Why You Should Move Away

move away

Well, it has been a week since my last post – an interlude far longer than I normally plan. It has, however, been a big week for me. A week of big decisions that will affect the rest of my life. This past week I committed to moving overseas for a number of years.  We’ll leave in 6 weeks time. My fiancee, Kathryn, is from Vancouver and we are moving there so that she can be closer to her family after having lived in Australia for 3 years.

The following are some reasons why you might consider moving overseas:


In this age of global travel and communication it is becoming more and more common for people from different countries to fall in love and form a relationship. It is a simple fact if you are to physically stay together in this situation, at least one of you will have to live away from your home (I say at least because you may of course choose to live somewhere that neither of you is from).

Freedom to Find Yourself

If you live in the city or town where you grew up, the way in which you are living your life may be heavily influenced by others. The following are 2 examples where this can be a negative influence:

  • Family: you may feel pressure from your family, in particular your parents, to live your life in a certain way. This can related to study choices, career paths and sexual preferences. Moving to another city can help you escape these pressures so you can fully explore what life has to offer you.
  • Friends: are all your close friends those who you grew up with? If so, you may be inadvertently closing yourself off to forming new meaningful friendships. You may also find in a friendship based primarily on a shared history that who do not engage in conversations or activities that are of real interest to you.

Chase Your Passion

There are particular places across the globe where people with specific passions gravitate towards. Fashion is associated with Paris and New York. Finance with London. Movies with Hollywood. Surfing with Hawaii and Australia. IT with Silicon Valley.

If you have a particular passion, it is more than likely that there is somewhere better than your current place of residence to pursue that passion.


The following are some examples of opportunities that may not be available where you currently live:

  • The chance to study at a particular university or a particular course.
  • The ability to practice a foreign language in a country where that is the native language.
  • The opportunity to progress your career by gaining international experience or by moving to where your company has it’s head office.
  • The opportunity to volunteer for a cause that you consider important, such as endangered animals, disadvantaged children or wilderness preservation.

I am feeling some sadness at the prospect of being apart from my family for an extended period, but overall I am excited about what lies ahead. Vancouver here I come!

Has anyone else packed up their life and moved away from their home city or town?

* * *

Update: this article was written in 2007. As I write this it’s June 2011 and I’m living in Vancouver with my (now) wife Kathryn and our 2 boys (ages 3 & 4). I love Vancouver – it’s a beautiful city and there is lots to do. There have been challenges e.g. I do miss my family and friends in Australia. Thankfully, however, my parents have visited me each year and we plan to return to Australia this Christmas for a month. Overall, moving away initially in 2003-04 for a gap year (this is when I met Kathryn) and then in 2007 have led to the life I have today. I wouldn’t have things any other way.

Photo by David Spinks

170 thoughts on “Why You Should Move Away”

  1. Hmm I can’t say I have really lived overseas other than a short 6 month stint in East Java. Usually I was alone when I travelled so had to deal with a certain amount of loneliness, however I still found all travel experiences broadened my perspectives and helped me grow. So, I don’t regret any of it. Especially coming from Perth – it is a bit of a sleepy place compared to most so it helps to get out amongst the world. I have to say that I wouldn’t live anywhere else long term, but could certainly do a few more overseas stints from here.

    1. Great article! I can completely relate to the author and those who have moved away from their own towns, cities.
      How about to move away from your country to a new one, where you have no family, friends, job, nothing!

      But – you have your hopes and dreams. That’s happened to me in 1999 when I moved to Canada from Europe. I had to leave behind not only my extended family and friends, but also my two precious children, then 7 and 11 years old. That was tough!

      But I knew that in Canada my family will have a better life and that’s why I did it!

      1. Hi Larissa,

        Moving a continent away from South Africa to America. widowed with 3 young kids was a move I made 9years ago! I knew I was taking a calculated risk, leaving a great life to fulfill a dream I had, although I underestimated the transition time, or what that time required of me….things we take for granted, like, where to shop for favorite foods, or the difference in brands was somethings that can threaten the potential of a great journey especially if you are raising a family. It took us about 6 years to know that we had made the right choice….I am forever changed and so are the people I left behind…..we embrace the power in us for navigating change and know with certainty that we can do it again at anytime!!

  2. Last time I lived in Canada I hit 10 months and got fairly home sick. It will be interesting to see how things turn out this time…. I’m excited about the move though. Perth is fantastic but just so far away from everything. Oh… and it doesn’t get snow :)

    1. That is why I want to leave CT. I don’t like the snow any more. But I am kind of scared to step out of what I am used to.

      1. I know you wrote this some time ago, but it struck a chord as I just stumbled across it – I moved from CT back in ’04 – My wife and I had a great time discovering all that other states had to offer – UNTIL THE ECONOMY CRAPPED OUT! THen we got burned bad…My advice? ALWAYS LOOK (and Look again!) before you leap and be SURE that you know WHY you are leaving. I hated snow too, but seven years later I NEVER would choose either of the two places we ended up in…. Be sure you know what you beleive in and match yourself to a surrounding area with plenty of opportunities! Good Luck!

  3. Good post!
    My wife and I moved to Belize from the USA eight months ago. We envisioned making it our permanent home and sold our house in the USA. We still feel that we are on vacation in that it doesn’t truly feel like home. I suspect that will come with time. The move has been beneficial. The move has expanded our horizons tremendously. It has also helped us to understand the meaning of home. Most importantly the idea of thinking big by including the whole world in our dreams not just our own back yard.

  4. Thanks for the responses everybody.

    It is strange re-reading this post as I am now here in Vancouver. It was sad saying goodbye to my family but I am really excited about the future.

    One thing I love about living in a different place is how things we find boring at home (driving around, shopping, etc) can take on a new, exciting dimension.

    1. Peter,
      I took a job only three hours from my husbands family. The decision came after months of discussion and also the fact that we arent making ends meet and this change will be beneficial to him and my career…My in-laws, my mother-in-law has been..well…hystrerical to say the least…Italian upbringing and the grandkids leaving…Her daighter lives 2 hrs away and i feel like we have been smothered by her..The move will be great for my husband to BREAK FREE and finnally live the life he wants..not under his parents shadow…I am so glad about this but its scary…thanks fort the post


  5. I can definitely relate to this post. I just moved to Toronto from the U.S. Will be spending the next 4 years here in University while trying to manage a long distance relationship.
    Its wonderful exploring a whole new place and being able to focus on my education without any distractions, but at times it does get lonely, especially when all your good friends are back home.

  6. Impossible question to answer as it depends on your experience, abilities, expectations, and the opportunities available in the place you move to. I am in Vancouver and the front page of the paper today was about the current labor shortage – they just can’t find enough people here to fill all the jobs available!

  7. Thanks Roxy for the comment :) . Your story is exactly what this article is about. Btw I have almost been in Vancouver for 3 months now – I’m loving it here.

  8. I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast of the US for love when I was younger. The relationship ultimately didn’t work out but moving so far away from everything and everyone I knew turned out to be a wonderful thing! I have learned so much about myself and expanded my attitudes, perspectives, social groups, etc. Yes, I miss my family, but we make the time to visit. I wish you the best of luck Peter! It’s my first time reading your blog and I like it very much and find it inspiring.

  9. Great blog you have here. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to move away from home, too. If you are going along to be with someone you love, but it turns out that they have a bad agenda, involving socially isolating you and taking advantage of you, then, no, don’t move away. Those things happen, and I’d encourage people to be alert for them, and to retain the ability to be independent, and always some money of their own. I got burned that way some years ago and recovery took me many, many years.

  10. Well peter your IWillchangeyourlife.com has snagged my attention and have been reading thro your posts in a rapid pace. And you know what…You are good…. Not pretentious….You are just what i was looking for to get my life off its track…. :-) yeah ! u read that right…. By saying that i obviously do not intend to self-destruct but free my spirit…. Truly want to embrace life….. if only these spurts of clarity and life-force could be sustained by me…..

  11. danceronthemidway

    i grew up in suburban indiana, ~30 minutes from chicago. after college i moved back home and soon knew that i had to get out. i moved to phoenix as a means to get away; that was 2.5 years ago. turns out i wasn’t happy here either =) i wasn’t working towards anything. i found a job with a good salary, had my own place, met new people.. it was fun but unfulfilling. i recently decided to pursue grad school and will be moving to new york city in a few months.

    i don’t regret my time in phoenix.. i met a girl here who helped me realize that i’ve been stagnant — in fact she moved to new york herself almost 2 months ago. i picked up photography while i was here and drove myself to see the ocean for the first time. i learned meditation, yoga and massage therapy. (i imagine those will help a ton surviving in NYC!) i can’t wait to see what’s next.

    1. Good one !!

      I am in similar condition but trapped in home, cannot move out … :(
      Only escape I had came when I was in West Lafayette, I had best moments of my life over there ..
      But that is history now :(

      1. I know exactly how you feel, I spent 4 months in Canada away from my home in Australia. The relationships I made with the people there were based on values and heart. Now that I’m home I realize I am friends with my friends because it was convenient. I miss staying up all night with friends in Canada talking about life and deep values how to live. My relationships were so much deeper than here. I miss that so much it hurts. I will move away from Australia, that much is evident, but i don’t know whether I should attempt to move to Canada and reignite those relationships or should I move somewhere else and start afresh knowing that I may not find people like my Canadians. I would love anyone to share anything that I could think about. I’ve been thinking allot about life lately.

      2. Hi Amey,

        I feel that I can relate to your post (despite it being from quite a while ago). I too feel stuck at home, and am unsure of exactly when or how to make the first step to moving. I lived away from home for college, and unfortunately moved back home after. I have a basic job, and have been saving up to move out. I really just want to leave, but am a bit terrified of having to support myself, to be honest. I also am looking into going to grad school, so I have been thinking it may be best to take the plunge and move out, near a school with the right program. I feel a bit trapped, and unsure of how to go about doing so, but hopefully I can make it happen soon enough.

  12. Danceronthemidway,

    Thanks for sharing your story! I love how you finish your comment: “i can’t wait to see what’s next” – this is how I feel as well. When we treat life as an adventure where anything could happen it is amazing how enjoyable it becomes.

    1. Your story and responses to others has been quite reassuring to me. Thank you for that. Currently my situation is something quite similar to yours, and others on here as well. My boyfriend and I met online in Aug./08, he moved here (Ontario, Canada)from Darwin NT in june/09 so we could be together. We are engaged now and plan to move back to Australia (QLD) in fact, to be close to his family. All, sounds simple right… not so much… I am an only child… and I have 2 young children of my own (no issues with custody or moving out of country though. ) We just told my mom last night of our plans and now I have my Mom who is utterly heartbroken and not financially comfortable by any means to come and see us as often as she would like. She says she wants me to be happy, that’s all she could say last night… other than what I could read on her tear stained face… I have never been overly close to my Mom (not to her knowledge of course, I wouldn’t want to crush her) and I honestly thought it wouldn’t be this hard to tell her. I was a wreck all last night and still today. Mostly because I am sad for her. I try to put myself in her position, would I want my only child moving so far away with my only grandchildren and miss all those moments to come, everything you dreamed of doing with your grandchildren. It makes me so sad. We realize the avenues to take to maintain communication and My mom and her wonderful boyfriend are more than happy to go “skype” with us but they know, as do we, it isn’t the same. Besides my Mom and her boyfriend/ my grandmother, and my close friends… I have no one left in my family. My Dad passed away this June/10… and his fiancee my stepmother moved back home to Nova Scotia to be with her children after my Dad’s death. She understands fully and supports our move, although, she has other children/grandchildren close to her and she is a very positive person.i The reason we have decided to move is only because my fiance has a 2.5 year old son who he had to leave behind when he was just 1 so we could make our relationship work. It was a very hard decision for him, but we knew we had to follow our hearts, and with good reason. We don’t regret that, however I don’t want my fiance to miss out on his son’s entire life as now his ex wife has changed her mind about allowing my fiance to “Skype” to see his son at all now! I would never ask him to stay here forever just because I don’t want to break my Mom’s heart, and not to seem cold, but I can’t live the life she wants me to have because she chose to only have one child. I too want to be close to her, but my life is with the man I love and our children. It seems so simple when you write it like that or say it aloud, but it kills me inside. I do want to go, I look forward to trying new things and living a life and exposing my children to so many great opportunities, but are all these feelings, second thoughts, what if’s, normal? Did you experience them? I know my situation is much different than yours, but i feel guilty… as I know in my heart that I won’t be able to come back to Canada as often, if every year… and they explained too that they might be able to only visit once a year… if that…I want the time to go by quickly so we can move on, while still feeling sad as I know my mom is not counting down, and she will be sad everytime we see her, or every holiday from here on in. it seems that our situation is heartbreaking from so many angles. I feel guilty too because I want to be happy, yet my “life” as I envisioned it includes my entire family… this other wonderful part of my life wasn’t in my overall grand scheme of things, its something I don’t think anyone prepares for. It certainly will be an adventure… which is also part of life… a wonderful and lucky opportunity for excitement, adventure, true love and happiness… however at what cost to the rest of my life back in Canada. I feel torn, but yet I am not. My mind is all over the place… perhaps a little more wisdom from someone who has exerience. I’m not sure how these replies work, or who will see them, anyone with any advice is certainly free to reply back. any help at this point, even reassurance, is greatly welcomed!

      1. Hi Lisa, I relate to your situation and the fear it can bring up. My situation is a little different, but re locating is pretty powerful stuff.

        My partner and I have been living in Thailand for just 9 months after leaving Australia, melbourne. My boyfriend is a real traveller type and would be happy to live overseas and even start a family over here. This idea really unsettles me. I always imagined having my children grow up near my mum and sisters. Even though no actual plans have been made…the idea really saddens and challenges me. It sounds like it brings up a lot for you too. Especially around your family dynamics. You might find that something good comes from this?

        I feel like if we live in melbourne it will be my boyfriend that has to comprimise. I try to imagine having my first child away fro home and I feel torn too! Not sure what to do….loosen up a bit and go for adventure and challenge myself and give to my partner? Or do what feels safe, secure, loving and homely!!!!!!

        I guess I am venting too and probably have not been any help. But I guess it sounds like a bit of family holdings with you and your mum….who knows how this will transform things…for you and her. I guess you could always come back too.

        WWith love and understanding…applemalt.

        1. applemalt – i’m from melbourne, australia as well. i’m currently living in japan, i’ve been here for almost a year.. i have met so many amazing people here and have picked up quite a bit of japanese (i live in a rural area – so there’s almost nobody who speaks english in my town – so i HAD to learn lol) – but i’m going to be heading back to australia in a few months.
          the majority of my friends here (who are also foreigners living abroad) are in there second, third, fourth, even fifth year here, and don’t seem to understand my reasoning when it comes to going home.
          i’m only 23, and i just can’t picture myself having an entire career, falling in love, getting married, and living here. i’ve come to realise that everyone’s situation is completely different – personally, i am really really close to my family, and miss them SO much. i wouldnt change living here for anything (it has been the most amazing experience of my life) but i know deep down inside that it’s not something permanent for me.
          i don’t have a partner to worry about (when it comes to you feeling like you’d be making him comprimise by living in australia) but that is also a detriment sometimes – it can be EXTREMELY lonely living alone in a foreign country – i experience it almost every day. but the good always outlives the bad :)

          i think you need to make sure your partner understands how important family is to you – how important it is for you to raise your children surrounded by your family. perhaps he isnt as close with his family as you are?

          just some things i’ve come to understand living overseas :)

      2. I write from a mom’s point of view. I have 2 ‘children’ aged 27 and 25, both of whom have chosen to leave the Uk and live their lives in different countries; my son is living and working in Melbourne and my daughter is living and working in Canada. Both are in relationshps that they have developed since they arrived in their destination countries. It is more than 2 years now since they both left, within 3 months of each other. My heart has been broken and I am still dealing with the emotional effects this has had on me. However, I would not change a thing. They are both very happy, are doing well in their careers and will have a far better life and future than they will ever have in the UK. As parents, we do not own our children; they do not belong to us. Each of us has our own journey to make through life and it is wrong to try to influence another person for our own selfish reasons. I thank God that we gave our children everything they needed – confidence, independence, strength and courage to make the life choices they have that has led to them being able to be where they are now. I miss them with all my heart, but I have done my job as a mother and I have set them free. Now it is my turn to re-build my life, and be me. I am not just a mother, although that has been the central role I have played in my life, but that is over now. Life moves on, change is natural and whilst letting go is the hardest thing in the world, it is absolutely the right thing to do. Your mom will be fine, eventually. You will be fine. You will both have ‘stuff’ to deal with, but it makes you stronger as a person and ultimately, she will know that you are living your life, for yourself and no-one else. That should bring her comfort. You are right skype is not the same as the real thing, but it is the next best thing. I count myself lucky that we at least have that and emails, and texting, so we can keep in tough very regularly. Remember the people who left their families 40/50 years ago to go and live the otherside of the world. They may as well have been dead to their families as the chances of ever seeing them again was remote to say the least and a letter would take weeks to arrive. Being grateful for the things that we do have, and not dwelling on our losses (when we have dealt with that loss) helps to ease the pain. I can empathise with you and your moms situation, but you have to do what is right for you and your mom has to deal with whatever that leaves her with. The biggest regret that most people have at the end of their lives is that they didnt live the life they wanted because they didnt have the courage. Take life in both hands and live it. You only get one chance.

        1. Dear Sue, I loved reading your email as it gave me some good advice.. My experience is the opposite, we moved to Australia five years ago and moved with teenage children. I am really missing Ireland and now our three children are very settled here. I am thinking of returning and letting them choose to stay here at college or go with me. It is causing a tension in our marriage and I really want to keep them near me and watch them grow up in the same continent. But something has to give and I cannot stay here and feel so unsettled.

