How to pick up and move like a pro

by Kacey Mya

When your career requires you to be on the go constantly, you learn to be creative on the move. Packing up your life and moving on the drop of a hat is as physically and emotionally difficult as its potential is exciting.

The difficulty of forming new relationships and attachments to locations only to relocate a year later doesn’t change. Then, there’s all the physical stuff that you collect: furniture, papers, clothes and sentimental tokens from home and your travels. It’s hard to let go. I had to teach myself to pick up and move like a pro, and these lessons continue to see me through every time:

How to pick up and move like a pro

Know that it’s okay to have more than one home.

Home is where the heart is, after all. Some people are fortunate to have grown up in one geographical location with close family and friends. There are military kids. Those who live in broken homes or feel like they have no home. Many of us experience that in college, when we set off for the first time and then end up enjoying a semester abroad.

Adulthood has its own series of big moves, and when you travel for a living it’s important to redefine your own concept of home. Home is what you make of it, no matter where you are. Once you’ve traveled at length, you become a travel bug, and it becomes part of who you are. You can have more than home, and that’s okay.

Only purchase necessities, and shed what weighs you down.

Seriously consider your needs realistically as you relocate. What do you need for the move and once you move into the new location? What amenities will be available to you, which you don’t necessarily have to take with you?
When traveling for work, you may have the perk of having a furnished apartment or travel accommodations. Either way, most electronics and furniture are easily replaced once you relocate.

You don’t need to add more stuff on top of the stuff you already have. If you’ve inherited a set of plates from your grandmother, by all means, hold on to those. Place heirlooms and the most important sentimental items into storage with a trusted family member. Storage facilities may convenient, but they are also something extra to keep track of financially every month. Let go of the unnecessary.

Choose decor that is easy to pack.

When contemplating a look for your new space, it’s important to choose items that are classic, comfortable and functional. However, it’s necessary that these items be easy to pack.

For some people, that’ll mean a trip to Ikea for furniture that’s easy to put together and break down, while still appealing to aesthetics. Yet, no one sane can live with white, blank walls. Tapestries are easy to hang up and roll up for travel when you need to move, and they look amazing as a back drop for a bed or couch.

Decorations that are easy to pack don’t have to feel or look cheap. Focus on the potential of multiple purposes for each decoration, and make it easier for you to move.

Develop coping strategies.

When you are far from family and your loved ones, you’re bound to develop homesickness. So, it’s important to put coping strategies into practice and bond with your new home.

Being in a new bed makes it even harder to sleep. Developing a specific bedtime ritual has helped me to cope when in a new place. Yoga has helped me to feel calm and centered, and it also relaxes and stretches my body before sleep. Yoga keeps me in touch with my body, the home of my mind and spirit. Whether it’s doing yoga or reading a book, having specific rituals and routines normalize your day, and make you feel comfortable in your new home faster.

My coping strategies also include journaling and setting up a regular form of contact to check in with loved ones. You don’t want to talk to family too much because you need time to get acquainted with your new home, but you also need to stay in touch because it’s normal to worry and miss your loved ones.

Get to know your new city.

It’s important to know the transit system to go to work or school, where to get your groceries and where to pay your bills. However, you need to actually get to know your city to feel at home, in your home away from home.
On your way to run errands, find a store that catches your eye. Let spontaneity take you on adventures. Doing so will make you feel less like a tourist on a pit stop and more like a townie.

One thing that I always do in a new city is to find my coffee shop. I set out to find a small coffee shop that isn’t too busy or trendy, has great windows for people watching, and I grab a coffee. When I feel lonely or need a pick me up, I go to my coffee shop. Townies have regular hangouts after all.

Having to pick up and move so often becomes weary if you don’t learn to cope, and find the beauty in having more than one home. You will long for friends and family, for new and old relationships that you form, but you will make new ones. Relationships built on love and trust stick around. Trust me.

Trust me, also, when I say: Home is where the heart is. So, get to know your city. Meet new people. Collect people and not things. Enjoy the adventures that come with learning to pick up and go like a pro.


Kacey Mya HeadshotAbout the author: Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Find & Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!

Want FREE Travel Resources?


I've put together all my favourite travel planning resources to help you make the most of your next trip!

Powered by ConvertKit