Kim Graziano, New York CityKim Graziano is constantly asked why she swapped the buzz of New York City for a somewhat more peaceful life in the Isle of Man. Here, she presents 7 Reasons why the Isle of Man beats New York City, hands down.
I only pass as a local until I open my mouth. As soon as my American accent leaves my lips, the first question is where I'm from, and the second question is "WHY did you leave New York City for the Isle of Man?!"
The short answer is that I tagged along with my partner for his job, and the long answer is that whilst New York City is a fantastic place to visit, the Isle of Man is a pretty incredible place to live. Here's why.
1. When I lived in Brooklyn, I spent a half my wages on rent for a room in a tiny 3-bedroom apartment with 2 strangers in a rough neighborhood. In the Isle of Man, I have 3 times the space and pay half as much. Without the pressure of an astronomical cost of living, I found the freedom to start my own business as a graphic designer and illustrator.
2. Having dogs in New York City is a challenge, but in the Isle of Man, we can walk five minutes from our house to Douglas Beach, where the dogs play fetch, go for a swim, and sniff a dozen other pups, all before breakfast.
3. In New York, my commute to work involved a walk, two different subway lines, and 45 minutes spent crammed into a stranger's armpit as I tried not to fall into other passengers on the L train. Now I work from my attic studio or occasionally ride my bike 10 minutes north along a babbling brook to freelance for a local marketing agency.
4. After an attempted mugging in Brooklyn, I had a set of rules about going out at night: don't wear headphones after sunset, travel with friends if possible, wear a cross-body bag. When I moved to the Isle of Man, it was honestly a shock to experience night time in Douglas; I've never felt unsafe here.
5. In the Isle of Man, Facebook is actually pretty useful! Tapping into the local community online has led me to new design clients, fun pop-up events, and even creating my own drawing club.
6. Flying out of Ronaldsway is a dream in comparison to New York's JFK airport: it's never taken me more than 10 minutes to clear security, it's rare to see more than one luggage belt operating at a time, and most of my flights end with a piece of chocolate.
7. With a population of only 83 thousand, there's space in the market here to establish yourself, and as long as you have the big ideas, there are all kinds of support systems to make things happen. Small local businesses are everywhere, and it's been a joy to start one of my own.