          1. Hi Dee,

            when I moved from South Africa to America, I thought at the time that after 5 years I will re-assess, and decide weather to go back…I missed my family and felt a suffering inside of me unable to see and enjoy what was in front of me….going back to South Africa for a holiday made me realize that I was not sure and caused me great discomfort. My old habits and the things I used to do in South Africa threatened to draw me back. The laughter and familiar jokes with family felt so good. I had underestimated the cultural change I had to make while living in America. Raising children, made it very difficult for me to focus on my own transitions…however my second visit to SA made me realize that I was forever changed, and that going back would require adjustments too. 5 years seemed a critical time, and now I am so glad I gave myself a few more years before I made the decision, 8 years was the magic number for me and my family, because all of us realized that beyond a shadow of a doubt we had made the right decision, and life was going to be awesome not only because we had each other but because we choose it to be….Staying in the moment and centering our attention on the awesomeness of the current time freed us from looking back and embracing life…..I hope you have peace in navigating your journey.

        2. Hi Sue

          I love your comment, I’ve come back to this blog a few times over the past few years and I read your comment over and over. As a son who moved away from a mother who he loved dearly I take great comfort in what you have written here, because it’s exactly what my mum told me.

          I hope all is well with your children and you get too see them as often as possible, while abroad I’ve made it a priority to see my parents in person twice a year, at home and some place abroad.

          Thank you again

  13. Hey Peter, hi everyone else :)

    Yes, I had also packed up my life and moved years ago and intend to do it again…and again…and AGAIN :)))
    There is so much to see and so much to do, so for me to settle down somewhere anytime soon seems impossible or at least waste of lifetime opportunities.
    I’m 23 now. Born in Bulgaria, lived in Poland for 4 years as a kid, then went back home. After high school I decided I wanted to study abroad, so I won a scholarship and came to US. I was really quiet and shy kid, so it came as a surprise even to me that I made this decision so easily – I just knew I want to see and experience more. Then, after studying for 3 years here I decided to go for a semester in India, although it was going to put a lot of strains on my life – financially, education-wise, etc. – it wasn’t planned at all. But that was the best part about it :))) The minute I heard about this opportunity I knew I wanted to do it and no family member or friend (or rumors of nuclear contamination or diseases :}) could talk me out of it. Only I could have put limits on myself and I am glad I didn’t. To be honest with you there was another reason for me to go there – my life was going down in so many aspects at that time, so I just needed to run away…run away from the conventional way of thinking and habitual way of life that was making me stagnant. And it did help – now I have a purpose higher than go-to-work-make-money-and-go-back-home.
    The first time I left home and came to the States, it changed my perspective about the world. The second time I left my “second home” and went to India it changed my perspective about myself. It was as if first I went out and opened myself and my eyes for the outside world and then I had to go back into myself and look deeper into my inner world.
    So go out, move, be open to change – physically, mentally, emotinally… Beside seeing so many new things, meeting so many interesting people, gaining knowledge and widening your horizon it helps you realize who you are and what you should be striving for.
    And as Peter mentioned in his article – don’t be afraid to leave people and things back home because being away from them helps you reinvent your relationships with them. Only after I moved to the other end of the world, I was able to truly appreciate my parents and actually the distance brought us closer – I stared telling them that I love them, sharing things with them, and now when I go back home we never fight anymore :)
    Ironically, but moving away or moving on from your current state of life helps you finally get a grip of your life. Sometimes (or isn’t it always?) we get so absorbed into our everyday lifes that we are missing the bigger picture – it is like a painter who is so concentrated on drawing the details and making them perfect that he doesn’t realize that when he steps back and looks at it, it doesn’t really fit well into the whole painting.
    So step back, move aside, go forward, jump up and down and turn around – look at life from all different perspectives and enjoy it! I promise it will be fun :)

    Love and peace,

    P.S. . I know this is way too long already but I just wanted to give one advice to people who are afraid to leave somebody or something they love behind – people often ask me don’t I miss my family or friends back home – I DON”T! I love them dearly, I write to them, I talk to them, I think of them, but I never miss them. Instead, I enjoy the company of the people or places I have around myself.
    The chances are that you are not compatible with only with a handful of people but with many, many more. So, by going somewhere you are not losing the friends you aready have – you are just gaining more :D
    Good luck and happy travels in life!

    1. Thank you I needed to see this. I am in a state of mind right now that I want to relocate, however, I have a 3 year old son whom I will be taking with me on my journey. But I don’t want anything irrational to take place and this is one of my fears. Where state should I move to, should I move to another country? So many questions but I know it is time for me to make a change but with my son in towe, I can’t really afford to make the wrong decision but I know 1 has to be made.

    2. A little late seeing this post is old. But Amen to everything that you wrote!!!! I lived in a box for 26 years of my letting myself believe that it was normal to be miserable everyday, normal to drink a whole bottle of wine alone, normal to feel like you didnt belong here and had no aspirations to gain knowledge. So i moved to NYC with no job, friends, family, tv. I’m looking for a job but I couldnt be happier! Moving away forces you to work with your “issues” you never even noticed were issues. :-)

      1. Hi Arlene !
        How are you liking New York? I lived there for 18 years. Moved back to my small hometown with my daughter who was 4, and have been (just as you) MISERABLE.

        I was sick with cancer, thought it would be best for my child to return.

        Just wondering how things workd out for you. I LOVE NY. I am sure you are stimulated, well cultured, and happy.

        ~Do share.

        1. Los Angelena sick of NYC

          LA turned NYC girl here getting sick of it and thinking of moving back to LA. I made the mistake of visiting Los Angeles on a business trip, and believe me that whole town put on its best and finest and pulled out all the stops making me remember why I missed it! The sunshine, the amenable climate, the lack of humidity, less grime, trash and noise, less police car siren noise outside my window all the time, fewer people, space to breathe, green trees, green grass, mountains outside your house, bright flowers, the blue-green sea, Malibu, Burbank, Santa Monica, Griffith Observatory… and when I told friends there “I can only stay till 2pm. I have a Reiki appt at 3 o’clock”, nobody looked at me like I had a third eye.

          I am really thinking of returning to SoCal. It can be a hard place if you don’t have enough money, but I miss the overall cleaner vibe out there. NYC is dirty, crowded and depressing. I need fresh air, sea and the mountains.

          It’s a tough decision, though. I was accepted at New York University and am getting terrific grades there, entering my third year. If I don’t transfer to UCLA or USC that work is wasted and in vain. That’s holding me back. Believe me if it were not for my commitment to school I’d be out of here on the next flight and for good…

          By the way, King Bloomberg: “NYC supports film” my eye. It’s impossible to shoot movies here. That’s a big part of why this filmmaker is leaving.

          Try telling fashion designers they can’t design legally in the city they pay taxes in. The NYC fashion scene would be dead. Same thing’s happening to film… why stay and pay taxes where you’re not wanted… besides, Hollywood not NYC is the home of movie-making… bye New York…. :(

          1. Hey LA Angelina,

            You mentioned that you’re “entering my third year. If I don’t transfer to UCLA or USC that work is wasted and in vain.” Based on this, I’m guessing you’re pretty young – 20, 21, maybe? All I can say is that unless you can find a way to transfer to UCLA or USC, try to stick it out in NY until you finish your degree. Otherwise, you’ll probably regret it down the line. I’m a lot older than you (old enough to be your mom) and I can tell you that what seems like an eternity when you’re in your early 20s seems like the blink of an eye when you look back on it in your late 40s. Things you did or did not do because they seemed too difficult at the time can have a haunting effect, because you know when you get older and look back that you could have made it if you had just dug a little deeper.

            For me, regret is the most bitter pill to swallow, and I try to live my life so there will be no regrets down the road. Of course, it wasn’t always this way – I have plenty of regrets, but I try to do (or avoid) things now that will cause me grief later in life.

            For what it’s worth, I completely agree with all your reasons to leave NY and head for the west coast, but try to keep it all in perspective – you have your entire life ahead of you, and if you get through the hard stuff now, you’ll be a much happier person later on. Take it from one who has the benefit of life experience and a perspective that you have yet to achieve.

            Hang in there, kid, and best of luck to you, whatever you decide.


    3. ready4westcoast

      thanks for taking the time to post very inspiring words….i have lived in NY my whole life and am ready for a change, slower pace of life and friendlier neighbors. my husband and i want to move to colorado but im scared i will miss my family and friends. i really believe in your words and am going to take a leap of faith and try it out!!!! thanks again!!

      1. Hi, might be a little late post but would just like to say thanks to whoever created it. Im 19 years old and from Ireland and i plan to move abroad as im sick of the same things everyday over here. I’m really thinking about moving to the states as ive been six times and obsolutely love it. Reading your stories just gives me inspiration to go on and fulfil my aspirations!! Thank You

  14. I relocated from Sydney to Melbourne nearly ten years ago now – like many of the previous commenters have said, I think landing in a different city (or country) you grow in so many ways that you never would have if you had styayed put.

    Great blog btw!

    1. hello everyone,

      I had been in a long distance relationship for almost 4 years , during my university life and after. I had originally set out to more to a more suitable location for my career once I had finished however I landed a job in my home town. I worked there for a whole year and realised it just want for me. With this in mind I struggled to come to terms with uplifting my partners life to my home city when I was not happy with the job I was in. So I looked for another job. After about 4 months I got one in my partners home town – 3hrs away from my own. I moved away for the first time ever and I am working in a fantastic job but I can’t seem to settle, my head tells me this is right but my heart tells me that I am missing home so much. My partner is happy and my job is great but I simply can’t get used to living away. If anyone could shine some light it would be much appreciated.

  15. Hello there! I’m a college student (Intl. Business major) and, recently, I made my decision to continue my studies in the Philippines. I’m doing it for most of the reasons you’ve stated above: the freedom to find myself and for opportunity. This blog entry and the story “Sev” left as a comment reaffirms my decision to go (I’ve had some pretty negative comments from people and it got me down a couple times — thank goodness though, I have the support of my family!).

    So I thank you for writing this entry, and I hope to share my adventure (as I’d like to call it!) soon. :)

  16. In 2006 I spent 6 months living in New Jersey, USA. Coming from perth, that was just beyond my wildest dreams! I was on a visa and had to come home after this time – this was possibly the saddest moment of my life! Before my trip, aged 21, i had never left the state or been on a plane. Well, one round the world ticket, eleven plane rides, one bout of food poisoning, immeasurable joy and countless new friends later, I am happy to say those six months i lived and worked the simple life were the best i have ever had.
    I would live overseas in a heartbeat. The craving for the new and the different things in life is a flame that is impossible to extinguish.

    Burn bright! I wish you the best of luck in vancouver…

  17. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks! Everything is going great here in Vancouver. I love living in a different place – even the ordinary becomes interesting. Perth is a great city, but as you know it is just so far away from everything. Here I feel like I am in the middle of everything. There are plenty of Aussies here on 1 year working holiday visas (I originally came over on one of these) so you should look into Canada to satisfy your craving for travel :) .


  18. Yep, I moved from Tehran (the capital of Iran) to Vancouver in 1998. Huge cultural/language differences and huge transition from a middle eastern oppressed country to a relatively democratic place… and totally the best decision I ever made in my life!

  19. It was great to read everyone’s thoughts… my boyfriend and I of two years have recently been thinking about moving in together either where I live (the US – Chicago) or where he lives (Canada – Quebec). It’s a tough decision to make, I’ve grown up with my entire large Irish Catholic family around me, and he grew up on a reservation in northern Quebec (he’s native). He came here to stay for three months and it was the best time we’ve ever had. I’m 22 and he’s 20, so figuring out financially what’s possible is hard… right now he’s an assistant manager for the bank on his reservation and when you live and work on a reservation the money you make is TAX FREE, not to mention the cost of living is considerably lower than here (I pay $1615 just for rent for a 3 bedroom apartment, they pay $350 for all utilities and their mortgage for a house). I’m just not sure I’ll be able to handle such a huge change in living, and being away from my family… but the two times I visited I had a great time, and really enjoyed myself. Plus it would be a great opportunity to learn French, and all about his culture!

    I guess I’m just looking for advice on how to move past all of the things that scare me about leaving… leaving my friends, my family, and everything I’m comfortable with. I firmly believe that it’s nigh on impossible to learn who you are when you stay in the same place forever because you never challenge yourself, and I’d love to do that, but Canada just seems like a really daunting jump to me… Any advice??

  20. My name is Kristi and I’m 20 years old…I met my boyfriend online…He lives in California and I live in South Florida…I am moving to California in 2 weeks to be with him…This will also be my very first time living on my own..I have been to California twice to see him and I must say I pretty much fell in love with it over there…The only problem is that I am EXTREAMLY close with my family…I have 5 brothers and sisters and a neice and nephew on is 16 the other is 15 and I also have a neice/nephew on the way…at first I was soooooo excited and I still am but as the time gets closer I a getting more nervous as well…I really do want to go and I am still going I just wish i wouldnt be so nervous…I think its because of how close I am to my family…I know its going to be very hard…The one thing I can say I a glad I did was this…Since we both have not had alot of time to really get this relationship going and we really dont know what eachother is really about yet I decided it would be a good idea for us to do like a 3 month trial..Probation I guess you could cal it..lol…and we both agreed that I will live there for 90 days and after the 90 days is up we will sit and have a talk and discuss how the last 3 months has been and from there decide if we should continue moving forward or if either one of us has decided its not for us we can put it out on the table and make plans for me to coe back home. or em to move out..Thinking of that has made e feel alot better b/c we can both go into this easily and if it doesnt work out then we will settle things the right way

    1. Hi i am actually in the same situation i met my bf online he lives in fl i livr in new york ,he has been here to visit me 3 times and ive been in florida 4 times in the almost 2 years of dating.we have decided to take it to the nest step and for me to move with him i am nervouse bc in my 22 years ive never been away from home i am scared that reality might hit me in the face and once its done its done ,considering the fact my parebts prob wont take me back i am hopeful about the future i know what college job and even gym i will go to and long distance is tough i just want to be next to the person i love ..hopefully my parents will understand

      1. I made the same decision when I was 22, I moved for love. To be honest it was hard, I too am very close with my family, but my family has always supported me and we make an effort to see each other. My mother always said that I had to live my own life and she has said and giving me the upmost support and love through my transition. There is a saying that I found the other day that says “never regret any decisions, because at the time its what you wanted”, that is so true… The move will be hard, but I promise you, from experience, you will be just fine, you will acclimate, make new friends and love your new life.
        I am going through the process again of moving to another state with my husband, and yes its still hard the second time around, but there is so much good coming out of this move, and we have to think of all the great things in our life and not worry. Everything always works out, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.
        Good luck with your journey and new beginnings.

  21. I made the decision to move far from home with my teenage son and ex husband. We moved from Colorado to Florida. After I was laid off from my career, and my son was finished with 6th grade moving to another school anyway, we decided it would be a good time. My ex and I had been divorced for many years due to issues he had with my family.

    The move was really stressful for all of us. I had stored a few boxes of personal items at my parents house years earlier. When I told my parents I was moving my mom was so angry that I made that decision she actually went through my boxes and tossed all kinds of stuff which included my son’s baby pictures. I asked her about it after I found it in the trash and she still denied doing it.

    Nonetheless, my ex and I were able to rekindle our romance since we had to rely on one another so much and it was good being away from my family. For the first time I was able to step back and see my parents for what they really were. My son was excited to make new friends, but that backfired. The schools were terrible so I couldn’t get a job and had to make the choice to home school our son for his safety and sanity.

    My ex husband dislikes his job here and we have found that we live in the 9th rudest city in the US. Orlando is a fun place to visit but a horrible place to live.

    As for missing friends and family I did at first. Again, I was able to do a lot of reflection on if I truly had real friendships and I didn’t. My family was cordial while I lived there but very controlling and as long as I did what they said my life was good. Seeing the truth about people was critical for me. Moving away made me finally grow up. We are planning to move back for my son’s benefit, but I learned a lot and I am grateful for my new self discovery. I would never fall back into the drama that my family likes to create.

    If you move away from what you know for at least a year, it’s an experience to cherish. Go through all the emotions and value what you’re learning. You will come to understand a lot about your life. I did.

    1. Windy, i really enjoyed reading your post. i feel like we share a bit of the same perspective on particularly friends and family from back home.

      Last August, my girlfriend and I moved from our hometown of springfield mass, to charleston sc with basically not knowing anyone down here. both of our families are fragmented, jaded, if not dysfunctional at times. My girlfriends father still to this day does not speak to either one of us. They want you to be the way they want you to be, and if you don’t then to heck with you.

      I’ve had this awful feeling for so many years prior to us moving that my life choices were being guided or influenced by people who I’ve known my whole life but had never really known any better to question what had been going on to me, or around me. I guess I never realized the impact that other people truly have on your decision making.

      Sure enough, as time has passed, as we’re now into March 2011, i’ve reflected sooooo much on people of my past, friends & family. You truly do begin to see people in a different, more clarvoyant way.
      Even just the day to day experience has made me grown as a person exponentially.

      Even with all the adversity, challenges, and criticisms, i would not trade this experience for anything. Sometimes it feels like all eyes are on us to fail and give up and come crawling back home… it sickens me when I think about it… But I’m so happy here. The weather is gorgeous, the town is beautiful, the people are fantastic, and i’m here with the one person who has always had my back from day 1.

      If you ever question if moving away with the person you love is good or a bad thing, consider how you got to that question. If you know in your heart its because friends or family are trying to influence you, go against their choice for the sole fact that you are in control of your own destiny.

      You know what will happen if you stay in your hometown and never leave.. the same thing that has always been… You won’t, however, know where life will take you if you take a leap of faith, trust in the power of love, and believe in change, and believe in the future.

      1. Amen Jay! I wonder how many people out there experience the same problems with their family and friends? They don’t understand what’s going on or know how to resolve it. Maybe our experience will help guide others needing to make that decision. I am writing a fictional novel and the beginning of my story is about moving away from home due to family issues. If I hadn’t gone through the experience myself I wouldn’t truly understand how amazing it can be for ones growth and self improvement. Moving far away comes with its challenges, but we learn from hard times not just having an easy life. I am glad it worked out for you, and I hope others take that leap of faith when the time comes.

