Today’s blog post is written by a guest contributor. If you’re interested in contributing to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey gals! I’m Marché (mar-shay), I know, it’s tricky. 🙂 Like many others, I recently made the decision to move cross-country in search of affordable living, a fresh start, and to take advantage of my new WFH flexibility.
After 15 years in sunny San Diego and spending my whole life on the West Coast, I decided to move to Nashville, TN.
I’d been to Nashville once before and loved the different neighborhoods, there are so many fun bars and restaurants, not to mention I love country music! Nashville is much more affordable than San Diego plus there’s no state income tax! It quickly checked the boxes for me and within a few months I got approval from work to go remote full time and I made my move to Nash!
PS- Nashville is blowing up FAST! If you’re thinking of moving here I’d say the sooner the better.
Planning a big move like this can be overwhelming; there are so many logistics (and emotions) involved. Since I recently went through this I thought it’d be helpful to share what I learned to make your move as smooth as possible.
10 TIPS FOR MOVING CROSS COUNTRY
1. Get advice from a local. Reach out to someone who lives in the new city to get the inside scoop. It could be an old friend from college or even someone you follow on IG! Even if you haven’t spoken to them in years, you’d be surprised how welcoming and helpful people are.
2. Get to know the neighborhood. When you visit, plan time to explore the neighborhood(s) you’re interested in, grab coffee, a drink or dinner to get a feel for the people and vibe. Things to consider: the time zone, weather, proximity to an airport, gym, grocery store, freeways and a hospital are a few important things to consider before you make it official.
3. Moving is EXPENSIVE. Movers, trucks, gas, boxes, final bills, car transportation, flights, new furniture, etc… It’s going to cost more than you think so start budgeting for it as soon as you know you’ll be moving.
4. PURGE. Sell anything you aren’t taking with you (sooner than later). FB Marketplace, Offer Up or a good ol’ garage sale are great ways to make some money while purging. My rule of thumb: If you haven’t touched it in the past year, you don’t need it.
5. Weigh your truck options. Renting a U-Haul leaving California is more expensive than one going into California due to the demand of people leaving the state. (This was a surprising fact I learned, and it made my decision to hire movers and their trucks easier, vs. me driving a U-Haul.) Keep this in mind when weighing your options to move yourself or hire movers.
6. Book your movers ASAP. Everyone is moving right now and movers are busy! I used Wheaton and they were very professional and took great care of my furniture. Don’t forget to tip your movers!
7. Order your big furniture in advance. There are some loooong shipping delays right now so get a head start if you can. Or look for items listed as “in stock” rather than pieces that are custom built to avoid the wait. (I had to wait 4 months for a pullout couch for my office and it kept getting delayed.)
8. Sign up for a new hobby when you start to settle into your new city. This is an an easy way to make friends. Everyone is learning something new together so it promotes collaboration and a shared experience to bond over. I’ve been taking tennis lessons and have met some fun people!
9. Be present. You will naturally meet people you jive with doing the things you normally do like going to the gym, hanging out in your neighborhood; just make an effort to be present, look up and make eye contact with people (maybe say ‘hello’ if you’re more extroverted than me), you never know who you’ll meet!
10. Keep in mind, LOTS of people are making moves right now and are likely in your same position. Making new friends was one of the biggest things I was nervous about so if you’re in the same boat, I want to remind you that it’s a lot easier to make friends in a city now than ever!
Moving to a new city is fun and exciting but be patient and give yourself some time to acclimate to your new life. The best advice I got was that it takes about a year to make friends in a new city. This helped level set my expectations and forced me to just focus on myself and adjust to life in a new city.
That was a lot of info but I hope it gives you a better idea of how to prepare for a big move and reduces some of that pre-move anxiety. I know the feeling.
Good luck with the move, I’m SO excited for you. A move means a fresh start and a new adventure, embrace it!