Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lessons :: What Should I Know Before Moving Across the Country?

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Alysia asks:

"I'm planning on moving to Denver in the spring and I was wondering if you had any advice for someone moving across the country to a new city. I tried to search on your blog for any posts about it but didn't find anything specific.

Basically I don't really know anything or anyone in Denver besides a few people so I'm kind of freaking out about it, is there anything you wish you'd known before moving that you know now?


First off, congrats on your move!! I've never been to Denver, but I've heard great things.

My response to this question kinda depends on your situation. Will you be living alone, or do you have a roommate in mind? I don't know what the cost of living is there, but I would recommend finding a roommate, whether it's someone you already know or don't -- that way, regardless of the money, you won't feel as lonely in a new city, and you'll have a better chance of making new friends. If you've had bad roomie experiences in the past (which I have), try finding someone who's different than the roommates you've had -- like, if you've always lived with girls maybe try to live with guys, move in with someone older, etc. There are pros and cons and stereotypes for every type of person, so try to keep an open mind and decide what's most important to you. Bottom line though, I definitely think you should have your living situation figured out before you get there -- know where you're living and with whom, how much it's going to cost and what your budget should be for your first few months there. Oh, and if you're creeped out by Craigslist, try a website like,, or which generally do background checks and weed out the weirdos.

Do you have a job lined up? If not, start applying now. You should move out there either way, but at least try to find a few options before you go. I scoped out tons of jobs after college, and the first week I moved out to LA I was already able to schedule a few interviews. I didn't have anything concrete, but at least I was somewhat prepared. I was lucky enough to land a job within a month of moving here. I'm not sure what kind of work you're doing right now, but if you haven't found a job yet in Denver, I would suggest finding anything you can just to get you by for the first few months, so that you don't go totally broke and are forced to move back. Don't worry about whether or not it's your dream job, because you can always quit and find something else. I know so many people that were afraid to do something they didn't want to, so they did nothing, and they had to move back to Michigan. We should all feel confident and entitled to land our dream careers, but if it doesn't happen right away, you might have to get something else going in the meantime, which is totally fine.

If you're worried about meeting new people, a boyfriend, etc you just need to put yourself out there as much as possible. Most of my friends were made through work or mutual friends, but you can also join a gym, a club, etc. There are tons of opportunities in big cities, for all kinds of people and interests. If it doesn't work out with one friend or boyfriend, there are plenty of fish in the sea. That's what's so magical about moving out of a small town. There's thousands of people you don't know who you could click with. You could even join dating sites if you want (I tried it for awhile, didn't work out for me but I know some people that are married because of it) or just google interesting events in your area and show up solo. When I was single for two years, I did tons of stuff by myself (church, dinner, etc) and it was a blast. I really loved being independent and exploring the city on my own.

One last tip: Take tons of pictures and write everything down. Keep track of how much fun you're having and your favorite spots. Focus on all the good stuff and try not to worry about anything. If you keep your head filled with positive thoughts then you won't have room for nervousness. Moving is exciting and as long as you're following your heart you have nothing to fear. If you feel that you're doing the right thing, then it will all work out for you. Good luck, and keep me posted -- I'd love to come visit!

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