1. "I moved to Norway because I was offered a job here. The migration process and formalities were even simpler than the annual US tax return, but I'd say there is a serious national discrimination problem here. Even though everyone speaks English fluently, they talk to me only in Norwegian and put the blame on me if I don't understand. But despite all of that, I still feel better than in the US."
2. "I'm originally from northeast England. I met a girl and decided to see how it would work out, so I went to stay with her and her family for a couple months in Brazil. It's been 10 years now and I've only been back to England three times — and one of those times was to get married."
3. "I didn’t move terribly far I guess, but I transitioned from suburban life to living in New York City. I only stayed for a year and it was honestly terrible. I ended up moving back home after that. I felt more grateful for what I had. I’m also happy that I can still access the city easily if I need to, but living there just wasn’t for me. It was too loud and overwhelming. I always felt dirty after walking around 'cause of the air, and I just like my space, nature, and the quiet more. No regrets!"
4. "I graduated from college in 2008 with a degree in writing and applied to several graduate programs. I did not get accepted and so I started looking for any job to take for a while before reapplying. I found a job listing online for an underwater photographer in the Cayman Islands. One month later, I packed my things and moved. 14 years later, I have lived in seven countries but have returned to Cayman and am now a dive instructor. My plan for a six-month gap turned into a career I had never even dreamed of!"
5. "I was offered a job in Taiwan and moved with my family. It's a beautiful island with great food, super friendly people, and it's a great jumping board to explore the rest of Asia. What made the transition easy was the universal healthcare, great quality of life, lower cost of living than the US for the most part, and how compact it is (for commute purposes). Life is definitely better than in the US and all my current income is real income that goes into my pocket. While I get paid probably twice as much in the US, most of the money there is lost through taxes and endless insurance policies."
6. "My husband and I were both born and raised in the same area of Virginia and have always wanted to go somewhere new. We eventually want to have children, and someone told us Colorado is a great place to raise a family. So, we did some research (like, one quick Google search), bought a house, and here we are! So many friends kept telling us they wish they had moved when they had the chance, and I'm so glad we did. Starting fresh is always challenging, but this is easily one of the best decisions we've ever made. It's an amazingly fun adventure!"
7. "I moved a few states away when I got out of college and left behind my friend group and toxic family hoping to make it on my own. Have I made it? Well, I'd say no. Leaving the toxicity behind was nice, but I'm lonely as hell here. Moving away right before COVID didn't help, but honestly, I doubt I'd be much better if that didn't happen. At least I'm making money or something."
8. "I grew up in the midwest and moved about 300 miles south for work, then moved about the same distance east for work. I miss the midwest. People on the East Coast of the US are...all the clichés hold true."
9. "My husband, daughter, dog, and I moved from Seattle to Germany on a whim. My husband got a job offer and we just thought 'Why not?' It's been a huge, hard transition. Neither my husband nor I speak German and we didn't have people here. It's been 18 months now, and while it's still hard, we still don't speak German, and we still haven't seen our family, I am really happy we took this chance. Our daughter is THRIVING, we don't worry about gun violence or crime in general, and we are outside more and going on adventures. It's scary and difficult, but I wouldn't trade it."
10. "I moved from the US to Australia 10 years ago. The transition was relatively easy as my partner got an employer-sponsored visa for both of us. I absolutely love it. I tell everyone Australia is a beautiful country that has (mostly) good people, amazing quality of life, and good work-life balance. The downsides? It’s stupidly expensive (especially in Sydney), and it's fucking far away from everything. Flights to LA? 13 hours. To Santiago? 13 hours. To Singapore? Nine hours. To the Middle East? 14 hours. If you can get used to the travel times, it’s great. Luckily, I love flying!"
11. "In early 1993, I chucked my budding restaurant management career out the window and drove from Michigan to New Mexico to take a job at a bankrupt, haunted radio station. I did it because radio had been my part-time thing, and I wanted it to be my career. I wouldn't change anything about how I did it. I wound up spending 26 years doing my dream job."
12. "I moved from Chicago to New Orleans to Edinburgh and it was awesome — but the person you are doesn’t change. If you are not a morning person, you probably won’t be when you move. Just because the scenery changes overnight doesn’t mean you will."
13. "I moved from the US to Canada and I absolutely love it here. The people are friendly, the scenery is beautiful, and there's just so much to do. I don't think I could ever go back to living in the US."
14. "I moved to Houston from Austin about three-ish years ago. Not too far, but I didn’t know anyone there and I worked from home. I had to make an effort to meet people and it paid off. I met my husband and bought a house — all things that seemed out of reach back in ATX. Now we're talking about where we want to move next!"
15. "I moved to New Zealand from the US. People go barefoot EVERYWHERE here. Stores, offices, the supermarket, schools, everywhere. I even went to see my doctor once and she was walking around barefoot in the examining room. Having grown up in the typical American "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" culture, I've never quite adjusted to this facet of Kiwi life.
16. "This wasn’t necessarily a whim, but my now-husband is a carpenter. Right after Hurricane Katrina, he went to Louisiana to work. We lived separately for a few months since he was due to come back. One day, he asked if I would move down there. I packed up our house and cats and moved from Michigan to a place I had never seen or been before. For the record, I’ve always hated Louisiana, but my now-husband loved it...until recently. The political, religious, and self-righteous aura here is taxing on our souls. We can’t wait to move back to Michigan."
