10 Signs it’s time to leave your city

“Why on earth would you want to leave your city? It’s the place you’re from. It’s your home…”

Don’t you just love it when people answer your question for you? How nice. No. I can’t even be sarcastic about it. It’s very, very annoying. This is the general reaction I get from people when I ‘come out’ of the wanderlust closet. Maybe it’s my problem? Maybe I should just understand that some people simply don’t get it and become immune to the sad eyes thrown in my direction, along with the condescending psycho-analogies that echo “I do worry about you, Anthony.”

No need to worry about me; I may not know 100% what I want from life, but one thing I’m damn sure about is- I am pretty aware of what I don’t want! I can categorically state that I don’t want to die in this city. More to the point-I don’t want to live in this city and I need to leave this city. It’s a case of necessity, not choice. It’s suffocating me. I feel like a butterfly in a jar with a tight, rigidly closed lid and I terribly need to BREATHE. This love story has definitely finished it’s honeymoon period and to be perfectly honest-I don’t think we ever had one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds dramatic, right?

Anything sounds slightly cookie to a person who can not empaphise with another persons situation. I personally believe this stems the biggest problems with the world today; Everyone wants to be heard but nobody wants to listen. Anyway, I shall not digress and I’ll stick to the point. Why would anyone want to leave their city-the place in which all the people they love live? How do you know when it is time to get all “Dick Whittington” and leave your city? Below I’ve listed some alarm signals to let you know when it’s time for a serious change of post code. Some of them are personal to me and some will be relevant to everyone who feels this unnerving sense of captivity:

1.) You’re bored and don’t feel challenged

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not talking about the kind of bored that voyeuristic losers update their Facebook status with but refuse to do anything about. (Oh you know what I’m talking about). I’m talking about the adventurers amongst us who know deep down that their brain is not being stimulated in the way it needs in order for them to stay happy. Some people are happy with the simple life and that’s fair enough, we’re all different. But if you’re like a human Border Collie and crave constant mental stimulation that your city can’t provide, it’s time to go looking for that adventure.

2.) You experience an identity crisis on a regular basis


Do I really think that? Am I just saying that because my friends are saying the same thing? Why don’t people get me? Do I even get me??? There’s nothing like a good change of scenery for fresh perspective to work out who you really are. Trust me. I found out more about myself after five months in Germany than I did in a whole lifetime!

3.) You speak to a stranger in a bar and find out that you have the same exes

Cringe. I got talking to a lad on Saturday night and it turned out we have not one, not two-but three of the same ex girlfriends. *Plays Redneck banjo.* That’s what you get with a small city, you can’t go and buy a pint of milk without everyone knowing about it. If your city is becoming alarmingly small, it may be time for a perfect change.

4.) You’re surrounded by negative energy

Screw Twilight; Miss Beckinsale made vampires sexy many years ago!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you have people in your life who are “vampires of energy” and they bring you down every time you speak to them. Maybe you want to move on from a tragedy. Or maybe your city just doesn’t have a lot of potential in comparison to others. We’re in a global economic crisis and some cities are just better off than others. If your city is the boulevard of broken dreams, now could be the time to start researching others.

5.) You can finish off every story you hear…

…Because you’ve heard it 90, 000, 861 bloody times before. You desperately need new information in your rapidly dying brain cells and you’ve literally heard it all before. Or as we say here: “I need some new crack.” (not to be confused with the white powder form).

6.) Drink ain’t doing what it should

Alcohol-natures perfect vice for numbing your feelings? I disagree and I think fellow friends Mr Daniels, Mr Guiness and Señor tequilla are an amplifier of emotions. On Saturday night I witnessed THE MOST DISGUSTING cat fight between four girls on the dance floor. Seriously I’m not exaggerating, this was dirty, vicious and just plain wrong. I remember thinking to myself “It’d only happen in this city.” Of course that’s not correct, women can have a royal rumble in any other place in the world, but the truth is I have begun to resent my city a little.

This experience gave me the opportunity to pick something else I didn’t like about my city. Can you relate? I think it’s a bit like a romantic relationship; When you start resenting your city like that, you really should end the connection before it gets any uglier.

