Looking for a change of scenery? If you feel stuck in a dead-end career or trapped by the same sights and sounds of your hometown, you may want to start over in a new location. Many people find that a fresh start helps boost their mood and see things from a new perspective.
But you shouldn't make such a big decision with your eyes closed. Take into consideration the following three factors when you decide where to unpack your bags next.
1. Arts and Entertainment
When you move to a new city, you want to make sure that you can find likeminded people, people who want to spend their time in the same pursuits and hobbies that you enjoy. Before you call the moving van, scope out your new locale for interesting restaurants, bars, art galleries, theaters, or anything else that you like to do on the weekends.
Your new city might surprise you with its underground music scene or fascinating historical sights. But if after your thorough investigation, you still can't picture yourself living there, you might want to find a new place to call home.
2. The Environment
If you value the great outdoors, be on the lookout for a city that values open spaces and air quality. Take a walking tour of the town and look for recycling centers and bike lanes, tell-tale signs of environmentally conscious citizens. Your walking tour will also help you discover parks, public lands, and natural wonders in your new area.
You should also ask the locals about trash collection and neighborhood cleanups. A conversation with current residents will help you learn from their experience and prepare for your future as a property owner in the same location.
Some cities attract retirees by the dozens. Others provide great family-friendly activities for parents and children. When you hunt around for a new city, take into account the age, salary, and social demographics of the people you'll share a space with. You won't feel comfortable if you're the only recent graduate in a town full of empty-nesters, and you'll have a hard time making play dates for your young children if you relocate in a college town.
Internet research can help you find out the statistics about your new city, but you should also consider taking a weekend to rub shoulders with actual residents. Your gut reaction will tell you everything you need to know before you make a final decision.
Together, these three factors will guide you to a city that matches your values and provides stimulation for you and your family members in your new town.