18 Signs You Should Consider Moving To A New City

If 2020 or the years to come have you longing to live somewhere else, here are 18 reasons you should consider moving to a new city.




2020 has been a hectic year for many, between the election, COVID-19, climate change, rampant police brutality, and seemingly every other worst case scenario. For a lot of people, simply still being alive is enough. The theme of the year was survival. But as the year draws to a close, it’s time to consider looking ahead to hopefully greener pastures. 

Moving to a new city is one of the hardest things to do. Uprooting your life and starting another one comes with a mixture of feelings: part of you might feel optimism for opening a new chapter in your life while another part of you may feel like you’ve quit or failed. Regardless of whether you get a job in a new place or just need a change from the same old shit, there comes a time when you have no choice but to relocate.

Timing a move is tricky. You’ll be hesitant to leave behind the life you’ve built for yourself in your current city, the relationships you’ve forged while living there, and the job it took you forever to get. On the other hand, you'd hate to miss out on new opportunities because you dragged your feet. In a year where it was hard to safely do much beyond take in our immediate surroundings it’s important to honor what came up. If 2020 or the years to come have you longing to live somewhere else, here are 18 reasons why your inclination to move may be just what the doctor ordered.

There’s better healthcare elsewhere

Sign of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Despite a year in lockdown and adjusting to spending more time alone, humans are social creatures. We need to be around people whether they be acquaintances we pass on the street, the friendly barista at our favorite coffee shop, or our closest family and friends. Maybe moving back home where your family is or to a new city where more of your close friends live would be good for you.

Mufasa was right, there is a valued circle of life and it often involves caring for those who cared for us when we were younger. There’s really nothing more noble than honoring that cycle and if you can make it work, why not move to be closer to your elders? You’ll gain so much wisdom from spending more time with them, won’t have to worry as much because you’ll know how they’re doing since you’re seeing them regularly, and can make the most of whatever time you may have left together.

Who doesn’t love a nice day spent at a museum or an evening at a sporting event? Maybe you want to be able to go to outdoor film festivals or take in a new exhibit at an art gallery? If where you’re living now doesn’t provide easy access to these cultural attractions and they’re important to you, move somewhere that has them in spades. You’ll thank yourself later.



City life gotten too fast for you? Missing fresh, clean air and green spaces? Want to slow down and live off the land or start your own pottery studio? Moving to a new, smaller city might enable you to do just that. Or, maybe you’re tired of the glacial pace of your small town where everyone knows everyone. Move to a bigger city where the only people who know your name are those you tell it to. Either way, relocating might embolden you in ways you never imagined.

In some ways, COVID has made living in the location where you want to work obsolete. But, for certain industries location is still everything. If you want to work in TV/film, fashion, or music, living in New York City, Atlanta, or Los Angeles is ideal. Interested in tech? You’ve got to consider moving to San Francisco or Oakland. Politics? Can’t go wrong living in the DMV. Don’t be afraid to move for the career you want, even if you aren’t in the game yet. 

It is really easy to bargain with yourself when it comes to your dreams. No matter which way you cut it, the television industry lives in Los Angeles and New York, web start-ups congregate in San Francisco, and oil men reside in Texas. Though it is possible to be a huge fish in a smaller pond (just ask some of the best filmmakers in New Orleans and Austin), it isn't necessarily the best move. If there is a better place to be to do what you love, whether it be composing sonnets or catching trophy winning trout, it might be time to find your Mecca. We all know that the Internet has put careers within reach of people working remotely, but be real about what you're giving up if you don't live where the action is. Yes, you can design apps in your shack in rural North Dakota, but is that giving you the best chance at success?



You don't know if you don't try. Though this sounds like the sort of thing your mother would say in an attempt to get you to join marching band or math club, it's still good advice. There are people out there (we all know at least a few of them) who know deep down that they want to live their entire life in their hometown. There are also those people who graduate college and decide that they'll live out their days in their college town. There's nothing wrong with a decision like this, but if you aren't absolutely sure where you want to spend your life, it can't hurt to try something new. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't like it and opt to move back. If you move back, at least you'll be able to replace "What if?" with "I tried it and it sucked."

