A buddy and I recently decided we wanted to move to Washington state (coming from Florida). We’re looking at well over 3,000 miles which makes it significantly terrifying in terms of how far removed we would be from friends, family, and what we’ve been generally used to.
The trick to all of it is to make a plan, save, and take it slowly.
Luckily I have already made a trip across the States to W.A. so the idea isn’t too far-fetched but my buddy hasn’t so he’s going in circles trying to wrap his head around how all it’s going to be done considering we have our stuff, vehicle, jobs, and every else locked down in our state.
These are some of the things I brought up so we could follow through with this idea:
Check the job prospects
Finances are going to be the first item on your list because how else are you going to support your new lifestyle? Some may have lined up a job based on their networking or internships out of college or through connections at the job but others that are going in fresh really need to get to understand and do the searches for local demographics.
The SBA.gov website comes in handy in this regard since it’ll give you a breakdown of the job market you can expect in the area of your choosing. I suggest mulling it over, seeing what works in the city or town you’re aiming for, and then starting (now) to place applications (or at least research) before you land in your destination.
Keep the moving simple
Moving to a new apartment complex close to college is easy (I’ve done it a couple of times) but when it comes to long distances it’s a whole other game. I’ve done the drive from FL->WA and it gets dull when your car is packed down to the brim with your buddy’s stuff.
I’d say invest the money and have a moving company do the heavy work for you. Companies like Allied.com will show up, pack your stuff, and move it long distances, which cuts out the terrifying experience of driving through the Mid-West during winter.
On that note: Try to get rid of as much stuff you don’t need before going – and maybe sell some big items if you can easily repurchase them when you’re there to save space in the move.
Tap the network
You may not have given grandma or your aunt a call in a while (hint: you should do it soon) nor have you reached out to that buddy from high school or connection you made in college that moved away. You should because you never know who they may know in the area you’re thinking about.
Example: I’ve been talking with a friend that’s in the area and he up and tells me that a friend of his that also moved into the area happens to be a regional manager for a large retail store. If anything I could have him put in a good word, land a starter job to get my feet grounded, and then go onward!
If you haven’t by now you should really go and either setup or update your LinkedIn so that you can tap into it for business opportunities. If LinkedIn isn’t your thing then at least put the word out on Twitter or Facebook, email some relatives, or look through your alumni association to see if anything is available.
Moving long distances whether for work, school, or loved ones can be a real test of spirit. You’ll find yourself in a new area and certainly feel the stress that tags along with trying to move such a significant portion of your life to the new area. But, if you plan it correctly, make the right investments, and keep an open mind – you can find yourself in any great location across the United States.
Good luck out there!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.