'Should I Move?' Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
'Should I move?' It's a big question.
I’ve moved around a lot in my life. 34 times, to be exact. From Delaware to Alaska to California, crossing the country so many times has given me the ability to pack a 3-bedroom house with my eyes closed. Some of my moves have been career-related, others have been to be closer to family, while still others have simply been because I needed a change of scenery (again). Making a move is undoubtedly a big decision - one that needs to be well thought out. If you’re on the fence about whether you should move or not, here’s a list of questions that have helped me make some of my biggest, most challenging (and most rewarding) moves.
Would you be able to meet your career goals better somewhere else?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35.9 million people moved between 2012 and 2013. 19.4% of these moves were job-related. So if you think that the career advancement you’ve been pining for will happen a bit easier in a new state, you’re not alone. Whether you are looking for more opportunities within your industry or are looking to embark on a new career path, consider whether a move will help you get there.
Have you ever lived anywhere else?
While I’ve always been a bit envious of people who have lived in one place their whole life, I’m also grateful for the experiences that moving so much has provided me. If you’ve never moved before (or have only moved within one city), this is as good a reason as any to get out there and expand your horizons. Moving somewhere new can help you figure out who you are, bring unexpected opportunities to you, and change your perspective in ways that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Is there another place that you’ve always wanted to live?
Dreaming of New York City? London? Marrakech? If you’ve got a case of wanderlust and are itching to see what it’s like to be a resident of uncharted (by you) territory, then what are you waiting for? The world is big and has a lot to offer. Not being able to stop thinking about moving somewhere means you should definitely go. I do recommend visiting the city before you jump in with both feet - it’s easy to romanticize a place you’ve never been but you’ll want to find out important details like what the cost of living is, whether there are opportunities for career advancement, and what the weather is like. Do your research first to make sure that your dream city will actually be a good place for you to live.
Are you moving to be closer to your partner?
Long distance relationships are hard. Been there, done that. Though I’ve never moved for love, it’s something that a lot of people do. If you’re in a committed relationship where both of you feel like your lives would be better if you were closer, moving might be a good option. Make sure, however, that you are moving to be closer to your love for the right reasons and checking in with yourself about what you really want. Relocating to fix a damaged relationship doesn’t always work. You’ll be uprooting your life, so make sure that you and your partner agree on all of the specifics before making your final decision.
Do you feel bored/unfulfilled in your current city?
There’s nothing to do on Friday night other than going to the town’s high school football game. There’s no art scene, no good live music, no culture. These are all great reasons to start planning a move. Where you live can have a big impact on how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you’re bored all the time and don’t feel like there’s anything for you, it’s time to hit the road in search of a home that you can thrive in.
What am I losing if I stay? What am I losing if I leave?
Yes, this is technically two questions but they go hand-in-hand. Being on the fence about moving can be caused by many things - uncertainty about what the future holds, fear of leaving your comfort zone, and anxiety about all the things that could change in your life. Instead of letting your decision be ruled by these emotions, hash it all out on paper. Write out all the things you’ll be losing if you leave and all the things you’ll miss out on if you stay. Simply understanding what’s holding you back can help you decide which is the right decision - staying or going.
Do you want to move?
This seems pretty obvious but it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about what you “should” do rather than what you “want” to do. If you’re moving with your family, to be closer to your partner, or to start a new job, you’re probably spending a great deal of time wondering what is best for your relationships or kids or career. Stop and ask yourself this question - do I want to move? If the answer is no, honor that. If it’s yes, well, congratulations - It’s time to start planning for your new destination!
You can make your move even better by joining Newbee Network to connect with locals who can help you get to know your new city!