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Author Topic: Has anyone here ever just up and moved?
Hobbes
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I know a lot of people have, but not I. What I'm talking about is just moving to a town you don't know anyone in and don't have a job at. Getting a place to live and finding some kind of employment. This part is of particular interest to me as all places I've tried to live have asked to make sure I have a job and can afford to live there.

Specific information is I'm considering moving to Seattle. I've been looking for work for right at a year now with no luck. I still have one last shot at getting an internship (one last round of desperate e-mails to professors who have mostly just ignored me) but I've lived in fantasy land for a while now. My position here is no longer tenable, or wont be soon and I need to start trying to do something else. Seattle because my plan is to get a PhD there, but there's little chance I'd be able to start before next Fall and I wouldn't last that long here. I have stashed up enough money and have family support such that I could easily afford the move itself and even a couple months rent (give or take, depending on the cost of course) without any supplemental income.

Anyone done this before, have any advice or things to look into?

Hobbes [Smile]

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Xavier
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I have, I did it to San Diego a little while after graduating college.

Some things I did:

First couple of nights I stayed in a real hotel, but that's expensive so what I did was stay at a hotel/apartment place that rented by the week. It had showers in the hallway, but solo sleeping rooms that are pretty small (8 x 8 I'd guess). Since I wasn't spending much time in my room, that was fine with me. It was considerably cheaper.

I then used the newspaper and a map to find an apartment. I was just looking for the ads where people needed roommates. I don't know what apartments cost in Seattle, but for me I needed to share a place. I went to about 5 different places before someone offered. Being a new guy in town with no friends and no job is sort of two strikes against you in finding a place it seems. (Or maybe they just thought I was creepy or something [Wink] ) I think most apartments want a proven income, so you may have a hard time finding a place to live solo. Expect to pay first and last months rent either way.

Then hit the job trail hard. I missed that step and ended up just wasting 8 months of my life and most of my money...

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Orincoro
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I moved to Prague at the age of 22, no job, no housing. You find a way- it's not as hard as you think.
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Luet13
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When I first visited Seattle in January of 2007 I fell in love with it, and by September of 2007 I was here. Starting out with roommates is definitely the way to go. You will be able to meet their friends and expand from there. I was lucky that I already had some friends here, yet having roommates led me to folks I never would have found otherwise, who are such an important part of my life now.

Finding a job anywhere right now sucks (I've been essentially unemployed since April, and now have a very very part time job) but you can find something as long as you're not too picky.

From what I've heard, UW is awesome, particularly for PhD folks. Good luck with whatever you decide to do! If you do come to Seattle, feel free to email me!

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Stone_Wolf_
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I don't know anything about the Emerald City (other then I am jealous) but I do know that if you are looking for good cheap housing with roommates, look at the local college bulletin board. Lots of good leads there.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Luet13:
Finding a job anywhere right now sucks (I've been essentially unemployed since April, and now have a very very part time job) but you can find something as long as you're not too picky.

This is really, really important. I moved to a small town in Arizona when I was 18, and I quickly learned how valuable this advice could be. I'm not saying settle for something lousy long term (Though I've done that too, and regretted it) but there is absolutely nothing wrong with working some sort of crappy customer service job while you hunt down leads for something you're passionate about.

I'm going to go ahead and agree with Orincoro here, though. The hardest part is working up the courage to do it. Once you're there, the nitty gritty details are quite doable. And, in my opinion, it's a phenomenally valuable learning experience.

Good luck! [Smile]

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Strider
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I just moved to a place where I didn't know a single person. Though I came here for school (where I have a TA salary), so I did have some tangible purpose and some of my expenses covered. I also have another job that I can do remotely, to cover other expenses. So that might not be very helpful for you. The hardest part was dealing with getting everything sorted out while living on the other side of the country. I have pets and a lot of belongings, and I needed to have my living situation sorted about before moving. I ended up using craigslist, google maps (street view) and general googling to check out apartments, see what the neighborhoods looked like, and get some general information about neighborhoods and the city. There are lots of forums out there helping people with general questions about different cities. city-data was one, but I stumbled across lots of helpful sites, not just related to apartment hunting either. I had a lot of random questions that were already asked and answered on the internet.

I did a similar thing many years back, this time I had quit a job with little idea for what I would do, but I ended up moving into an area where I knew many people, so I had a support network. I also was completely wayward and stayed at a crappy job for way too long while I "figured my life out", which I don't recommend.

I've never done a life change where I moved to a place with no job AND no friends in the area. Though I imagine you can use the internet for job hunting as well if you wanted to get that ball rolling before moving. I also don't know where you are and if visiting Seattle first is feasible or not, but it might make some things easier.

