Having moved three times in the past year, I am no stranger to moving. Relocating across the country, however, was a new challenge with it’s own difficulties.
While some of these are relevant regardless of the distance of your move, here are 14 struggles of moving thousands of miles away.
1. Deciding on an apartment after one ten-minute tour. Not only are you signing a lease based pretty much solely on appearance, but it’s impossible to learn the surrounding neighborhood after such a quick trip. The only thing worse would be deciding on an apartment 100% virtually.
2. Budgeting for future expenses and security deposits. When you realize how much money you will have to lay out to move yourself and all your stuff, it makes you regret everything you’ve ever bought, from your $250 bar tab three months ago, to that $1 pair of socks you bought on a whim at CVS the other day.
3. Comparing moving quotes and different companies. All you want is a price that won’t deplete your bank account and a promise that your things will be at your new place when you want them to be. If only it were actually that simple. (Side note: Definitely don’t make the mistake of putting your contact information into one of those general forms for more information online. And definitely don’t make the mistake of putting it into three of them within 10 minutes.)
4. Dealing with the logistics of arranging your moving service. Deciding on a moving company is the first hurdle. Getting the details straight, and informing both your current and future landlords of the plan is next. Coordinating it all from 1200 miles away with a screen in-between and maybe even a time difference does not improve the situation.
5. Hearing unwarranted advice. Don’t get me wrong, some advice is definitely helpful. However, the majority of it will be completely gratuitous and you can’t help but wonder if people are thinking of their own regrets and/or wishing they had the courage to leave their comfort zone and move to a new place.
6. Planning the logistics of your gigantic cross-country drive. If you are bringing your car with you to your new state, the most cost effective way is to drive it there. Hopefully you have some friends or family along the way that can offer up a place to stay overnight. Lots of snacks and a great throwback playlist are helpful in gearing yourself up for the driving marathon.
7. Packing your belongings. How is it possible that you amassed so many THINGS and where did it all come from?! Organizing and packing everything you own (relatively) neatly is the biggest challenge. Packing in my twenties is doing things like padding a box of dishes with gym shirts, and maybe packing a pair of heels in with my kitchen boxes because it fit nicely.
8. Navigating your endless to-do lists. As it gets closer to your move date, your to-do lists have to-do lists. If it’s not written down, then the odds of remembering it are nonexistent. There is just too much to do!
9. Getting to the point that if you forgot something along the way or didn’t do something you wanted to do, you just say “eff it.” This time may come sooner for some people than for others, but it will come. You will just want to be in your new place and for the packing and moving headaches to be done.
10. Changing your address everywhere. A necessary evil, you need to change your address everywhere – from places like your bank account and credit cards, to the obscure places like your Prime account and AAA membership. You don’t realize how often your address is recorded until you go to change it.
11. Forwarding your mail through the USPS. In theory, this should not be a struggle of moving. But all it takes is for you to forget to change your address in one place and now your package or important document will take an extra 3-5 days to get to you because you have to wait for it to get forwarded.
12. Saying your goodbyes. You are leaving behind your friends and family and are making plans for Skype and Facetime. Goodbyes are never easy but as the saying goes, you’re lucky to have people that make leaving so hard.
13. Leaving your comfort zone. You are entering unfamiliar territory and leaving your old routines behind. You are rediscovering yourself in a new environment and this can be both refreshing and scary. This is a struggle that will have huge payoffs in the future.
14. Missing your city. Suddenly, everything makes you nostalgic as you realize that you will miss everything from your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant, to the traffic on your daily commute. Okay, maybe not the traffic.