Whether it's a home project or an entire career, sometimes we just need to start over. The same goes for our biggest 'assignment.'
To learn why and how folks embrace change, Reddit user Always_Thinking1 posted a question on the platform, asking: "People who just up and left one day and started a new life, what was your experience like?" And it went viral!
From quitting an addiction to leaving an abusive relationship, everyone immediately started sharing their stories and I have to say, reading them is really inspirational. We, humans, are capable of more than we think.
#1I walked out on my abusive ex while he was in central booking with a single suitcase and a bunch of cats in carriers, took an uber five hours north, and totally started over. New name, new (claimed) birthday, new hair colour...
It was the most liberating experience of my life and, even though I still suffer residual effects from old injuries, being free of that bastard is a million reasons to be happy.
Image credits: AliceMorgon
#2A year ago me and my partner were addicted to drugs living in a little room, depressed with no motivation so we just up and left. Today we are in our own place in the country with steady jobs and i have never been happier.
Image credits: SlugEyePie
#3I was 26 years old, divorced, and living in Saudi Arabia (my home country) with extremely religious (cult-like) family. As a woman, you can imagine what an absolute f'king nightmare that was. This was before any of the 'reformations' of dear MBS in the country. The guardian system made it near f'king impossible to break free from an abusive household. I didn't know what to do. I had a good degree. I spoke English like a native. I decided it was time to finally leave this hell hole. So on December 30, 2014, with nothing more than my legal documents, a suitcase, and a carry-on, I crossed the causeway to Bahrain with the help of friends and got on a plane to the United States. It's been over 6 years.
I was numb until I landed on American soil. Once I could breathe the air of freedom, I broke down. I was taken advantage of my first year in this country. I received death threats, hate mail, temper tantrums from my mom that finally culminated in her telling me that I was dead to her and to never contact her again. I couldn't work for a whole year. Even after, it took 8 months to find a job and it paid sh*t. I was homeless. I rented a room from a murderer (he did his time though). Lots of weird sh*t.
Then in the last 2 years my life really began. I found my hobbies. I found myself. I found a new family. My dog and I hike and travel a lot. Then I met the love of my life and he has joined our wonderful little pack. I miss family. I miss certain aspects of my culture. I feel bad for not trying to make more of a change. I feel like a coward sometimes, but I just wanted to live. I didn't want to be a 'hero' or a 'martyr' or a 'dissident'. I literally just wanted the freedom to be able to go out of my house whenever I wanted to without someone interrogating me like some kind of criminal. I wanted to be able to accept a job and not have to have my father give his 'consent' so I can work. I wanted to adopt a dog, go on hikes, travel the world, fall in love. I didn't want to stay in my father's house waiting until a man feels sorry enough for me to add me to his collection of wives. I was 26 and divorced. Women my age in my culture don't get single eligible bachelors. Those are reserved for the 16-21 year-olds.
Image credits: just_lurking_b99
#4In 2019, at barely 80 lbs and with a full blown prescription drug addiction, I decided to stop showing up to a job I had been working for over a decade.
With no plan B I traveled to New Zealand, got sober, then France, got engaged, Italy, Alaska, got married, and then the Maldives.
I'm living in the US and have a quiet & stress free 9-5, run an Etsy shop as a hobby that has been doing pretty well, and have been sober for 1 year and 1 month.
Image credits: inrainbeaus
#5I did this a year and a half ago. Best thing I've ever done. Moved from Western New York to Arizona! It was tough at first with trying to get on my feet, and when I did...the pandemic started. But it's easier to do than most people think. I believe most people dont do it because of the "unknown" and scared of change.
For me, I'm happier than I've ever been. I have a really good paying job. The best paying job I've ever had actually. And the first job I've ever had that I enjoy going to. I'm 34 so that's saying something! And to live where I live, views of mountains, beautiful weather....it's just a dream come true.
Image credits: ibjimig
#6Four years ago I left my abusive ex husband who would beat, sexually abuse, and keep my kids and I malnourished and dirty. It got so out of hand one night he attempted suicide. While he was in surgery after the attempt (we both went into surgery cause we both got harmed but I got out earlier) I packed up my kids, dogs, cats and we all hopped into a Honda Civic coupe and drove as far as we could. Never looked back. Got a divorce, restraining order, went under a protection program for a few years and now the man is gone. Maybe he finally killed himself or maybe he ran off to be horrible to someone else. All I know is I’m writing this from my luxury apartment in the city of my dreams, about to take my healthy and happy kids to daycare, and can smell the sausage sizzling. My kids are still asleep.
Image credits: daughterofthemoon420
#7I did this last year. Granted I stayed in the same state, it was terrifying and exciting all rolled into one. I quit my job without having another one. Sold my house without having a home. Packed everything my son and I owned and moved 3 hours away. Best. Decision. Ever. It made me feel like I could do it again if I ever wanted too. The world is so big, so it was empowering.
Image credits: Hopeful_1130
#84 years ago, I abruptly quit a job I had worked for 7.5 years that I finally had to admit was a dead end. I got a job at a lodge in a national park flipping burgers for minimum wage. I didn't know a single person there when I moved. But it quickly led to travelling to amazing places like Alaska and making lots of friends from all over the world. The experience gave me the confidence to really pursue my career goals, and last year I finally got my dream job! Nothing good happens in your comfort zone!
Image credits: tikimoose
#9I did this 3 months back, shifted from Delhi my hometown where I lived with my parents and brother to Bangalore.
I had been depressed for the last 3 years. Worked in a very unsatisfactory job and did almost no work. Then in March this year had a manic episode of bipolar I where I spent all my savings on useless stuff, almost got married to a woman I barely knew and quit my job. I was jobless with no money and having panic attacks everyday remembering the sh*t I did and said when I was manic. Also thanks to covid every problem became 10x. I was suicidal most of the time. Months later I did get a job but the pay was meagre.
One fine day, 8 months later, I fought with my brother and I had had enough. So later that night packed some of my stuff and booked my flight to Bangalore and quit my job.
After two months of struggle I got a new job with almost thrice the income. Rented my own 2BHK flat all for myself. Threw all my old clothes and got new onces. Started 3 other things. Started learning boxing and lots more. All my friends live nearby and best of all I live in the best area probably in all of India.
Everything is so much better that sometimes I think it is all in my head and I am actually in coma from a suicide attempt.
Tell me this is real. Idk how it will work for others but I think it is worth a shot.
