Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From California to Wyoming: Why We Packed Up and Moved



Once upon a time, I imagined I would live on a rustic ranch in Montana. Time passed. I added new dreams. Ones that changed often and drastically. They flowed to and fro between archaeology, writing, traveling, music, New York, Israel, Spain... None included a boy. They all included a job and a place. But then I fell in love with this really incredibly fantastic guy. We went to college, got married, and made plans. And then the economy crashed, and we were thankful to have steady jobs while so many of our friends and family had lost theirs.

But as time passed, our thankfulness for these jobs was getting harder and harder to hold onto. Because doing something we didn't want to do, while sitting in 2+ hours of traffic per day, spending over $1,000/ month on gas & toll fees, while being on almost complete opposite schedules was starting to take it's toll. I dreamed of living somewhere and doing something else. After a while, I started bringing my ideas up to  Danny. At first they were little "insights" here or there on the awesomeness of other lifestyles/ places/ jobs- but after a while, they became full blown power point presentations... without the actual power point of course.

I wanted to move. I wanted to experience a different place. I just had the overwhelming feeling I was not where I was supposed to be. It's very important that I mention that I never felt trapped in my life with Danny. He was the one of the very few things I LOVED about my life.

While I had wanted to move since I was a little girl, Danny had never had the desire to do so. He loved to travel and experience new places, but being near his family and friends was very important to him. Plus, he loves the ocean. Leaving a place where he could surf and see his family and friends whenever he wanted wasn't a priority on his list. But luckily for me, I have a husband who was willing to hear me out. I never would take Danny from a place he felt destined to be at. And he would never make me stay in a place I didn't want to be. So... we just started talking.

Our conversations on the topic of moving involved a lot of "what ifs" in the beginning. What if we moved here? What would we do? Would we be happy? This stage lasted a while because not only could we think of a place where we both would want to live (he wanted the ocean, I wanted the mountains), but they all still didn't include any family or friends- and we hadn't been to any of the places we were suggesting. It seemed like our tastes were in complete opposite directions.

After a lot of Googling, talking, researching, and realtor.com searching, we decided that we both might like an area in North Carolina... that go figure wasn't by the ocean or in the mountains... but was somewhat near each. So we planned out our itinerary, requested our vacation time off work, and then- right before I went to book our tickets- we decided to opt out. Both of our work schedules had been crazy. And since we barely saw each other as it was- we decided this needed to be a low key vacation where we were away from our phones, computers, email, etc... and were just with each- other.

So we drove up to the Yosemite area for a nice week long vacation of camping, fishing, and reading. It was wonderful and relaxing- and honestly one of the best vacations I have ever been on. When there were only a few days left, I asked Danny if he was up for spontaneous change in plans. We'd talked over the campfire the night before about things we wanted to do in life- a bucket list of sorts. I spilled that I want to check each National  Park off my list. He told me about  Yellowstone.  I'd never been. I asked if we could go. It took a while to convince him I wasn't joking (the drive was over 13 hours away (I also ended up taking us on an accidental detour which made our total drive over 16 hours!) He eventually agreed to sleep on it... but when he woke up in the morning- I had everything packed up besides him and the tent... because he was in the tent. So my super wonderful and kind husband hopped in the truck with me- and we headed out for a 3 day vacation in Wyoming... a trip that changed our lives forever- and gave us a quick glimpse into what our future would be like only 1 year later.

You can read about the trip from this point forward here:

1) The Trip That Changed It All: First Stop: Eastern Sierras
2) The Trip That Changed It All: Relaxing Getaway Become Spontaneous Road Trip
3) The Trip That Changed It All: The Road to Wyoming is an Obstacle Course
4) The Trip That Changed It All: The Grand Tetons & Bears
5) The Trip That Changed It All: Yellowstone
6) The Trip That Changed It All: Changed Us


(I've received requests from a few a you over time to recant how and why we moved. This is the first post of several that will appear off and on over the next couple of months-detailing the logistics behind what steps we took, and how if you're interested, you can make a move like this too. Please let me know if there are any specific questions/ topics you want addressed- I've gotten a few from some of you already)

10 comments:

  1. I love this - I think a lot of people reach that unsatisfied point in life, where you yearn for something more, but few do anything about it beyond dreaming. I love that you did - we plan to, as well. I'm not sure right now if it will take us to New York City or San Francisco (and possibly abroad for a year at some point) but either way, it's exciting that we'll be going on this adventure together. I also completely relate to needing to be near the mountains/nature. That's one of my main complains about Chicago right now - besides the lake and some sorry excuses for forests, we have nothing but suburban sprawl and plains outside the city limits.

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  2. Love this! Had to go back an re-read all about the trip - the pictures are gorgeous!

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  3. You and Danny are amazing people! I honestly could not think of two better people together! Your blogs make me smile and reminisce the past.... All of our little spontaneous weekends were always so much fun! I will never forget them!! I can't wait to see what else life has in store for the two of you!

    P.S. I still have the box decorated in magazine cut-outs that you made me with the little note in it!

    -Alicia!

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  4. this is so fun! glad you guys made the move... what i want to know is: what are the things you miss about CA? what are the difficulties in WY vs CA, if any? it's easy to see all the positives (hello scenery and fewer people!!!), but i'm just wondering about negatives...

    also, i'm now itching to go camping and on a road trip (:

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  5. Anni- so excited for your potential move- both places would be so exciting! I could walk around SF for hours. And I'm sure I'd feel the same about NY but I've never been. Good luck and I hope it's an amazing adventure for both of you!

    Busylizzy111 and Meag: thanks girls!

    Alicia: I miss you so much friend! I still remember you telling me to be good to Danny when we started dating again and I've tried to keep good on my word :) Hope you can come visit some day!! :)

    Ash: I'll definitely be posting about the difficulties because that was a serious part of our decision making process as well as a part of our decision to stay here. Thanks for the Q's!

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  6. I just copied and pasted this URL into an email to my husband. We follow you on Instagram and always say to each other, "Man, we gotta go where silver pencils is!" I'm not kidding! (He started following you as a result of me showing him all your photos.) Anyway, like you, we often talk about moving but we're very tied to our jobs and our families. I admire what you guys have done and I can't wait to read more about it!

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  7. I've loved reading your blog so far (and your photography!), and I pretty much just Googled "moving to wyoming blog," as I'm moving to Cody, Wyoming too in the next TWO weeks. It's awesome to start finding other people who are Wyoming transplants.

    P.S. Love that antler necklace too! After getting settled I know I'll be checking out your Etsy shop :)

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  8. What can you say about Bakersfield? I analyzed a lot of informative sources and decided for myself that this place is worthy to live in. Are there another opinion? it remains only to contact some professional movers Bakersfield, Ca http://smile-moving.com/ca/Bakersfield

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  9. What city in Wyoming did you move to. I am thinking of moving from Southern California to Wyoming. Looking at Sheridan at the moment

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