Sometimes you just want to pack everything up and start over. It's not easy––when is it ever?––but why would you want to be stuck years later with a What if? nagging at your conscience?
"People of Reddit who, on a whim, sold most of everything they had, moved & essentially started an entirely new life, how has it gone for you?" was today's burning question from user knh2002.
Best decision I've ever made. It was an incredibly cathartic experience. Clean slate. In the beginning it was jarring and kinda lonely to have no "comfort" zone in any part of my life, but once I settled in to my new digs and started exploring my new city, I really embraced it.
"Our quality of life..."
Good. My wife and I have done this twice in the past 10 years. Sold the house, sold the business, and sold/donated a lot of the crap we had accumulated. Moved to a town where we knew absolutely no one. Then did it again. Sometimes change is good. Our quality of life is so much better now. We live somewhere we want to be, as opposed to just staying where we grew up.
"I did it."
I did it. I moved across the country (twice) and about to do it again. Some people told me I'd be back home in a year, but I made it work. I tend to be extremely lucky when it comes to finding living spaces I enjoy and can afford, so that has always helped.
The biggest thing I learned? First, I did it myself, relied only on myself. That was powerful. Second, I became so much more aware of even the little things both strangers and friends did that helped me. Sort of like a "thank you for seeing me" moment when there isn't anyone else.
"I've returned to my old life..."
I've returned to my old life as best I can, where I was originally.
I moved from a capital city to a town in another country. It didn't offer enough opportunities both professionally and socially. I was depressed.
"When I was 22..."
When I was 22 in 2004, I moved across the country from the SF Bay Area to the Boston area. I had met a guy who was relocating in 2 months and I decided to go with him on a total whim. We didn't know each other that well, I didn't know anyone where we were moving, I was just out of college, I had no money, and no idea what I'd do for work. I got rid of most of my stuff on Craiglist, packed what we could in my Corolla and did a cross-country road trip. It was tough at first because I had no job and my then-boyfriend did, so I was definitely lonely.
And we were getting to know each other while living together, so we had some pretty major adjustments to make. But we still live in Boston, we've been married for over 11 years, we have a 9 year old son, jobs we like, and a robust group of friends. He still has family in CA, but I don't. There are things we miss and it certainly wasn't easy at first, but this was very much the right choice for me and I'm grateful that I did it.
"Best decision I've made."
F*cking amazing. Best decision I've made.
I decided to move to CA when I was 26. I was working half my time there and while I really liked traveling, I also realized I had an opportunity to ask my boss if it was OK to move.
It'd be easy to spin the move as a money saving decision for the company since I wouldn't need to come back to corporate as often, maybe once a quarter. I could be much more effective if I was closer to where I was doing most of my work.
In the down side, I moved away from my brother and SIL and my one month old niece. I moved away from every friend I had. In CA, I had a single friend. But I decided to do it anyway because when else would I have an opportunity like it again??
I lived there for about three years. I met a woman, fell in love, got married, and was able to work from home. Life was great.
More recently we moved back to the Midwest. I have an awesome job that's the best I've had, and we are super happy.
Sometimes you've just got to do stuff for yourself. Sometimes it scares the sh!t out of you. I am an introvert and the thought of moving by myself across the country scared the shit out of me but I knew I'd regret it if I didn't try.
It is the most selfish thing I've done, but by far the most rewarding decision. I wouldn't change it for anything.
"Left the west coast of Canada..."
Absolutely sh*t. Left the west coast of Canada that I loved, where all of my family are, to make $100K/yr + good pension in Ontario. 6 years in Ontario and I regret leaving about 80% of the time. The money is good but money won't give me my 30s back. I'm single and bitter with a nice bank account. woo f*cking hoo.
"At the age of 40..."
At the age of 40 I married a beautiful 25 year old Australian woman ditched my home town of Chicago and emigrated to Australia and remain here to this day. No regrets, socialized medicine, no longer fodder for everyday mass shooters, far less crime than I grew up with, the list goes on. Life is good here.
"I did it years ago..."
I did it years ago and it was an amazing experience. About to do it again. This time I'm determined to relocate my family to Japan without me having to be an English teacher.
"I had to buy it all back again."
Terrible, but I guess it wasn't on a whim. I went back to school for a masters after working for a few years. It was clear that they were going to lay everyone off. They did, about a month after leaving.
I went to a church school and was ostracized by the faculty and students because I was older and unmarried. In the end I'm not sure that I'm making more than if I just kept working.
I sold all my furniture and a good part of things I wish I hadn't. I had to buy it all back again.
DQ: When did you last make a drastic life change?