It doesn’t matter what point in your life you find yourself, moving away from home can be extremely difficult. Although I’ve been in Los Angeles for four months now and absolutely love it, I’m still dealing with the complications of a transitioning lifestyle.
I thought moving to California would be a simple change because I came with my boyfriend, already knew a few people in the city, and am just a quick flight away from home. I visited often enough to be absolutely sure that I wanted to call Los Angeles home (thank goodness I didn’t move and discover I hate it), but I completely underestimated the fact that such a substantial change would come with a few bumps in the road.
No matter how old you, where you’re going, or where you’re coming from, uprooting and forging a new path can be complicated, lonely, and stressful. Based on my experiences thus far, here are a few tips I have for anyone moving away from home:
1. You will probably be spending more time alone, and that’s okay.
Before moving, and especially during college, I was the type of person who constantly surrounded myself with people. At first it was just because I’m social and enjoy the company of friends and family, but eventually there came a point where I felt uncomfortable spending time by myself. Now that I’m in a new city and have an abundance of alone time, I’ve rediscovered my independence and it’s wonderful and invigorating. A new sort of world opens up.
2. See what your city or town has to offer.
By exploring your city, you’ll develop a deeper connection to your new home and its cultural identity. Although I spent significant amounts of time in Los Angeles prior to moving here, I definitely had an incomplete idea of what it means to be an Angeleno. You won’t truly know a place until you live there, and I certainly don’t know this city as well as I plan to some day.
Because you’re new to the city, discovering things to do that aren’t tourist destinations can be difficult at first, but you just have to put your research skills to work. Google, Google, Google, and read, read, read! Also, if your city has an alternative weekly, pick it up each week and stay in the know.
3. Keep in touch with your loved ones.
For me, the most difficult part about leaving home is that I’m away from so many people I love. Aside from calling, emailing, texting, and sending postcards (writing letters is completely underrated!) I love using Snapchat. Snapchat is such a spectacular way to share what you’re doing with your friends and family, and conversely, see what they’re up to. I can’t say enough just how grateful I am to have Snapchat now that I’m away from home.
4. Make sure your budget has room for trips home.
This piece of advice doesn’t work for everyone (depending on your work schedule, distance, and budget), but if coming home for a week or weekend here and there is a possibility, plan on it.
I showed up to LA thinking that I wasn’t going to want to visit home until Thanksgiving, but boy, was I wrong! Even with Tucson’s horrific summer heat (it’s often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) I was so happy to spend a week in Arizona this summer, just relaxing with family and friends. Now that I’m gone, I appreciate where I came from so much more than I ever thought I could.
5. Mind your health and wellbeing.
Especially if you’ve never lived on your own, it’s easy to indulge in bad habits and vices when no one’s there to stop you. Physical health is such an important element of mental health and wellbeing. If you’re eating well and staying active, you’ll feel better about yourself, which will chip away a bit of the emotional strain of moving.
If you’ve moved away from home for just a year or numerous decades, please share your experience and tips in the comment section below. 🙂