I am Looking for a New Life. Where Should I Move to Start Over? (2023)

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Life can be messy and the allure of newness often makes moving a path for those seeking a fresh start. A complete change of scenery, new friends, house, job, community and weekend hangout spots, can bring a sense of excitement for those who’ve come to associate their current city with a feeling of malaise. Then there are others who’ve fallen on hard times and want to break the cycle with a change of environment. Regardless of the reason, for those who decide a new beginning is right for them, they will face the question: Where should I move to start over?

In this post, we’ll look at recent trends, the reasons people move for a fresh start, how they can determine if it’s the right decision, where to move, and how to consult with experts on what should be considered first.

I am Looking for a New Life. Where Should I Move to Start Over? (1)

Relocation trends

The rise of greater work from home flexibility, the trend of people swapping their urban environments for suburban or rural locations and low mortgage interest rates have made this decade the era of relocations spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida real estate agent Jose Calvo, who completes 27% more home sales than the average area agent, says he’s never experienced the kind of influx of people coming to Palm Beach County from all over the country as has taken place during the pandemic. Many are seeking to take advantage of the shift in the real estate market to sell high-priced homes and downsize in a state with lower taxes, he says.

Others, like small business entrepreneur Jordan Hobfollhere and his family, got fed up with the way the pandemic was being handled in Iowa and decided in August to move from Des Moines to Burlington, Vermont. “My general philosophy is change is good and new places allow us all to grow,” he says.

This desire for change seems to be driving unprecedented moving trends. In a survey conducted during the pandemic by Neighbor.com, 56% of Americans reported that they planned to move in 2021. This represents a substantial increase from just 35% that moved in 2020.

(Video) Yep... You can move away, travel, and start a new life. Here's how I did.

Yet, moving can be a stressful experience, especially with children and, starting over somewhere new can have a long-term impact on one’s life trajectory as well as mental health implications. Thus, a hefty amount of personal reflection and research to ensure the best outcome is a prime ingredient for a successful relocation.

Why do people move to start over?

There’s the realm of needs and the realm of wants, and moving to a new place doesn’t necessarily fall neatly in either category. The idea of moving for a fresh start may arise from nuanced situations, or from emotionally charged life changes. These might include:

  • Failed relationships
  • Death of a loved one
  • Untimely or unjust job loss
  • Personal safety concerns
  • Criminal conviction (against you or a family member)

Scenarios like these can prompt a flight response in someone wanting to flee a negative situation and turn over a new leaf in a new community. However, according to licensed clinical psychologist Angel Faith Psy.D, unless it’s an unsafe or unhealthy situation, it’s better to conduct an assessment to ensure that the move is about finding positive change in a new place and not just about trying to escape from something.

Is a fresh start really necessary?

Determining whether starting over in a new place is the right decision takes a great deal of inner work, especially if there are complex factors at play. For example, moving to create distance from a troublesome ex-partner might mean you’ll never accidentally run into that person while running errands again, but if you have children together you’ll have to consider how the decision will impact them. It’s also possible that by next year you’ll no longer be bothered by chance encounters.

In addition to getting therapy, Faith advises individuals weighing difficult relocation options to write their thoughts and feelings in a journal, create a list of pros and cons, and get feedback from trusted loved ones for a clearer assessment of the situation.

“It’s important to be careful about expectations, and make sure that the reason for the move is not to run away from something but instead to create something new and desirable,” Faith says. “The goal is to be intentional rather than having too high expectations that moving will be a quick fix.”

Moving can present new life opportunities

Once motivations and expectations are clear, moving to a new place can open up opportunities for people in multiple areas of life. For example, if you love nature but have always lived in an urban environment, moving to a less populated area could give you more access to the great outdoors and result in increased happiness and stress relief.

If live music is your passion but shows in your area are a rarity, setting up in a new city with a lively music scene could add the desired melody that’s been missing, leading to a well-rounded life. On a more somber note, if the death of a loved one has filled your current location with the constant specter of loss, a fresh environment could help lighten the grieving process.

Whatever the circumstances, and for better or worse, people are moving more than in the past. However, it’s not a light decision but one that needs thorough analysis. Otherwise, a chronic internal issue just may end up following you to the next destination.

