When you move somewhere new, you change. That’s just a fact. A person who grew up in a rural area of America will not be the same person after a few years in New York City, Los Angeles or Miami.
But for those who wonder how moving changes your life, the answer is usually: it depends on where you live and where you move. However, there are some things you can expect to some degree, no matter who you are or where you move. They include the following.
Impossible, right? How can changing locations change your personality? However, it turns out that research shows it’s true. If you really want to change yourself, then moving could provide what you need.
A recent study from researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Illinois found personality changes are typically among those who move. The study found that moving to the Northeast can make people more anxious and moving to the South and West can make people more laid back. The researchers found that people usually absorb the values and practices of those around them.
If you take a smart approach and thin out your belongings before the move, then you will end up with far fewer books, clothes, dishes, cookware, etc. And you’ll end up using and wearing everything that you own, rather than have it filling up your house. For many people, this creates more freedom in their life because they feel less weighed down by their stuff.
If you move with a partner or your family, this is typically not an issue. But if you are completely alone in a new city, you might find loneliness and feelings of depression move into your new place with you. The best antidote is to find places you can go to meet new people. The internet is a fantastic place to find fun organizations for just about everything – sports, book clubs, biking, running, etc. Also, use all the communication tools we have at our disposal to keep in touch with old friends and family so that nostalgia doesn’t get the better of you.
The flip side of the loneliness coin is that you might find happiness in your new place. If you keep a positive attitude, eventually you will find yourself fitting in. Most people make a move because they want a change, and something about the new place makes them think it will support that change. Or they are moving for a new job that will help them grow in their career. Or they are moving to be with a special someone. Whatever the case, let time do its thing. After a period of getting adjusted, you may find yourself falling in love with your new location.
If you move from where it is cloudy and grey to a place with more sunshine, you are bound to feel better. Weather can have a huge impact on how we behave. That’s likely one reason so many people move to Florida, Texas and California. All three have good job growth and opportunity, but they also have much sunnier weather than other places.
Seasonal effective disorder (SAD) is a real affliction. Basically, it means winter and cold months can bring you down. Expect the weather where you move to change you in some way.
Not everyone experiences all the above. Many people are so locked in on a job or career that they can move pretty much anywhere and remain the same. However, know that if you want a change, moving to a new location can provide it.