Hi, hello, from the great state of Washington. The good ol' pacific northwest. We out here.
I know this came as a bit of a shock to most of you... and I'm going to include myself in that category because this definitely was a quick move! We had a 1 year signed lease at our place in southern California... and we were only there for about 6 months total. It just so happens, Spencer, being the hard working busy bee that he is, got an amazing job offer from a company here in WA. A dream job - if you will. We could not turn this down, there's just no way. He deserves this.
It's quite funny, I remember talking to Spencer back in October 2017 when we still lived in Long Beach saying "Let's just move to Washington or something" and looking at houses drooling over the affordable prices.. it was extremely far fetched (I thought) because in our heads... we needed a reason. Our families are in CA, everything we've ever known is in CA, so for us personally, we needed a legit reason.
And literally, 2 months later... we had a reason.
Let me start off by stating the obvious - moving is scary as fuck. Even if you know you're making the right decision, you're excited to make new friends and explore a new city, to have more room and save money - it doesn't matter, it's still fucking scary. It's a fact.
This does not mean, however, that it is impossible to do - obviously. If it wasn't hard it wouldn't be worth it. I miss my parents so much, they're my best friends but I'm equally as excited to show them around whenever they come and visit. If you focus on that, it's so much easier.
Moving with a significant other.
Moving as a couple is also a challenge. Regardless of how perfect your relationship may be, (no relationship is perfect), if you throw stress and a deadline to pick up and move your entire life and all of it's belongings into the mix, it's gonna be hard. Don't deny that. But if you work as a team blah blah blah, I'm serious though - it works. Be prepared for the word 'team' to come up a lot in this section. Communication is everything. I'm only going to touch on this subject for a little bit so if you're interested, keep reading - if not, skip to the next paragraph.
Every person is different, they handle change very differently and they also handle stress very differently. It's important to be aware of yourself but also aware of what the other person needs in order to feel confident about moving far away. Me, for example, I've moved away from home before when I was 18 to Illinois, sure it was VERY different as I had little to nothing holding me back and I quit my job and BYE. I was just a baby. However, Spencer has never moved very far away from his family. Whether you're 18 or 28, it's never a fun time saying goodbye to family. We were spoiled. We are big family people. So, while I'm somewhat prepared and familiar with the goodbye part - he was not. Respect the hell out of that. Don't sit there saying "It's fine you'll be fine I was fine". You're not them and that's not what they want to hear. Just simply BE THERE for them, give them space when they need it and be supportive.
Secondly, I highly suggest sitting down and going over finances and rent/mortgage questions BEFORE you move. Not only is this just time efficient, but it is mentally so healthy. There won't be any panicking over bills when you're already there - this risks you potentially feeling trapped if you do not agree on something. If you gotta write out a rent contract so you're both aware of who pays for what and how things are split, do it. There's nothing wrong with that. But doing it BEFORE you get to your destination is always a smart thing to do. You go into the situation with confidence and more importantly - you're on the same page. And holy hell is that important.
You're a team. Act like a team. Be respectful of the other persons feelings and the way they handle change and talk about what you're excited about. Make plans to explore and be a supportive unit to the... team. I say team a lot.
Be a fucking team.
Quick insight on me as a human before we continue.
I am an unapologetic outgoing introvert. I'm not shy by any means, I will talk to strangers and put myself out there (to an extent).. but when it comes to navigating the unfamiliar BY MYSELF, hm nope. I've always been that person that didn't like to do things alone, unless I had done it a dozen times before and was familiar. You wouldn't ever see me sitting in a restaurant eating by myself, I'd rather drive thru and sit in my car alone. I never wanted to be the one to make outgoing general inquiry phone calls. No, you call and order the pizza. But during this move and especially BEING HERE.. I'm really proud of myself and how I'm overcoming these obstacles on a daily basis like it's no big deal. Quick tiny shout out to myself, hey go you. Just know that it is OKAY to be this way, there's nothing wrong with you, we're all wired differently. These tasks may seem like NOTHING to some people, but that doesn't make them better than you. You're not less of a person for being scared of the unknown. Hello, hi, *waves* You're not alone.
