My husband and I are taking a road trip from Florida to Oregon via Route 66 and then up the Pacific coastline of California.
It is probably going to take us around 20 days, if we stick to the plan of where we want to stop.
So, why are we making this trip?
Because we are moving to Bend, Oregon!
For about the past year we have been discussing making a big move, both geographically and professionally.
We are looking for a change in scenery and pace. Our life in South Florida was not what we envisioned for ourselves. It felt like we were stuck somewhere we didn’t want to be, in jobs we didn’t want to have.
We know that for a lot of people, South Florida is like a dream location. The weather is great (except I have personally come to hate the Florida summers) and you have the beach as your neighbor!
But, it wasn’t the lifestyle we wanted.
When we were dating in college (in Florida) we took many trips North (to Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee) to go hiking and rock climbing, and many trips out West (to California, Colorado, Utah) to go skiing. Those were some of the most fun trips, and every time we returned back to Florida we would be left wishing we could go back.
It was easier to take those trips in college because we had more time. Once we graduated and got full time jobs in South Florida, we were feeling kinda stuck. With our 3-4 weeks of vacation time a year, it left little time for trips out of the state to do some of the things we enjoyed.
There were two things keeping us in South Florida for 4 and a half years: our jobs and our family.
We both had very well-paying jobs. Wes is a professional engineer and I am an Audiologist. While I like being an Audiologist, I didn’t necessarily love what I was doing with it in South Florida. Although, I still plan on practicing in the future.
To walk away from these jobs was a big risk and definitely not an easy decision.
Over the past few years, Wes and I have been working on building up a side business that would allow us to leave our full-time jobs, move wherever we wanted, and have some more freedom to do the things we enjoy.
Wes has been working on his first novel that is scheduled to be published in May! I have been working on building up my online fitness-related blog and partnership with Beachbody, as well as some other online ventures that bring me back to my Audiology training.
We chose Bend, Oregon because we feel it offers us everything we are looking for…skiing in the winter, tons of hiking trails, rock climbing, camping and a smaller community feel. We didn’t really mean to pick a place completely across the country, but that is the place that kept standing out to us.
We visited Bend in January and found a house to rent. Now we are making the cross-country trek to our new life!
The hardest part was leaving our families. Both our families live in Florida and we lived only 3 hours from them and could easily take a weekend trip to see them. Being across the country means much less frequent visits. I expect that to be hard as we are both very close with our families.
But, at the end of the day we felt like we at least had to give it a shot. If we move to Bend and we hate it, we can always move back to Florida, or somewhere else. But, if we never make a change we will always wonder “what if”.
So, our roadtrip has started and we are nervous, excited, and ready for adventure!
It was really hard to say good-bye. Like I said, we have only lived about 3 hours from our family and saw them often. Now it will likely be several months before we see them.
Our families are awesome! They loaded us up with tons of snacks and food for the trip! We definitely won’t starve.
My SUV is jam-packed and I realize we probably brought too much stuff. Between our two suitcases full of clothes for 3 weeks, sleeping bags and tents for the nights we camp, all the food, and our two dogs and their stuff, there is not one empty space in the car.
Our furniture and the rest of our stuff was picked up from our house in West Palm Beach last week by movers. It’s on it’s way to Bend and will hopefully meet us there in a few weeks! (This is a whole other post that I will leave for another time if you are interested!)
I started off Day One by driving from Bradenton, Florida where I was visiting family, back to West Palm Beach where I had to pick up Wes from his last day at his full-time job. It took me about 3 and a half hours.
Luckily our two dogs, Story and Linkin travel pretty well. By the end of the day they were definitely ready to get out of the car, but so were we.
After picking Wes up in West Palm Beach we drove to Tallahassee, Florida. That trip took a little more than 7 hours, with two quick stops to walk the dogs and stretch our legs. We arrived at about 9pm so it was pretty much off to bed.
We are staying at my parents’ house on Lake Talquin in Tallahassee. They bought this house because they are frequent visitors of Tallahassee to watch the Seminoles play at Florida State University, where they and my whole family went to school.
It’s just Wes and I, Linkin and Story here for the next few days. It’s absolutely beautiful, overlooking the lake.
Still at the lakehouse in Tallahassee. Wes is taking the day to edit his novel because he is on a deadline to get it done for it’s final edit.
For me, day two was spent sitting by the fire relaxing, writing, going for 3 long walks with the dogs, and signing us up for health insurance. The internet is spotty here so it has been difficult to get a lot done.
The dogs were pooped after their long walks. I’m glad I could wear them out a bit after being in the car all day yesterday.
I also did Day Four of my #pushupandplank challenge which consisted of 6 push-ups and holding a plank for 1 minute 45 seconds. I know it’s not a huge workout, but I think it’s going to be great for staying consistent this month! I’m excited to see how long I’ll be able to hold a plank by the end of the month. And, I am really looking forward to seeing everyone’s unique planking positions (a fun twist to the challenge).
(If you are interested in joining a monthly fitness challenge like this, you can sign up here to be included!)
The lakehouse is so relaxing. I was just saying to Wes that we should live here. Who knows, maybe someday we will end up back in good ‘ol Tallahassee. I love it here.
I hope you’ll stay tuned for the rest of the cross-country roadtrip series!