When I moved to New York City, a friend said to me, "You know, there are New York people, there are L.A. people, and there are career people." I often find myself thinking about how right he was. One of the most annoying parts of living in New York City is listening to people who "just love New York," and believe that it is "the greatest city in the world." I like to think I'm a "career person," in that I could make rural Minnesota work if I had to. The point is, if there's a place that you love, why not live there? We've all met some older person who constantly sings the praises of their favorite city and has never spent a meaningful amount of time there. They love London or Paris or Beijing so much, yet they've only been once or twice. If there is a place you want nothing more than to spend your time in, why aren't you there? Regardless of your concept of the afterlife, you likely don't believe you'll be spending it in San Francisco or Seattle, so if that's where you want to be, hop to it.

In a society where we pour years of study and thousands of dollars into our chosen fields, it almost feels like a sin to abandon your path. Never mind that you likely chose your career at eighteen years old. Think about the other things you liked when you were eighteen. Do you like any of the foods, bands, or clothes you were into back then? For those of you who aren't yet eighteen, think back to when you were twelve to get an accurate picture of what I'm talking about. Unless you suffer a worse case of arrested development than Buster Bluth, the answer is likely no. What reason do you have to stay a veterinarian now that you are a decade removed from that transformational experience you had rescuing a cat from a tree as a teenager? If you decide that what you really want to do (this year) is handcraft scented candles, then by all means go to the best city for candle crafting and give it your best shot. If you go back to being a veterinarian, at least you'll have cool stories to tell about that one year you spent crafting candles.

You hate the weather


No one likes long distance relationships. That's why most of them end with one party hooking up with a fellow graduate student, co-worker, or cult member. That doesn't mean they can't work, but by definition, they aren't ideal. If you work for a multi-national corporation with campuses in every major city or you work from home, it might be time to consider moving where your partner needs to be to succeed. If they get into the best graduate school, lands their dream job, or have a burning desire to start a deep sea fishing business, why not try it with them? You can collect unemployment in any state, dawg.

The last thing most young people want to think about is starting a family. Anyway, if you've graduated college, you're going to see a few couples move to the suburbs and take on mortgages in the next year or so. If you're an artist type or super career-driven, you'll tend to associate this with giving up or failure. Just a heads up: when you visit the people that make this choice and you see their huge houses and their happy children, you won't feel like it's them who failed. I'm not here to tell you that if you don't start a family you'll end up an empty husk on the corporate ladder. All I'm saying is if you're feeling it's time to pull the "house and two kids" card, no one is going to fault you for it. In fact, your friends who are still downing beer by the pitcher and having one-night stands might even be a little bit jealous.

You realize you were running away

moving boxes

You might look around some day and realize that the reason you moved somewhere no longer exists. Maybe you moved to Chicago with your college buddies after school, and one by one they have left. It could be that you moved to New York to act, but you've done a hell of a lot more waiting tables than acting over the last five years. Maybe the girlfriend you moved to Philadelphia for has become your ex-girlfriend. I'm not advocating running way from your problems, or hopping a few exits down the interstate every time a relationship implodes or you're handed a pink slip. On the other hand, if you're sitting at the coffee shop one day and your realize that your life would be no different sitting in a coffee shop in Austin or Boulder, maybe it is time to find a place that feels like it matters.

Don't get me wrong: everyone hates where they live a little bit. In New York, bitching about your rent and the subway's tardiness are as common as complaining about the weather. In order to live in Los Angeles, you are contractually obligated to bemoan the shallowness of the populace twice a day. In Pittsburgh, you either complain about how the Steelers are playing or you complain that everyone is obsessed with the Steelers. If your complaints about a city go beyond your standard bitching and you start to sound like the bitter old guy who sits at the diner alone yelling at no one in particular, it might be time to check in with yourself. If you hate the transportation, the politics, or how nothing happens after 10 p.m., those things aren't likely to change any time soon. Maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder, and if that happens, you can return to hating everything about your city with a renewed energy and vigor—once you've tried a new place and hated it, too.

G Train

Maybe it’s not a dream come true or for any of the reasons listed above. You can move just because you want to. You don’t have to be running away from something or running to something. Maybe you just want to try being you and living your life in a new city. Go ahead, buy that ticket, and give it a shot. 

Maybe your current city doesn't meet your recreational or medical needs, as far as weed is concerned. You might find solice in moving to a state that has top tier dispenceries and legal high-grade cannabis options. As more states create some form of weed legalization, you might  even consider taking a legit shot at the multi-billion dollar industry. Whatever the case, if it makes you happier and brings you a peace of mind, it's probably worth the try.

Latest in Life