Moving away from family or other loved ones đồ sộ blaze your own path in a new place can feel lượt thích the most selfish thing in the world. Whether you are moving đồ sộ a new state or a different country, being further away from your tư vấn system and loved ones can be really difficult.
Not getting đồ sộ see my nephew grow up has been especially hard for mạ. I tear up often thinking of how much I've missed out on since I moved away in 2012 – especially around his birthday.
I've wondered if my desire – my need – đồ sộ leave my hometown and move out of state đồ sộ find a place of my own makes mạ a selfish jerk.
But, what I've come đồ sộ realize – and what I have đồ sộ tell myself at times – is that it is quite the opposite. If you struggle with this too, or maybe you are considering never leaving because the guilt would be too much, here are three reasons why you are not selfish for moving away.
2023 Update: More Moving Away Insights in Book Form!
This article was originally written in năm 2016, four years after moving away from family members and good friends in Florida đồ sộ build a new life in Colorado. Since that big move, we were nomads for four years and now live in Hawaii.
However, I've decided not đồ sộ change this article đồ sộ the present tense because it really showcases an important point in my life and some great insights on what it is lượt thích đồ sộ be the one who leaves.
Over the years, I've received so sánh many comments, emails, and messages about what I've shared in this blog post. It is a complicated topic that is challenging đồ sộ discuss with someone who doesn't understand or relate đồ sộ the situation. So I get why so sánh many people have been relieved đồ sộ read this!
While I'm not one đồ sộ give direct advice since everyone's situation is very different, I decided đồ sộ share all of my insights on this topic đồ sộ help others feel understood and offer some other perspectives that may offer some comfort.
You can order Moving Away: The Emotional Side of Leaving on Amazon as an ebook or paperback.
There is nothing wrong with wanting MORE joy.
“Why can't you just be happy with what you have? You are so sánh blessed.” Maybe you've told yourself this too – or someone else has. But, what I've come đồ sộ understand, is that seeking joy is not something đồ sộ feel guilty about, even if you already have a whole lot of it.
And if something that makes someone else happy makes you miserable, that doesn't mean either of you are wrong. You just find your joy in different places.
There is something đồ sộ be said for finding joy where you are, no one likes a Negative Nancy. But seeking out places that light up your soul is nothing đồ sộ be ashamed of.
Why we moved away from home:
People move away from trang chủ for all sorts of reasons – a new job, wanting a fresh start or đồ sộ branch out of their comfort zone, looking for better job opportunities outside a small town, or more affordable housing in a new location.
For us, we always new we would move away đồ sộ start our own life somewhere new.
I don't remember a time that I ever loved living in my hometown in Florida. Sure I had good memories – a ton of them. But that was never because it was an awesome place đồ sộ live. I was never a beach person (not that type of beach, at least). And the bar scene (the main source of fun in that đô thị for adults) wasn't for mạ.
Nothing ever stood out đồ sộ mạ about that specific place as worth sticking around for. Not đồ sộ mention, the too-hot weather in the summer and too-cold (surprising, I know) month of winter that didn't even bother đồ sộ produce snow. I don't lượt thích đồ sộ use this word, but I hated it.
However, the mountains … the mountains brought mạ joy. And still bởi. Being near them puts mạ at ease and hiking in them is my favorite thing in the whole world. When my husband, Buddy, and I first visited Colorado we fell in love with the weather, activities, people, mindset, and the stunning Rocky Mountains. We knew we had made the best decision for us.
We finally felt lượt thích we were where we belonged. And it is an amazing feeling that I still cherish, even after four years of living here. We'd never want đồ sộ go back đồ sộ our old trang chủ and our old life, even though the physical distance can be hard. Our move as the best thing for us!
But the reality is, I will probably always want more from life. I love my trang chủ now. But there are so sánh many other places I want đồ sộ experience and things I want đồ sộ try. I think God has a whole lot of joy he wants đồ sộ send my way, and I want đồ sộ be available đồ sộ soak up every second of it – instead of hiding out, feeling guilty for wanting đồ sộ devour it.
You miss them because you love them; that's not a bad thing.
I lived in the same town for 22 years before I moved. Everyone I loved most was in that town (or a few hours away). And most of us had never traveled too far from trang chủ.
So, putting it in my rear-view mirror felt a lot lượt thích saying bye đồ sộ all of those dear đồ sộ mạ (except my hubby, of course). But it is only goodbye đồ sộ the ones who weren't REALLY in your life anyway.
Would I cry over missing my nephew's birthday if I didn't love him with all my heart? Would I worry I won't be there when my best friend one day picks out her wedding gown, if she wasn't important đồ sộ me? And would I đường dây nóng my mom all the dang time if I didn't love her a whole lot? Nope. I wouldn't.