Something I heard recently, and it's solid advice, is to pick something you want to do and pick something you need to do - one thing a day, minimum. It can be something as small as taking a shower, cooking your favorite meal, sitting outside and reading a book for a few minutes, anything... and then pick something you need to do, like laundry, going to the gym, running a simple errand, anything. I guarantee this way of thinking will do nothing but improve your anxieties over time because lists and things of that nature always help me. Makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Don't be afraid to reach out to locals. A very smart and nerdy thing I did before moving here was I joined a Community Group on Facebook. If I had any questions, for ex: I was looking for a good kennel free boarding place for Warwick... just trying to be productive. And asking everyone in that community group was SO helpful. Even just scroll through and reading other peoples questions and answers was super reassuring. Especially if you're looking for a place to live - asking the locals what good areas are is so smart. Just my two cents.
Don't sweat it. Just tackle this one day at a time. You'll do great.
The Actual Moving Process.
So this was a struggle for me at first, I kept going back and forth and back and forth between moving companies to use. We knew we didn't want to drive our stuff up ourselves, just because we had the dog and Spencer's car, it just felt a lot less stressful and easier to go with a company. I researched 4 or 5, called and got quotes or honestly some of them never even got back to my emails. I had danced with the idea of using PODS because I heard so many of my friends use them, but had of course heard mixed reviews... I got a quote, set it aside, and kept looking. I had called a company called Zippy Movers, talked to a lady on the phone for 25 minutes (20 of those minutes was her telling me how much PODS sucked instead of educating me on their moving process... a bit fishy) But I wrote down the quote anyway, a little bit cheaper but not by much. It's always good to do research and read reviews.
When it came down to crunch time, we went with PODS. They had been super helpful in answering my questions (all 10,000 of them) and were super responsive and easy to book. The POD arrived at the apartment, we hired movers to pack it up (recommended!) and it got picked up and went on it's way. This gave us 7 days without our things. We had packed a bags worth of stuff, stayed in town for a few more days and left. We were so eager to get up here we left sooner, took 3 days to drive up, and spent 3 days at the house without our stuff and just an inflatable air mattress. (not recommended) or maybe our air mattress just sucked. My back was killing me and I couldn't WAIT to unload our bed. If I could go back and do it again, I would've waited and arrived when our stuff arrived but 3 days isn't so bad and I'm being a baby.
The POD was dropped off (on time) and we hired movers to help unload because we did have some bulky heavy items... but when I look back at it, we could have easily had friends come over and help us unload and that would've saved us a few $$. But it's alright. Having the movers LOAD everything into the POD was crucial. You should hire a company that is familiar with PODS and how to pack them tightly so nothing gets damaged. As far as unloading goes, it's very black and white, there's no special way to do it. You don't really need experts. It's not rocket science. Again, just my two cents.
All in all, I would 100% recommend PODS. I would use them again if we ever move again in the future. Most of the horror stories I have heard were regarding having them store the POD for a few weeks before it's delivered. So I probably wouldn't do that (if possible). Just straight and narrow - pick up, drop off k thanks bye. That's the way to go.
*not sponsored by PODS, we paid for that shit.
So. Here's our perfect little home. We're renting, for anyone who's wondering. We live in a HOUSE that's twice the size of our apartment in CA with a 2 car garage and it's CHEAPER RENT THAN WHAT WE WERE PAYING. *looks into camera like The Office*
I didn't know what to expect when moving here, but I can honestly say I have zero regrets. It feels so right. I'm not going to say "Why didn't we do this sooner?" because honestly... timing is everything... and it was perfect timing. For me, for Spencer & I as a couple, for everything. It's important to notice that.
I hope this post was helpful to ANYONE who's looking for advice on moving long distance, especially those in relationships. Spencer and I have learned so much during this process and if sharing our experience is helpful - I'M ABOUT IT. I'll forever be transparent with you all. Love you guys! xo
ps. Thanks for the warm welcome, WA. It's been BEAUTIFUL here ever since we arrived and I hope I didn't just jinx that. crap.