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fugu13
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My then-fiancee (now wife) and I pretty much did the "up and move" thing about a year and two months ago. Coincidentally, to Seattle [Wink] . I highly recommend it (especially to here). UW is great, Seattle is great (make sure you live where you don't need a car, then don't bring a car), and life is fantastic here.
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Orincoro
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My sister and her wife just moved up to Seattle as well. Seems to be the happening place.
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The Rabbit
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I went to grad school at the UW and I highly recommend it. If I were a young single Mormon thinking of moving to Seattle, I'd contact the Bishop of the University Single's Ward and the LDS institute. Tell them you are moving to Seattle and are looking for an apartment/roommate. Young Single Adult Mormons are a pretty mobile population and there is almost always someone whose roommate is graduating, getting married or just moving on. The institute has a notice board for this kind of thing. If you are replacing a roommate, you usually won't have to fill out applications and get credit checks for the landlord that might be problematic when you don't have a job.

I agree 50% with Fugu's comment about a car. You do not want to commute by car to the UW (or pretty much anywhere else in Seattle). Traffic is horrid and parking is even worse. Live within bicycling distance of the University. Between bike and bus you can get most anywhere you'll want to go in the city. The difficulty lies in getting out of the city to mountains and nature. Within 1 to 2 hours drive of Seattle there are exquisite wilderness areas and 3 national parks. There is fantastic climbing, hiking, mountaineering and canoeing/kayaking, but those places are completely inaccessible without a car. I'm someone who prefers hiking and the outdoors to urban living. I survived the Seattle crowds and noise by escaping to the mountains to hike or ski or snowshoe every Saturday. I never drove my car to work and almost never drove it in the city, but without the car I would have been trapped in the city.

[ September 13, 2011, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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The Rabbit
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May I ask why you think there is little chance you will be able to start until next fall? Is this based on information from the graduate school and websites and office staff, or have you spoken directly with Professors in the department who you would like to work with? If you haven't tried talking to the Professors directly, do it. Don't go through e-mail, professors get virtually spammed with e-mails from foreign students and Post-docs so you are unlikely to get a response. In my experience, its not uncommon for graduate students to finish or even just jump ship mid year (or even mid term) so spots open up and Professors are often looking for someone to fill a vacancy even if "admissions" are not being officially reviewed. If you do move to Seattle, visit the UW department first thing. There is a pretty good chance you could find opportunities of some sort.
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Raymond Arnold
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Don't have advice for you (other than look for Hostels to stay at initially) but I am, oddly enough, also interested in moving to Seattle without any job prospects and seeing if I can wing it, so let me know how it goes.
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fugu13
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quote:
I agree 50% with Fugu's comment about a car. You do not want to commute by car to the UW (or pretty much anywhere else in Seattle). Traffic is horrid and parking is even worse. Live within bicycling distance of the University. Between bike and bus you can get most anywhere you'll want to go in the city. The difficulty lies in getting out of the city to mountains and nature. Within 1 to 2 hours drive of Seattle there are exquisite wilderness areas and 3 national parks. There is fantastic climbing, hiking, mountaineering and canoeing/kayaking, but those places are completely inaccessible without a car. I'm someone who prefers hiking and the outdoors to urban living. I survived the Seattle crowds and noise by escaping to the mountains to hike or ski or snowshoe every Saturday. I never drove my car to work and almost never drove it in the city, but without the car I would have been trapped in the city.

This is what zipcar is for (or, for longer trips, rental cars). It's cheaper than actually owning a car with moderate usage (say, most weekends), and even better, far fewer unexpected expenses at inopportune times. Ride sharing of the type and scale of services like zipcar is a pretty recent innovation, and darn convenient.

If you're bicycling and don't mind living about 25 minutes commute from campus, I can even recommend some fairly cheap places to live, by Seattle standards (the north side of the Central District is actually a really nice neighborhood, but is near enough the closest thing Seattle has to a not so nice neighborhood that it keeps prices down). Of course, my totally unbiased opinion is that the best place to live in Seattle is Capitol Hill [Wink] .

Raymond: go for it [Smile] .

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El JT de Spang
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Hobbes, I've done the up and move thing several times, and Seattle is great. My girlfriend just moved from there (with me to Nashville, in yet another 'up and move' for the both of us).

Expect to pay 400-600 bucks a room in a house you share (depending on where and how nice and how shared, of course). Seattle also has one or two nice hostels, which would probably be a good short term location while you learn the city.

