On our last road trip, we were talking with new friends about how we have made the cross-country move a few times now – and were asked what we thought we had learned from the experience.

We considered the question, and were inspired to compile a list of 10 things that we’ve learned about ourselves after moving across the country.

Although we understand that it is a unique experience for everyone, we believe that this list captures the 10 things that impact you the most after a cross country move.

We hope you enjoy reading!

10 Things We’ve Learned from Moving Across the Country


1. We know ourselves better.

Moving across the country allows you to view everything around you from an outsider’s perspective – without the influence of close family or friends. Leaving home allowed us to see who we really are and what we truly wanted in life, because we had the freedom to discover it without that influence. Our moves have really helped us understand and know ourselves better in many ways.

2. We are more independent.

There is nothing quite like being lost in an unfamiliar place. You encounter that many times when moving cross country, and over time, it allows you to build up the courage and independence to no longer be afraid of being in that situation. In fact, we now enjoy being lost in a new place, because it allows us to explore and see more than we would have.

3. We know what it feels like to have no support system.

Although you are always connected with family and friends, when you move 500, 1500 and 2500+ miles away, it can feel like you have no support system, especially in the early days and months after a move. We found that moving across the country allowed us to primarily rely on each other for support, and has strengthened our relationship in that way.

4. We are more adaptable and open-minded.

When you move across the country, no matter how much you have prepared and researched, your new home will astound you in some way. Whether it be the culture, language or surroundings, you will have to adapt and be open-minded about the change. Eventually, you will enjoy it so much that you’ll begin to look forward to your next move, to see what you will discover next.

5. We have had the opportunity to build connections.

One of our favorite things about moving cross country is the opportunity to make new connections. Connecting and making new friends can be challenging at first, but if you’ve done it once, you can do it again. We are fortunate to have made connections and friends across the country that we look forward to meeting whenever we are back home again.

6. We have new identities.

Moving across the country provides you the opportunity to start fresh with a new identity. No one knows you or your story, so you can really concentrate on finding the people and place that you belong, without any other influences. Then, you can make the best of that experience and start fresh again with a new identity in your new home.

7. We are increasingly self-reliant.

Without any family or friends nearby, we have learned that you become self-reliant with each cross country move. You are in control of every situation, which is empowering. You will also become adept at making the most of the opportunities around you, because you are the only one who is making things happen.

8. We are more in tune with each other.

Relying on each other for support strengthens your relationship after you move across the country together. It allows you to become more in tune with each other’s needs, and after 11 years spent traveling together, my husband and I know each other like we know ourselves.

9. We are more bold and fearless.

If you can make it through your first cross country move, you will begin to see how bold and fearless you really are. The independence and self-reliance builds and increases over time, allowing you to become more bold with each move and more fearless about the challenges you face and what you can overcome. Eventually you realize that nothing is unachievable.

10. Wherever we are is home.

As a military brat, I have always had difficulty defining where my home is. Now that my husband and I have moved across the country, we are realizing that living this way is a part of who we are. So, wherever we go and wherever we are is home to us.

What have you learned from moving across the country?

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook or Instagram!

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Posted by:Caitlin Burm

Hi! I'm Caitlin, the creator of Burm Voyage, a blog about balancing marriage, motherhood and travel across the U.S.

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