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Does anyone else find the idea of moving halfway across the country paralyzing?


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Dh and I have tossed around the idea of relocating for years. I have lived here my whole life. I'd love to have a new region to explore. I'd love to make our own way without family intervening regularly.

 

But when dh has a job interview 2 states away, I completely panic! Not at the logistics of the actual move. Panic at the idea of living so far from everyone and everything I've known my entire life! (And, yes, I see the irony.)

 

I feel like a big baby. Please tell me I'm not the only one! And if you feel the same and moved anyway, how did it work out for you?

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I mostly enjoyed living in a couple of different states when dh and I were first married, with no kids. 

 

It was not something I wanted to do after kids, because we live near lots of family. Also, I don't have as much youthful enthusiasm and adventure-ness as I did back then, lol. 

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We've lived in VA, RI, FL, and PA.  I grew up in NY, hubby in NC.

 

One thing we've learned?  People are people and there are good people everywhere (not-so-good too, but why worry about them - look for the good ones)!

 

I've loved learning about different cultures and wouldn't mind moving on again if we could.  Unfortunately, we decided to stay in one area while the boys were in school (so they would have a hometown) and hubby started a very successful business here... so we spend our time traveling while living here.  I still have dreams of traveling 24/7 seeing cultures and meeting people everywhere though.  I just have to figure out how to do it without our finances being depleted before our demise (or the rapture).  (sigh)

 

When you get somewhere new, start looking for places to get involved - churches, volunteering, clubs, etc, whatever fits you.  They're all great places to truly meet people.  We've never had a problem getting to know folks.  It was fun.  Don't be too set in your ways though.  Local folks like it when you adapt.  (When in Rome...)

Edited by creekland
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Well, we did it and I don't exactly love it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. All of our family lives in the same city, and I don't really like that our kids are missing out growing up by cousins and grandparents.

 

Dh is out of town and my car is acting up and that is stressing me out. We have friends here, but I don't want to bug them (which I may do if we get stranded somewhere). I miss knowing that I could call a sibling or parent. Of course, our families are mostly normal and we have a good relationship with them (I can't tell from your post if that is true for you).

 

On the other hand, we have had lots of fun exploring this area. We have done way more road tripping than we did when we lived near family. Even though we have been here only a few years, we have seen more "sights" than lots of people who have lived here their whole lives. I have great memories here with my little family. Sometimes we joke that we are on perpetual vacation.

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so we spend our time traveling while living here.

See, I think we should move to a city just an hour away. That puts us halfway between his family and mine, no huge culture shock, but we'd have our own "space." Then, we prioritize travel for the adventure/exploration itch. He thinks, if we're leaving, might as well go somewhere awesome (which, for him means day trip distance to an ocean.)

 

And I get what you're saying about a hometown for your kids. That's a worry too. Will they hate us for leaving their family? No way to know, I guess.

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It's scary. And overwhelming. And exhausting. And probably depressing, even if you really, really want the move.

 

But if we didn't do scary stuff, we wouldn't do much that was interesting at all, I think!

 

I've done this twice, only across the world, rather than across the country. Honestly, I'm feeling much the same about a move we're about to make two suburbs over. A lot of things will be much easier, but much of the logistics are just as difficult, if different.

 

Once the decisions are made, the process will be easier. It's the 'unsure' stage that is the hardest.

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We moved a couple of states away from "home" last year.  I moved constantly as a kid and DH never moved, so I thought it would be hard for him and easy for me (plus, I was much more eager to get away from where we had been living than he was).

 

The reverse has been true - it's been difficult for me to adapt.  I am happy to be living here, and it is a much much better place to live, but I miss the security of knowing where everything is (in my sleep) and also the security of knowing how to interact with people naturally and feel like I "fit in" (at least somewhat).  Strange to have a culture shock between suburban Missouri and Colorado, but there it is!

 

All of that said, I would not have wanted to stay where we were my whole life.

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Last summer we moved from TX to IN. Such a huge change!!

I was excited initially (yay for cooler weather and a better job). The logistics were overwhelming.

 

But when we actually got to IN I had multiple breakdowns because everything felt so different. I knew no one. I got lost regularly. Many of the stores and restaurants were different. Nothing felt familiar. I had to force myself to explore our area and find new parks and new restaurants and new friends.

