This year has resulted in a general sense of unease and uncertainty. The events of the past 9 months have flipped traditional systems upside down and have caused a restructuring, the likes of which we may never again see in our lifetimes. This chaos and resulting uncertainty have already caused many to give up urban lifestyles for greater seclusion or all-out move to suburban, exurban, or rural environments. What some may have considered normal, as we have known it, isn’t likely to return. Will you be a part of this new Global Relocation, willingly, reluctantly, or not at all? In this blog, we will examine the coming Great Relocation from the perspectives of migratory dynamics, movements during plagues and other disasters, your next safe home, the changing landscape of our world, and the real opportunity you have to be the decider of your fate while you still have a choice in the matter.
1- Migratory Dynamics
Migrations of people are not new. There was a great migration West in the early days of the United States. After the Civil War, many migrated North. During the industrial revolution, people moved to the cities. Eleven million people migrated from rural to urban areas between 1870 and 1920. During the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, people migrated to find work and food. Even in times of relative stability, people have migrated.
You can look at the entirety of history and see the dramatic effects of people’s mass movements throughout the world. It seems when we look at it with historical eyes that these movements happened overnight. In reality, they occurred over many years. Until very recently, the populations of urban areas were increasing. More and more people were moving to dynamic urban areas and the excitement and opportunities they offered. The migration and growth of cities and suburbs with smaller and smaller lawns and no real land ownership has been happening for many decades.
The current signs, however, indicate a shift in another direction. It isn’t a voluntary shift, as much as it is the economic conditions beginning to force people’s hands. Families are consolidating households to gain a higher quality of life. People are starting to either pool their resources to leverage more power or realign what assets they have to build a better life in a new location, as alien as that new life may seem to them. This migration will change our country’s landscape in many ways, which we’ll discuss later in this video. For now, though, it helps to have an understanding of why this change is happening. What are the causes of this new migration we may be on the cusp of right now?
Question: Have you been forced to move or are you currently considering moving?
2- Moving and Lockdowns
The most significant catalyst for this movement has been the SARS-CoV-2 virus and how we have reacted to it. Vast swaths of the economy have been shut down as physical distancing and other measures have been introduced and even mandated. Unemployment skyrocketed to over 10%, and well over 70% of Americans were already living paycheck-to-paycheck. 8 million Americans have slipped into poverty since the summer. To say that it has driven many to deep introspection and evaluation of how they are living their lives dependent upon a system that cannot support them is an understatement.
Many in hard-hit areas like New York pulled up stakes. More than 300,000 New Yorkers have bailed from the city in the last eight months alone. The coronavirus was just the tipping point for many who were already frustrated by economic worries, dropping school quality, and rising crime. Los Angeles has seen a similar exodus as 70% more people have left the Golden State than moved in since March of 2020.
It’s not just on the coasts, though. All across America, city dwellers have eyed the more affordable suburbs, exurbs, and countryside for a more significant piece of arable land, less crowding, and a much bigger bang for their bucks. People are moving from cities with populations in the hundreds of thousands to less crowded smaller cities of just over or under 100,000 people. People will leave bigger cities in favor of smaller metros. The impact of this year will possibly forever change the traditional commute and the 9-to-5, 5 days a week work structure, as businesses have found new and better ways to maintain productivity, rapidly shift their business models, and accommodate workers from home. Businesses that have technologically ramped up to accommodate these workers and realize productivity is increasing in their latest models will not be willing to suddenly shift back to the old ways of doing things, either.
Those who were able to maintain employment but are now working from home ask themselves if where they are at is safe and the best value for their dollars considering a looming economic depression on the horizon. Not everyone can attend a Zoom meeting for a living. This migration crosses all economic lines. Those who lost their jobs this year may still struggle to find work when businesses are holding on to their wallets and not taking on new hires. These people may be eyeing other places to begin a new and better life. Those who were living paycheck-to-paycheck or were just starting out in the world of work, are now reassessing their entry or re-entry into the workforce. From events coordinators to construction workers to business people, the economic slowdown has displaced millions of workers. Employment is one of the most significant indicators that we are on the cusp of a significant relocation event.
The other great indicator is the economy as a whole. Just like during the industrial revolution, where we witnessed a shift to the cities, there is another shift going on right now. Manufacturing jobs have been going overseas for years. The whole economy has suffered from slowdowns and lockdowns. If we have even seen the worst of it yet, the recovery period will last for several years. Again, people are examining their current location, life, and livelihood and asking themselves, “Do I want to try and stay here?” You may be currently asking yourself that very same question. Is it the right time for you to make a change? Is it too late, or can you get ahead of the herd and benefit even more?
Question: has the events of 2020 forced you to re-evaluate your life plans?
3- A Changing Landscape
This Great Relocation will change the American landscape. Urban areas tend to have more liberal-leaning views. Rural areas tend to lean more heavily to the conservative side. While Red and Blue states are never always one color, even Alaska once voted for a Democrat president, red areas receiving an infusion of blue city folks will, at the very least, create some purple zones. So, politically, the landscape of the country could change dramatically.
Economically things will shift as well. Rents in cities will drop as vacancies increase. The cost and value of suburban homes will rise as inventory decreases. New construction will see a dramatic increase as people cash out their stake in high cost of living areas and move to less expensive areas. These city folks will bring considerable more capital with their emigration than the local residents may have had. This will determine the goods and services that will be in the highest demand. It will bring more purchasing power, and local merchants will see a significant economic boost in the next few years.