Image credits: ishan28mkip
#10Quit my job and gave up my penthouse apartment in Vancouver ( oh, man, the view of Stanley Park and the mountains was amazing ) and moved to Japan for one year, maybe two. Twenty-four years later, I’m still here, happily married, and living in an even bigger penthouse apartment (oh, man, the view of the hospital and the railroad tracks is sh*t). Life? Am I right?
Image credits: Dropofsweetbeer
#11A 3 day bus ride from illinois to New York. I was so tired when I got there. I didnt see my future wife for almost an hour and felt that she got cold feet seeing as we had never met. We met, went to one of her friends house and got to know each other, and wound up making out on her couch. 20+ years and 3 kids later, I havent regretted a single day.
Image credits: sundevilz1980
#123 years ago USA to Japan.
Got a visa through a teaching company but they completely changed plans on me as soon as I arrived. I told them that I was assured before leaving that I'd be living in a particular place, and would not be happy in place B. I politely declined. Took all my money, about 3000, and went about searching for something else.
After blowing almost all my money I eventually met someone amazing who helped me get in the right direction. Eventually I was offered a job after many many applications and interviews, but didn't even have a place to live (was living in a capsule hotel). After securing the job I spent the rest of my money and maxed out my credit card on an apartment. It was a gamble but I never had failure in my mind. I spent the first month sleeping on my clothes until I had enough for a futon, then a bed. That amazing person who helped me and encouraged me to keep searching never stopped either, and is now my beautiful pregnant wife. I don't think I can win the lottery again.
Image credits: [deleted]
#133 years ago I moved from London, UK to Alberta, Canada.
Best decision of my life.
London is a very lonely city, especially when you're introverted. I never made any real close friends, and it's so insanely expensive that even with a great job I didnt have much money left to go out and enjoy life. And I lived in a small, awful shared apartment where the only space to myself was a probably 20 sq ft room or smaller. It is an amazing city but it didnt work for me.
Since being in Alberta I've made some close friends and met the love of my life. I finally have savings and a realistic prospect of buying a house one day. I live in a huge, 2 bedroom apartment by myself. I live near the rockies so I do a good amount of hiking. I've been tubing and ice skating with friends. Pre covid I started going to a new gym and on the first session had people saying hi, probably could've been friends if covid hadnt hit. Not to mention it's so sunny. The cold is extreme but I will never miss the grey and rain of England.
I moved here with a 2 week airbnb reservation, $5000 to survive off and no real plan, no jobs prospects. Just the knowledge I could book a flight home if needed. Somehow it all ended up working out.
Image credits: bo_radley
#14My ex and I packed everything we could in our jeep, plus our dogs, and left Florida for Maine.
It went.... hey, I hate it here, don't you? Let's move far far away. One side trip to visit my parents, and about 35 hours of drive time later, we arrived to coastal Maine.
Shortly after, the ex and I broke up.... and life got really difficult and lonely. I was in the middle of a crisis and culture shock, having moved from Miami to small town Maine. I didn't have a single soul here. I bounced around a few jobs, and some days I would go home and cry on my dogs because I was just so alone. I asked myself daily if this was the right decision.
One day, I decided I didn't want to be sad anymore. I'd gotten over the ex, and got a new job. The job sucked, but there I met my now closest and best girl friends. I started to save a little. I found a nice house with a big yard to rent. I got new furniture.
April will be 6 years I am here, and though I struggled for about a year and doubted my decision..... sometimes hourly.... moving was by far the absolute best thing I could have ever done for myself. I left some toxic family, some less than ideal friends, and a state that I hate.
Now my winters are spent playing in the snow with my dogs, and my summers (pre covid of course) are spent working hard and having fun with my friends. I have a job I love.
I'm glad I stuck to my decision, despite the struggles I had.
Image credits: DisGirlCanCookBro
#15Well....Idk if this counts as "starting a new life" but when I was a young teen my single, disabled mother, me, and my little sister was living in a toxic house with someone while we were down on our luck. I mean the people we stayed with would lock us out constantly then scream at us when we knocked to come in, stalk the bathrooms and try to barge in on us so we had to all go together, and go to sleep at like 7pm and expect it to be silent after that. It was so bad that my mother finally decided she would rather be homeless than have to deal with that toxic place. So, in the middle of the night we slipped the AC out the window and snuck out the window and never looked bad. The 2 years that passed after that weren't much better. We slept in our car and had to bathe at the beach. It was hard working everyday and hiding we were homeless. But we finally got a place last year that we're all so thankful for. For anyone that is in an abusive, toxic household thinking of leaving but too afraid to: do it. It wont be easy at first but stay strong and keep faith, and never give up. Good things will eventually come out of it. Its worth the struggle to have peace, mentally and emotionally.
Image credits: audonehere
#16The shutdown pushed me to have a new life. I lost my job and my savings were only going to last less than 1 month. So I left and took my boyfriend with me. We volunteered on farms in exchange for a room and food.
We worked in Vermont first on this gorgeous 40 acre farm that had sheep, cows, chickens, and bees. Then we decided to drive across the country to Oregon to work on another farm. Then another farm in Arizona. Then my boyfriend proposed and we got married in Las Vegas. Then we both found amazing jobs in Oregon again.
A year ago I was a bartender and working two side jobs to make ends meet. I was barely surviving and I literally worked every day. I worked 50 plus hours and still didn't have a savings or medical insurance. It was exhausting.
Now, I'm working in a field I always wanted to get into. I married an incredible man. I have health insurance, and a freaking savings account. Also, since we didn't have many expenses, we used our stimulus checks to invest and we turned those checks into $20,000 and counting in profits.
We were scared to leave; we didn't know if we could make it. We were scared to invest our money; we didn't think we could turn a profit. We kept being afraid of change, but if we had given in to our fears we would be back home, miserable, broke, and jobless. I'm glad we left.
Image credits: advthjudarv
#17If you are in a rut and have the chance to start fresh somewhere with a better job and lifestyle then just do it. Modern transport and telecommunications mean that keeping in touch with friends and family is easier than ever.
I took a chance and moved from a cr*ppy place in the UK to central Europe 12 years ago and it completely transformed my life in almost every meaningful way. I went from really strongly disliking the place I live in and the kind of people I had contact with, to now living in what is for me a paradise, working in stimulating and increasingly well paid jobs and surrounded mostly by positive and intellectual people. Also my quality of life is just awesome and my health and fitness is now really good. I still haven't met my soul mate or life partner, but I've no idea if that person even exists and at least I have had some good along the way with some great and memorable people.