        1. I 100% agree with Windy. I moved from Ukraine to US. Through the difference in culture between to countries is enormous, the most beneficial experience came from the reflection on my previous relationship with my own family and friends. The net result – I have no one now. There is nothing harder than to admit the fact that people you have known and love your entire life are not what they seem to be. I moved to US to be with my husband, which I discovered has sooooo much more in common with my former family and friends. I wasn’t able to see any of the abusive tendencies in my husband, because his actions appeared “normal” to me. He is doing everything he can to make my life a living hell and to prevent me from any advancement in life from fear that I would leave him because he treating me very bad… While he acknowledges himself that he is being a monster, he has all those excuses about his previous bad relationships with women. He hurts me than he feels low and bad about himself more every time he does it, but he does it again and again. Then he gets scared that I will leave when the smallest opportunity presents, which again confirms his suspicion that he is going to be hurt and betrayed again. This viscous cycle never ends. Saying all that, I do not think I will go back home either. It hurts to experience life here with him, but memories of my life “before” hurt me way much more. It was incredibly difficult journey for me since I didn’t speak English, my education from abroad means nothing in US, I got pregnant right away, plus I had no support what so ever from anyone. Yet, I am so glad I made this choice. I was so “blind”. I feel profound grief every day, because I lost everything and everyone, at the same time realizing that I never had anyone. However, I found me.

      2. ” You know what will happen if you stay in your hometown and never leave.. the same thing that has always been… You won’t, however, know where life will take you if you take a leap of faith, trust in the power of love, and believe in change, and believe in the future.”

        I LOVE THAT !!

  22. Well, for me I’m planning to move out. I’m just 22, but then I have lived away from home for school for four years now, I am graduating now. I moved out of my campus and now I am home, being here for already a week or so, I realized that once I have moved out and now returning, I cannot stand the pressure my parents give to me. As well, my life is heavily dictated by my parents, from being independent in campus to now returning home, I feel that I cannot relinquish my freedom and obey the rules of the family. I am planning to move out, but my parents will not be supportive of that decision unless I find a job that is further away from home, and my new place will be close to work. So here I am working on it on my own, finding jobs away from home and hoping that I can move out and seek my freedom.

  23. When I was 14 my family moved to Maryland from NY and I moved around a lot on my own after the age of 18. There are pros and cons associated with moving. It might actually be better for certain people to stay in the same place their entire lives. It just depends where you’ll be happiest. As a general rule of thumb, if you have more or less traditional values and aspirations (marry your sweetheart and have kids), you might be happiest staying where you are. If you don’t intend to get married and you just want to have fun or pursue some specific interest of yours for the rest of your life, you might as well move.

    The thing to remember is that wherever you move, you’ll always be an outsider. And if you live somewhere away from where you grew up long enough, you’ll become an outsider in your hometown, as well.

  24. Hi There,
    After reading this post and comments, Im glad I am not alone!
    I lived at home (Invercargill NZ) until I was 18, then I moved to Dunedin to study. I met my partner there and we then moved further up the country to Christchurch. We have been here just over 5 years now and will be moving to Melbourne Australia in two weeks time. I have been feeling a bit torn about this because my mum really wants me to move home, especially due to the earthquakes we have been experiencing here. I know that when I have children, I want my mum and sisters close by, I feel like it will be easier/happier that way, but at the same time, there is a lot I want to do before this happens. My partner and I went overseas at the start of the year and we really have the travel bug now. At the same time, I really feel like I am missing out, being so far from home. I’ve missed a few family gatherings and seeing my nieces grow up. I want to travel and try new things, but the pull of my family is always there. I come from a smallish town/city so there are not many opportunities there, but it doesnt stop my mum from suggesting I move back. I cant see her or my brother ever leaving Invercargill. I know she just wants what is best for me, but it feels more like what is best for her sometimes. I love her to bits, but she does make it hard for me to make decisions with my own life. After reading this post, I agree that always sticking with your family and friends that you know, does prevent you a bit from meeting and getting to know new people. I always feel the pull for home because it is safe and well-known and easy. But, I also am looking foward to a new adventure and doing things in Melbourne that I havent had the chance to do here.

    1. Hi everyone,
      Wow-this blog started in 2007 and funny how I did a google search to find this. I thought I would chime in with my own situation, which covers many issues already discussed.
      I’m from the USA originally and moved to New Zealand back in 2004 after falling in love with the country when I came back packing. I met my now husband at the end of that trip and can very much relate to the idea about expanding yourself spiritually by living abroad. You feel like you have these “fresh eyes” on things that others can’t see. Living abroad forces you to question how things are done, your own values and forces you to be open minded. I’ve loved every moment of the 7 years I’ve lived in NZ and have a very close family in the US who I do miss very much. I have been to visit them almost every year since living here and skype helps a lot too. But, you can’t help feel like you are missing out on some good times as well.
      We found out I am pregnant about a month ago and this has changed things once again for us. Although in my heart, I feel NZ offers the best lifestyle experience for my child, my pull to be near my family is so strong, we have made the decision to immigrate back to the US. I have a 3 year old niece, and a sister in law who is as pregnant as I am, and I just know that this the right time to go back “home” to be with them all. That would give my child the best possible opportunity of so much love and support from an extended loving family. I’ve learned so much about being simple and open minded, treating nature and others with respect from my time here in NZ that I’m ready now to pass that on to my child. I’ll have my Kiwi husband too who will keep me grounded and remind me what is important should the “rush” of American sweep us off our feet.
      Overall, I say go for it, you will grow so much as a person by leaving your comfort zone and native culture. But there indeed may come a time when you feel its time to return to “nest” with your family as well. I can’t say I’d even be considering going back to the States if I wasn’t having a baby-but life is interesting and throws us all types of situations which make us re-prioritize from time to time. Peace

  25. Dear Peter,

    Glad to hear you are enjoying Vancouver, as a fellow Vancouverite it’s nice to hear. I have been wrestling with the idea for two years now to move across Canada. I have weighed the pros and cons typically as we do, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, but the con is a huge one and that’s leaving my family. My husband and I have no children so we would be alone in our new town but we would be able to retire. Such difficult decisions.

    Hope you keep positing.

  26. Funny how I have googled something in two different occasions and had ended up in this particular blog, and the exact same article…
    First time was because I was feeling helpless at the fact that my boyfriend is in Japan while I live in Vancouver.
    Second time, today, is because of my overbearing mother making me wanting to move somewhere far away from here..

    Although it’s hard for me to live in Vancouver(cost wise), I love the city and want to stay. But I just don’t know how to go about doing that anymore.. Nor do I know how to move away(where?).

  27. I am in a situation too. I have my permanent residency visa to move to nova scotia in canada from the UK, but due to fear of moving away from my family and of living on my own in Nova Scotia, I have not made the move yet and am feeling stuck. I feel torn between my love for my family and my love for NS, I have been there on vacation several times and just love the place and friendliness of all the people I have met.

    I am scared of living on my own 3000 miles away from anyone and everything I know and feel stuck. I am not sure if this is the right thing for me, but I know this chance won’t happen again if I don’t go. I am not sure what to do. I also have a good job where I am and in this current economic climate that is a big deal. Any advice welcome.

  28. This post has really helped me since I’m a student thinking of going to Canada to do my studies. My mum is Canadian and I have citizenship both here in the UK and there, its just a tough decision because of my boyfriend and it’s tearing me apart. I’ve been to Canada nearly every year since I was little and I love it, I just wish I didn’t have to choose. This post really helped me get both sides balanced and though it hasn’t solved my issue, it’s helped me. Thank you!

  29. Dear Peter,

    I read your article and I must say I admire your efforts and your success. You’ve been living in Vancouver for the past 4 years and you’ve had 2 boys. You have succeeded!

    What you also wrote about moving away is right, there are many reasons why one should do this, but in my opinion the most important one is to find yourself.

    I’ve been living abroad, 3500 km away from family and friends for the past 2 years and tomorrow I am flying out again after a very nice summer break in my home country.

    It is tough, and of course there is no place like home. It is however essential for someone to acquire experience and find out who they truly are.

    I wish you have a great time back in Australia over Christmas, and I hope everyone’s dreams and plans go well.

    All the best,


  30. So, after reading the article and responses I thought I would chime in with my own situation. Un-related to moving for a loving relationship, this would be a move for an entry level career. I have been to so many interviews and the overwhelming response has been the same, you need experience. I have finally been getting somewhere with my most present interview. The company is well known and impressive on a resume, so here comes the problem. It means packing up my life into a suitcase and saying goodbye to my family and support system to move across the country. A frightening thought after having attempted a year ago only to fail with horrible intuition ( which consequently was correct, and my grandpa passed away only 6 months after my grandma) almost to the day. I was so close to them and I don’t feel I have reached the point in mourning where moving seems possible. I am afraid to miss out on precious time with my family for a career. Family has become so important to me in the last two years and I am afraid to give that up for a career. My entire family and friends are encouraging me to move for the possible job. I’m lacking confidence and have been having fairly severe anxiety attacks since the company contacted me and informed me of their interests and wanting to fly me to the state to visit the facilities and see the area. It is a very nice area, and I have distant relatives who’ve lived there and raised their own children there for years. I’m just not sure I can handle the thought of not being able to visit home when I wish.

    I lived away from home for years, but within driving distance and was able to drive home in time to see my grandma ( who has been my best friend my entire life) on her deathbed. Now I am terrified I am going to lose another family member and be unable to be there. I know people die, and it is out of our control when or why. I think the last few years have traumatized me severely and I’m not sure how to move forward. I am open to ideas! (we lost 6 family members this year! Aunts, cousins, second cousins, grandparents etc). To explain some of the trauma of my year.

    I am working two part time jobs and still not making enough to cover my college loans. I’m still looking for work here, but it’s tough in my industry.

    I am for the fortunate (probaly the only reason this is good) single and have been so for a while by choice, but have always had a close companion to fill the relationship void after a rough break up last year.

    Help? I know I must look like a crazy. I am also terrified of flying. To the point where I would take a train four days to get some where instead of a four hour flight. I was recently given Xanax but I’m not sure if I can even muster myself to the airport due to the fear and anxiety. I’ve even given myself hives over it.

    I have been to the area before and enjoyed the people, and environment. I’m partly afraid to fall in love with the area and end up staying, marrying and having kids. I always wanted my family to be a part of my future childrens lives. My family is so important to me, I have really been blessed with them.

  31. I was comforted when I read some of the thoughts people had about moving away from family and loved ones.

    I always figured there were basically two kinds of people:

    1) those who had the “let’s go for it /new adventures are great / family? Who’d miss
    family?” mindset, and

    2) the homebody / easily homesick / “need my familiarity” types.

    I’m happy to see I was wrong. There are some people who obviously see the advantages of moving away, but are utterly torn about it too.

    The distance I am considering moving is only from the Canadian prairies to B.C.(also in Canada), but for a homesick homebody type like me it seems light years away. The only reason I’d consider it is because one of my best friends already lives out there, and another dear friend is also considering moving out there in a year or so. This would provide me a fantastic social hub from which to branch out more confidently than if I were to move to someplace where I’d be utterly alone. Oh, and after all my years in my current city, I’m frankly tired of many aspects of living here which I’m hoping are specific to this geographic location, rather than universal traits of living anywhere.

    I completely agree with one of the writers who said something about how we are compatible with many, many people, if only we’d give ourselves the chance to meet them. While I believe this to be true, the practical limitations to this theory are huge. I find it hard to meet new people here in a city I’ve lived in for 34 years (I’m 47). I’m thinking it will be just as difficult in any new place. New friendships don’t magically appear while you’re sitting in front of the TV alone in your condo. You need to get out and meet people, but there’s the rub. Smart people usually advise you to join a group, take a class or volunteer somewhere you find interesting. Although I’m thought of as friendly and interested in others, I have found it almost impossible to meet compatible people in my past forays into various classes, groups, etcetera. Perhaps it’s the luck of the draw, but I admit I’m puzzled by my lack of success.

    Despite being a self-absorbed, immature young man, in my former days I was blessed in my ability to attract many high-quality friends and acquaintances, to the point I was told by someone once that I “was the most popular person [they] knew”. Fast forward 20 years and friends have moved away, died, gotten married, and with some I’ve fallen out of touch.

    Move far away? No guarantees of any better life than I have here–and with less social supports. Stay here with less than a handful of friends left but with two family members who would be very sad to see me go (and I sad to be apart from them). We were a very small family.

    I don’t know.

    All the best to everyone lying awake nights analyzing the pros and cons.

    1. Robert,

      You sound very torn. But at 47, you are at an ideal age to pack up and start a whole new life. Still young enough to do anything you want, but old enough to know better. And if you think making this move is scary, what about 10 years from now when you think, “Wow, I really wish I had made that move when I was still a young man.”

  32. I tried moving away and breaking all contact, i had a home , a job. My parents waited for me in a cinema and brought me back to my home town and parental home. I was 23 yrs old.

    I tried again. I packed all my belongings into a car and drove away. Left a note explaining why I felt the need to break ties and leave.

    At the time i was scheduled to return to the parental home from the job I had quit, i recieved a phone call from my mother asking exactly where I was and what was going on. I had ignored her earlier calls but my brother told me I owed her to answer her calls. I was 27 yrs old.

    I lived away working in my chosen career. 6 months abroad. 3 months touring followed by other tours. Somehow I kept finding myself back in the home town under my parents roof. Letters to friends of my mother declared that i had finally realised i wasn’t going to succeed and I had gotten a ‘proper’ job. Working in my home town, living in my parents house. Aged 32. The town is killing my ambition. I am suspsicious of family and can’t start anything without imagining them saying the worst about everything I attempt to do . Feel helpless. Can’t see a way out as employers have once again ‘re-profiled’ my hours away. Feel tied to someone else’s impression of a secure job. Am miserable in work hours , don’t feel at ‘home’ at home address. Starting to cry as I type.

    1. Hi Dave !

      And I also weep as I type this. I sooo get you. YOU ARE AN ARTIST ! An actor right? I am an actress. We always KNOW one another.

      I also am miserable here with my family. Left NYC because of health problems (cancer) and feel like I am dying a slow death. no inspiration to feed my soul.

      How was your day today???
      hope it was a good one.

  33. I am torn over leaving the US. My husband is originally from Argentina and is there right now hoping to start building a house. We have six kids- all boys! Three are his, two are mine and one is ours together. They’re 21, 19, 18, 17, 14 and 2. Both of mine have joined the military, one just graduating from bootcamp last week. My husband’s 17 year-old son lives with us, and the other two with their mom. My husband wants to move to make a good life for our littlest boy- we would have a small farm and much more family time with no day care, which we both dislike. My fear is leaving my other two boys as well as his kids. I also have a grandson arriving in December! Has anyone else left kids to move??? Help!

  34. i need input please caught at a cross road im a single mother of a 4yr old daughter me and my ex husband dont get along have had a history of domestic violence but thru it all ive always tried to let him be in his daughters life it never turns out right if i dont laugh at his jokes, have sex with him when he wants, meet another guy, or let him run over me in any way he will walk away from daughter at any giving time. I realize that its a controling thing, and i now fight back by speaking up for my self and that may affect him in being around his daughter, or giving her things all because i stopped kissing butt this hs went on all 4yrs of her life im talking months at a time its childish i know but it seems its never gonna get better. SOooooo i want to do wuts best for my daughter who is too young to really understand wuts going on cause when he goes on temper tantrums to her its like out of sight out of mind i dont talk bad or put down to her or around her ever!! but my daughter is my life and i she means everything to me ive been threaen mistreated and verbally abused enough i want change i want to move to a diiferent state notfar from were im from but were i can have peace my daughter dosent desrve to have this go on and i deserve better she loves her dad a lot and there bond looks and seems great when there around each other. My choices are either VA OR IN is this a bad idea ones 3 hours away from me know or the other is 8 hrs away ive been to both places a million times ive wanted this so long im miserable here in KY i have all my family here but its not abt htem i can always come visit!!! I need a change im always upset and hurting cause he makes me feel like if i dont do wut he says he wont do for her i need this!!! Ill even give some visitation(summer) of some sorts even though he prolly wont go for that he runs in and out so much but thinks cause he bought shoes hes the best dad!! *******please give me input goood and bad please*** I jst wanna be happy and raise my daughter up in a healthy enviorment away from KY

  35. ok so two posts of yours have inspired me, thank you so much for your hope, wisdom and insight. I am 42 single, young but not so much! I decided at the ripe age of 40 to move from major N.E. metro area where I lived for 7 years to a midwest, poor, small town to pursue my MA. I will be graduating in Dec. I have had no problem moving in the past (many times, been on my own since 20 and have had a very adventurous life). My family is distant with lots of family trauma at the center. I am having difficulty realizing my dreams. I love all the work, experience,people, places, things I have encountered along the way mainly in creative & service oriented fields- teaching, counseling, fashion etc..A relationship is missing. I notice many of the moves posted involved a love interest. Perhaps that is part of my dream. However, I need to decide where to go after December, at midlife its odd, it’s not enough anymore to move for career and yet I need to establish that precisely as a single lady. The big city doesnt appeal to me anymore, I love simplicity precisely to dream bigger…pretty natural environments inspire, nourish me. Affordability is a big priority as the simplicity of not living above my means while paying back a large loan…I think marriage is a risk I have not attempted to enter into…and a risk and dream that I wish for but hold myself back from even after working through some difficult family issues. I am traditional in my value system but a free spirit when exploring and enjoying life. I wish to anchor and think at this point I dream of doing some mission with a partner to give back to the community and share. I have yet to meet HIM if he exists and mission with mate is another dream. But it requires 2!
    I dont even know where to begin when thinking about where I will move in the next few months. I will stay here where rent is affordable as I plan and contemplate…but wondering if you have any ideas or feedback about sorting this through? Pace Bene to all!!

