21 Things Only People Who Moved Around A Lot As Kids Understand


1. You don’t enjoy uncomfortable or new situations, but at this point, they’re so second-nature to you that you usually just dive right in and try to get them over with.

2. College was a much easier transition for you than it was for a lot of people. Name games, introducing yourself over and over and over, getting lost, asking for help, having no clue what you were doing – that was your entire childhood.

3. Your wedding was or will be a destination wedding for at least half the people you know, regardless of where it is. After a life of repeatedly moving around, your friends from grade school, high school, college, and beyond are all over the place, as are your parents’ friends. So at least fifty percent of the group will be traveling to get to wherever you are.

4. When people ask you where you’re originally from, your go-to answer is just to state the last place you lived before you went to college. It’s just easier than saying Well, technically here, but also here, and a brief time here, and here for a couple years before we moved to here, etc. 

5. So when you tell someone where you’re “from,” they’re always surprised that you don’t have any kind of accent. To which you just shrug your shoulders. Because you’re too lazy to explain anything further.

6. You’ve lived in so many houses over your lifetime that when your family is reminiscing, they have to refer to specific street names to keep things straight. “Remember the Christmas at Cedar Lane when everyone had the flu?” or “Nothing beats that one Halloween party we had on Washington Street.”

7. Everyone always assumes that your dad was in the army, and if he wasn’t, you have to explain to people exactly why your family moved such a baffling amount of times.

8. When a relatively new friend finds out where you were born, they typically follow it up with “What? That’s so random.” Which inevitably leads to your two-minute, automated explanation about your insane, all-over-the-place childhood.

9. The anxiety you felt for Cady Heron in the beginning of Mean Girls was unbelievably intense. You felt like a nervous parent watching their child in a soccer game for the first time.

10. Your childhood in one sentence: “Class, we have a new student joining us today.”

11. Your bonds with your siblings are still unbelievably strong to this day, because they were your only constant, guaranteed friends when you were a kid.

12. Move-in day always felt like Christmas morning as a kid, because you got to unpack all the toys and clothes and trinkets that you hadn’t seen for weeks, never knowing what you were going to find in each box.

13. Chances are you went to a college that was over six hours away. Even if you loved your high school (or high schools), your lifetime of constantly undergoing change planted a seed within you that led to a constant need for new environments.

14. As a child, you were always baffled when your friends either had grandparents living with them or got to see their grandparents on a regular basis. For you, seeing most of your relatives always involved hopping on planes or driving long distances.

15. Often your personal self feels like a bunch of different pieces – the you from North Carolina, the you from New York, the you from Texas, perhaps the you from abroad. At times your life feels very segmented, as opposed to being one long, continuous story. Sometimes you hate that. Sometimes you love it.

16. You’re either an expert at packing a bag smoothly and efficiently, or you’re great at messily stuffing everything into one suitcase under severe time constraints.

17. While you love traveling around and exploring different parts of the country and the world, it also makes you sad sometimes. Because you know it’s highly unlikely that you, your siblings, and your parents will all ever live in the same city at the same time again. It’s just not in your nature. And while you love being in a family with a sense of adventure, you can’t help but occasionally envy the friends you know who have a strong circle of people all in one place.

18. …And then you remember that this just means you have an excuse to travel and visit new places. Being separated doesn’t make your family any less strong.

19. Your license almost never matches the current place in which you actually live. It just seems like – what’s the point? 

20. Your brain typically goes into auto-pilot mode when you get to the airport, because you’ve spent your whole life flying. You’re so used to it that you honestly forget that going to the airport isn’t commonplace for a lot of people.

21. If you don’t make friends right away when you’re in a new situation – be it a new job, a new city, etc – it never worries you. You’ve had to press so many reset buttons in your life that at this point, transition periods of loneliness and uncertainty feel perfectly natural to you.

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Keep up with Kim on Instagram and Twitter

More From Thought Catalog