moving on

by jenna on June 8, 2011

Another reader request post coming at you!

I get a lot of emails from girls struggling by moving and getting used to living in a new place, most often times hundreds (if not thousands!) of miles away from family and friends. Truthfully, moving can be (very!) scary and lonely…but it can also be a great time for self-growth and exploration!

When I moved to California in the fall of 2009, I only knew three people.

It was scary.

I didn’t have a place to live, my car was in transit across the country and my only job was part-time work at a local winery. I moved on big dreams and high expectations of California being a totally new and exciting adventure and life. For the first few days, I ran on pure adrenaline. Everything was new and exciting (like Trader Joe’s!) and I had found the cutest little house to live in—my first place all by myself. I hung my faded world map up on my bare wall, threw a comforter on the floor since I couldn’t afford any furniture and just drank it all in.

It felt surreal.

However it might have seemed to those reading my blog at the time though, things were not “perfect”. Sure, I had moved across the country to a beautiful area, had a cute house and a fridge full of groceries but I started to feel very, very lonely. I had left all my friends back East and had yet to make any real girlfriends in my new home. I filled up my nights working late at the winery, reading books and working on this blog. Being a natural introvert, it felt awkward and uncomfortable to go to social events where I knew no one and I didn’t really have any sort of community around.

But slowly, over time, things have definitely changed for the better. I started going regularly to a yoga studio here (the same studio I work at now), found a Church I love and started dating a wonderful sweet and funny guy.

My part-time job at the winery fizzled out once I threw myself wholeheartedly into the blog and my future book (to be released in August of 2012).  Adam and I started exploring the amazing area in which we live.

Still, it hasn’t been all easy or perfect by any means! Moving somewhere new is a transition and total life change. I’ve been living here now for almost two years and JUST NOW do I feel like I have a solid community around me and good friends.

It took a lot of uncomfortable transitions—-putting myself out there when it was easier to just stay in the safety of my home with Dexter—to really feel like I “belong” here right now. And I say “right now” because as much as I love California, I know this isn’t my final destination. Who knows what the future will hold!

My best advice for taking on a new city is really putting yourself out there! Immediately plug into a Church or community group, join a gym or yoga studio and do those cheesy things that tourists do like guided hikes and kayak trips. The first people you meet in your new area might very well not turn out to be your new best friends, but they can be acquaintances!

You never will know if someone wants to grab a cup of coffee with you unless YOU ask THEM. They might be sitting around at home feeling lonely and your coffee date request might just make their day!

It might feel silly and uncomfortable at first, but I promise you’ll make it. Take this time to do things you’ve always wanted to do—read the books on your eternal summer reading list, play at farmer’s markets, cook your favorite meals and explore your new city. Feeling a sense of belonging in a new place certainly does not happen overnight…or even in a matter of months. But it will happen in time if you let it.

In the interim, make these. They always worked wonders for me.

 

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{ 104 comments… read them below or add one }

megan @ whatmegansmaking June 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

great post Jenna, and so true. It’s so important to just put yourself out there and find a community. It’s a good lesson too, for those of us who see new people come into our community – to welcome them and invite them to coffee, etc.

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Moni'sMeals June 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I REALLY liked this post Jenna. I love all your pics, cute as a button!

This will really help a reader who is in this situation. Nice work!

~”Who knows what the future will hold!”
Is right!

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Jen, a priorfatgirl June 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Fall of 2009? oohh — that feels so long ago, have I really been stalking reading you for that long? It feels like just yesterday you were moving cross country!

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Meg June 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Same here :P

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DaniEatsVeggies June 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Great post, Jenna! It’s very admirable that you were able to do this.

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Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Thanks for this post! I’ve been feeling really disconnected from all of my friends lately, since we’re all in college and have completely different schedules, scattered all across the country. Even I keep moving around from one city to another, and it’s been really hard to find stability.

I hope to settle down soon, and in the meantime, at least find those “acquaintances.”

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Mary (A Merry Life) June 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

This was a wonderful post. Moving away from everyone and everything you’ve ever known is really hard. Starting over takes time and work. You just have to put yourself out there but in time things get better. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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R @ Learning As I Chop June 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Great post! Moving to a new place is definitely hard

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Kristine June 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Wow, this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I am moving in about a month from Massachusetts to Arizona!
I am really worried about feeling lonely, but you are so right and if you get involved in activities that you love, hopefully eventually the feelings of homesickness will go away! I’ve never been more nervous/excited for an adventure!

