Here I am in fly-over country, checking my emails in a motel. By the end of this week I will be officially a writer in the southwest. Tucson, Arizona, to be specific. That's after being a New York writer since the early 1980s. To my surprise, assignments are still coming in. That's even though "they" know I no longer reside in the New York Metro area. I had anticipated being dumped.
Shock, isn't it. That you don't have to be on the Northeast Corridor to be taken seriously as a writer. Of course, the Internet has a lot to do with this shift. Also, being a seasoned writer helps a lot. I have a hunch a newbie couldn't build a strong portfolio fast in Tucson.
But whatever the reasons, what becomes obvious to me is this: I had put up with New York Metro cold and snow and have paid New York City taxes and Metro area high rent and high auto insurance needlessly. For at least five years. At least.
In Tucson, my apartment costs half my New Haven, Connecticut one. My car insurance from State Farm will be less than half. On this journey from the East Coast, once I got out of New Jersey, gasoline has been able 20-cents less than I had been paying.
And there's the hassle of the New York Metro area. Tuesday morning when I pulled out it took about two hours on I-95 to just make it about 30 miles out of Connecticut. That was a one-time experience. Here is fly-over country even rush hour has been a nothing.
With all the work coming in at New York Metro prices and with a lifestyle costing peanuts in the southwest, could I become financially comfortable? Could I buy a getaway in Mexico, for instance? Amazing what's possible after we break open from convention.