April is the one-year anniversary of my moving to North Carolina. The “nine-hour drive” from northern New Jersey took 15 hours, and my brother and I got to Raleigh around 11PM on April 4, 2009.
It’s been a busy year. After two years running my marketing consulting agency, I’ve decided to go back in-house as a marketer. I enjoy helping my clients find creative ways to make more money, but I miss being part of a larger team.
Beyond the career side, I’ve also done a lot of online dating in the Triangle, from the law student who told me about her expunged Assault & Battery conviction back in San Francisco to the intoxicated social studies teacher who threw up (four times!) while we were talking on the phone. No thanks. My friends enjoy the “bad first date” stories but that’s still a work in progress.
If you’re thinking of moving to the Raleigh/Durham area (or anywhere, for that matter), sign up for an account at Meetup.com. You can find a group for anything, from hiking to indie movies to dining out. In particular, check out the “I’ve Always Wanted to Try That!” group (unique to the Triangle), which has grown from zero to 1,600 people in 12 months. And if you’re into traveling, create a free profile at CouchSurfing.org and come out to one of the local Tuesday night potlucks–friendly people, interesting stories. There are a ton of other social groups around, so do a search and see what you find. The Triangle might be 1/20th the population of the New York metro area but there’s plenty going on–more than I can possibly go to each week.
If you work in marketing, connect with the Raleigh SEO Meetup, TIMA, Triangle AMA, Raleigh Media Leaders, and LinkedIn Live Raleigh. And go to Ignite Raleigh. Whether you want to work on the agency side or as a corporate marketer, I’ve found people are friendly and open to meeting new people.
Twelve months after leaving New Jersey, North Carolina is almost all positives–warmer winters (even this strangely snowy year), lower cost of living, less traffic, friendly people. The limited downsides? The April pollen is pretty bad, the banks aren’t open all day on Saturday and Sunday, and I still haven’t taken sides on the Duke-UNC rivalry. But that’s all manageable.
What did you learn after your latest move?