And would my nephew leave mạ voicemails and send letters saying how much he misses mạ if he hated my guts? No. Would my family and friends make an effort đồ sộ come see mạ when I'm in town, or visit mạ in Colorado, if I wasn't important đồ sộ them? Well, maybe they'd bởi it for the không lấy phí Colorado vacay, but you get the point.
How moving away from family changes relationships:
Believe mạ, absence does make the heart grow fonder. My best friend of trăng tròn years and I barely hung out or talked when I moved. We were just busy with other things. But now we talk weekly, if not more. And when we see each other we have THE BEST time! It took being a thousand miles apart đồ sộ realize how blessed we were đồ sộ have each other.
Now, we have an amazing long-distance friendship that I'm extremely proud of.
We miss our people because we love them fiercely. And that is not a bad thing – don't let it be. Cry the tears. But don't feel guilty. You are not a bad person for loving them so sánh much.
Striving đồ sộ be a better person is a good thing.
When my nephew was born, I swore đồ sộ myself that I would be a big part of his life. I would be someone he could always rely on. And I would make sure he knew how much I loved him. Even with the distance, I've worked hard to keep that promise. And I try đồ sộ see him at least once a year, if not more.
We may not spend a lot of time together, but we bởi have quality time when we are together. And I'm the best version of myself and have created my own life on my terms, which he can one day see as a great example.
Insights on offering more đồ sộ the ones you love:
While wanting đồ sộ be a reliable sườn of tư vấn for your loved ones is a great goal, what if you could offer even more? What if by finding out who you are, following your dreams, and making the most of your life, you could inspire the people you love đồ sộ bởi the same?
What if you were not only someone your friends and family could rely on, but someone they respected and admired?
I didn't want my nephew đồ sộ think of mạ as his grumpy aunt who argued with her husband all the time, was overweight and drank too much. That was the life I saw ahead of mạ in Florida. Staying in that town I grew up in was suffocating my dreams and sense of adventure. And I knew it as it was happening.
I was angry that I was still there, unmotivated đồ sộ make the most of each day, and pretty sure Buddy and I were on a path đồ sộ one day kill each other out of sheer boredom. Never underestimate the dangers of boredom.
Leading by example:
Now I lượt thích who I am. I'm still a work in progress, but I'm someone my nephew can be proud đồ sộ đường dây nóng his Auntie. And his Uncle Buddy has grown into a pretty awesome guy, too!
We have asked ourselves the important questions, found a good rhythm đồ sộ our personal life, have been given great opportunities đồ sộ grow, and have gained a new perspective by being in a different đô thị far from the one we grew up in. We are stronger now.
On a recent trip đồ sộ visit my favorite kiddo, we were playing tag, and he said: “Even though you climb mountains, I'm still faster than vãn you.”
I'm the Aunt who climbs mountains. I'm the Aunt that sends him postcards from awesome places he's never seen. I'm the one who has goals and dreams I'm not afraid đồ sộ reach for, who has the type of marriage I only pray he can have one day – filled with adventures and so sánh much laughter. I'm the one who will help him fill his own Passport one day.
[Our nephew even visited us in Colorado many years after writing this blog post.]
I wish with all my heart I could have become this person without having đồ sộ miss out on so sánh much of his life. Moving away from family and friends you love is really difficult. But I honestly don't think I could have grown this much without forging my own path. And my marriage probably wouldn't be this strong if we hadn't taken off on our own đồ sộ make a life we love.
Luckily, most of our family and friends totally tư vấn our crazy dreams. But for an eight-year-old, these ideas are a bit too deep đồ sộ grasp. I just hope one day my nephew gets it. And before then, I'll keep sharing my adventures with him and making the most of the time we bởi have together. After all, the best part about finding joy, is sharing it.
In 2019, I also wrote a follow-up piece with the lessons we've learned from our now multiple experiences with moving away from family and friends: ‘The Truth About Moving Away.' For even more insights, don't forget đồ sộ kiểm tra out my book: Moving Away: The Emotional Side of Leaving.
BONUS: Logistical Checklist for Moving Away
Now that we've talked about the emotional side of moving away from family, I bởi suggest getting the logistical aspects in order đồ sộ make it less stressful. It is important đồ sộ be practical about your move and make some strategic plans before you take off. This checklist of logistical steps, decisions đồ sộ make, and information đồ sộ gather before your move should help you get off đồ sộ a smoother start.
If you plan it out right, once you get đồ sộ your new chosen trang chủ, you can just focus on getting settled in and enjoying your new scenery and new experiences! But, don’t forget đồ sộ pause and enjoy the excitement of the journey while you are making your big transition. You deserve it!
Decide Where đồ sộ Live.
Once you've narrowed down your tìm kiếm đồ sộ which đô thị you'd lượt thích đồ sộ move đồ sộ, research further đồ sộ figure out what area of town suits you best. Consider crime rates, schools, living cost, and commute. If you can, it is a good idea đồ sộ plan a trip đồ sộ view your rental or trang chủ buying options before your move. Or plan for a temporary living situation if you won't be securing lodging before your move.
