Written by: Corinne DiOrio
As I write this post, I’ve begun the journey of moving from New York to California. After spending my childhood on the east end of Long Island and my college years in Manhattan, I needed a break from the hustle and bustle of New York. I need a place where the sun can shine every day and the people walk slower. I’ve always wanted to move to California, but it felt more like a distant dream rather than a reality. In case you were thinking about making the move, I wanted to share some tips I’ve accumulated in the process of planning and leaving my home state.
- Finding a place to stay
If you’re like me, you’re going without an apartment because apartment hunting while living forty-five hours away can be difficult if you don’t have the funds to travel between states in the meantime. I chose to rent out a “long-stay” AirBnb. This will allow you to live there with a pre-paid apartment (as long as six months), while you search for a job and/or an apartment. Of course there are other options to consider! If you have friends or family who live there, you can stay with them. I’ve heard that couch-surfing is basically a right of passage in California. If that’s not option, check out WWOOF, a company that allows you to work on farms throughout the world in exchange for housing. Be sure to read all reviews on your host before choosing. If you do choose to get an apartment beforehand, make sure the place is legitimate and never send money to someone who doesn’t feel trustworthy!
You’ll need to start saving at least six months in advance. The amount of money you’ll need depends on how you get there/where you are living when you do get there. As for me, I drove, so I had to calculate how much money I would approximately spend on gas, tolls, food and hotels along the way! Besides saving from my part-time job during school, I also utilized selling apps. They’re easy to use and you can make money while cleaning out your closet.
Homesickness is a very real, very hard emotion to deal with when you move so far away. You might cry, you might even want to go home the moment you leave your town. But just remember, that feeling fades. It is okay to miss people, but there was a reason you wanted to leave, and nothing is permanent. A hometown is always a home. If you can, planning trips back, or having friends and family plan a trip to you in advance is good way to ease your homesickness. It’ll give you something to look forward to. Keeping in touch on your phone is also essential and can really bring you closer to those you left behind.
Traveling to another state can be intimidating, so it’s important to make sure you stay conscious of your safety. Be aware of your surroundings in secluded areas, know the crime-rate in that city and make sure you know and are following the laws of each specific state. Always carry your phone on you and keep your valuables close or locked away. Have a first aid-kit handy and research nearby hospitals in case of an emergency.
Depending on your living situation when you get to the city you are moving to, you may have to pack light. It is important to have a good understanding of the weather in that state so you can choose what kind of clothing items to bring. You’ll also want to pack personal items and some small appliances if you can. If possible, bring items to someone’s house that you would want sent to your new location. This could save a lot space and make your move go smoother. Of course, you can also rent a moving truck, or pack your car as tightly as possible!
Despite all the packing, planning, homesickness and all stresses in general, you must push yourself! Remind yourself why you wanted to move in the first place and enjoy exploring another part of the country.
Edited by Rachael Teelander