Melissa (roseofjuly) wrote in loveandacademia,

This is somewhat related to the previous post, but it's a bit different.

Do any of you commute a long way to school in order to live with, or closer to, your mate?

How long would you be willing to commute in order to live with your mate?

My fiance's in the Air Force. He's stationed at McGuire AFB in south central New Jersey -- about 15-20 miles south of Trenton, if anyone's familiar with the area. I currently am doing a Ph.D at a New York City university and I live in upper Manhattan. The driving distance between our living spaces is a little under 2 hours. My fiance visits me every weekend; he rides the bus up from the base, which usually takes about 3 hours (because buses are slow).

We're planning to get married this year. We want to live together -- we really, really want to live together. We were originally planning to hold off until I finish my coursework (I'm a first year, and I won't be finished my coursework until spring 2011.) But I'm wondering if the 2 hour distance would be feasible to close. The first hurdle of course is finding out how far from the base he can live -- but he says he's pretty sure as long as he can make it to work every day, he can live wherever he wants within 250 miles. The halfway point, of course, would be 1 hour away from each place. Neither of us currently has a car, but we're remedying that situation for him first, and if we do move together we would remedy it for me as well.

One hour is nothing for me to sacrifice in order to come home to my hubby every day -- not to mention that I'd be saving nearly $1,000 by letting the government foot the bill for joint accommodations. The only problem I can think of is it wouldn't be a straight commute. There's no way in hell I'm driving a car into New York; IF I found a place to park it it could very easily cost me between $200-300 a month just to park it, and driving in New York would give me a heart attack. NJ has a pretty good transit system that if we lived in the halfway city (which theoretically is nearby New Brunswick, I suppose) I could take the train into the city, but it would take me an hour by train just to get to midtown, and another half an hour to actually get to my campus.

Which, like I said, is a small sacrifice to living together, but I want to make sure that my time is the only sacrifice (and not my productivity!) I'm in the social sciences so it's not like I have to work in a lab every day. Last semester I was on campus three days a week; this semester, I will only have to be on for two, but I'm collecting data so I'll be out and about in the city 4 days a week. I expect that in future semesters I'll most likely be on campus an average of 3 days a week. Most of the work I do I can complete from home, unless I'm collecting data from participants face to face.

What do you all think?
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