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Is it Time to Move?

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Surfing in California

Surfing at Stinson Beach

For centuries, people have been on the move, needing to follow a food supply, in search of a better climate, or just because we wanted to know what's over that next hill.

So, if the moving bug is starting to nip at your heels, how do you know the time is right for you to pack up all your things and head in a different direction? How can you be sure that you're making the right decision?

Since our destination is usually a little foggy, we can never be 100% certain; however we can feel confident that our decision to move is based on clear objectives and not just because we think the grass might be greener.

Company Transfers

In an attempt to cut overhead costs, companies, like people, are on the move. This change in the economic climate has resulted in more employees and their families relocating to another city, state or even country. If you find yourself in this position, before you agree to the move, take a moment to reflect on where you are in your career and if this move will lead you to that next step. If this is a lateral move, negotiation might be an option. Perhaps you've been wanting to re-train, develop new projects or take on a new role. This is the time to find out how, and if, the transfer deal might be sweetened to make moving worth your while.

Retirement

If you've just retired and are looking for a sunny, warm place to move to, it's a good idea to consider all your options. Make sure you investigate health care services and medical insurance, cost of living and what it will be like to move away from family and friends. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity to have a more active life, meet new friends and travel. The best way to decide if moving is right for you is to try it for a long-term vacation - three to six months - which will give you a chance to see if a permanent move fits your new lifestyle. Keep in mind that retiring from a job, a career, a daily routine, can take a while to get used to and a move could either aggravate the stress you may feel or help to relieve it. Again, a trial period is probably your best bet. Check out Best Places to Reinvent Yourself, for some helpful tips.

Life Choices and Following a Dream

If you made a list of the activities you like to do, whether it's cycling, hiking, going to the opera, dining out at unique restaurants or taking solitary country strolls, you may find that the area where you currently live does not allow you to pursue these passions. Or perhaps, like those living in colder climates, your activities are seasonal, limited to shorter summers or winters.

A few years ago, my husband and I found ourselves longing for year-round warmer temperatures that would allow us to live a more active life. Pursuing our goal, we moved to Vancouver, British Columbia from snowy Ontario, but the winter rains and cooler summers did not suffice. Knowing the grass was greener further south, we took a trip to San Diego, both as a mini-vacation and to check out the city as a possible destination. Falling in love with California and discovering it had always been my husband's dream to move there, I declined job offers in Singapore and London and we packed up our household and headed south. There we found a climate, environment and social lifestyle that fulfilled both our needs. The checklists we'd created earlier, outlining our passions and goals, were complete. We'd found a place that we could both live and live to the fullest.

So if you have a dream or would like to live in a place that supports a lifestyle you've always wanted, then make your list, take a trip, see what it's really like, then make it happen. It's not as difficult as it might seem and the pay-off is bigger than ever imagined.

Questions to Ask

  • Am I bored with my job?
  • How difficult would it be to find a new job? Is my job portable?
  • Are there things I'm not doing because my current place of residence is not conducive?
  • Is there a city, state, country I've always dreamed of living?
  • What are my responsibilities that I need to consider?
  • Can I afford to move?
  • Can I afford not to move?
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