Is it New York or Nowhere? Why I moved to Miami Beach

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In January of 2021 after spending New Years Eve in Miami Beach, I decided it was time to leave New York City. Prior to that I had spend nearly 6 months in isolation in my 5th floor walkup apartment in Harlem. I, along with everyone else in New York City were at the epicenter when the pandemic hit and that was an extremely anxiety ridden and nerve wracking time. I vaguely remember begging my mother for medication to help with my anxiety (she’s a nurse and of course refused). I double gloved up to make the trek to the grocery store once every month. There was never any toilet paper and my mom had to send me some from North Carolina. All cleaning products were no less than $50 on Amazon. I left my packages outside my door for a full day before touching them. The sound of ambulances and firetrucks, which are already the unofficial soundtrack of New York City, quadrupled during those months. Every day and every night sirens blared through the streets. It all got to be too much for me and being alone probably made it worse. I’ve always been a home body and a bit of a workaholic so isolation was a welcome reprieve from society for me. I dove head first into my work creating content and really challenging myself with being innovative. That kept me pretty busy for a few months but being in isolation alone for that long, made me realize a few things about life and the kind of life I wanted for myself. My life in New York wasn’t it.

New York Made Me

Being from a small town in North Carolina, I always dreamt of leaving. I always wanted to know where that long road at the end of the block went. I wanted excitement and adventure and I found all those things when I came to New York City for graduate school. I made it through. I partied with my friends at Club Mars 2112. I dated a bouncer who’d pick me up from class in his Hummer. I thought about piercing my eyebrow and only wore black nail polish for a year. I leaned wit it rocked wit it at Eugenes and ordered $20 cocktails at 40/40. I did New York City and I did it right. I made it and by that I mean I survived it. I survived with a minimum wage job while putting myself through graduate school. I made it through school and got a well paying job. I made it 14+ years in New York and I gained more heart and more hustle than I ever would have if it were anywhere else. The connections I made during my decade and some change are what made it possible for me to make it any where. It’s cliche AF but if you can make it in New York, you are set for life.

Peace & Quiet

There was no peace or quiet during isolation. In fact the moment I started getting serious about my YouTube Channel, the more I realized there is no peace or quiet at all in New York City. My ears have gotten sensitive and my patience thinner with age. I can always tune it out when it’s time to sleep. I can always increase the volume on the television to drown out the bass rumbling the apartment building from a rattling car on the street or the sirens or the couple arguing over God knows what. But when it’s time to film and you’ve spent an hour doing your makeup and hair and then all you hear is Bachata from your neighbor blasting through the walls, it’s enough to make you want to scream. No shade against Bachata but at 9 am…it’s a no for me. I literally had to wake up before the sunrise and film in near darkness in order to have a little peace because after 11am fuggetaboutit, nothings getting done. What I realized from every trip I took to Miami is that I could film in peace, at any time of day. I often wondered if people ever got sick, or if there were ever fires in Miami because I couldn’t recall ever hearing a siren. Even the busiest streets in Miami are still relatively quiet. I had forgotten what peace felt like. What it felt like to not hear sirens all night and all day. The older I’ve gotten the more I enjoy the quiet. I’d wake up at 6:30am and from my balcony at East Miami Hotel, I’d watch the sun rise over the water and it’d be so quiet I could almost hear it. I’d gotten to the point that I could no longer ignore the noise that in New York City. That noise can penetrate you and keep you on edge. It’s a good place to be when you’re hungry to make it, but it’s never-ending background static if you’re trying to be still.

