1. You are sick of people identifying you as someone else’s. “You’re so-and-so’s daughter,” or “you’re the boyfriend of so-and-so. Are you guys still together?” That needs to stop. You want to be in a place where they know you as you.
2. You need more anonymity. Sometimes even big cities feel small. Like when your entire graduating class infiltrates Astoria. Or when you’re still neighbors with the same people you’ve seen everyday for the past 20-something years. You want to be around people who don’t know your past.
3. You’re restless. When you desperately want to wander, not being able to makes you feel caged. You want to see the rest of the world, or the rest of the country, or whatever’s exactly 500,000 miles away from wherever you’re currently sitting.
4. You’re still in your college town and are done with people who say, “Haven’t you already graduated?” Yes, but you’re still here. Is that really such a problem? They’ll ask what you’re doing now and somehow, unless you’re doing neuroscience research, you feel insignificant.
5. It’s become clear that your dream job can’t be done here. Sometimes you live in the perfect place, but it doesn’t have the right opportunity for you anywhere in a 50-mile radius. It’s frustrating to have to pick up and move but the longer you wait the farther you are from your next chapter.
6. You. Are. So. Sick. Of. The. Weather. You are in serious need of a climate change, because your sun lamp isn’t cutting it anymore.
7. You’ve started to forget what places other than your own city or town look like. You’re so caught up in the aesthetic of brick buildings that you’ve forgotten that somewhere in the world there are temples and rickshaws. Or even that somewhere in the world there is stucco and strip malls and supermarkets bigger than the 15’ x 10’ bodega you frequent.
8. You’re beginning to hate everyone around you through no fault of their own. Even if you see different faces everyday, they’re starting to blend together. It’s a sea of the same types and the monotony is getting to you.
9. Your routine is getting old. Sure, once you move you’ll miss the familiarity, but for now you’re ready to abandon your same old coffee shop with the cashier who still judges you for the time you spilled 2 years ago.
10. You need a new dating pool. When you live in your college or hometown post graduation, it starts to get incestuous. The pickings are slim and if you’re hooking up with anyone, it’s either someone you’re revisiting or a friend’s old flame.
11. You feel like you’re just going on the same date over and over. There are only so many LA actors, NYC ad men, or guys-who-moved-to-Chicago-for-work-even-though-they-didn’t-want-to that you can meet for “small plates and a few drinks at that new place.”
12. You are finally ready to be out of your comfort zone. And want to act before you change your mind.
13. You want to change your lifestyle. You don’t just need to shift your surroundings, you need to rearrange how you go about your day-to-day. You want to adopt new traditions that aren’t your own.
14. You need to leave the place filled with memories of someone no longer in your life. Every one of your “spots” is haunted with memories of when they were still with you.
15. You need new friends.Finding a friend group in a new city is a great feeling. You know fewer people, so there are way less people to offend or exclude. You’ll find people who are in a similar place in their life, or are from a completely different upbringing. They’ll go from being your new friends to the people you confide in.
16. You want to fall in love with a place because you never have before. You can be more attached to a place than a person. You just need to find the right place.
17. You’re sick of the language around you. Maybe that means you want to be in a different country, or maybe you’re sick of your town’s weirdly specific vernacular. You want to find out what it would be like for the people around you to say, “y’all” or “eh” or call soda “pop.” You want to learn the idiosyncrasies of a new place.
18. You believe growth means challenging yourself. And you’re ready to uproot your life and make room for a new challenge.