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The grass is always greener

New beginnings: Austin gains #1 spot as The Daily Beast’s “Best City for Starting Over”

Have you ever felt like you wanted to get away from it all? I’m not talking about a vacation to the Caribbean to escape stress at work. I’m talking about picking up everything you possess and finding a completely new city to start over in.

With life becoming more difficult for many in this shaky economy, moving to greener pastures is very tempting. Apparently, Austin is now the most tempting city to relocate to for a fresh start, according to The Daily Beast’s new rankings.

What does “starting over" really mean? The Daily Beast sees the coming new year as an appropriate time for many people to seek out new locations to jumpstart their lives. The rankings are meant to guide impulsive people into finding the best places for “reinvigorating a career and improving one’s quality of life.”

So, what are some of the analytics that help create these rankings? The list seems to be another registry of places that weren’t hit as hard by the recession as much as other American cities, but with a little more focus on local economies that can help people get careers off the ground.

For instance, Austin scores really well when it comes to “small business friendliness,” boasting an environment that fosters independent business growth. Walking down any Austin street makes this seem obvious, whether it’s food trailers or independent retail stores popping up everywhere.

But just because it may be easy to launch a new business doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful. Any hopeful entrepreneurs with dreams of financial success should keep in mind that they will face stiff competition from the city’s firmly entrenched local establishments.

Austin also ranks well when it comes to being “student friendly,” which is important for retraining anyone already in the workforce and promoting an environment that supports academic and professional opportunities.

Going back to school may seem attractive to someone wanting to start off on a new career path, but it may not be the end-all solution to starting a new life. School is never cheap, and there will still be the risk of getting a new degree that will not attract any new employers while you find yourself stuck in student loan debt.

It's always great seeing Austin at the top of another list, but anyone reading it and thinking about moving should be careful doing so on a whim. As nice as things might be here, there is still no guarantee for success. Austin always welcomes newcomers with open arms, but don’t expect streets paved with gold. They’re still asphalt, just like anywhere else.

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