If you’ve been spending a lot of time looking at apartments in another city, your desire to be unfaithful to your hometown might be telling you something: It’s time to move. So many people think that moving to a new city is something one does out of necessity. You move for a job. You move for school. You move for someone you love. But have you ever considered that it’s okay to move simply because you want to?
Here are six signs that it’s more than a case of wanderlust; it’s time to pack your bags and move somewhere new.
1. Your reason for moving there in the first place no longer applies.
If you moved to your current city for a job that you’re no longer working at, a school that you’ve now graduated from or a partner who you are no longer dating, it might be time to go. Sometimes, when we approach major life changes, our brains try to find reasons to keep us where we are. If you don’t have any major reasons to stay (and no, the In-N-Out that just opened down the street doesn’t count), you’re in a prime position to move.
2. You can’t afford your current city.
Are you working three jobs and still struggling to make rent, pay bills and eat something other than instant noodles? In expensive cities, there’s often a collective attitude that makes people think that they have to work six or seven days a week in order to afford some $2,500 a month studio apartment. And while there’s something noble in doing whatever it takes to make it in the big city, there’s also something pretty liberating about moving somewhere less expensive and having more free time, more money and a bigger apartment.
3. You don’t feel homesick when you travel.
After a long trip, do you A) Post an Instagram of the city skyline with the hashtag #goodtobehome or B) Specifically request an aisle seat on the plane so that you don’t have to look at your town? Traveling is amazing, but if you don’t find yourself missing your friends, your favorite local restaurants and your own bedroom even a tiny bit, it’s time to move.
4. You’re running out of opportunities.
Opportunity can mean many things in a given place. It can mean the opportunity to score a great job, make new friends, date around or achieve a goal. It might mean volunteering at a cool nonprofit or trying some new activity. If you’re feeling like the job market, the dating pool and everything else in your town is stale, you can create new opportunities by moving somewhere else.
5. You can’t be yourself.
You might be a blue-haired guy in a town full of people who laugh at you. Or you might be a meat-lover in a neighborhood of judgmental vegans. There’s a feeling of unease that comes with not belonging. If you’re at odds with your current city—whether it’s socially, politically, spiritually or in some other way that you can’t even explain—you might be able to be yourself somewhere new.
6. You’ve never lived anywhere else.
Are you an east coaster who’s always wondered what it might be like to dip your toes in the Pacific? Are you living in a small town and dreaming of the big city? Are you a flatlander who’s never seen mountains? Whether you’re curious about California, New York or somewhere in between, you’re never going to satisfy that curiosity unless you go. If you’ve only called one hometown home, it might be time to move to a new one.