Surviving A Move: Everything Is New

Nothing shines a light on all the things you took for granted about your old life like attempting to establish a new one. {If you’re just popping in today, all of this month, I’m writing about what it’s like to go through a long distance move. You can find the list of posts here.}


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When I asked people what was hard about moving, several people mentioned the number of things that were “new”. There were so many things to adjust to and some things you don’t even consider until you are experiencing them firsthand. Here are the new things people mentioned:


If your kids are in school, you have new teachers, new rules, new school bus, and new academic structure.


This is going to sound crazy to include, but I would have been lost for most of my first year in Tennessee if I didn’t have my GPS to guide me. It felt so strange to hear people talk about major roads and intersections and have no idea what they were talking about. I was also struck with the fact, that I had no idea how to give someone directions to my house.

I could tell you the general location of most of the suburbs in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I knew what major roads I would take to get there. I was familiar with 494, 694, 94, 61, 5, 7, 52,  . . . Those numbers had meaning for me because I grew up in Minnesota and spent 36 years riding those roads. Tennessee has roads like Old Hickory Boulevard and there are two of them and they don’t connect. We learned that the hard way. Oops! And then there is Murfreesboro Rd which is not only hard to pronounce, but it also is Highway 96 and probably several other names as well.

In our 4 1/2 years here, I’ve learned the location of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia and Murfreesboro. That’s it! Maybe 2017 can be the year I double my knowledge of Tennessee cities.

Medical Professionals

When we lived in Minnesota, we had a Family Doctor. We saw her for everything for all of us. She knew us and we knew her. I cried when we hugged her goodbye at our last appointment. The history with her was valuable. I knew it would be hard to replicate that. Nothing solves that except for time.

Grocery Stores

In Minnesota, we had Cub Foods and Rainbow Foods and WalMart if we wanted groceries. In Tennessee, for the first time I lived close enough to shop regularly at an Aldi (hallelujah for inexpensive groceries!). There were also Kroger and Publix stores on every corner. I didn’t know where the best prices and best quality were. I also quickly found that they tax groceries in Tennessee. They did not (except for junk food. . . ha!) do that in Minnesota.


Here Is the Solution To All Your “New” Problems

Just kidding. I don’t have a secret guaranteed solution, but I do have some ideas and I couldn’t think of a better subtitle. 🙂

You might think this is crazy, but I’ve found some great resources on social media for solving my problems as a new resident in Tennesssee. I know it’s kind of crazy! If you can find a Facebook group that is specific to your town or neighborhood or general vicinity, it could be a gold mine of information. It could also be full of crazy drama. You’re just going to have to wade through a little crazy.

Ask for recommendations for the best doctors and dentists. Ask them where they get the best prices on groceries. Ask about the secret to navigating traffic (it will be hard to get people to publicly share that one- ha!). Once you get a consensus, you will be on your way!

If your move came because of a new job for yourself or your spouse, check and see if the employer has an internal message board. We have found that to be very helpful in our situation.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me something funny or interesting about your experience being brand new to an area. What helped you?



This post is a part of the Write 31 Days challenge. To find more amazing authors, check it out here.

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