I disagree that it's a good town to be carless in. If you're sticking to the U district it's fine, but for non-college kids that's tough. At least in my opinion. There's just too many different neighborhoods with cool stuff to do that aren't in walking distance. And there's a ton of outdoorsy stuff that is most easily accessed by car, too.

Also, erosomniac (who's no longer active here or at sakeriver, sadly), lives in Seattle with his fiance, and happens to currently have a spare room. Not sure whether he's wanting to rent it out, but I'd be happy to put you in touch with him if you like.

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fugu13
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Being carless on Capitol Hill is about as easy as it gets; almost all the key Seattle neighborhoods are in pretty easy striking distance by walking or bus. The only major one that's a little isolated (either leaving from or going to there) is Ballard. And I wouldn't generally recommend living in the University District, as it is expensive while not being as walkable as the other expensive parts of Seattle (also, more remote from downtown, south Capitol Hill, the Central District, et cetera), though it does have great access to Phinney/Fremont and good access to Ballard, Greenlake, and Northgate.
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Luet13
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
[QUOTE]Of course, my totally unbiased opinion is that the best place to live in Seattle is Capitol Hill [Wink] .

Right on! I also agree with being carless in Seattle. It's really easy to get around on the bus, you just need to plan in advance if you have time constraints. It's also nice once you meet people and they have a car, 'cause then you can do all the fun outdoorsy stuff without having to worry about parking in the city. [Wink]

On a side note, one of my best friends moved to Ballard and I think there should be some sort of water taxi from The Hill to Fremont or something to cut out the insanely long, indirect bus ride. Of course, that's just wishful thinking on my part.

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Teshi
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My brother just moved to the Seattle area to work at Microsoft (because he's awesome). Clearly it's the place to be.
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The Pixiest
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I did when I was 23 and fresh out of grad school.

I had to get out of Arkansas so I could come out of the closet. I moved to Santa Cruz California with no friends, no job and no place to stay with my entire life packed into the back of my Ford Escort.

It took a long time but I rebuilt my life here.

I miss home.

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BlackBlade
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[Frown]
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Hobbes
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Appreciate the advice all! I already own a car (free and clear, no reason to sell it to unload debt or anything) so I imagine where ever I go it will be avec automobile. In all fairness I have moved twice to places I'd never been and where I didn't know anyone in the city, state, or even in a bordering state. However both times were for college so I knew what I was going to be doing there and the first time I had a dorm room for a year so it's not quite the same. The car is a somewhat recent development (2-3 years) and I'm pretty used to commuting long distances via bike. Or long enough, which I did even after getting the car (15 miles each way to school, though it did eat a little more time out of my day than I would've cared for) so as long I don't have to pay a high premium for parking my car I don't mind letting it sit out the week and then hopefully have it take me to the Cascades over the weekends (one of the main reasons I'd like to go to Seattle).

Despite not having heard from anyone for months, a few hours after posting this thread I got a call from a company about a job in Milwaukee, I can't imagine the odds are good but we'll see how that plays out. Assuming it doesn't end well for me it'll be a pretty good time limiter telling me to get up and move. If it ends that way I'd love some specific advice from the knowledgeable Seattle livers here about areas to look at for housing. And then I'll probably also have questions about how to get blue collar jobs because I've led a pretty sheltered life such that even in High School I was getting research/science related jobs and never did have to go through the retail job hunt. But I'll save it for later and see what happens. The idea of pushing carts at a supermarket from 8pm-5am is not totally unappealing to me but better to start my career I suppose. Besides, the idea of having to deal with actual customers for work is less appealing no matter the hours...

Hobbes [Smile]

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fugu13
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The main premium for owning a car in Seattle is having to keep an eye on the street cleaning schedules so you can move your car periodically, and the time it takes to do it. Unless you use it to drive places in the city ever, in which case the premium is the often very bad traffic.

No problem at all giving advice on housing and jobs that are available in the area; also, I wouldn't rule out working for some research-y group at UW. It wouldn't pay well, but it'd be more career-related.

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MattP
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I did it when I was 19. San Diego -> Utah. I had no job, almost no money, but was expecting a $1000 insurance check for a stolen computer. It took a few months to arrive in which time I lived with friends, then in a tent, and started at a crappy minimum wage job. Everything turned out great eventually, but it was probably ill-advised. Still, at 19-years-old the downside wasn't too great. I wouldn't dare do it today with a large family and many expenses.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
I did when I was 23 and fresh out of grad school.

I had to get out of Arkansas so I could come out of the closet. I moved to Santa Cruz California with no friends, no job and no place to stay with my entire life packed into the back of my Ford Escort.

It took a long time but I rebuilt my life here.

I miss home.

[Group Hug]
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