For the duration of summer, I decided to move six states away for an internship. To be honest, I applied to this internship thinking they would never even email me back and yet, here I am in a city I have never been to and thankful for the opportunity. I have never lived anywhere this far and this long away from home.
For months, I contemplated this opportunity because I kept asking myself, "am I really going to go through with this?" Move to a completely new place, somewhere I have never been to before?
These are the questions I found most helpful when coming to my decision to move somewhere new.
1. "Why do you want to move?"
The first question you should always ask yourself is "why?" Everyone has a "why" and if you do not have a "why"—a purpose, a reason, or a cause—then you definitely should not be moving anywhere. Moving anywhere is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining until you are exhausted, which may even be an understatement. If you are willing to put yourself and your loved ones through that process (because let's be honest, someone has to help you pack), you need to have something motivating you passionately enough to move somewhere completely new.
2. "What's your plan?"
You always need a plan. Whether it is seeking employment, exploring your new neighborhood, or finding all the best local eateries, you need to figure out something to do. I am all for finding a balance that supports the serious and fun side in life. On the more serious side of things, you should ideally seek opportunities that will help you grow and network with others in the same field or industry that you want to go into. Of course, it's a daunting process, but you could be volunteering at an organization, attending an information session, or if you don't know what you want to do in life—like many of us, myself included—trying new things is always a fun way to start a new chapter in your life. With that being said, you should also treat yourself to the fun things, too. The best things in life are free, like parks, museums (for the most part), and some events put on by locals. Although, my personal favorite things to do are checking out locals favorite spots, checking out things that aren't available in my hometown, and checking out bars that will serve me Funky Buddha Floridian (because home will always be where the heart is).
3. "Are you willing to take the risk... and consequences?
Essentially, everything we do -big or small- is a risk. Some of the decisions we make are riskier, while some of them are safer, but it is a matter of how far you are willing to push your own boundaries of comfort. The brutal truth of moving somewhere completely new is that it might not live up to your expectation. Some places are just meant to be temporary vacations. Is it worth it to move somewhere completely new and take on the chance of it either changing for the better or going horribly wrong?
4. "Are you financially stable?"
I really hate to be that person but realistically, do you have enough money saved up to successfully pull this off? You have to personally factor into your budget what expenses you need to be cover and save for. It goes without saying, but I cannot emphasize this enough -always expect the unexpected to happen. Unfortunately, I do not have the privilege of having health insurance. Do you think I expected to get an asthma attack from pollen while jogging in my new neighborhood? Or even worse, did I expect my inhaler to jam and stop working right when I needed it? Absolutely not, but I am glad I factored in the "what if I get sick and need to visit urgent care" into my budget. Be realistic and make an excel sheet of all the "what ifs," necessary expenses, and things you are trying to save up for.
5. "Did you do enough research?"
If you are going to move somewhere completely new, please invest a lot of your time doing some research. I am all for spontaneously moving somewhere new, but is this a place where you can thrive and grow as an individual? You could move to an entirely different country, but if your wants and needs are not being met, you are going to be miserable. I am a firm believer that you should always come up with at least three things you cannot live without. For me, moving to an entirely new place must have a safe neighborhood where I can jog freely, an Asian grocery store where I can purchase all the ingredients to my mom's Thai recipes, and diverse culture (because let's be real here, all the best communities start with diversity.)