When Should You Move To A New City?

Sometimes you have to move to a new place

Photo by Tom Cleary on Unsplash

Moving to a new city is an adventure everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.

I have moved once and plan to move again next year.

Here are the signs you should move too.

When the thought of moving puts a huge smile on your face

When I think about moving next year a huge smile spreads across my face. When I tell people I bristle with excitement. I am beyond excited. Excited for change, excited to live in a different place. Excited to change our routine and explore a new part of the world.

So if thinking about living in a new city makes your heart sing with joy, then move!

When the opportunity arises

I am not an advocate of making rash decisions and packing up your bags and disappearing one day. Rushing out the door in haste. Running away from something.

I don’t think running away from something is a good reason to move. Running towards something is. As much as it is a pain, moving without support and finances is not a good idea. Because then you might end up more miserable then you were before. If you are moving on a whim with little money in your bank account and no job lined up or at least an interview or two you might end up moving back to where you started.

My partner and I have been saving for over a year now. We have carefully considered our options and had many discussions about the best place for us. My legal training contract will end next year. My partner has a promising job offer. We have the money, the resources and an opportunity. The timing is right.

But don’t wait forever because nothing is perfect.

When you are stuck in a routine

I have lived in one city almost my entire life, besides the year I lived in London at 21. And living in one place means living according to a routine.

I go to the same places in Johannesburg; the same restaurants, the same park, the same gym. These places are convenient and close to home. I am less likely to try a new restaurant when the one up the road has my favourite dish.

Why venture further afield after a long day at work?

When you no longer try new places and feel stuck in a routine, it may be time to move.

When you become comfortable and stop making new friends

When I lived overseas for a year, I actively made new friends at every opportunity I had. I went out of my way to meet new people and go to events where it was possible.

I don’t do that now because why would I? I have friends I have known since school and friends I made in University. I don’t need to make new friends. I am comfortable. Maybe too comfortable.

Meeting new people from different parts of the world is an adventure in itself.

When there is nothing holding you back

It's not always possible to just pack up your bags and leave. I know. I am currently in a position where I cannot do that. I am bound by a training contract with my employer and an obligation to my professional body to complete it.

This year I often felt frustrated that I couldn’t pack my bags and leave. That I was bound to stay in one place until next year March.

Everyone has obligations. Whether it is family, a job, a house or debt. There will always be something to hold you back. And sometimes these things cannot be wished away. Sometimes you have to wait and see it through or endure until it is no longer an obstacle.

When whatever it is no longer an obstacle, then spread your wings and fly away.

When you have the right reason

Moving to a new place won’t change you magically and transform all your problems. If you are moving because you are miserable in the place you are now, moving won’t change that. Your misery will follow you. Your unhappiness with yourself won’t disappear.

The right reason could be a new adventure or an irresistible career change. When the opportunities at home pale in comparison to the opportunities somewhere else, its time to move. You will know the right reason.

And moving away from a place when something bad happened to you, is also ok. Sometimes a place holds bad memories or terrors we cannot escape.

The right reason can be a bad reason.

Earlier this year something bad happened. On my way home from work in the early evening someone came to my window pointed a gun at me and said, “give me your phone, I don’t want to shoot you.” It was the worst thing to happen to me this year. I drive with my window closed now and feel instant panic when someone approaches my window. It scared me. This brush with death.

Shortly before that my partner and I were considering moving. We had been talking about it for some time. When this happened we made the decision. It was a wake-up call. I want to move for an adventure. But there is another reason. I don’t want this incident to control my life but it has affected me. I want to move somewhere safe, where crime is not part of life.

When you have lived in one city your entire life

Moving cities is a terrifying adventure. It may not work out. It may be a disaster. But at least you tried.

It is a tragedy to never try.

You can move back to where ever you came from or move to somewhere new. Nothing is permanent in life. And changing where you live will change you.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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