I’m working from New York City this week. Thought it would be fun to spend the 4th of July here. I spent a good chunk of my adult life in Toronto, so I didn’t think NYC would be as jarring as it has been. I’ve only been here two days and I’m ready to come home to Tampa.
Being in the city has made me realize a few things.
1- I really, really enjoy the quiet nights without a billion cop sirens.
2- It’s hard to sleep when you can hear traffic below you constantly.
3- Garbage. There is garbage literally everywhere.
4- Crowds make me reaaaally nervous.
5- I really prefer not being able to smell a city.
We tried to go see the fireworks for the 4th of July. I say “tried” because we were stuck in a huge crowd of people and our vantage point was mostly covered by a large fence and some trees – and people taller than us. We only got to see a tiny bit of the fireworks.
And then leaving — oh dear god, the throngs of people. The impatient drivers trying to make it through said throngs of people. The incessant shrieking of horns being pressed angrily (because honking your horn is really gonna help!). We gave up trying to make it to the subway and walked back to the hotel instead. It took almost two hours, and our bodies were aching when we were finally able to lay down. My partner and I thought this would be a once in a lifetime experience, and we ended up looking at each other and saying “it wasn’t worth it.” I’m glad it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience.
We also questioned how people can live here. A trip here and there to get the NYC experience seems cool and all, but we really wonder about living amidst all the traffic, the crowds, and hustle and bustle. I feel like we’d both become extremely anxious people. And heck, even comparing NYC to Toronto is an unfair comparison: they’re both huge cities and Toronto did have some of the same problems, but at least Toronto was clean.
So I say this, wholeheartedly and unabashedly:
I MISS TAMPA.
Ok, ok, NYC isn’t all bad. We’ve had some really interesting food so far, and while we’re both working Thursday and Friday, we’ll be using our evenings to explore the city a bit more. We have the 9/11 memorial that we’ll go see, we’re going to hit up Central Park, the Empire State Building, etc – so I have high hopes that the rest of this trip won’t be as awful, especially now that there won’t be 4th of July crowds.
However, Tampa is home, and I love my home. So without further ado, here are 3 reasons Tampa is better city to live in.
Money money money mooooneeeeey… MONEY!
It’s no secret that New York is expensive to live in. Rent is exorbitant – about $3,100 for an average two bedroom apartment, and the average “middle class” salary is $66,000 [source]. Heck, I just ordered breakfast, and for an avocado bagel and a small bowl of oatmeal, I paid $25. Keep in mind, workers in tech will make a lot more, so it’s probably not as jarring for them.
The flip side of that is, if you’re relocating from NYC to Tampa, don’t expect to make “New York Money” here. If you’re pulling $150k there, you’ll probably only get about $110k-130k in Tampa. But that kind of pay in Tampa is fantastic, since our cost of living is so low.
Tech is booming in Tampa. We recently had a meeting with the Hillsborough Economic Development team and they showed us how many companies were relocating their headquarters to Tampa, or opening offices here. Land is inexpensive, office space is inexpensive, and there are incentives to opening businesses here. We’re in a real hotspot for tech right now, and as a tech staffing agency, we can attest to the fact that there are more and more quality job openings popping up. Now is the perfect time to relocate.
Life moves just a bit slower
Some people like constantly being busy, and they enjoy city noises, crawling traffic, and crowds. Some people are also wrong. I kid, I kid. Many people love city life. Heck, I did when I was in my 20s. It was exciting for a night owl – if I wanted to go grocery shopping at 2am, I could do that, thanks to the 24hr grocery store around the corner. However, I find that as I grow older, the less tolerance I have to all that extra noise. I like peace, and I enjoy environments that are conducive to relaxation. Concrete jungles simply don’t do that for me. What I love about Tampa is that it’s a city, yes, but it’s much calmer. Sure, traffic can get bad around rush hour, but it’s not complete gridlock – unless you’re on the causeway and there’s an accident. I also love that, although a city, Tampa is like Toronto, in that it’s green everywhere. There are so many trees – even amongst the highrises – that you can still see green when you look out the window (I’m looking out my hotel window in NYC right now and all I see is concrete). I love having elements of nature amidst manmade structures. So if you’re the same way, come visit Tampa. You won’t want to leave.
There are many other reasons that Tampa is better than other large cities, though some do come with tradeoffs. By living in sunny Florida, you get to avoid blizzards, but you also get the occasional hurricane – minor stuff like that (haha). To me, the tradeoffs are worth it. Tampa is the future of tech. Tampa is the everlasting vacation. Tampa is home.