It might sound crazy at first, but at some point, you have probably thought about what it would be like to start a new life.
It’s the mystical “pack your bag, get on a flight and throw caution into the wind” mentality that leaves you in a seemingly beautiful state of wanderlust.
These dreams and ideas originate differently for everyone and very few have an opportunity to turn them into realities. If you are suddenly faced with that decision, however, it could be the best move you ever make. Only time and certain calculated decisions will determine that fate.
I am one of those people who decided to make a move like this in 2013. A year later, with the benefit of experience and hindsight, I’d like to offer some thoughts and tips on beginning a new journey:
Choose what you take with you very carefully
This idea applies to both people and possessions. Every situation is different and it might make sense to pack up a big U-Haul, but imagine the alternative of taking everything you own on an airplane. It’s both liberating and terrifying, which sets a unique foundation for what is to come.
Selling something like a car is a chore, sure, but that cash could come in handy down the line.
There may also be relationships that tie you to a certain place. Hold on tight, see clearly and make a decision. This is your life we are talking about; it is not easy to physically let someone go, but the big picture is vastly more important.
You don’t truly know a place until you have lived there
Many of us have that longtime friend or acquaintance who turned out to be a terrible roommate, and the same concept applies here. Moving to a new place is a big risk, but that’s the point. It’s up to you to make the best out of the new situation and not dwell on the negatives that come with a new home.
There will be things you love and hate about this new experience, so find your niche, run with it and don’t worry about looking back. Focus on the positives and watch as this new life evolves and formulates daily, weekly and monthly.
It’s about what you have created, not what is behind you or what might try to bring you back down.
Embrace the discomfort
Life truly does begin outside of your comfort zone. As strange as it sounds, there is a great amount of strength, poise and confidence that comes from riding out an uncomfortable situation. The lessons it provides can last a lifetime, which is something to keep in mind during those stretches of anxiety and uncertainty.
Ride it out and add some worthy experience to your repertoire.
Homesickness and regret are eventually going to find you
Negativity and doubt are inescapable parts of life. Their roots will fill your head with thoughts that are designed to set you on a path of regression, so do not ignore them; instead, try to figure out why they are there.
Upon settling into a new journey and experience, you will want to retreat. You will wonder how you are ever going to make it without the family and friends that helped get you here, and then, suddenly, the realization occurs that you are capable of anything and everything. The hard part is over; it’s time to build on this foundation.
You are not alone in this journey
Before leaving for the airport, I remember thinking about the people I was about to meet. There was an entire group of new coworkers, teammates, friends, women, etc. that I’d yet to meet and get to know. That was the only thought I needed to allow the excitement to truly take shape.
At the same time, I thought about my parents, siblings, dog and friends that would stay behind. Even though I would be 1,500 miles away, I knew they would always be there for me. It’s all about “expanding the empire,” and such a feat cannot be done at home.
I was on my way to affecting other people’s lives as much as they were about to affect mine.
Rome was not built in a day
Haste makes waste, and the life that you have always wanted takes time to build. It’s based on every decision you make and is entirely attainable with focus, hard work and dedication. Set goals and take them seriously every hour of every day. Mediocrity is for those who are okay with settling for less than greatness.
The scenery will change along the way, but one thing remains the same: You get out of this life what you put into it.
Remember why you made the decision in the first place
One of the most difficult parts of this journey is deciding to go after it. In those times of doubt and uncertainty, think back to the person you were when you faced the decision to move. Think of how you have grown and the experiences you have gained. Harness the courage necessary to fuel the drive to keep up momentum.
The grass is green wherever you water it, so move forward and plant the seeds for what's ahead. Looking back is a waste of time and energy.
Photo via We Heart It