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Nicole June 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I moved from NY to AZ back in 2008 with a dog & my car stuffed with everything I owned. Good luck! Where in AZ will you be?

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Kristine June 9, 2011 at 5:26 am

Ahh that’s great to know! Are you still there? I’m going to be living in Tempe and working in Phoenix. I don’t know anyone! Ahh! :)

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Holly @ The Runny Egg June 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Jenna I really appreciate this post even though I have the opposite situation (kind of) — I didn’t move away, but my close friends all did, so in the end I was kind of left alone. I’m starting to get out more and join groups and such, but it is tough. I am very shy and introverted and to be honest I’m amazed that I met Jason in the first place since that took a lot of guts on my part to join a volunteer group and basically throw myself at him :) Kidding but not really. Our next “project” is finding a church that we both love, and with that I hope comes new friends and acquaintances.

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Jaime June 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

love this post! :)

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Raya June 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I just moved across the country by myself 5 months ago and can totally relate! I only knew one person in Phoenix when I arrived, and I already have many people I call friends. I’m actually writing some posts on this as well, but my best advice to anyone moving (or even just wanting to branch out, socially) is to use Meetup.com – I have had great success with it. And don’t give up if your first outing with a group isn’t the best-keep trying until you find one that fits you! I promise, it’s worth it.

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Kristine June 9, 2011 at 5:24 am

I’m moving to Phoenix next month from across the country! We should be friends! haha! :)

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Lauren @ Sassy Molassy June 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Loved this post, Jenna. You’ve always seemed on the blog anyway, that you knew where you were going and just went with it. Very impressed at how you handled it amidst the stress. I mean, not having furniture would stress me out probably more than I could even handle. Much less, moving across the country and not knowing anyone. It’s so true that building a community that is solid and cares about you is so important to our happiness. And of course awesome that Adam is one of those people you met. Thanks for writing!

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Thank you SO much for this post!!! I just moved and am feeling all of the above…

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Amanda (Eating Up) June 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

It took me about two years to find a community in Chicago too. Now, I’m actually moving back home after four years away, and it’s gonna take a lot of time to readjust to that as well. I’m excited for the adventure of going home though!

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Andrea (Run. Learn. Repeat.) June 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I moved to a new place about a year ago and friends from church as well as joining a gym worked wonders in adjusting. Now we’re having fun exploring all that Texas has to offer. Luckily there’s a lot, so that helps distract us from missing family.

P.S. The brownies look delicious. I’ll have to try them! And I’m always looking for books to read, so thanks for the ideas!

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Michelle | Gold-Hearted Girl June 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I could talk for hours about all the changes you’d go through moving to a new city. I’ve done it countless times! It was hardest when I moved to Dallas because the only person I knew was my boyfriend at the time…but every single experience has shaped me for the better, and now I feel so independent and strong. I would recommend anyone to take the leap!

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Melissa June 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Great post! Last year I moved to San Diego from New Jersey. Granted it was with my boyfriend, but we still got lonely from time to time and missed our friends and family. We did a year out there, and I could have seen us staying for longer, as we were just starting to feel like we belonged and could get around easily, but we decided to go back to start saving money and getting rooted in a place we knew would be permanent.

ps love all your pictures!!!

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Clare @ Fitting It All In June 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Perfect timing! I just found out I’m moving to Dallas next month! I’ve never been there before so I’m super nervous…great tips!

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MegaNerd June 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Thank you for this post!

I just moved from Orlando to Baltimore and have been feeling this way for a few weeks. I am also naturally introverted and feel awkward but you have some great suggestions for getting out there. I currently feel really out of place, and often homesick.

It’s good to hear that eventually this feeling will go away! Maybe I should start baking more…

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jenna k June 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

i love this! i’ve been playing around in my head with the idea of moving out west at some point after i finish college in december. you just reminded me that maybe moving from east tennessee is what i need and that the idea is worth exploring. thanks for the encouraging post! :)

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Rachel @ I'm Loving Today June 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Great post! I can totally relate: Three years ago, I was in a complete rut in my home state and knew things needed to change. I picked up and moved to Milwaukee (where’d I’d visited twice when my brother went to law school there). I knew no one, save for a couple of my brother’s friends from law school (my brother had since moved to Denver). I found a job and a great apartment right by Lake Michigan. I’m a naturally shy person, so I completely surprised myself when I made quick friends with a number of people in my building… including my boyfriend (who lived right next door!). Now I’m incredibly happy and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else – I’m convinced this was fate that brought me here. I hope you feel the same way right now, too! :)

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k June 8, 2011 at 2:19 pm

This is very touching for me. I just recently learned I’ll be packing my bags up headed to vet school next month. I was planning on moving in with my boyfriend as he is headed to school in NYC this august as well- as much as I’ve cried over now having to do long distance, I’m pretty excited to move to california!