Welcome to the Good Life

I packed up my bags and moved to Miami Beach in February 2021. I got an apartment on the beach with a balcony and my very own palm tree that I aptly named Palmela. There’s just something about seeing a palm tree swaying in the wind against a bright blue crystal clear sky that makes me exhale in This is the Good Life. Not only did I have outdoor space but a dishwasher and ceiling fans in every room! It was the amenities for me and it was way cheaper than anything you’d find in New York City. I was a mere 10 minute walk to the beach and had the best restaurants and shops at my fingertips. Not to mention the amazing weather and lower cost of living (at that time). I relished every moment of the 6 months that I lived in Miami Beach. I loved going to the beach everyday and sitting in the sun, listening to the ocean and just being grateful to be alive. During all that time, I never went back to New York City, even though I’d kept my Harlem apartment. There I was at the beach in a 2 piece bikini while it was snowing, grey and miserable in New York City.

All About the Benjamins

There are a lot of reasons why I moved from New York City to Miami Beach that include: a better quality of life, more amenities and space for my money, better weather, a more suitable work environment and did a mention better weather? After being in isolation with no outdoor space, I decided it was time for me to get some in case this every happened again. But the biggest reason is because it was the first time in my adult life that I truly saw how people in another major city lived and how it was so much better, so much cleaner, so much nicer than the way I was living in New York City. I mean you can literally look at the streets of Miami Beach and see where those tax dollars are going. I’ve never seen a city so clean! You can eat off the sidewalk because best believe someone power wash cleaned them that morning. I get it, it’s a beach town and tourism is huge so it has to be clean but so is New York City! Oh and speaking of taxes, that’s another big reason I moved too! Let’s not kid ourselves here. I’m trying to make my money generational money. And if it’s one thing New York is going to do, it’s tax you…3 times. BUT FOR WHY?!? The trains are still dirty, and rarely in working order and a rat just hoped down the subway stairs on it’s tail like a kangaroo. I swear, I’ve seen a rat do that!

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I did my time ladies and gents and paid my dues…quite literally. I’m always going to love New York and that’s why it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I’m thankful for the connections I’ve made that have enabled me to work from anywhere. I’m grateful for the friends who became family who wouldn’t hesitate to book an $80 flight from JFK to come chill in the Miami sun with me. But I gotta put me first! And right about now Miami Beach is that girl. Don’t worry, I’ll be back and forth between Harlem and Miami Beach but for tax purposes, I live in Miami now. LOL. Love you…mean it.

xx

Monroe

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48 Comments

  1. Tracy
    March 11, 2022 / 10:52 am

    I love how you tell your story and I love reading you. I’ve been following you for a long time and it’s amazing to see the growth! You go girl!

  2. Lavette
    March 11, 2022 / 11:09 am

    Enjoyed this blog and best wishes to you Miami Girl

  3. March 11, 2022 / 12:25 pm

    Great bio of your journey of your life, glad you shared that, Good luck always ❤

  4. March 11, 2022 / 1:22 pm

    I can see the quality of life for you in Miami, and I love it. Your glow is a lot more peaceful. It’s like seeing two Monroe. I’m all about your Miami lifestyle. Continue to shine! And I also like New York City too.

  5. March 11, 2022 / 1:27 pm

    Congratulations to you. I’m born and raised in Miami and now have lived in NYC since 2010. And I always wonder why I moved here. I do get home often but I think im ready to move back as well. I totally feel this post to my core lol

  6. March 11, 2022 / 1:38 pm

    Your morning Miami stories are so calming for me- thank you for sharing this with us.
    The way you’ve described NYC reminds me of London, especially the weather.
    The peace of great weather every day transforms the mind, body and soul.
    You’ve inspired me to leave this place because it’s no longer serving me.

  7. Linda Mitchell
    March 11, 2022 / 3:24 pm

    Dearest Monroe,

    My sister (Skee Wee). I hear you! I am a native New Yorker, born and bread from the Boogie Down Bronx. I get you. Peace not Pieces. You have to be where the sun shines best for you. Continue on in your journey. You are global and your brand shines where ever you choose to be. I am praying for your continued success because you inspire me and motive me to be and look better. Thank you for all of the astounding work!!! You are fabulously fierce. Peace and Blessing. Linda

  8. March 11, 2022 / 5:10 pm

    The overall look is chefs kiss . I can tell already that your loving Miami.

