Relocation Series Part 2: Happiness is Not a Place

Personal Growth Journey

Welcome to the second post in my multi-blog series about relocating! This post will be one that is centered around the mental health issues that surround relocation to a certain extent. I think that people should be able to read this post and really evaluate their reasons for an upcoming relocation or even their reasons for wanting to relocate. This post might also help you to plan a crucial conversation with a family member or friend who is thinking of moving away.

A Bit of Background:

My relocation count is currently at 3ish with another planned for July 2019. My first taste of relocation was to a college over 250 miles away from home (6 hour drive). That relocation was so important for me and I truly consider that transition a relocation because I was 17 years old and I was only able to make it home a couple times a year (besides summer vacation, of course).

My second relocation happened after college graduation. I moved to a city about an hour away from my hometown. Although it was close by, I was in a whole new world and I had some amazing experiences!

Both of these relocations had one thing in common. In both of these instances, I moved away from issues that I faced in my life including family issues that caused anxiety. My mental health caused me to make decisions from a pretty young age that were based in fear and overwhelm rather than confidence and agency over my life.

EVERY TIME I moved out of fear or anxiety, I sought some sort of happiness that I realized was always going to be out of reach, unattainable. I realized that I went from place to place carrying my baggage with me, setting it down for a while and picking it back up again and again to move onto the next location yet again. Your problems follow you. Your emotions follow you. Your mental health or unhealth follows you. Time after time, I would move and find myself wondering; Why am I still unhappy? Why don’t I like it here?

On the contrary, my third relocation of over 1,400 miles as well as my pending relocation have both been for completely different reasons. I have had agency and ownership over these experiences. My mental health hasn’t really guided the decisions and that is the most freeing feeling.

The Whys of Relocation

The most important thing to be aware of is that relocation is not an answer to the problems we face in our current location. I know, because I’ve tried it and it never works. I want to make that very clear before I talk about my amazing experiences & adventures in the posts that follow. I don’t want to sensationalize relocation or long distance moves.

If you are suffering internally, handle it before or immediately after making a big move. Go to therapy, do some soul searching, reconnect with yourself. I only say this because there is one huge lesson I have learned from my many relocations and travel adventures; Happiness is not a place. Instead it is a state of mind that we merely carry with us in our travels.

Sincerely,

Lacey Alanna

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