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meredith June 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

i appreciate your honesty! one always thinks of moving away like that as pure adventure, but there is the other side of it, too… loneliness & uncertainty, etc. good tips for getting out there, meeting people, and taking charge of the situation.

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Susie June 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I love this post – it’s all so, so true. I moved from California to NYC right after college with almost no plan and knowing, like, two people. There were many ups and downs in the beginning, especially when you do know a handful of people, because it’s easy to stay in that rut of what’s comfortable. But branching out and taking chances on friendship – which always seems scary and yet it usually rewarding – made it such a wonderful experience. Of course, I’ve just moved again, upstate, so it’s once again time to start over. Your post is totally what I needed as I’m getting used to this new area!

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Lauren @ LaDolcePita June 8, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Great post…. I can totally relate to feeling a bit lonely in a new town/state…
Thanks for sharing :)

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HilaryJo June 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Nice post! My hubby and I have already moved 3 times in our 10 months being married…now were back where his family is and where we went to school!

Random, but do you have any posts on starting yoga/how to start/how to do it on your own etc? I am playing around with the idea, but live in a little tiny town in the middle of Indiana…This may be a stupid question. I guess I am at square zero on this one! :)

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Sandy June 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Where are you in Indiana? I live in Franklin. I would love to chat if you are close by. I did yoga for many years with just DVDs until I found a studio.

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HilaryJo June 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Im in Upland Indiana! It is pretty much between Marion and Muncie…about 20 mins from each of them. So if you are ever up here (or if Luke and I ever venture down past the big city!), that would be fun :)

Do you have any recommendations for DVDs (or even youtube haha Im cheap)? Im glad to hear that you can do it with DVDs, that kind of give me hope:) I have been phasing out running somewhat (took a few weeks off, am doing it again) but I want to find something that I really enjoy, as I have somewhat ceased to LOVE running. Sorry that was super long.

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Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique June 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Couldn’t agree with this post more! I have just hit my 1 year mark in Chicago, and while I moved here and have my boyfriend here, I am just now starting to feel like it’s “home”. I know that in one more year’s time, it will feel even more homey.

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Lisa June 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm

What a lovely post!!!

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Molly @ RDexposed June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

What a great post! I moved 2 hours away from home and still feel so far away from everyone!

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Belated congrats on the book. Can’t wait to read. Making new friends as an adult can be hard. When I first moved to my current home, I met one woman I really liked and basically stalked her until she was my friend. Kind of scary, in retrospect.

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Elena @ Married in Miami June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thank you so much for writing this post. I could agree 100% with everything you said… I moved here to Miami almost 9 months ago and don’t quite feel like it’s home yet. I know that I need to put myself out there to make some friends here! Thanks for the inspiration. Love the photos, too. :)

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Mellie June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thank you! This is so encouraging! I’m the shyest, awkwardest person EVER.

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Pam C June 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

My absolute favorite part of your blog is when you include in a post (especially a serious or life lesson type of post) something along the lines of make these or this will help and link to an amazing recipe. Love it!!! And the brownies are to die for I made them for a family get together and they were gone in minutes. They were the only dish there were no leftovers from.

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Sana June 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Awesome post Jenna! Life changes CAN be scary, but I am so proud of you for making a home for yourself!

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Baking 'n' Books June 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm

What a wonderful, wonderful post…it made me cry for some reason.

I moved here a bit ago – and not really “new” – but man, that last part about going on the touristy things, READING(love!), strolling markets…oh it made my heart sing.

Thank you.

….I’ve wondered if CA is your final destination or not…I just hope wherever you go that that sweet and wonderful guy will be following ;)

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eliza kate June 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Perfect time for this blog post.
About a month ago, I quit my job in Baltimore MD, packed my car, left my family/friends, and drove to Colorado. I’ve settled in Denver with no friends, no job, and not really any plan at all. I’ve always been a little envious of your big move but it is reassuring to know that it took you some time to feel comfortable as well. I’ve had lots of time for self reflecting, reading, and exploring. But I’m anxious to find my own new community.
Thanks for the post and CHEERS to life’s adventures.