  9. Monica
    March 11, 2022 / 5:23 pm

    This was as heartwarming as I expected. I’m super happy for you and totally get it as a DC resident. Whenever I’m done I plan to keep my home here as well. Sending blessings and joy your way.

  10. March 11, 2022 / 5:59 pm

    I enjoyed your fantastic read. Monroe I feel I was there. Congratulations again on your success. I love to see my people prosper.

  11. Nikk
    March 11, 2022 / 6:53 pm

    Hey Monroe it was truly a pleasure reading your blog. I have been following you for a while now. I love your Taurean energy cause I am an Aquarius. I too, like to live life freely and really enjoy it. You are amazing and you inspire me so much. I am so happy for you and all you have accomplished. I am in love with Miami too, and I tend to visit quit often its the water for me.

  12. Sherra Tyler
    March 11, 2022 / 6:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey with us. I am also from a small town and often wonder about the journey I have yet to experience. It’s time for me to makes some moves to seeing where I land.

    Your content is stellar and your lifestyle is truly amazing. Thank you, Monroe, for sharing your experiences.

    Sherra T.

  13. Angela
    March 11, 2022 / 6:58 pm

    Great post. I really enjoyed it. Reading while my neighbors dogs are barking. Btw, same reason I am moving from Chicago. I need my peace as well

  14. Lea
    March 11, 2022 / 7:08 pm

    This post made me cry. Not because I’m sad you moved to Miami but because I’m so anxiety ridden I can only fantasize about being as free as you are.

  15. Felicity
    March 11, 2022 / 8:54 pm

    Blessings upon blessings!! Enjoy your new home. Keep her covered God!

  16. March 11, 2022 / 9:52 pm

    It’s always nice to hear the ‘back story’ of some of my favorite Fashionistas and Influencers. CHEERS and Thank You for Sharing!

  17. Sydney
    March 11, 2022 / 10:03 pm

    Confession…yours is the first blog post I’ve ever read. I just don’t read them. But yours was phenomenal. You’re a very gifted writer.

    I was talking to a friend this morning about surviving the isolation of the pandemic as a person who is single. I’m a caregiver for my 88 yr old Mom, so I wasn’t totally alone. But having the companionship of my fur babies (three small dogs) was life saving. Dogs are the best anti-anxiety remedy …ever! They instinctively know how to calm your spirit and soothe your soul. I highly recommend pet parenting!

  18. Julie Scherman
    March 11, 2022 / 10:27 pm

    I stumbled upon your YouTube channel some months back and I love your content. I love to see a smart, successful woman taking charge of her life. You should be in the fashion magazines with your amazing photo shoots. I believe that will happen one day soon!

  19. Avalla Harris
    March 11, 2022 / 11:35 pm

    So so have for you, life is short so you have to step out on faith and live your life. Do what your heart tell you to do to make you hole.

  20. Sharon Jordan
    March 12, 2022 / 12:16 am

    Thanks for sharing your story Monroe. I know that you will accomplish
    Whatever you set out to do. Many blessings to you. I’m one of your biggest fans, but you already know♥️

  21. LaSharon Davis
    March 12, 2022 / 2:08 am

    I think this may be my second or third time actually reading your blog and it’s great. So very transparent as always. The pictures are amazing and I spotted those earrings but only to be disappointed that they are no longer available. Glad you made the decisions that are making you happy, live your life without any regrets. You only get one life and it’s not a dress rehearsal.
    I have seen your channel grow in the two to three years that I been following you. It has only gotten better. I honestly say at least from those I follow your content is great with the best pictures. Keep growing and doing you. Enjoy your new home in Florida but above all keep God first. .

  22. March 12, 2022 / 2:18 am

    As a New Yorker I moved to Miami Beach and I understand all that you are saying but I think living in both cities is the best- leave NYC when it’s cold and leave Miami during hurricane season – a snowbird is the best species

  23. Tayarta Brown
    March 12, 2022 / 6:36 am

    Thanks for sharing…I really enjoyed this and can resonate with being from a small town and wanting more…and then later realize, some of the benefits of simple living are priceless: serenity, slower pace, more bang for the buck, etc. Keep lighting up every place your feet trod…your personality and love for living is on blast! We it!

