I’ve been asked this question by almost every single person I told we were moving here – friends, family, co-workers, followers and even strangers who have overhead us telling others! The funny thing I didn’t expect is that I’ve gotten that same question since settling in here, why are you here? What brought you here? The problem with answering this question is there is no short reason for me. It wasn’t a job that brought us here, even though I applied to and interviewed with places. But it was always more than that. It was a mutual decision that we talked about and planned and thought about for months. For me, even years.
And before I get into each specific reason why – I just wanted to point out that a lot of it is just a feeling – my gut, my heart and even my mind telling me, well actually us – my husband and I, that Boston was right. I personally fell in love with Boston, with the East Coast, a long time ago before Joe and I even met. So it’s honestly always been on the back of my mind as a place I wanted to move. And while I always want to believe the whole “home is where the heart is…” saying, I can’t 100% agree with that statement, even though I want to. Because if you’re a person who happens to fall in love with places, then you know exactly why this statement isn’t 100% true for us. That places can have just as much hold on your heart, even though you wish places didn’t. That’s exactly what I felt growing up in Iowa and the Midwest… always longing to be somewhere else. Like I wasn’t in the right place. Even though I was surrounded by amazing friends, family, co-workers, etc. I always just knew I was meant to be somewhere else. I didn’t really need to be somewhere else, but my gut, my heart just needed something else.
Long story short, I’m the kind of person that falls in love with places. I’m a person who can truly feel that much more alive just by what surrounds me. The hustle and bustle of a busier place. Knowing that there is always something exciting going on. That there is always a big event and lots of people to share this world with. That I can easily get around via public transportation. That I can simply take a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature and humans living their day-to-day lives. It’s all just so exciting. And yes, Minneapolis was a big area/big city – but NOT like this. I LOVED Minneapolis, and while it did feel like home for a long time, I knew it wasn’t my end destination – at least not yet!
I first fell in love with a place when I studied abroad back in 2008. I took a course in London, England for three weeks before moving to Swansea, Wales for the remainder of the semester. Wales was also wonderful, but not in the big city kind of way that I love. I found myself taking the five-hour bus back to London all the time. The pace of the city, the fact there was always somewhere to be and something to do, how easy it was to get around on the Tube. THAT. That is exactly what I always wanted. Oh and sorry not sorry, THE SHOPPING.
So with that in mind…. Boston was also one of those places I fell in love with so long ago. I was first here when I was four. Now, I understand that it may seem crazy I would even remember that trip, but it is absolutely the first family vacation I remember. And cherish. I’ll NEVER forget that trip. My parents took my older sister and me to the East Coast to spend time in Boston, NYC and seeing our aunt and uncle who still live here in Massachusetts (HELLO JIM & JO ANN!). We actually all ended up doing a beach vacation in Connecticut! The next time I was back in Boston was my senior year of college to watch a friend run the Boston marathon. I loved every second of that trip and seeing the marathon for the first time was AMAZING. Then I came back for the HubSpot INBOUND conference a few years ago. It was in that moment of being back and really feeling like I knew what I wanted in life that it was time to convince my husband not only to move but to move here. So here’s our/my whys and SORRY it has taken so long to write this post. There are just SO many reasons why and it’s hard for me to describe in words.
So here we are today, settling into Boston. Meeting people, networking, finding freelance work, enjoying the seafood, exploring the beauty and just living the good life. And here are the many reasons why (plus more I’m sure) that we are just so dang happy to be here:
Networking & Opportunity
First and foremost, there is SO much opportunity here. Whether I choose to pursue the blog full-time or stay in a marketing/copywriting role, there are literally hundreds of opportunities. Every time I do a job search for roles, there are so many opportunities in software/technology marketing. I also already joined Bloggers Live Boston, a wonderful group of like-minded women who also blog. They host monthly events, share resources on blogging and have so many connections pertinent to blogging. I have already attended my first blogger event in the area and feel like I met so many wonderful, entrepreneurial women doing amazing things in the Greater Boston area! The networking opportunities are also amazing for my husband. He already has quite a few events lined up to attend and start making connections. And let’s not forget the handful of colleges here in Boston and New England, with places like Harvard and MIT, there are also so many educational events and opportunities for us to continue learning and growing our network.
I’m an Aquarius – need I say more? Husband’s a Cancer – need I say more? Just kidding, but seriously – I’m an ocean girl, not a lake girl (sorry Minnesota). I have ALWAYS loved any trip or vacation that brought me to the ocean. The sound of the waves. The beauty of the beaches. It’s hard to describe! Knowing that we are just an hour away from the beauty of the Cape (I’m trying to call it what they call it around here, but yes Cape Cod) and literally hundreds of beautiful beaches blows my mind! It still hasn’t hit me that even where we are living right now, just ten minutes away we’re right by the ocean. I also LOVE the Seaport area of Boston. It’s beautiful and I’ve heard the rooftops there during the summer are hard to beat. My husband, on the other hand, would probably prefer the lakes, but he just loves being around water in general. I think he’ll change his mind after a summer on the beaches here 😉
I LOVE HISTORY. I used to hate it in high school, which is sad to me now because I find everything about history so fascinating. From the Freedom Trail to the Boston Tea Party Museum & Ships, there is no shortage of amazing history and things to learn and experience. I don’t really know what else to say because I’m just so excited to do all the history tours and learn more about our country’s history! And since I’m a little too into true crime, I’m definitely planning on doing the Mobsters, Mayhem and Murder in Boston tour. Anyone want to visit and do the tour with me?!