7.) Despite your best efforts to stay positive, it just drags you down

People will tell you; “It’s not the place, it’s what you make it.” Deep down, every fibre of you knows it’s way more complex than that. Hey, I’m an optimist. You’ll never find me leaving a football match early when my team’s getting hammered because of it and my cup is certainly half full. But I can’t pretend to love something that I don’t, can you? Should you do that to yourself?

8.) Jealousy

It’s often said that jealousy is a very poisonous and ugly emotion to have and I’d generally agree. However if you’re green with envy every time you hear something along the lines of “When I studied in Milan….” “I lived in New York for a year….” I’m moving to Madrid” then this a great inclination of what you want. Don’t put in on a pedestal. If you want to live in Paris/Sydney/Vancouver-make it happen! The chances are the same people who have moved to an awesome city had pretty much the same fears and doubts as you! I felt insanely jealous when I first read Cody McGibben’s blog; a lad the same age as me living in paradise. He moved all the way from USA to Thailand two years ago and is still there now, living it up.

I’m acting on my jealousy, I’m using it. I want a piece of the pie-why should everyone else have all the fun?

9.) You dream of a fresh start


Ok, I said it and it feels liberating. I want to have a fresh start, I want to press the reset button and start all over again. What else is better than starting out in a completely new place to reinvent your life?

10.) You hear this song and you relate to every bloody lyric

 

What about you? Can you relate to any of these feelings? Have you acted on them and moved city? Are you in the same situation as me and are putting in the groundwork to make it happen? Share your thoughts below.

 

 


 

 

28 Responses

  1. Sarah

    Oh boy. I think I can tick off at least 8 of these…

    The ‘heard it before’ one really resonated with me. All conversation seems to resolve around how much they drunk, how many people they slept with or which shoes they’re going to buy. So bored.

    So, songs. If you haven’t yet listened to Frank Turner, you need to. Listen to the lyrics for this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQMVHhxTtLc this one:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfGLzDQ7e-k and this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAry_rMAF-c&playnext=1&list=PLF0C2D328CE783741

    Let me know what you think.
    Sarah recently posted..Preparing to Launch- T minus 5 weeksMy Profile

    Reply
    • Anthony

      I SERIOUSLY like the sound of this lad, Sarah. I just listened to that Photosynthesis one, 3 times in a row :) Thanks! I’ll be doing some more You tube searches for sure.

      Yep yep, I’m sure I’m guilty of repeating myself too-and I’m equally as bored of my own stories, so I’m going to get me some new ones!

      Reply
  2. Pam

    Good article :)

    Reason # 3 is creepy but hillarious! Hahaa, if it ever happened to me I’d definitely move away (I guess it’s a bit unlikely though when you live in a city of 2.8 million inhabitants).

    A reason that I’ve come up with when thinking of my own list is not having the opportunity to develop and grow as a professional. I know I have a lot of potential but, unfortunately, I feel that my country is not giving me the chance to take it to the top. I totally believe that if the place where you live is not offering what you need/want, then you should pack up your bag and move foward. No matter how scary it may be, life is short and the world is large so do something before it’s too late.

    In my case, I love my country and city, I love many aspects of my culture but hate this selfish and amazingly contradictory society. So I’ll leave for a while and come back some day to keep on enjoying my beautifully semi-tropical country.
    If you stay in the corner of the street of your house, you’ll never grow up because the world and life it’s out there.

    I think another important point is the economy: I’m making a tremendous effort to get my degree and I know it would be nice to stay in my country and give it back what it’s public education had given to me, but I also want to get a good paid for all the work I’ve doing through all these years and maybe Argentina is not the best option (greedy? a little maybe, I said we’re selfish people…).

    As regards the cat fight, I’m sorry to disappoint you but you’ll find that everywhere I guess, haha.

    Travelling, being in different places and in contact with different cultures make me feel alive and it’s also very educational so I don’t see anything wrong in it. There you have another reason: learning. Is there any better way of learning about a culture, place and it’s people than being in direct contact with it? I don’t think so. I personally believe it’s a great way of learning about yourself too.