Lord knows what I would have been doing with my life if I hadn't of taken that chance. Probably in some uninspiring job in an uninspiring place dreaming about how my life could have been different if only I'd had more balls.
Life is short, so take what opportunities you can to make it better,
Image credits: TotalWarspammer
#18In the year 2000, I was starting to become severely depressed, and heading toward suicide. I was living in sh*tty surroundings in a town outside of Philadelphia. I kept needing an answer out of things, instead of the permanent way. The worse things got there, the more I wanted to flee. I had no ties there, anyway.
I moved to San Francisco. I drove there, alone, cross country. My mother and grandparents, were totally understanding. We were all a family of nomads anyway, living different places my entire life. So, it was not super scary for me to start over again somewhere else.
I went from the abrasive, dour, unfriendly, east coast to a city where people told me I was beautiful on a near daily basis. This is coming from an overweight chick, who was always made fun of for it. It took me about 6 months to believe it. San Francisco was amazing for the self esteem and confidence that I didn't have much of.
People started conversation with me, and treated me well, and you could truly be who you were without judgement. I had been thinking about moving back lately. However, I understand it's a completely different city now, unfortunately.
I stayed for about a year and then moved to New Mexico, and have been here since... Save for a 5 year stint from 11/ 2007-12/2012 in North Carolina, where I had planned on going to college, which didn't work out. That was a terrible decision all around.
I love it here, in my quiet small town. But I wouldn't trade that year in SF for anything, because I learned so about myself, and again, it was a wonderful place for my self esteem.
Image credits: [deleted]
#19I left from Texas to go to Senegal to marry someone I met on a Muslim marriage site. I landed in Dakar only knowing one person on the entire continent. He was waiting at the airport and we were finally in each other's presence for the first time. We went to his friend's apartment to change into our wedding clothes. We then went to a mosque and got married. Less than an hour after meeting in person, he was my husband. We lived there in Senegal for two years and then moved to North Carolina. He is literally the best man I have ever known. We've been married seven years and I still am amazed at how wonderful my life is now.
#20Back in 2014 I visited Bali. My friends were getting married there, so I decided I'd make it into an extended holiday. I had no job, enough money for plane tickets and hostel accommodation.
Somehow I ended up being a freelancer living and working wherever. Get on a plane with a bag, find a place, stay for a month and if I liked it, stay on for as long as the visa allowed.
In total I spent just shy of five years across nine countries, just working on the internet and seeing the what there was to see.
This was in the before times, of course. Harder to do now.
#21I'm from a small town in the UK Midlands. Moved to London when I was 28 and loved it! Had the best 11 years there. Met my wife who is an Ozzie and now lived in Sydney Australia for the last 5 years, own a house with 2 young kids and love it here too for different reasons. Funny the path that life takes you on.. but sometimes you have to choose to step off and make your own changes.
#22A little under thirteen years ago, I was chatting with a friend online, and she was getting married. I went to visit her to help her pick out her wedding dress, and ended up staying with her and her fiance over the weekend. At the time, my life had pretty much hit rock bottom. I won't get into irrelevant details, but it was pretty bad. She offered to let me stay with her (3 hours away in a different state) while I got my feet under me. We'd only been chatting for a couple of months, and I met her fiance for the first time that weekend.
I took them up on their offer. This June, we celebrate our 13th anniversary, the three of us in a poly-triad relationship. While life is far from perfect, I'm the happiest I've been in my life with them and wouldn't change anything.
#23Probably eight years ago, I was with this girl for two years on and off. During an off time she left the province with a friend, they both became prostitutes and addicts. When she moved back we got together, she said she wasn't gonna be like that anymore and I believed her. The friend however slipped back into her life and flipped the switch.
I lost my job and ended up homeless, they offered me to live with them instead of some 'dirty shelter' I figured why not, should be supportive. I lived with them a few months while they serviced their 'Johns' in the other room. Pretty much listened to my girlfriend f*ck other men. Any money I had went to their dirty habits. I grew up with a addict mother so how was this any different was what I told myself day after day.
Eventually one morning I woke up and just said 'The actual f*ck are you doing?!' The GF had something to do that day and I straight up told her 'I won't be here when you get back' she said fine and I spent my last $12 on a cab back to the homeless shelter.
Fast forward now; Im 30 now, with a college diploma in a field I love so I'll never be without a job again. As a side note, my mom also got clean and has made for a better relationship.
#24When my husband and I separated 2 years ago.
I lost my marriage, friends, community, hobbies, job, home, pets all within 6 months.
So i decided to say f*ck it and I lived in Vietnam for 3 months. When i returned home i moved to the other side of the city.
Ive have an awesome apartment, have a great job, new partner and a new community of friends.
Something about moving away was a great reset.
#25Moved to Japan 3 years ago from the US. Met a guy online he bought me a plane ticket 2 weeks later,came here for what was supposed to be a 2 week vacation, he asked me to stay the night before my return flight home. I said sure. we got married travelled around the country together had a beautiful baby living our best life
#26Went on a vacation 4 years ago with supposed friends and s/o. Didn’t know I was bipolar and had DID and went into full blown manic psychosis and had one of my “alters” show up. It wasn’t pretty. I checked myself into a psych ward and got diagnosed with both and I started mental illness program and got on medication. It didn’t matter though and I was still shunned by everyone around me even my husband. so I a separation from my husband, picked myself up, grab 3 suitcases, deleted all my social media and moved to Cali with another (fake) friend without telling anyone other than the people who stood by me through it. Moved out to my own house 3months latter and got me a service dog to help identify potential manic episodes. Been on my meds ever since and I’m proud to say I haven’t had a manic episode in 2 years. The alters are still there but “we’ve” worked it out lol.
Best decision I ever made and would do again if needed.
#27I was 18. The family was out. I put a note on my bed saying “I’m leaving. I’ll be ok” and left. That was 50 years ago. I’m super glad I did it.
#28This is maybe not exactly the type of situation OP is asking about, at least it wasn't the first thing that came to my mind but looking at other responses I guess it's relevant.
In 2010 I was offered a 4 month contract in Finland in a field I never dreamed I would work in. At the time I had steady employment in Michigan but not a lot of prospects to do something I really loved. I tried to see if I could get 4 months leave from my job but understandably as it was during the busiest time of our year it was denied. I thought about it for another day or two and decided to throw caution to the wind and take a chance on this opportunity halfway around the world knowing full well that when I returned I'd have no job, no immediate prospects and no place to live (I didn't want to keep paying for an empty apartment while I was gone).
