Cross country move or not?

Hi All!
I was wondering if anyone has done what I am considering doing. I currently live in minnesota, been here all my life, I am 30, an RN, and planning on starting my pre-med stuff in the Spring 2005. But…every so often and now I am having an ‘itch’ to pack up my car, just me and my two cats and little dog and move somewhere else. I have very little money because of my recent divorce, but I am happy renting a one bedroom apartment. I am seriously thinking about why I want to leave MN where my friends and family are, some reasons are obvious to me and some probably aren’t. If any of you, packed up and moved to ‘start over’ I would love to hear what your reason were(if you want to tell me) and how it was. I feel my life has been stagnant and I am ready for some change in my life. No one in my family would support me moving so I would be doing it all on my own. I’ve already figured I would sell all my furniture and pack only things that I can fit in my Honda Civic, put my little dog and 2 cats in the car and off I go. It would be very hard to leave friends and family and support systems behind but it would be exciting i think. I have been thinking of which state I would like to live in, which school, etc. I’ve thought about U of N.Carolina Chapel Hill, but that is just from looking on the net for an evening. I like a big university and I guess I like one that has a medical school associated with it. I’ve thought to myself “what would I want from a state that I would move to?” and my answer is “i want it to not have the cold weather like MN does, and it should have mountains or be close to the ocean”. I don’t know how I came up with that,it just kind of came up. Any thoughts from “uprooters”? Would love to hear the positive and negatives and anything else. thanks! take care and have a great night. Mehgan

Maybe, considering your recent divorce, you are ready for a new start in a new place where no one knows you (yet) or has any pre-conceived ideas about you. Nothing is wrong with that!
Go for it!

Hey there!
Wow, there are a lot of minnesotans on this board. Way more than there ought to be considering our state’s measly population–but anyway…
Well, I am a Minnesota native and I have moved a few times to other parts of the country. You could really have a great time if you do it with the right mindset. Don’t take too much stuff with you, and just aim to have fun. It might be better to move to a place where you know someone. I also have to say that most expatriate Minnesotans I’ve met eventually come back! It is kind of a curse. Wherever you go, just be prepared to confront the chaos and drama that is the rest of the United States.
My feeling is, that if your life is feeling stagnant, Minnesota is not the best place on earth to be. :wink: Also, you are not alone in your family not wanting you to leave. I have never heard of anyone around here being encouraged to uproot themselves! My cousin just moved to Boston and boy was that a controversy at first. Everyone acted like they were pioneers, leaving the old country, never to be seen again.
But if you are looking for adventure, I’d say definitely think about giving it a shot. Just tell everyone that you’ll be back soon!

My two cents: go for it.
I did what you are thinking about doing. I had lived in Florida for 20 years when my “itch” to leave became a consuming desire. So, After I completed my MA, I put my three sons and our cat into my car and drove away. Fortunately, I had a job in NC to go to (and, of course, there were no child custody laws being broken).
I didn’t take any furniture and what I wanted to save I asked my True Love to keep in his garage (I left him behind too. He joined me a year later and we married). During the first year in NC I spent a lot of money on long distance calls. And, my sons and I went to visit friends and family in Florida during every holiday break. The first year was the most difficult in terms of loneliness, getting acclimated (literally), and finding my way around. Oh, and replacing the furniture I left behind was MUCH harder than I had anticipated – If I were to do it over, I think I would do that part differently…
I don’t regret my decision to move. In fact, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve done. I love North Carolina. And, the process taught me much, especially about how strong I really am.
I say “Go for it.” Be smart, be safe, and go for it.

“I feel your pain.” Having been divorced myself, these sorts of thoughts crossed my mind many times. Eventually, I decided that familiarity in a time of change was probably better than that mythical “fresh start” which I think stems from a psychological desire to put space between you and the negative feelings that things like a divorce can engender…although it’s only time, not space, that can cure such things.
Another reason you probably don’t want to move is that you have Minnesota state residency established without question and if you move to another state and start going to school, you may not be able to establish residency in that state and apply as an in-state resident in your new home.
Good luck!

From a traveller–I too had family dead set against my rovings, but I have lived in New Zealand, Australia, and for a short time E Africa. Loved every minute of it, would highly recommend it. I can’t imagine living my entire life in one place – there is so much out there to learn. As for your residency, it sounds like you are about to do postbaccs, so you could establish residency in a place that had a reasonable # of med schools. Also, I would really look into programs that are attached, loosely or directly, to med schools. They do seem to have higher acceptance rates. Life is short. Experience it all. I can’t imagine anyone (besides family) telling you not to spread your wings. don’t let logistics (residency, $) slow you down.–Barb

