7 Things I Learned From Moving Across The Country (Alone)

About 2 months ago I picked up everything and left my childhood home. I resigned from my job as a Tax Associate, said goodbye to friends and family, and left behind everything I was familiar with. I needed and wanted to forge a new path in my life. So, from the burbs of Chicago, I headed West, to Portland.

portland sunset

I have been faced with obstacles, but I have also been given great opportunities. The physical journey came with ups and downs. It came with stress that I never could have anticipated. And then came the emotional roller coaster that I am still riding. Things are coming together, and I am both proud and amazed at what I have accomplished this Summer.

Through this experience l have been taught many lessons and I have gained an understanding and appreciation for life. It’s precious, it’s fleeting, so we have to take control of the reigns. Here are seven things, I learned from my move across the country.

If You Want Something Bad Enough, Make It Happen

It wasn’t like I just up and left out of the blue. I had been planning and saving to move for over a year. I wanted this and I made it happen.

For two consecutive New Years I made it a goal to move. I researched Austin, Texas at first. I even visited with my best friend who was going to move with me, but eh, Austin wasn’t for me. I then had my heart set on Portland. For many reasons. For one, it is beautiful. You have the coast and mountains within an hour and a half drive. More outdoor adventures than you can dream of. The small city vibe. And let’s not forget the weather. I am done with the bitter frozen tundra that is Chicago.

So I researched like crazy, saved a ton, and started applying to jobs. I was having no luck and I began to worry that because of my out of state address, I would never receive the time of day. And in the back of my head I knew I would be able to make it work if I just moved, without a job. But this scared the crap out of me.

But in the end this is what I did. I was sick of waiting around. Months were going by and if I didn’t make it happen, it might never have.

Family Is Everything

I miss them. I miss my siblings and I miss my parents. Knowing that I can’t just walk downstairs and say hello hurts.

I have always known that I have rockstar parents, but through the process of moving across the country I appreciate them now more than ever. They have been supportive every step of the way, always lending a helping hand, and I have been able to turn to them for advise and guidance during tough times. It is soothing to know they are there when I need them.

It Ain’t All Unicorns and Rainbows

Get ready for some bumps in the road. Literally and figuratively. My drive alone caused so much stress and anxiety. Crashing my bike into a parking garage was not the plan and because of this I was down before I even got started.

There is a lot that goes into a move as well. Once you get past finding a place to live, packing up your life, and safely driving to your destination, the real fun begins. And it takes patience and time to get through it all. There is changing addresses, getting a new driver’s license, new license plates, setting up a new bank account, the process of applying, interviewing, and starting a new job. And I can go on, but you get the picture. And doing this alone just makes it harder.

So, it is not all glamorous, but it’s worth it to live in your dream city.

Life Is About Experiences

Before Costa Rica I was doing the same thing every single week. And I was bored and unhappy living that way. Costa Rica ultimately gave me the courage to move because I saw how things would work out if I just gave it a chance.

I now see the importance of new experiences. When we are learning is when we are growing and as humans that is what keeps us alive.

Get Comfortable With The Uncomfortable

New situations brings discomfort. For the most part we want to stay in a comfortable place because that limits our vulnerability. And being vulnerable is scary. But it can also be rewarding.

I’ve become real cozy with being uncomfortable. With interviews, new jobs, and new social settings I am almost always in an unfamiliar place, but I have learned to embrace everything that has come my way.

new home

Put Yourself Out There

When your in a new place with new people, you just have to put yourself out there.

Before I even arrived in Portland I reached out to a local yoga studio to join in on their Karma Yogi program. Once a week I help tidy the place up before and after class in exchange for taking that class free of charge and having five additional classes a month free to use. I have been able to connect with some pretty awesome people through here.

And before I took on two jobs, I was volunteering and going to meet-ups every chance I could. It is a great way to get involved, network, and get to know the city.

Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive outlook through a hard day, when I miss home, or when I am worrying about finances is so very important. Have faith, work hard, and if that fails…yoga.

Have you had any big moves or changes in your life recently?

9 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned From Moving Across The Country (Alone)

  1. Hi Jessie! I moved from Orlando, Florida to San Francisco almost three years ago, so I am with you on so many of these things. While I didn’t plan the move (it sort of happened fast, after my husband got a job offer), I still was ready for a chance, so packing up and heading West was an awesome adventure. It’s been the most fun three years and hard three years. I will NEVER get over living so far from my parents and friends/family, who are all in Florida, but I try to make the best of the perks of living in the Bay Area. Being new is hard, but it makes you appreciate every experience a little bit more. Props to you for doing it solo! And that’s totally cool you found a little yoga community right off the bat. Good luck, lady! :) You’re awesome!

    1. Thanks so much Ashley! :) It definitely takes some adjusting, but it seems like you are thriving in your new home and I love the name of your blog! Also kudos to you for moving with such short notice!

  2. Hi Jessie – I did the same thing a year ago this month, and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made. It’s so invigorating to make a change (for the better) when you’re feeling stuck and in a rut. Life is too short to be unhappy.. and to be complacent for that matter. I think it’s awesome that you mustered up the courage to just do it! You go girl! Love the advice; I can relate to all of it, especially meeting people, which is really hard.

  3. I have not done a big move, but I REALLY want to move to Colorado!! I just have to convince the husband that this is a possibility. He seems to think we need to secure jobs before we move. While I like the security of a job, I am more of a free spirit than he is and would be willing to move and live out of a tent for a while if needed ;)

  4. Oh, my goodness – I didn’t know you’re in Portland now! You should come run with us on Monday’s with LUNA…there’s a great group of women – good networking, but you’ll also find some fit peeps and this will feel like “home” even faster. Can’t wait to meet up!!

    1. I will for sure come! Right now I train a few clients Monday nights, but if I free up I will be there! :) But, if that doesn’t work out, I would love to make it to another event. Either way, I look forward to meeting in person soon!

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