I Moved 1,500 Miles Away From Home & It Was the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

I Moved 1,500 Miles Away From Home & It Was the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made ©iStock/stock_colors

Sometimes life reaches a point where you need to shake everything up. My life got to the point where it seemed like nothing was going right, and no matter what I did, I just felt stuck and directionless. Over time, moving far away started to seem like the best option for starting over. Some people might accuse me of running away from my problems, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as taking an opportunity to start fresh, leave the past behind and start living the life I really want.

  1. It feels like I pressed a restart button. Moving to a new place gave me the motivation to start fresh. I’ve dropped bad habits, picked up good ones and have generally felt more motivated to get my act together. A change of scenery and a break from old routines has really encouraged me to change for the better. Old habits seem to die a little easier when you’re in a new place.
  2. I feel more independent. Moving far away forced me to take charge of things and become more independent. I’m more on my own now, and it’s made me feel a lot more capable and self-sufficient. I’m realizing nobody takes better care of me than myself. Plus, being independent helps you learn more about the world.
  3. I learn something new every day. Being in a new place means making new discoveries all the time. I’m always finding new shops, restaurants and places in nature. After living in the same place my whole life, it felt like there was nothing left for me to discover about it. Local attractions just didn’t cut it anymore. Now, there’s always something new to do.
  4. I really appreciate the friends I left behind. Now that my friends are so far away, I seriously treasure the time we spent together. Suddenly, even the little things we did together seem really special. I know when I visit them again, I’ll make the most of our time together because it’ll be limited. It’s bittersweet, but I’m definitely more grateful for my friends than ever. When I could see them whenever I wanted, it was easier to take what we had for granted.
  5. But I don’t miss the drama. Even though I miss my friends from home, I’m glad I left behind some of the drama that’s par for the course with long-term friendships. I don’t have to worry about being invited to the same party as my ex, who has the same friends I do. There isn’t any drama about making plans or people flaking last minute. Friendships are hard work, but I find they have less drama when everything’s just over texting.
  6. There’s a brand new dating scene. In my old city, eventually I started seeing the same faces on dating apps over and over. Now I live in a place where hardly anyone knows me, and I don’t know them. There’s countless more opportunities to meet new people now. It also means there’s no risk of  accidentally hooking up with the same guy as my high school friend or running into my ex at a bar.
  7. It gave a reason to leave my old job for one that I love. I wasn’t crazy about my job before, but I didn’t really feel the need to find a new one, either. Making the decision to move gave me the perfect opportunity to leave a somewhat crappy job and look for a better one. It took time, but I finally found a job that suits me better than my old one ever would’ve. If I’d stayed in my old city, who knows how long I would’ve stuck it out until deciding I deserved better.
  8. My Seasonal Affective Disorder has virtually disappeared. Moving to a warm climate has made me realize that living in a cold, dark place just wasn’t for me. I tried my best to live with SAD in a freezing and cloudy city, but it was miserable. Now that I live in a bright, tropical place, my entire mood and outlook on life has improved. It’s like a cloud has literally been lifted from above my head. My friends and family have noticed a difference, too, even just over texting. I haven’t felt this good as long as I can remember, and I seriously think the change in weather is a huge part of it.
  9. I’m excited for the future. For the first time in a long time, I’m genuinely excited about what the future holds. I love this new place I call home, I love the things I’ve discovered about it and myself, and I love the idea of staying here for the foreseeable future. But even though I’m excited for the future, I also can’t remember the last time I was this happy with the present moment, and not wishing I were somewhere else.
  10. I can call more than one place home. My old city will always be my first home, but I’m realizing the idea of home is fluid. It’s possible to have multiple places you call home, all with different memories and feelings. The more places where I can create new memories or revisit old ones, the better.
Amy Victoria is a writer who lives in Florida. You can usually find her drinking Diet Coke and obsessing over fictional relationships.