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Moving Away: Young and Independent

Three years ago, I moved from my hometown to start a new life in the city. This article is for young people looking to do the same.

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

Adventure Awaits You

Have you ever dreamed about living somewhere new and fresh, where you are free to remake your life away from everyone and everything you know? Do you dread your hometown, wishing there were more opportunities for you to thrive in your job and relationships? Maybe you just feel like the odd one out.

If you're planning on moving out of state or country for the first time, this article will help you consider the practical steps to take before you make the big move. Get ready to turn your dream into reality!

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

What Compels You?

I spent 23 years in the same county, with very little job opportunities and this strange feeling that there was much more to see in the world. As much as I was ready to leave behind everything I knew, I decided to move because I was searching for opportunities to grow.

Why do you want to move? Do you feel stuck where you currently live? Are you looking for people who share your values? Do you want to start over and be a different person?

Whatever your reason, my best advice is to move because you have things to look forward to, not just because you want to get away from where you are. Think carefully about why you really want to move away, and where you want to move to.

You may also find it helpful to start a journal as you are going through this process. It makes it easier to get your thoughts straight, and you can jot down important thoughts as they come. Moving is a big decision, and writing will help you think more carefully!

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

How Will You Make It Happen?

I moved six months after making the decision, but you may need more time to plan and save up. I had $6,000 saved up, and sold all my belongings, except for what would fit in my car, then drove to my new city and stayed with a friend while looking for an apartment.

How can you successfully make the move? Of course, not everyone will have a friend in their place of interest. Assuming you will be renting, other options are temporarily staying in an Airbnb, a hotel, or signing a lease before moving (which either involves visiting beforehand or taking a risk and signing a lease before seeing a place, which is something I do not recommend).

The main idea is that you need some money saved up before moving. If you have debt, you should consider if it is worth it to delay paying that off in order to save up for moving costs. The only way I would recommend that is if you know you could land a job in the new area that would make more money than you are currently making.

You should also consider applying for jobs and setting up interviews in advance. Even if it's not your dream job, you will be much better off if you have a few options and are able to start work quickly.

To figure out how much you need to save beforehand, you will need to know a number of things about the place you want to go. Read on for more details!

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

Where Do You Want To Live?

You should do some thorough research on wherever you pick. How much is the cost of living in comparison to where you are now? How much would you need to make to be able to afford living there? What kind of jobs are in the area that you qualify for, how much do they pay, and is it enough?

These questions may seem overwhelming, but it is important to be financially realistic when considering where you want to relocate to.

Other things to consider are the climate, culture, laws, and even language if you want to move somewhere foreign. Other than doing research, the best way to judge a new place is to actually visit it. It may take longer to save for the extra trip, but you may find something unexpected while seeing the place in person that you never came across online.

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

How Much It Will Cost?

Since I moved in my own car and sold most of my stuff, I saved a lot of money on moving trucks and storage. What expenses do you need to save for? Gas, moving trucks, all living expenses for at least a month while you search for a job (rent, electric, water, gas, internet, renter and car insurance, etc), a temporary place to stay if you are unable to set one up before moving, essential groceries, and a mattress (if you aren't taking one with you).

Consider all expenses from during the move up until you land a job, especially those that are unique to your own personal situation (like medications and doctor's visits). Also, keep in mind that you may not be able to afford the same quality of living as you do now, at least not right away (for example, eating out frequently might have to be replaced with cooking more often in order to save on cash).

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

Leaving Family and Friends

When I told everyone I wanted to move, my family was skeptical and worried that I couldn't make it on my own. My friends clung to me like they would never see me again, and I could see they were afraid of losing my friendship because of the distance.

It was discouraging when people weren't as supportive as I thought they would be, and I felt less confident because of that. But the truth is that they were just instilling their own fears, anxieties, and worries in me.

If you have similar experiences while planning to move, don't lose heart! This is your life, and you deserve to create the one that works best for you. If you plan well, save up, and work hard to find a job that will support you, then your plans will work out. It's okay to remind your loved ones that you've got it under control. Never stop dreaming.

Best of luck and safe travels!

how-to-move-out-of-your-hometown

Are You Ready To Move?