The Public Transportation
So while there was public transportation in Minneapolis/St. Paul, it just isn’t the same as public transportation here. The T is so fast and efficient and literally connects you to any part of Boston/surrounding areas that you want to go. We will probably end up getting the Charlie Card for unlimited T and bus rides for $85 per month, but we aren’t going into Boston enough right now for that. Otherwise, it’s $2.75 one-way on the T. We are right off the red line right now, the last stop in Braintree and it took me about 30 minutes to get to South Station (right by the Financial district and just over the bridge from the Seaport area). Speaking back to when I fell in love with London, one of the reasons was how amazing and efficient the Tube was/still is. I just love being able to use public transportation to get places without having to worry about being stuck in traffic, where to park and just knowing that it is also much better for the environment than driving. The other day, I was able to catch up on my emails while meeting my friend for lunch at the Barking Crab! So if you plan on coming to visit us, you better believe I’m making you take the T everywhere! 😉
Some of you might be thinking WHAT? I only hear about bad weather in the Northeast. I’ve also heard “you know it still snows there” or “have you been here during the winter?” YES AND YES. My husband and I both LOVE having four seasons. In fact, my ideal weather is 55 and rainy. So far, the weather here has been OFF THE CHARTS amazing for me 😉 Don’t worry, I do like the sun from time to time too. Anyway, it is supposed to be warmer in the winter here and cooler in the summer than Minnesota. That makes me so happy. They rarely have below-zero temperatures and if it snows, it usually starts to melt pretty quickly. Joe and I visited back in January right after an ice and snow storm. It was definitely cold, but nothing like we were experiencing in Minnesota! IT also started to melt the next day and we literally walked around Northie (North End) exploring without any problem. Also, I do LOVE snow. I don’t love winter/snow for six months of the year and I have a feeling we might have more balance between the four seasons in Boston.
I also checked the weather in Boston every single day this past winter (I’m not kidding, I literally took screenshots and used it as motivation to move here) and on average, Boston was 15 to 20 degrees warmer every day. During the negative 20 to negative 50-degree weather? Yeah, Boston was about 35 to 40 during that time (yeah up to 50 degrees warmer). So can we handle winter here? I think we’ll do just fine. 😉 In other news, spring has always been my least favorite season, but it is SO gorgeous here during this time, I think it might be my new favorite. I even posted about it on my personal Instagram @rachelsobieck. So many cherry blossoms and beautiful trees lining the streets and neighborhoods. Yeah, just another reason to love it here!
Access to New York City + New England
This one almost goes hand in hand with networking and opportunity. Being a blogger, there are so many events and of course New York Fashion Week happening all the time. I often got invited to events in NYC but simply couldn’t take the time to travel to get to them for just a weekend. Now we’re just a 3.5-hour drive from NYC! There is also a train that goes from Boston to NYC or you can take the bus. The train can cost up to $150 round trip and the bus up to $40 one way, but both are great options if I just need to get there for a weekend or an event. Flights are also generally pretty cheap, less than $200 if I needed to get there quickly (an hour flight).
Also, just having access to SO many places and great destinations. We are literally just a few hours from amazing places in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and more. I honestly haven’t had a chance to explore this part of the country much and I’m excited to learn more. We did spend a month in Vermont and got to go to New Hampshire quite a bit as well, but I can’t wait until the fall season to spend even more time in these areas. I also can’t wait to explore Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the rest of the East Coast. Weekend trip opportunities are exponential. Oh and did I mention my uncle (mom’s brother), aunt and cousins live in Massachusetts?! It’s great to have family nearby and we plan to visit them soon!
The mix of old and new in Boston gives it that familiar, wonderful feeling of Europe – especially London to me. I know it’s NOT the same. I mean, it is in New England after all! But the history, the endless old buildings, churches, graveyards and beauty of preserved historic buildings makes it feel that way. The endless cobblestone walking paths and streets. Just check out Acorn Street if you want a feeling of how gorgeous Boston is. The amazing shopping. Two Primarks (one dangerously close to me in Braintree and one on Summer Street in Boston). I’ve honestly cried some happy tears several times since being here. It just makes me so happy!
So Many Free Events!
And last, but certainly not least, there are SO many free events going on every single day, but especially on the weekends. Just this upcoming weekend, there are more than 70 free events in the area. We use The Boston Calendar to keep us updated on things to do and can’t wait to be a true tourist this summer while also taking advantage of the free events. Of course, Minneapolis also had a lot of amazing and free events, but never this many!
As you can tell, there are A LOT of reasons why we decided to move to Boston. I’m sure I got a bit long-winded on some of these, but I wanted to express our thought processes when choosing to move here. And while we might be in honeymoon phase still, we are both absolutely in love. Yes, the costs are high, but you have to balance the cost of living with all the perks of being somewhere. To me, Boston has it all for the type of life we want to live!
Next up, we plan to keep looking at various apartments throughout the Boston area. There are many things that are important to us, of course a place that is dog-friendly, close to a T station (easy to get around Boston without driving), an open kitchen, two bedrooms ideally (for guests) and if it is an apartment complex, we’d love a fitness center! We are also ensuring that the place we choose can help us save on any energy costs by having updated appliances, like a nice, heatless water tank – I found a great review of water tanks on iPropertyManagement. This will be especially important if we rent a house or an older apartment/condo that’s been renovated.
I can’t wait to keep you updated on what’s to come for us here in Boston and all our adventures. Thank you for being a part of our journey from the Midwest to the East Coast, and hope you’re having a great week!
Shop the Post