Should I Pack Up and Move to Another City?

Absolutely.

After spending 7 months living in a new city, I’ve been reflecting recently on moving (especially moving to a different city).

There can be an array of feelings and thoughts when you’re presented with the opportunity to move far away. Excitement and fear were the primary ones for me.

When I received a job offer in a new city 7 months ago, I remember weighing the pros and cons of moving away. I remember there was a long list of pros, and about 2 cons. 7 months later, that list has evolved.

Here’s the post-experience (mid-experience?) breakdown.

Pros:

  • Growth: the process of moving to another state (for me, a state on the other side of the continent) demands growth. You’ll be presented with challenges that require you to do or die, in some ways, and when you take on the challenge you’ll come out a person with more experiences, thus a person who has grown.

  • Clarity: You’ll have space from the life you’ve established, which naturally gives you time to reflect. Any problems or issues that you were experiencing are now further away and you’ll have the opportunity to build a life outside of those problems, giving you the opportunity to reshape your life in a way that you value, thus gaining clarity. Being able to step back and view problems from a distance and build a new life is invaluable.

  • Perception: you’ll gain an experiential understanding of how other societies think and operate as a whole (economically, politically, socially, etc.), rather than just reading about it, you can have the first-hand knowledge from having been-there-done-that.

  • Adaptability: moving requires you to practice being adaptable and flexible to all the things moving requires (like sleeping on a floor until you buy a mattress).

    • If you’re moving for a job, bonus points. Your adaptability gives you a strong signal in future job interviews. You can tell your future employers that you packed up and moved for jobs, and would do it again.

  • Confidence: you packed up all your stuff and moved away to a city with nothing more to rely on than a job? Hell yeah, my dude. Now you’ve got the experience under your belt, making you more confident moving forward. You’ll do it again too? Excellent.

  • New Experiences: it’s not every day you get to live and work in another city. When I’m older, I want to be able to tell stories of all of the experiences I’ve had across the world. It’s always been a goal of mine, but I never took any steps to work towards that until I decided to take the chance and move. Now, it’s not so much just a goal, but a journey I’ve already started.

  • A greater appreciation for home: If you don’t move away from home, you’ll never have the opportunity to miss home, which for me are the people who feel like home (family, some friends) and the area I see as home (Virginia).

Cons:

  • If you don’t take this risk, you will lose the chance.

  • This isn’t a con to me any longer, but when I was weighing whether I should move or not, I remember being scared about losing relationships that meant something to me. I remember coming across a Chinese proverb that goes, “real gold isn't afraid of the test of fire.” This saying has played out in my life over time, and it really does hold true. The relationships that are valuable will continue to be valuable to you, and the ones that are weak will burn away.

In short, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

I would absolutely pack up and move again. The thought of moving isn’t daunting anymore, in fact it’s an exciting challenge for me.

I’m mainly writing this as a reflection back on the past year of my personal journey, but in case anyone else is reading this with the same question in mind: I encourage you to take the leap.

Take the risk, or lose the chance.

I encourage you to think bigger, dare to take the leap, and to take the risk rather than lose the chance. The growth will be worth it.

Lydia Weibel