 

Now I'm so glad we moved. We love it here and because I forced myself to really explore I feel much more connected here. I've made friends and found fun places to visit. Overall it's been great. But I did have several moments of wondering what we had done and feeling like I was not going to survive. And I might have had more than a few panic attacks and moments of hysterical crying. Yet it's been such a good thing for our family. And it's slowly starting to feel more like "home" here.

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I just watched a friend move a few states away at age 40. It has been HARD. It's hard to make friends at that age (vs. when your kids are little). It's hard for her to muster the energy to start over. It just takes a long time for a new place to feel like home. So no, you are not a baby at all. A move is hugely disruptive. It can be the very best thing in the long term, but the short term adjustment is often difficult and it's good that you are counting the cost.

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I moved from WA to CT when I was 18. My mom moved from WA to FL when she was 39. My mom has made a TON of friends down in Florida. I am not that close to anyone really. Moving is what you make of it. If you try to fit in, you will. If you are like me and like to be alone, you will too. 

 

Personally, moving doesn't scare me. I have done it before, I will likely do it again. I have wanted to move overseas for years now. Maybe one day! 

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Moving far away from extended family was the best thing we ever did for our family.  It made us rely on each other and we all have been much closer because of it and HSing, of course.  It also made us so much stronger because when something goes wrong there is no one to help.  That may sound bad but we lived through it and came out the other side more capable. We've lived in 6 states in the last 12 years. In that time DH has more than doubled his pay. He would never made it to the position he is in if we hadn't been willing to leave our safe but stifling home environment.

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Change can be hard no matter how good it is for you.

 

My first move was at 24, when I went to England and stayed there one year. I had been there during one summer a couple of years before, at a different location. My English had improved a lot since so communication was easier and I made several friends, including my now husband! I went back for good a year later, got married, had a baby, etc.

 

Twelve years later, my husband and I moved to the Washington D.C. metro area with our 2 year old. We had our second child 5 years later.

 

Fast forward another 5 and we moved yet again to the opposite coast, that was 8 years ago.

 

Yes, every move had difficult parts, but it is also true each one made us stronger, not to mention how good a brain work out it is to have to adjust to a whole new geographical area, lol! Having said that, it is hard to start from scratch every single time, develop connections etc. So now, even though I have done it before and I know eventually we'd be alright, I feel lazy and would prefer to stay put at least until our youngest is out of the nest.

 

ETA For us the worst part was being so far from family, especially the elderly and sick, but this would not be a consideration for you if you are moving just a couple of hours away. We are 24 flying hours away from one side of the family and another 14 in the opposite direction from the other side. Not easy nor cheap.

Edited by Mabelen
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We moved to a new country after 40 but I still had kids under 10. The kids definitely made it easier to meet people even with home ed. If I had sent them to school it would be far easier.

 

My dh and I joke that we still have so much to learn about this country that it will keep our brains young for years! I realize that I am talking country and you are talking state but things (laws and cultural) are different between states also. Things like property laws vary so much that daily life can be a challenge until you have done everything once. ;) When we bought our house part of the unexpected final negotiation was if we wanted the light fixtures and carpeting left. It was ashock when this issue came up two weeks before closing, we did pay extra to keep the carpet and drapes (loved them, custom drapes) but let them remove all their ugly light fixtures for us (they really hadn't expected to have to because apparently you normally just pay when sellers do this, lol )!!! I love having new annual traditions to discover and participate in, my local horticultural show as opposed to the fair etc.

 

I will be honest and say survival was paramount the first few months when figuring out basic life was a challenge. After that I started finding lots of things to join home ed groups, a church, craft groups etc. I have made a lot of new friends over the years. It makes life interesting. I do miss seeing my family regularly but with inexpensive phone plans and the internet I am basically satisfied. I can't really imagine going back to my old life and being as content, I love having new things to see and do. I love to travel and our change makes it possible to sort of be a tourist most days because I constantly discover new interesting things.

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I've moved completely across the country as an adult, twice.  Lots of other moves in between.  The first time, at 22, I did it completely alone and knew *no one* in my new location.  It took some nerve, but it was worth it.  My next major move was with DH, and every move as an adult since then has been with him.  

 

Moving is exhausting.  I find the thought of packing and moving and unpacking paralyzing.  You're not alone there.  But the new place part - I love it.

