Spending the last year with the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us a tide of new experiences. When the pandemic lockdowns first started and we were sent home from our classrooms and offices, we had to face the sudden adjustment to remote learning and working. Confined within four walls, our living arrangements and the associated lifestyle choices were magnified ten-fold. For some, the pandemic provided a much cherished opportunity to spend time with loved ones. For others, it created a stressful and oppressive situation. One thing for certain is that our lifestyle goals have changed in recent months, leading many Americans to consider moving to a different neighborhood, state, or even coast.
Sea Change, Tree Change, or City Change?
A marked shift in lifestyle that has happened since the onset of the pandemic is that many people are moving from the bright lights and big cities to the small towns and sprawling countryside. The obvious reason for this is to leave behind the dense nature of urban living and escape to the wide, open spaces where it is easier to social distance and avoid contracting the virus. But there are many other reasons for Americans to make the rural change as well. With many people furloughed and facing economic uncertainty, some individuals, or whole families, are unable to meet rent or mortgage payments and have to move in with their relatives. For families with children who would otherwise be stuck in city apartments, the suburbs and rural towns also offer much-needed space to play.
As the proverbial rat race ground to a halt during the pandemic, many people reevaluated their working lifestyles and chose to slow down and enjoy the important things in life. The proliferation of remote work and the growing online hustle economy have allowed people with remote income the freedom to live anywhere they choose. Suburban areas and rural towns are becoming increasingly attractive as they boast lower property prices and a range of natural and active lifestyle choices. Some popular lifestyle towns include Hood River, Oregon, which features plenty of on-water activities and an abundance of orchards and breweries, and Mill Valley, California, with its rustic charm and outstanding hiking trails.
While it may seem that the pandemic has exacerbated the exodus from the cities, many people are moving into urban centers as well. Interestingly, Baby Boomers make up a significant percentage of people moving back into the cities. These seniors are leaving the suburbs and heading to walkable cities with quality healthcare, upscale restaurants, and enriching cultural venues. Similarly, young Americans who are career-driven and not looking to start a family enjoy the energy of the big cities. One example is San Francisco which has a thriving technology economy, diverse and colorful neighborhoods, and more restaurants per capita than any other city in the US. The city also has 80,000 more dogs than children, go figure!
Moving On Out, Moving On Up
Regardless of whether you are moving from the country to the city or vice versa, packing your life up into boxes and getting it to a whole new place can present a considerable challenge. Moving requires a large amount of planning and can be a huge task to undertake without external assistance. While some people can make split-second decisions and move within weeks, most of us will take several months to prepare for the big move. Even before packing, crucial items to check off the moving list include organizing your current home for sale or return to the landlord, securing a place to live at your destination, and deciding how to transport your belongings safely from here to there.
Those with a small number of possessions who can do the heavy lifting on their own may choose to rent a van and do the move themselves, while others who have more things or less inclination for manual labor may prefer to leave the hard work to someone else and hire a reliable moving company. The best benefit to hiring a moving company is the (literal and metaphorical) weight that it takes off your shoulders. Various cross country moving companies provide a range of services from professional packing of fragile items to arranging storage units for your surplus stuff. Because professional movers are experienced in transporting all manner of items and executing complicated maneuvers like getting a large couch up a narrow flight of stairs, they can take away a lot of the stress of relocation.
Human beings are naturally nomadic people. We love to explore and will travel across the country to seek out the habitat of our dreams. Whether you are being called by the big waves in California, the homesteads of Texas, or the galleries in New York, there is a place that is perfect for you. A change in scenery can help to awaken an otherwise stagnant soul so why not relocate and start an exciting new chapter in your life?