When there's nothing going your way and it seems like things will never get better, many of us find ourselves fantasizing about dropping everything and buying a one way ticket to anywhere else. What would it be like to just start over in a place where nobody even knows who you are?
Reddit user u/SmustachedMike asked:
Grew up in a very small town in West Virginia. Didn't have a great childhood, struggled my way through college, lost my only sibling to suicide and decided enough was enough. Packed a single suitcase and bought a flight to Alaska just about three years ago.
I got an incredible, life changing job when I moved here. Started a relationship that was amazing and made me feel so full of life and love. Made friends that have made me a stronger person and shown me what people outside of a small simple-minded town are like.
Unfortunately I am now in my first "hard" part of this move. Going through a breakup. But in less than a week I am moving into my first ever solo apartment, I have a new position at work that I'm loving, and I'm looking forward to the rest of my life... however it ends up going. So I guess I'm doing alright. :)
Moved from Albuquerque to Las Vegas, NV in 1999. I took what I could fit in my car. 20 years later and I'm still here and I still love it. My brother told me mom's husband said "I'll give it six months." F*ck you Larry.
Small town New England, everyone from my school was marrying each other and sending their kids to the same school, or dying. I met a guy from California, fell in love, and bought a one way ticket. Packed my cat and hopped on a plane. Our relationship lasted four years, and our breakup was pretty amicable. After seven years in California, I packed up the cat and drove to Oregon. California wasn't for me, and I'm so incredibly happy now. I have an amazing job and fiance, and the same cat lol
Everyone thought I was crazy, and I was, but it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I moved from the east coast to the west coast by myself 3 years ago. I'm happier in general. The weather is nicer, I make better money, I live by the beach. But I'm really lonely. I had a lot of friends back home that I'd known for years. It's hard to make new friends as an adult. I drink a lot more heavily too. The boredom of loneliness and the super easy accessible of hard alcohol at every store makes it too easy. I can't imagine leaving and going back to where I'm from though.
I went traveling for a year after uni. While in the US, I met a woman that I fell for pretty quickly. We did long distance for a couple years, where I went back to uni for a bachelor's degree. I managed to go back every year for a few months, and she was able to visit me as well once.
Finally, after I graduated, I was able to buy a one way ticket. I got rid of most of my stuff, got eight boxes of things shipped over, and said goodbye to all my family and friends.
It was one of the scariest things I've ever done, and it was hard saying goodbye to my family at the airport in particular. That was one of the longest trips of my life (and not just because it was 21 hours in the air), but I'm glad I did. That woman is now my wife, we have a one year old daughter, and we're now talking about me having our second baby. And I get to Skype with my family every day - my mum has not missed a single day since our daughter was born. I think I talk to my family more now than when I lived in Australia.
Do I ever wonder what life would have been like if I didn't move halfway around the world? Yes, every now and then. Do I regret it? Definitely not.
Grew up in a smallish town in the Midwest and always dreamed of moving to NYC. Really can't pinpoint why exactly, just seemed like from TV and movies that was the best place to live.
Wasn't confident to make the move right out of high school, so went to college near my hometown. Senior year of college, around Spring Break time, friends started getting job offers and planning to start their post-college adult life.
Told myself, "this is the best time, make a move." Lease on my college apartment was up in August, so I picked the day with the cheapest one-way flight that whole month and bought the ticket. That was my moving date. Sold or donated everything I owned (I was 22, so nothing of real value- college clothing, IKEA furniture, etc). Stuffed one large suitcase and a backpack and boarded the plane- that was my first time I'd ever been to NYC.
13 years later and don't regret it for a minute. Best decision I've ever made.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Wanted to skip winter one year in 2006 so I went to Mexico. 2019 and I still live in MX. hahahaha. Funny how life can just change and go in a different direction. I can't even imagine living in Canada anymore. Every few years I go back for a visit... still don't miss it.
After college and a failed, naive first relationship I decided to buy a one way ticket to Norway from California. I found an au pair job on the internet with a family in a tiny farm town. I applied for a visa and within two and half months I was on a plane for two years.
The au pair stint didn't work out. But three weeks after I moved to Norway I ended up meeting the Norwegian I would marry. I spent my weekends with him and had a one week vacation in Rome with him a month after we started dating. I spent major norwegian holidays with him and most of my summer in Oslo with him. When the au pair contract came to an end after nine months, he told me he would marry me and move to the US to be with me.
Three years later and we live in California together. We started out dirt poor. We got married a week after he flew out and signed a lease for a studio apartment the same morning. Spent most of the first year of marriage unemployed and bugs all over our closet apartment.
Since then we have made a family with our dog who has a heart shaped nose. We're in the last stages of his permanent residence green card and I have a good career that makes up for his absence from his family. We hope to move to Norway and start a family in our thirties.
Life is a challenge living with a partner who is an immigrant in one place or another. There are a whole set of disadvantages and set backs due to immigration and timelines. But it's the best thing that's ever happened to us. I grew up, found love, gained perspective, and have never lived and loved life happier.
10/10 Would suggest buying that one way ticket.
I grew up in (mostly) small towns in rural Oklahoma. I had never traveled or gone anywhere interesting save one trip to New Orleans, and I really hated living in OK. I lived with my folks still at the age of 24 after a string of dead-end jobs and failing college, so I spent a lot of time online and met some good people. One of them one day said 'If you can swing a bus ticket I can offer you a place to stay and get you a job here.'
3 days later I had packed a bag, dropped off my PC at a UPS store, hopped a Greyhound for North Carolina and didn't look back. Getting out on my own two feet (well, I still had plenty of support from friends at first) was pretty much the best thing I could've done. Since then I've lived and traveled all over the US and Canada, met lots of interesting people, and had a pretty good time.
That was in 1996, which was the end of a long bout of depression and insomnia and generally hating life. Things haven't always been the best, but they've been a lot better in the ensuing 20-odd than they had been, so I have no complaints.
I'm originally from the Netherlands. My ex left me after 12 years and abandoned her half of the mortgage during the 2008 credit crisis, resulting in about 70000 euros of debt.
Left with literally less than nothing, I started applying for visas. I wanted to get as far away as I physically could. The USA was hopeless, New Zealand only wanted academics, but Australia was actively favouring programmers with work experience.
So there I went with a suitcase full of nothing but broken dreams and marketable skills. It is now 10 years later and I am debt free and an Australian citizen. I live in a fixed up fibro shed on the edge of a national park, no indoor sanitation, no television, no fridge, but the view is to die for.
I am forever grateful for the kindness of strangers and community spirit which Australia showed me, but the Netherlands had lost.