We’ve all been there: you’re sitting in 5 o’clock traffic, staring blindly at the car in front of you and think ‘what if I didn’t live somewhere with so much traffic?!’ Or you see the most beautiful photo on Facebook posted by a friend who just moved across the country and think ‘maybe I should move too…’
It’s easy to dream about moving somewhere new: moving gives us a chance to start over, a change of scene, and an opportunity to reinvent ourselves.
But the actual act of moving? Much harder.
How We Moved Across The Country
There have been many times in my life when I’ve dreamt about moving. But most of the time, it was the idea of moving that I liked. So when my husband and I were offered the chance to move across the country — with about a week to decide — my dream of moving was put to the test.
There’s a difference between fantasizing about living in a new place and actually pulling the trigger on it. I panicked! My husband was offered a job clear across the country from where we lived: we were settled in Austin, TX and he was offered a job in Jackson Hole, WY. I was 7 months pregnant, we had just signed a lease on a newer, bigger apartment, and I was less than a year into a new job.
But the opportunity that we were offered was one that we had been hoping for: for the last two years my husband and I had been talking about moving to Jackson. My husband was offered a job here, after sending off his resume and not really thinking that he would hear back.
We fought our greater judgement: we sold most of what we owned, both quit our jobs, packed up a car full of our belongings and moved across the country. There were SO many things that could have gone wrong in the process. And some things did go wrong. It was not a smooth journey by any means. But we made it work because we wanted to move more than we wanted to stay where we were.
Start With This One Thing
Our move was complicated, but there was one thing we did that I believe made it possible:
We took the first step.
If you want to change where you live, you have to start somewhere. It’s completely daunting to think through the process of moving, so you need to take a first step in order to break the cycle of dreaming about moving and actually moving.
And that’s my advice when people say that they want to change where they live: take one step today to get you closer to your goal.
Instead of becoming paralyzed by the overwhelming process of moving, just take the first step towards it. And you’ll be surprised by the momentum this creates…
Taking The First Step
That first step may look like finding a realistic new home, mapping out a timeline of when you can move, or sending out your resume. There’s a big difference between just googling homes/jobs/etc in the place you want to move to and actually pursuing these things.
What was the first step for me? It was not something exciting like a vision board or a dramatic announcement to friends and family…it was a spreadsheet. A financial planning spreadsheet. For me to take the leap of moving, I had to crunch numbers in a spreadsheet to see if it was financially possible.
The day I made this ‘financial planning spreadsheet’ was also the day of my husband’s birthday dinner. All my concerns over the numbers came to a head at that dinner and we basically spent two hours eating tacos while I freaked out about the idea of moving.
However, shortly after that (now infamous) birthday dinner, I had a realization: the reasons we had for moving were greater than any challenges that would come up. Our move was messy – we had to break commitments (to jobs, leases) and leave our friends and family.
But the reason we chose to move outweighed these challenges. The main reason that we chose to move was to raise our son in a new environment.
Where Would You Move To?
So next time you are sitting in traffic, dreaming of being elsewhere, or see a post on social media of a different, gorgeous city that you would rather be in — take the first step! There’s a sure way not to move to a new place and that’s to do nothing about it… Take the first step towards moving — whatever that looks like for you — and you’ll be surprised at the momentum that it creates.
Where are you going to take the first step towards moving to? Drop a comment below or let me know (@thecabindiary on social media) to share.