That initial 4 month contract ended up getting extended a few times and eventually turned into a permanent one. I spent almost 10 years with that company. I'm now at my second job in Helsinki, Finland. I'm married and have a 1.5 year old son. I haven't been back to the states since 2019 and that was for work, I haven't been back just to visit since 2013. As others have said, taking that chance was the best choice I ever made. Not only am I far happier than I've ever been but I'm now a veteran in a field I never dreamed I could join, I've experienced more in the last 10 years than I did in 30+ plus living stateside and it's opened my eyes to so much that we can be blind to living in the bubble of the United States. I love where I came from and my friends and family who are still there but, honestly, I have zero desire to go back there to live.
#294 years ago I got up and randomly decided to go to college.
This is from a 19 year old burger flipper from rural Utah with a middle school education. In fact I would have dropped out of middle school if I could have.
Moved from utah to texas, took enterence exams, got scholarships and all the sudden I've been in college for 3.5 years with a 4.0 gpa and very good prospects of getting in to medical school. (Attending college in utah because in-state tuition is cheaper)
Your future doctor didn't graduate highschool.
#30I had an extremely toxic relationship with my abusive “mother” and suffered her sh*t for literal years before finally having enough. I told her I was done and I meant it. 3 days later myself and my fiancé packed everything we could of mine into his car and I’ve never looked back. I’ll be starting my new life officially in September when I enrol into a far away uni; something I’ve been aiming towards for 5 years now and something which the egg donor never believed I’d actually do. Leaving the way I did was one of the beast decisions I’ve ever made and I haven’t spoken to her since.
#31I was badly addicted to alcohol and some other drugs. After a few tries I became sober, went from 100 to 0, quit everything, alcohol and all the drugs. Left most of my "friends" behind and soon after moved to a new city. Got a new job there and found lots of nice people who are today good friends of mine. Still sober since 6 years and this city became my new home. Best decisions I ever made.
#32I didn't move right away but after my parents disowned me in 2018 because they were/are? Q lunatics, I blocked everyone from my family, eventually quit all my social media since they started trying to stalk me, got a new phone, and changed my name in a different state legally to something totally ungoogleable. Legally my name is now something like taylor swift. It didn't happen overnight. The name change took a few months when I realized they were looking for me. Being disowned ruined me financially just as I was entering senior year of college and I had to withdraw, and ended as a sex worker with a pimp and everything that goes with that.
It's been really hard and you could say my life was ruined but I have no regrets. My family was really toxic and I'm better off. I know they expected me to crawl home and beg for forgiveness and I know they freaked out when I didn't but my feeling is when my mom says I was dead to her I took her serious. I told them in a letter they'd never hear from me again and they won't.
I am done with college with no debt, and while it's not a great time to get a straight job I'm trying and may do something entrepreneurial going forward. I am really looking forward to starting a family from scratch someday and just being a good mom.
Tl;dr - wasn't my idea, no regrets
#33I was only 23 and not married. I left Dallas, Texas for Seattle, Washington and it was the early 90s, so the Grunge Era. Best thing I ever did for myself. I had to get out from under a family I love that was smothering me with advice and instruction. Their views are conservative and evangelical. Mine are not. I was tired of family members showing up at my apartment at dawn on a Saturday. I was tired of lectures about how I should live and what job I should get. I was also tired of Dallas. It was sprawling concrete and steel and glass even then. Now it's even more enormous. Seattle was a lot more laid back, and people actually walked places.
I ran out of money quickly, but got a job and so there were two somewhat miserable weeks eating leftover Turkey from Thanksgiving and drinking only water, walking everywhere because I didn't have bus fare. Then I managed to build a life and keep on getting better jobs as the years went by.
When I was 30 I did it again. I left Seattle for a small town in the mountains. I've been here 20 years and am married to a great guy. We have a little house and a cat and a good life. Jobs out here are whatever you can get. Some are really good, most are not. But a career is not something I want. A living is plenty, and a life is better than a job.
Seattle has changed a lot since the 90s. It feels bigger and less laid back. The mountains make me feel home. The sunrises and sunsets here are amazing. The slower pace is nice. The woods all around are forever better than glass, steel, cement. The quiet is amazing. In Dallas I listened to gunshots and helicopters, traffic and loud neighbors. In Seattle it was mostly traffic, and loud neighbors.
#34Left my small town for the big city when I was about 23. I lived in a van with my wife and three dogs for about three weeks. It sucked but it was also great. We had a great little set up right by the Mississippi River. We both got jobs and found an apartment eventually but those first couple weeks of real freedom changed my life.
#35I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I experienced the varieties of cultures, learned about so many different parts of the world and was fortunate enough to meet some very interesting people. But by the time I was 27, I was very very jaded.
Everything was crowded, dirty, expensive. Jobs seemed to only be freelance and all the best jobs were going to out-of-towners anyway because they had more jolly attitudes what with growing up in a beautiful house on a hillside somewhere as opposed to roach infested apartments and walking everywhere.
So a guy I was dating but losing interest in moved around for temp gigs. About 6 years ago he landed a gig in Silver Spring, MD. When I first visited him I remember vividly the smell of the plants and grass along the front of the building. I became so enamoured by how much cleaner, more spacious and closer to nature the D/M/V was/is. I packed up my sh*t and moved.
I landed a job pretty quickly and a few boyfriend and job changes later I met the man that became my husband and landed the job of my dreams.
I've been married for a little over 2 years and live the suburban American dream.
#36Did it twice in my life. Best decision ever. First time running away from my abusive family. After my 18th birthday moved across the country to live with a guy I met online. I made a career out of my hobby but it was hard. Female in tech, I meet with a lot of sexism. Feed up with it I dropped everything and moved to more civilized country. I'm doing great here, Language barrier is still annoying but my perspective for future never were better. I only envy the supportive families and old good friends normal people have. I lost all of it.
Btw the guy I met online, we are still together after 17y. Could not done it without him.
#37I suppose I did too. My best friend and I boarded a plane to Australia from the UK the day of our final exams at university. I live in aus still 7 years later, with the love of my life, 2 dogs and a thriving career.
Image credits: Practical_magik
#38I’ve actually done this several times in life and I hope I can give you a little more perspective than someone who just did it once.
As a young man, I would do this whenever I got a wild hair up my ass. I would pack a bag, which basically consisted of everything I owned, and I would hit the road. When I got somewhere I liked I would basically couch surf until I got on my feet and it was that simple. It’s easy like that when your young, have few attachments, few possessions, few responsibilities, and the world is your oyster. If that sounds like you, then by all means, you have your whole life ahead of you so try it and see what happens. It is a lot easier to recover from a mistake when you are young.