17. "I moved to London after growing up in a small village in the English countryside. It was the best decision I ever made! I had the best two years of my life, enjoying new culture, food, and entertainment. I also met my now-husband. The job opportunities I had were fantastic and I made some amazing friends. If you’re thinking about a big move, go for it!"
18. "My husband and I decided we were done with California, so we up and moved to Colorado. Best decision we ever made. We couldn't keep our heads above water in Cali — we were always broke and living paycheck to paycheck. I was granted work from home in 2017, so we came here a month later. My husband got a job in less than three weeks, we saved for a home, bought one in 2019, and have been wonderful ever since. We really have a life and roots here and it's been GREAT. I love the weather and my little house. It was a whim that paid off, for sure."
19. "I moved from a small country town in Mississippi to Orlando seven years ago. I only wanted to do the Disney College Program for a few months, but I fell in love with this city. I finished my program, realized I didn't want to go back home, moved in with some locals I had become friends with, and got a job at Universal Studios all within a week. It's been an absolutely wild journey, and even though I'm ready to move somewhere else and start my next adventure, I'm so appreciative of what Orlando has done for me. I'm not the same person I was growing up in Mississippi. I am out, I am confident, and I'm no longer letting obstacles hold me back. I owe a lot to my experiences in this city."
20. "I moved from a crowded New Jersey town next to the beach to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Now I have to drive into town, can't get anything delivered, and have to watch out for bears and bobcats when I take my dog out. I miss the near-instant gratification of New Jersey, but I'm glad to be out of the situation I was in there. And Wawa. God, do I miss Wawa."
21. "I moved from a small town of 500 people in North Dakota to Portland, Oregon in my early twenties. It was a culture shock. I had never seen so many people without housing until I moved there, nor had I realized how big of an issue it was. I ate some of the best food in the world, saw how beautiful the outdoors could be, and didn’t have any clue what I was missing before that. I met some of the best, most free-spirited people, and I like to think some of that rubbed off on me."
"At first, I was shy because the people I met (and eventually became friends with) spoke so freely and were able to have discussions on topics they had much different viewpoints on. I eventually moved back to North Dakota to be with my family — and so I could be a homeowner because it's more affordable than Portland — and I’m truly grateful for the experience I had while living there. I’m much more adventurous and open-minded to other people's opinions."
22. "I wanted to move to Kansas City from my sleepy hometown in Ohio. I started applying to jobs and randomly got a call back from one and said, 'Cool, I’ll start in two weeks!' So I up and quit my job of four years, packed everything I could fit into a Fiat 500 (which isn’t much, let me tell you), and drove the 12.5 hours to my new city. I didn’t even have an apartment yet! I stayed in a hotel my first night and set up an appointment to see an apartment I found on Craigslist the next day. I lived there for several years and it was honestly the best decision I ever made. I still consider Kansas City my home."
23. "I was going on work trips so often that I resented paying high rent for a flat I barely used. As a born and bred Londoner and freelancer, I thought it'd be fun to live outside London for a year or so. It took me a day to settle on Newcastle. To ensure I wouldn't chicken out, I gave some things away and left the rest at my dad's. I took a train to Newcastle days later, and on the way up, I constantly swung between 'This is good, this is what I need, it'll be fine, 100%' and 'WTF am I doing? This is a bad idea, let's step off at the next stop.' When I arrived in Newcastle, I was both a determined optimist and a proper nervous wreck. I went home two years later. I wouldn't do it again, but I still love that it gave me vivid memories, good friends, and an obsession with Angel of the North."
24. "I moved from England to Hungary in 2005 and stayed for two years. I learned essential words for conversation but never learned to read and write the language. It’s a very strange feeling not being able to read and not understanding any signs at all — I got lost once and couldn’t tell my friend where I was because I couldn’t read the road signs — but it made me so much more aware that anyone around me at any time can have a disability I can’t see. It made me more patient with everyone."
25. "I moved from Miami Beach to Idaho in my early twenties for work, having never visited and without knowing a soul. Having to adapt to a vastly different setting and getting to know people who grew up in a totally different culture made me a better, stronger, and more empathetic person. I’m thankful every day for that experience."
26. "When I was 24, I moved all the way across the country from Vermont to Oregon after only thinking about it for a few months. I’d never been to Oregon and didn’t know a single soul there. It was hard at first — I lived out of a crappy hotel for awhile and had to find roommates on Craigslist — and it was incredibly lonely not knowing anyone."
"But eventually, I got a job in an awesome field and made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. It wasn’t a high-paying job or anything and I’d never been so poor in my life, but it was one of the best experiences. I moved back home now and still talk to and visit my West Coast friends all the time. I know it seems incredibly scary to just pick up your whole life and everything you know, but a fresh start in a new place really does a lot for a person. I wouldn’t trade it for anything."
27. "I moved from a small town in Maine to the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland for university. At first, it was a bit of culture shock as the region was very heavily influenced by both Swiss and Italian cultures — it has its own unique Ticinese culture."
"I had to learn Italian since very few people knew English there. My diet changed drastically, and I was thrown into a new world. It was the best decision of my life! If you’re considering making a drastic change in where you live, go with an open mind and just do it! I speak two more languages than I used to, made friends around the world, and learned who am I and what I want in this life."