Monday, June 18, 2018
10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Moved Away From Home
I have yet to meet a person who was 100% prepared when they moved away from home. Walking away from everything you've ever known to a new place is terrifying.
I was born, raised, and went to college all within about a 75-mile radius. When I got engaged, I decided I was going to quit my job and move to Colorado. I didn't know anyone other than my husband, didn't have health insurance at the time, and had no idea what moving across the country entailed.
Looking back, there are A LOT of things I wish I did differently.
1. Money Matters
When I first moved away, I did not have much of an interest in anything finance related.
I wish I did my research. I didn't build a budget, ate out often, paid for everything on a credit card, etc. etc. I would use my lunch breaks as an excuse to go to Sephora.
I don't even want to think about the money I wasted on junk.
What changed my mindset? Dave Ramsey. If you haven't heard of him, I HIGHLY recommend you grab his books, listen to his podcast, and watch his videos. He is no-nonsense when it comes to being financially stable. Click Here for Dave's Podcast. I used to listen to it nearly constantly when I started to get serious about money.
2. Long Distance Friendships Are Worth It
Making friends after college is difficult. We're all on different life paths, have different careers, etc.
The military throws a very interesting curve ball with friendships as well.
How many friends have you met at a duty station only to have them move away three months later? Probably quite a few and IT IS THE WORST.
When you have lived your entire life in essentially the same place, you have probably left quite a few friends behind. I've seen many spouses say that they haven't kept up with their friends from home or friends who have moved away. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes you could make.
Relationships matter. Friendships matter. The loneliness I felt when I first moved to Colorado would probably have been ten times worse without my friends.
This is the age of social media and constant connection. You have no excuse to not keep in touch. It doesn't need to be every day or even every week. Even a ten-minute phone call from two times zones away can change your day.
3. Learn How To Cook
Going off my first point, learning how to cook is VITAL. I don't mean cooking mac and cheese from a box, I mean actual meals.
Not only are you saving money, it forces you to make healthier choices. You don't need to become a culinary master. It took me almost two weeks to figure out how to properly bake chicken.
Hop on Pinterest, find some easy recipes, and get cooking.
4. Don't buy expensive furniture
You will move a lot with the military. You will live in different places and in different climates.
When we lived in three states in one year, our stuff took quite the beating. We have had friends who have couches disappear, bedroom sets destroyed, and a plethora of other horror stories.
Don't waste your money on furniture that might not survive a move. This doesn't mean you need to buy a $50 dollar couch...but maybe don't buy a $2500 sectional.
5. You will have culture shock
I figured moving anywhere in the United States would not give me culture shock. The whole country has pretty much the same stores, same food, etc. I was beyond wrong.
Where I grew up, you always had to be going somewhere and doing something.
Turns out most of the country is not like that. I had to get used to a slower pace, overall nicer people, and stores being closed at seven. It took me a couple months to not get creeped out when strangers tried to strike up a conversation in stores.
6. You will be homesick
7. Explore as much as possible
I sincerely regret the weekends I spent not doing anything. I could have spent that time driving to one of the many mountains in the area. Now that I live in an area that is completely flat, I miss those hikes more than anything!
8. Visit home as often as you can
For those who are a plane ride away, this is not always a financially feasible option. If you can save up enough to go home even twice a year, do it. I was too wrapped up in my job, getting settled in a new place, etc. I should've made my family and friends back home a bigger priority.
9. You will have to get acclimated to the climate
In Colorado it snowed sideways. In Arizona it was so hot trashcans melted. In Oklahoma the thunderstorms are so bad it is like something out of a movie.
The first year will definitely be interesting when it comes to weather. Give yourself time to adjust and invest in pieces that are perfect for the climate. If I didn't have my winter coat in Colorado, I would probably still be frozen solid somewhere in the Rockies.
10. You will change
The twenties are tough. You're trying to figure out who you are without your parents and the safety of everything you've ever known. It is scary and sometimes, it is downright painful.
But it is beyond worth it.
You will grow. Your relationship will grow. Your confidence in yourself will grow. There are too many positive outcomes to not take the chance.