Austin was branded as the boomtown of the next 50 years by Elon Musk. I am amazed by it even after 6 weeks.
Why would you want to move to a city? Is it the weather, people, work or entrepreneurial possibilities, number of activities at a given time, warm people? Sorry, I just said that. How about rents or life being cheap, low taxes, innovation per square mile, nature, food or is it just a feeling or wave of people moving there and you are adventurous enough to see it for yourself?
My First Visit to Austin
I visited Austin about 3 years ago for the first time. That’s when I got to know about the American Mexican war and the Texas history going to the Bullock Museum. That’s when I visited the Capitol and University of Texas A&M. That’s when I discovered the Mozart Cafe which I then became a regular for 3 days.
And lastly, as I am a nightlife and salsa person, I discovered the nightlife in Dirty Sixth and Rainey Street. Not to forget, my first meal in the city was a steak bbq at Terry Black’s. I did what I could do as a tourist in 4 days and got the taster of the city that I had no idea I would move to 3 years later.
Moving to Austin
I used to live in New York for 5 years before moving to Austin and I don’t remember myself smiling ever as much as I did in Austin. People in Austin actually cared and I felt more welcome to the inner circles immediately.
After spending a slow traveling year during Covid living in Miami, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto, I decided to move to Austin to really understand and feel the work and life culture.
Now, I realize that it was a great decision and I am writing this short story to explain why.
The People Factor
I think even the best-built city without the caring people around you wouldn’t give the energy to become the candidate to spend your life when there are so many other places you can go.
Austin has a great vibe. I could say Austin has been the most Mediterranean kind of people I have met in the US. They care immediately, they want to interact, help and share while creating beauty. They are also very polite and smiling.
I have seen cities where people smile and greet strangers. In Austin, they may actually talk and interact right away. You can also become friends immediately with a field of trust.
It’s an international and welcoming crowd mostly.
I think that’s also why Elon Musk and Joe Rogan and so many other people love Austin.
Both Elon Musk and Joe Rogan moved to Austin and both of them see Austin as the next boomtown.
Even when the pandemic has still not ended, the city is live and sound with so many daytime and nighttime activities.
I love the food and cafe culture throughout the city. Whether you want to eat tacos, steak, or Turkish food, you can enjoy beautiful city-characteristic spots with outdoor seating and then, go for a gelato or a cafe place. You don’t need to repeat yourself. You can try a new one every day and each one of them would probably be really good.
You can enjoy the outdoor activities. For example, you can kayak or row in the Colorado River, take a Lime or Bird scooter for a few bucks and then, play racquetball with strangers or new friends. You can take a walk around the river, which is right in the middle of the city, or go to Zilker Park, which is really big, and enjoy people watching or play any sports or doing fitness.
Nightlife is great and sophisticated as well. Sixth Street is where people bar hop and Rainey Street is where they enjoy bars that look like they were converted from nice houses. You may go a little West and you can go to Parker Jazz Club or Speakeasy club where there is live music or comedy shows. They are all within walk distance. The live music scene is big and it’s great to see that all these places could survive after more than a year of the pandemic.
The Job Market
Elon Musk really meant it when he said Austin will be the boomtown. He just announced that the new Tesla Gigafactory in East Austin will hire 10,000 people. That’s only one company. Most probably, the game-changing Cyber Truck will be produced in Austin since it brings with it the convenience of being close to the biggest market.
Overall, over 150 companies announced that they will relocate or expand to Austin in 2021 including Google, Apple, Oracle, Samsung, Charles Schwab, HID Global, and many more.
I see three main reasons why companies want to move to Austin. Low taxes, low living expenses, employees wanting to move to the city because of high life quality.
You may expect to spend 50–60% of what you would spend in New York or San Francisco for the rent of the same value apt.
You can get your groceries from Walmart Express using the app and save time and money. You wouldn’t be able to do it in New York.
The beer is around $4–6 in a bar and a cocktail is $8 mostly. Eating outdoors can be relatively cheap, but I would say it wouldn’t be more than 20% difference.
Transportation is easy and versatile. You can go from point A to B in 15 minutes using Lime or Bird Scooter or an electric bike. It’s possible to live without a car if you don’t commute outside the city. You can simply take an Uber in the city because it’s compact and the distances are relatively small.
Office space is easy when you have the possibility of renting it from WeWork for $300 a month with worldwide access to all their offices. They have 8 beautiful buildings in Austin. The value is great for the customer considering the price especially.
An Innovation Hub
I catch myself coming up with better ideas even after moving 6 weeks.
Firstly, there is more random interaction with random people and you can actually have a great conversation without expecting anything in return, which I think creates real personal and probably professional value.
There is more activity around you all the time in a compact form. You may feel peaceful by going to a suburban area or a park or you may attend an activity or go listen to live music in an hour and this active life could create a more creative you. In the end, we are what we do, what we eat, who we know, and what we read.
I definitely don’t regret moving to Austin. It has depth, beauty, warmth, and intelligence to it.
If you haven’t visited Austin yet, I would highly recommend it so that you can experience the city for yourself.
And if you are thinking of a big leap in your life, you may want to look for a job in Austin or you may work remotely from Austin. Then, you may experience a boost in your performance and life quality.