I am Looking for a New Life. Where Should I Move to Start Over? (2)

What to consider when deciding on the best place to start over

Wes and Gerrie Akau used to think that they would spend the rest of their days in the San Jose house they purchased in 1998 for $287K. Originally from Hawaii, they’ve called Northern California home since 1974 and have deep roots in the community. But Wes Akau’s perspective began to change once he and his wife retired and had to live on a fixed income. Last year the couple paid over $7K in property taxes with the tax rate escalating even more in 2021.

(Video) How To Move Abroad and Start A New Life

After lengthy deliberations, the couple explored the possibility of living in places like Colorado, Utah and Arizona and ultimately decided to put down retirement roots in Las Vegas, Nevada, known for its abundance of Hawaiian cuisine and reputation as the “9th island.” They reached out to Scott Fuller, founder of Leaving the Bay Area, who helped them get the ball rolling on selling their San Jose home and finding their next one.

“It was a hard decision but one that was probably necessary,” Wes Akau said. “We’re both retired and I decided that we weren’t going to be able to continue to afford our house in the Bay Area because we’re on a set income, and property taxes were gaining pretty quickly. It’s very expensive in San Jose.”

Their Las Vegas choice was heavily influenced by finances. Having sold their San Jose home earlier this year for $1.13M, they wanted their housing dollars to stretch, giving them a comfortable life well into their golden years. They finally put a $669K offer down on a house in the greater Las Vegas area with more square footage and nicer surroundings compared to their San Jose home.

Yet, there were other factors to consider. Although the move will mean that they won’t see some grandchildren as often, other members of the family are also thinking about relocating to Vegas. Since the Akaus had community ties through their San Jose church, they expect to easily create faith-based relationships in their new city where they’ll keep busy with charity work. However, the Akaus are a bit apprehensive about the long intensely hot Las Vegas summers, especially since they’ve enjoyed the mild Northern California climate for decades.

Moving inevitably involves trade-offs, and there’s no such thing as the perfect place. Every city or town has its advantages and disadvantages, which are ultimately subjective. For the Akaus, despite being settled in a place they loved, changes in finances meant they couldn’t stay and needed to find a new place that would feel as much like home. Now they have a life ahead of them that’s much more affordable in a place that’s somewhat reminiscent of their Hawaiian origins, but will undoubtedly entail an adjustment period.

When deciding on the right place to settle down, like the Akaus, Faith advises people to think about their lifestyle and what places could accommodate it based on factors like:

  • Weather that fits your lifestyle and health condition
  • Availability of desired social activities
  • Proximity to nature or parks
  • Affordability based of your projected income
  • Job and volunteer opportunities
  • Distance from family support, friends and loved ones
  • Distance from those that might be corrosive or harmful in their life
  • Presence of preferred faith community
  • Access to the things that make you feel happy or secure
  • Presence of like-minded people

She encourages people to be proactive about finding community.

“I think it’s important to go visit the city for a couple of days,” Faith says. “Explore, go to some restaurants, talk to people, find your favorite coffee shop. Take notes or journal about the experience.”

It’s also vital to be proactive about finding a potential community. Harnessing the internet with social media and online meetup groups can offer a sense of the type of people you’ll meet in the city and help establish a network early in the process.

I am Looking for a New Life. Where Should I Move to Start Over? (3)

Give these cities a test run for a fresh start

Looking for a city with top mental health care? Consider:

(Video) WHERE Should You Move to Start a New Life? | Moving Abroad

  • Denver, Colorado – named the best city for mental health care in a recent study, Denver has an abundance of quality providers, strong community well-being metrics and affordable therapists

Looking for a city that’s affordable? Consider:

  • Huntsville, Alabama – if things have gone south financially, head to Huntsville for housing costs well below the national average. It’s also a fast growing metro with a robust job market

Want access to nature? Consider:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada – has 21.9 acres of publicly accessible open space per capita within an hour drive including the scenic Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Seeking serenity? Consider:

  • Green Banks, West Virginia – if you want to truly unplug Green Banks is a no cell phone zone with a quiet, rural atmosphere

Need safety? Consider:

  • Hopkinton, Massachusetts – ranked the safest city in the U.S. in 2021, Hopkinton has a violent crime rate of 0.00 per 1,000 people

