The last 12 months have been a whirlwind.
I changed jobs, moved from New Hampshire to Pittsburgh, and then moved from Pittsburgh to Seattle. That last move required a 40 hour drive, for the folks keeping track at home.
Change is never easy, and the uncertainty of moving to a new place doesn’t make anything any easier. But you know what, kids? The only way to live the lifestyle I’m pursuing is through personal and professional growth.
So yeah, I moved across the country in a 2015 Honda Accord. Nearly one month in, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. It’s tough to focus at work
When you have 28 things on your “to-do” list and have no furniture in your apartment, getting in a normal work routine can be difficult. Especially when you work remotely.
Thankfully, I only had to put up with an empty apartment and general disorganization for a couple days because I planned things ahead of time. The only thing that got in my way was Seattle’s first snow storm ever (they freaked over a couple inches) which delayed my mattress being delivered by two days.
I’m a big routine guy. Tough to stick to a routine when you’re sleeping on the floor.
2. You can’t budget everything
One of the big lessons I learned moving across the country is that you should:
- Make a budget
- Multiply that budget by 1.5
Call me whatever names you want, but I don’t have the time, patience, or foresight to calculate all the expenses that go into a 40+ hour drive across the country. My strategy was to simply save all the money I could.
If you’re moving across the country, budget your gas, food (don’t forget all those coffees and waters!) and lodging, and then multiply it all by 1.5. Worst case, you get to practice those math skills you learned in 4th grade.
3. You got to have friends!
Having company on the ride over is key. Without my dad, I would have crashed my car from exhaustion or gone loony.
And if you move to a new place where you don’t know anyone (like I did), things can get lonely at times. The key is to use it as fuel. What a great reason to put those networking skills to the test.
4. Starting fresh requires lots of “stuff”
Believe it or not, there wasn’t much room in my car to fit furniture or appliances.
I can see myself as an old man telling my grandchildren, “When I was a young man, I moved to Seattle with just a couple grand in my bank account and the clothes on my back! And the clothes in my trunk…. plus the clothes in my backseat…”
For the first week and a half, I basically lived at stores like Target and Wal-Mart (no Bed Bath and Beyond – didn’t have time). Who knew an apartment needed so many things? I didn’t, but I guess that’s a byproduct of living with your parents after college.
5. Life isn’t a straight path
As much as we want to think we have our lives planned out, it’s almost impossible to say where our ambitions and circumstances will take us. I’ve always wanted to live in new places, meet new people, and make a living without being chained to a desk.
The end results remains to be seen, but I’m hopeful that I took a step (a 2,500 mile step) in the right direction.
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.