Speaking to BBC Radio 1, Ferdinand confirmed he had offers to stay closer to home in London but opted to move north to escape the 'parties'.
"I had offers to stay in London to go to Chelsea, but I said I need to leave London first," the former Manchester United defender said.
"[I needed] to go to Leeds firstly to get out of London so I don't go to every party I was invited to, because I loved it when I was younger."
The defender was at West Ham at the time, having broken through after graduating from the academy. He moved to Leeds United in 2000, spending two years in Yorkshire before switching to Manchester United.
He made more than 300 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils, winning six Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one Champions League during his time at Old Trafford.
He moved to United for a then-British record £29.1m, and Ferdinand remains one of the most expensive defenders of all-time in terms of transfer fee paid.
At the time of Chelsea's interest the west London club were not the powerhouse they now are, as Roman Abramovich was not the chairman and they were yet to win a Premier League title.
Partly as a result, Ferdinand opted for Leeds, who were splashing the cash at the time as they looked to crash Europe's elite. They reached the Champions League semi-finals at one point, but the lavish spending caught up with the club and they were forced to sell off the likes of Ferdinand to keep the club afloat.