I Moved To Seattle And Hate It: How To Cope And Consider Your Options

Moving to a new city is always an adjustment, but what if after giving it some time you find you just really don’t like it? This is a situation many transplants to Seattle find themselves in after relocating there for a job, relationship, or new experience.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: If you move to Seattle and find you hate it, focus on expanding your social circle, exploring the city, looking for the positives, reevaluating your priorities, and considering either ways to better enjoy Seattle or if you should move elsewhere.

Make Friends and Build Community

Moving to a new city can be daunting, especially if you don’t know anyone. However, building a strong community and making friends can make all the difference in how you feel about your new home. Here are some tips to help you make friends and build a support system in Seattle:

Join local meetup groups

One of the best ways to meet new people with similar interests is to join local meetup groups. Whether you’re into hiking, photography, board games, or book clubs, there’s likely a meetup group in Seattle that caters to your interests. Meetup.com is a great resource to find these groups.

Not only will you have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, but you’ll also be able to explore the city and participate in fun activities together.

Take classes and volunteer

Another great way to meet new people and build connections in Seattle is to take classes or volunteer. Enroll in a cooking class, join a yoga studio, or sign up for a language course. These activities not only give you the chance to learn something new but also provide the opportunity to interact with others who share your passion.

Additionally, volunteering for a local charity or organization allows you to give back to the community while meeting people who care about similar causes.

Introduce yourself to neighbors

Don’t underestimate the power of getting to know your neighbors. Take the time to introduce yourself and strike up conversations with those who live nearby. They can be a great source of information about the local area and may even become close friends.

Consider hosting a casual gathering or block party to bring everyone together and foster a sense of community.

Remember, building friendships and a sense of community takes time, so be patient and persistent. Put yourself out there, be open-minded, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Before you know it, you’ll have a network of friends and a strong support system in your new city.

Explore the City Like a Tourist

One of the best ways to cope with moving to a new city is to embrace the tourist mindset. Instead of focusing on the negatives, take the opportunity to explore Seattle like a tourist and discover all the amazing things it has to offer. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Visit famous Seattle sites like Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals. Explore the bustling market filled with fresh produce, unique handicrafts, and delicious food. Don’t forget to stop by the famous Pike Place Fish Market, where the fishmongers toss fish through the air, creating a lively and entertaining atmosphere.

Try new restaurants and coffee shops

Seattle is known for its vibrant culinary scene and its love for coffee. Take the opportunity to try out new restaurants and coffee shops around the city. From trendy brunch spots to international cuisines, there is something to satisfy every palate.

And of course, don’t miss out on experiencing the city’s famous coffee culture by visiting local cafes and trying the different blends and brews.

Take day trips to nearby nature spots

Seattle is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Take advantage of your proximity to stunning landscapes and plan day trips to nearby nature spots. Whether you prefer hiking in the mountains, exploring the coastline, or wandering through lush forests, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Some popular destinations include Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls.

By exploring the city like a tourist, you can gain a fresh perspective and discover the hidden gems that make Seattle a unique place to live. Remember, finding joy in new experiences can help you cope with any initial feelings of dissatisfaction and make the most of your time in the city.

Look for the Positives

When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or dissatisfied with your new life in Seattle, it’s important to take a step back and look for the positives. While it may be easy to focus on the aspects you dislike, there are many reasons to appreciate and enjoy your time in this vibrant city.

Appreciate the access to outdoor activities

One of the greatest advantages of living in Seattle is the abundance of outdoor activities available to residents. From hiking in the nearby mountains to kayaking on the Puget Sound, there are endless opportunities to explore and connect with nature.

Take advantage of the beautiful parks and trails that are scattered throughout the city, and embrace the chance to spend time in the great outdoors.

Enjoy the vibrant arts and cultural scene

Seattle is renowned for its thriving arts and cultural scene. Whether you’re a fan of theater, music, or visual arts, there is always something exciting happening in the city. Enjoy live performances at one of the many theaters or music venues, visit world-class museums and galleries, or immerse yourself in the creativity and innovation that permeates the city.

You may find that Seattle offers a rich and diverse cultural experience that you can’t find anywhere else.

