How Going Local Helped Me After A Move

One of my omnipresent career subjects here is relocation because A) I moved cross country, B) I moved a lot within Silicon Valley, and C) There’s a good chance you’re going to have to do it at some point in your career and most likely for your career.  So suck it up and remember U-Haul has great deals.

It was after my second move within Silicon Valley (really), that I found myself contemplating a new commute, a new series of roads, and the potential to run into some of the horrible traffic in the area.  As I plotted out my new course, I remember how a co-worker of mine had mentioned a given expressway I hadn’t paid much attention to.  As I remember how he used to get to work, I realized this expressway wasn’t one I’d thought of (it’s Central Expressway, for those of you in the area), and it made my commute easier (and better than was was recommended by mapping software).

Soon, as I examined my new area, I began to realize just how much people who were native or had lived in the area knew of local roads.  I found out about shortcuts and expressways (where others just went to the freeway), traffic patterns, and more.  Being able to avoid jams, freeway parking lots, and more, was certainly welcome.

Of course when you think about it, when you move to an area – or consider one – you do want to talk to the locals that you know or meet.  They kind of know how things run and how things really work in wherever you’ll end up.

I strongly recommend that if relocation is in your future, take extra time to talk to people who live in the area you’re working in.  Go local, go native, go and talk to them and think like them:

  • Find out about the commute, the public transport, etc.  They’ll obviously complain (I never met anyone who liked public transport in their town), but you’ll learn a lot.  Ask what they use.
  • Find out about traffic patterns, timing, how bad weather is handled, etc.  That will help out a lot in your commute.
  • Go beyond just travel and find out about restaurant, schools, libraries, and other resources.  They have a lot to share too.
  • For that matter, “go local” and inquire about cons, comic shops, and other cool places that aren’t int the travel guides but fit you.

If you want to know an area, go local and go to the natives there.  It makes a big different.  It’s certainly meant a richer life for me – and a helluva easier set of commutes . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at