Well, it has been a week since my last post – an interlude far longer than I normally plan. It has, however, been a big week for me. A week of big decisions that will affect the rest of my life. This past week I committed to moving overseas for a number of years.  We’ll leave in 6 weeks time. My fiancee, Kathryn, is from Vancouver and we are moving there so that she can be closer to her family after having lived in Australia for 3 years.

The following are some reasons why you might consider moving overseas:


In this age of global travel and communication it is becoming more and more common for people from different countries to fall in love and form a relationship. It is a simple fact if you are to physically stay together in this situation, at least one of you will have to live away from your home (I say at least because you may of course choose to live somewhere that neither of you is from).

Freedom to Find Yourself

If you live in the city or town where you grew up, the way in which you are living your life may be heavily influenced by others. The following are 2 examples where this can be a negative influence:

  • Family: you may feel pressure from your family, in particular your parents, to live your life in a certain way. This can related to study choices, career paths and sexual preferences. Moving to another city can help you escape these pressures so you can fully explore what life has to offer you.
  • Friends: are all your close friends those who you grew up with? If so, you may be inadvertently closing yourself off to forming new meaningful friendships. You may also find in a friendship based primarily on a shared history that who do not engage in conversations or activities that are of real interest to you.

Chase Your Passion

There are particular places across the globe where people with specific passions gravitate towards. Fashion is associated with Paris and New York. Finance with London. Movies with Hollywood. Surfing with Hawaii and Australia. IT with Silicon Valley.

If you have a particular passion, it is more than likely that there is somewhere better than your current place of residence to pursue that passion.


The following are some examples of opportunities that may not be available where you currently live:

  • The chance to study at a particular university or a particular course.
  • The ability to practice a foreign language in a country where that is the native language.
  • The opportunity to progress your career by gaining international experience or by moving to where your company has it’s head office.
  • The opportunity to volunteer for a cause that you consider important, such as endangered animals, disadvantaged children or wilderness preservation.

I am feeling some sadness at the prospect of being apart from my family for an extended period, but overall I am excited about what lies ahead. Vancouver here I come!

Has anyone else packed up their life and moved away from their home city or town?

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Update: this article was written in 2007. As I write this it’s June 2011 and I’m living in Vancouver with my (now) wife Kathryn and our 2 boys (ages 3 & 4). I love Vancouver – it’s a beautiful city and there is lots to do. There have been challenges e.g. I do miss my family and friends in Australia. Thankfully, however, my parents have visited me each year and we plan to return to Australia this Christmas for a month. Overall, moving away initially in 2003-04 for a gap year (this is when I met Kathryn) and then in 2007 have led to the life I have today. I wouldn’t have things any other way.

Photo by David Spinks

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.

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