outline the circumstances under which you will want to return home or take a completely different approach: ie. you are down to $600 in your bank account, you've tried searching for your ideal job for 1 year with no luck etc
The COVID-19 pandemic will be with us for at least another year. Putting your goals on hold is not a sustainable way to weather the storm. Create a feasible plan that lets you go after your dreams while staying safe. Keep your mask on. Sanitize your hands often. Get tested regularly. And don't stop give up.