Hi meghan!
When I read your post, the first thing that came to mind is my big, bright, beautiful state of Pennsylvania, where you can find pretty much what you were looking for…except that it does get cold here. Not too cold, mind you, not Minnesota cold, but it does get cold. So my next thought for you might be somewhere in Southern California. Not up by San Francisco, although that is a truly beautiful place, but I’m thinking more like Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, LA. However, not being from California, I don’t know how expensive it is to live there, but the upside is that I’m pretty sure that med schools/graduate schools in the statewide University system cost very little money for residents of the state, and with little personal income, you might be a shoe-in for grants and scholarships. Plus, you and the dogs can run on the beach, catch some rays studying your pre-med stuff, and just generally enjoy a healthy outdoorsy lifestyle. Best of luck to you! I think you should go for it! Siobhan (also an RN, but presently very grumpy)

Thanks everyone for all the input, i appreciate it! i have been to Pennsylvania many times, my parents are originally from there so my grandparents, relatives, live there, PA has been on my mind as possible states for relocation. I also agree that time not distance heals bad memories, that is why I don’t want to make any jump decisions for several months because I don’t want to run from something I can’t run from i.e. myself, thoughts, feelings, etc. North Carolina looks tempting though Anyway, I appreciate all the thoughts and take them all to heart. Thanks guys and gals! Mehgan

Do NOT move to NC! It’s a backward state with backward people. It is a terrible state with terrible people. The only state worse would be SC which is where the rejects from NC end up.
BTW, my plan is to move there after my post-bacc, med school, residency & fellowship…
Confused?! I’ve heard waaaay too many people making the move to NC and I don’t want the new influx to ruin a great place. Not being pessimistic but big city folk seem to bring their big city wisdom and street smarts…translation=Attitude ruining a great state. I was stationed there for 3 years and loved the Raleigh area. It was city enough for me yet still had the great aspects of slower country life. I love NC. I think it’s the best combination but with everybody and their momma moving there…
You do what’s best for you. I think NC would be a great state. SC is somewhere else to look into.
I’m in the opposite situation I’m moving back to Florida after 14 years. Friends and church is here in Maryland but family is in Florida. Not ecstatic about the move but $400 rent with the ability for my wife and I to go back to school full time…can’t pass it up. Or can I…?

Hey, if you come to Chapel Hill, you would not be alone! Adennis and Duck live here too.

I don’t personally have any cross-country moving experience, but I do have a thought on the matter (my two cents, if you will). It might be wise to do your pre-reqs in MN and then consider applying to med school somewhere else. It might be a whole lot of change in a fairly short amount of time to move for your pre-reqs and then maybe again for med school. Also, that way if you leave MN for med school, maybe your family will be understanding about it (since you would have more of a concrete reason for the move). I think you will find it pretty important to have your family’s support during med school, from what I understand. Good luck!

Just a note on Southern California: It’s hefty compared to the midwest. And I speak as someone who reloed from the midwest out here. Be prepared to fork over 1k/month in rent on average. Your mileage may vary. Gas cost more. Everything else is basically the same. Community colleges are subsized, but since you’re doing post bacc, the UC schools average 6k/year tuition, and state schools are roughly half that, based on what I’ve seen. Unless you’re a die hard beach bum and don’t mind paying for the scenery, I’d look for something more cost effective.

OTOH, if you’re looking to pick up a nursing job while you’re going to school out here, you could manage. I know a few nurses and they do ok… they pay them a bit more out here due to the shortage.


Do NOT move to NC! It’s a backward state with backward people.

Sorry but I’ll have to agree somewhat with this comment!
After grad school at Chapel HIll and a marriage seperation(now ended), I left NC for the DC/Maryland area originally for school, then work, and now I’m in school again (long story).
I say if your looking for a culturally diverse atmosphere with “forward” thinking folks, you may want to avoid NC ESPECIALLY Chapel Hill.
I personally like the Penn idea, a state with plenty of med schools from all 3 tiers and people who believe the South lost the war

Hey Meghan,
Are you taking requests about where we think you should consider moving to? :slight_smile: If so, here’s my list of recommendataions:
Montreal or any other Canadian city
New Orleans
You’ll have to take this advice with a grain of salt since I’ve only been to one of those places and that was only for one day, but hey, they all sound like great places anyway! They all qualify as being warmer than Minnesota too.

I moved from Seattle to NY a year ago. I packed up my SUV with 2 big dogs, 2 cats and my daughter. The mountain of stuff went into a container trucked across the US. I lived in Seattle for 15 years and needed a change. In my case… I came home. I’m a native New Yorker but never thought I’d return. It helps my daughter to have the family support here and I do have lots of old friends. But… another reason I choose NY is all the state schools. There are many NY med schools and I’m looking for any possible advantage. You might want to think about med school chances. I am crossing my fingers a close by state school accepts me. Instead of $40K/year it will be $20K/year. Just another thing to mull over.
Good luck.