Then I tried to do the same thing when I was 35. It turned out to be a lot harder than I remembered. For one thing I’m not as comfortable with couch surfing as I was fifteen years earlier. I can’t just be a bum anymore. I tried falling back on savings but then I was kicking myself when all of my savings dried up in less than 3 months. I didn’t make the move with a job or apartment lined up because I thought it would be fast and easy to find. But times are changing and the market is different. It took about two months to get a job and three to find a place. Even then, both the job and the home were really sh*tty temporary situations that I accepted out of desperation.
In the end, it took me several years to recover. It wasn’t nearly as easy as I remember it from my 18-25 years. If I’m going to move now, I will absolutely make sure that I have all of my ducks in a row before taking the plunge.
#39I lived in AZ through high school, college and after so I had grown roots there. Nice condo, decent paying job which I enjoyed, had solid friends, family lived up the street, and I was part of a co-ed soccer league. My days consisted of getting my morning cup of coffee, workout, go to work, come home then play soccer, draw on my iPad or play video games with my roommates.
One day, as me and my roommate were working out I had a sudden urge to join the military(never wanted to before this moment). Next day I went straight to the recruiters office, said I want to join the Navy and 2 weeks later I was sworn in and was leaving for bootcamp the week thereafter. I sold my condo to my roommate, broke the lease of my car, tied all loose ends, kissed my family goodbye and said "see ya later" to my friends. I am now in the Navy and got my orders for San Diego for my schooling then Japan shortly after that. I am f*cking happy and there's a new challenge every day.
Funny part, the only ones who's reached out to me is my family. Friends didn't say congrats or nothing, good riddance. I'm gonna live my life and have fun doing what I wanna do on MY terms.
#40As someone who was shooting up 200 to 500 dollars a day before I quit around ten years ago you really have to do 2 things if you really are at the stage that you want to quit. The first is very hard but unlike the first person staying around the same people you're around usually just does not work. So much of your kinship with those people revolving around drugs will make you want to drugs even if you stop for awhile. You have to just go no contact with them. Its the only way I found any success.
The second one which is also just as hard for some people is you have to get help. Real help like replacement treatment, suboxone or methadone and therapy. You have to realize going in that the replacements are just as bad but they do one thing thats essential. They let you normalize your life and take away the seeking drugs all the time mentality. Without that its very hard for therapy to work through all this stuff simply cause your mind isn't in a state that it can be worked on. Its constantly starving for something it sees as food now and will not stop wanting more to approach where the addiction is coming from.
#41I moved from Colorado to Oregon 1.5 years ago, partially to end my 5-year abusive relationship and mostly to simply experience another state and to try to not feel stuck with depression and life in general. Though I got booted from my dream apartment in Eugene due to needed renovations, I now have more income to put towards my dream of tattoo school (hopefully this spring! COVID restrictions) and am living with my amazing boyfriend of 7 months. I am in a metal band and never would have dreamed of pushing my boundaries like this 2 years ago, or of someone who treats me the way my current guy does. Life-uprooting? I recommend it.
Image credits: ness-rar
#42I moved from a big UK city to Australia 9 years ago. I was really struggling for money before I left. I now have a really well paid job and my family have never been happier.
It was a real struggle to start with, but no worse than the struggle I left. Social mobility here is much easier.
It really is the lucky country.
Image credits: Stuey_7787
#43Met my bf on reddit, quit my job of ten years and moved to be with him in another state after 8 months of long distance. In school for a new career and so happy with my new life 2 years later.
#44I've done it four times now. Once involved immigrating to a new country. I have always made housing arrangements before I go. And once I did have a job lined up.
The older I get the easiest it gets. I definitely prefer solitude so the first chunk of time in a new place is lovely. Being alone and completely free. Doing what I want and answering to nobody.
I've learned to take my time making friends. And getting involved in my community. This last move (at the beginning of the pandemic) really changed my whole life. I've walked away from my career and my community work. I'm starting a business. I've made friends with people I really appreciate instead of making friends with people because of work & community networking needs.
Each move has led to massive changes in who I am and how I live. What my priorities are. And this is a very good thing. This latest move and the pandemic really forced me to slow down and listen to what I need and who I am. That's the best part of picking up and leaving. You only have yourself. It's f*cking magic.
The worst part is the time it takes to make friends. Sometimes you just want to go for a beer and chat. It can get a little lonely. Phone calls and video chats just aren't the same. But soon enough friends will come along. Enjoy the alone time while you've got it.
It's good to get out into the world and experience a different life, to see things from a different vantage. It's good to learn that you can trust and really on yourself, to see your strength. And your weakness. Your bravery.
And honestly we've only got one life. If wherever you go sucks- pick up and do it again. Go where you need to go to be happy- your happiness has value.
But don't forget- wherever you go, there you are. Moving isn't a magic trick that'll cure all that ails you. You still have to do the work to overcome whatever is going on that's making you want to run. It might just be a little easier when you have a clean slate.
Image credits: piratesmashy
#45Geez after reading some of these comments this is exactly what I did! I was 24, wasted college getting a degree I’ve never used, working a dead-end grocery store job and living with my parents. Started dating this 30-year-old woman with a 9-year-old kid, which was nuts to me even now. After dating for maybe only 6 months or so, she told me she was moving to AZ for a job and she’d like me to go with her. Taking a look at my life currently, I decided to say yes and here I am 15 years later, we are married with two of our own kids, careers and home-ownership. Some rough parts at times, sure, but I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe trying to meet her a little sooner in life!
Image credits: denn2842
#46I'm often surprised that I actually fit into this category. I was in my 20's, living at home... Honestly, I wanted to move out so badly, but my Mom was really attached to me and panicked whenever I said I was going to move out...even though I have three siblings (one older, two younger) ... who had already moved out (Hey, it's not easy being the favorite!)
But I was seeing that although I had a good job ... my social life was garbage. I'd come home eat and play computer games. I had a few close female friends but ... come on, I'm living at home with my parents, plus I was shy (and embarassed of the living at home thing) so relationships never went where I wanted them.
Then I was chatting with a highschool friend in another country and for kicks I flew out to see him ... then I got a job at the company he worked at so I decided ... well, I'll go for a few months or so and see if I like it. One close coworker said simply "If you don't go, you'll always regret not going. If you go and you don't like it...just come back" Which made perfect sense PLUS coming home and finding an apartment instead of moving back home was an "out" to get out from under Mom's apron strings. (hey, she has three other kids!)
