3 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Moved to the Suburbs

published Mar 7, 2021
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I knew all along my time in Seattle would eventually come to an end. City living was a bucket list item I had to check off before settling down, and after a few years, my little family felt ready for a more relaxed lifestyle. Still, I was afraid I’d miss Seattle’s energy and creativity. 

I’ve been in the suburbs for two years now, and I’m enamored with my town. Here’s the advice I wish I’d received before moving here.

You’ll adapt to your surroundings — and probably grow as a person in the process.

I was afraid that moving to the suburbs would make me boring. If I couldn’t walk to concerts and cafes on a whim, who would I even be? Now I know that was silly. During my time in Seattle, I focused on the now. To an introvert like me, pre-pandemic Seattle was a buffet for the senses. There was always something wild going on, and I thrived on it.

But here’s what happened when I moved to the suburbs: Focusing solely on the present didn’t work anymore. I suddenly had distraction-free time to create a life I love. I realized my area code was never what made me unique, and I got serious about my future. The result? I started a writing business that became successful after one year. Living in the suburbs gave me the time and space to build a life I love.

You will make lasting friendships. 

I didn’t experience the legendary “Seattle freeze,” or the feeling that it’s hard to make new pals here. I found a strong group of friends in the city, so I worried that it would be harder to find that same closeness in the suburbs. To my surprise, I’ve forged deeper, more meaningful connections here. Seattle is a city of transplants like myself, so people often move in and out of the area. In the suburbs, I meet more people who are here long-term, which makes it easier to build tight-knit friendships if you’re looking for them.

You’ll enjoy extra square footage more than city nightlife.

In my early twenties, my philosophy was, “I’ll live in a converted closet as long as I can be in my dream city.” Soon after I traded my costly Seattle studio for a few extra square feet in the suburbs, I knew I’d made the right call. For the first time, I had room to spread out. My boyfriend and I both worked from home long before the pandemic, and suddenly we didn’t have to cram our workspaces into one tiny living room.

In 2020, I also recognized what a privilege it is to have that extra space. Quarantine would have been much harder in my old Seattle micro-studio. During a year and counting of stay-at-home orders, living in the suburbs has given me peace. The best part is that I didn’t have to move far to see these changes. I’m still in Seattle often, and I love it as much as I ever did. I’m just so thankful I took a chance on the ‘burbs.