Note: This is part 2 to “my-story”. If you want to read about my undergraduate experience at Waterloo go here.

Just a few months after graduating, I was slated to start my full time job in August 2020. It was exciting and nerve-wracking for a few reasons. I had spent time in the US for 4 months doing internships but never this prolonged period. This was finally the start of “working” life.

After years of hype and hyped up stories about the bay area, you finally get the chance to start your career and move to the bay area. After years of vying for a job in the central tech hub of the world. Well…that’s what is supposed to happen. What happens if you decide to not move there? This is the continuation of where we left off from my-story.

Just a few months after graduating I was slated to start my full time job. This story takes place August 2020 amidst a global pandemic. I had to move to the US for visa reasons but I didn’t have to move to the bay area. So I decided not to move to the bay area.

I didn’t move to the bay area because:

  • the cost of living was extremely high
  • south bay is pretty suburban
  • in order to do things you needed a car/go to SF
  • I had already experienced bay area during my internship
  • I felt that if I was going to eventually move to bay area, I should move elsewhere while I had the opportunity

And this is that story.

Rent:

  • Seattle 1200/m studio
  • New Jersey 1800/m studio
  • Austin 2100/m 1b,1b
  • NYC (split with roommate) 2100/m
  • Phoenix 1800/m
  • Austin studio 1800/m

note: If you are looking for something related to how to do read/write consistency for your system design or how to do certain leetcode algorithms this is not the page. This is going to almost purely focused on travel.

Seattle, WA -> NYC, NY -> Austin, Texas -> NYC, NY -> Las Vegas, Nevada -> Oahu, Hawaii -> Phoenix, Arizona -> Portland Oregon -> Miami, Florida

The return (Seattle, WA)

Wait…didn’t you already live in Seattle? I did. During my final internship I was in Seattle for 6 months (and 4 of those during the pandemic). If I was so set on moving to a new place, why did I move to a place I had already been? Honestly, my shortlist of places to move to were Indianapolis, Austin, and Seattle. I was leaning towards Indianapolis, but my parents urged I move to a place I had some familiarity with. I didn’t get to experience a lot of Seattle since the pandemic shut everything down 1.5 months into my internship so I justified I could re-explore the area + I had some familiarity/friends there.

I lived in Seattle for 8 months and to be honest it might have been a little TOO long.

I got vaccinated and then I got on a flight to the opposite coast. I hadn’t been back to the east coast (properly) in roughly 2 years. (for a school term or back home) I hadn’t been back to NYC in roughly 10 years. But the change was an exciting feeling.

The best: The nature and outdoors. (The weather?)

Ok now before people clown this answer I experienced freakishly small amount of rain. I actually had snow in December. (Which is pretty rare in the PNW)

I also had the wildfire smoke in September which at times were worse than California (since they originated in Oregon). That was not as fun.

The worst: Downtown Seattle. The city or lack thereof which has areas that are kind of trashy. It is kind of like SF but worse. Yesler and 3rd near International District is an area I don’t necessarily like strolling through (akin to Tenderloin in SF)

The food options in the city are also a bit lackluster. The Poke is good, but other cuisines are not that great.

I can’t criticize the city too much. It is basically a city that got gentrified by Amazon. No one likes Amazon there.

Beast Coast (New York City, NY)

The best: The diversity of the city.

The diversity among the people.

Food city.

Always stuff to do

museums, art, nature

The worst: Holy shit it is expensive.

This city is a

a lot to process

Into the unknown (Austin, TX)

The best: Holy shit it is inexpensive. The tacos and bbq are insane here.

The worst: Car city. (I cannot drive so it is difficult for me to get around). Also it’s hot AF.

food diversity choices are slim.

The tacos and bbq is undefeated, but other cuisines leave more to be desired.