If you think I talk a lot about loving where you live and moving, it’s because I believe these are fundamental to our growth as people. I believe that moving is a right of passage that exponentially advances your life. If you lack funds, time, or effort to travel, maybe you should just move. I’m going to try to convince you once again in this article.
People say moving is expensive and risky but cant the same be said about the anxiety of saving for on travel “while the time is right”? Have you actually penciled the numbers on what it would take to move? How about the opportunity costs over your life of staying put? Worse yet, have you ever traveled but felt that something was missing?
I’m not naive enough not to say how white privileged I am to have had tremendous opportunities in life. I am very sympathetic that some folks really do have compelling and sometimes heartbreaking reasons not to move. This article may not be for you and please don’t take it personally.
For the rest, how’s complaining about where you live working out for you? Will a vacation really solve the cynicism of traveling to escape the stagnant situation you feel you’re in? Did the pandemic just ruin all your travel for a while? It may be time to capitalize on these “unprecedented” times.
Am I saying move instead of travel? No. Allow me to explain below.
Why do people travel anyway?
A few of the big reasons people travel are:
To learn and experience something unfamiliar and leave with new skills or knowledge.
Getting in touch with yourself and an opportunity to reflect on your life. You get the needed time and space to let your mind wander and take stock. Traveling is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself. You’ll come home knowing yourself better, and with a fresh perspective on what you want out of life.
Building and strengthening relationships and the shared experience of travel brings people together.
Sense of adventure that humans crave new experiences and travel lets us tap into that craving.
Time to reflect on the many ways people live life. Meeting people from other places will show you that your world view isn’t the same as everyone else’s.
All of the above reasons for travel translate quite well for a more permanent move.
Think of moving as the lazy person’s approach to traveling. Why not move somewhere that puts you in prime position to visit all of the places you say you want to visit? Then, all of the “travel” you do is decreased significantly. Your travel becomes mini-adventures that are drivable and more affordable.
For example, one of the many reasons we chose Arizona aside from the yearly weather was the abundance of outdoorsy things to do within 2, 3, and 4-hour drives. Using an 8-10 hour drive I was pretty much required to do in the midwest as the most I would want to do in a day, Phoenix provides significantly more opportunities for amazing things than Des Moines does.
When you put yourself in an area you want to explore, everything becomes cheaper, and more travel opportunities to great cities, the ocean, national parks, etc. become readily available and less daunting.
Advancing your life and the hassle you make it to be
A few of the big things that stop people are:
- Loneliness of not knowing anyone
- Moving away from family
People usually think of the hassle of moving rather than the brilliant ways it could all work out.
From a job perspective, there are usually great opportunities where you might be looking to move. In fact, moving is a natural pivot for a possible career change.
From a financial perspective, depending on how much shit you’ve accumulated in your life, a move is probably equal to the cost of taking a decent-sized vacation. On the plus side, you get an incredible opportunity to cut all the stuff that’s secretly been causing you anxiety. There’s too much stuff and the accumulation of it is not what a happy life is about. This is your chance to start anew and seek only the things that light you up both financially and personally. A one BR apartment will teach you a lot of important lessons in life.
Loneliness of moving is a big one. Whether you are introvert or extrovert, the internet has made it super easy to connect and meet people. However, one of the great opportunities of moving is spending time reflecting and alone.
When in your life have you had time to spend alone to reflect on your entire life, invest in personal growth (without feeling judged), and explore personal interests? When you eliminate choices in your life, life becomes simpler for you to reframe positively.
Remember these too
The bold claim of moving being too expensive is cynical and an excuse people tell themselves to avoid taking a risk. More often than not, if you were to open up the financial box people are living in you could find many things that if cut or changed would open other doors.
When you look at life through the lens of supporting you or with a growth mindset, the challenges or “problems” always have a reasonable solution. There’s always an affordable way to think about things and you must always consider the future potential. This is hard work.
We forget about how much traveling can be a pain in the ass too.
How many times have you traveled to a place and it was a logistical disaster? Or when you pour your heart and soul into planning a perfect trip only to spend an equal amount of time judging whether it was what you hoped or met your expectations. Add this on top of the fact you may barely be able to afford to travel, you spend most of your time fighting your conscious mind about how much you’re spending and what you want to spend it on. That’s stressful.
Maybe you should just move
Of course you still want to travel and experience things but what if instead, you found a setup in a desirable city in a great location that was relative to your current place in affordability? What if you knew a friend who you might want to grow closer within a city and took a leap there?
Want to get the ball rolling? Step one is to take a vacation to a desirable place and feel the experience. Don’t have expectations of finding a place to live. Don’t judge it on what you like and dislike. Just be there with it. Explore and let your mind wander about what moving, in general, would be like.
Follow your bliss. What lights you up? For me, it’s hiking. So I put myself in a place I can do it year-round.
How’s your financial situation? Moving might be able to help when you remove the negative patterns that keep happening.
How’s your growth as a person progressing? Do you seek fresh ideas, people, and an opportunity to embrace being a newbie again? Have you ever spent time alone consistently to remove all stimulus and get to the core of who you are?
How about mini-adventures? Is there a place you’d love to go to see many things in one 8-10 hour drive radius? What if mini-travel becomes more about free things for a while while you get on your feet with your new place and get out of debt?
How’s your job? Think of your life over a 30 year productive time span. Would 2 years (if it didn’t work out) really make a difference? When’s the last time you took a chance?
What have you always desired in a place you live? Nature? Amazing weather? The ocean? Let your mind wander in a way that puts you in this place.
How about you rediscover where you live and not buy into what you “should” do.
Moving = Travel
Moving can be a form of travel and it can be difficult. But when in life have the easy things been the most rewarding? If you are thinking you can’t travel or that you want to travel more, I would suggest doing both by moving AND traveling through mini-adventures!
There’s a natural progression of transition points in life. College, a first job…moving! I’m a firm believer that everybody needs a fresh start from time to time to put things in perspective. That’s what moving is to me. A chance to be in a place where you have room to grow free from the negative influences and complacency that’s been brewing over the years.
Like everything in life, you learn from the decisions you make and there are always chances to pivot. Say you move and it really sucks. Well, time to learn, pivot, and grow even more through adversity. No matter all of the reasons you have not to do something there are an equal amount of reasons to do something.