After the pandemic of the 50’s, there was a surge in travel. Trailers became more commonplace, motels and roadside inns sprang up all across the country, and airlines expanded. All travel services realized a surge. Like now, people tired of being cooped up and able to spend and travel hit the road. As that high travel begins in this current decade, more people will contrast where they live now with what they are seeing elsewhere. Have you ever traveled somewhere and marveled at the lower prices there for the same things you pay twice as much for where you live? So will many others once we all start traveling again, but now they will also have the added insight into how fragile systems let them down.
The landscape will not be without friction, though. It’s not a pure win-win for the economy of suburban and rural areas and the city dwellers discovering greater value for their money. The country is deeply divided already. It’s not likely country mice will just accept their city cousins like a comedic episode of the popular show Schitt’s Creek. There are many stories of people from urban settings not received well in smaller metros or rural areas. For years, an exodus out of California’s high cost of living for the more affordable coastal states of Oregon and Washington has occurred. Ask anyone who moved north, and they’ll tell you they don’t let it be known that they’re from California. They get their license plates changed fast. While nothing too horrible happens, the locals don’t care for the Californians moving into their areas. This dislike won’t be tied to just the west coast, but the dynamics will play out across the country as city dwellers are viewed as invading forces.
So, at the front of a wave of emigration from high population and high cost of living areas to more affordable and less populated areas, we can easily see that the American landscape is about to change dramatically. It isn’t really that new, but our ability to recognize this inevitable change allows us to make significant, life-altering decisions now before those behind us are forced to make desperate choices.
Question: for those living in the country, are you concerned about the influx of “City” folk?
4- Where is Your Next Safe Home?
Where will be your next safe home? If you are struggling, lamenting, and longing for the pre-COVID days, you should ask yourself if things ever will return to “normal,” whatever that is? Will things go back to the way they were, and were you really, truly happy with the way things were? If you answer these questions for yourself now, before they have to be answered in desperation, you will find yourself on a much better footing down the road.
Whether you stay, adopting a new lifestyle based upon the lessons learned, or you go in the hope of building a new world for yourself, mindful prepping can help you build solidly into your new life. Building your next, fresh, safe home is made stronger when you take the lessons learned from the times of uncertainty and challenge, and you seek to insulate yourself from having to make choices at the moment–in the chaos of a crisis. There are other videos on my channel about how adopting even a few immutable prepper principles will position you better in the future. There are also videos on what to prepare for, how to prepare, and how you will be better off even if nothing bad ever happens. However, it’s pretty clear from the year 2020 that our lives’ stability is not guaranteed.
Any consideration, however, of a new location should come with a few assessments on your part. First, how prone is the area to natural disasters? You don’t want to move into an area that routinely floods, for instance. Second, what is the stability of the water sources? Are you solely dependent upon municipal water supplies? Is there a well with adequate levels and a low number of surrounding agricultural areas? Are there clean rivers, lakes, or streams? Third, will the new location provide you the opportunity to become more self-sufficient with your food supplies? Can you grow some or all of your own food? Put these three considerations right up with “Can I live here?” “Are the schools good?” and “Do I like it here?” They are that important to your long term survival.
Question: If you’re moving, what are your priorities for your new home?
5- An Opportunity
Whether you stay or go, this is an opportunity for you to become more solidly positioned in life through beginning to apply some basic prepping principles you acquired from observing the world turned upside down. As you relocate or rebuild, turn your attention to a longer-lasting food supply. We watched in real time how our fragile just-in-time delivery system buckled under the weight of people panic buying. Now imagine if a massive event or several at one time occurred preventing food deliveries.
Whether you stay or go, you are presented with an opportunity to realign your finances. If you’ve been left with nothing, and are struggling right now, realize that things always have the potential to get better. You can approach your financial restructuring as you build back with the real opportunity you have. You can be more stable and apply prepping lessons and self-sufficiency to gain better value for your work. If you emerge from this economic shift and downturn relatively unscathed, you can now turn your attention to the truly meaningful things in your life, and away from the things you now know are meaningless. You can focus your energies on insulating yourself from the next disaster, large or small, which may befall you in the future. Why do you think the “Greatest Generation” was called that? It is partly the way they approached life. They suffered through pandemics, world wars, and the Great Depression. It hardened them. It made them more apt to roll up their sleeves, dive in, and get it done, even though they may not have known what to do right away. They saw a dramatic increase in college attendance, housing, and the baby boom, so they too experienced an economic recovery.
You can anticipate three major waves of this Great Relocation. The first is composed of those who are making the decision now, which is already emerging as a record shift. The second and largest will be the early group who move right as things begin to appear more stable. If the economy is still somewhat stable and the property values have remained high, people will take the chance and cashout. These are the settlers who are willing to take a chance that their read of the landscape is accurate. The final waves are composed of those who are forced to make the decision. Unfortunately, they will also be accompanied with an increase in homelessness. The people in these latter waves can still reap the benefits from a new life elsewhere or by rebuilding where they are, but they start out with considerably less and have more work to do. In each wave, regardless of whether a person stays or goes, opportunities exist. If you stay, at the very least when rental vacancies occur, you may be able to renegotiate or move to get a larger place for less. If you move, you may be able to take advantage of new housing programs and recovery programs to close on a home for yourself.
This Great Relocation provides you with the same opportunities, insight, and wisdom of previous generations. We are made wiser and increase our ability to adapt to the struggles we face. See our struggles now as a means to illuminate opportunities for you later.
Are you considering staying where you are? Are you considering settling in a new location and changing your life completely? Will you be part of the coming Great Relocation?
As always, please stay safe out there.