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A Backpack and a One-Way Ticket - How to relocate without losing your sense of adventure

I’d barely touched ground in the states after backpacking for three months in South America when I decided to book a one-way flight to California. I felt well-versed in the nomadic lifestyle, living out of a backpack and getting by without a solid plan, so I figured an off-the-cuff move to San Diego wouldn’t faze me much.


After three months of sleeping on a wonky air mattress; standing at bus stops in the frigid pouring rain in tank tops and jean shorts; and sucking up the free Internet at local cafes to supply my desperate job hunt; I realized I’d been a bit ill-prepared for my cross country adventure to California. I wanted an adventure, an unplanned rendezvous to the endless summer spot, but what I found myself in was nothing more than a sleepless, sunless, jobless mess.


Reflecting back on my haphazardly arranged trek out west, I realize that there’s a way to intelligently plot a life-altering move without taking out the elements of excitement and surprise. There’s no way to cover all your bases, but here’s a few tips I wish I’d known before stuffing only what I could fit in my suitcase and answering the call of adventure. 


Pick a Pod

Air mattresses and cardboard box dinner tables don’t cut it as furniture after the first week of moving in. And will your ego really allow you to invite the neighbors over to serve wine and cheese in plastic cups and on paper plates? There’s really no point purchasing another box spring or forking out money for new silverware when you already have these sets prior to your move.


My advice to you is to suck it up, rent a pod, and pack your possessions into one of these convenient units at your leisure. The beauty of these pods is a mover will transport your goods to your new destination, so your firm mattress will patiently await your sleepy head when you arrive at your new abode. Pick a pod and avoid the embarrassment of turning temporary makeshift household items into long-term solutions.


Follow the Forecast

Don’t trust the weather rumors! San Diego isn’t always sunny and 72 degrees and I’m sure Chicago isn’t perpetually windy either. Consistently check the weather in your new destination to get a feel for the highs and lows during the current season. Avoid my mistake of showing up in the rainy season with a set of bikinis and the expectation of beach weather. You don’t need a wardrobe for all fours seasons, but consider packing a light jacket, pair of shorts, and maybe even an umbrella. You’ll thank me when you’re dry during an unseasonal thunderstorm.


Chill with the Coffee Addicts

Coffee shops are brilliant in the way they manage to draw in a regular local crowd. Feening for their daily dose of caffeine, coffee drinkers are loyal to their favorite cafes. These locals are not only routine and reliable, but they often know the best hot spots in town, word about upcoming events, and even potential job openings. Befriend these cafe dwellers to receive the city scoop and make your first companion. Most coffee shops also offer free wireless Internet in case your new pad doesn’t have connection yet, so use your tea time to send out resumes and catch up on emails too.