Something must be in the personal finance blogger water. Recently, both Jessica of Mo’ Money, Mo’ Houses and Vanessa of Vanessa’s Money have announced that they are moving across the country to cities where they don’t have jobs lined up yet. And now, I’m happy to announce, I am doing the same thing. I put in my two weeks notice and I’m making the move from Cleveland, Ohio to Portland, Oregon in July without a job or an apartment lined up.
Pause for reaction.
Let’s rewind a little bit.
How It Started
I have wanted to leave Ohio since I was about six. I questioned my parents regularly about why they chose to stay there and why we couldn’t move somewhere better. Ohio has this odd hold on people. Everyone seems to want to leave, but no one actually does. Many people stay in the same small town for their entire lives.
I ended up staying in Ohio for college (which was fortunate, because I met Steve here) and then I started with a public accounting firm in downtown Cleveland in January 2012. Steve and I have talked about leaving since we got married and three years later (November 2012), we still hadn’t done anything about it.
In December, something in me snapped. I was so freaking bored! I couldn’t take it. I was watching my early twenties slip by and I was just complaining about it instead of doing anything about it. I decided it was time to take action. After a bit of research, I became obsessed with the idea of getting a moving quote and moving across the country – specifically, to Portland. The coffee, the books, the wine, the hipsterness, the change – I wanted it all. I presented the idea to Steve – who was equally as bored as I was – and we quickly made the decision to move to Portland as soon as our lease was up.
Admittedly, we still haven’t done much preparation. Steve has looked around at jobs and apartments, but I’ve concentrated most of my limited Internet time on freelancing. However, we did do a few things. The first thing I did when we decided to move was contact Kathleen of Frugal Portland. She is the nicest, most helpful person ever. She gave me some advice about choosing neighborhoods and gave me the lowdown on Portland. She has even offered to show me around when I get there. I can’t wait to meet her!
Second, we started saving money. We saved up enough for the actual move and to hold us over for several months until we get jobs. We will be concentrating more on the job search come July.
Third, we figured out how we are getting ourselves and our stuff to Portland…
Our lease is up July 12th. My extended family goes on a long weekend trip to these cabins (similar to Hocking Hills) annually and this year it is July 19th-22nd. So we are moving from our apartment on the 12th into a motel in my hometown for a week to hang out with my family and eat at my favorite restaurants. Then we are going to the cabins for the long weekend. When we get back, we will be road tripping it from Ohio to Oregon – stopping along the way to explore the states in between.
What about our stuff? Well, if it doesn’t fit in the Ford Focus, it’s not coming. So it’s pretty much going to be us, our clothes, the coffee pot, and our file box. Everything else will be sold or donated. As minimalists, this isn’t that difficult for us. We aren’t attached to our stuff and we don’t have much anyways. I can’t imagine letting something as common as “stuff” hold us back from our adventure.
We haven’t planned out much of a route yet. We do want to go to Chicago (Steve’s never been), Colorado Springs, and Zion National Park in Utah. Everything else is pretty much up in the air. Do you guys have any suggestions? We like anywhere with good food.
So basically, we’re just winging it. We are in our mid-twenties with no kids and no property; there isn’t much that we can’t bounce back from.
Two Weeks Notice
If you do math good, you know that it isn’t two weeks from July 12th yet. I was originally going to put in notice on June 28th, but another opportunity arose. My mom called me on June 6th and asked me if I would accompany her on a road trip to North Carolina to stay with her friend for a week – starting on June 21st. My initial reaction was, “Well, I CAN’T do that!” And then I thought, “Well, why can’t I?” I have the money and it is only three weeks of lost employment. After careful consideration and discussing it with Steve, I put in my two weeks notice the next day.
As you know, I have “find another job” on my 25 before 25 list. Let me preface this by saying that I DO NOT work for a bad company. I work for an industry that is absolutely not right for me. I have been unhappy in my position for quite some time and it was instant relief when I handed over my letter of resignation. HR was very understanding and supportive – not sure how my boss feels about it yet because he wasn’t in the office. I hope that he understands. As much as it wasn’t a good fit for me, it is never fun to quit a job that didn’t treat you badly. ESPECIALLY the one that gave you your first job out of college.
After the Two Weeks
Like I said, Mom and I hit the road right after my last day. From what I understand her friend lives in BFE, NC (big surprise!) about an hour away from the Outer Banks. I plan on dragging Mom around as much as possible because while she likes vacations to relax, I like to see lots of new things (and more importantly, eat at new places!). I will get that hermit out of her shell if it kills me.
When we get back, Steve and I are planning on heading to Toronto for a few days. I’m trying to squeeze in a weekend trip to DC with my friends as well but we are having trouble finding a good weekend for all of our schedules. Then it’s packing up, moving out, and applying to jobs until we go to the cabins – which have absolutely NO cell phone reception, so there is no pressure to do anything even halfway productive. Bliss.
I think that’s everything. If you haven’t figured it out, this was my super secret savings goal and costly move that I’ve been talking about. I just didn’t want to blog about the details until my notice was in. Also if you remember, I talked about NEEDING to buy a new laptop. That’s because I don’t own one, I just use my work laptop. Steve found a Samsung that he loves so I will be checking that out soon.
And that’s all folks! Questions? Comments? Concerns? Happy Monday!
[Image from BuzzFeed]