Every day you drive the same old route to work, eat lunch at the usual places and watch the same tired local news. You know you’re bored but you’re scared to make a change, especially if it means packing up and moving to a new city.
So how do you know when it’s time to relocate?
“That clue to move can be just a feeling, or a real reason like to improve one’s cash flow or general well-being,” says Sara Graham, author of How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind. “It’s important to act on that awareness.”
If you’re still unsure about starting over in a new city, check out these 8 clues that it’s time to move:
1. You Hate Your Job.
Ronnika Williams wasted no time hitting the road when her boss gave her the boot. “I was already planning my escape,” says Williams, who left a toxic work environment in Dallas to move to Michigan. “I knew it was time to go when I was unable to sleep at night, and I felt my joy slipping away.”
2. You Can’t Find Work.
Williams didn’t get any nibbles on her job search so she rented a moving truck and drove 1,000 miles to Benton Harbor MI. “I knew my time was up in Texas because I couldn’t find employment in my field,” she says.
3. You Are Haunted By Bad Memories.
Your ex-girlfriend won’t choose a new coffee shop, and the guy she dumped you for started working out at your gym. Now you’re forced to compare his hunky body to your puny physique. If you’re going out of your way to avoid certain places and people, a fresh start in a new city could be just what you need, says Kate Hart, a relocations manager.
4. You Belong Somewhere Else.
Do you love walking on the beach but live in a city where the only large body of water is in your basement when it rains? Maybe it’s time to go where your soul feels alive. “If a certain place has been beckoning you for ages, you should consider turning that dream into reality,” says Hart.
5. Fate Steps In.
If you live in Oklahoma and your lost puppy turns up in a California animal shelter thanks to a microchip scan, maybe that’s a sign it’s time to head west. That unexpected call from an employer in Chicago responding to a resume sent two years ago could also be the universe telling you the time is right to move.
6. You’re In The Wrong Climate.
Maybe you love crunching along trails in snowy forests but you’re surrounded by palm trees. Or you love rainy afternoons but live in Phoenix. Sometimes you just need more light. Graham developed seasonal affective disorder (SAD) when she lived in sun-starved Uppsala, Sweden. So she moved to Turin, Italy to get more sunshine. “I knew that was the right move for me if only for the fact that my body will get back into a regular rhythm,” says Graham.
7. You’re Always Broke.
“I had to get real about the fact that I didn’t make enough money to live in Sweden as a freelance content producer,” says Graham. In her new city, “everything from a cappuccino to getting my hair colored is about one-third of the price,” she says.
8. You’re In a Rut.
If the future holds nothing exciting for you, you need a change. “This feeling could be related to your work, financial situation, social life, love life or all of the above,” says Hart. “The more areas in your life in a state of stagnation, the more you should listen to that inner voice saying you should move because you only live once.”