    So there you have my reasons and opinion about your nice and interesting post.
    Share the wanderlust, share the love.

    Pam

    xxx

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Pammy Landro, Pammy Landroooooo. Haha I can’t imagine it happening in Buenos Aires and hey it’s not my fault-it takes two to tango! (See what I did? See what I did???)

      Yes I think moving to enhance ones career prospects is a very good reason to leave a city and I get the feeling it’s something that you’re considering. Is Spanish/English translating a very competitive field in your country then? I really like what you said about giving back to the community that you are receiving from, nice thinking.

      Being greedy isn’t a bad thing at times. Giving up is what I have gripe with, I say get more hungry and greedy. Instead of following the flock and people pleasing-shut out the noise and ask your greedy self what s/he truly wants. After Saturday it’s very clear I’ve shared a little too much love Pamela haha :P

      xx

      Reply
    • Anthony

      PS Pam,

      This was not a mere “cat fight.” No. This was sadistic bitches sent from hell. Heels in faces, punching, head-butting. Very un-lady like.

      Reply
  3. Poi

    I would like to say Frank Turner is awesome and surely you could have found some jimmy for No.10?

    I resented my home town a bit before I left, I didn’t want to because I know deep down I like it but I was picking on every little detail, despite, like you said, much of it goes on everywhere.

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hahaha mate, I base my whole life on the lyrics of “crocodile shoes” so I was trying to think outside the box. Jimmy Nail really is the Geordie Elvis :P

      I know that’s true but I do think it’s a sign to move on though. How do you feel about your town now you’re in Thailand then? You didn’t spam me this time :)

      Reply
  4. Poi

    Forget my town – I now think the whole country is backwards! but it was a great place to grow up and has everything anyone could need, could have been worse, god forbid I could have been born further up north…

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hmmm I’m looking forward to the day I can relate or look in to that. Now mate, don’t be getting jealous because you can’t brag about such talented people from your area such as Jimmy…..and Mr Bean.

      Reply
  5. Alouise

    I love this post, it definitely resonates with me. Especially #7 – I think it’s always good to look on the bright side of life (to borrow from Monty Python). But why settle if you have the ability to go for something better? I know compared to many people I’m lucky to have the life and opportunities that I have, but this doesn’t mean I have to settle for staying in the same city my entire life. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada… it’s not a bad city, it’s okay. But I don’t want to live with okay forever. I’ll actually be here for another two to three years for school, but I’m hoping to study abroad for a bit next year. I’ve given myself a 6 months after graduation to move somewhere new, basically for all the reasons you posted (except #3 – haven’t had that happen). I know if I stay in Edmonton my will always be the same, nothing will change, or get better, I’ll never be challenged, or grow as a person. My entire life will just blur together. That’s not what I want. I want moments that stand out, I want a life that I’m proud and happy to live.

    Also I love that song. I’ve never heard it before, but it’s going to stuck in my head for a while.

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Thank you, Alouise! It’s funny you should ask; “why settle when you have the ability to go for something better?” I have just a few hours ago published a post on my arguments to why being greedy (a certain kind of greedy) can lead to good things. I guess the two posts are linked to my state of emotions right now because I’m so hungry..

      I’ve just Googled your place and it seems quite impressive but if you want to explore than I don’t see why you should hang around longer than you need to. You seem to know from a very young age that you want to travel, I was the same and urge you to not lose sight of it or you’ll turn grumpy, trust me :)

      Yes I hope number 3 doesn’t happen to you, it’ll creep you out. However it’s not as seedy as it sounds! The band is called “The Enemy” and I don’t think they made it too successful outside of the UK!

      Reply
  6. Pam

    Better late than never? :)

    I really laughed with your Tango comment!! As regards En/Sp translating here…there are many companies and clients who believe that anybody that has a regular knowledge of the language can translate…that is so untrue!! Not even teachers can translate, you need a totally different training. Added to that, we have the problem of Google translator (and any other translation machine), a machine will never get the accuracy and quality of a real translator. But I guess those are problems that translators will have to face in any part of the world. The thing is that if I can get paid 3 or 5 times more than the regular Argentinian fee for my job, I want to get that (depreciation will always be our worst enemy).

