Relocation What and Why?
My lovely wife and I have been in Lemoore California for 12 years total. While we have enjoyed being about 2.5 hours away from our parents we have come to a decision that Lemoore is not the place we wanted to spend the majority of our lives. That sucks because we currently own a house in Lemoore....
So where do we want to go? What do we want to do?
All of this started last year around March. I was having a hard time with my life-load (like a workload but not just from your job). I was balancing the needs of my job with the completion of my college degree, and the renovation of our 85+ year old country farm house. All of which had my stress-o-meter pegged. I realized that things had to change. After trying to negotiate some changes at work and seeing that relief there wasn't possible, through no fault of the company's, I knew had to make a choice between postponing my degree or leaving work. Scared and unsure of what would happen I left employment in May.
The degree would be done in September. The original plan was to look for a job in the last few months of school and then return to employment before the Holidays. Long term decisions were to start learning about adopting kids, which is something Stephanie and I very much want to do one day. While working during the day on the house, and finishing my degree at night we came to a sudden realization. We really had no reason to stay in California, or more accurately stay in Lemoore. In fact we had no reason, and no restraints on our moving except for the house. This was a pretty amazing thought for us since up until this point we had only lived where the Navy, told us to live. Since I was no longer in the Navy and no longer employed we had unprecedented freedom to move anywhere.
After some discussion about moving closer to family to have children we determined that San Diego where my older sister lives is too city; Palmdale, where we both had family was too familiar for us. We wanted something new. Short of moving across the country to be close to our extended families we had no one that we could be close to but my younger sister who lives in Seattle. Washington was immediately appealing to me as I had traveled there while in the Navy for various adventures. There was also a couple of active Lido 14 fleets in the north that would satisfy my need to sail a boat that had been a part of my life since childhood. All of this was really exciting, but we needed to formulate a plan.
Planning is one of the things that I learned how to do in the Navy, then afterwards refined in college and at Del Monte. Stephanie and I sat down and worked out what we were going to do and when on ProjectLibre ( a free and open source alternative to Microsoft Project) and on wekan boards. A general overview looked like this:
May-Jun: Bathrooms and inside of the house.
Jul: Outside Landscape and Van repairs
Aug: Recover RV and Stage and List house
Sep: Graduate College.
October: Purchase and pack household goods into Inter-modal Container. Finish RV
November: On the road!!! Arrive in WA, Start Jobs while living in RV. Start looking for houses to settle in.
Several of you will notice that there is a line with asterisks above that line shows the waiting line. We SHOULD not start the stuff below unless we have a job in Washington or a house sale imminent. That line is where we sat from September through the end of December... 4 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which, as I type it doesn't sound so bad, but when your monthly costs are around 3k you start to see why living out of savings after spending so much money on the house can be difficult. I was not willing to get a job for only a few months, since I believe that would be unfair to an employer if I didn't tell them that I was planning on leaving. As December came Stephanie and I were nervous wrecks. Stephanie landed a temporary and part time job with a church friend that owns Autowerx. She started working as an office/marketing manager and that eased our savings drain.
We stuck to our plans: Plan A sell the house, move to WA. Plan B get a job in WA, move and leave the house on the market; Plan C was to wait for Plan A and Plan B. Now some people are going to be unhappy about the next part: The world didn't stop moving around me during these months. I have turned down in excess of 10 really good jobs, 4 of which were over 100k a year. These were interesting jobs, with good benefits and perks. Some jobs were in the wrong state (Amazon interviewed me for several jobs in Texas after I applied to a job in Seattle.) Some of these jobs were in Food Manufacturing all over California. There was never a shortage of viable employment opportunities. Now I look back at a huge whole in my employment record and shudder. In a few more months I will be unemployed for a year...
In December we resolved that if we weren't into escrow by the end of January we would bail on all plans and find local employment then re address the idea of relocation in a more traditional manner in a few years. Of course as soon as we made the plan we were approached by two parties that wanted to by the house. It's bitter sweet, and while I don't think that i would have wanted to try all this activity leading up to relocation while still working for a company like Del Monte I'm not actually sure that any other way would have been less hectic or stress filled.
Today, the first day of February I finish this post. Today we will find out if the current buyer of our house is going to back out due to the well report. We have adjusted the price, made repairs and even agreed to leave behind my 1948 Ford 8N tractor. All in the hopes of holding this deal together. All of this has transpired while we have lived like monks and reduced our monthly spend to crumbs and suffered set back after set back in our personal lives and with our RV outfitting adventure. Finally this week we resolved no more Plan C, no more waiting. Even if this sale falls through we will take one of these awesome jobs that have been sending job placement professionals my way. We will vacate our residence, rent it out and go somewhere else while we refill our savings. Stephanie and I know we will eventually get to Washington, or find somewhere else so cool that it doesn't matter. If we have to carry the burden of the house as a rental for a few years then so be it, but this adventure starts now!
The biggest thing I can say is: how cool is it that I have a partner that will roll the dice with me on this craziness? We definitely didn't play it safe. We have risked a lot. Money (down 40k so far). Job security (almost a year unemployed) Serenity (how do you think our nights have been?) Opportunities (so many good ones!). Time (we would be on our way to adopting right now) I'm proud we didn't have to resort to anything underhanded, and we never compromised or took advantage of anyone regarding this whole process.