Happy Aging is a unique series focused on how to help you age well. These stories have been created in cooperation with AARP and Word In Black.
Since the beginning of time, pioneers, adventurers, and prolific thinkers have traveled in order to access new ways of being. In the 20th century, artists such as Augusta Savage and Romare Bearden pursued opportunities outside of the United States. They saw more to life than to exist within the bounds of one country. During the historic Great Migration, millions of Black Americans relocated to the North from the South. Their moves led them to new jobs and notions of what family could be. Today, we travel for the same reasons. Within the United States, the cities with the largest population of Black residents are now Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, and Detroit. Outside of the United States, Ghana and South Africa have become new places of residence. Regardless of where you choose to go, the very act can be transformative.
If you’re thinking about relocating, consider this:
There is a difference between short-term travel and relocating
Short-term travel and all out relocating each have their benefits. In short-term travel, you can experience one or multiple places without committing to uprooting your life. Relocating, however, is an intentional decision to settle long term.
Planning and spontaneity will meet
There is only so much planning that you can do when relocating. Yes, you might know what time you’re leaving for your destination, but you will not know all about the culture or the pace of your new city. You will not know everyone in your new city. You will not know how you fit in, either. This is all special because it invites you to observe and discover.
You’ll encounter new perspectives
You might find yourself refreshed, uplifted, and even challenged by new perspectives where you choose to relocate. This could have something to do with long-lasting traditions that you are adjusting to or changes in local politics.
You’ll discover new parts of yourself
Being surrounded by new perspectives will test your limits. You might start to view home and family differently. Perhaps your beliefs will change or even your food preferences. If you move from a crowded city to a quiet rural town, for example, how you socialize could shift dramatically. Are you relocating to a planned retirement community? Are you close to family or creating a family of your own age group? These answers matter.
Your budget might shift
Cost of living is the top reason why retirees relocated a few years ago, according to a report on retirement trends from Hire A Helper. This same study found that the percentage of retirees relocating is the lowest it’s been in seven years. Whether you’re certain about relocating or still figuring out if it’s worth it, review these tips.
There are some relocation horror stories, but those don’t belong here. Always be sure to protect your identity when moving and to let someone know where you’re going just to be safe.