    Can’t wait to catch up with your posts!
    Love,

    Pam
    xx

    Reply
  7. Emma

    I WILL NOT DIE IN THIS CITY!! We use to say that to each other ALL the time :) xx

    Reply
  8. Dean McKenna

    People “create” lives in their home cities, their lives become boring, boredom expands to fill more and more time. Some people live what is basically the same dumb day every single day, with small variations on the (boring) theme. Same (annoying?) people, same streets, same dreaded job….

    That’s how I see it. A lot of people want out of their LIVES and not just their city. Crede experto!

    That’s what I did. I didn’t just leave a city. I left behind a boring, meaningless, mind-numbing, spirit-killing routine.

    Yes, this note comes a bit late, but I had the same experience as you (again), so I figured I’d mention it.

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Dean,
      I LOVE it when people comment on old posts! Old school haha. You may have a point, it’s the actual environment IN the city itself. The monotonous lives we create and feel trapped and suffocated by is worth an escape from.

      I hate routine.

      Reply
  9. rosy

    Love this article!!! all 10 reasons resonated with me …

    you know, its the people that are actually ambitious and challenge oriented who try to do things to change their current ‘dull’ circumstances …

    I never doubted my decision of an upcoming move (from toronto to vancouver – 6 more weeks!) … but, just reading this blog really reinforced why Im doing this. Im going through a career change and have been on this journey of self discovery for more than a year and a half now … and I can tell you, I finally feel like this is the best decision I am making for myself.

    To all the people out there that want to move … stop thinking .. do it! PROPS for facing challenges in the FACE! :o) May you be forever successful in your personal endeavors

    -peace out

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Rosy,

      Thanks, I really enjoyed it back in the day when I wrote it, was really raw and I STILL mean every word. Hey if Toronto is not for you – then you are doing the right thing and taking affirmative action – good on you! Let me know how you get on :)

      Reply
  10. Shaz

    I could tick off at least 9 out of 10 of these. Considering the ‘make it happen’ part, not to sound pessimistic but its certainly not easy. I wish there was someone I could ask for advice on about this as people in my life have not been helpful. Although it boils down to one factor; the recession. I can’t fault them on that, money and jobs are tight.

    I have been wanting to move out of my home city for years and putting personal fears aside (moved to a city far away from my home city to study at uni years ago, had a breakdown and came back. Haven’t gone far since due to fears I’ll screw up again) I realise that I have next to no knowledge of how to plan for moving to a new city. Especially if its two hours away. Like what comes first? A job there before moving into a flat/houseshare, or visa versa? I’m green at this I feel.
    As for my personal issues I know I gotta tend to those first or I’ll just repeat failure no matter where I go. My main concern is how to plan ahead. I’m not so confident in that. I’m not afraid to admit that.

    Anyway your article was very informative and certainly made me realise I got to take the jump. Hope I land on my feet. Cheers Anthony.

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Shaz,

      I don’t think you saying that it’s not easy sounds pessimistic at all, I think it’s very realistic! It’s far from easy, it’s bloody hard, but in my experience – worth it! You can ask me for advice any time, I’m only an email away :)

      The recession is certainly a factor, but it’s not the sole reason to stop an individual acting. I also felt that there was no one to turn to when I was in your position, so I decided to tune into my gut instinct and to ask advice from those on the same path as myself. From what you’re telling me, I would definitely work on your personal issues right now, so you are more confident in making the transition happen when you decide to take the step again.

      It’s good that you admit what you’re afraid of Shaz, that’s the first step :)

      Reply
  11. Gboy

    This article definitely hit home for me. I can identify with these points 100% and am already in the process of seeking change for “ME”.

