So you’ve been presented with an opportunity to seek a life away from all you’ve known, what do you do? It’s a big decision and certainly should not be taken lightly for good reason. There is a lot that remains in the unknown and you have more questions than answers but it can still be fun and exciting as long as you are prepared and have the right mentality!
When we were presented with our chance to move from Florida to Utah we decided in a day and saw it as turning the page and beginning the next chapter of our lives. Things had grown stagnant where we were in Orlando and we had honestly been looking for change already. Relationships with neighbors had grown stale, we were hitting road blocks with our business, and the housing market had peaked and we stood to make a nice profit from our home sale. My wife received an opportunity in Salt Lake City and we saw it as a sign! We began to pack our things and say our goodbyes to friends and family and quickly realized how bittersweet the moment really was.
As the time for our big move grew closer our days became shorter and shorter, quickly running out of time to see people before we left. Everything began to move so fast, moving boxes were filling up and our business essentially had to be put on hold since all of our focus was on the move. Moving from a house to a one bedroom apartment was proving to be a challenge in and of itself too so we had to plan on storing things that we couldn’t bring which was tough. Nevertheless we pressed on and loaded up the moving truck during a 16 hour period then drove 2 hours north on moving day, what an exhausting day!
We spent time in Jacksonville the next couple of days unloading half of our truck into a storage unit or our families homes while we said our long goodbyes. I ended up having to leave our 10 year old Pomeranian Stella with my mother since her and the new puppy Luna did not get along. We didn’t want to confine them to the tight 660 square foot apartment we were going to be moving into so it was a tough decision but it was the best for everyone. We then left on a Monday to start the long haul out west.
The move took us a total of 4 days to make it from Jacksonville to Salt Lake City, stopping each night at a hotel to rest a few hours to get back on the road in the mornings. I highly recommend breaking up the trip into more manageable travel days, you don’t want to resent your time on the road, and besides it’s all about the journey isn’t it?! As we continued we soon realized most Love’s truck stops from the Tennessee line and on had fenced in dog parks which was great for our new pup. After a couple days on the road we had a routine down. We arrived Thursday morning and had movers meet us at the new place to help unload which was a godsend! The hard part was over and now it was time to get settled over the weekend before my wife started her new job the following Monday. Then just a few days later we closed on our home sale in Orlando, the timing couldn’t have been planned any more perfect!
One aspect of our move we were anticipating would be to rent an apartment only for the short term and then find either a home or some land to buy with the profit we had just made from our home sale. But we immediately realized this would be next to impossible with the soaring home and land prices in the vicinity of Salt Lake City. We found some areas we really loved but even the worn down shacks were going for half a million dollars. It was during our initial home search that we realized the cost of living gap we just crossed into. The wages my wife was earning all of a sudden felt like minimum wage. We felt so naive, how could we totally miss such a big factor? Lesson learned, do your research before your big move and know your budget and how it fits with the cost of living in the new area.
Just a couple weeks later my wife’s medical insurance went into effect so we began scheduling all the appointments. Then after a dentist visit of mine is when we found out I had mouth cancer. At first we took it in stride and just saw it as a minor speedbump, but this event really highlighted the distance we now had between us and our family. We had never felt so far from home. I wrote about this experience in a previous blog and I’m fine now but it’s just something to consider when making this kind of a move…are you prepared to handle any sort of medical condition on your own away from family?
The point to all of this is just to be sure you are moving for the right reasons. Don’t move because you want to run away from any problems because they will always follow you or repeat themselves, move because you have resolved your issues and are ready to take life on and venture into the unknown. It doesn’t have to be scary or a bad experience, and of course even in the worst of situations you can always find a silver lining. And I’m not saying we regret our decision at all, we have thoroughly enjoyed the path we chose and know it was the best move for us, all I’m saying is just do your best to consider the full ramifications of a major life decision or at least ensure you have a healthy perspective on life. I hope this helps and finds you well.
Until next time!