  24. Kisha
    March 12, 2022 / 8:13 am

    Great post and love the transparency Monroe. I love to visit New York, but never could see myself living there. I can’t wait to see your Miami journey as a homeowner. Love you!!

  25. March 12, 2022 / 8:35 am

    Monroe! I thoroughly enjoyed this blog! I discovered you right when you discovered your new found happiness in Miami last year. I had just decided to start my own YouTube channel, but somehow came across your channel. I’m so glad I did! You’ve been such an inspiration, I even call you my YouTube bestie! Lol! Thank you for always standing out, being unapologetically you, and not giving AF about what anybody has to say negatively. I’m so glad you’ve found peace! I love your New York vlogs, but your Miami ones just hit so differently. I’m happy for you, and I look forward to seeing more Miami love! Thank you for being YOU!

  26. March 12, 2022 / 8:54 am

    You have to follow your peace. I get it. I moved during the pandemic because lock down made me realize I need outdoor space, at least the option of it. My studio apartment downtown didn’t look so appealing. I’ve since moved again to Chicago, beautiful city, but I’m here for the hustle. I’m a sun and water girl, I know wherever I settle, those two are a must. Happy for you, Monroe!

  27. Pleasantlyintroverted
    March 12, 2022 / 9:24 am

    As you so eloquently stated, that Miami is that Girl! So Are You! I’ve been a Monroenista for awhile, did I just make up a word? I did, and what about it(in my Peyton Charles voice), I love your writing style, fashion style, and home decor! As long as you put out content, I will always support! Keep up the Great work! Enjoy your Miami home and this new venture, I know it will be AWESOME!

  28. March 12, 2022 / 10:11 am

    I feel so blessed to from South Florida! After reading this post I feel the need to stop taking it for granted. I interned in NYC in college and I loved it there. I never saw myself living there though but it is a nice place to visit.

  29. Cyn
    March 12, 2022 / 10:26 am

    If it wasn’t for having 2 school aged children and wanting consistency with their school, I would be moving to Miami as well. I love the peaceful life and just being excited about the weather. NY has gotten so scary lately. But once a new Yorker always a new Yorker.

  30. Tanya
    March 12, 2022 / 10:35 am

    Love this post! I’ve vacationed in Miami twice. After seeing you do/take Miami, I’m excited to go back and hit up some of the same spots you’ve visited in hopes of an even more amazing experience! And if I actually ran into you…I think I would cry. Lol. Since stumbling upon your YouTube channel in 2020 I’ve had a new outlook on my own life. You ignited a stark in me and I’m excited about getting dressed up and getting myself together and loving how it mashed me feel! Ok this is long enough…just want to say…keep on doing you! 😉

  31. Terri Hill
    March 12, 2022 / 10:36 am

    I truly enjoyed this read! Monroe you’re that girl

  32. PamMarie
    March 12, 2022 / 10:51 am

    I live in a city in New England and it has been an adjustment after living most of my life in a small town. I too am looking forward to moving South in the near future.
    God’s word is the best thing for dealing with anxiety. Nothing else can provide peace, comfort, strength, etc like scripture!

  33. March 12, 2022 / 11:03 am

    I really love this for you. As someone who lives in a town I don’t like this is very inspiring !

  34. Ruth Coby
    March 12, 2022 / 11:52 am

    I feel like as you get more mature your crave a stillness that I agree you really won’t get in NYC…your growth has been so exciting to witness. I don’t know who works harder than you! I hope Miami brings more relax time for you that you record in a bomb vlog

  35. Audrey Hunter
    March 12, 2022 / 12:19 pm

    Hi Monroe–I am a native NYer, I know what you men. I am so tired of the noise, sirens, etc. God bless you. You have mad the right decision; you will have a good life! Can’t wait to see your new home.

