Should you move?

January 9, 2023

Just because you’re an Anywhereist doesn’t mean that you have to leave the place you’re living. News flash: If you’re location independent in your work, you can live wherever you want—including your current city!

Still, the temptation may be there, like a mosquito buzz in the background. Probably you should think hard about whether moving is the right thing for you and your loved ones. Here are some questions to help you work through it:

1.    Do you have a compelling reason to move right now? Do you have a compelling reason to stay put?

2.    How often do you find yourself thinking about moving?

3.    Do you have another destination in mind?

4.    Can you see yourself living in your current place in five years? What about in twenty?

5.    Does it feel like a good fit with who you are as a person? With who you hope to be?

6.    What are your dominant emotions here? Joy? Anger? Calm? Stress? Inspiration? Do you think that would change elsewhere? What about your environment draws those feelings out?

7.    How have you changed since moving here? Do you feel like you’re better than you used to be?

8.    What makes you happy here? How long is the list of things you enjoy?

9.    What are the top five things you complain about here? Are any of them deal-breakers for you?

10.  Do you feel certain that your biggest annoyances about living here won’t also be present in a new place?

11.  Are you running away from things you don’t like or running toward something you’re excited about?

12.  Are you financially able to manage living in this place?

13.  Who in this community would you miss if you left next week? 

14.  Does your current place provide what you need or want at this point in your life?

15.  Will you be able to achieve your personal goals and ambitions living here?

16.  How do the members of your family feel about moving? Will they be supportive? If not, are the potential benefits worth their temporary unhappiness?

17.  How do you think your life would be different elsewhere? Is there a way you could achieve some of those changes without a long-distance move? Would moving to a new house locally rather than to a new location be sufficient?

18.  What do you risk by moving? (Loss of relationships or social capital, for instance?) What do you risk by not moving? (Perhaps the chance for proximity to family or financial savings?)

19.  What regrets can you imagine having if you do move? If you don’t?

20.  If you make a pros and cons lists for staying vs. moving, which is longer?

This isn’t a Buzzfeed quiz, so there’s no way to punch in your answers and get an insta-response telling you to move or stay. But the process of thinking about these questions hopefully evoked feelings and ideas that can help you understand whether you have more to gain by relocating or by doubling down into your current community.

To be honest, I think a lot about what life would be like in other places. And yet I love my adopted town of Blacksburg and think my regrets would run high if I left now. That answer may change over the next few years, but it’s good to know the benchmark: I’m happy here. Maybe you are too.


- Melody Warnick, author of If You Could Live Anywhere

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