So I went. And almost immediately, I met several women and, being confident that I was an actual adult with my own place, I didn't have any problem convincing them I was good boyfriend material (Serially, not at the same time...mostly). I moved jobs, and felt good about being "a grown up". Eventually bought a house, got married, have kids. We go home every year. It used to be only at Christmas, but then it was twice a year so my kids could know their cousins and relatives.
So I'll always have two homes and two home towns now. It was such a hard decision for me to go and it was almost spur of the moment... 2500 miles from home.
I often wonder where I'd be in life if I hadn't gone. I mean if I had just sacked up and moved out ... would I have changed in the same way? I don't know. But I had to try it, and I'm so thankful for that friend who told me "If you don't do it, you'll always regret it, but if you go and don't like it you can always come back". He was 100% right.
#47Scandinavia to Australia about three years ago. I never realised how much sunshine and beaches improve your life! Nature is beautiful back home and beautiful here, and so are people. Moved for love and haven't regretted it for a second.
Image credits: hephephey
#48Was flagging in my 3rd year of uni in South Africa with limited job prospects in the dying days of apartheid (one of the more positive things that was happening at the time). Smoking loads of weed and earning less than minimum wage interning for an architect. Started working at a factory making sandals where the owner fed us speed to up production. One day 9secretly prompted by my mother) my older brother called me from Hong Kong and asked if I wanted to come look for work there. I didn't even really think about it. Just said yes, sure. A month later I landed in Hong Kong for a short stint to get some practical before going back and finishing my degree. Still here 27 years later. Met my wife, have a great life. Fortune favours the brave (or reckless).
#49Moved from Mississippi to Utah last November. It has been what I imagine moving from a third world country to the USA is usually like. Everything is better here. The cost of living is lower, despite what people in the South try to claim. Food is better and cheaper. The people are friendlier. The cops do not seem as aggro and militaristic. Literally everything is better in every way so far. I have not found even one thing that has not felt this way. I think people living in Mississippi - myself included until recently - simply do not realize how bad things are there. It is a decaying festering racist sh*thole of a state and I will never ever return for any reason.
#50Overall it's been good. I (40F) have done this a few times now, the last time was spring of 2018. I had a very uncomfortable 2 weeks with some random elderly couple I met off craigslist that I could have done without. They offered free room and board in exchange for help around the house and to be a friend to the wife when the husband worked out of town...but when I got there they turned out to be nudist swingers who wanted me to join them. That was not happening, so I left and wandered to another state. I've been here for 2yrs by myself, happy. I got a great job that I enjoy, I keep to myself mostly. It's been good. I had cut all ties with my extended family decades ago, and my husband died in 2016, so there isn't anything or anyone tying me to any particular place. While I make friends easily I dont maintain friendships (by choice), so walking away and starting over isn't a big deal to me. I like the change of scenery. I like discovering new places and developing a routine full of my new favorite restaurants or parks and grocery stores, being a regular in a neighborhood gas station then poof, I'm gone. On to the next place. When I moved in to my current place I could recall 34 places I've lived in my lifetime.
#51Got tired of the abuse from my father and joined the military (US) when I turned 18. I had orders to Illinois (flat and boring in my young mind) and swapped my orders with someone who was getting sent to Europe. He was crying because he was going to miss home. I jumped at the chance and spent 5 years in the Netherlands. Best time of my life... I didn’t call home for 6 months after arriving. I’m a different person for getting out of that house.
#52When I was 18 I packed a bag of clothes, my dog, and got in my truck with 200k miles and drove from Baltimore to Colorado. I didn’t know anyone or anything when I got here. I had $500 to my name. I was homeless with my dog for a little while, pretty much sleeping in tents and my truck using coffee shops to find a job.
Eventually I landed a sweet gig and continued to live in my truck another month until I saved enough fir an apartment.
It was the best thing I did in my life, Baltimore was a toxic place for me. I’m 28 now and still live here.
#53I just did this this year. Left a country town and have moved to the city. I LOVE it. I love being able to have a private life and being able to go shopping and run errands without everyone talking about it. I love the convenience of everything. I love how easy and cheap it is to get to places with public transport. I can travel over an hour away on a train for $3. I can go anywhere easily and without worrying about parking. I got a job within 2 days of looking here compared to 18 months in the country. I don't regret a thing.
#54i was 17 when i met the younger brother of one of my adult friends on discord. he was 20 at the time. a year of online dating and we finally met in real life. i dropped out of college and we moved 1200 miles away from my parents. i lost my car, all of my money, and my dignity. i am grateful for what i went through. it was really hard moving from a liberal city to conservative, redneck country- we didn't even have reliable water. i look back now and wish i had never met him.
i'm back with my parents now, safe and sound. i will never, ever try something so reckless again.
#55US - - > Slovakia. Ups and downs. Got middle class opportunities and a tame culture. But the paperwork of being a foreigner is a constant headache. The political system is its own set of problems I can say no real gain there.
#56My boyfriend and me were both working in Aviation (Pilot and Flight Attendant) and living in Dubai UAE.
The pandemic hit and my boyfriend got laid off. So we dicided to change continents and careers.
In September we moved from Dubai to Portugal (my boyfriend has never been to Portugal before, growing up in UAE).
Soon our Specialty Coffee Shop is going to open its doors.
From Dubai to Portugal. From Aviation to Coffee. We are so happy!
#57Sold everything and got on a greyhound with my two little kids and went across country to a big city I had visited once and loved. We've been here 11 years now. Have never regretted making this our home. It was very hard. We have struggled so much. But the decent life we have now made it worthwhile.
#58About a decade or so ago, my partner and I were living in a cr*ppy apartment in the Chicago suburbs, both working cr*ppy retail jobs. We got by, and we were happy enough, but it wasn't going anywhere. One night we were drinking together and decided to play around on Google maps, as you do, and from our place we just started zooming out, and zooming out, and zooming out. That's when it hit us that we were living right smack in the middle of a nigh-endless grid of urban sprawl. You could drive for a couple hours in any direction and never see the end of a strip mall. That's when we agreed something had to change. We had seems friends out in the Pacific Northwest who spoke highly of the area, and happened to have an open room in their apartment. We made plans pretty quickly, tied up a few loose ends, packed literally everything we owned into a Rav4, and just... left. That car was packed so full that if you opened any door things would come cartoonishly exploding outwards. The one sitting in the passenger seat had a box on their lap the whole way. It took us about 3 days of long uncomfortable driving, but we made it. There were plenty of times where we thought "is this a huge mistake? Are we doing the right thing?", but you've just gotta remind yourself that you've got this. You're in charge.
