Have you ever moved to a new city? What about a new state or country? Any move, no matter how far you’re venturing, can be scary and stressful. It’s also one of the most thrilling adventures you’ll ever take.
A little over three weeks ago we were packing up our home in Arkansas, only nine months after moving from Minnesota to Arkansas, in preparation for our move to Iowa (confusing, I know). Brandon and I grew up in small cities where our respective occupational markets simply don’t exist, which has left us free to take a couple adventures in search of a new city to call our home. Having lived in a handful of cities and states now, neither of us have felt that humble feeling of home… until recently! We’ve been residents of Iowa City for three weeks now and things are finally starting to feel normal! The boxes are (mostly) unpacked, pictures are finding their place on the wall, my flower garden is planted (gahh, I finally have a garden!), Brandon is loving his new job, I’m in the thick of my career search and feeling wonderfully optimistic about the market here, we live close to family (but not too close – that’s important too!), we found our new favorite coffee shop and craft brewery, the biking and running trails here are some of the best we’ve found yet, and I’m ecstatic about the kayak routes here. Too good to be true?!
I’ve had a lot of people ask me for moving tips and how to make a new city their home. There are so many factors at play when you move to a new city and start asking yourself if it’s the right place for you. For us, proximity to family, occupational success, and all the little things like finding a new favorite coffee shop or becoming members of (and loving!) the local food cooperative, have been some of the most important factors in calling Iowa City our new home-for-keeps. I didn’t used to think the little things were all that important but oh my, they are soo important! Finding those places that relate with who you are can make an enormous impact, because they allow you to connect with the community on a personal level. And that is the most important detail to making a new city your home – finding that sense of community and where you belong in it.
Have you ever made a long-distance move and did you find your sense of home there? What are the most important elements of home to you?