    Reply
  12. Phil

    I came back to my home city after travelling for 10 years. I had changed, the city not so much. You can never, ever go back… it just doesn’t exist like you remember anymore. Don’t waste the time! Still looking for home, but on my terms… :)

    Reply
  13. Lee

    I left my city of Sacramento, California about 18 years ago when I was just a teen and have not looked back. Since then I have lived in a few foreign countries and have traveled quite extensively. I found this blog by doing a quick Google search because I now live in Salvador, Brazil and it is driving me insane. I mean, I ended up living here because I had been here 7 or 8 times on extremely long holidays (4 or 5 months at a time) and I was involved in a relationship (still am, kind of), so about 2 years ago I left my adopted city of New York City and moved here to Salvador, Brazil, even though I keep an apartment in New York just in case. Everything about this city is starting to bug me and I swear most of the people are retarded. I am fortunate enough to work for myself as an English teacher and living 2 blocks from the beach is not a bad perk, but this city is really starting to make me feel sick. My plan was to stick it out until December, but last night I almost packed my bags and said goodbye. I have a habit of leaving when things get a little tough and about 2 years ago I told myself that I would make more of an effort to finish things that I start because I don’t think quitting is always the answer. Alas, I think quitting is the answer this time…lol. Life is way too short to be unhappy.

    I hope you have left your city and found happiness somewhere you truly love!

    Reply
  14. Kristine

    I was searching the internet for people who felt the same exact way as me, and, well, I found it!! Thank God. And thank you Anthony. I’ve lived in my city since the day was born, close to exactly 23 years. I’m so sick and tired of living in this tiny little city, to say the least. All of the reasons you’ve posted above I have found I have in common with. I basically live in a retirement city, where the rest of America comes to die – SWFL. I’m bored beyond belief, and there is no mental stimulation here whatsoever. I’m surrounded by walking corpses and close minded jerks going nowhere in life. No outdoorsy adventures, no big parks to walk in, no shows/concerts/events coming to town, no new blood, no art/culture/music/nightlife, no ideas, no good. I have no challenges except for going to school, but that’s even hard to concentrate on because I’m so unhappy here. Identity crises happen to me on a daily basis, quite sad if you really think about it. I don’t know whether to accept myself for who I am or to change, and if I would change, what would I change into? Who would I be? I’m still trying to figure it out, and this city isn’t helping. Everyone’s basically at the same place they were 5 years ago – no competition, no reason to get better, be better, or improve oneself. And, as far as exes go, I know of at least four guys who I’ve dated here who ended up knowing each other somehow or becoming friends in the past few years or months just because EVERYBODY KNOWS EACHOTHER! It’s like incest almost. Negative energy is all over around here, whether if its on Facebook, or real life drama, it’s the same shit, different day. Same drama, same places, same faces. If a story gets told by someone, half the town already knows about it the next day, so I can relate to that one too. Drinking isn’t helping either, probably making it worse. Going out to bars seeing the same people you see every weekend doesn’t help with your problems either. I’ve also been told to stay positive too, and that “you’ll get out some day…” and that it’s not the city, it’s what you make of it. I try my best to make the best and it doesn’t work, plain and simple. I often see friends who have moved from my tiny little city to big, colorful, dynamic cities, my exes have moved on to get married, have kids, and live somewhere else, and people I used to attend school with have gotten degrees and live all over the world – and I am neon green with envy. A fresh start is something I dream of every day and I can see myself evolving into the person I think I might want to be in this day dream, with new friends, loves, activities, and hobbies. Theres no room to grow here, and it’s time to get out. I’m trying my best to finish my B.S. in Health Studies, but the time seems to creep by ever so slowly. Once I finish my degree I plan on moving from Naples, FL to Fort Lauderdale, FL. So much bigger city with more opportunities and people to meet. I’m getting out, slowly but surely. If i find I don’t like Fort Lauderdale I plan on moving to Hawaii or California somewhere after I get my Doctorate. Glad to see I’m not the only one who feels this way and every day feels the need to leave!!!

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Kristine,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :) You sound SO MUCH like me a few years ago – I got out of the bubble and it was the best thing that I did.That anger and resentment you are harbouring – don’t stifle it and use that energy until you get your certificate and get out of that place! What’s the worse that could happen?

      I can guarantee your hunger will open up many doors. Don’t accept anything if it makes you unhappy! Keep your chin up :)

      Anthony

      Reply

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