At the ripe age of 22, I convinced my older, highly educated, fully-employed sister to quit her job, pack her things, and move to Washington, DC, with me. (She actually got there first, but who’s keeping score…) With an adventurous spirit in tow, we drove across the country with all of our worldly possessions packed in an SUV, excited to start a new life in our nation’s capitol.
We planned to work on Capitol Hill for a couple of years, and then, like most Texans, return home. Slowly but surely, opportunities blossomed and I found myself very happy and in a very successful career. Before I knew it, I had been there nine years. Yes, nine years came and went in the blink of an eye, and there really wasn’t an end in sight – until the day my sister approached me and said, “I think I’m ready to just think about moving home. Let’s discuss.” So we slept on it that night, and the next morning my response was, “Let’s do it.”
My sister expected a more calculated, thoughtful response. She made us take our time and talk it through, which was the wise thing to do. But deep down, we both knew my “let’s do it” was the right call all along.
How could I have made that big of a decision in such a short amount of time? I can blame my decision to move to DC on being young and bored and looking for adventure. But as someone in her thirties, on a solid career path, who owned a home and had an established community of ten and a half years, why would I uproot my life and move again?
It’s simple – life in Texas is just better. Yes we have good food and good people, but we also have an environment that is friendly to creating a successful life.
Let me give you one simple example that I think most people can relate to these days – my paycheck. I moved to home to Texas knowing this career change could mean a pay cut for me, but I also knew that I wouldn’t be saddled with burdens like state income tax, vehicle property tax, or outrageous housing costs. In fact, my gross salary in Texas is about $10,000 less than it was in DC, but my net, or the amount I get to take home every month, is basically the same because I am not shipping that money off to the government before I have even see it.
The lack of an income tax and other burdens in Texas allowed me the financial freedom to come home and start a new chapter in my life. In the long run, the decision was easy. Oh, and did I mention the food and people are really great too?
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