Inside: If you’re considering moving away from family, read on for questions to ask to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
So you’re thinking about making a move. A big move.
Packing your bags and leaving your family behind can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you’re close. The distance can be a challenge to overcome, and the amount of effort it can take to remain in each other’s lives may test your relationship.
Despite the difficulties you might face when moving away from family, many people benefit from making that kind of decision.
Whether you’re moving for a better job opportunity, a fresh start, better schools, or something else, it can be a real blessing for you and your family.
If you’re trying to decide if you should move away from family, or struggling to figure out how to tell your loved ones that you plan to move away, I’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for some key considerations when it comes to moving away from family – as well as some questions that’ll help you reflect on whether making that kind of move is right for you.
4 Things to Consider Before Moving Away from Family: Pros and Cons
Years ago I wrote a post on how moving to live near family was the best decision we ever made. And I still stand by that, but I also know that for many people it’s a more complicated decision.
Some people already live near family and are contemplating whether or not it’s time to make the move away.
If you are on the fence when it comes to whether or not you should move away from family, you aren’t alone.
The decision isn’t an easy one and moving can be stressful. But by weighing the pros and cons, you can give yourself a better perspective on the situation to help guide your plans.
While living near family has been wonderful for us, for others the opposite is true. By considering the pros and cons and asking yourself some questions you can gain clarity on what the best situation for you is.
Pro: Moving away from family can give you a fresh start in a new place with new opportunities.
Sometimes, you just need a fresh start.
Whether you’ve found yourself limited by the job opportunities in your field in your small town, or you’re surrounded by people who aren’t the greatest influence on your life, many can benefit from moving away from family to a totally new city or state.
A big move can be a great way to jumpstart a big life change, like a graduation, a career change, or a retirement. Or it can be a powerful way to shift your trajectory during a period of stagnation or even contentment.
Con: You’ll have to deal with the guilt of moving away.
Let’s face it – saying goodbye is tough. Leaving family behind isn’t easy, especially when we’re close.
And in many cases, your family won’t hesitate to make that known. Chances are, you’ll feel somewhat guilty about your decision to move away – whether or not your family is actively making you feel that way, or it’s all you.
The good news? That guilt doesn’t stick around forever. While the initial shock of moving away can sting, in many cases, it’ll fade quickly among the excitement of your new home.
Pro: You can always move back. One decision isn’t the end of the world.
What if you don’t love the place you’ve decided to move to?
Maybe you picked a spot with too-cold winters or terrible neighbors. Maybe you end up realizing you rely on the support system that you left behind more than you thought.
Whatever the reason, if wherever you move doesn’t quite work out, you can decide later to move back. Just be prepared that this can be more challenging if the cost of living is significantly higher in your hometown.
Con: Seeing your family might become difficult – and expensive.
Moving away makes it much more difficult to get together for birthdays, holidays, and other reasons to celebrate.
Depending on where you go, pricey flights may be involved anytime you want to get together. And in many cases, you’ll be forced to choose between missing those milestones and taking time off of work – and spending money – to enjoy time with family.
5 Questions to Help You Decide if Moving Away From Family is a Good Idea
Still not sure if moving away from family is right for you? There are a few questions you can ask yourself to really rationalize your decision and confirm you’re making the right one:
1. What is my reason for moving away from my family?
If you have a compelling reason – a promising job, a more affordable housing situation, or something else that gives you a very valid reason to go – you may want to push yourself out of your comfort zone and really weigh the opportunity at hand.
Every scenario is going to have its pros and cons. Carefully weigh if relocating for an opportunity is worth what it will cost you.
2. Am I financially secure enough to move away from my family?
Moving isn’t cheap. Whether you’re buying a home or renting, the cost of getting into a new place can be pretty steep. And if you’re changing jobs as part of the process, there’s often a financial impact.
If you’re currently living with family or relying on family to provide childcare, it’s important to factor that in, too.
Make sure you have plenty of savings on hand when choosing to move away from family. It should be enough to get you into your new home, cover the costs of anything you need upfront, and if you’re changing employment, enough to comfortably support you throughout your job search.
3. What are the potentials benefits of my move?
Think hard about the reason you’re looking to move. Are you moving to fulfill a dream or desire of living in a certain place?
Or are you moving somewhere safer, with better schools or medical care for your children? Are you moving to a place where you can afford more for less – a more spacious, comfortable place to live than you have today?
Or maybe living so close to certain family members has created a toxic situation for you and your family members. Not everyone has healthy family relationships with good boundaries. Some relationships work better with some additional distance.
Being able to articulate the clear benefits of your move will help you determine if it’s a good idea.
4. Am I OK with missing out on major milestones?
Realistically speaking, you are probably not going to be able to make it home for every significant event – nor are you going to want to spend every single holiday on the road, visiting family.
And as nice as it is to have options like FaceTime and Zoom, watching your niece’s graduation from afar just doesn’t feel the same.
5. Are you ready to put yourself out there and find a new community?
Unless you’re planning to relocate to a place where you have existing ties, you’re going to need to branch out and make some friends in your new home. For some, the idea is exciting – for others, it’s anxiety-provoking.
Making friends as an adult isn’t always easy. Make sure you’re up for the task before you say goodbye to the friends and family you’ve got back home.
How to Break the News to Your Family That You’re Moving
There’s no easy way to tell your family you’re leaving. But there’s no way to plan a big move without letting them know – so you’ve got to figure out the best possible way to break the news.
While there’s no set script you should follow, there are a few general things you should keep in mind as you share your big life update:
- Tell them somewhere private. Don’t break the news in the middle of a busy restaurant, especially if you suspect they’ll have a big reaction.
- Be ready to answer their questions. Chances are, they’ll have a few.
- Stand your ground. Your family may try to convince you to change your mind, but if you’ve made the decision to leave, you shouldn’t let them sway you.
Ultimately, moving away from family may be the best decision for you.
For some people, moving away from family will be the best decision for you and your family.
In our case, the opposite was true. Moving to live near family was the best decision we ever made.
It all depends on your individual circumstances and relationships.
By weighing the pros and cons of your personal situation and reflecting on a few important questions, you can feel confident in your decision.
Moving away from family may be tough, but if you stay focused on the possibilities that your new future holds, you can move forward with confidence – and make a huge change.
What’s your experience been with living near family? Share it in the comments section below.
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