Change of Locations

We are ALL trying to live our best lives! We should express ourselves, travel the world, and explore new opportunities and places. I have been able to do so a handful of times within my 26 years of living, therefore I would say I know a thing or two about making a new way of life. Since moving to Texas in 2016, the most notorious question I’m asked revolves around having the courage to just pick up, leave and make the decision of where to change locations to, especially when you’re a young adult moving somewhere out of your comfort zone.

Personally, my desire to change locations outside of my normal comfort zone was to ultimately better myself. More opportunities to further my career, practice self expression and a way to build a stronger bond within my family. I was moving from Memphis, TN where I could only grow so high and the actual thought of living in Texas has always been an attainable goal even as a little girl. So taking the risk to achieve a great milestone and live the lifestyle I envisioned was greater to me than being uncomfortable for a little bit of time. I can adapt. I had a plan which is the key to making a big move. Of course knowing that the original plan could possibly change along the way.  

Most people’s first inquiries are knowing the necessary steps to move, how much to save in advance, what’s an appropriate price for rent, job outlooks, the environment and demographic of people you’ll be surrounded by. Trust me, knowing the types of people you’ll be around daily is a big factor when it comes to building new social groups, friends, and colleagues as well as what day and nightlife events you’ll experience especially if you have the  intent to live there for a while. You want to be happy in your new humble abode as well as with the company you keep.

From 2016 to 2019, I initially moved to Dallas, TX. Then recently this year I moved to Houston, TX. Two very similar but different locations. Both places were planned out differently in some aspects as well. Of course with the initial move I planned with more detail versus this current move that was planned with a more relaxed mindset. Why? Well I already experienced this before so it came easier to me. I am going to provide you with both perspectives to encourage you that anyone can do it regardless of your circumstance, if you really want it!


First, get familiar with the area you want to live in. If you haven’t ever been to New York, Los Angeles, or Atlanta it’s going to be harder to adjust to something out of the ordinary for you. Especially if you are coming from a smaller area like Phoenix, Charleston, or anywhere in Kansas. It may be a culture shock. Of course if you are moving from a big city to a another big city, there won’t be so much of a culture shock, but it’ll be a different flux of people and environment. Start by planning trips to visit for a few days or so. I visited Dallas throughout my childhood being that I have family here and continued that throughout my adulthood for birthdays and road trips. It wasn’t until some friends and I took a road trip for my 23rd birthday celebration that I fell in love with the diversity, opportunity and vibes from Dallas. For Houston, my boyfriend stayed here so it was a given that I would always be here, so it gave me an advantage to seeing what the city had to offer. When you do visit make sure to stop by the suggested local areas and the tourist attractions. Actually speak with people to learn about the hot spots and to give you a better idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into because they will give you the honest truth. I decided on Houston for higher heights of growth and support after I realized that I achieved a great deal of accomplishments in Dallas. It was time to move on to the next journey in life.


Besides the fact that I knew Texas was in my near future, having a job and career outlook on new opportunities within my field was essential. You don’t want to just up and move to a random city only to find out later that your current position is almost nonexistent. For me personally, I had just received my B.S. in Health and Human Performance: Exercise Science which revolves around jobs like physical therapy, athletic training, occupational therapy, fitness and general health. In Memphis, I felt that I could only go so far in that industry. I also wanted to continue education in Physician Assistant studies so I took time to look into different programs in Texas that had more credibility and quality versus Tennessee in my opinion. An additional incentive to make the ultimate move.

You can utilize Indeed, BLS, and LinkedIn to narrow down where you can grow professionally too. I lived on BLS to compare salary from state to state, job satisfaction and job outlook. During my planning period, I was working a full time job and an internship which began 4 months prior to my move. My internship actually allowed time to future pace moving to another location while also permitting time to research options for healthcare experience and community service that would apply towards my dream career.

The number one service I found helpful to collect a job in Texas was Indeed. I definitely recommend using it if you are in search for work anywhere. Thankfully the market for both avenues was exceptional and growing every day. I actually found that Houston was superior to Dallas within my current industry and future career. That information was another reason why I decided to move to Houston instead of staying in Dallas. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas is a great city but I was personally looking for more and I could see the growth happening in my future home.


Of course before you can pickup to go anywhere, you have to create a savings to uphold the time possibly spent out of work and the miscellaneous spending you’ll acquire. For the initial move to Dallas, I assumed that I would be out of work for at least two months or less. My spending habits aren’t outrageous going to mostly food and necessities. It doesn’t take a great deal to please me so my money was spent wisely. With that mindset I managed to save three thousand dollars for my move to Texas. That may not be much to others but definitely was enough for a “minimalist” like myself. In the end, I landed my first job as a Physical Therapy Aide a month in a half after arriving with plenty money to spare for living accommodations before consistent income came into play. It was completely different for the move to Houston. I only saved about $800 for moving accommodations which were a storage unit and a 12” moving truck. Major difference right? Well that difference came from having income coming in regardless of my move. The initial move I planned to not work for a few months so I saved more. With the second move, I was already working so it wasn’t a requirement to save as much. Just for what I needed. Plus with the initial move I was moving across a few states versus “down the street.”


It helps to know someone that already knows the area that way they can suggest areas where you could stay and/or simply be a place to initially live until you get on your feet. With my scenarios, I moved in with a family friend and significant other who made it easy for me to adapt to my new surroundings. If you are moving to a brand new city without a soul to lean on then take a few trips there to check out some complexes or houses. Like I said before, get to know the city. The good and the bad. The pros and the cons.

Initially, I lived with someone who asked for me to only pay a small amount towards rent and food during my job and apartment search, but that doesn’t equate to paying for continuous road trips and hotel fees that some others would have to endure. Both are effective but whichever one works for you utilize it to wisely eliminate some costs.

Then ask yourself… Do you want to live close to work? Do you mind some commute? Will you live in a hassle free environment? It’s always great to ask questions. With every apartment visit I made sure to talk to residents to inquire about the complex, neighborhood, and anything of relevance. You don’t want to pay more for what you’re actually receiving so consider quality and expenses as well. Of course the city will vary the spending price. If you were to move to California, you would spend way more for a one bedroom apartment versus one in Texas. Originally I made a plan to only spend about $600 to $750 for a one bedroom apartment but that quickly changed. Not due to the city expenses but the quality of apartments. Eventually I settled for an luxury $850 one bedroom apartment with a 30 minute commute to work.

Moral of the story you should make sure to save as much money as you find necessary, learn all opportunities and perspectives, vibe with the city and know what to expect from it. You should keep your options open as well as be frugal with your career and apartment search. Take your time and make a plan. It took me about four and a half months for both scenarios to mature from just a thought of changing locations into solid actions. So far, I’ve been in Texas for 3 years and I still feel like moving to another state was beneficial for me in order to grow professionally and personally. If you know you can obtain the same goal with a move to your ideal location then go for it! Especially if you don’t have anything holding you back but be smart and plan for it too.

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