  36. Hello i was interested in feedack I was wanted to move back to a town and state i used to live at Right now i’m living back in my hometown And i cant find a job And living with family Because finacillaty cant afford to live on my own I need to find a stabilty I have hard time getting back on my feet My job was downsize And i move back and fourth from onestate to the other over a period of 10 years The state i would like to live in I was happy there iwould need a job and place to live before I move I don’t have the money to move I just feel like i walk around in a daze And don.t which way to turn Any feedback would help Thanks Carolyn

  37. I am too torn with this dilemma.
    I moved to the UK two years ago from Australia and this is where I met my now Fiancé. We recently got engaged for two reasons. 1. My visa ran out in the UK so I am going over on a fiancée visa and 2. because we love each other dearly.

    As a woman though, I find moving away from my family, and especially my mum is a lot harder than it is for a man. I have always been independent, having lived in United States, England and travelled all around the world. What concerns me is that my future husband has no desire to ever move to Australia, and I love England, so it seems like a no brainer to make the move over there. But I wonder if I am able to make such a big move at such a young age of 22.

    My boyfriend said that whatever I decide I will end up with something really special – him or my loving family. But that of course he loves me dearly, that he wants me to be his wife and the mother of his children.
    I wonder if what I will have with my husband will be greater than what I will miss out on with my family. I have a vision of me giving up on our relationship, me staying in Australia and finding someone else to love and marry. I see myself unhappy with the rest of my life, thinking of my one long lost love that got away. Forever living a second rate life for the joys of experiencing my children growing up surrounded by my loving family. Will I regret losing him and choosing my family, and constantly looking back at him as the one that got away? There is always visits that can be made. But not having your mother there for crucial moments in my life – my wedding day, pregnancy, the birth of my children is sometimes too much of a lonely thought. But what if I give up my wonderful fiancé and I end up never getting married, never having children.

    I’ve always had a passion for travel. I always wanted to get out and see the world. And being in England allows me to do that. I can travel to Paris on the train any day of the week, I love having that freedom and know that such freedom is not an option in Australia.

    I wonder sometimes whether no matter how much you love someone, that sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes even though you want something to work out so badly, life isn’t always a perfect fairytale.

    Should I live for myself or for my family, my mother? Will he be the one that got away? Or will I live happily ever after?

    1. You should live life for yourself. It is your life journey – you came into the world on your own and you will leave it on your own. People in your llife are there for a reason to support, advise, teach or love you but therey are not there for you to live your life for. And happily ever after is a myth.

    2. Elizabeth,
      Honestly, I have to say that you will never truly be happy unless you follow your dreams and fulfill your goals in your life. You should live for yourself. If your family and your mother truly love you, they will support your dreams and goals. Go to your fabulous fiance. You can always travel to visit your Mum and your family.

  38. Hello all I’ve come to a fork in my path of my future. I am a single mom of a three year old I also live in va where I’m midway between my family in Maryland and Florida but live 5 miles from my mom and three brothers all younger than me. My sister who loves in Florida is pregnant and already has. Child from a previous relationship and is doing this new baby as a single mom. She’s asked me like she always does for me to come help her and I love my sister and desperately want to go back to my home town where she lives but I don’t know if I should do it when I love my job that doesn’t pay the best. I loove my mom but I feel like I depend to mug on her help and seeing as she’s very religious and I’m not so much so she’s constantly telling me what I should and shouldn’t do and I’m 24. I think moving away and strting fresh would be great but unsure if I should. I don’t know if it’s the best choice for my daughter yet I feel that if we dot leave that my daughter is going to constantly be judged not harshly but judged by my mom for wht I allow her to do and not do. So moving in with my sister is my other option I have a few months till I’m able and I would really like some advice from people who don’t know me really please thank you

  39. When I was 23 (26 now) I felt the need to leave the Chicago area. I was struggling with drugs and a bad social environment. I had lost my job and moved in with a friend on the border of illinois and Wisconsin. It was lovely but I was bored and depressed. A phone call came through from a friend and I ended up in Oklahoma working on a job for 2 months. Long story short, the company sent me to do a job in Hawaii.

    I worked on Maui like a dog for 3 months before I realized it was my moment to break free. I left the company, bought a van and lived in it for 2 weeks before finding a apartment with friends. I found a great job, and had benefits. 2 years later I was still there, progressing everyday, getting better and better. It wasnt all rainbows and candy, but I was succeeding on my own entirely. I felt satisfied most of the time. I felt like I could be me. After pressure from family to move back the guilt started to wear me down.

    I moved back to the suburbs of chicago to my parents home, couldn’t find work for 3 months. Eventually found a job in the city, got a job, got a apt, lost a job, and here I sit devastated, almost starving, depressed, at the mercy of my parents and plain out right miserable. I regret everyday ever coming back. 2 years I have been back here and my life sucksssss,. I was lured in by family and friends while I was in a lonely state of mind in hawaii, i had this belief that I would be surrounded by all these people all the time when I got home. The truth is, once i came back the few hugs, couple drinks and Im still as alone as I ever was…the only thing different is I don’t have my house, car, insurance, surfboard, skateboard, my life, that i left behind. I am here now for these people, yet no one really gives a fuck. It was only their jealousy/fear/regret that compelled them to encourage my move back. I have learned a lot about life in the past 2 years.

    While family, friends are good things. We all have our own dreams. If you dont live out your dream you will surely be miserable living someone else’s. Don’t let people, family, friends, manipulate your dreams ever. Regret is a terrible thing. If you work hard to build a good life, dont just drop it either unless you know for certain you are moving for good reasons.

    sorry to rant and rave. It feels good getting this out somewhere. good luck people.

    1. Hi Makona,

      Wow, I found your post really powerful. I’ll tell you about my situation in a minute, but first, I wanted to talk about yours. I’m a lot older than you – I’m 47 – so I have a few more years of wisdom and experience in life, and I have two words for you – GO BACK! You’re still so young and have your whole life ahead of you. I understand it may be difficult to figure out a way to make it happen, financially or otherwise, but it sounds like Hawaii was where you truly found yourself and where you thrived. And the only reason you left was because you were feeling some loneliness that you thought would be filled by your friends and family back home. I, too, have felt that void in my life from time to time, and the one thing I have learned is that NO ONE can fill it but you. Sometimes its really difficult to figure out what you need to fill it, but ultimately it’s up to you – no one can make you happy but you. Follow your dreams, and your gut, and do not EVER give up on them! If you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen, just don’t ever stop trying.

      How do I know this? Because I’ve done it myself. 13 years ago, I met an amazing man online. We were both divorced, single parents, just trying to make it all work. We got to know each other pretty well over the years through emails and phone calls, but that’s all we had because we lived 500 miles apart. After 3 years, I finally decided that I needed to meet this man, so I hopped on a plane and flew to where he lived and we spent a weekend together. That trip pretty much sealed the deal – this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So I flew back home and we returned to our respective lives, and it took another 7 years, but I was finally able to come back to him. My kids were now grown and out on their own, I sold my house, and got a promotion at work that allowed me to work from home, so I packed up my belongings and moved 500 miles away from all my family and friends to be with the man I loved.

      Fast forward to today, almost 4 years later. The boyfriend and I are still very much in love with each other, and I honestly couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else, but it hasn’t turned out exactly as I expected. We still live in separate dwellings, him in his tiny 2BR house and me in my crummy 2BR apartment. I was hoping by now that we would have figured out a way to live under the same roof, but for a multitude of reasons that I won’t get into here, it hasn’t happened. We live just outside of Washington DC, one of the most expensive areas in the entire United States, and I’m really struggling to make ends meet here. I still have my job that allows me to work from home – basically wherever there is an Internet connection – so there really isn’t anything holding me down here except for him. However he can’t really move away from the area right now because his daughter is still in college and his mom is elderly and he doesn’t want to leave the area while she is still with us, and I don’t blame him in the least – I would feel the very same way.

      We both love boats, the water and warm, tropical weather, and we’ve often talked about moving to Florida some day. Well, for me, that someday is here. My lease expires in May, and I can rent an entire house down there with plenty of room for my kids to come visit me, for about half of what I’m paying here. The move will give me a lot more breathing room financially, and I will be living in the one place I’ve ever been where I truly felt I belonged.

      My hope is to move down there, save up a bunch of money and buy some property, then have my boyfriend join me in a few years when his situation allows him to leave the DC area. But I honestly don’t know if it will happen. He’s pretty set in his ways and doesn’t have the wanderlust that I do, and I honestly don’t know if he would really be willing to make the move, so I will be taking a gamble with this move, because it may ultimately cost me the love of my life.

      So what do I do – stay here for the sake of my boyfriend’s happiness, or move away for the sake of my own? Looking back on my life, I realize that I’ve ALWAYS been the one to make the sacrifices for the sake of another’s happiness, and the truth is, I’m tired of it. I thought that by moving down here almost 4 years ago to be with him that it was all about me and what I wanted, but it turns out that it was really all about him and what he wanted, and although I do not regret for one moment having spent the last 4 years of my life with this wonderful man, I cannot continue to ignore the fact that I’m just not happy here, and the financial strain it’s putting on me to stay here only makes matters worse.

      Anyway, your post really hit home with me, because you realize now that Hawaii was where you were meant to be, and you regret not having stayed there. I have yet to live in the place I was meant to be and I’m afraid I’ll regret it if I never go there and at least give it a try. Who knows – I may move down there and decide I hate it and want to come back, but something tells me that won’t be the case. I’ve visited Florida many times, and I’ve always felt at home there – like it was where I truly belonged, and I think I will thrive there as you did in Hawaii. Only time will tell, I guess.

      Thank you, for helping to clarify things just a bit for me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation, and I truly hope that you find happiness and inner peace, wherever it may lead you.

  40. I’m not moving over seas cause i’m only 18 right now lol But I am moving all the way to Vermont in a couple of months to start college and I live in New Mexico currently. It’s a big change for me personally and quite exiting because it’ll be like i’m starting a whole brand new life. I will know absolutely no one there and i’ll have to learn to fend for myself, but it’s also horribly scary because of this fact and knowing I might not be able to do it; but if I can make it past the first semester, I can do it. I have to be able to believe in myself because this is something I really want to do and achieve.

  41. I’ve done this multiple times and am itching to do it again – just for a year. I lived in the Malaysia for about a year, Australia for about a year, UK two years and Botswana two years. Wonderful experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Now I’ve been back in lovely Vancouver for a while (and have really enjoyed being back), I’d love to scamper again for a bit, but also, to know I’ll come home.

  42. Pamela Jane Sheridan


    I’m from a little town called Beith in North Ayrshire, Scotland. I am 29 years old and have saw nothing of the world, I have a little girl and due to get married in October. We are hoping to move out to Canada hopefully middle of next year.
    Iv had a stressful break up with my daughters dad a few years ago&feel I am in a rut, same place, same people, same gossip!

    I’m actually heading up Perth way Sat Peter to go white water rafting!
    I have found your bloggs interesting.

    Hope your life is still going as well.

    Wish me luck people


  43. Hello to all,
    I am preparing to move in a few days from a small town in NC to Honolulu, Hawaii. I’m very young, 20, but I have met an amazing guy in the Navy and he’s currently on a 3 year tour in Hawaii and has invited me to come live with him. This post has really sparked my interest and I am desperately seeking the advice of others that have moved away to help ease all the doubts and restlessness that I am currently feeling. I am very very close to my family but in the last couple years I’ve been feeling very out of place in the small town I live in. I’ve never really cared for living here either. I don’t really fit in with the kind of people that live here. I kinda just march to the beat of my own drum. Getting the opportunity to move away is amazing at first thought. Most people tell me how lucky I am. At first it was a dream come true but as reality sets in I am getting more and more scared. Mostly scared of leaving my family and being terribly homesick. Is there any words of advice that anybody can give me to help ease me or give me some kind of new light? I can’t help but think that maybe God is trying to make me feel uneasy because this move is not his plan for me. Any help would be so greatly appreciated.

    1. Dear Peter,
      I loved your inspiring 2007 post. I too moved across the globe from South Africa. I moved because of a yearning to see and experience something different, I am so glad I did! It was one of the most difficult decisions, leaving wonderful family and friends some who lovingly reminded me that life for a single parent will be very challenging in a new country….I knew though that I would live in regret of not knowing. it has been eight years, and I have evolved my perspective, I have a better appreciation of my personal journey…although at the time I had to make a compromise on the place I was going to…Northern California…..in a small town. It has not always been easy, as many times, I wondered about going back when I got homesick. Living in the now is a good strategy and has helped me truly embrace life…good-luck and keep posting.

    2. I reckon you should just go on and stay in Hawaii. Your home is never far away and if you are like many of us writing on this post…you probably have the luxury of choice, funds, back-up etc.

      I don’t know if the fear you are feeling is God telling you not to go with your heart/opportunities, but I do know that I feel afraid every time I step out of my comfort zone. There is always this growth there waiting for me and it always feels scary, but this may not mean that it is wrong.

      There are some choices in life that are much more obviously wrong….dangerous, unhealthy, stupid, un-nurturing choices….but from what you have written it feels like there is a lot of lovely energy from what you write. I can hear excitement and fear, but this could be a great adventure.

      I know I am growing a lot right now being away from my family and this feels like a risk…but I feel one that is worth taking. All you have to do is change your mind and you can find yourself back to where you came from…surrounded by family and in a place that you no longer resonate with!!!

      Love from Applemalt

    3. Hi Hawaiibound,

      Gosh, what an amazing opportunity! I moved from Canada to Australia when I was 20. I went on my own but met an Aussie guy shortly after I arrived. I was really nervous to move (I had never been outside North America before and I’m from a REALLY small town too!) and I didn’t know anyone.

      My experience wasn’t without it’s challenges – the first school I was enrolled in tried to get me to hand over $12,000 for tuition while I was waiting for them to provide me with my student visa papers. I was very timid, but stood up for myself and refused to hand over the money. The following week they sent me a letter saying that they weren’t registered to be able to provide student visa papers (and were clearly hoping I’d be on my way back to Canada and they’d keep my money). The second school I enrolled in tried to charge me several thousand more than their advertised international student tuition. I stood my ground again and only paid the current tuition rate. I had issues with crazy flatmates, terrible landlords and dishonest employers. But I don’t regret any of it!!

      I was too excited about the future and all of the opportunities in Australia to care about the set-backs. I grew so much as a person because I had to learn to rely on myself (my parents would have sorted it all out for me if I was still in Canada).

      You’re still so young – you have all of the opportunity in the world, just go with it!

      It’s hard (really hard!!) to leave your family. But we live in an age of communication, and Skype is wonderful! Also, your family can visit you, and you can visit them whenever you like. Also, once you say goodbye and get on the plane, you’ll all wipe your tears and move on to your future – wherever it may take you. I say travel while you can, because now that I’ve got 2 kids and a mortgage and my husband is a part-owner in a company, travel isn’t as easy as it once was.

      Leaving is hard, but the experiences will be worth it! Hawaii looks BEAUTIFUL!!

      All the best!!

  44. Hello all, I have really enjoyed reading all your posts and it couldn’t be at a better time!

    I just read my last post which was a while ago now and I am now in the very situation I was afraid of! I am pregnant {6 months} and pretty much have just made the decision to stay overseas here in Chiang Mai, Thailand to have our little baby boy!

    It has taken us months to find a rental house here and we are still to buy a car too…which has put a lot of strain on me and my boyfriend.

    We were just considering heading back to Melbourne, Australia when a house has come through for us here in Chiang Mai! But do we stay or go? It is a difficult decision.

    What I notice is how much I have changed since my last post.

    The only reason I want to be in Melbourne is to be with my family for support with our new born to be. But the pull is not as strong. At first I thought it was just for my boyfriend that I was choosing to stay on in Thailand for, but emerging from me are feelings that I am getting a lot out of being here.

    Being away from family is still hard for me, but I can really see the benefits for me too.
    I have been prone to put my family first and now that we are creating our own little family there is something meaningful and transformative in doing this on our own.

    But to just add my mum and sister will come and visit and this is what is making this time period easier for me to handle!

    I think BIG growth opportunities come from being away from all that is familiar….especially if you really are in a great place that is safe and healthy to be in.

    Love from Applemalt

  45. Hi there, Thank you all for your posts they have helped me a great deal. Currently I reside in Chicago with 4 teenage boys. I feel stuck here, I feel as if my life isn’t here and its waiting for me somewhere else although I was born and raised here. I’m 35 years old and just feel overwhelmed with Chicago, the crime rate,tired of my kids being chased home for no reason by other kids who have nothing better to do, I drive them everywhere now because people have nothing better to do than harass other people, So i decided to leave.

    But i’m scared as hell. This aside from childbirth is the biggest thing i’ve ever done, and i’m doing it alone. I have no family, a few friends, but nothing really holding me back. I’ve decided to go to Arizona. I feel weird kind of, I just moved into a great apartment here in Chicago, but still feel like something is missing. I feel empty here. I’m afraid of the change because I have kids. Although we have all discussed it and they are fine with it, I just don’t want to fail them.

    People say, if I could survive in Chicago, I could survive anywhere. I believe it to be true, but somehow can’t get rid of the knots in my stomach, the questions in my head, the what if’s and maybe’s. All I know is that my life here is so repetitious, so boring all you here about is crime and increases in city fees and fines and new fines. The housing market is horrid. Right now I pay 1350 for a 3bdrm apt, and not in the best of neighborhood.

    I think my fear mainly concerns my kids. If it were just me, it would be easy. I just want a better life for them. I want them to be able to see that there’s more to the world than just Chicago. I don’t want them growing up as I did and feel stuck later on in life.
    My boss is saying that i’m not going anywhere as is several others, not that I care, its just funny to me how predictable everyone assumes me to be.

