I grew up in Sydney but now call the Gold Coast home. I am a born traveller and love to roam. My parents are from Italy, and I really enjoy getting to Europe as often as I can, but recently I started wondering how many people live close to the area where they were born.
Do you live in the same state you were born in? Perhaps you are really adventurous and you now live in a different country. It is hard to find statistics on how many Australians move away from home. In the United States, some 60 per cent of people live close to the place where they were born. Of course big vibrant cities like New York and Los Angeles attract a lot of people from other places, and the ‘native’ born population is lower.
I know that in Queensland a large percentage of the population were born in other places, as a lot of retirees move to the state. Around two percent of the Australian population moves interstate every year and yes, Queensland attracts the most newcomers, yet young people are the most likely group in Australia to move addresses. Almost 20 percent of people aged 20 to 29 have moved addresses in a year. Usually these young people are just moving out of bad share houses, not moving states. My question to you is, have you ever considered a BIG move? And how do you know when it’s time to leave town, and do something new?
In a lot of ways Australia is still a small place. If you work in an industry, you probably know lots of people within that industry, and there are only so many opportunities for you in any city. To get more experience you may have to consider leaving town or even countries. Years ago I knew a young man who studied electrical engineering. He wanted to design computer games. He began his career in Melbourne, working for a small boutique company but he ended up getting a job with the gaming company who had the license to produce games based on Steven Spielberg’s movies … in San Francisco. He is still there today, 30 years later. You can look at job advertisements all over the world, so why stay in your home town, state or country if there is a brilliant opportunity for you overseas!
You have never been on an adventure
In life, you have to be in it to win it. Do you know someone who has never left home and still lives with their parents at 60? I’m not saying that is a bad thing (provided the person is happy) but it is not a lifestyle that would satisfy me. I have changed locations and travelled. Moving cities is always challenging, but I do believe you need to be tested. If you have no ties, and you feel you need something new then go for it … jump ship! Remember, you can always move back if the move doesn’t work out. I suggest hedging your bets. Can you take long-service or unpaid leave and hold onto your job? Rent out your house short-term and keep your furniture in storage. Test the water, and see if the new place is right for you.
There is a place you want to live
If you have always dreamed of living in Paris or New York, then take steps to make your dream come true. Don’t be on your death bed saying, “Why, oh why, did I never live in Paris?” Again, I say hedge your bets. Aim to hold onto your job and your home. Go over there for three months or six months first. I have women friends who loved the TV show ‘Sex and the City’. In the final season the main character, Carrie, moves to Paris only to discover she hates it! At least she gave it a go!
You need a change of climate
I have come to the Gold Coast because it is a beautiful place with a beautiful climate. If you are a hot-weather person living in a cold place, then start exploring your options. Where can you find work and a great climate? Where will you feel at home? Where do you already have friends and family? Remember, people who relocate can feel lost and lonely. Think carefully about your big move, but seeking better weather is a legitimate reason to move.
You will get more for your money in another place
A lot of older Australians are selling up their city houses and moving to the country where they can buy a cheaper house and bank some money for their retirement. Just make sure you do lots of research ahead of the move. Does your new neighbourhood have everything a retired person needs? Good medical services, community activities, gyms? Is it a happy and friendly place?
You need to get away from someone …
I spoke to a woman recently who was working with her ex. She thought she could handle it, told herself it didn’t bother her but the truth is it was stressful and wearing her down. She was offered a new job interstate that was actually closer to her grown-up children. She took the job. Now she realises how horrible it was having to work with an ex. Sometimes you do need distance from your past. If you are living in someone’s shadow then a fresh start can be wonderful, especially if you are moving to a place with a lot to offer.
We all have days when we’d like to run away, but changing cities or states is a HUGE move, especially when you are older. If you line up a job in advance and know people where you are going to, then there is a bigger chance of the move working.
All I can say is that before any move, make sure you are prepared for it NOT working out. Hopefully it will all come together, but if you prepare for the worst then you know you can handle anything and are truly ready to go on this BIG adventure.
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ABOUT PAT MESITI
Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.