Take advantage of no state income tax

One major advantage of living in Seattle is the absence of state income tax. This means that you can potentially save a significant amount of money on your taxes each year. Take the time to understand the tax laws and regulations in Washington state, and consider consulting with a financial advisor to maximize your savings.

This financial benefit can help offset some of the challenges you may be facing in your new city.

Remember, adjusting to a new city can take time, and it’s natural to experience some ups and downs along the way. By focusing on the positives and taking advantage of the unique opportunities that Seattle has to offer, you may find that your perspective begins to shift and you can start to appreciate your new home.

Reevaluate Your Priorities and Lifestyle

When you find yourself in a situation where you moved to Seattle and hate it, it’s important to take a step back and reevaluate your priorities and lifestyle. Here are a few considerations to help you cope and potentially find a solution:

Make sure the job is worth it if you relocated for work

If you moved to Seattle for a job opportunity but find yourself unhappy with the city, it’s worth reassessing if the job itself is fulfilling and aligns with your long-term goals. Consider the potential career growth, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction.

Sometimes, it’s not the city itself but the job that may be the root cause of your unhappiness. Take the time to reflect on whether the job is worth staying for or if it’s time to explore other options.

Consider if the weather is too gloomy for your preferences

Seattle is notorious for its rainy and overcast weather. If you find that the constant gloominess affects your mood and overall well-being, it might be worth considering if the weather is a dealbreaker for you. Some people thrive in such conditions, while others may find it challenging.

If you’re someone who craves sunshine and blue skies, it’s important to weigh the impact the weather has on your happiness and make a decision accordingly.

Decide if you value proximity to family/friends more

Living in a city far away from family and friends can be tough, especially if you value close relationships and regular social interactions. If being close to your loved ones is a priority for you, it’s essential to consider whether the distance is taking a toll on your emotional well-being.

Assess the importance of maintaining those connections and determine if relocating back to be closer to family and friends would bring you more happiness and fulfillment.

Remember, everyone’s priorities and preferences are different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s crucial to take the time to reflect on your own needs and desires when making decisions about your living situation.

Ultimately, finding a balance between your priorities and lifestyle is key to finding happiness in any city.

Consider Relocating Again or Embracing Seattle

Research other cities that may be a better fit

If you’re feeling unhappy in Seattle, it’s important to consider your options and explore other cities that may be a better fit for you. Take the time to research different locations, considering factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, climate, and lifestyle.

Websites like BestPlaces.net and Numbeo.com can provide valuable insights into various aspects of different cities, helping you make an informed decision.

Give yourself a timeline before deciding to move again

Before packing up and leaving Seattle, it’s important to give yourself a timeline and evaluate whether your dissatisfaction is temporary or long-lasting. Sometimes, it takes time to adjust to a new city and find your place within it.

Give yourself a set amount of time, such as six months or a year, to fully experience what Seattle has to offer. Use this time to explore the city, meet new people, and engage in activities that align with your interests.

By giving Seattle a fair chance, you may discover that it grows on you over time.

Commit to making Seattle home by putting down roots

If you’ve decided to stay in Seattle, it’s important to commit to making it your home. Put down roots by getting involved in the community, joining clubs or organizations, and participating in local events.

Building a social network and forming connections with like-minded individuals can greatly enhance your overall experience in the city. Additionally, take advantage of the outdoor recreational opportunities that Seattle has to offer, such as hiking, biking, and exploring the beautiful surrounding nature.

Consider exploring different neighborhoods within Seattle to find one that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle. Each neighborhood has its own unique charm and atmosphere, so take the time to visit different areas and get a feel for the community.

By immersing yourself in the local culture and embracing all that Seattle has to offer, you may find that your initial dissatisfaction fades away.


Moving somewhere new comes with challenges, and Seattle has its flaws like anywhere else. But before you pack up and leave, try looking for the silver linings while also giving thought to what environment would make you happiest. With an open mind, new friends, and exploration, you may grow to enjoy Seattle. If after some time you still feel miserable, know that relocating again is an option, but don’t rush into it.

With effort, an open mindset, and some soul-searching, you can make the best of a relocated life in Seattle. But if the Pacific Northwest just isn’t a fit, take steps to thoughtfully consider where you might thrive more.

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