    I remember the first time I left Chicago, I drove to NY. That was the most rejuvenating thing I had ever done. I felt so alive, excited, scared, nervous but happy. Every time I see a plane I want to be on it. I haven’t been able to take the kids out of Chicago, its expensive with 4 kids and myself, so i’m thinking maybe this move will be there moment of excitement, their moment of rejuvenation and getting to see the world a little bit since we are driving through the states.

    Sorry if my words are jumbled. I have a lot on on my mind. Thanks again for your stories and thoughts.

    1. Hey Janae,

      I understand the knots you feel in your stomach – I feel the very same way! I am planning a move from Northern VA to South Florida in April, and although I am really excited, I am scared to death. I will be moving down there alone and leaving my boyfriend back here in VA, and it’s going to be SO hard! We are not breaking up – we had a long distance relationship for many years before I moved here to be with him, and we can do it again – but I know that it’s going to be lonely down there without him, at least until I can make some new friends. I wonder whether I am making the right decision, but I feel that if I don’t go, I will regret it for the rest of my life. I’ve always wanted to live in a warm climate, and every time I’ve ever visited Florida I felt as if it was where I belonged, but it’s still scary doing it all by myself. At least when I moved from NH down to VA 4 years ago, I knew that my boyfriend was here for me. Down there I’ll have no one to rely upon but myself.

      I think you’re doing the right thing for your kids. Chicago is a tough place to raise a family, and I think you’ll probably be better off in Arizona (although I’ve never been to either place, so that’s not really an informed opinion!)

      Just believe in yourself – you’ll be okay. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. :)

      Best of luck to you and your kids, whatever you decide.


      1. Elin,
        Thanks for you words, I extend the same to you, sometimes its good to get away and explore life on your own, thats how you truly find yourself. It sounds like you and your boyfriend will do fine since you’ve already tackled it before. I know how you feel when you go somewhere and it just sticks with you, your heart yearns to be there again.

        I’m just afraid that If I don’t go, i’ll regret it. My heart is has never resided here in Chicago, I’ve never felt welcomed here, its funny to feel like an outsider in your own home town.

        Good luck to you as well, I love Florida myself I’ve been there a few times as well and I’m sure you will have great time and make several new friends. Just do your homework on which areas you would like to reside in. I’ve been doing mine and have narrowed down 3 locations in AZ, I’m headed there next month for a few days and look around.

        Again, Good Luck.

        1. Thanks Janae,

          Sounds like we’re both tackling these big decisions using a similar approach – doing our homework, planning ahead and really thinking things through. Now all we have left to do is execute our plans without allowing ourselves to become paralyzed in fear.

          I know exactly how you feel about not feeling like you belong, even in the area you grew up. I have felt that way most of my life, even with my own family. That’s why I need to make this move. And if it turns out to be a big mistake, it will be mine and I will own it, but at least I won’t spend the rest of my life filled with regret for not having tried.

          You sound like you have a very good head on your shoulders, so no matter what you decide, your children will be fine – they have a good role model!

          Take care, and safe travels –


          1. Elin, tell me in your research efforts have you read reviews on where your going as far as the area. A lot of reviews i’ve read are bashing Arizona and some are positive. But i’m curious as to how you would handle negative reviews. It makes me a bit skeptical at times, but i’m sure Arizona can’t be worse than chicago. Executing the plan seems difficult when reading other peoples thoughts. Maybe I should stop reading them. :)

            Safe travels to you as well.

        2. Hi Janae,

          I have read a TON of reviews of the area where I will be relocating, however I am at an advantage because my cousin is a news reporter there so he has all the inside scoop on the area. :)

          There are a couple of websites that I have found very helpful in researching different areas though –


          I know that Phoenix has its not so nice areas, but I think you’re going to find that no matter where you go. There are some very, very nice areas of AZ too – never been there, but I know several people who live there and they absolutely love it.

          It sounds like you’re doing it right – just keep the faith – you’ll find the right spot for your family, I have no doubt.

          Best of luck to you –


  46. Poor Husband. I decide not to speak about it – it would feel like showing off, but the truth is I’m going to Australia in three months, and I am excited!

    By the time I leave, it will have been two years since I left my home in New Zealand. As Christmas 2011 approached, I became more homesick, but we couldn’t afford to plan a trip back there. It was Mum who came to the rescue and offered to fly me to my brother’s house in Australia, and she would fly to Australia too and spend time with both of her children together. The only problem is she couldn’t afford to pay for two return tickets from the UK, so it’s just me going.

    Understandably, Husband is both a little disappointed to have to remain behind but simultaneously happy for me to get a chance to see my family. Though as the departure date gets closer, he begins to show more fear and doubt. He says things like he would understand if I didn’t come back, or if I find a job while I’m there, then I should stay and he could join me at a later date. Sometimes he just says it straight, “You don’t have to come back. I know you’re not happy here, and I want you to be happy.”

    I try to be as reassuring as possible, “Of course I’m coming back – you’re my husband! Anyway, if I cancel the return flight, I’d have to pay Mum £400, and I don’t have that kind of money, so tough luck! You can’t get rid of me that easily!” I say it to be light-hearted and make him think that my staying in Australia is not an option.

    But internally, I’m not so sure. What if I go, realise how much I’ve missed my family (let alone my friends) and I decide I would rather be heartbroken and near them rather than happily married but lonely?

    Living away from home in this way forces you to be more independent, but there have been tough times when I truly wished I had my best friends to talk to. True, Skype and international call plans helps, but I do miss catching up over coffee (or something something stronger!). I know, because I’ve left the UK before (after not finding employment), that it’s all well and good in the first couple of weeks, but by then, you’ve caught up with everyone, it’s boring, and I missed my life and people in England terribly!

    I’m currently looking into immigration rules for both of us to move to Australia, even if it’s only for two years or so. If we don’t do it, it won’t be the end of the world, but I imagine if we have children, then I will feel very differently.

    It’s about compromise and teamwork. Try things that will benefit both of you and see how it goes. Nothing is permanent, and you can always go back to where you were before. The experience is worth the effort, and you will always have options!

  47. Thank you everyone for posts. It is delightful and comforting reading your stories. Here I am in Melbourne, Australia with a beautiful partner from NZ and we are about to move to Bangladesh for a year. I am excited and eager to learn but I am frightened a little to. I moved to Melbourne ten years ago from Brisbane and never retreated it. A new city opened my eyes to art, culture, politics, people from around the world, food and a beautiful supportive community. I love my friends, I work as a social worker ( community development) so I know and love my community. Then I fell in love with a New Zealander who equally loves her country. We spend a third of our income on flights to NZ and Brisbane. Their is always weddings, 1st birthdays etc. Now we are moving to Bangladesh. Some where so different and far away from home. We have been learning the Bangla language and I am loving it! But nights like tonight I lay awake in my beautiful cottage after a weekend of free music down on the yarra river, bush walk out in the you yang ranges and dinner in china town with awesome friends and I am sad. I love the people in my life. Like someone else posted falling in love with someone from a different country sucks sometimes. Both of you always miss home at some stages. Our adventure will be wonderful, hard, stressful and worth it. We are fortunate good jobs, enough money to make choices. My fear is that both my partner and I love learning, travel and adventure but equally love community, stability and family. Good luck everyone on your journeys, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  48. I am terrified to move away from home. Did it once for college, but my ‘family’ which consists just of my mom pretty much since my sister moved out and got married, keeps moving around and I just know if I leave some other big change will occur leading to more instability. I realize I need my own life but it is just too practical financially to live at home at twentyfive.

    1. i tell everyone not to move out of their parents home unless there is abuse going on. not now. not now financially.

  49. Hi everyone. I have issues and am totally admitting to them! I just got off Skype with my boyfriend who lives in Australian (melbourne) I’m in USA.. NJ). We started an online relationship just about a year ago.. He came here to visit for a week, I went there for 7 weeks..the plan was to go to AU and see how i liked it….. Ws beautiful, we traveled a lot! unfortunately when I arrived there. I learned thy my daughters gift I had purchased before I left fore AU was stolen.. So I had to replace what’s had purchased and send it to the states,, of course nothing in AU is like in the states.. I was lucky to find one of the items, but it was the first indication that I MIT not be able to live there because I’m so use to the way things are here and how I couldn’t find anything that I was use together to make me feel like it was homey feeling…money was different, everything was more expensive, food was different,shopping was different, driving was different.. I learned I was afraid of change…I found fault with everything.. Food too bland, didn’t have my playtex tampons.. Cunldnt find them anywhere. Nothing the same as it is in my grocery store.. So even cooking was gonna be a challenge.. Having to find my favourites all over again with not half the choices I had In USA. And those things weren’t even the brunt of my issues… I have a 17 year old daughter in her last year of high school that doesn’t want to go to Australia at all… Even says not even gonna come visit… Hurt me so bad because I’m a single mother that busted my. Utt for her her whole life giving her what she wanted and needed and I emailed single… Now I’m 40 and I find an awesome man that loves me and would do anything for me ( so I thought) and everyone gives me grief.. My mother tells me if I go I’m abandoning her and my daughter.. How could I leave them. Guilt guilt guilt.. I looked at it like my daughter is offtocollege after this year.. Finally its my turn to be happy. Been struggling so long alone with no one to share life with.. Now my job is done.. It’s time for me.. Is that selfish??? My daughter is more than welcome come there. With me. NO! She says.. Oh well , then ya right? Not so right… That part makes me feel like crap… After a week of being in. AU and not finding the replacement.. I stated I wouldn’t. Be able to I’ve there.. My bf said okay well I’ll move to USA then.. He’s done it before being from England 20 years ago. Lft his mom and brother came to AU to get married…BUT that was 20 years ago.. He delivered pizzas. Struggled…now.. Tonight. He tells me he can’t do the move.. He’s scared of not being able to get a job, car, place to live etc in Texas where he wanted to movebeause of the oil refineries that we’re there.. That’s the field of work he’s in.. Loves his job.. Workaholic ! Yes I know it makes more since for metro to AU. But. Ovine my stuff there.. I’m clueless with the packing and stuff…shipping y dog.. That part gets me really upset!!!!! The whole month in quarantine… Omg. My little dog would freak the hell out. So I guess I m looking to all of you for some advice.. Thoughts… Ideas of how I can make this move and not. Be miserable… I’m not use to major change at all! Scares me big time.. N what aboute my daughter not wanting to come…am I Horrible if I go???? How do I shop with all my online shops that don’t offer silvery to Au?? Smeone please help me… Do I give up the man of my dreams because. I’m so negative and find faults and get guilt from everyone? Or do I suck it up and try and put on my big girl panties and lookatit like an adventure? I’ve tried both ways and the sucking it up stillscAres the hell out of me… HELLLLPPPPP
    Thanks for listening to me vent my issues… Someone solve them now please haha

    1. Hi Kitt,

      Gosh, you must feel torn in a million directions. I married an Australian 10 years ago and we’ve been moving back and forth between countries ever since. First, if possible, I would leave your dog with your Mom or someone else until you’re absolutely sure you want to stay in Australia. Our poor kitty has been moved from from Aus to Canada, back to Aus (with quarantine), and back to Canada. He has cost us an absolute fortune. So, if possible, hold off on your dog’s move until you’re settled and sure you want to stay.

      Your daughter’s reaction is very typical of a 17-year-old. Teenagers are very dramatic and self-centred by nature. She probably feels like you’re abadoning her, and she probably doesn’t like the idea of sharing you with your boyfriend. As long as she’s reassured that she’ll still be #1 in your life she’ll come around (I hope, for your sake). Maybe you could explain your reasoning, and make her feel like she’s giving you permission to go. Then, unless she doesn’t support you going no matter what, she could feel better about your move.

      Also, be prepared for changes, lots of changes. It is another country in a completely different part of the world. I’d say you’ll feel out of your element for about 6 months and it won’t feel like “home” for 1.5-2 years. Australians have a different view of women than Canada or the U.S. – it’s a bit like stepping into the 1950’s in some ways. To put it in persepective, I had a rigorous interview with a state sports organization (that included a presentation to the board and the National Chairman) for a “project-based job”. It turned out I was going to do data entry and answer the phone. When I approached the CEO about my interest in assisting with other projects, he told me “I see your future in the company as the bubbly voice that answers the phone” (so much for my grad studies paying off – sigh!).

      I would say that, from my many moving experiences, the best idea is to do a trial temporary move. Keep as much of your belongings in storage as possible, keep any major assets you own in the US, and go give it a 6-12 month trial. That way you won’t feel trapped if things don’t go as planned, and it’s easier to say goodbye to family if it’s only for a set amount of time (feels less permanent). Australians often say that Americans in Australia mostly complain about what they miss from home. So, try your best to accept that things will be different and may take some getting used to, but if it’s meant to be, it will all work out with some effort on yours and your boyfriend’s part.

      Good luck, all the best!!

  50. Hi guys, it was so great reading all about your experiences and dreams!! I live in Belfast with my wonderful husband (also from Belfast), and we are weeks away from leaving the lovely home we’ve been in for 15 years! We have been working towards this for 3 years, as we went on a round the world trip for 6 months (3 years ago), but only actually saw 3 months of it, as we got bad news from home! There was no question about us NOT going back, but we were both gutted as well, as it cost so much money, time organising etc etc and we were having an absolute ball!! Our next stop before returning home, was to be NZ, and this feeling has never left us to go there, its just somewhere we feel we need to be!! And now 3 years on, we are in the middle of applying for visas for NZ, and leaving our great wee home before we are even accepted! I’ve wanted this for so long, but now its crunch time, im petrified!!! We cld be making such a big mistake, but its like stay and have alot of regret down the line, or just seize life! We are both turning 40 in March, and have been told we won’t be able to have kids, which was devastating, it feels like its now or never, but im getting really scared!! Im sure this is natural isn’t it???

    1. I think being scared is natural, for me if I’m not scared then in some way I am not alive. Just don’t tell too many close aquaintances of the fear or they will try and talk you out of it.

      One semi-regret I have is not following through on something similar to what you two are doing. I was one letter away from moving to Australia several years ago – and I was the one who had to write the letter. I didn’t. Miss not going there, but on the other hand I have been to some really cool places here in Canada.

      Never a mistake by doing something that you wanted to do. May be some financial pain, but that can be recovered.

      Good luck and hope it goes great.


      1. Thanks so much John, its brillant to have positive feedback, as most members of our families, think we’re absolutely mad or they are really upset (my mum is barely talking to me!), but its our time now, and with further strength and bravery, positive thinking i feel we will get there! My husband is very positive, thank god and im the worrier, but im just gonna have to jump the hurdles and stop analysing everything too deeply and sentimentally!! Will keep you all informed of new developments!!!

        1. I think it is exciting what you both are doing. And from other readings remember that it is not that others don’t want you to go, its more that they want you to stay (for them).

        2. Hi Bernadette,

          Great post – I can totally relate to how you’re feeling. I have a 1000 mile relocation coming up in 2 months from Washington DC to Southwest Florida and I am so excited, because I’ve wanted to live there for as long as I can remember, but I’m scared out of my mind too. I am a planner, and I already have so many solid plans in place, but there are still so many unknowns – what if my car breaks down on the way down there? What if I don’t like my new neighbors? What if I get sick or hurt and there’s no one there to help me out? I’m doing my best to drive down all the ‘doubting Thomases’ in my head, but it’s hard not to be scared!

          One of the things I miss about being young and carefree is the carefree part – 20 years ago, I would have packed my bags and hit the road and not have thought twice about it. However the older and wiser I get, the more cautious and less impulsive I become, and I think a big part of me is afraid that if I wait any longer the whole thing will become too overwhelming and I’ll let the opportunity pass me by completely.

          I’ve learned to listen to my gut and trust my instincts, and they’re telling me to go. I’m 48 now, my children are grown and on their own, I have a great job that allows me to work from home anywhere in the world where I can get Internet access, and it just seems like the right time to make this move. Life is just too short, and I don’t want mine to be full of regret.

          One big concern, however, is my boyfriend – I will be leaving him behind. He is deeply rooted here and not willing to make the move with me, and he’s going to be pretty upset with me if I go without him, but I have not ties to this area other than him, and I’m simply not willing to put HIS wants and needs before my own. Selfish? Perhaps a tad, but I’ve made that mistake too many times in the past, and guess who always ended up with the short end of the stick – ME!

          He and I have known each other for about 13 years now, and 9 of them were spent in a long-distance relationship before I moved down from New Hampshire to DC to be with him 4 years ago. We made it work before – we can do it again. And if he isn’t willing to do what it takes to make it work, then I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

          Anyway, I’m getting off point. My point is that I understand how you’re feeling with regard to your family being upset, but I think that once you make the move and everyone sees how happy you are, they’ll realize that it was the right thing to do and come around.

          Hang in there, and enjoy this crazy ride called life!

          Take care, and best of luck to you and your husband –


          1. Thanks so much for your lovely reply Elin, this site has been a revelation to me, and it really is a privilege to talk with like-minded people. I think you’re just right, you have to fulfill your dreams. You have done your bit for your family and done your duty, nobody can throw stones, you are sooo entitled to do what you’re planning!! Hope your boyfriend has a change of heart, maybe once you have gone, he might change his mind, but as you say, if its meant to be, its meant to be!! All the very best for your move, and wishing you all the best!! I’ll definitely keep you up to date, make sure you do the same now!! Take care!!

    2. We just made a similar move to NZ from Canada two weeks ago. I was terrified as well, and I believe this is normal. I was worried about missing family, friends, having thoughts that we were being selfish and worried about how our two young girls would adapt, thinking we were also acting irresponsibly financially etc. In truth, I don’t know how we made it happen given the amount of self-doubt I experienced along the way (my husband was generally more optimistic and focussed on the tasks at hand), but here we are, we made it happen. And, when I think back to the life we left in our small home town, and look out over the Taeiri Plains, I am grateful for having taken action on something that began as a seed of fantasy. We are now in Dunedin and grateful to be here. There continue to be everyday challenges as we settle and in those moments of weakness, some homesickness, but I can honestly say that it couldn’t be any other way. This is part of our journey in life, a step that feels forward moving at the moment. And all we ever have in life is the moment anyway. And – as I was lightly reminded by a dear friend- at the end of this we die. We can’t predict how we will feel in the future, all we can do is trust that we our making the best decisions possible given our current state of knowledge. In case it is of any consolation, remember that you can always make the decision to move back home. To borrow the words of Wolfgang Van Goethe “Whatever you do or dream you can begin it now. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” Fly little birdies fly!!!!!!!!( and let me know how it goes).