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Baking 'n' Books June 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Why I ask what made you head out to Colorado if you weren’t going for someone or something?! Something you’ve always wanted to do?

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jenna k June 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm

i’m playing with the idea of doing that very same thing. :)

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Orla June 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This is so timely, since I just moved to San Francisco from Ireland – moving 5,000 miles and 8 hours away from everybody and everything I know has been pretty tough! I’m planning on joining a gym and doing some volunteering, because I really don’t want to have to stop people in the street and beg them to be my friends! I guess I’m going to have to get over my fear of asking people I don’t know to go for coffee :)

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Kelsa June 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Jenna, you are very inspirational! This post is exactly what I have experienced in the last 2 years. I relay this message to others and young folks venturing to a new place/stage in life. Its fun, scary, and totally radical! Enjoy every stage of life or you may miss out on something really great ;)

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Lindsey Morningstar June 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Love this post! I moved out to Santa Barbara 4 years ago with my now husband with literally nothing, It was scary and exciting all in one. That first year I was so lonely because I wanted to make good friends quickly, something that just doesn’t happen. Friendships take time and energy. But now I can attest that moving out west was the perfect thing for us – we got married, we became adults, and we found a way of life that we could never have imagined living before. On Sunday we are moving back east for me to start my internship – so a new chapter awaits!

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Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf June 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I love this.

A little over a year ago I was feeling lonely. I moved far away from home to this town for college in 2006, and he realization set in that pretty much all the friends I’d made since coming to school had graduated and moved away. I got to a point in my loneliness that I was contemplated different major moves across the country. I felt like I didn’t belong here anymore, and in a way felt a little trapped because my husband hadn’t graduated yet.

That all changed a year ago (next week!) when I started hosting weekend dinner clubs of sorts. I started inviting some recently-befriended casual friends of our over for dinner once a week. We didn’t know them very well, and for a long time there felt like a wall between us and them. People would leave our house early in the evenings after dinner. But after the weeks went by, they stayed later and later, and soon they were inviting us to various events during the week. The time came for our lease to expire and we decided, on a prayer, to find a house in town instead of moving to the city. We felt we had a purpose in our small town and finally felt connected again. We relied on faith and God provided my husband a job one week after we paid the deposit on our house. We moved in several month later (with a TOOOOOON of help from our new friends!) and this house has been host to so much love and life in the past nine months. Our then-acquaintances are now our closest friends, and I don’t feel the slightly urge to leave any time soon.

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Kristy June 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Wow, I’m so thankful for you for writing this post. In 5 day (!!!) I’m moving from Northern California, my home of 23 years, to go to graduate school in a small town in Illinois. Everyone keeps talking about how different the weather is going to be and how far it is from California, but really I’m just worried about being lonely. The advise you offered in this post sounds really helpful. I now look forward to joining something when I get there, so I will hopefully make new friends.

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock June 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Beautifully put Jenna! I love this post…you said it just right ;)

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Gina (Yogattude) June 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I love this post! I moved from MI to the Bay Area only knowing 1 person. It was scary and I felt so silly doing things alone. I never did make to many friends around there, except my amazing boyfriend. I moved up to Seattle with him 2 years ago and I’ve found such an amazing community of friends here. Yoga really helped with that and also I sought out some friends of friends that happened to live here.

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Diana@mymarblerye June 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm

This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I just moved to Denver from Texas and know no one! It’s “not me” to reach out and meet strangers but I’m gonna suck it up and just get out there!

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Sandy June 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I really relate to this post. I moved from Indiana to Texas straight out of college. It was such a shock to be on my own for the first time, far away from anyone I knew. I had a very hard time. I think that I would approach it much differently now but at the age of 22 I hadn’t developed enough of my own personal comfort zones to know how to fill my time. No one tells you how scary that transition is or how alone you will feel after leaving your safe college bubble.

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Kristin June 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm

You rock. Reading this post made me feel like I could do anything, live anywhere, make a great life no matter the circumstance. You are a refreshing, inspirational woman. Thank you!

