Modern Nomadism

Just read a rather interesting link: Does moving a lot as a child create adult baggage?

“My original interest was in cultural differences and well-being,” said Shigehiro Oishi, the lead author, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia.

He was born in Fukuoka, Japan, where his parents still live.

When he came to the United States, he was startled to hear people answer, “Everywhere” when he asked where they grew up.

“Because Americans are so mobile,” he said in a phone interview, “American levels of well-being can be explained in part by residential differences.”

Professor Oishi said that “when I looked at the individual level, I started noticing a lot of interesting things.”

Among them: serial movers tended to report fewer “quality” social relationships.

The more times people moved as children, the more likely they were to report lower “well-being” and “life satisfaction” as adults (two standard measures used to quantify that ineffable thing called “happiness”).

And adults who had moved a lot were more likely to have died when researchers did follow-ups 10 years later.

From Steady to Uber-Mobile

As someone who has only moved twice in her childhood, but now regularly moves at least twice, if not four times a year, this is fascinating for me.

I had a pretty steady childhood, most of it spent in one home, going to the same schools and having the same friends since (AT LEAST) the fifth grade all the way until the end of high school.. which I am sure is important in some way; going to a new high school when you are about to graduate would not have been my cup of tea.

Ever since I started college, I’ve moved at least twice a year to different apartments, and as a consultant, another two to three times a year.

Some of you might say: Well it’s because you don’t have kids that you move so much.

I say perhaps, but even with kids, wouldn’t we also have to move because of our constantly changing job situations?

We’re consultants, and by nature, we move and/or travel a lot, and that is the job.

How would we balance NOT moving, or shifting?

Shallow Roots

Moving is not a big deal to me now, because we are both consultants who have lived out of hotels, don’t have much to move, and aren’t really tied to any one place or even city.

However as a kid, I can see how it can devastate you, to lose your closest friend so young.

Home for me is where BF and/or my family is, and while I might feel more familiar and at ease in Toronto, that factor alone has a very slight bearing on my idea of “home”.

Extroverted or Introverted

The article says that extroverts have no problem with change and adjustment, but no one person is fully extroverted or introverted.

I myself, am a bit of both.

I consider myself to be pretty extroverted, without a need to constantly have a friend to talk to.

I do feel lonely from time to time, but I still keep in touch with my friends from childhood and from college, it is only that I just don’t feel that kind of dependency or pull towards them that others might feel.

We can go years without chatting, then I’ll pop back into the city and call them to meet up — that’s sort of the way it’s been for a long time now.

The good and the bad

As I have nothing from experience to draw upon, I read a number of comments to get an idea of the positives and negatives of being uber-mobile:



What do you think?

This was originally posted on The Everyday Minimalist.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.