My husband and I uprooted our family in 2018 and moved from Dallas to Boston. We were expecting our son three months after relocating to Massachusetts with our 2-year-old daughter. Since I had already visited the Northeast, I had no doubt that I would like to explore its many natural wonders, historical sites, and changing seasons.
However, my eagerness was tempered by a certain amount of anxiety. Adjusting to this new environment was, in many ways, like starting over in a new nation.
Living in the Boston area for almost two years has allowed me to meet other transplant recipients who have shared my fears. This is the advice I provide to those moving to the New England area, and it’s also the knowledge I lacked when I first arrived in the region.
Winter is nothing to be terrified of
In my head, I had prepared myself for a learning experience during my first winter, but in actuality, everything went off without a hitch.
When my son was born in our first winter, I was up all hours of the night to nurse him. Around 3:30 in the morning, I began to regularly hear the snowplow, and the sound of metal scraping across snowy asphalt quickly became a familiar one.
At first light, it was clear that snowplows and sand trucks had taken up residence anywhere they could. Workers diligently maintained the nation’s major highways and interstates every time it snowed, no matter how light or heavy the accumulation.
I didn’t worry about anything at all when I was transferring my babies in the dead of winter. The other thing I learned is that snow is not a constant that stays around all winter long.
My daughter’s beautiful puffer coat had to be returned when I realized it wasn’t waterproof, and I learned the hard way that cotton gloves are not suitable for use in wet snow play.
It is crucial to waterproof the area so that kids can play outside in the winter without getting wet. While I appreciate the higher quality of the more expensive brands, I find that Target’s offerings are just as effective in keeping my family warm and comfortable.
I also recommend bringing a blanket in the car so that the kids can stay warm until you get there, as it is NOT safe to fasten children in their car seats when they are wearing winter coats.
By the way, if you need to hire a reliable moving company, Boston Movers did a very good job for me and many of my friends.
How do you say the names of these cities?
Glah-chester? Walt-ham? Chath-am? Pronouncing the local New England towns was one of my main sources of concern while my husband and I were visiting multiple properties with our realtor in New England with our agent.
I felt it would be impolite to mispronounce the names of the cities and towns we would be visiting.
Since you likely won’t know, it’s best to check with a local
In order to quickly establish new friendships, it was crucial for me to join several local mom’s groups. First-time mothers in Boston were given the opportunity to ask seasoned mothers how to properly pronounce strange place names at one of the most enlightening workshops I’ve ever attended.
We sat around the table and laughed and spoke for over an hour about nothing in particular. Without them, I would never have mastered the art of pronouncing Haverhill, Worchester, and Leominster.
Drivers’ standing in the city as a whole
People from Boston are among the friendliest, most genuine, most down-to-earth people you’ll meet when they’re not driving. As opposed to what you may have heard about Bostonians in the past, this is actually true. Kidding! Boston drivers have a reputation for being very aggressive. Massachusetts drivers have a longstanding reputation for being some of the safest on American roads. Drivers’ attention may be preserved thanks to the stringent ban on texting while driving.
You’ll quickly learn the importance of staying alert behind the wheel after your first experience driving on the paved-over cobblestone streets of downtown Boston. The city’s core does not follow a conventional grid layout. These roads have been in use for hundreds of years, and when you admire old pictures of Paul Revere’s house in the North End, you can imagine how far the city has come in that time.
The realization that nobody else in downtown Boston knew how to drive was the tipping moment that made me feel safe operating a vehicle in this ancient city.
While your GPS is trying to get you through one-way streets, long traffic jams, twists and turns, cars cutting you off, stuck moving vehicles on Storrow, and a lot of people on foot, remember to be patient with yourself and others. That is completely unnecessary.
The housing situation: where do we stand?
I was more surprised by the housing situation in Boston than by anything else that happened to my family there. When we moved to Boston, we brought our dog and two small children along for the ride.
The problem may have appeared insignificant at the time, but it caused a lengthy and frustrating search for a place to stay.
When my husband and I were apartment hunting, we found that several landlords wouldn’t accept us because we had a pet. There were a few that accepted cats, but our pug, although being just 15 pounds, was not one of them.
There was always a line of eight to twelve eager applicants whenever our real estate agent discovered a pet-friendly, lead-paint-free rental. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to buy or rent. The property market in and around Boston is extremely competitive and pricey.
The once-strange has become the everyday
It was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but moving our small family of four to Boston was also one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had. Indeed, difficulties arose quickly.
There was a great deal of effort required, including mental and emotional toil in addition to physical exertion. But the reality is that everything was worthwhile since now I get to call this incredible place my home. If I could go back in time and do it again, with the information I have today, I definitely would.
Morelli, J. (2023, July 19). New study says Lynn has some of the safest drivers in America, but locals say, ‘Not so fast!’ Boston 25 News. https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/new-study-says-lynn-has-some-safest-drivers-america-locals-say-not-so-fast/W7PNUMD6YVC7ZKLEGLINH7723Y/