On Moving Without Going Crazy

1. Accept your resistance to the move.

You will resist. Even if not consciously, your body will resist, your mind will resist, and your spirit, if you believe in such a thing, will resist. You might get sick, feel anxious, and wonder who you are and what life means…all at once.

…you can do it!

2. Unpack immediately.

The moment you’re moved in, start unpacking. Don’t wait. Believe me, you don’t want to feel like you’re staying in a hotel for a year. It’s one of those things that’s exciting for a week or two, before it starts to drain you inside-out.

3. Stay in touch with people who matter to you.

While moving requires a lot of letting go, it doesn’t mean you have to let go of all your family, all your friends, and everything that makes you you, like your name, unless you really dislike your name, in which case this is your chance.

4. Seek out your interests.

What are you into? Where does your mind wander? Seek these things out wherever you move.

Challenge: Find Germans.

5. Explore nature around you.

Take walks! How is the weather different? Any weird-looking plants around? Perhaps there’s a dead duck by a lake? That last one is based on a true story; Miami is an interesting place.

6. Absorb the best of your new home.

I moved to China, where I learned to be less rigid in my approach to life. I also moved to Costa Rica, where I learned how much I value peace, quiet, family, and reading. These lessons are now a part of who I am.

7. Remember it’s an opportunity to start anew.

I would have never fully embraced my love of learning or of the arts had I never moved away from where I grew up, and that is a fact, I think.

8. Question why you’re moving.

In “Desperado” by the Eagles, one of my favorite songs of all time, Don Henley sings this lyric:

“Desperado” by the Eagles. Songwriting at its best.

Notes

  1. Online communities are an oxymoron. Human beings need real-life, proximal communities. Yuval Noah Harari has clear thoughts on this in the “Humans Have Bodies” chapter of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
  2. For more on finding meaning in hardship or suffering, read Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl.
  3. Cal Newport’s goes deeper into this in his book Digital Minimalism.

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