6 Things I learned From Moving Cross Country

I recently started a new part-time teaching job that has perfectly fit into my creative lifestyle, but It’s caused me to be a little remiss at adding to the blog. I’m catching up now, and thought it would be a good time to give an update about how the transition to a new town has gone.

It’s been an interesting transition; in a lot of ways I feel like we’ve been here a lot longer than three and a half months. We feel so settled. But I also think I haven’t emotionally processed everything about the transition or even fully wrapped my head around the fact that we’re out west after six years in the east. In hopes of sharing a little wisdom I gleaned along the way, here are 6 things I learned from moving cross country. wyoming_horses

1. Give yourself time to learn the little things – Walmarts are the same everywhere, right? Um, no! When we first got here, we made one trip (or rather, a million trips) to Walmart to stock up on all the essentials. But I didn’t give myself the time or grace to learn new routines in something as simple as a new store. If I had it to do over, I’d build in time to walk down the aisles at a snail’s pace and crisscross the store multiple times to find what I’m looking for. Same thing with figuring out which UPS/FedEx/Post office is best to ship from (and where they’re all located), where the farmers markets are and if they’re any good, and where the local parks are. Something about our gps is out of whack in this new town and I couldn’t seem to find anything the first couple of weeks we were here, causing fits of frustration and confusion. But if I had just given myself the time and patience to have a learning curve, I would have done myself a huge favor.

2. Create a comfortable home base within the first few weeks – or within a few days, in our case. This is where I got it right. I hate living out of boxes, digging for silverware underneath piles of sheets, having a chaotic environment, and I had this apartment unpacked and curtains hung within the first few weeks. So necessary for this soul that craves order! The sooner we unpacked and settled in, the sooner we were able to relax in at least one of many new environments. I’m not saying all the pictures have to be hung exactly where you want them or the color schemes have to match, but having a place for the basics makes a world of difference.

3. Find a church/gym/club – We had a built-in connection when we moved here (in fact, it was a main factor in moving here) in that we are part of a church plant started by our friends from North Carolina. It has made a huge difference in how connected we’ve felt and helping us be part of an “inner circle” of sorts. Even if you don’t know many (or any) people in a new location, seek out churches, gyms, or other clubs to meet people and get connected.

4. Let go of expectations – Before we moved out here, I subconsciously anticipated finding the Wyoming equivalent of everything I had come to love in North Carolina. I figured small towns all over the country are composed of all the same components. I had been a part of a wonderful gym with great instructors, tons of classes, and very reasonable price, and there was just nothing to be found here quite like it. Same thing with the printer I used for my art business. And the school I loved so much. Not to mention the friendships I had formed. But God has given me each of those things back, they just look a little different than I had expected. Expectations breed disappointment, so better to let go and rest in what God has in store.sawtooth-painting

5. Create new routines – As a creature of habit, I shy away from mixing up my routines too much, but there have been some pretty great new routines that have become a part of my life here. I love that the streets here are wide and flat enough to bike on (you’ll understand how amazing this is when you move from the narrow precarious roads of the Appalachians) and there are mountain bike trails we rode on almost every evening during the summer. I’m also part of our church’s worship team here, which has been a fun opportunity to practice my rusty musical skills with a great group of people. My art business has brought with it some new routines, as has my school job. And it’s all been so different, but so good.

6. Give yourself time to grieve the old, but keep an eye out for God’s grace in the new – I don’t think I connected the dots that some of unexpected tears I had after we moved that I thought were related to minor frustrations may actually have been part of the stresses of transition and leaving behind a life I loved. But more than anything, God has been gracious and brought me to such a place of peace. He has given me little graces along the way that I never would have expected!


About birdsandberry

Etsy Seller, Art Enthusiast, Blogger, Jesus Lover, Teacher
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12 Responses to 6 Things I learned From Moving Cross Country

  1. Cathy says:

    Some great advice here! I’ve only once moved from one town to another and it was only 25 minutes away, but I still found it hard at first. Moving across country sounds very adventuresome! God bless as you get to know new people and lead in your new church music.


  2. Jean Opelt says:

    I agree with all of these, Anne. Expectations, grieving, even the unpacking are all elements that are part of any move, even if it’s just across town. But always, God’s grace accompanies us. Good words!


    • kghocke says:

      1, 3 and 4 were especially true for me moving to Montrose! Once I took the time to find the right post office and groceries, I realized it was actually way more convenient than the ones I had gone to in Denver. And finding gym here with some good yoga classes really helped me feel connected and gave me something simple to invite others to join in and a way to connect with new friends. My expectations of Montrose were actually that it would be really remote and limit my daily conveniences but I found I have everything I need here minus stop and go traffic! Haha! It’s almost been a year now and I feel like we are really happy and settled. I love my new routines and having more time at home and with Michael!


  3. I’m so glad you’ve come to love Montrose so much! Small towns are great, aren’t they?


  4. Hi Anne,
    I’m visiting from Coffee for your Heart and it’s nice to meet you! What a move you’ve made from North Carolina to Wyoming — you are a brave soul! Moving is so unsettling but you’ve nearly moved from one coast to the other and I can’t imagine the adjustments. I’m wondering if this move out west is permanent or for employment and were you in favor of it? 🙂 I’d love to hear more of your story!


    • Thanks for visiting, Valerie! I do need to write up a post about the specifics of how and why we moved out here. The short answer is we have friends who started a church here and wanted to help and be part of it. My husband also had a special place in his heart for the west and that was a big factor in the move. I was very resistant to the move at first, but over the course of a couple of years, God worked on my heart to be at a place of peace about it. I wrote little bit about that here: https://birdsandberry.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/when-home-is-more-than-a-place/. I have really enjoyed living here a lot more than I thought I would and the transition has been a good one.


  5. Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments says:

    These are some great tips, Anne! Being open to and embracing each new chapter God provides is not always easy, but with intentional efforts we can push through and do it well! Thanks so much for sharing hope at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,


  6. Shannon says:

    There are some great tips for others among these lessons! I’ve moved across country a couple of times and I’ve learned similar things. Grace as you get settled in!


  7. Pingback: Tea Talk and a Free Download | Birds and Berry Studio

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