- Does the area you are moving to offer an improvement from your current residential situation?
- How fertile is the ground, if you are planning on gardening?
- Are there regulations on livestock or farming activities, if you plan on farming?
- What is the cost of living, compared to your current location?
- Is the housing market higher or lower compared to your current location?
- Are property taxes higher or lower in your location?
- Is the kind of house/property you would like to purchase readily available?
- Do houses tend to stay on the market for a long time, or is the resell time short?
- Is the temperature and climate what you are used to?
- Are the winters extremely harsh and long lasting?
- Are the summers extremely hot and humid?
- Are there any nuclear or military targets nearby?
- Where would the prevailing winds blow, if the nearest nuclear reactor melted down?
- Is the land or water poisoned from industrial contamination?
- Will you be on well or city water?
- Is the area prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, drought, or hurricanes?
Land is one of the most fun sections for researching. Using one of the online real estate sites, like Trulia or Zillow can help you gain a good feel for the area. You can always call a real estate agent to get an idea as well or contact ***LINK TO*** survivalrealty.com to see if they have any listings in your desired area.
- If you are looking at getting additional training for your career, are there local opportunities?
- What do the school districts look like where your children may attend?
- If you plan on homeschooling, are there co-ops where you can get help from like-minded parents?
- Are there any negative regulations towards homeschooling families?
- Will your children be enabled economically to move forward or will their potential be stunted by a poor school system?
- Will your kids need to move out of the area once they reach adult age to start careers or families?
- What would be the impact, if you had to switch your children’s schools mid year?
As you wrestle through these questions and the many more that will come up as you search, remember to always filter the answer through your core values.
Don’t get target fixation. Just because somewhere looks perfect on Google, it doesn’t mean that it will be a good match for you. The only way to really know an area is to go there. It is highly recommended that you physically visit the place you are evaluating, hopefully multiple times. Drive around for a few days, cruise the neighborhoods, go to some church services, eat at local restaurants, and visit in both the best and worst seasons. Will you be a help or a hindrance to this community?
Once you have intellectually, emotionally, and as a family decided to move to a specific location, you have accomplished what is probably the hardest part.
When discussing our move with my grandfather-in-law, who had moved from Canada to the United States decades ago, he shared some wise words. He said, “Moving is easy. It’s deciding to move that is hard.”
Step 2: Executing the Plan
Now that you have a plan and a relocation target, it is time to execute. The more solid and detailed your plan, the easier, faster, and less painful its execution will be.
Execution step 1: Find employment.
Use the Internet. Use your phone. Use your contacts. Just make sure that you have employment secured before you move.
There are so many online resources now to help you find a job that I will not spend too much time detailing the specific options available to you. However, here are the general options.
- Online job boards (Monster, Indeed, et cetera)
- Cold calling (Find a company in your target area and contact them directly.)
- Recruiting services
- Capitalizing on your social network
I was able to use a recruiting service to help me find a job in my desired field at a salary that was comparable to my previous position.
Once you have your employment secured, and only then, should you terminate your current position. Do not quit until you have written guarantees from your next employer.
Execution Step 2: Find a home.
You need a place to sleep. There has been bountiful information contributed on SurvivalBlog for choosing a retreat location, if that is what you are shooting for.
Make sure that the place you choose lines up with your core values or has the potential to provide for them in the future.
If you are totally new to the area, a real estate agent can provide valuable information in only a few minutes that would take hours or days to determine online or may never be known otherwise.
Rather than rushing into a house immediately, it may be wise to rent for a few months to make sure you have a good feel for the area before committing long term to a particular property.
We rented for two months while looking and initially wanted a small homestead with land. During our search we realized we couldn’t comfortably afford our “dream” house at the present time, so we bought a small house in good neighborhood with great community. Eventually we will move, but in the mean time we are doing what we can with what we have, which is exactly the skill set we will need if SHTF.
Execution Step 3: Find a community.
Either before or immediately after your move, reach out to new neighbors, friends, and long lost relatives that may be near your new location. If you can get a welcoming committee to grease the social wheels for you, integration will be much easier.
Execution Step 4: Leave well.
As you begin your move, the temptation will be to get so focused on your future situation that you neglect your current one.
Don’t forget to thank friends, family, and community members for the wonderful memories and times you have had with them. Most likely, there are people that care about you in your current location and they will miss you when you are gone. This is why it is so important to focus on why you are moving somewhere that you love rather than leaving somewhere you hate. This philosophy leaves a much better taste in the mouths of your loved ones and will have them cheering for you rather than wondering what they did wrong to make you leave.
Once your plan is executed and you are successfully relocated to your dream area, it is time for the final step.
Step 3: Surviving the Plan
“Everybody’s got plans…until they get hit.” ~Mike Tyson
Here’s the deal; no matter how well thought out your plans, you will run into problems in their execution. Things may change midstream. Job prospects may fall through. Spouses may change their minds. You may change your mind. It is essential to learn to roll with the punches and keep focusing on your core values. It may take years for you to fully execute on your dreams. That is okay. What else were you going to do?
One of the biggest and most difficult problems people face when relocating is the culture shock. Once the excitement of progress wears off and you are in a new routine, the little things that you overlooked before have the opportunity to become big things.
Understand that even if you move one town over, there is a different culture that you need to learn and assimilate to. Where you are moving the people will be different. Their values, culture, and accents may be different, and you may never fully “fit in”.
Even so, try your best to assimilate. There have been some excellent articles on SurvivalBlog recently about moving to rural areas. Especially if you are moving from a city, you need to prepare for a total reprogramming. People may move slower. People may drive slower. People may talk slower. You can either become frustrated, or you can realize that you moved here for a slower, different pace and that means you yourself may need to slow down too. Maybe they don’t move too slow; you just move too fast.
If your new area is highly religious and you are not, you may never be able to fully engage in the community if you are not attending a local church. It may be worth just biting the bullet and viewing it as a social and economic move if you are not religious. Who knows, you may find that you enjoy their company more than you thought.
If you are given help moving in by the community, remember to not let it turn into a one-way street. As soon as you can, start reaching out to help others and try to be as self sufficient as possible. Remember in your new area, your most important resources are your neighbors and community. Even so, if you only view them as “survival capitol”, the odds are you won’t be viewed as a normal human being. Please don’t tell people you moved to escape the coming apocalypse. That is a one-way ticket to social ostracization. Tell people how much you love the area and how excited you are to be there, and mean it. Engage in the business of life first, and as you develop your new home, community, and family life, the business of survival will not seem very hard at all.
In summary, don’t let fear get in the way of following your dreams. If your goals are different from your reality, some hard work and risk taking may mean the difference between the life you want and the life you have.