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. How much do you have saved up/plan to have saved up by the day of your move?
    • $0
    • $0 - $500
    • $500 - $1000
    • $1000 - $2000
    • $2000+
  2. Do you know how much your move will cost? (moving truck, plane ticket, gas, security deposits, etc.)
    • Yes, I have budgeted for everything I can think of.
    • I have a general idea but haven't budgeted for anything.
    • No, I haven't really thought about it.
  3. How do you feel about living by yourself/with new roommates?
    • Great! I'm up for the adventure.
    • I'm not sure I could handle being by myself/living with new people.
    • I don't like the idea of either.
  4. Have you researched the place you want to move to?
    • Yes, I can imagine what it would be like living there.
    • Yes, a little bit.
    • No, not really.
  5. Have you visited the place you want to move to?
    • Yes, I have explored and visited.
    • No, but I want to.
    • No, but I am okay with the risk of just moving and seeing it then.
  6. Do you have a stable job that allows you to save up for your move?
    • Yes.
    • I have already saved up for my move.
    • No, but I will soon.
    • No.
  7. Have you done any job research or online interviews?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  8. Do you feel confident in yourself to successfully move and thrive emotionally/financially?
    • Yes, I am ready to move and start a new life.
    • I'm unsure.
    • No, I feel anxious about the whole thing and feel more comfortable where I am.
  9. Are you ready to leave behind your friends and family and make new friends?
    • Yes, I would love to make new connections and be part of new social groups.
    • I'm ready to leave people behind, but I'm unsure about making new friends.
    • I'm not sure about leaving people behind or making new friends.
    • No, I'm not ready to do any of those things.

Scoring

For each answer you selected, add up the indicated number of points for each of the possible results. Your final result is the possibility with the greatest number of points at the end.

  1. How much do you have saved up/plan to have saved up by the day of your move?
    • $0
      • probably not ready to move.: +5
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • $0 - $500
      • probably not ready to move.: +5
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • $500 - $1000
      • probably not ready to move.: +3
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • $1000 - $2000
      • probably not ready to move.: +3
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • $2000+
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
  2. Do you know how much your move will cost? (moving truck, plane ticket, gas, security deposits, etc.)
    • Yes, I have budgeted for everything I can think of.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +5
    • I have a general idea but haven't budgeted for anything.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • No, I haven't really thought about it.
      • probably not ready to move.: +5
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
  3. How do you feel about living by yourself/with new roommates?
    • Great! I'm up for the adventure.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • I'm not sure I could handle being by myself/living with new people.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • I don't like the idea of either.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
  4. Have you researched the place you want to move to?
    • Yes, I can imagine what it would be like living there.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • Yes, a little bit.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • No, not really.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
  5. Have you visited the place you want to move to?
    • Yes, I have explored and visited.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • No, but I want to.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • No, but I am okay with the risk of just moving and seeing it then.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
  6. Do you have a stable job that allows you to save up for your move?
    • Yes.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • I have already saved up for my move.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: +2
    • No, but I will soon.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: +2
    • No.
      • probably not ready to move.: +5
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
  7. Have you done any job research or online interviews?
    • Yes.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • No.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
  8. Do you feel confident in yourself to successfully move and thrive emotionally/financially?
    • Yes, I am ready to move and start a new life.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • I'm unsure.
      • probably not ready to move.: +2
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • No, I feel anxious about the whole thing and feel more comfortable where I am.
      • probably not ready to move.: +3
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
  9. Are you ready to leave behind your friends and family and make new friends?
    • Yes, I would love to make new connections and be part of new social groups.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • I'm ready to leave people behind, but I'm unsure about making new friends.
      • probably not ready to move.: 0
      • definitely ready to move.: +1
    • I'm not sure about leaving people behind or making new friends.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0
    • No, I'm not ready to do any of those things.
      • probably not ready to move.: +1
      • definitely ready to move.: 0

This table shows the meaning of each possible result:

probably not ready to move.

Your adventurous spirit is strong but there is more planning to be done! Based on your answers, you are not quite in the moving phase yet. At this point, it would be wise to get back to the drawing board and assess the financial reality of moving, and all of the factors needed for a successful move. Of course, your situation may be unique and you may need less money for moving, or maybe you are okay with the risk. Regardless, it might help to start a journal to keep track of your thoughts, financial planning, and the general process. Keep working at it!

definitely ready to move.

Your adventurous spirit has payed off in planning! Your finances are in order, you have planned for the future, and the only thing left is to say your goodbyes and start the move. There is always risk in doing something new, and you are well aware of the roadblocks that may come your way. Great job on preparing yourself for the future, and happy travels!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Rebecca Swafford

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on March 12, 2019:

Thanks for sharing this advice based on your experiences.

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