Looking for a city with great beaches? Consider:

  • Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii – known as a surfers paradise, Oahu is nonetheless quiet offering an idyllic island charm

Want a city with a great overall quality of life? Consider:

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan – a city that offers good schools, a diverse job market, many parks, low crime rates, an eclectic culture and relatively affordable homes
I am Looking for a New Life. Where Should I Move to Start Over? (4)

Deciding not to relocate

After itching for a location change to remedy some adverse challenge in life, deciding to stay put can demonstrate a high degree of self-awareness and fortitude. However, just because you’ve decided that moving across the country won’t necessarily solve your problems doesn’t mean you can’t get a fresh start. Simply moving to a new neighborhood in your current city could grant a needed change of scenery, make it less likely you’ll run into the ex or create some distance from undesirable influences.

After a lengthy process of vetting cities, there might be good reason to put off or cancel a move. The scenery and access to the great outdoors of Alaska may seem perfect during a summer visit, but if you have a history of Seasonal Affective Disorder, the long winters may be wise to forgo. If your desire to get out of dodge is rooted in a past trauma, you may end up finding a support group in your current town that provides lasting connections and a sense of community in shared experiences.

If you decide to keep your feet planted, Faith advises other ways to start fresh like picking up a hobby, finding a new job, expanding your social network, going back to school or just taking a class as some of the many ways to reset your trajectory.

Taking the next step to starting over

With all of life’s twists and turns, there comes a time when just about everyone seeks renewal. Moving to a new place is one of the most powerful ways to bring about change in life but it’s not the solution to all problems. And in today’s highly mobile atmosphere, it’s easy to conclude that there are greener pastures elsewhere. There are many sound reasons to live in a new place, however, the essential question is whether the motivating factor is truly something that can be addressed by starting over somewhere new.

(Video) How a fresh start changed our life

If you’ve taken the necessary time to research and ponder the reasons and benefits of moving — and the decision to relocate feels like the right move — the next step is to partner with the right agent. HomeLight’s Agent Match tool analyzes over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent is best for you based on your needs. The service is 100% free, with no catch. Agents don’t pay us to be listed, so you get the best match when you are ready to start your new beginning.

I am Looking for a New Life. Where Should I Move to Start Over? (5)

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We analyze over 27 million transactions and thousands of reviews to determine which agent is best for you based on your needs.

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Header Image Source: ( Nathan Queloz / Unsplash)


Where is the best place to move to start over? ›

And while many people have big city dreams, some locations are better than others for “starting over.”
The best cities in the U.S. to start over.
RankCityStarting over score
1St. Louis, MO71.4
2Buffalo, NY68.9
3Hartford, CT68.6
4Providence, RI67.0
6 more rows
Dec 29, 2022

Where to go if you want to start a new life? ›

Fresh Start: 10 Best Cities to Move to Start a New Life
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Anyone looking for a fresh start will find a kindred spirit in Pittsburgh itself. ...
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. ...
  • Salt Lake City, Utah. ...
  • Jacksonville, Florida. ...
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ...
  • Cleveland, Ohio. ...
  • Denver, Colorado. ...
  • Nashville, Tennessee.
Jan 7, 2022

How do I move away and start a new life with no money? ›

How do I start over somewhere with no money?
  1. 1 Relocate to a town with a low cost of living.
  2. 2 Apply for a driveaway company.
  3. 3 Move to a place with a relocation initiative.
  4. 4 Borrow a friend's car.
  5. 5 Move with a friend.
  6. 6 Lease a sublet.
  7. 7 Couch surf at someone else's place.
  8. 8 Stay at a hostel temporarily.

What is the cheapest state to start over in? ›

1. Mississippi. Mississippi is the cheapest place to live in the United States, with a cost of living 15.6% lower than the national average.

What is the 1st best place to live? ›

Atlanta, Georgia is the best place to live in the U.S. in 2022 because of its booming jobs market and eye on equality.

Where can I move for a simpler life? ›

Best Places To Live A Simple Life
  • Sandpoint, ID.
  • Gulfport, FL.
  • Montpelier, VT.
  • San Marcos, TX.
  • Greenville, SC.
  • Canandaigua, NY.
  • Port Townsend, WA.
  • Logan, UT.
Jul 4, 2022

Is it possible to move away and start over? ›

People move for many reasons and in many directions. Some people are happy to stay put, while others dream of seeing the world or trying something new. If you're feeling restless and want to start over in a new place – or just move somewhere new – that's totally fine!