      1. Thanks so much Jana, like John, its such a comfort to have positive feedback and encouragement! Im coming round better to the whole thing as each day passes, but do still have the occasional bouts of panic (im a born worrier anyway!!) Im so glad your situation has worked out so well, indeed it is a great thing to follow ur heart and gut instinct, which i put great store in. It seems you and I have the same character, as do our husbands (mine’s is also very positive and raring to go!!), I just have to get over myself and think of the bigger picture, which i try to do all the time, and indeed spread my wings!! Its no bad thing to strive to reach one’s full potential and embrace life with 110% gusto!!! Will keep the blog informed of all developments, and thanks again for your reply!! There’s so many inspirational people on this site and it really has helped me come to terms with our plans and my feelings!!

    3. Im from Belfast aswell been reading this blog for a while now! Im only 20 but after i finish uni I’m wanting to move off to the states. Reason for commenting is just to say thanks as its good to read about what other people are going through i.e. being afraid, worried lol. Gives me an insight and advice on what i should expect! Anyway hope all goes well for you and keep us up to date :)

      1. Hi Francis, thanks very much for your reply love, it really is a class site isn’t it!!! lol, I find it gives hope and a wee bright spark to your day, especially if you’re worrying about things such as these (making big life changes!!!). You are so young, i wish i was your age again, i would do things sooo differently!! Go for it, and see what wonderful things happen, and particularly now, while its easier to get visas etc. Good luck with your studies and examinations!! Indeed, i will keep all informed of our progress (hope its pretty swift and painless!! lol), and make sure you do the same!! All the best for your future plans!

  51. I believe its important, and almost necessary, for one to leave the comfort zone if for no other reason than to explore and grow the self.

    Although I have not accomplished international moves I have moved within Canada from very diverse locales (southern Alberta, northern Alberta and the Arctic). I can honestly say that these moves have all had a hand in creating the person who I am, and who I am proud to be.

    Have realized that I am finding a comfort zone where I presently live, which is a sure sign that it is time for me to consider relocating elsewhere. Presently looking at an opportunity for island living on Canada’s west coast – will see where Fortuna and the winds send me this time.\


    1. Wow, thanks John – that is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m planning a move from Washington DC to Southwest Florida in a couple of months, and the closer it draws near, the more filled with doubt I become about whether I’m doing the right thing. But when I stop and think about all the reasons why I should NOT move, they all include doubts and fears and ‘what ifs’, and it’s all because I’m afraid to leave what has become comfortable and familiar to me.

      You’re right – forcing yourself outside your comfort zone is DOES lead to growth and change, and that’s exactly what I need in my life right now. Change is a scary part of life, but every time I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone in the past, it has always led to new opportunities and new avenues that brought me happiness and fulfullment.

      My gut is telling me to go, and it’s never steered me wrong in the past. I need to keep listening to it and now allow my fear to stop me from growing and learning and living my life.

      Thank you so much – you have no idea how much your words inspired me!

      1. Glad the words can help.

        The ‘what ifs’ are horrid things that prevent us from doing so much with our lives. I realize tho that there is a whole set of ‘what ifs’ that we overlook and those are the ones in our present situation.

        My present relocation consideration is filled with the ‘what ifs’ in regard to whether the job will last, will I fit in and the like. If I look at my present situation as an observer I could ask myself the same questions – will my job last, do I fit in now, etc..

        Sometimes it pays to take a step outside of our own reality and have a good look at the life we are living.

        Good luck with the decisions.


        1. One of the biggest reasons why I’m considering my move is that I feel like I clearly DON’T fit in where I am now. I’ve lived here for 4 years and have absolutely no connection to this area at all.

          I’m also fortunate in that I have a job where I can work from home and all I require is an Internet connection, so I don’t really have to worry about the work thing, at least not in the foreseeable future.

          Most of my doubts and ‘what ifs’ stem from having to leave my boyfriend behind. We have a very strong relationship, but there have been hurdles placed in our path that have prevented us from living together, and after 4 years, I’m not sure I would even want that now because I have come to dislike this area so much. I made some pretty big sacrifices to move down to DC to be with him, and I feel like its just not working out for me here the way I had hoped.

          I’m hoping that he will eventually follow me down there when his situation allows him to do so. We have talked about living down there so many times, but the thing is that I really MEANT it when I said it, and I’m not so sure he did – I think he may have just been telling me what I wanted to hear. My hope is that he will move down to be with me when he can, but my fear is that he won’t, or that he will be so upset with me for leaving that he will not want to continue the relationship. We had a long-distance relationship for several years before I moved down to DC (I used to live in New Hampshire) so we’re both very familiar with how it works. I’m willing to give it a try again, but I’m not so sure about him.

          So what if he isn’t willing to continue a long distance relationship or relocate to be with me? Well, then I guess we weren’t meant to be together after all. I guess that’s the thing that scares me the most – finding out that the love of my life might not be after all.

          1. YOWCH – layering on matters of the heart does complicate things considerably. Maybe a question to the beau is in order, but that could wait until you are mostly confirmed to move.

            As a lifelong bachelor it does make things a tad easier – I only have to load up the cats, dogs and parrot and they don’t complain to their dad (at least not too much). But I do fret about their well-being on any move as I have committed myself to protecting their well-being.

            Good luck with the decision and all I really offer is to be true to yourself – at the end that is all that truly matters.


          2. EM

            Have you got any update as to howlife has transpired in the past 7 months?

            Only asking as it is worthwhile to maintain dialogue and feedback on these types of matters. Have had too many courses / seminars at work where the lessons learned are forgotten within 24 hours as they are not reinforced through the feedback loop.

            Keep us posted.

  52. Hi everyone, I’ve been reading everyone’s post because I too have dreams of hopefully relocating. Most of you guys here have good careers already but for me, I’m still a junior in high school! I’ve been trying to look over how to jump start a career that suits me and hopefully move off to a foreign country and pursue that career even further. Right now I’m located on the east coast of the the States. I’m really leaning towards starting off with military, particularly with the Airforce.

    But the more I think of it, the more I start to wonder if I’ll really get tied down with the Airforce and making a career out of that. My hopes were to get training in a particular field for the Airforce, stay with them for 4-12 years, and then make the big move. It’s all so scary and seems so far off, but the closer I get to senior year and graduation day, I can really see how I do have the opportunity to do this.

    I also wanted to thank you guys for sharing all of your experiences, it’s really cool and neat to here all of the fascinating stories of travelling. Best of luck to everyone!

  53. Wow how wonderful it is to consider the possibility of moving away…I have an opportunity to move from Boston to London for love and following my passion..my boyfriend of 2 years is there and a PhD program that is quite unique is also there, about 30 minutes away, and they have expressed an interest in my work and a willingness to help me get accepted into their program. I love my boyfriend and it has been a long distance relationship with wonderful times, and we are wanting to move in together and really be there with each other every day. He wants a family (marriage and children) and wants this to work out. There isn’t a way he can move here as he has a 10 year old daughter from a previous relationship, so it is upon me to move. I have acquired my Italian citizenship which allows me to live and work in any EU country, the UK/England included so that barrier has been lifted which is wonderful. However the largest issue I have is leaving my 76 year old mother behind here in the US, as she is a diabetic and legally blind, and lives on her own in senior housing. We are very close and I am the only child and my dad died in 1981 and she never remarried. She has few friends as she is a private person, and relies on me for emotional support. She has help in the form of a visiting nurse, deliveries of her groceries and medications, transportation to doctors, a life alert 24/7 on call button, rides around to fun places and social activities, but yet even though she has all of this I am terribly concerned that she will become sick as she has periodically and I will miss the signs because I won’t be there. My mom had a TIA/ministroke a couple of weeks ago and I called her and heard how she was talking and called 911; if I wasn’t there to call her, then what could have happened…don’t even want to consider that.
    I am so torn because I love and want to be with the man in England, and he is committed to me as well. I also love my mother and want her to be well, and feel that if something were to happen to her that it would be my fault for not being there to help/rescue/save/fix her. How do I make peace with leaving to follow my heart without breaking hers?

    1. Wow, Susan, that’s a tough decision – mine pales in comparison to yours. When I moved from NH to Washington DC to be with my boyfriend, both my parents were already gone. I had a tough time leaving my kids behind, but they were grown with lives of their own and doing okay, and 4 years later they’re still fine without me in their daily lives. I still miss them like crazy, but I think its a somewhat natural progression for children and parents to go in different directions. Granted, its usually the kids who leave the parents, not the other way around, but the end result was the same – I ended up living 500 miles away from my kids.

      However if I had an elderly parent to leave behind, my decision would have been much more difficult. My mom was very sick the last couple of years of her life, and she became very dependent on all of us (my two brothers and me). If any one of us left, there still would have been the other two to keep an eye on her, but we all three shared the responsibility together, which made it a lot easier. If I had to go it alone and had been faced with the decision to leave her, I don’t know if I could have done it.

      However I completely understand your desire to go and pursue your dreams and be with the love of your life – that’s precisely what compelled me to leave NH 4 years ago. And although I do not regret one single minute of the last 4 years, things just haven’t worked out here quite the way I had hoped they would, and it’s time for me to move on again. I still love my boyfriend very much and want to continue a long-distance relationship, and perhaps revisit the idea of us living together when his current living situation changes and HE can come to ME, but how all that all plays out remains to be seen.

      I have been agonizing over the decision to leave for months now, and even though my mind is 95% made up, I still vacillate from time to time and don’t think my mind will be fully made up until the moving van pulls up to my house, which will be at the end of April. So I still have some time to waffle, but every day my conviction to follow my passion for a life in a place I was truly meant to be grows ever stronger. I know many people will think I’m being terribly selfish, and that very well may be true, but for once in my life, I WILL be selfish and put whats important to me first. And if I find that it was a mistake a year or two down the road, I’m willing to own that mistake. What I’m NOT willing to do is look back 10 years from now and be filled with regret for not having even tried.

      Don’t listen to your head, don’t listen to your heart – each has their own agenda. Instead, try to listen to what your gut is telling you to do, Susan. No one can make the decision of what is best for you but you. If moving to London to follow your dream and be with your boyfriend is what you truly want to do, you’ll find a way to make it happen. Have some web cams installed in your mom’s house so you can monitor her over the web. That may sound a little extreme, but it will probably help bring you some peace of mind.

      Like I said, its a very tough decision, one that I would have an extreme amount of difficulty in making. But in the end, if you trust in yourself and truly listen to your gut, you will make the right decision.

      I wish you all the best –


    2. Hi Susan,

      My Dad was in a similar situation with his Mother after my Grandfather passed away. She had a few friends, but no other family in the city she was living in. So, he found her a lovely flat in the same town we were living in. She was reluctant to move and leave the city she was in for most of her life. But she quickly adapted to her new home and lived there happily for a bit more than 15 years.

      I was wondering if your Mother would be willing to relocated to the UK with you? Many of my elderly neighbours head to warmer climates for Winter, and Winters in the UK are usually somewhat milder than Boston. I’m not familiar with UK visas, but I know that Canadian and Australian immigration have provisions to sponsor elderly dependants. You have probably already considered this option, but if not, it could be a good compromise for you both.

      All the best with whatever you decide, I’m sure it will work out for the best!

  54. This was a great article and I’m so glad it ended happily! I’ve always wanted to live in Hawaii and today I got offered a job starting immediately. Now that’s it’s a reality I’m so scared! But, I don’t want to live my life saying, “What if?”. I’m a 34 year old teacher who’s divorced with no kids. I’m so close to my family and will miss them tremendously, but I feel like it’s now or never. Has anyone else had a similar experience and how did it end?

    1. My view – relocating is never a bad idea especially looked at over the long run.

      In your case there are likely 10’s of 1000’s of people wanting to relocate to the islands. You get the chance, one of the few, one of the lucky ones.

      How does it end? That is 100% dependent upon your expectations. A new location will not necessarily bring a new life, for you and your internal thoughts are constant even tho the house, the job and the view changes.

      I have moved several times, and likely will always be moving somewhere at some point. Have been lucky to only live in one horrible location, but even that has positive memories – whilst I was there I aquired a pup, and this year she turns 16. So even the negatives have the positives.

      Venture forth and prepare to fill the mind with experiences and memories that will stay with you all ways.


  55. I moved to London from Australia five and a half years ago. I went back to university, had a complete career change, then started working in finance. My plans were originally to transfer to New York for a couple of years. Then I met someone really special in London and everything changed.

    We were together for almost two years, were completely in love, and were convinced we would spend the rest of our lives together. The problem is, we hadn’t thought where – I was born in Belfast, he is French (living in London for around the same time as me), and I didn’t know if I wanted to go back to Australia to be around my immediate family. After years in London, I was really ready for a change.

    So we settled on moving to France to be near his family, with whom he is very close. He had promised them that he would move back in 2012. I started learning the language, met lots of French people, really got into the culture, and was excited yet scared about the move. Having left family many times, I wasn’t fazed at the idea of living in France permanently as I loved it so much.

    As the months went by leading up to ‘the move’, he started to behave strangely and did not want to talk about it. One day I confronted him, and he said that he didn’t want us to move to France – he was worried about having to support the both of us and potentially the family that we one day hoped to have. We both knew that my French wasn’t good enough for me to work in anything like my current job – that level of fluency would take years – and with the economic situation in France he wasn’t sure whether the job he would be able to get would be enough. It felt like my dreams had been crushed. Maybe I had been romanticising the move, but I was willing to take a risk to do something different and to be with him.

    So then I was faced with the prospect of staying in London with him. I had grown tired of the pace here a while back and he was a big part of the reason that I stayed. We went on a brilliant holiday to Australia, where he met my family, and we both loved it. I suggested that maybe we could go to Australia for a year so I could spend a bit of time around my family – I have lived away from home for 17 years. I left it with him and when we were in Dubai on the way home, he said he really loved Australia and wanted to move there with me for a year. i was really excited as it would also give me a chance to see if I wanted to live there permanently again. However, a few weeks later he changed his mind. He said it would be too hard for him to be so far away from his family in France and he thought that if he went to Australia he would never want to leave. I was devastated.

    Thus, being rudderless in terms of where we were going to live, we broke up. Not just because of the living situation, but that was a huge part of it and the stress put a lot of pressure on our relationship. I went back to Australia for Christmas to spend time with my family and I decided I really wanted to be there. I am ready to have my own house and space again, to not be stressed and working 70 hour weeks, for some nice weather, the green, and to see my family and watch the young ones grow up. On returning to London, we tried to patch things up, but I told him I was moving back, and that I would love him to come too. He said he wanted to go back to France for 6 months and then he would decide if he was ready to make the move. I wasn’t very happy with this (although I understood his reasons) and wasn’t sure I wanted to wait around for him for this period, potentially to be told he wasn’t coming and having to go through all the emotions again. So we broke it off finally and he moved out last week. I guess we haven’t totally discounted the prospect that he may come to Australia later, but I just couldn’t go on living in the situation where we knew we would separate eventually. It just felt too sad and like a time-bomb.

    I know this is sounding like an ‘agony aunt’ type of post, but it shows that international relationships are incredibly difficult, challenging, and can be painful. Each person has their own goals, dreams, and path in life, and sometimes having to follow that means that we have to make choices that are devastating. Someone, if not both people, must compromise. But someone always ends up compromising more. I would not have changed the relationship – we had some wonderful times and saw some great places in the world, and I will always be grateful for that. I think that in the future I would definitely give the geographical situation a lot more thought before embarking on such a serious relationship.

    I wish everyone the best in making their decisions. At the end of the day, you have to decide what is right for you, not for anyone else, and if you can live with that decision regardless of what happens.

    Reading the stories above and writing this has made me feel so much better, after a tumultuous and emotional time. So, thanks.

    1. Elodie, what a beautiful post – thank you for sharing. With only a week in your rear view mirror since your boyfriend moved out, I’m sure that the feelings are still very raw and tender. I do admire your courage and your conviction, and your willingness to stand up for what you think is best for you in the long run. That’s how I feel too, but I’m struggling with feelings of guilt over being selfish. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. I know how deeply it’s going to hurt both of us when I load up the moving van and move 1000 miles away in less than 7 weeks, and I’m trying not to think about it, because it may make me change my mind. And then I’ll be stuck living somewhere that makes me very unhappy. And at 48 years old, I really need to stop making those kinds of bad decisions in life.

      Anyway, your words have been very helpful to me. Thank you, Elodie. I wish you the very best in the next chapter of your life.

      1. Em, I think I know how you are feeling. Now that I have made the decision to go back to Australia, I feel sadder about it than I thought I would. Even though I have been fed up with chaotic London for ages, now that I have told friends and colleagues that I’m leaving, I have realised just how much of my life is here and that there are things I will sorely miss, like being able to go to Paris for the weekend and always being able to get a cab on the street! I just have to stick with my decision and know that if I go back and it doesn’t work out, or I get bored, or frustrated, that I can always come back to London.

        I’m going to go travelling in Europe and Asia for a few months on the way back, partly to try and find myself again and recover from the relationship breakdown, and partly to make sure I’ve done most of what I want to do before I settle down. I’ve been going a bit crazy the last couple of weeks – nights out and parties – I think I am trying not to think about the decision too much as I don’t want to change my mind or do the wrong thing. I guess the thing is that you CAN change your mind if you go away and don’t like it. At least we have the option of what we want to do, and there are many people that don’t have these options.

