Swapping a view of the Brindabellas for a view into a stranger's apartment or a cruisy drive down the Monaro for a crowded subway ride is quite a step.
New York is the epitome of a global city, the place to make it or break it.
For hundreds of years, the city was a magnet for immigrants from all over the world. A place to build a business from the ground.
For millennials, songs like Empire State of Mind and television shows like Friends and Sex and the City have continued to paint the city as thriving and accessible - while setting extremely unrealistic ideas of how big your apartment will be.
For many creatives, New York is the place to break into their chosen industry, or the end-goal once they've established their careers.
So what's it like uprooting life in the bush capital to move to an actual (concrete) jungle? Here are the tales of three Canberrans forging careers and identities in New York City.
Jessica Norton, 28, creative marketing strategist
While the common exodus is to move from Canberra to Melbourne or Sydney, creative marketing strategist Jessica Norton took the express route - or subway ride - moving directly from Canberra to New York City.
"When I was little, I had a pillow that said something like: 'I dream of New York.' I went there five years ago to visit and I knew I had to live there. I knew I'd do whatever it took."
The 28-year-old has been in the city for four years, but will soon be living between New York and Los Angeles while she establishes the West Coast branch of the marketing agency she works for.
"I live in the East Village, the trendy, younger area of Manhattan, on the lower side of town. I work next to Madison Square Park. For those in marketing, this side of Madison Avenue is a real hub."
It wasn't the Manhattan skyline or the delicious bagels which drew her there - but something slightly less tangible.
"It's hard to explain, but the energy of the city itself is inspiring. The people you meet, just the ones sitting next to you on a park bench, have amazing stories. The city itself just draws in a particular type of person, a particular type of energy.
"Canberra will always be home. I have no family in New York. I just love the challenge that New York can provide. The sense of momentum here keeps me moving ... it's like nothing else in the world."
After her first trip to New York in 2014, Norton applied for Miami Ad School. She was the first Australian to be accepted into the New York program. The six-month course in strategic marketing was her gateway to getting herself in front of the right people.
"It was about who you know, and I didn't know anyone. What I wanted from the program was essentially to walk away with a black book of contacts.
"While there, I sent out millions, well not millions, hundreds of emails about connecting with people and getting in front of people. Honestly out of one hundred, maybe two responded. Still, from there I was able to get some conversations going and I was eventually given an opportunity to work with a company."
One result of her sea change has been the stark change in routine.
"I used to be up at 5am in Canberra. I'd go to the gym, run around the lake, do a weights session. I'd start work at 8am and two to three times a week I'd meet up with people for a coffee before work. Working late in Canberra is deemed, 7.30pm or 8pm.
"Life in New York is the opposite. My working day starts at 10am, so people come into the office from that time. No one leaves before 6pm. They say it's the city that never sleeps, and that's because everyone works in the evening.
"On weekends, brunch starts at 1pm. In Canberra, it's 9am."
Norton, who completed a degree in advertising and marketing at the University of Canberra, still visits Canberra each year.
"In Canberra, I had the option to be a big fish in a small pond. But being in my early twenties at that time, I wanted to learn from the best. The access to clients on a global platform is something I couldn't have in Canberra.
"Canberra gives you a great sense of community and how to treat people. Just the act of smiling at someone else when you run past them at the lake, that doesn't really happen in New York."
"Living and working in New York is a resilience game. You have to be determined and you have to keep going."
Shana Jade, 27, photographer
If you're ever frustrated by chiselling frost off your windshield during a Canberra winter, spare a thought for 27-year-old photographer Shana Jade.
"In a New York winter, you'll wake up and it'll be minus 15 degrees. And it's like, oh, I have to get out of bed now. You need a good winter jacket, boots and layers and just get on with your day. You can't let the cold stop you."
Like many young artists, she's become more resilient and driven as a result of this make-it-or-break-it quality of the city.
Despite living in New York for five years now, she never dreamed she'd be there until later in her career.
The former Narrabundah College student lives in the hipster enclave of Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn with two of her closest New York friends. Like many Americans, she found her apartment on Craigslist. (It's Gumtree, but weirder.)
She spends her time working in the city and finds it comforting being able to "cross the bridge" at the end of the day and return to Brooklyn. It's a welcome change in energy, and she prefers to spend her weekends in the borough.
So, will she be returning home to Canberra anytime soon?
"I have a lot I want to do in my career. The opportunities in New York don't compare to anywhere else. As much as I miss home and my family, I have to focus on my career. I need to ride this wave for as long as I can."
Jack Grayson, 27, photographer
Fashion photographer Jack Grayson might have gone to school in Canberra, but he grew up in an even smaller town: Yass.
These days, he lives with his wife Olivia in an apartment between SoHo and the Lower East Side. He's lived in New York for nearly two years, and says it was a "long road" to the Big Apple.
"It ends up being $10,000 just to get an apartment. There's the broker's fee, one month's rent, another month's rent, and two month's deposit," said the 27-year-old.
Despite this, and a lengthy visa application process, he hopes to be there for another five years.
"There's loads more work in New York, compared to Australia. Here you have all the tools to make great work. Not to say that you can't make it in Canberra or Sydney, but in a fashion photography sense there are heaps of models, studios and set designers in New York. All the ingredients to make good photos are here."
Despite the image of New York being occasionally cut-throat, with millions of young people vying for their next big break, Grayson believes this factor actually brings people together.
"It's easier to make friends here. For a lot of people in the creative industries, New York is never intended to be a long-term place. You go there to make some money, to find some good work.
"Because of that, people tend to be very friendly and open. Whereas in Australia you have the group that you grew up with. Making friends in New York has been refreshing and surprising."
While it's certainly proven to be a city of opportunities for Grayson, he notes that the city is worlds away from Canberra in terms of its lack of stability.
"In New York, there are more ups and downs, in day-to-day life. You can get out of an amazing meeting and then be on top of the world, and then see something afterwards on the subway and it takes you straight back down. It's just a daily thing, but it's something you just get used to.
"The things you see in a day here."