How to Relocate Alone

wiseGEEK Writing Contest

Many people relocate to a new place for work, fun or both. Whether yours is a cross-country relocation or a trans-Atlantic one, there is an easy process that you should follow.

First, know why you are going where you are going. Sounds easy? Think it over and write down your answers. For one thing, relocating is a big deal -- something to take seriously and not on a whim. For another, once you have arrived in your new destination, you will want your list of reasons to refer to in the moments when you second-guess your decision.

Second, research the lifestyle of your new home city, in *advance* of your move. How is the climate different? How is the culture different? How are the lifestyle needs of your new city different than those of your current home? Knowing the answers to these questions not only help you understand what to pack and move, but what to expect when you, say, suddenly need to know which cactus is poisonous or whether it rains every afternoon at four o'clock.

Third step? Pack wisely. Moving cross-country in the State will cost roughly $1 per pound of "stuff" that you move. Are those 10-pound dumbbells cost effective to move? Can your (weighty) college term paper collection be stashed in your parents' basement? Expert movers always tell you *how* to pack something, but they never tell you *what* to pack. Only you can answer that, and a conservative strategy often means a big savings.

Assuming you can hit these Big Three of "pre-relocation" steps, here is the last rule of thumb: assimilate, assimilate, assimilate. When you get to where you are going, realize that you will be able to make your new place feel like home once you leave your new digs. Wander the neighborhood. Explore. Find the library, the post office and the grocery store. Participate in the community. Bring your newspaper to coffee shops and people-watch or (gasp!) talk to the other guy at the table next to you doing the same thing.

Are you working in your new city? The crown jewel of a successful personal relocation is in the same vein: never go home immediately after work. In this department, it pays to do the dawdling your parents always forbade. Join a club or a group in town, volunteer, or have dinner at one of the restaurants you eyed on your first roll through town.

Relocating is said to be one of life's most stressful events. Keep a few key tips to heart, and yours is sure to be a rewarding, fulfilling success.

This submission was not accepted into the wisegeek Writing Contest because is is not a question with a complete answer.

submitted by Tracie Zenner Eisenman