Something I hear constantly in conversation with people my age, is that we’re young and have our whole lives ahead of us. It’s continuously engrained into our minds that now is the time to live, I mean REALLY live, but many of us are stuck on how to make fulfilling changes. Whether you’re unhappy with your job, where you live, your situation, or if you just feel like it’s time to shake things up and create new experiences, the thought of picking up and changing environments can be incredibly daunting.
I recently just moved from a small town in Illinois to Fort Collins, Colorado, while my family lives in Maryland. Although I enjoyed my time in Illinois, I’ve always been hungry for adventure and drawn to the outdoors which fueled my transition from corn fields to mountains. Although I’m just a few days in, I wanted to create a blog post to help anyone begin to process to make a change they too have been yearning for.
1. Identify your Reason for Wanting a Change
Making a significant effort to understand WHY you are looking to make a big move is an essential part of a successful transition. In addition, it’ll help you decide where to go that will help satisfy whatever it is you are missing.
I decided to come to Colorado because I realized in Illinois that I was really missing mountain views everywhere I looked. This past summer I took a trip to Colorado and surrounding states with friends, and saw some breathtaking views. Views unlike anything I had ever seen. I was amazed with how kind, environmentally friendly, and active the majority of people were and it was a lifestyle I could really picture myself in.
2. Create (don’t wait for) the Opportunity
The biggest thing you hear from people who want to make a change but haven’t, is that they’re waiting for the right opportunity. The truth is, this opportunity likely won’t be presented to you in bold letters on a silver platter. Depending on what you come up with after step #1, you’ll need to create the opportunity yourself. Start by doing research about where you want to go, and if possible take a trip there. Feel it out, see if in fact it is for you, and from there start to make concrete moves like scoping out a job, activities, and/or a place to live.
In order to complete my Master’s degree, I need to complete an internship that can be done anywhere I choose so long as it fits the internship requirements. I took this as a perfect opportunity to make a move to Colorado.
3. Look for Roommates with Similar Interests to Yours
This isn’t always possible, but if it is definitely stress it. Chances are, you’re moving somewhere where you know few to no people, so finding living mates that you could see yourself getting along with is a great way to find your first friend(s). From there, you will learn about the city you’ve moved to and have someone to try new things with, which can substantially ease the process.
After some issues with housing I ended up on an emergency house search when I got to FoCo and saw several different options of places to live. In the end, I made a decision based on the roommates in the house in hopes of being able to make a friend or two that would create opportunities for me to get the most out of my experience here. So far, so good!
4. If possible, have someone go with you to make the move.
I realize that this can be a stretch, but if you can make this happen do it. It’s so much easier to overcome obstacles and enjoy the journey with someone you care about along for the ride. However if you can’t have someone, make sure you actively seek out a support system to help you with the transition, because while it’ll be beautiful it sure won’t be easy.
I was lucky enough that my mom was all about coming on the journey with me, and she really helped me make the most out of the 25 hour trip. She always kept me laughing and enjoying myself which made the process a little less scary.
5. Things will go wrong, it’s all about your attitude.
“It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about what you do with what happens to you.” This is a quote I wholeheartedly stand by. Life is going to come at you whether you’re ready or not, and it’s important to be purposeful in how you react to obstacles. See it as a challenge, and take it head on. When something goes wrong, take the time to process it, acknowledge it, and move the f*** on. In the end, it’s all part of your story.
On the end of the first day of our road trip, I received a text message saying the house I was moving into had completely flooded and was not going to be repaired by the time I got there. The next day, we drove three hours before I realized I had left my laptop in the hotel. We had to turn back, and that day we lost 6 hours of precious time. When I got my laptop, as I was reaching to put it in the back of the car, I hit my mom square in the eye with the corner of it. 5 minutes later, all we could do was laugh. It was an absolutely ridiculously long day, but in the end it’s just memories of that time I picked up and moved to Colorado.
By the time we got to Fort Collins, Colorado we were absolutely exhausted. As soon as we saw mountains we felt better and instantly began exploring this beautiful, vibrant city. I know the next few months won’t always be easy, but will they be worth it? Absolutely.
If anyone you know is looking to make a big change but doesn’t know where to start, please share!
P.S. The photography thing is really fun.