#59I got a job in a new city a couple hours away from where I was living. My wife, 2 year old son, and I had a week and a half to find a place to live, pack, move, and get settled before I had to start the new job. When we moved here I knew the name of the guy that had hired me and that's it. We knew no one else. We'd been to the city a handful of times on day trips but that's it so we basically knew where the main mall and a separate shopping area was.
What was the experience like? Awesome. I'd totally do it all over again without even thinking about it. It's something I would recommend everyone do at least once their life even if they move back. Moving to a new town is getting a fresh start on your life. You don't know anyone and nobody knows you. You get to make yourself out to be whoever you want to be. You aren't hit with bad memories everytime you drive by that one place because you have no memories at all of anywhere around you.
#60So I got divorced in 2019 and had been planning and saving for a move since. I ended up moving from north of Denver, CO to Tucson, AZ on January 10 of this year. It was exactly what I needed. Rent in CO is through the roof. In Tucson I have a great 1 bedroom apartment with brand new appliances and hardwood floors in a gated community. The same apartment in Denver would run at least $800 more than what I pay here. People here are actually really friendly. It was a little off putting at first because I wasn't used to it at all. In CO people don't talk to each other and are usually snarky when they do but I've had really nice conversations with complete strangers in Tucson. I've also already made a lot of friends and am dating a beautiful woman who also just moved here. So far it seems like moving to Tucson was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my life.
#61I moved from the UK to NJ in my early 20s. Plagued with anxiety and depression in the UK, made worse in the States by the isolation of knowing hardly anyone.
In my 30s I moved from the UK to East Africa. Best decision of my life as I met someone and had my beautiful child and then adopted my youngest child.
Moved back to the UK realising that if you're not happy where you are, moving to the other side of the world shouldn't be the first choice before therapy.
#62When I was 23 I moved from CT to WA. I was in a band that was doing okay, and managing restaurants at the time. I grew up super poor, and even though I'd had an apartment with girlfriend, I had very little. Like, I lived there for a year and never had a couch. No car. Not even a license. I couldn't afford a vehicle so why spend the money on acquiring my license?
A had a 91 y.o. grandfatger in WA. He wanted to stay independent and live in his home, but he needed help. I hadn't seen him since I was 13 and had only spoken to him a handful of times since, but he offered me the opportunity to live with him. I wouldn't have to pay anything, plus he had an extra car I could use.
So, I did it. My girlfriend and I packed up what little we owned in her car and drove across country to live with my grandfather in a small retirement town. Aside from my girlfriend, he was the only person I knew for 3000 miles.
I got a job working in a restaurant in about 3 weeks. My girlfriend dropped me off until I got my license, which didn't take long. Then I saw on the news that a government agency had a critical staffing shortage, so I decided I'd put in for that opportunity and ended up being selected.
I ended up working 45 minutes south of home, with odd hours. The GF worked up north. We developed different social circles and split up 6 months after moving. My grandfather passed away about 6 months later.
I was alone and homesick. I looked at avenues to move back to CT, but I had a stable job and made a livable wage for the first time in my life, so I didn't want to go back to nothing.
I ended up getting an apartment in a bigger city. I've now worked for that agency for 14 years now. I have lifelong friends. Married, kids, and I'm a homeowner.
Coming from absolutely poverty I'm pretty proud of what I accomplished.
#63I saved money throughout college years and moved out of the abusive home right after I graduated. Cut all contact. It's been decades since.
#64Not as far as some people but at age 18 when all my friends were at uni and I was working in a dead end job I just started looking else where.
Found a job moved from a small rural town in the midlands UK to Newcastle Upon Tyne. That was 17 years ago, it’s been phenomenal and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now. It was a huge eye opener initially as to what a sheltered and some what privileged life I’d lived.
I always tell the story that I moved for an £11k a year job and I used to buy cheap pasta at Morrison’s and then go to Ikea at the end of the day and ask to buy the already cooked meatballs that were going to get thrown out. That was basically the first year of me living up here until I got a pay rise. It got to the point where they would already have them packaged up for me - Carl and Nicola you’re the reason I managed to survive that first year.
#65To the dismay of everybody I announced I wanted to get married and escape the bum-life of being my parents' driver and assistant and housekeeper, ran away with my gf and married her, to the dismay of everybody in her family, but we just kept insisting this is what we want and if you disagree we can get lost you know, which we proved by living alone doing odd jobs for a year, but they wanted us around now that we have a baby so now we live in my wife's home.
#66I used to live in Austin TX as a musician but then i stopped playing music do to the death of 3 out of five band mates from suicide and heroin abuse (myself included in the five). I got clean, joined the army, left the country for a while, lost some more people, came back got diagnosed with the crazy, and now I try to walk the straight and narrow everyday, but usually falter at the lips of a whiskey bottle most nights. I now preform stand up comedy and am rising in the ranks, but those memories of the past never leave you no matter where you go. I make people laugh for a living now so they can forget the pain that life brings us. I hope one day I will find some peace but I have not found it yet.
#67I did plan it 6 weeks in advance, but I moved while working remotely during the pandemic. I had been wanting to leave my old state for a couple of years, and could finally escape! I knew someone who was willing to let me rent a room from them until I got settled and found my own place.
I broke my lease, sold/donated a bunch of stuff, put the rest in storage, then loaded up my car with my two pets and started driving north.
Three months later, I landed a new local job and have been much happier since.
#68Just up and walked out on an unhealthy, unhappy relationship. I felt I was just a convenience for my then partner. We had been in a relationship for 5 years and had no mutual children or financial binds. I am now living my life on my terms. I have never been happier. I now have the time to pursue my interests in life. I have made my own new friends. I do not feel lonely as I am so busy. My only regret is that i wasted 5 years on a relationship that was going nowhere.
#69It didn't actually happen all overnight, but I did quit my job without another one lined up and moved across the country, thousands of miles from all my family, for no real reason other than Colorado seemed like a better place to live than Wisconsin.
And it is. I got a job delivering for Amazon, which was less than ideal, but it paid well enough to build up some small savings and recover from the cost of the move while finding a better job. Now I'm doing what I love in the state where I've always wanted to live. It took a lot of work and compromise, but it turned out in the end.