        I’m trying to motivate myself to start packing up the flat, giving away things to charity, arranging mail redirection etc, all the minutae that make up a life and have to be dealt with. I don’t know why I am procrastinating. I am leaving in 7 weeks and I’ve organised absolutely nothing. I really hope I am making the right decision too.

  56. i didn’t shift countries, but shifted states for a killer job offer i had… at the age of 22, in the city of dreams, paying a huge rent for a killer house leading me broke and proud by the end of each month… long ass working hours, smoking, completely different set of new friends… i loved it.
    the only thing that bothered me everytime i came back home was the guilt of not wanting to meet old friends… didn’t want to waste time drinking and being loud anymore, which is stupid to say as that’s all i’d done back home before shifting…
    but yeah, i wouldn’t have done it any other way than i did!

  57. WOW!!! it’s nice to hear positive thoughts from different people sharing their Experiences.. It’s really worth my time reading all of your comments.. anyway, just want to share my two cents worth, no matter where and who you are, where ever you may go.. you just have to keep the POSITIVE VIBES alive!=)

    God Bless You all!!

  58. I’m originally from Vancouver and have been living in Sydney for 9 years! Vancouver is such a beautiful city, I miss it dearly but I have a wonderful husband and 2 gorgeous girls here in Sydney. I guess we are lucky to have the option of being able to live in 2 of the most beautiful cities!

  59. Hi, Peter,

    I enjoy reading your blog and what you write convince me that I’m on a right path of my life. I totally agree with you for the advantages of moving away from our home town: find myself, chase my passion, opportunity to meet new people from diffrent countries, to learn the different cultures and languages…

    You asked a question: “Has anyone else packed up their life and moved away from their home city or town?” So, I felt like answering to your question.

    Yes, I did pack up my life and moved away from my home country, Japan. I did it a few times in my life. At first, I went to Vancouver for a year and returned to my home town because of visa expiration. It was my very first experience to live myself away from my familly and live in another country with speaking in a foreign language.

    4 years later, I went again to Vancouver with my ex husband. We packed up and stayed there for 4 years. One day, as he found a very good job in Tokyo, I had to follow him although going back to japan was not my intention. I wanted to live in Vancouver for good! I didn’t like Tokyo, he didn’t want to live in Vancouver any more (Vancouver is a very nice and beautiful and exciting city, though!!!), so he finally left me.

    After my divorce, I stayed in Tokyo for 6 years to make some economies in order to go back to Vancouver. Tokyo was not my home town and I still don’t consider that Tokyo is my home town. I always wanted to go back to Canada, so I started taking French language classes in order to find a job in Canada (someone told me if I speak French, I will find a better job, but I don’t know if it was true or not).

    I know how we learn a foreign language better and faster: live in the country where the language is spoken! So, why not go to France as I’ve never been to France!

    It was in 2006 that I made a decision to come to France and I moved to France in the same year. I didn’t know this country, I knew nobody, I didn’t speak French as fluently as English. In Tokyo, even though I didn’t like it, I had a nice job, I had some friends and had a relatively happy life. But, I quit my job, I left my appartement, friends…I left them all without regret, just like that. I’m in France for 5 years and a half now and I decided to stay here for good.

    My journey to move around was to fnd a place to be. I came to France all myself. I had no fear and I still enjoy everyday. I feel good here. It is not because France is neither the country of love nor the country of good food. I experience a lot of hard time everyday with the cultural differences, the language, the different way of thinking…but in France, I can be myself, I can do what I want to do, I pursue my dream: pianist! I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do all my life! I’m now pianist accompagnist for a professional bariton of the National Opera House of Lyon and we give concerts regularly. He is my best friend of the world. I was not a professional pianist, I didn’t go to a conservatoire to become one. But my passion to music made my dream come true. I’m not a solo concert pianist, but I relized that I’m a type of person who supports other people like assistant, secretary, etc. So, the pianist accompagnist suits me very well to my personality. If I stayed in Japan or in Canada, this wouldn’t happened to me.

    In order to move away where you are, you need a courage, a motivation, an energy and a timing. Actually, I didn’t really think twice when I decide. I was like “Ok, I’m going”. Some people think that “yeah, that sounds exciting, but I’m too old to do that…” or “what if I screwed up in another country?”. At any age, you can do it if you want to do. I quit and left everything at the age of 38. My job here is suck (I still cannot earn enough wiith music, so I have to have a full time job to make a living), but I can live with it for the music. What I want to say is that it depends on what is important to you in your life and what is happiness to you. I’m 44 now. People who are in 40’s might have a familly, have an important post in a company or are their own boss. When I hear that someone talks about how much he earns every month, or what happened in his yacht last summer, or what happened to his company, etc, I admit that I feel “what am I doing? my life is crap!” If I stayed in Tokyo, I would be able to earn a lot more money than now. I could have bought new clothes and a new pair of shoes every month, I could have made a couple of trips to other countries each year.

    But, there is something you cannot buy.

    I’m very happy what I get and what I’m doing now and I’m very glad about what I’ve done.

    1. Wow, Jasmin Rose, what an AWESOME post. For what its worth, I think you made the right decision by choosing to follow you passions and dreams over money. You’ve proven to yourself that you can do ANYTHING in this world and that you can totally rely upon yourself, no matter what happens. No amount of money can buy that, in my opinion.

  60. I think moving away has definitely it’s place. I moved from my old neighbourhood to a better borough and then into one of the better places in that borough. But…It is still going downhill like many London Boroughs and our once very affluent area is still good, but show’s signs of decay.

    With that in mind; when Hubby and I manage to buy our current flat we will be moving out west, not too far but far enough from London, to raise our future children in a much safer environment. Plus we both welcome the change; a slower pace of life, cleaner, greener but still close enough to familiarity.

    I have no ties really, I make friends easily and I’ll still be near enough o my parents.

    Moving can be the best thing ever x:)

  61. iam seriously thinking of moveing away with my son iam a single mother i know it a huge move but i want this move so much but would love to know has anyone done this on their own with child my child is 9 we live in ireland but i would love to move to sydney in the next3 years realistically i want to wait till he finishes national school here

  62. Hi folks, just thought id drop a few lines to let you all know what’s happening. We have now sold our house and have already moved out over a week!! Its all still very strange and sad, but i know the rawness of this move will lighten and we can move forward with our other plans for NZ!! It was nearly like a death, very traumatic indeed. I feel now that i will never live in one place for that long again (15 years!!), it broke my heart leaving!! But 10 days on, that horrible feeling is beginning to lessen alittle, although i do still get bouts of panic and self-doubt, i imagine thats only to be expected!! We are now at the ‘have to get a job before we are accepted stage’!! But with hope in out hearts, hard graft and positive thinking, hopefully these will steer us to our ultimate goal!! Fingers and toes crossed for the coming months!! Thanks for listening and reading!! x

  63. Hi everyone! I think I made a HUGE mistake by moving to Orlando from Chicago. The only thing I like about living here is the weather. I don’t like the grocery stores, shopping malls, long drives to run errands, the annoying tourists, the limited job offers, and the people. I can’t adjust to this place at all. I don’t feel like I live in a normal community or neighborhood. Most of my neighbors are snowbirds, so I only see them in the winter. I can’t find a decent man to date for the life of me! Most men I meet are drifters, starving entertainers, tourists, or unemployed and living with 3 roommates. I miss my family members and friends. I truly miss Chicago and now I see how good I had it there, other than the lousy winters. I want to move back, but now I own a townhome here in Orlando and I don’t have a place to live in Chicago. I can’t move back with my mother or sisters. I even thought about moving back with my ex husband, but that can’t work. I don’t know what to do. Should I wait and try to adjust here or should I just bite the bullet and get out! How long does it take to adjust to a new state? Is FL even worth wasting my life in? I need some advice please!

    1. Advice: Quit comparing Orland to Chicago.

      They are different. Embrace and explore your new home.

      How long have you been there?

      Waiting will not help if the mind does not change. It is not about adjusting its about finding your place in the new city. It exists. Get out and find it.


      1. I’m with John on this – you need to be willing to give it a chance. I moved from New Hampshire to Washington DC 4 years ago. I gave it chance and decided it wasn’t for me, and now I’m moving to Ft Myers, FL. Don’t consider it a waste of your life. Even if it turns out that you don’t intend to spend the rest of your life there, embrace your new surroundings as much as you can while you’re there and experience everything you can. If you end up going back to Chicago, so be it, but don’t just sit around waiting for things to get better in Orlando – make it happen. Because if you give up on it too soon and realize later that it may not have been as bad as you thought, you’ll regret it.

        How long have you been in Orlando?

        1. hello all,
          I have been reading all the posts and agree with all the advice that has been provided. Now I find myself in need of advice. My situation is not like the ones already posted. I am a 46 year old female with husband and 23 year old. My issues is I want to move from the small backward gossipy town that we currently live in to something a little bigger. I come from military family so moving itself is not the issue. Getting husband to see possibilities that are associated with moving to slightly larger town is the problem ( child wants to move to so would probably go with me/us as he
          hates it here too). I must say that there are not a lot of employment oppertunities where we live and things to do require personal vehicle and money to participate (no mass transit & free things unless you like to be outdoors). My husband doesn’t abuse me, we get along and have good time together, all if his family & friends are here, my family is scattered alng the east coast. So what do I do? Follow my heart and live where I may not make a lot of money but where I’ll be happier or stay with my husband and continue doing the same job (not a bad job, great boss), living in an area I TRUELY cannot stand. Its tough getting up and going to work/coming home everyday. Any insite will be helpful. I apologize for the length of the post.

  64. This is such a great blog! I thought I would share my experience as well.

    I moved to Calgary fresh out of university to find employment in 2006. It has never really felt like ‘home’. After having enough of this place I decided to move to England back in October by myself and loved every minute of it. I felt free. Originally from Newfoundland it felt more like home than Calgary every did. I loved the history, old buildings, countryside, ease of travel, my list could go on….Unfortunately after 3 months of not being able to find a full-time job and having others opinions that coming back home would be the right thing to do – I came back. My gut was telling me not to leave and I knew as soon as I got to the airport I had made the wrong decision. I have been miserable ever since. Before I always had the hope that I could leave which is what kept my spirits up. But now having such a great experience in another country and having that taken away I feel like a part of me has died. I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures and being here I feel like the energy is sucked out of me. I would love to have the oportunity to go back. I felt like I had started to come into my own, experience new things and really enjoy life. I guess there are always memories….

  65. Hi Peter and Friends,

    It’s great to read about expats living abroad

    I came to Canada on a two year working visa from Australia expecting good times and to eventually move back.

    In the process I met the girl of my dreams, not hard considering down to earth and beautiful Canadian girls are and settled in. I’m now applying for a visa extension but after that expires I have some big decisions to make.

    I’ve made good friends, have secured a great job and really love the city I work in. The problem is my family is on the complete opposite side of the world and I think long term Australia has more opportunities and is a better place to raise kids. I can’t really see my girl leaving her family either and if she did I’m not convinced she would be happy.

    I’ve got a very tough decision to make in a few years and the thought even now makes me sick.

    Your blog and everyone’s subsequent posts have helped me see it is possible to live abroad long term for the right reasons, I just hope that when decision time comes I have the courage and wisdom to make the right decision.

  66. Thanks for the jewel, Peter.

    I am in the process of moving to Port Douglas (Australia) from Jacksonville, FL. Having been to Oz many times for business and the associations it brings, I ended up living there in 2006 for about a year pursuing the wrong romantic relationship. Regardless, I always felt a comfortableness in my soul there, a feeling of “home”, regardless of romance. I returned to the US in 2007 and and struggled the entire time, being out of balance with where I truly wanted to be and where I was located geographically (as I am still evolving spiritually, a master could be comfortable anywhere one finds oneself….) and I finally reached a breaking point and stated, internally and externally, that I need to return to where I had my piece of peace.

    So, I sold everything I had been keeping in storage up in Chicago, reduced the clutter and unnecessary attachments to many physical things I once cherished, arranged accommodations and will be returning with the goal of obtaining a long term visa and pursuing a culinary career I have been putting off for over 30 years (a related post from you about one’s life purpose closed the deal completely).

    Thanks for the motivation and insights that act as beacons in lighthouses when one is in strange waters. Blessings to you and your family..

  67. Hi everyone,

    I’m facing a difficult decision at the moment and I’m really unsure of what to do. I grew up in Brisbane, Australia (I’m now 20) with both Australian and Canadian citizenship. I am 2 years into my dual degree of Journalism and Arts majoring in Film and TV in Brisbane. In June of this year, my whole family and I came over to Canada (Toronto GTA) for 6 months to decide whether we wanted to live here permanently. All it has done is confuse me! Since I’m studying in Brisbane, I have something tying me there, but the thought of going back there and getting back to my normal boring life fills me with dread, but a calmness that comes from familiarity I guess.

    The other thing playing on my mind is that Canada offers a lot more in the film sector, but it means I’ll have to basically start all over again with my uni, as some of the unis here will only offer me up to 50% of the credits I’ve earned from my dual degree. And I’ll have to start from scratch and that scares me!

    I am really stuck! Both options seem scary to me!

    If anyone has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

    1. Advice – change your attitude and how you view your reality.

      You are 20, you have your whole life ahead of you. I assume that you have 2 or 3 years left to complete your degrees in Brisbane, or 3 or 4 to complete them in Toronto. The difference is one year. The money / time for that one year is immaterial when you get to a point later in life (50 ish) when you reflect on all you have done.

      Spending money / time getting more education in a place you want to be is not a negative. It is an investment in yourself and your future. Do it if it will allow you to live the life you want.

      Either option is a winner. Either option will open a multitude of opportunities for you to follow. Both countries are awesome. Make a decision and get on with the next phase in life. Regrets come later in life and they come from not doing something you want to do.

      One negative with Toronto vs Brisbane – Toronto does get a bit of winter. Not to the degree that most of the rest of Canada experiences, but it will be different than Brisbane.

      The decision is yours. Peace within comes from making decisions. Happiness within comes from what you do with your decisions.


    2. Hi Elle,

      I can relate to your situation. I was going to uni in London, Ontario (Western’s a pretty school, you should check it out), and after I completed my first year I moved to Brisbane, Australia. My family is in Canada, but I had always wanted to live in Australia. And I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I graduated, so I figured living there would help me decide. I studied at college when I was there, but my first full-time boss told me I was wasting my potential and offered to help me finish uni (paid time off, help with tuition, etc.).

      But, like you, most of the courses I had completed couldn’t be transferred. And, as I wasn’t an Australia citizen yet, my tuition for one year in Australia would be more than my entire degree in Canada. So, the decision for me was easy since I couldn’t afford to complete uni as an international student in Australia.

      So, I guess my experience doesn’t help much with your decision. But I agree with John, a year or two may seem like ages at this point, but if it’s to do something you really want to do, you’ll be glad you took the extra time later on. Some other things to consider:
      1) Are there exchange options from your uni? That may be a compromise that could work.
      2) Have a look at jobs that appeal to you in your industry in both countries, and see what the requirements are. Some of my friends work in film and television, and there are often unpaid interships and expensive courses to complete before you can join the union and have access to jobs. These may be easier to do if you have the option of living with family.
      3) Try your best to make your decision by following your heart and not based on fear. It may help to make a list of pros and cons for both options, but eliminate any pros and cons that are based on fear. You will always make the best decisions for yourself if you do what you truly want – even if it’s the more challenging or scary option. And remember, studying is just one short phase of life, once you finish school, you can live wherever you want – especially if you’re working in an industry that encourages world experience. I have a friend who works in your industry who has lived in LA, Vancouver, NYC, Prague, Toronto, Texas, Mexico (and that’s just in past 5 years) – he follows his passion and goes where work takes him. Such an exciting life you have in front of you – enjoy every minute!!

      It sounds like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, whatever decision you make, I’m sure you’ll be fine and you’ll make the most of it :o)

  68. It will be interesting to see how Peter feels when his boys move away from him…. Will he like that? Plus the other current young people who are so excited to move away from family and then their kids can’t wait to get away from them in the future…..

    Family is the foundation to any society. Nothing wrong with being close to family. Traveling is always an option. I can’t imagine leaving my family, but they have always respected me and let me make my own decisions, hence I have never felt the need to get away from them. I have been blessed. We travel to get our “fix” for something different but love being home with family. You don’t know how important they are until they are gone.

    I’m probably different in that there’s no ego involved or a need to prove anything by moving far away and telling family GOODBYE.

    1. Completely missing the point, actually quite a nasty post.

      Everytime someone tells me “I could never move away from my family I/we love eachother too much”.

      I respond with “My parents love me enough to want me to be happy and put that ahead of their own happniess”.

      In today’s age it’s not a case of moving away forever and never seeing family members again, yes your going to see them less but the time you do see them will be absolute quality.

      In the two years abroad I’ve got to know my parents better than while I was living down the road. Instead of going around for weekly dinners and the same conversation we are now travelling together and getting to know eachother as adults.

      It’s not a perfect situation but nothing is.

  69. This is a topic that always comes to mind for me. I always wanted to move away to Boston, but family keeps me else where. Yes, I am holding back on something I want to do, but will I really be happy in Boston without the people that make me the happiest and that I can’t be without?

  70. This is a well-written article on the reasons that you should move away. When working with clients, I will often challenge them when the focus on wanting to move, but that is because I don’t want them to think that moving solves everything. However, moving can have its obvious benefits.

  71. Thanks Peter for this lovely article ! I was looking for an advice and came across this article

    .. Just like anybody else im afraid of moving away from my family , im only 17 and i have to

    move away for college next year , and it’s scaring me to death ! I do have my aunts and

    grandmas there , but im not very close to them because we ( my parents and i ) have always

    lived away plus i love my life here ( my parents , my friends , people are really nice here .. etc.)

    .. And im very close to my mom since im the only daughter among 3 brothers , she’s my bestfriend .

