Regardless of whether yours are planted in a bustling city or out in the country on the outskirts of town, we all have roots. We all have hometowns where people know our names, we can breathe a little easier and everything feels familiar. Yet, while that environment can feel like a warm hug when we need it the most, there may come a time when it starts to feel more than a little stifling.
Maybe you’ve moved back to your hometown after spending some time away. Or, maybe you took a chance years ago and made a major move, but are now starting to feel that all-too-familiar itch to pack your bags again. Before you book that one-way flight out of dodge, it’s helpful to do a little soul-searching first. Maybe it’s not your town that’s boring you. Maybe you’ve just tired of doing the same thing over and over again and need to switch up your routine. Perhaps it’s your job that’s catalyzing these feelings of anxiety and unsettledness. Or, maybe it really is time to move on, unearth those roots and plant them again somewhere new. Here are five signs it’s the latter.
1. Nothing about the environment excites you.
Take a look outside your window. Does what you see bring you joy? What about the views you take in while on your way to work, taking your evening walk, or grabbing coffee with your friends? If it’s becoming increasingly hard to find those little glimpses of excitement, stimulation and beauty all around you, then it might be time to try somewhere new.
Keep in mind that as time goes by, even the most incredible environment can start to lose its sparkle. For example, tourists visit Time Square and marvel at the fast-paced grandeur of it all. Yet, many lifelong New Yorkers avoid it like the plague. Keeping that in mind, remember that even if you’re growing a little bored or uninspired by your surroundings, that might not be reason to cut the cord just yet. Keep digging to find places where you can grow, be challenged, learn something new and connect with others. If you still can’t find those resources, take that as a major sign that something better might be waiting.
2. You haven’t found your tribe yet.
You’ve been at the same job and visited the same gym, cafe and bookstore for the past five years. Yet, you still can’t seem to find people who you just “click” with. While you might not want or need a bevy of close pals, the reality is that everyone needs at least a few people they can count on, vent to, share ideas with and make memories around. Especially if you’re living on your own away from family, this notion of a tribe can be critical to your mental and emotional health.
If you feel as though your personal growth is being stunted because your social circle is unable to grow, that may indicate that it’s time to move. While you’ll never live in a locale where you mesh well with everyone, you may find “your people” by taking a step out of your comfort zone and moving somewhere new.
3. You can’t grow your dreams.
Maybe you want to become CFO of your current company. Maybe you want to branch out on your own and start your own business as an entrepreneur. Or, maybe you have an artistic talent or passion that you want to cultivate and pursue. Either way, your living environment should be conducive to helping you reach those goals. Sometimes, however, the dreams you want to pursue simply aren’t available where you live.
For instance, say you want to land that C-suite position but you currently work at a satellite states away from your company’s headquarters. Or, maybe there is a market or an audience for your niche talent in a more arts-based community. If you truly feel as though your gifts and abilities would be put to better use somewhere else and that more doors would be opened for you there, that could be a major sign that it’s time to move.
4. You’re in a new season of life.
You’ve heard it said that people come into your life for different reasons. Sometimes, they stay forever but other times, they are only there for a brief period of time. The same holds true for places you live. What worked when you were in your early twenties might not be enough for you once you enter your thirties. Or, the hometown that raised you from a baby until you were 18 might not feel the same when you try to move back home after college.
These changes of heart are completely normal. We all experience seasons in our lives where we need a change of pace, new scenery and even a new circle of friends. There’s nothing wrong with boxing up your belongings, figuring out how to expertly pack a carry-on and going off in search of new vistas. If you’re ready to start a new chapter or close an existing one, consider how your current environment factors into that decision and what might need to change to make you feel at home.
5. You’re going stir-crazy.
When a great idea wakes you up in the middle of the night, do you just roll back over and go back to sleep? Or, do you grab a pen, write it down and let it marinate for a while? Chances are, it’s the latter or at least it should be. When something brings us alive and invigorates us, we take action. We feel alive, capable and energized.
Conversely, when we’re bored out of our minds, we lose track of the very things that made us feel whole in the first place. If you simply feel at your core that you’re in need of a new direction, that might be all the sign you need that it’s time to make that move. Sometimes, it just takes making your mind up, taking that leap of faith and starting over again with a clean slate to bring you alive again, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Making the Big Move, Confidently
Once you’ve decided it’s time to make your move, be sure to understand the weight of the decision before telling your boss, breaking your lease and booking that flight. In the interim, trust your gut, listen to your intuition and once you’re ready, hit the road with confidence, assured that your internal compass is directing you exactly where you’re meant to be.