My Five Biggest Fears About Moving Upstate – and Why They’re (Hopefully) Unfounded

  |  November 20, 2016

We just got our closing date and the move to Kerhonkson from NYC is getting real. I thought it might be somehow cathartic to face my fears by getting them on paper and sharing them with anyone who might read this. Here, in no particular order, are five things keeping me up at night – and why I hope they won’t really be a problem:

Fear #1: Nature


Housewarming present for me and Rob? Here’s an amazing (and reasonably priced) bug suit for anyone looking for gift ideas!

I lived in Colorado during most of high school, and spent a summer maintaining trails in the Adirondacks. I should not feel this worried about things like Lyme disease, snakes, poisonous plants, or breaking a leg on a trail and having to drag myself to get help. Or should I? Robert is super scared of snakes and I laughed it off until he forced me to read about how poisonous snakes do actually live in the area. I realized I wouldn’t know what to do if any kind of wildlife did just about anything that threatened us or our home.

The glass half full: A huge part of the reason that we’re moving upstate is to be surrounded by all that incredible natural beauty. Squinting to try and get a nature-like view in Fort Greene Park that doesn’t feature buildings, trash, or other people is just not cutting it anymore.

Fear #2: Quiet

I remember moving from a loft on Union Square to a pristine block in Park Slope in 1998 – and being terrified on my walk home from the subway. It was just too quiet. One weird thing about being upstate is that I’ve often found that it’s a lot louder at night than in Brooklyn. But since I don’t generally have any idea which critters are making all of those noises and how many of them are friend or foe, please refer back to fear #1.

The glass half full: I don’t know when it happened that literally all of Brooklyn became one contiguous construction site, but the noise is driving me insane. Waking up to birdsong is just so darned preferable to jackhammers.

Fear #3: Driving

I’m 98% sure that I’m going to get a Mazda CX5 for my first car. Too much zoom-zoom – or just enough?

I’m 98% sure that I’m going to get a Mazda CX5 for my first car. Too much zoom-zoom – or just enough?

I’ve never owned a car and my driver’s license test in Colorado literally consisted of me going around the block in my mom’s 4Runner. Let’s just say that between that moment and today there have been not nearly enough hours on the road for me to feel totally comfortable yet.

The glass half full: It’s so much fun to drive around where we’ll be living: jaw-droppingly pretty views and fun curves and hills! Plus, there’s almost no traffic or issues with parking. And I had no idea how much more comfortable it is to have your own car and be able to put a bunch of stuff in the back versus taking the subway or walking everywhere. I still get a tingle down my spine when I buy ALL the groceries I want without mentally gauging how much I can carry home…

Fear #4: Isolation

Table set for dinner at our very good friends’ weekend house in Ghent from our last trip up.

Table set for dinner at our very good friends’ weekend house in Ghent from our last trip up.

I belong to a fantastic co-working space in Brooklyn because I tend to get a little stir-crazy on my own. At the moment, I can just walk out my door and see lots and lots of people, and I have friends here that I consider family. I barely know anyone where we’ll be moving and I’ll have to make much more of an effort to have those casual day-to-day interactions.

The glass half full: Thank you social media for helping us realize that a large handful of very interesting and nice folks living in the area are friends of friends – and they’ve all been incredibly welcoming to us. We actually also have a smaller handful of old and very dear friends who have weekend places within easy driving distance, and I’m working on a conversion-to-full-time campaign.

Fear #5: Being a Beginner

I’ve spent a long time learning how to thrive in this city, and I know exactly which part of the train platform to stand on if I need to transfer at Bedford or how to walk on a sidewalk without pissing anyone off. I just know that I’m about to piss people off upstate by not knowing how to do some things that will be super obvious to them. It’s scary to go back to being a newbie. And I literally still have no idea how you’re supposed to pronounce Shawangunk or Accord properly.

The glass half full: I’m sure it wasn’t easy moving to NYC, but I don’t remember how silly I felt. What I remember is being so grateful to be living in a place I’d wanted to live for years, and how exciting it felt to have everything be new. I think/hope the same will be true with this move!

Phew. Ok, now these fears are now out of my head and into yours. Welcome to a world where you know that copperheads actually do exist in Ulster County – but that only 5 people die of snakebites a year in the US.

About Megan Brenn-White

Megan is a writer, marketer, and entrepreneur who founded a company dedicated to helping universities around the world attract more international students. She decided to give up her frequent flier status and plant roots in Kerhonkson, NY with her husband Robert and cat Stinky in the summer of 2016.

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