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Brooke @ Bittersweetb June 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm

What a great post! I just moved, only a short distance from Philadelphia to DC but I found that hard enough. You are an extremely strong person for being able to move away from family, friends and everything you know and start anew! I commend you!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm

You’re writing a book? So awesome!

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Paige @ Running Around Normal June 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

You are such a brave woman, Jenna!! I only hope to take a risk like this at some point in my life!

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Brynne June 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Yes THANK YOU for this! I’m taking it as a sign of good news for me in the next few weeks :)

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Ashley June 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

couldn’t agree more! You just have to get out there and be extra friendly :)

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) June 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

We still need to meet up for coffee or something soon. : ) The weather is finally starting to behave.

I’m glad you’re feeling more at home here now.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Thank you for sharing what you did to feel at home, far far far away from your familial home.

I have moved 10 times in the past 10 years. And before that, in college, even more! Moved from MN to IL to NC to SC to CA to AZ back to CA. And within San Diego have moved tons.

Each and every time, I started over. Knowing no one. I did have my husband starting with the NC move but prior to that, just me. I was an adventurous spirit and always want to live by the water/beach and warm weather but it’s HARD to move! It’s hard to start over!

I love your tips about a yoga studio…that’s ALWAYS my FIRST thing I do when I move somewhere is get rooted in the local yoga community.

As you said, not everyone you meet may become your bff’s forever; but it’s a start, a jumping off place, and that’s all anyone can ask for.

I hope you wind up living in the place that makes your heart sing, Jenna. And that WILL end up being your forever home:)

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Michelle (The Runner's Plate) June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I loved reading this post!

I moved from Minnesota to Alaska almost 4 years ago and still struggle to call this place home and feel like I fit in. I am always intrigued by other people’s experiences moving to a new place!

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Deanna June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I LOVED this post and have loved reading your journey along the way. Keep up the adventures for us to read about :)

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Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef June 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

great advice! this is so true- even if you’re only moving several hours away.. :)

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Sarah June 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for this Jenna! I will soon be moving to Sweden with my boyfriend who is going to graduate school there. I’m so nervous because he’ll have an environment to make friends and I’ll have to learn how to have a semi-independent life in a foreign country. I’m terrified but also excited!

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Anne June 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Hi Jenna,

I’m a longtime reader who seldom comments. I just wanted to say thank you. I’m about to leave my safe job to go back into something much less safe that I love and moving across the country in the process. It’s been keeping me up at night but reading this gave me some perspective. I’m not the first person to do this and it can be done!

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Brenda M. June 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Jenna, I loved this post, like all of the other readers! It is exciting to have been on this journey with you (in a weird blogger/reader sort of way). Because my husband has a great job he loves and because both of our families are here, it’s very unlikely I’ll ever leave Kansas. My dream is to move to California one day, but I have enjoyed the way you share your experiences with us! Are you able to share a little about Rocky and Kevin? They both seemed to be great guys, and both have been a part of your life – how are they doing? But thanks so much for sharing part of your life with us, and I can’ wait until we can buy your book!!!

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kaila @ healthy helper! June 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Love this Jenna! Thanks for the insight! I will be going away for college in the next year so these tips will definitely come in handy!

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Em June 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Great posts lately, Jenna (and great posts all the time).
I love these thoughts on life and transitions.
I moved to Minnesota 2 years ago after graduating from seminary and becoming a pastor. Whoa – it was sooooooooooo frightening. But each day I do really thank God for this opportunity to spread my wings and develop in new ways.

As always, thanks for your bloggy blog, lady!

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Kelly Michelle June 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

HOLY CRAP!! Have you seriously been there almost 2 years!?!? I was reading for awhile before you even moved, I can’t believe it has been that long because it does NOT feel like it. No wonder I feel like I know you….

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Katie (Life Discombobulated) June 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm

What a great post! I can really relate. I have moved to a lot of new places and just moved to Missouri to start a new grad program last fall. For some reason, this move was the scariest of my life so far. I moved all by myself and didn’t know anyone in my new town. I was intimidated by a new graduate program and SO nervous I would have a hard time meeting new people and making new friends. It took a little while, but with a little bit of discomfort from putting myself out there, I managed to meet some very wonderful friends and am just now starting to feel like this is my home. I still have a way to go, but things are getting easier and I am feeling more and more at home.

