These Three Women Found Success Outside Of The Big City, & Their Advice Is So Inspiring
Earlier this year, I packed what I could into three large suitcases, sold or donated the rest of my material possessions, quit my job, and moved clear across the country in search of a change of pace and to pursue a new career by going back to school. In some ways it was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made; I left my family, friends, and a job I loved to chase a dream that might not work out. But in other ways, it was an easy choice.
After living in New York City for almost six years, I started to feel like I didn’t belong there anymore. What once excited me — the late nights, the rushed deadlines, the crowded subway cars — now left me feeling dull, annoyed, and frustrated. So when it came to choose where I’d pursue my dream career, I picked somewhere quieter with more open space to do the outdoor activities I love. And now that I’ve been living in Berkeley, California for almost three months and enjoying my new surroundings, I’m happy to declare that I feel I’ve literally made the right move.
Leaving a city or major metropolis isn’t for everyone, but if you’re feeling pulled in a different direction, I encourage you to explore your options. For more inspiration, Bustle partnered with HP and their new HP Spectre x360 — a sleek, high performance laptop featuring privacy screening and fingerprint reading for quick unlocks — to talk to three other women who have found success after leaving behind the big city. Here’s their advice on how you can do it, too:
The Digital Media Expert Who Returned To Her Hometown
After eight years of "long days and even longer nights" working in digital media, April realized her obsession with travel — scheduling weekend getaways, planning destination trips to music festivals, and venturing to foreign countries — was simply a means to an end of escaping New York City permanently. Leaving her work hard, play hard lifestyle behind, she sold or donated most of her possessions, bought a cheap car, and drove across the country — eventually (and unexpectedly) settling in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.
Though she’d grown up with the urge to escape the Midwest, April found herself feeling at home, connecting with old friends (one of whom would later become her partner) and rediscovering the city in new ways.
Her best advice to others looking to establish new roots or reestablish old ones? You can always go back, and if you miss the commotion of the city, know that a quieter life doesn’t necessarily mean a dull one.
“Don’t let the ‘quiet life’ get too quiet!” she advises. “There might not always be a late-night dance party waiting around every corner, but your local community calendar will have fun events for every season that offer a great way to explore your new town and meet other like-minded people. And many are free!”
The Big-City Magazine Editor Turned Suburban Fitness Expert
For Lauren Seib, the idea of moving out of the city was devastating. Like many others, her definition of success was directly tied to "making it" in New York. Yet when her husband's job relocated to Stamford, Connecticut, it made more sense for the couple to follow suit.
The transition to living in a quiet, coastal town wasn’t as difficult as she expected, but her new commute (her job as a fitness editor at a magazine was still based in the city) was more complicated. The more time she spent traveling to and from the city, the more she realized her desire to spend the majority of her time in her current surroundings versus her old stomping grounds. Her new coastal neighborhood was perfect for practicing the outdoor activities she loved, home to her favorite grocery store, and closer to her extended family. She made the difficult decision to quit what once was her dream job to embrace her new community and pursue her passion for fitness full-time — as a personal trainer, fitness studio manager, and athletic apparel ambassador.
Her greatest piece of advice for other transplants is that success lies in keeping an open mind and getting involved in your new community — while remembering not to let pride get in the way if the move isn’t the right fit.
“I met some of my best friends through [the fitness community], but if that's not your jam, join a book club or volunteer group,” she says. “And know that nothing has to be permanent. You have full control of your life, your destiny, and your happiness. If the move just doesn't work for you, don't settle!”
The Self-Employed Logistics Broker Running Her Small Business From Wherever
After five amazing years living in New York City and Chicago, Lindsey reached a point when she wanted something more, but wasn't quite sure what "more" was. As a self-employed logistics broker, she knew she had the freedom to travel full-time, but had never taken full advantage of the opportunity.
After months of brainstorming, planning, and researching, she sold most of her belongings, bought an RV, installed a home office inside, and hit the road. Though the transition was terrifying, she felt more alive than ever. Today, she manages her small business from the road while exploring the United States and documenting her travels on her Instagram account.
Her advice to anyone who might be thinking of making a location change is to be prepared for lots of solo time — but know that being alone isn't always a bad thing.
“When you move to a new town, you're bound to have some alone time as you rebuild your social networks,” she says. “You really get to know yourself when you're alone with your thoughts for extended periods... you just have to put yourself out there. There will be ups and downs, but you will adjust. “
She also encourages women to embrace the unknown, rather than fear it.
“Don’t let fear drive your choices,” she says. “This world has so much to offer and so many hidden secrets just waiting to be discovered. Trust in yourself that you can have the life you want.”
This post is sponsored by HP.