#70I just did it partially a couple months ago. I only went to the next state and I still have the same job. But I left everything else I knew behind. Some days I have regrets, others I am loving the liberation. It's mostly the former until I get a bit more security.
#71It's been pretty wild. I up and left NJ to Colorado. Then ended up going from Colorado to all over the Pacific Northwest. It has been an incredible experience. It hasn't been easy by any means, but it is rewarding to somewhat carve your own path. Particularly when it's something completely different than what your accustomed. I didnt go from City to City.
I went from City to 5 hours away, no direct flights agricultural community. I have since been back to my childhood home, and it only reinforces my decision. Although I miss my family I do not miss the traffic, the amount of people everywhere always. I left because I wanted to be around clean air, clean water, have a skyline that's mountains and forrest for miles. The world is HUGE if you have an opportunity to go somewhere and do something... go.
#72I moved from NH to CA about 8 years ago now. I built out the back of my pickup truck and spent about a half year driving across the country and then another 3 years in the truck in Los Angeles, I also lived on a sailboat for a year. I got here with about $5 in my bank account but I was lucky enough to have job already lined up even though it was minimum wage. I had a lot of fun, traveling and rock climbing and generally living the homeless actor vagabond life. Since then I’ve met the love of my life, gotten engaged and have been consistently making more money every year so I guess it’s worked out. It was tough at first, I left my girlfriend at the time who I was seriously into because I was afraid of getting stuck in my hometown, that was hard, but ultimately I’ve made all of my best friends after moving. You get used to solitude, it’s something I miss now that pandemic life keeps us from going anywhere. It’s not something I would recommend to everyone but I do think it’s something that everyone can do with much less money than you think if the will is there.
#73Ex left me so I left town. Moved a state over and then corona lockdown. Couldn't go out and explore the places I wanted to, lost my job, and no friends. Months later corona eased up and I got a new job, met some dope people, and got my old job back recently. Many places are still closed (for the better honestly) and I don't want to risk getting the rona. Especially when cases are high in my area.
Things didn't go how I wanted them to be, but I learned a lot about myself!
#74Moved from Iowa to Phoenix and my life hasn't been this good in years. I haven't been this happy with what's going on in my life in so long and it's so refreshing. I luckily had some family to support me through the transition, and its been a little rocky, but I'm so glad I made the leap.
#75When I was young, me and my father lived together in Alaska. My father came home one day and said, and I'll never forget, "Son, take a shirt and a pair of pants, we're leaving". We just started driving and (to a child) 100 hours later we broke down in the middle of arizona. I think it was like 101 degrees that day, but luckily we stumbled upon this hippie, and his name was literally Hippie. My dad asked him for help and he got is this really nice hotel and a small pickup that we took all the way to Utah where we now live and my father is now an engineer.
#76I'm originally from Edmonton and left the cold for London. I've found the love of my life here and love the city and European getaways. I'm not sure I could move back although I do miss the hiking and nature. I actually really get on with the English though, love their sense of humour and sharp wit. Definitely don't miss tipping culture!!
#77At 27 after making numerous bad decisions and experiencing great loss, I decided to make a lifestyle change, so I took a leap of faith and moved abroad with barely any money and knowing nobody. It turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. My life is now sweeter than I could ever have imagined. I’ve found love, purpose, and as of last month, fatherhood. I’ve been able to visit places I could only have daydreamed about when barely scraping by as a poor young guy in Texas. I am now in my late 30s and feel like my greatest adventures are still ahead of me. You just never know what will come your way and what your life will look like 5 or 10 years in the future, and sometimes life has better plans for you than you have for yourself.
#78Decided to go traveling through S.E.A with my long-term partner and decided not to head home as it meant breaking up. Landed in New Zealand pretty broke two years ago, worked through the summer at a cafe then we both got office jobs in Wellington. Finally feel like my life is coming together and I’m no longer dependent on anyone. Now that Covid has taken over other countries we are pretty happy with our decision to stay and get residency.
#79It was dope! Quit my job in the Bay Area and moved to Kenya. Found work, adventure, love, heartbreak, and projects I believed in. 10/10 recommend - go spend your one wild and precious life doing crazy stuff!
#80I picked up and left for New York City. Then I picked up and left two more times before I finally returned to my hometown. It was nice to experience living in different cities but I wasn’t home in any of those places. Now I appreciate my hometown.
#81I did this. Moved from Ireland to New Zealand, so about as far as you can get before you start coming back. Moved during the recession, when I was unemployed and job prospects were few, and have had opportunities here I never would have had staying at home. Moving back would feel like emigrating to a whole new country now, so much has changed. It's been wonderful, but you do have a sense of being split in two, and the loneliness, guilt and distance from family really hits when things aren't going so well. However, zero regrets.
#82I underestimated how much the sun would make me happy. I traded a tiny condo for a cozy home. Husband and I both found fancy new jobs and hoping for a baby soon. Quarantine killed ability to really make friends yet, but even so, we’ve never been happier.
#83Not quite "up & left"....was living with my gf for a year and in that year she'd quit her old job, finished a 2-year business degree and couldn't get anything good with it. She hated the office asst/secretary type jobs and got a sleazy vibe from her bosses. My gf was cute as hell and people liked having her as eye-candy. What they didn't know is that she had 3 kids who lived with their dad (not me). She was in constant war with everyone in her family (tragic history) and was sick of their attempts to interfere in her decisions.
Me...I was low-key with a low-key job, but the two of us were great together. My job became dead-end after a year of admin merry-go-round stuff, and the future was uncertain, but a big axe was a strong possibility. I had my eye on living in Tempe/Scottsdale for over 10 years, had been there on vacation, read the Sunday paper for over a year to get familiar with the landscape, and I just wanted to bask in the extreme heat. She agreed to make a go of it with me.
So - it wasn't random or overnight at all. Plus, my brother lived down there, so that was a plus. Took me a good month to get working and I bounced between three different jobs before finding something decent. I was glad to be there. She was okay a couple of months, then freaked out being away from family. She got more unstable over the course of a year and then just ran off - told me about a week ahead of time, so it wasn't a "where'd she go?" kinda thing.
By that time I was in a trade school, and that worked out well, got a great job afterwards and a good career for 12 years - had lots of fun and basically achieved 9/10 of the goals I had in mind when we first came down. The last was outlandish, and failed, then the bottom fell out on me and I been in ruins the last 5 years - but at least have a place to sleep and I ain't starving, and have wi-fi.
So glad I took that chance and made the move - life is an adventure.