Nearly every week a visitor to my website will write, "I'm glad someone understands. Most people think I'm crazy. I love to move! I have no desire to settle down." In my younger days, I, too, thought nothing of selling my meager supply of furniture and flying across the country to start a new life.

Here are some ideas you can share when well-meaning friends quote parables about rolling stones and moss or bring up that old chestnut, "If you can't be happy here..."

Twenty-five years ago, author Richard Ford penned an article about his own resetlessness for Harpers magazine. He has walked away from houses, jobs, and cars with no regrets. In her book, House as a Mirror of Self, Clare Cooper Marcus (1995) identifies what she calls domophobes, people who avoid long-term commitment to place.

In a book long out of print, We Sing While There’s Voice Left, Benedictine monk Dom Hubert Von Zeller suggested that some people are born with souls that demand constant motion and change. If these people settled down, he speculated, they’d become conceited and smug. For the restless, he wrote, change is a source of spiritual growth, not neuroticism.

What do the scientists say? Some studies find no significant differences among those who moved often, while others report that those who move often are at risk for health problems. What seems to make the difference? Happy movers are those who move voluntarily What creates unhappiness is the lack of awareness of alternatives -- moving with the sense of "I have no choice."

However, people who feel trapped are often just as unhappy as people who feel forced to move. Many people would like to relocate but are unable to do so because they lack financial, social or employment resources. And the unhappiest movers are "trailing" spouses and other family members. They feel their own lives are forced to take second place to the needs of their families.

If you're a love-to-move person, enjoy! At some point you may want to settle down, but you can't force this change. I'm now happily settled with a house and a dog -- two possessions no one would have predicted ten years ago.

Bottom Line: Don't let anyone disparage your lifestyle. As long as you want to move, you'll probably be a lot happier than those folks who want to cross the world but can't move around the block. Caged birds may sing but they'd really rather be soaring across the mountains.

This article is based on my book, Making the Big Move. See http://www.movinglady.com/book.html .

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is the author of Making the Big Move, New Harbinger 1999. See http://www.movinglady.com/book.html. She coaches and writes for midlife, mid-careerprofessionals who want to get on the fast track tocareer freedom.Ezine:
http://www.movinglady.com/subscribe.html.Visit her website:
http://www.movinglady.com.Call: 505-534-4294 mailto:cathy@movinglady.com