Last month, I made a huge decision to leave my hometown in South Carolina and move to New York City. I’ve never lived far from where I grew up — I even went to college in the same city I was born in. But after about 4 weeks of planning, following my gut, and leaning on faith, I ended up in New York with an amazing job and in a neighborhood in the city that I love. While I’d ABSOLUTELY advise giving yourself way more than a month to prepare, my point is, it’s doable. Here’s a few things that helped me transition smoothly.
- Start a savings account. No seriously, start one now even if you don’t necessarily know where you want to move. Aside from a normal/everyday emergency savings, if you have even the slightly inkling of an idea that you want to move, SAVE SAVE SAVE! When I moved, the reason I was able to do so without having to think about it much was because I’d known for months that I wanted to at some point within the next year, so I had a few grand saved up that I was able to use without any guilt. Granted, I wish I had saved more, but again, I made the decision within a matter of hours and only had a month after that to get everything together.
- Have contacts in your new city. Do you know at least 1-2 people in the city you want to move? It’s not totally necessary, but it helps to have a few contacts to show you around, or to room with you. Luckily for me, Kindra Bailey (Styling Soul’s Editor-in-Chief) was looking for a roommate around the same time I booked my plane ticket for. Of course, New York is more expensive than MOST cities in the US and having a roommate is infinitely more cost effective than not. Regardless of where you relocate, I recommend having a close contact or roommate in a new city to give you less of a culture shock.
- Get a job (duh). Getting a job can be tricky if you’re using an out-of-state address, which is where moving hack #2 comes in handy. If you do have a contact in the place you want to move, use their current address as yours. When employers reach out to you for interviews, you can then let them know of your moving date (tentative or not), and tell them that is the location where you’ll be staying once you arrive. Many places are open to phone and/or Skype interviews, especially if they’ve already shown an interest in you.Another great option for entry-level fields is doing online internships with headquarters based in the places you want to go. Internships.com is an amazing resource with an option to search for online internships. Securing something online will give you an option for a great future job reference when you relocate, another contact to have, and potentially an on-location job when you move.
- Be prepared to be uncomfortable. This goes without saying, but moving brings a lot of discomfort whether its being frustrated about not knowing your surroundings, not knowing many (or any!) people around you, and not having the comforts of your home with you. For example, I knew when I moved that it would be a few weeks before we started furnishing our apartment the way we want to, which included sleeping on an air mattress until the bed I ordered arrived (two. weeks. later. UGH!), but it’s part of the adventure, right?
- Have fun! Seriously, don’t take everything so seriously. You’ll absolutely run in to bumps in the road and probably wonder why you moved and feel slightly crazy at times. Just remember that NOTHING is permanent. You can always go home if you want to. If it makes you feel better, keep $300-500 in your savings just in case you decide to make an emergency trip home, or in case you’re homesick, or just because you changed your mind and hate the new place. If you go in to something with the mindset of just enjoying your life, the experience will always be infinitely better!
Stay tuned for a Part II with more of my personal experiences with moving, and feel free to email me at ravenPABPG@gmail.com with any questions! 🙂
Managing Editor, Styling Soul