 

You and your DH, and your kids, will grow in ways you never imagined.  :)

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We moved 900 miles away from where I grew up. At first it was scary. Then I went through a period of missing my family. Then I developed such confidence...dh and I were raising our family far from our own families and were thriving.  I became very independent, confident, and able to solve problems on my own...sure, dh was there to help, but he was often at work.  It's been great. 

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It would depend on whether the reasons for moving outweigh the benefits of close friends and family. Remember, Skype allows those far away to seem close as long as you do not need them for babysitting.

We don't really need family for babysitting but it sure is nice to get a break once a month for a date night. Especially with homeschooling, the kids are always with me and sending them to the grandparents for an afternoon so I can have some silence is amazing. I will definitely miss that.

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We moved 900 miles away from where I grew up. At first it was scary. Then I went through a period of missing my family. Then I developed such confidence...dh and I were raising our family far from our own families and were thriving. I became very independent, confident, and able to solve problems on my own...sure, dh was there to help, but he was often at work. It's been great.

Everything you said is exactly what I want out of a big move. What you said doesn't sound scary at all, it sounds wonderful!

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We don't really need family for babysitting but it sure is nice to get a break once a month for a date night. Especially with homeschooling, the kids are always with me and sending them to the grandparents for an afternoon so I can have some silence is amazing. I will definitely miss that.

 

Care.com  :)

 

When you get to your new place, interview a few babysitters.  Meet neighbors and trade babysitting.  You'll make this happen.

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Yes. DD just applied for her dream school-a truly unique program that she describes as "Geek Hogwarts". It's very much the school that I would build for her if I could create one from the ground up. We stalled a year on applying, and she still wants to try. DH's job is mobile, we can afford to make the move. We already don't have local family.

 

And I'm terrified. It didn't bother me to move cross country for college, or after grad school when DH got a job here. But the idea is scary.

Edited by dmmetler
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You're not a big baby.  It's a big deal.

 

When I was a kid, my family moved from Virginia to California to England to Maryland.  Once in Maryland, they moved to three different houses.  I adored moving as a kid.  I loved the adventure of it.  However, I was a shy child and it was next to impossible for me to make friends, so that part of it was very, very hard.

 

Once I got married, my parents moved to New Mexico, back to Maryland, then to Arizona.  I moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania.

 

When they moved, 90% of the relationship my kids could have had with them was gone.  It was over.  There's just not much relationship you can have with a child growing up if you never, ever see them.  I mean, my parents would send presents and try to talk on the phone, but it's all, "Hi Buddy!  How are you?"  "Good."  "What do you like to play?"  "Legos."  .... ...  

 

And then when I moved from MD to PA, it was only an hour's drive, but I lost all my friends.  Oh, we still like each other and I see two of them a few times a year, but it's not like it used to be where I saw them a few times a week.

 

I was able to make friends at church because when I moved my kids were tiny (1 year old, and not yet born!) and there was a group of stay at home moms with their little ones.  But now that all those kids are teenagers, only 2 of us are stay at home moms and so it's hard to get together with them. But we still all care about each other and the kids have grown up together and are all still friends.  We just got done having The Birthday Party for my 14 year old, and 6 of the 9 guests were those same kids we became friends with when my son was one.

 

So!  My thoughts on moving:

 

It's a lot of fun.  I love being in a new house.  I love finding new things: businesses or places to explore.

 

You lose everyone.

 

Sometimes you gain new friends.  But sometimes you don't.  I was blessed because my kids were young enough that we could connect with other stay at home moms.  But now, most people with teens have gone to work once the kids are old enough for school. And my homeschooling takes up 7 hours of the day in teaching and 2 hours at night preparing.  (Yes, it's crazy and I need to figure out what to do about that.)   So if we moved now, it would be hard to find friends for the boys and I.  We don't have much spare time like when they were babies.

 

And you do lose your connection with family.  The kids especially lose it because it's harder for kids to chit-chat with grandparents and aunties and uncles on the phone than if they're around each other often.  But, then again, there are phones, there is Skype.  My friend's sister lives in another country as a missionary and comes back to America every 4 years for the summer and they are still very close because they text and Skype and call and make the most of their summers together.

 

 

You're not a baby for having concerns.  They're valid.

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