    This will be the first time to be away from my parents .. I just don’t know what to do ! :(

  72. I’m wondering if anyone else ever thinks that certain places may just be not the greatest for some people. I am considering leaving Colorado for good finally. The two times I have lived here, I’ve been the most unhappy I’ve ever been though there is a lot going on here for me to get involved in. But I’ve had some really emotionally and physically wrenching experiences here and the place sort of haunts me a bit and I’ve never felt more alone though I know a lot of people. Also, the dry air and the altitude may not be good for me. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibro to a certain degree and I’ve never felt so tired out in one place – maybe the pollution of Denver gets to me. But for the longest time I’ve just felt weird here – like I’m always socially and emotionally on the fringes somehow. And I’ve had more shocking experiences with people being completely unfair, shady, and unkind to me than even when I lived in Los Angeles and a few other places.

    So, I am packing things up and going in search of home again. First to Montana, then to Michigan. I have family in both places and who knows where else. Sometimes it just feels right to get away from old associations that once place holds for a person.

  73. I read this article again and focused more on what you said about “chasing your passion.” I made it to Montana but realize that this is a place that does not hold enough for me in terms of my passion and that I need to be somewhat closer to larger metropolis area that supports the type of performance art I do. I am now thinking about looking outside of the country as well. I will spend some time putting what I do artistically out there online as well and see what comes of it. Been meaning to do that for a while. Taking my time in Montana to do that. Everywhere has it’s pluses and minuses and I guess it is how you make all of those things work for you that matters in terms of a longer term or even shorter term vision.

  74. I just stumbled upon this article this morning because I’m thinking about getting a fresh start somewhere like Roanoke, VA or somewhere else very scenic, but close knit. I’m currently living in Miami, FL. The problem is that I’m in school right now and I don’t know whether I want to change universities. Also, I don’t know if I want to leave someone behind. We just recently got involved. It’s still in a bit of a sensitive stage, so naturally I’m not jumping at the opportunity to leave. I know that I should go, I’m just finding it hard to accept the fact that I could be leaving a loved one behind. Also, what are some tips for planning the trip and actually leaving?

  75. Hello everyone,
    Reading all these posts are inspiring! I like everyone else had a big move. I moved from Nebraska to Miami, I originally moved to Miami to model and act and realized I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It’s a lot of hours sitting around with little pay and everyone is fighting for some camera time, but in the midst of it all I met a guy that opened my eyes to see the world differently and keep an open mind. I was struggling to pay rent with other models I was living with, so he offered to let me stay with his family and he has helped me try to get a regular job and keep me stable and after a few months we began dating. The thing is I’m always thinking about my parents, sister, friends all back in NE and they are all trying to get me back home. My parents see that I’m living with a guy and his family and I’m not making enough money to support myself even though my boyfriend and I help each other. My boyfriend and I had plans on making a lot of money investing and getting a place of our own and he is very smart and handy. Sometimes I’m scared because I don’t know how I’m going to end up and if I went back home I’m afraid things won’t be the same with my friends and my parents will want to control everything in my life. I feel free here, but kind of isolated. I’m always torn whether I should stay here( I’ve been here for 8 months) or go back home to reunite with everyone so we don’t drift apart, but I don’t want my boyfriend to be alone and he most definitely will not move to Nebraska. Any advice for me out there?

  76. Hello, everyone,
    First of all, let me say I really appreciated reading your experiences and tips and tears. I have been married for six years now. My husband and I had to work our way through in life, as it seems, everybody else here has. We live in Brazil.

    Ever since we got married, we moved a lot within the country. We are getting ready to move away. There are so many reasons why we want to! Being a qualified health professional here in Brazil can be very, very frustrating. Your knowledge is trashed away, as you cannot beat the system. You just can’t beat the system. Also, the way things work in schools here (we want kids – in fact, we are going through the adoption process). Chances for better post graduation and careers… New environment.

    But in fact, our greatest motivation is to have a chance of a normal regular life, where you are not constantly worried about being robbed, where the money you make, although not big, is enough to make ends meet. Where you can raise your kids in the environment you think they should be raised.

    We are at the “research” stage. Looking for living costs (Australia, Canada, England), as well as post grad costs. So far, Bristol (UK) seems the most affordable possibility We are specially concerned about how people deal with foreigners from third world countries. I worked with foreign health professionals here in Brazil for years. Sometimes, people just take for granted you are not as good a nurse, simple because you were not educated there. It is funny. And so not true! ;-)

    We both come from very broken families, which we left behind when we got married. So, I hope that being family sick won’t be that much of a problem. We do not have a set date or place to go, we just know we will move away. If everything works well, within a year.

  77. I posted on here a couple of years ago about not being able to move to Canada because of missing family. Since then I have moved to Canada seven months ago, I met a Canadian man fell in love and made the move…two months into the move, he told me he did not feel same way and walked out of my life. I should have come home then, as I was devastated and alone but I decided to keep trying and stuck it out another five months until now….Now I just want to go home to be closer to family, I miss them so much and talking on Skype just is not enough…(my dad tells me not to come back to the uk for them) but I also have a relatively decent job in the UK (I took a years sabbatical) and I don’t want to give this up. My issue now is that I love Nova Scotia, Canada and the area I live near the lakes and ocean, but I don’t like working here. I am happy when I am not working/day off or weekends and can just enjoy the outdoors, but I have just been offered another job and my gut reaction is that I want to move back home, I miss family so much and the homesickness is not getting any better….if anything it is getting worse. I just don’t know what the right decision is anymore, my heart wants to go home and my heart also wants to live where the beautiful scenery is….so torn. I should be so grateful and happy having all the opportunities, but all I can think about is family

  78. I posted on here a couple of years ago about not being able to move to Canada because of missing family. Since then I have moved to Canada seven months ago, I met a Canadian man fell in love and made the move…two months into the move, he told me he did not feel same way and walked out of my life. I should have come home then, as I was devastated and alone but I decided to keep trying and stuck it out another five months until now….Now I just want to go home to be closer to family, I miss them so much and talking on Skype just is not enough…(my dad tells me not to come back to the uk for them) but I also have a relatively decent job in the UK (I took a years sabbatical) and I don’t want to give this up. My issue now is that I love Nova Scotia, Canada and the area I live near the lakes and ocean, but I don’t like working here. I am happy when I am not working/day off or weekends and can just enjoy the outdoors, but I have just been offered another job and my gut reaction is that I want to move back home, I miss family so much and the homesickness is not getting any better….if anything it is getting worse. I just don’t know what the right decision is anymore, my heart wants to go home and my heart also wants to live where the beautiful scenery is….so torn. I should be so grateful and happy having all the opportunities and I am very grateful, but all I can think about is family and I am so lonely and cannot stop crying. I want my family and my old life back, I don’t think moving back will be quite the same and I know I will miss aspects of living here, so so torn and mixed up

  79. Great post! It’s so true, moving brings so many opportunities that you’d never otherwise experience if you didn’t take that chance. I went to London for a job, and I’ve never regretted it since (relied on many friends and family and even services like http://www.amanwithavanlondon.co.uk/). Now I just have to dare to make that next step of moving abroad and living there for a few years… I’m thinking of Japan!

  80. Peter, I really like this blog. Perhaps you can give me some advice?

    I am trying to decide if I should re-locate to Rhode Island alone, without friends or family. There is a job opportunity there with an excellent company. Here’s the thing- I think I value my emotional needs above the long term growth that would come from re-locating by myself. I was engaged to be married several months ago, and 6 weeks before the wedding my fiancé called it off. We’d been together for 4 years, and he decided that he wasn’t ready to settle down, nor did he want a routine and responsible family life. We had a rough relationship, but I was prepared to be with him “for better or for worse”. He had been a drug addict, had been in the psych ward of the mental hospital, was an artist and writer, was bi-polar, and the list goes on…people always told me I was like his angel who kept him down-to-earth with a 9-5 job and actually having a good relationship with his family for the first time in many years. What they didn’t realize is that it gave me great joy to do things for him, because even if I was stressed or tired, I wanted to make things better for him. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him because I felt it was meant to be. When we broke up I was devastated. I still get depressed over it to some extent. There were definitely bad mornings when I’d eat fried chicken in bed at 10am and cry. :-/ But then I met someone new! Way faster than I had intended. He’s wonderful- and is very good to me. He opens the door for me, helps put my coat on, brings me coffee in bed, and all sorts of chivalrous things. He listens to me when I talk. He is the kind of guy who asks women (one pregnant and one elderly) during the Superbowl game if he can get them a glass of water, even though he’s a football fan and wouldn’t be able to see the tv if he did that. He’s the kind of guy who shovels the neighbors driveway too when it snows. This is the kind of man I want to introduce to my brother and dad. He is so thoughtful. I’m used to doing everything (cooking, laundry, etc) for another person, and had forgotten what it feels like to have someone else do little things that illustrate that they appreciate and cherish me. We have so much in common and seem to want the same things in life. Granted, I’ve only known him for 9 weeks. Then again, I don’t know him extremely well yet. (Within 1 year of my parents first date, they were married with a baby, and all of those decisions were planned. People really can fall in love quickly when it’s “the one”, right?) I’m worried I am going to make the worst decision of my life if I move to Rhode Island. Is it necessary to find yourself, like the cliche saying goes. Maybe it will be harder to stay in my hometown of Denver, Colorado and live near things of the past, with constant reminders of old memories. I’m worried I’ll be a fool who lets go of an honest relationship, just to move for a job. What I want most in life is a future to build with someone else, and a mortgage and kids and….the stability of a relationship that is faithful, committed, and shared. My ex and I couldn’t compromise on the colour of bathroom towels for our wedding registry. He would often be rude to people. In 4 years of being together he never did something as sweet as bringing me a loaf of bread on a date so that we could feed the ducks at sunset…but this new guy does! Also, he’s the only person I’ve ever kissed where its like there’s fireworks or violins in the background. It feels so right when he holds me. Please help me make a decision. A lot of people don’t relocate alone. I also don’t want to hurt this new guy, because he really likes me and has told me that he has fallen in love and wants a future with me. He also isn’t dating for fun, but to meet a partner. We met on match.com, and ironically we weren’t even matched up, he looked through hundreds of profiles before contacting me.

    I know I am a stranger, but maybe you could give me a few sage words? You have a wife and two kids, a job that you seem to like, and you’ve relocated to a large city. I want all of those things so badly! Should I re-locate for the job? What would you do, Peter? Should I stay to be in a relationship with the first guy I’ve met who I feel so secure and safe with? Would I be a fool to leave behind something like that? What if I don’t find “the one” in Rhode Island. What if I am lonely there? Do I really need “the freedom to find myself”?

  81. I know it’s been a long time since you wrote this article, but I was wondering if you could give me some advice. My partner and I are planning to move to Guam in a year, next summer, and we will both be 21 by that time. I recently move 3 states away from my family about 7 months ago and my mom is still upset and constantly asking when I’ll be moving back home. I don’t know how to tell them now that we will be moving a days flight away in just over a year. Any advice on how to handle this?

  82. I moved away from my hometown in Eastern North Carolina almost two years ago. I am an educator, and N.C. was rough on educators. I now teach and live in Vietnam. I’ m learning Vietnamese and broadening my horizons in ways I never thought possible.
    Moving away was the best decision I have made in many years.
    I’m single and fifty-four. I cared for my Mother for five years until she died in 2011. I am an only child. Have dreamed of living abroad since I was in my early twenties, but never able to do it, until recently. My health has greatly improved here.My blood pressure and blood sugar levels are all down!This has been a great move!

  83. My situation falls in perfectly with everyone else’s. I currently live in Chicago and have family in Atlanta. I am 22 years old and have been with my boyfriend for about 2 and a half years. I originally moved to Chicago to start college since my parents had given me that choice to do my studies in Atlanta or Chicago, so Chicago I chose. After 2 months of living there, I met my boyfriend of 34 years old. We’ve had a rollercoaster of a relationship but he has taught me so much. Now, my current situation is that I am considering moving back to Atlanta and living with my parents, and starting all over. Since I moved to Chicago, I haven’t done any education and financially hasn’t been the best for me. I want to move back home, save up and get a place near my parents but at the same time, I don’t want to have any regrets with my boyfriend who loves me dearly. Why I even came up with this question is because just two days ago, my bf and I had a fight and he said that I should stay in Atlanta and not come back, and for some reason I felt like he really meant it. Fast forward two days and everything is fine between us, but I have a trip coming up for Atlanta in 3 days. So now, I am really considering if I should return to Chicago or just stay in Atlanta?

  84. Fantastic article. Moving is always a hard task. If you are born in a small town it is inevitable to move to bigger one. In my opinion you are going to need 40 days to adapt. This is not soooo much time. Best regards!

  85. I am moving to Toronto in the new year. I have had just about enough of Warsaw and I am sick of Eastern Europe. I have never felt so alone before in my life and after nearly 4 years living here I miss western culture, I miss diversity. I am sick of all this poverty and boredom. I know that I will have a much better time and a career in Canada. I need to be surrounded by creativity. I am tired of being a lone wolf. I have been it for too long. And I want to find a place where I belong.

  86. No one will likely read this but here goes nothing!!
    We moved away from extended family PA to AZ for 11 years. My 13 yr old at the time hated it though she managed and made good friends eventually. She chose to attend graduate school back in PA. We followed, more from worry over plummeting housing prices in Az and wanting to lock in our gains also our families kept bugging us to come back – especially mine, than from any true homesickness of any kind. We returned to PA 8 years ago. The first year was wonderful. About 13 months in I had to face it that my spouse and I both hate it here. Especially the weather but also the family stuff. My side of family love fest didn’t last. My sister is odd and her kids all seem to loathe or be jealous of each other and so we rarely all get together and when we do I feel like it’s very strained and awkward.
    We also have zero in common with either family. My inlaw family are very very nice people ( spouse is one of 4 and three now live in pa and within an hour) and we get together a lot for all the holidays. We have NOTHING in common with any of them however either. We feel like fish out of water and I am starting to lash out at their ignorance ( they love reality TV, sports, never travel etc) of anything we are interested in or value. Holidays with them are so boring sometimes I go into the powder room to do a silent scream of frustration. They are religious and we are and always have been atheists which is weird as well as God is always constantly talked about or referred to.
    We felt far more nostalgic and loving towards them all when we lived 2000 miles away and visited every three or four years. We plan on moving back to Az( we are now 59 and 61) next year but our daughter who now is a tenured professor and recently married( and so is happily ‘stuck’in her dream job) is throwing a hissy fit that we are leaving just as she will hopefully finally be starting a family. I always told her I would be her ‘nanny’ but the past few years we decided I have no interest for that anymore. We just flat out do not want to be caregivers for her children -my spouse is still working and traveling for business and I am frankly long over the mothering thing( daughter is 34 now I would have happily been caregiver for grands 10 years ago). Instead We want to hike and birdwatch and not babysit every week, deal with snow and ice and rain and cold most of the year. We want to live in sunshine( how I miss it…) with no seasonal yard to keep or cold weather clothes.
    We should never have second guessed our decision to move to AZ and moved back.
    If you like your location and have a lot of reasons to stay( not obligations but enjoyment and convenience factors) you ought to stay. Just accept your feelings of missing out on family events and holidays. It is a small price to pay for sanity and the joy of living your own life without having to face raised eyebrows and questions of ‘why do you ever want to dothat?’
    Back in your original ‘home’ all the same aggravating circumstances will still be there – don’t kid yourself they won’t. Things do not improve overall even if some players are deceased . Move far away, visit once a year and send pix and skype. Distance makes for happy people. Maybe not true for everyone but please give it very careful, and honest thought ….

    1. Worthwhile reading. I am 69 . . . some what older than most on this blog. Many issues related to family have resolved themselves. We have modest money, but we can go where we want. Travel, yes, but how far from acceptable medical facilities? So why move? Job? no Family? no change of climate? No Most everywhere has hot summers and cold winters. A different timeshare every month?
      In reply to your stories, stop third guessing you second guesses. All you mention gets easier with time, yet there are still challenges aplenty. Look ahead, not nehind.

  87. My family is hopefully moving to Ireland in a few weeks and we are all full of mixed emotions. Excitement, nerves and hope. We will be leaving all our family behind but the move would enable our family to have a better life as my little sister would be able to have her own room finally. We would also have the money to allow my parents to set up a business but going to another country without a job or certainty that everything will work out is very unnerving.

  88. The points you made in this article completely coincide with how I feel as well! I also loved reading the little update several years later letting your readers know that you are still doing well. This is definitely motivational for anybody that wants to take that kind of leap in their life!

  89. I have definitely moved away from my home city. While at first I was unsure as to whether or not it was the correct move, in reflection I know it was the best choice I ever made. I will say that I have since moved back to my home city but that is besides the point.

    While away, my wife and I were able to shed the influence from our family and friends, as mean as that sounds. We only had each other and this brought us closer together than we had ever experienced. Our time away allowed us to find ourselves and figure out exactly what the two of us were looking for in life.

    If I asked if it was worth it or not, I emphatically answer, “YES”

  90. 3 words: Beautiful. Uplifting. Motivating.
    Spent awhile believing that I would never go anywhere far from where I live but know that I would want to this definitely gave me that push I needed. Thankyou

  91. Hi Krin,

    Thanks for your interest in contributing to this site. You can reach me at: peter [at] possibilitychange.com

    I look forward to reading your guest post.


  92. My situation is a bit different and I would welcome any comments. I live in the house I grew up in on family land but all the other family is gone now and the neighborhood has turned toxic to me. I’ve had to grow up here, neighbors have shunned me for my rejection of this small town, provincial, it’s-OK-to-foul-the-earth attitude. As long as I pretended to be like them it was okay, but as I matured and began to live more authentically and openly question their practices and stand up to the neighborhood self-proclaimed patriarch things got a bit nasty. I am 57 years old, never married, childless, and I feel stuck here and trapped. I want to create a sanctuary somewhere else but am afraid of change and of regret. It isn’t the house so much as the land I’m connected to! I worry about what will become of the creatures and plants who made their home here with me and are protected here.

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