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Errign June 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm

ahhh I LOVE you for this post. I literally moved to Asheville, um, THREE days ago, where I don’t know anyone, or my way around, or even have a job yet. I’m here basically totally alone & while it’s exhilarating, it’s also terrifying! :)

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French Heart June 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm

LOVE!

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Alexandra June 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I’ve totally been there before! Actually, I am still there right now! It’s been rough moving here to Santa Cruz this past school year. Everyone has their own groups of friends and I am also an interovert. I like having one or two friends over for dinner and a movie but it isn’t easy asking people over sometimes. And I’m definitely not the one to invite myself. I’ve decided to stay here the majority of summer instead of going home so hopefully things will start turning around

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Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Excellent advice! Love this post!

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Khushboo June 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Great post! I moved to Mumbai last year from London. Fortunately I knew a handful of people so it made the transition that much easier. Although I agree completely: putting yourself out there is SO crucial! Relationships are an active process and require input from both sides.

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Katie June 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I really needed this post right now! I’m moving to Hawaii in 3 weeks and all my excitement has turned to jitters lately. Thank you for sharing this. : )

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Ashley June 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Awesome post Jenna! I have loved here for 3 years and am also just now feeling like a belong. So much of it has been because of your friendship which I believe all started with a coffee date. Heart you.

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Alejandra @ mouthfulsandmorsels.wordpress.com June 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Great post! Thanks for sharing your story. I moved from So Cal to NorCal, wow almost 9 years ago. But the transition was rough and scary. Eventually everything does turn out for the best. I cannot think of anywhere else I’d rather live!! And those triple layer mint s’more brownies??? Yes, they’re magical!

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Aileen June 8, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Jenna, I love this post. I recently moved to the north from the south and now we’re moving again. I love your encouragement to keep plugging in and getting to know people. Thanks for posting this today!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I love this post and the advice in it. Wish I had known some of these things a little earlier in life :)

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Katrina June 9, 2011 at 1:08 am

So glad everything worked out for you in the end. These tips are so helpful. I just moved from Canada to Switzerland and am trying to fit in here. Your post was so nice to read.

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Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] June 9, 2011 at 1:22 am

Great post! I am going through the same things – I picked up and moved to rural France knowing no one. Nine months later, I still miss my friends and family like crazy! I can related to a lot of what you said – thanks!

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Annie D. June 9, 2011 at 3:50 am

OHHH goodness. I’ve only moved one time and it was TRAUMATIC for me! Hubby and I talk about moving away (like… out of the STATE AGHH!!!) a lot, but I’m not sure if it’ll ever happen. We’ll see!

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Deb June 9, 2011 at 4:57 am

This post was exactly what I needed to hear! I moved to Memphis, TN a few months ago for my first job and I only knew 1 person here. It was so tough to leave all my best friends hundreds of miles away. I have to keep telling myself to be p-a-t-i-e-n-t, I will begin to “fit in” here soon!

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Karen June 9, 2011 at 5:03 am

This is one of my all time favorite posts, Jenna…so insightful and informative and moving. I love when you display your full repertoire of writing chops, a reminder of how amazingly talented you are.

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Amy June 9, 2011 at 5:24 am

Oh I loved this post, Jenna :) It’s been a pleasure, as a reader, to watch you grow & thrive in your new CA home. It’s nice to get a “behind the scenes look”, too — I know moving can be really stressful & scary! Great tips!

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Carissa June 9, 2011 at 6:21 am

Thanks for this. We’re considering moving across the country in the next year. It’s great that just as we’re making this decision so many things are pointing us in that direction and showing us that it will be fun and exciting, not something to worry about.

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Kristina June 9, 2011 at 6:25 am

I so hear you – I moved to the east bay for about a year right after college, and it was so hard at first… I didn’t know anyone accept my roommates (both friends from college)! I was really lonely for a couple of months…but you’re absolutely right about putting yourself out there. I joined my church choir after a few weeks and made friends right away, they were so open and welcoming! One night I just went downstairs, knocked on my neighbors’ door and invited them to come out with us – the guys in that apartment ended up being some of my closest friends while I was living there.