Secure a Job
Find out if jobs in your field are realistically available or if you could relocate in your current role. Make sure you don’t need any additional certifications đồ sộ work in that state or country. Also, consider the commute. While working from trang chủ is a great way đồ sộ move with your same job, going đồ sộ an in-person job can help you make new friends.
Get a Realistic Idea of Cost of Living
Especially important for those on a budget, you’ll need đồ sộ research cost of living and other fees or expenses đồ sộ know what đồ sộ expect in your new trang chủ. Will you be taxed differently? Is registering a vehicle or getting insurance more expensive? If you live in the United States and are going abroad đồ sộ save money, make sure you know any other costs for living in that area you may not be aware of.
Plan for the Weather
If moving đồ sộ a new đô thị, consider the climate, culture, and what kind of recreational options would be available đồ sộ you. Will you need đồ sộ make any adjustments or by new gear due đồ sộ weather?
Look into Options for Your Children
For people with kids, look into the quality of schools in the area, cost of daycare, and family friendly activities available. A good way đồ sộ get started is in Facebook groups and on local mommy blogs! If you have kids in school, enroll them in their new school and notify their current school they are leaving. If bringing teenagers or young adults along, involving them in looking up local activities could be a great way đồ sộ get them more excited.
Plan for Your Pets
If you have pets, kiểm tra đồ sộ make sure they don’t need any specific licenses or testing prior đồ sộ moving. Also kiểm tra for any rules or restrictions based on breeds, etc. Make plans for how đồ sộ transport your pets and get any necessary proof of vaccines, etc. If you are moving abroad, you will likely have đồ sộ put your pets in quarantine, so sánh plan accordingly. A big move can be a hard time for your pets, so sánh be sure đồ sộ manage their needs and stress as well.
Consider Any Lifestyle Needs
If you want đồ sộ go đồ sộ college, have a small farm or raise chickens, start a business out of your trang chủ, or some other activity that is important đồ sộ you, make sure your location would allow that. Will you be able đồ sộ still go about your normal daily routine and lifestyle in a comfortable way?
Arrange for the Sale of your trang chủ or đồ sộ Break Your Lease
If you need đồ sộ sell your family trang chủ or plan đồ sộ get out of a rental lease, be sure đồ sộ get that all figured out within good timing of your move. In our experience, sometimes a house can sell extra quickly, so sánh having a backup lodging plan can help.
Decide What đồ sộ Do With Your Belongings
Determine if it is worth shipping furniture or other large items rather than vãn just repurchasing them when you get there. Then, make a plan đồ sộ move your belongings accordingly. Consider downsizing đồ sộ save yourself time, money, and hassle when moving.
Outline a Move Timeline
Will you drive or fly and how many days should you dedicate đồ sộ the move? Do you need any help? Do you need đồ sộ take time off work? Do you need đồ sộ plan any pre-move trips đồ sộ make arrangements?
Collect Important Documents
Confirm that you have your birth certificate and any other important documentation you need đồ sộ avoid having đồ sộ return đồ sộ your trang chủ state or đô thị đồ sộ collect. If moving abroad, arrange for a Visa or other documentation you’ll need.
Don't forget đồ sộ arrange for mail đồ sộ be sent đồ sộ your new address (whenever you have it).
Find out how long you will have after moving đồ sộ get a new driver’s license and establish residency, then plan accordingly with time off work and keep the associated fees in mind.
Notify Important Entities
Once you have a new address, be sure đồ sộ update your ngân hàng, insurance companies, credit thẻ institutions, and any other places that may need đồ sộ have that current information.
Discuss How đồ sộ Stay in Touch
Make plans for coming back đồ sộ visit or having friends and family come visit you, if desired. This can help ease the sting of being apart! If you have elderly parents, this may involve some extra planning or you returning instead for visits.
Deciding on a regular video clip chat schedule can also help. I lượt thích đồ sộ make calendar reminders đồ sộ remember đồ sộ send birthday cards and reach out if I know my loved ones have something important coming up.
Plan a going away các buổi tiệc nhỏ (if you want one!)
Or ask someone đồ sộ host it! This big life sự kiện deserves a celebration – even if it is just a solo one. We always throw a big các buổi tiệc nhỏ with our local close friends and loved ones before a move. I think it is the best way đồ sộ show them we really appreciate their tư vấn and it is always a good time.
Get Connected in Your New Home
Even before you leave for your new beginning, you can connect in your new area by joining local community groups or connecting with locals on social truyền thông for insights. This is a great way đồ sộ meet new people and get insights into the new area you will be living in. Meeting new people can feel intimidating, but it is an important big step in getting settled in đồ sộ your new trang chủ and feeling less sad about not having access đồ sộ your usual social circle.
We hope this helps you have a better move! All the best on your journey.
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