  36. Gloria
    March 12, 2022 / 1:07 pm

    Not only was this inspiring to read, it was hell’a funny! I’m seriously ready to move to Miami too! Better believe I’m planning my treat escape! Thanks so much for sharing sis! We New Yorker influencers know the woes all too well! Just the other day I was trying the do a simple 30sec voiceover for a brands reel which took me about 20 mins bc this guy decided our block was the best block to do his motor cycle test run!

  37. Tola
    March 12, 2022 / 1:10 pm

    I’m excited for you and so understand. I’m a born and raised New Yorker and I so get going somewhere else to truly be free and enjoy life, have peace and quiet and not have all your money go to taxes, not have all your money go to a small space. I admire your fortitude and I’m excited about your journey. I’ve been following you for over a year and I’m so glad the YouTube algorithm pushed your page to my feed. Many blessings 🙂

  38. Gee
    March 12, 2022 / 2:36 pm

    This was beautifully written. I am so proud of you and how your life has transcended on your terms. Yes to being bi-coastal. Yes to having choices. Yes to everything that’s coming your way. I love watching your authenticity and growth. Cheers to you and blessings on your move. The sun looks great on you!

  39. Allegra
    March 12, 2022 / 3:20 pm

    So…I needed to read this today. I’m currently packing and it affirms a life choice I made a few months ago, but have been stagnant about executing. Been in New York for nearly 25 years, moved here right after college. But sis is tired now! LOL! I am at a point in my career where I need my money to go further and I can work from anywhere. During the quarantine I would have given a kidney to have a balcony for fresh, safe air. Didn’t mind the isolation, but minded not having “outside.” I will always love NYC, so many memories! But am moving on for a better lifestyle! Congratulations on making your move!!

  40. Lee
    March 12, 2022 / 4:24 pm

    So Proud Of You! I’m you Auntie you don’t know, or have never met! 🙂 I have been following you for a while, never comment, but always LIKE your YouTube videos. Keep up the great work!

  41. Michaela Cornwall
    March 12, 2022 / 10:27 pm

    Congratulations on your many accomplishments. Watching you and your friends give me LIFE!!! I cannot wait to see what you do with your new place in Miami! Send some sun and sand up to us here in NYC!

  42. Angela Mckeither
    March 13, 2022 / 12:27 pm

    Congratulations Monroe. You are a very inspirational young woman. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am sure New York City will miss you and Miami will welcome you with open arms. Can’t wait to see what great YouTube content you will share. Good luck in your future endeavors. You don’t actually need luck because you definitely have the goods. God Bless.

  43. Fushia Jones
    March 13, 2022 / 1:38 pm

    I love your story and evolution into The Monroe Steele…Be Great!

  44. Carmen
    March 14, 2022 / 10:26 am

    Hi Monroe, I’ve lived my 57 yrs in a city similar to NYC…. Boston MA. And the struggle/hustle is real. I’m not on any social media so I came across your YouTube while at home during quarantine due to covid and breast cancer. I absolutely love your vibe, style, ambition, honesty, confidence and bravery….PERIOD!!
    Also my first time reading a blog and it makes me want to move to Miami. Wishing you love, peace and happiness.

  45. Myrna
    March 14, 2022 / 1:37 pm

    Congratulations! You are definitely an inspiration. Your style is unique and everything you wear looks stunning on you. I love your vlogs and patiently waiting for the home decor vlogs ☺️. I wish you nothing but the best in Miami.

  46. Melody Gilliam
    March 15, 2022 / 9:16 am

    Love this blog, you owe it to yourself to be where you are happiest. As a born and raised Harlem girl, I totally get it. I too feel that New York, Harlem in particular, has equipped with the tools to survive anywhere. I wish you nothing but joy and success. The world is your girl!!!

  47. mm
    March 15, 2022 / 10:37 am

    Congratulations on the next chapter. Love this post as usual. Long time follower here

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