You don’t need location, location, location

by mckennabailey

John and Hank Green are brothers who host a bi-weekly show on their YouTube channel, VlogBrothers. Over the past few years, the two have steadily grown in popularity and presence on YouTube – expanding their brand to include Emmy-award winning web series, eeducational series on science, history, and literature, and creating the most important YouTube convention – VidCon. Not to mention, they’ve spearheaded an amazing day dedicated to decreasing world suck.

It’s safe to say their important guys.

John lives in Indiana and Hank lives in Montana.

The old adage that the key to everything in life is location, location, location is simply that. Old. And irrelevant.

The internet has brought everyone closer together and made success – both professionally and personally – almost completely separate from where in the country (or even world) you reside.

Right now, you can get a job as a virtual assistant to anyone – especially entrepreneurs – and be connected to the most powerful people in business from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. Communication is done via email and files are shared through DropBox, GoogleDocs or any number of file sharing sites, and the job gets done with one person in Chicago and the other person in Tampa.

Even in the dating world, you don’t necessarily need to live in the same town with someone in order to fall in love with them. Long distance relationships are easier with Skype, FaceTime and the mobile phone/internet contraption we carry around everywhere with us.

No, literally everywhere. Why do you need the phone on a toilet?

I say all this, not because I don’t think big cities have merit and culture and exciting opportunities, but because I think that lesser known cities also have merit and culture and exciting opportunities.

I once heard James Altucher say that you will never save money by skipping your latte twice a week. What you need to do is not overspend on a house you can’t afford.

Want to know where there’s an abundance of houses you can’t afford? Big cities.

I currently live in San Diego, California. One of the nicest cities in the world. I pay $1300 to live in 450 square feet without a washer and dryer, dishwasher, or insulation. There’s about a half inch gap between my front door and the ground, and the windows in my bedroom don’t close all the way, which means every winter morning when I wake up I feel like my limbs are made of ice.

In Nashville, Tennessee, $1300 a month would get me a hell of a lot more than that. And don’t get me started on any small town in Texas.

I have a well paying job right now and I’m lucky to not have any student debt to repay or overwhelming bills, but even so, I am nowhere near close to being able to save for a house. If I stay here in San Diego, it would take about 10 years, or marrying rich, for me to buy a house. That’s $156,000 wasted on rent because I had to live in San Diego. That’s ludicrous. Especially when considering the internet is a thing that exists.

People like the VlogBrothers find a way to create international success for themselves where it makes fiscal sense for them to live. They don’t need Los Angeles or New York City. They’ve got their talent and a way to distribute that talent. Los Angeles is just a city that costs way too much to live in.

That’s not even considering the mental toll it takes to simply survive in a city like New York or L.A. Do you know how soul sucking it is to get on the freeway at 1am and sit in traffic on the free way? Let me tell you. Immensely. But that’s what you get when you live in a place where everyone else wants to be in order to make it.

The smart person moves to Austin, Texas or Madison, Wisconsin and exists on a reasonable cost of living and travels back and forth to the Big Cities where all the Big Things happen (clarification: they don’t exclusively happen there anymore).

There is something to be said for the culture of a big city – I won’t deny that there are clothing stores and restaurants in NYC or Miami that are unmatched in the rest of the country, but you don’t have to live in those cities to enjoy those places. You can probably order their clothes online and you should be cooking for yourself anyway. You’re an adult now. Make good choices.

I understand that not everyone is going to see things my way, and that crowds of kids searching for a new life will flock to these cultural meccas. But if you are interested in owning property, in actually saving money every month, and having the option to breathe in the crisp air of solitude every once in a while – consider moving away from the major hubs and finding your own way in one of America’s hidden cities. And use the internet. But you already knew that.

Thank you for stopping by today. I’ll see you on Wednesday.

Oh, and PS, sorry I wasn’t around much last week. Family first. Thanks for waiting for me.