Moving Out of State: Pros and Cons to Consider BEFORE changing your area code.

I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump lately. The term ‘stuck in a rut’ can be applied. Bare in mind as I post this, when I came back to blogging I promised authenticity in my writing. Going forward, I’ll be writing as I feel inspired. Sometimes I may not write at all, sometimes I will simply share photography, and others I may go two weeks without posting. As I try exciting new recipes, visit new places and try new products I’ll keep you up to date. As mentioned in ‘Gone to Carolina In My Mind’ back in November, I’ve spend years toying with the idea of moving away from New Jersey and settling in North Carolina. Having the excitement of a beautiful city at your fingertips without necessarily being IN the hustle and bustle has always appealed to me. The future for my little family and this blog might be out there-under Carolina blue skies. I’m open to all possibilities.

Like anything in life, it’s important to give careful consideration before making any rash decisions but if you (like me) are considering making that plunge it will be important to go in with realistic expectations and without blinders on: that means weighing the PROS and CONS. So take a seat, and enjoy the ride!

The Pros

Change of scenery

While living in the same place you’re entire life can offer a sense of security, but it can also make you feel, well, stagnant. The thought of experiencing new places is refreshing. I would hope to gain perspective, grow as an individuals, and open my mind to new cultures and attitudes. When feeling stuck in a rut or sick of the same dull routine, moving to a new city or state can offer your family a fresh start!

Better opportunities

Relocating can be scary but it can also open up to a world of new opportunities. Stagnant careers can be revived by moving to a new city or state and could present you with various new job options and networking connections. It will also give you and your family the chance to try new things. Have you always wanted to take up a new hobby? Indulge in exotic ethnic foods? Unfamiliar regions can offer various new hobbies, leisure activities, foods and nightlife options that you either have always wanted to try or never even considered trying! Moving can provide you and your spouse with the chance to meet new people and form new relationships–perhaps with individuals unlike those from your hometown.

Finding yourself

Songs and movies are both written and preformed from the idea of ‘finding yourself’. How does one ‘find themselves’? Sometimes the answer is simply leaving your comfort zone and immersing yourself in a completely new element. People who’ve done can usually always attest that it does wonders for self-awareness. It will be force you and your little family to become more self-reliant without the safety net of all of your friends and family close by, but even more acutely especially if you are relocating alone. Being surrounded by unfamiliar faces in a town or city that is foreign can only make you braver, stronger, more resilient and more independent.

Physical benefits

According to many articles I read, studies show moving away may actually be good for your health! Mental stagnation caused by the stress of your daily routine can wear someone down and cause exhaustion and psychological strain. The benefits of starting over in a new place can actually rejuvenate your mind and body by alleviating whatever mental burdens you have been carrying. Moving to warmer, more temperate climates can also cure the winter blues and remedy certain ailments such as arthritis and respiratory problems.

The chance to purge

Being forced to haul all of your earthly possessions to a new state can make you re-consider how much you need them. De cluttering is a MUST when moving long-distance because things can get expensive if one has a large volume of belongings, it can force you to considerably downsize. Hoarding unnecessary items causes clutter, increases stress, and can be emotionally burdensome. Letting go of things with little utility or importance to you will make you feel lighter, clear-headed, and ready for a new beginning.

The Cons

Missing your family and friends

This is number one on my list because why? Leaving family holds many people back from better opportunities. The hardest part for many people considering a long-distance move is bidding farewell to loved ones. If you have close family and friends in your hometown, it will be difficult to adjust to not having them accessible to you at any time. While nowadays in the age of Facebook and Skype, it’s easy to stay in touch but there is little substitute for a hug from your mom or a meal with your best friends when you’re feeling lonely.

Culture shock

This is BIG if you’re a Northerner considering a move South. It’s a change of pace completely and can take some getting used to. It’s not uncommon for people who move to feel withdrawn, alienated and alone in this strange, new place without the comfort of your loved ones nearby. Even if you are only moving a few states away, cultural differences can be drastic. Social norms may be dramatically different than what you are accustomed to in your hometown. You may not have access to your favorite foods and the activities you once enjoyed may not be practical in your new city.

The cost

Moving isn’t cheap. Add moving out of state? It can be a costly venture. If you have a large home, a lot of belongings and furniture to transport, and many miles to travel, you could be looking at up to $10,000 in moving costs. There are many moving services to choose from and many methods to make your move more economical, but depending on your budget, packing up and making the trek to a new state just might not be financially feasible.

The stress

Moving is a stressful experience–there are various tasks involved and a great deal of planning to do in order to successfully execute the move. You have to determine your moving budget, choose your method of relocation, research movers and compare quotes, pack your belongings, transfer medical records, change your address–and the list goes on. Moving long-distance can require even more planning than a local move. You may feel so bogged down by the taxing process that it kills the excitement and anticipation of starting over in a new place.

Other Things to Consider

Weather: How will you adjust to the climate in your new home? You may think you’d love to live somewhere that’s hot all year long, but if you are used to a moderate climate with four distinct seasons, you may be uncomfortable with 80 degree weather at Christmas.

Cost of living: If you are relocating for a job opportunity, take into consideration the cost of living in the new city. You may think you are getting a great salary offer, but if living expenses are much greater there than in your current city, the opportunity may not be so wonderful after all.

Job market: You may want to relocate because you can’t find a job in your rural hometown, and believe that moving to a big city will increase your opportunities. While it is usually true that urban areas have more career options than rural areas, some cities have better job markets than others. Make sure you choose a city with a flourishing market in your industry so that you don’t have a difficult time finding employment.

Communication with your family and visiting the area you want to relocate to first will be key in making an informed decision. You may think you want to relocate somewhere but find it’s not a good fit for you. That’s okay! The point is to keep all options open.

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