Baking/cooking for groups is also a great idea – someone asking you for a recipe or about your cooking is always a great conversation starter :)

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Madeline - Greens and Jeans June 9, 2011 at 6:41 am

I have lived five places in five years, and not just little moves, multiple thousands of miles each time. It’s SO hard starting over, meeting new people, trying new things, being away from your family and friends, but I haven’t regretted a single thing. Last October I moved to Philadelphia from Phoenix and after a few rocky months (ending a relationship, figuring out a new job, not knowing a soul) I have found myself in such an incredibly good place. I have fallen in love with the city, met a boy that I’m CRAZY about, and made some really good friends. I won’t say that it’s been an easy road, but I’m always one to take the path less traveled and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous June 9, 2011 at 10:20 am

This is a great post, Jenna. I’m so close to my family that I don’t think I would have any interest in moving so far away. Kudos to you for taking the plunge and making it work! California is lucky to have you :)

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Lauren June 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

Very nice post — and helpful! I think feeling lonely is par for the course with any major move. I moved to NYC for grad school in 2004, and while I was incredibly excited to be living in this huge, amazing city, I was undeniably lonely, too. I quickly made friends in my graduate program, but we all led pretty solitary lives during the day (it was a Creative Writing program, after all — and writing isn’t exactly a group activity). I was extremely lonely for the first 6 months, but gradually cultivated deeper friendships with the people I knew, and met other great people who weren’t in my program. And dating in a new city was kind of fun too!

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Liz June 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

This post couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband and I have moved all over the country and we’re getting ready for another move next week. I agree that the reward of experiencing something new and meeting new people can outway the scariness. Thanks for the inspiration and advice. I’ll be sure to remember it when we get moved into our new home!

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Amanda @ Still Life with Duck June 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

Beautiful post and so helpful to so many people! I moved from Washington DC to Seattle six months ago, and though I thought I called Seattle home (it’s where I grew up) after six years away it’s been a really hard transition. Love hearing your inspiring words.

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Katie P June 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

Jenna, I just sent this post to my close friend who recently moved to London, I think your beautiful writing, open heart and honesty will really strike a chord for her as she makes this transition in her life. Thanks for another stellar post!

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Susan June 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

Hi Jenna,
I was wondering.. what ever happened to Rocky??

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JosephineTomato June 9, 2011 at 11:31 am

I would add (after moving 8 times for work in a span of about 10 years) that I always sought out my college alum association as well as my sorority alum group for an instant group of new friends. I think your advice, Jenna, to seek out a group that supports your interests makes perfect sense.

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Emily June 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Great post. I moved to Seattle from Minneapolis almost two years ago. I am a graduate student so I was busy from the second I moved here. I never had the time to meet people. As a result any time I have a break I get so homesick and often feel like I’ve failed. It is really comforting to know that other people struggle with feeling at home in a new city.

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Natalie June 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Jenna, thank you so much for posting this. I literally just moved to Jacksonville, FL this week to start a new job and I do not know a single soul down here! My emotions are running wild too – yesterday I cried but today I felt better after spending the day on the beach with my Kindle haha. Your advice is really encouraging and helpful. Thanks again!

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Katie June 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Great post! My husband is in the Navy, so moving often is just a part of life. In the last five years I have moved from Indiana to North Carolina to New Mexico to Rhode Island, and next month it’s off to California. All your pointers were spot on; I would only add that being patient and flexible combined with a positive attitude, are a must.

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Maddie June 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I feel like you wrote this post FOR ME. Which is great, because it’s always a nice reminder to know that there are so many others going through the exact same hard things. I am on month 6 in a new place. I moved from Santa Barbara, CA, to Seattle, WA…in January. And I had my first breakdown this week, when I realized I had no Memorial Day BBQ plans with friends because…I had no GROUP of friends…yet. Bummer realization. What you said is so true though about asking others to get together…just b/c people look secure and confident doesn’t mean that they too are lonely on the inside! Wow that sounded cheesy, but I mean it. And give yourself PATIENCE. Be patient…with yourself…these things take time. Let them. <3

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Shannon - Blonde Silver Lining June 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I’ve moved across the country a few times (MA to FL, back and then back to FL) and every time I started over again in a new community, it was the same process you described. It’s uncomfortable at first, but as soon as you start living your life and focusing on the things that make you happy, you find your place. I’ve felt like a gypsy for years though, moving from place to place ever 6 months to a year. I must say, I’m ready to settle for a bit! I’m glad to see other people learning to make homes for themselves in new places too though.

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Meghan @ StruggleMuffins June 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Great post – inspirational!

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grace b July 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Moving to California in September, thanks so much for this post Jenna!! Bookmarking it under my ‘Inspiration” folder. :)

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