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10 Lessons I Learned When I Moved Away

Our former video blogger Patricia shares what she has learned from moving away from home.

Moving away can be scary at first.  But if you let it, a move can astonish you with transformative lessons, invaluable friendships, and unforgettable memories. Here are 10 surprising things I have learned from moving away a dozen or so times in the past decade.

  1. Alone, never lonely
    The thought of being alone summarizes the scariest parts about moving away. Yet I have found that the more I move, the larger my community can grow. I may find myself on my own, but I am constantly connected to families, friends, and friends of friends wherever I end up.

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  2. An awful lot of world to see
    The beauty of the magnificent planet we inhabit is that we can never run out of places to explore. As communities and neighborhoods change after we move away, we can revisit a city to reveal an entirely new perspective. 

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  3. Present's presents
    As I am on the move, I have grown a profound appreciation for simply being present. While photos and messages are fun, I practice putting the phone away. Nothing can replace the gift of a person's presence.

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  4. Wherever you go, there you are
    Tempting as it is to think that we might "lose ourselves" when we move, no singular place makes us who we are. Do not let a location define you. Moving away forces you to realize that the only constant thing is change. So embrace it! Fear not. Be you—wherever you are!

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  5. Go lightly
    When packing, we like to over do it. We stuff our suitcases to the brim with things we eventually realize we do not need after all. As I move often, I try to gradually free myself of burdensome material attachments. Save yourself the backache and surplus baggage charges, pack light!

  6. Make waves
    After several moves, it is easy to disregard the potential for change. Yet each place is never the same because I have changed it by being there. Never forget that every place you go, you make an impact. Big or small, good or bad, how much or how little—that is up to you.

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  7. Web of love
    As hard as long distance friendships can be, let the love overcome the distance. Friendship knows no borders. I imagine the world covered in the web of my friendships. Time differences become irrelevant when you find yourselves video calling till the early morn.

  8. Immerse yourself
    A new place means a different environment and community. Different does not mean better or worse. I love observing the diversity of the people I meet and the places I move to. Allow yourself time to adapt, but whenever possible jump head first!

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  9. Move, learn, grow
    With every move, there is an opportunity to learn and grow. Moving has been my greatest teacher. Learn a language, deepen your understanding of a culture, and challenge yourbeliefs.

  10. Home is where your heart is.
    There is no place like home because there is no home that is just a place. While I call several places home, I consider home a "when" not a "where." I am most at home when I am free to be myself, when I am surrounded with those I love, and when I can eat as many chocolate chip cookies as I please. Home is what YOU make it, so make the most of where you are!

Have you moved away from home, too? Leave a comment and let's talk more about your experience!

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About the author
Patricia Baron
Contributing Writer
A challenge seeker by day and a change maker by night, Patricia pursues her diverse passions by practicing to write, film, stretch, edit, rinse, and repeat.
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