Where to move to find yourself? ›

The 10 best places to get lost and find yourself
  • Inspiring Bali. Bali is a very special place. ...
  • Remote Iceland. ...
  • In South Africa as a ranger. ...
  • New Zealand, country of adventures. ...
  • Stress withdrawal in the Alps. ...
  • Nothing but desert in Namibia. ...
  • The pure joy of living in Italy. ...
  • Spiritual India.

How do you move and leave everything behind? ›

That's why it's important that you let it go and leave the past behind with these eight tactics.
  1. Learn from the past but don't dwell there. ...
  2. Express yourself. ...
  3. Stop pointing fingers. ...
  4. Focus on the present. ...
  5. Disconnect for a while. ...
  6. Think about the people around you. ...
  7. Forgive those who wronged you -- including yourself.
Mar 11, 2016

How do I restart my life at 50? ›

How to start over in life at 50: 10 tips
  1. Give yourself time to grieve. You might not have expected to be here. ...
  2. Start journaling. ...
  3. Try meditating. ...
  4. Do something. ...
  5. Remember: you're not alone. ...
  6. Keep moving. ...
  7. Declutter. ...
  8. Review your finances.

How can I live a simple life without money? ›

How To Be Happier Without Spending a Lot of Money
  1. Create a Gratitude Journal. Reminding yourself of the things you're grateful for helps you live a happy life, and journaling helps your memory. ...
  2. Define 'Fun' for You. ...
  3. Say 'No' ...
  4. Schedule Fun. ...
  5. Engage in Cultural Activities. ...
  6. Set Realistic Goals.
Sep 29, 2020

How do I start over financially? ›

Starting fresh: Create a financial plan
  1. Set financial goals. A new life calls for new goals. ...
  2. Create a new budget. If a new life calls for new goals, those new goals call for a new budget to help you reach them. ...
  3. Get rid of excess stuff. ...
  4. Consider your job satisfaction and pay.
Jan 28, 2023

How can I move to another state without a job? ›

Below, we've outlined how to approach relocating while avoiding stressful blunders throughout the moving process.
  1. 1) Be Realistic About The Home You Can Afford. ...
  2. 2) Build Your Savings As Much As Possible. ...
  3. 3) Become a Budgeting Guru. ...
  4. 4) Earn Extra Cash Through Several Side Hustles. ...
  5. 5) Research Employers With an Open Mind.
Jun 30, 2022

What is the 2 cheapest state to live in? ›

2. Kansas. The great state of Kansas is the second cheapest state to live in with a score of 86.5.

What is the best state to live in financially? ›

The five best states for your personal finances in 2022 are (No. 1 being best):
  • New Jersey.
  • Hawaii.
  • Connecticut.
  • Alaska.
  • Illinois.
Mar 30, 2022

What states pay you to live there? ›

One you may not have considered, though, is that some states and cities are willing to pay you to move there.
In this article:
  • Alabama (Shoals Area)
  • Alaska.
  • Iowa (Newton)
  • Kansas (Topeka)
  • Ohio (Hamilton)
  • Oklahoma (Tulsa)
  • West Virginia.
Oct 17, 2022

What are the top 5 states to move to? ›

Best States 2021
  • #1. Washington.
  • #2. Minnesota.
  • #3. Utah.
  • #4. New Hampshire.
  • #5. Idaho.

What state has the best pay and lowest cost of living? ›

Cheapest vs most expensive state

The cost of living in America varies dramatically between each state. From Mississippi being the cheapest state to live in with a median household income of $46,511 to Hawaii being the most expensive state with a median household income of $83,173.

Where can I move and have a peaceful life? ›

17 Examples of Peaceful Countries
  • Bhutan. Bhutan is one of the most interesting places in the world, and not just because it is home to some of the highest mountains in the world. ...
  • Japan. ...
  • New Zealand. ...
  • Canada. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • Singapore. ...
  • Finland. ...
  • Denmark.
Mar 7, 2022

Where is the cheapest and easiest place to live? ›

If you're looking for the cheapest places to live in the U.S., Mississippi has the lowest cost of living for any state and Kalamazoo, Michigan, has the lowest cost of living for a city.

