Sometimes, you just have to get out of town. It could be that your professional aspirations require a move to a bigger city.
Or maybe you’re just bored by the pace and limited opportunities of your town. Maybe you’ve lived there all your life and you just want to experience something new.
Regardless of the specific reasons, you’ve decided to move. But before you can actually get out of dodge, you’ll need to take care of many different concerns first.
A big move like this takes a lot of planning and usually at least several months of waiting and preparing.
Here’s a guide for how to move to a new city and start over, with an emphasis on doing so safely and with great concern for working toward a bright future.
Choose Your City Wisely
Choosing where exactly you’d like to live for the foreseeable future can be a daunting task. There are a huge number of different factors to consider.
It is possible to choose a new city simply based on a gut feeling, but we would recommend that you take your time in choosing a new place of residence.
We’ve listed just a few basic considerations to keep in mind while comparing several different places you’d like to live.
If you can afford it, you may even want to visit various cities multiple times to get a better sense of what it would feel like to live there full-time.
Cost of Living
Try to find statistics on the cost of living for each city. You can use helpful calculators like this one that use data to predict how much you’d need to earn in a new city to maintain your current quality of life.
If you don’t have guaranteed work in your new city, then you may need to try and find a city where the cost of living is relatively low. This will make it easier to move and find your footing in a new city.
Certain cities more or less public transportation to get around. New York would be a good example.
Cities that have a larger square mileage tend to be more car-friendly.
Will you be buying a new car after your move or will you bring a car with you? Would you be able to afford major repairs to the car soon after moving?
If you’re not guaranteed to have your own car after your move, then you’ll need to take a close look at that city’s public transit system.
The locations of many train and bus stations will most likely influence your choice of housing.
Feed Your Piggy Bank
This is perhaps the most step when preparing to start over in a new city: save your money.
Some experts recommend having at least $10,000 in savings before making a major move, but depending on your personal financial needs and the city you’re moving to, this number could be much higher.
Moving to a new city before you have plenty of financial security could be disastrous if everything doesn’t go exactly as you’ve planned.
So even if it will take many months to save up enough to move, be patient and stay focused on how much happier you’ll be in a new city.
Before you travel to a new city to start your new life, go back through your contacts of family and friends to see whether you already know someone who lives there.
Send a message to each of them, saying that you plan to move out there soon and that you just wanted to give a heads-up.
Don’t explicitly ask for any help with the move or finding a new apartment and a steady job. Many people will be kind enough to offer what help they can, even without a request.
Once you have enough money saved for the trip, go ahead and purchase a plane ticket to your new city or make other travel arrangements that will get you to your destination safely.
It’s up to you whether you’d like to make the move in just a few weeks or in several months.
You should also be clear with your current boss or supervisor, explaining your situation and that you plan to leave town in the near future.
If you work for a large corporation, ask whether the company offers transfers to work in other satellite offices around the country.
But if you’re looking to start over, then chances are you also want to find a brand new job, maybe even in a new industry.
Set Up Temporary Housing
Make sure that you’ll have a place to stay your first few weeks in town. It’s difficult to secure an apartment lease without actually being in town yet.
So instead, find an affordable hotel and book a stay for roughly two weeks.
Once you’ve arrived in your new city, you’ll need to spend a lot of time looking for more permanent housing. The cost of the hotel room will likely be a great motivator.
You should ideally start looking for work in your new city at least six months before your move.
Even if you don’t receive interviews for any of the jobs you apply to before moving, you’ll still have a chance to see what the job market looks like and how much competition is out there.
You may want to even get started as a freelancer before you even make the move.
After you’ve made the move, you’ll have a much better chance of getting interviews. The trick is to keep applying to many different jobs once you’ve arrived, even if you’ve already had some promising interviews.
Settle on Home Sweet Home
The final step to making the transition is to set up shop in a new house or apartment. Giving tips on how exactly to choose an apartment for an extended stay would require an article of its own.
Choosing a place to live is also an extremely personal process, and you’ll be the best expert on what you’re looking for and what you can live without.
Over time, you’ll make friends in your new city and explore different aspects of its culture and its people.