Why I Made the Move from New York to California
posted on July 19, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein
I talk about California so much on this blog that many of you may be surprised to learn that I’m secretly a New Yorker. Yup, I was born and raised in Westchester, NY (thirty minutes outside of Manhattan). Although I spent most of my life on the east coast, I always felt like I didn’t quite belong. I couldn’t relate to the competitive nature, one-man-for-himself mentality, and fast-paced culture of New York, and always felt like there was somewhere else I was meant to be.
In fact, when I was just twelve years old, I knew I was meant to live on the west coast. I was visiting family in Los Angeles and vividly remember standing on the Santa Monica pier, looking out at the Pacific Ocean (in my new “California” baseball hat — I was cool), I realized that this is where I belong.
I brought that white hat — with “California” written in blue cursive — back with me to New York and promptly started telling my friends my plan to move to California when I was eighteen. In the meantime, I embodied the California vibe as best as I knew how — through fashion. Denim skirts, flowy tops, beachy colors, board shorts (yes, you heard me). I wore whatever I could to portray to those around me that I was not a New Yorker. I was a Californian.
By the time college applications came around, I applied to schools far from NY. I ended up attending Emory University and took a southern detour before my big move to California. After graduating from college, I finally did it. I packed up my life (and my dog), and moved to San Francisco.
It’s funny how well I knew myself at age twelve. I was so right — I’m a Californian in every way. Happiness is more important to me than success. I can’t survive without the beach nearby. I like getting to know those around me and feeling as though we’re all on the same team, even if we don’t know each other. I love being outside and being able to drive up the coast to explore all the incredible nature around me. I’m flexible, easy-going, and I have blonde hair — clearly, I’m a Californian ;).
To reflect on this major life change, I got the opportunity to team up with Toyota Prius and drive their newest model up the coast of California where the views are just incredible. It’s funny, but my story is actually very similar to that of the Prius. It’s such an iconic California car and its recent redesign mirrors how I rerouted my life to the west coast. Yes, it’s just a car, but I feel like we have a lot in common!
And now that I’ve been here for six years and counting, I can honestly say that I feel more and more at home every day. Especially driving my Prius up the Californian coast, I think I can say that I’m now a true Californian!
This post is brought to you by the fully redesigned Toyota Prius.
Westchester represent here too! I’ve lived in NYC for about 8 years now and always think about heading to the West Coast– whenever I visit my friend in LA I’m always enamored with the slightly slower pace.
I do have a Prius, though, so I guess I have a little bit of California with me.
Love this! I moved out to San Diego last summer from the East Coast and definitely loved it but ultimately felt like I was too much of an East Coaster to ever really feel like a Californian so I headed back east a couple months ago. So grateful for the opportunity to give it a try though! It’s amazing how different a place can make us feel!
I’ve been wanting to take that road trip for so long! It’s on my list. Beautiful.
Part of me always wanted to move to Cali, at least temporarily. In Chicago, we don’t have it as bad as NYC in terms of competitiveness, but it’s up there. Would be nice to have a change of pace for awhile.
Glad you found your place :)
Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com
Elizabeth Mayberry Says
Love these photos!
I love every single thing about this! I am also an East Coast girl who yearns for the west. But what I really, REALLY love is that white Prius! I just got the exact same one last weekend, as my first ever big girl purchase. I’m totally obsessed… Now I can easily drive out west and never return :-)
I’m so the opposite! I grew up in California. I love the country side, but I always felt that I don’t belong in California. I love the fast paced life of New York. I want to be able to walk everywhere, I love the cold and am not too find of the hot sun. Your story is truly inspiring. I’m hoping to move to NY by the end of the year.
Kat Summers Says
You look so dreamy driving that new Prius along the beautiful California Coast. I can really relate to your story.
I grew up a bi-coastal girl, an airline brat, born on the east coast with moves back and forth. Seven year ago I was finally free to choose, so I headed to California and bought a house in Half Moon Bay.
This time I noticed something different — a Prius in every parking lot. Seriously. That first year, my husband and I played a game to see who could point out the Prius first.
I love this post. Reminds me so much of my story. Born and raised on the East Coast. My father took me on a trip to California for the first time when I was 15 and I knew I was going to end up there. After many years and several detours (including a brief stint in Seattle), it was a broken heart that led me to San Francisco. It immediately felt like home and I fall more in love with this city every day.
I cannot think of a more magical place. <3
I left western NY at 18 and drove cross country to San Diego. I had never been out west, but I knew the west was calling. As a natural blonde, I’d often hear “you must be a native Californian.” Well, I should have been. LOL. I’m in the bay area now and have lived here longer than I had lived in NY. I still find that I move, drive, and speak at a faster pace than most, but this is definitely where I fit best. ( :
Cute format for an advertisement… kudos!
Did basically the same thing. Visited San Diego (lived in upstate NY at the time) and fell in love with California at 12 years old. Finally moved to the Bay Area from Port Chester, NY (in Westchester County) when I was 28 and have lived here for 16 years. I will never leave. I was born to live here and knew it at 12 on my first visit.
Oh, and I also own a Prius, since 2006. Love that car and hope to drive it past 200,000 miles.
You speak of my heart! I’ m even not american, I live far far east in Zurich, Switzerland!
I know this feeling so well! I’m dreaming of San Francisco since years and work so hard to move some day! As a mother of three not that easy but I’ll keep on trying!
It was such a plesure to read you blog! Good to know I’m not alone;-) all the best and maybe we’ll meet some day at depot in Mill Valley✌️❣
Lisa Simons Says
Hi Amanda! As a fifth-generation San Franciscan, with two California daughters….I welcome you to the West, and am so happy you appreciate this beautiful place for all the right reasons! Lisa
My boyfriend and I have been talking about the big move from NYC to California for quite some time now. Your post really motivated me. I grew up in Pennsylvania born in Manhattan, while my bf was born and raised in the Bronx. He always felt like there was somewhere else he needed to be. He loved your story as it resonated with his own life. Thank you.
Love all the pictures you have. I can’t believe you decided to move all the way across the country, but I hope you are loving it! I’m born and raised on the west coast and I really believe there is nothing like it :)
Thanks again for sharing!
Awesome pictures- thanks for sharing. If you ever plan on going more south in California and buy a house in the Los Angeles area Peak Corp is an excellent hub of information.
This is so inspiring! I moved to NY when I was 12, and didn’t like it at all, but because I had to keep moving forward, I finished High School, and applied for college in NY. Soon I will graduate, and I’ve been seriously thinking about moving to Cali (LA). California is not a fairy tale land – I visited, I heard, I know but, I feel like its where I have to be, I feel like it will be my home.
Thank you for this beautiful post, pushing me closer to making a move soon!
Really cool story and nice photos! California is a beautiful state and attracts many people from all over the world. New York is also an awesome place, so it’s cool to see people coming from there as well.