Moving involves adjusting to change, whether you’re moving across country or across town – even switching units in an apartment building means redirecting mail and setting up utilities at the new location. There are personal considerations that will more than likely be the same regardless of why you’re moving. Once again, asking yourself some questions can help you put those considerations into perspective.
One way to gauge the level of adjustment a move is going to require is by looking at how far away it’s going to take you. If you’re moving someplace that’s a reasonable driving distance from your current home, the promise of coming back for occasional visits can reduce anxiety and help speed the transition after the move takes place. For instance, it can be easier for children to adjust if you can tell them, “We can always jump in the car and in a few hours we can be at Grandma’s.” The same goes for your own ties to family and friends.
How Far Away Will I Be Going?
Bigger moves bring bigger challenges, especially for close-knit families, since traveling back for visits is likely to involve expensive air travel. But instead of focusing on that, look for answers in your new locale. Find tourist attractions and other exclusive-to-the-area fun that can tempt family and friends to visit you. That way, you’re not always on the more costly side of the visit.
The way of life in your new location is also incredibly important. A move between Chicago and Atlanta is a long one, but the rhythms of city life will remain essentially the same. A much shorter move between an urban and a rural county, however, could change your way of life completely. You need to think about whether you’ll miss the ability to run down the street for a newspaper and coffee, or whether you won’t be able to sleep because of traffic noise (or the lack of it) outside your window.
Will I Feel Like I Belong In This New Place?
Moving can be an exciting adventure filled with new places to explore and new people to meet. But exciting though it can be, moving has been ranked as one of the most stressful events in people’s lives. The moment you even begin discussing the possibility of a move, chances are you’ll see an immediate impact on your friends and family, especially if you have children. It’s very important to carefully consider the potential effect of a move on everyone involved – and that includes pets. Here are a few of the things to consider before relocating.
Will There Be Good Opportunities For Everyone?
More than likely, if someone else is relocating with you, you’ll have some concerns about how to make it a positive experience for everyone involved. It may not be easy, but working through the issues can help.
Work: As we mentioned earlier, if yours is a two-career household, you need to consider what this career-advancing move will mean for both careers. Here are some of the questions you may want to discuss:
Are there opportunities for both of you in the new locale? If not, what will happen if you put one set of career aspirations on hold?
What would a reduction in household income, even for a short time, do to your budget?
Are there other career doors that may be opened with the move?
Could this move be the perfect opportunity for your spouse to become a stay-at-home parent?
- Is this an opportunity to return to school, or explore a beneficial career change?
School: American school systems can vary quite a bit – not just in things like class sizeand teacher quality, but also in the range of classes and activities they offer. Are your children heavily involved in a regional sport like hockey? Does 4H mean everything to them? Does a love of science make them long for sophisticated lab facilities? Are the computer resources they currently have far above average and hard to find elsewhere? If so, be sure to consider whether the school system you’re moving to can meet your needs. If you’re in love with an area but find the schools to be lacking, you may want to explore private schools or lessons or even homeschooling as alternatives to supplement or replace your public school choices.
Cultural Interests: No location is 100% perfect for everybody, but it’s important to do whateveryou can to make sure activities that have high emotional significance for you are available in your new area. Does your spouse love major league sports? Will you get the shakes without an occasional dose of Will Shakespeare? If certain cultural and entertainment options are a big part of your life, make sure you keep them in mind when you’re looking for a new location.
Lifestyle: Some people’s idea of heaven is a quiet evening at home in a community that offersa relaxed pace. Others need a varied selection of restaurants and nightly entertainment options. Think about the type of lifestyle and community that suits you best. With a little research, you should be able to find a place that fits the bill. Even in remote areas, you can often find nearby cultural or shopping districts that provide a satisfying amount of action. And metropolitan areas sometimes have outlying neighborhoods that offer peace and quiet without making you drive two hours to your job. To test the waters, spend a weekend in the neighborhood you’re considering and try to do what you would normally do at home.