What city has the best quality of life in the US? ›

Its 2022 ranking for the best places to live looked at five metrics: job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration. The best place to live in America is Huntsville, Alabama, followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado.

What age is too late to move out? ›

While each person and situation are different, many people think that it's best to move out of your parents' house between the ages of 25 and 26. However, don't get fixated on these numbers. They're only meant to serve as a guideline. You may be ready to move out at a different age.

Does moving to a different state fix happiness? ›

So, can moving make you happier? Likely yes, if it comes with general improvements in your living environment, social network, and work-life balance. But it's far from a cure-all, and you're unlikely to notice a change in how you feel if your move doesn't offer more than just a superficial change in scenery.

What is a normal age to move out? ›

While there are a lot of factors involved, the average age when people move out of their parent's home is somewhere between 24 and 27.

What is the best state to move to alone? ›

Topping the list is Idaho, which earned high rankings for safety and volume of group activities. Not far behind is Nebraska, which also ranks as one of the most affordable states with an average monthly rent of $833.

What is the best state for a single woman to live? ›

Best & Worst States for Singles
Overall RankStateTotal Score
2New York67.28
46 more rows
Jan 30, 2023

Is it normal to want to run away and start a new life? ›

Fantasizing about running away, or getting close to actually doing so, is perhaps more common than you may think. At its core, running away is a means to escape our current world—a world that isn't serving us the way we desire. Maybe you feel stuck or bored and are craving a renewed sense of vigor.

What do you do when nothing moves in life? ›

How To Change Your Life When Nothing's Working
  1. Ditch The Control Freak Attitude. You can try your hardest but sometimes things still won't work out. ...
  2. Think Of How Much Can Change. ...
  3. See Your Obstacles As Opportunities. ...
  4. Separate Yourself Emotionally. ...
  5. Start Trying New Things. ...
  6. Be Your Own Champion. ...
  7. Change Something. ...
  8. Avoid Negativity.
May 25, 2016

How do you move without losing your mind? ›

7 Helpful Tips for Moving Everything You Own Without Losing Your...
  1. Make a huge, written down master plan. ...
  2. Give away, sell or throw away as many things as you're comfortable doing. ...
  3. Tackle as many errands as possible in a one-day errand-slaying fest. ...
  4. Know where your stuff is going. ...
  5. Use the right moving supplies.
Jan 27, 2015

What is the best career to start at 50? ›

Below are some of the best fields for career changers over the age of 50.
  • Administrative. An administrative position may not sound like a flexible job, but there are plenty of remote and flexible administrative roles. ...
  • Education & Training. ...
  • Writing. ...
  • Accounting & Finance. ...
  • Medical & Health. ...
  • Mortgage & Real Estate.

What is the peak age for a woman? ›

A woman's peak reproductive years are between the late teens and late 20s. By age 30, fertility (the ability to get pregnant) starts to decline. This decline becomes more rapid once you reach your mid-30s. By 45, fertility has declined so much that getting pregnant naturally is unlikely for most women.

Is 55 too old to start over? ›

No matter how well you've done in life, having to start over at any moment is a real possibility. Fortunately, you can start over many times in life regardless of your age. No matter how hard you fall, with a little ingenuity and a healthy work ethic, there is no financial hole you cannot rise from.

What state will pay you $10000 to move there? ›

Alabama. The Shoals region of Alabama is located along the Tennessee river in the Northern portion of the state. The state offers a generous cash incentive of $10,000 through the Remote Shoals Program for people to move there.


1. Mandy Moore - When Will My Life Begin? (From "Tangled"/Sing-Along)
2. God, What Should I Do? | Joyce Meyer | Enjoying Everyday Life
(Joyce Meyer Ministries)
3. How changing your story can change your life | Lori Gottlieb
4. Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone | Yubing Zhang | TEDxStanford
(TEDx Talks)
5. 5 steps to designing the life you want | Bill Burnett | TEDxStanford
(TEDx Talks)
6. What It Takes to Live a Simple Life
(Kalle Flodin)


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