Goodness, it’s been 3 months since I’ve published a new blog post. While I’ve shared quite a lot of my recent life changes on Instagram, I miss writing here. I’m constantly thinking about the if, when, and how I’d like to revive this ol’ blog (ideally, have it be more than just life catch-ups once a quarter), but for now… I have just that plus a proper farewell to our time in Florida.
January 2020 was officially the longest month, ever.
In a nutshell: we moved across the country (again!).
January 1 marked our first day of our cross-country roadtrip from Tampa, Florida to Seattle, Washington – talk about starting the new year with adventure!
- 4,240 miles
- 15 days of travel
- 11 states
We drove through the rainy swamps of Louisiana, snowy mountains of Colorado, desolate deserts of Arizona, and nostalgic Redwood forests of Northern California. We visited family and friends, ate our way through Austin (and Chico), and left no croissant or avocado toast behind.
Missed our 2017 trip? Catch that here: California to Florida | Cross-Country Road Trip
smiles from Flagstaff, AZ during our cross-country road trip
Since landing in the Emerald City, we’ve spent the past several weeks hopping from one AirBNB to the next as we search like mad to find a home. I’ll be honest, the travel aspect of getting here was fun (we definitely make the most of long road trips), but our stress has continued to increase with each day that passes of house hunting in Seattle’s “cut-throat” (rental) market.
We had wanted to scope out the city and surrounding areas first before settling on a house (that was the plan), but the hunt has proven to be a lot more difficult and competitive than we thought. We’ve basically been “traveling” for two months straight, living out of our suitcases, moving from one AirBNB to the next — it’s been quite the nomadic lifestyle to say the least. I know that with patience and persistence the right place will come our way, but I’m ready to put down roots and make a temporary rental house feel like home.
Despite the overwhelming feeling of being unsettled, it sure feels good to be back on the west coast. Every day since we’ve been here, we’ve made time to get outside in nature and explore. Most afternoons have been spent exploring a new trail in one of the nearby parks. And we haven’t let the rain stop us. The three of us are usually wet, covered in a mud, and a little out of breath (it’s been a bit since we’ve enjoyed a regular exercise routine), but it brings us so much joy to be able to enjoy the outdoors with ease (no more ‘gators and humidity!).
But before I jump into life in the PNW at full speed, I felt inclined to bid a final farewell to our time in Florida.
February 1, 2018, I flew to Florida with a one-way ticket in hand. I was jumping off a big cliff into the unknown as I didn’t know how long I’d call Florida home. To be frank, Florida never felt like home. But, I can now say I was a Florida resident for 23 months of my life, exactly 23 months to the day because you know I was counting (February 1, 2018 – January 1, 2020).
When I think about my time in Florida, it still feels really challenging (maybe someday, in hindsight, I’ll have a different view). My first out-of-state/cross-country (military) move, it was really hard being 3,000+ miles from family and friends. It was lonely. I didn’t connect with the culture, and I felt like a fish out of water in my new environment from the beginning to the end. There were months when my anxiety was unbearable, and I longed for my community and support circle that I had in and around Chico. I navigated unemployed life and then a un-fulfilling job in Human Resources before I took it upon myself to create my own job, doing behind the scenes work for wellness brands and bloggers. Florida is also where I began my business with Beautycounter. My self-created work is one of the things that brought me the most joy and satisfaction in a chapter of trials, tribulations, and transitions.
When I think about our life in Florida, I have a laundry list of things I will not miss. But through the rocky moments (days and weeks), it was a chapter of my life that I am grateful to have experienced. What those 23 months taught me most was a lot about what I do not like, what I do not want… allowing what is really important to me to float to the surface.
Where Nick and I lived together for the first time
Where I made a new best friend… Koba! ?
Where I navigated a season (6ish months) of unemployment
Where I endured a ridiculous commute for an unbearable job
Where I worked a non-wellness related job (above) that reinforced my commitment to my work being aligned with wellbeing in some form
Where I quit said dead-end job to pursue entrepreneurship as a Virtual Assistant
Where I built the humble beginnings of a Beautycounter business (one month in after moving)
Where we prepared for our first hurricane… that never hit
Where we decorated our first Christmas tree as a couple and spent Christmas at the beach
Where we ran an organized 8k run in the middle of July and almost melted
Where I rang in my 29th and 30th birthdays
Where we cooked our first Thanksgiving meal, just the two of us
Where we road tripped up through Georgia and camped in the countryside of Tennessee for a dear friend’s wedding
Where we killed our fair share of gigantic cockroaches and palm-sized spiders
…and much more!
Two years in Tampa, a challenging chapter, but one I’m grateful I said yes to. And now… I’m opening a new one, in the opposite corner of the country. I have a feeling life in the PNW is going to feel a whole lot different, and I’m here for it.
Farewell, Florida… to another new beginning!
Have you ever made a big move?
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?