Tuesday, April 22, 2014

5 things I learned from moving across the country

I was bound to learn a thing or two during a cross-country move at age 30. I learned a few things when I did the move the first time at age 22, so it was only logical that I would take away a few nuggets from my journey home to make me a wiser individual.

It is also extremely hard to list just five takeaways from this monstrous adventure. Moving sucks regardless of whether you are moving a block away, or across the country, or like friends of ours, across the world (I can’t even imagine that and they had two kids!). What I learned during my adventure, though, assures me that I am stronger, a better juggler and more organized than even I imagined.

Without further ado, my top five list!

5. Dogs take up a lot of valuable vehicle space. At first, I thought I would have a decent amount of space in my car to bring certain things with me. Movers were packing and hauling the majority of our belongings, but hubby and I would take the rest in our respective vehicles, on our individual trips. But two dogs (50 and 60-pound dogs) need at least a little space, water bowls, food bowl and food, a maybe a chew toy since the drive is really, really dull for them. I love about 30% of the space in my car to my dogs. And how did they thank me? By releasing some of their worst silent but deadlies ever while we were in a small space.

4. You truly find out who your friends are. I expected to spend time saying goodbye to people but some friends really surprised me; in a good way. There were those that didn't really have time to say goodbye, and though it was sad, it was OK. Then there were those friends that wanted to say goodbye a few times and check in and make sure you were OK, and stop by and help pack your TV. Those are the friends that made me happy and sad at the same time. It was hard to leave these special friends, but felt so good to know we had built those relationships.

This beautiful view is Northern Arizona and the beautiful
vistas were over shortly after this
3. Highways are built in the most boring areas! Why can’t I find a quick, safe, efficient route from Arizona to Ohio that takes me through the most scenic parts of the country?  To top it off, we drove out during the third and final installment of “Polar Vortex 2014” so everything was dead, frozen and miserable. Yes, even the street signs were miserable with that nasty cold weather! It’s boring, it’s flat, it’s brown and I don’t remember most of it because I kind of blacked it out! New Mexico was beautiful, but after that…not so much.

2.  It is possible to become exhausted doing nothing. Sitting in a car for 12 hours can be exhausting. It isn't because my dad (a.k.a. my copilot on this adventure) wasn't great company. It is just exhausting seeing signs that say you are still 300 miles away from St. Louis. The radio in my 2001 CRV worked, but the tape deck (YES – TAPE DECK) wasn't used. That meant we had to listen to radio stations in the abyss of I-40. Oh, and I know what you are thinking, “Why didn't you use one of those iPhone adapters?” I didn't use one because the charger/cigarette lighter didn't work and the last thing I want is to have a dead phone while I’m driving across the country. Surprisingly, there are a lot of Country (good for me), Classic Rock (good for dad) and NPR (good for both of us) stations everywhere!

1. It never really “sunk in” what was happening. People asked me every day if it had “sunk in yet” that I was moving that far away, or that I was leaving my Arizona life behind. To be honest, I was so busy during January packing and preparing for the move to really have time to stop and reflect. I tried to give myself the opportunity to freak out or to allow the enormity of everything to “sink in” with multiple solo hikes and even on that 28 hour drive. It never did, and it really hasn't. We've lived in Ohio for three months and I never had that “Oh my gosh, I moved across the country!” moment. Life just keeps moving and you have to move with it. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

We F-ing moved across the country!

It still doesn't seem real. I can't believe that we sold our house, packed up our life in Arizona and moved to Ohio!

I waited 8 years to take this pic!
Thanks Hobby Lobby ...
It all happened kind of fast. We had been talking about moving back to the Midwest...well...since I met my hubby about eight years ago. We knew we wouldn't live in Arizona forever, but hadn't figured out our next step. Then, something clicked and we both knew we had to move on. Arizona had given us so much: we found each other, we added our fur babies to our lives, we bought and did work on our first home, we started careers, we built networks and made lifelong friends.

Finally, though, we made the decision that it was time to make a move. Fortunately, being married to a commercial pilot meant he had a job wherever we moved. Unfortunately, he was transitioning to a new aircraft at the SAME TIME we had to move for my new job. I had to be at my new job by February 2nd and hubby was in ground school from Jan. 2 - Feb. 21, which meant I had a lot to do solo. Don't get me wrong, hubs was great from afar and did a lot when he was home (when he could come home, for like an hour and then go back), but I had a lot to figure out and quickly.

One week in Ohio - this happened
But we made it! We - the dogs and I - arrived in Ohio as did our stuff, all in time to start my job on February 2nd. The hubby arrived about a month later. We both drove, we both had to shovel our first snow in years (might have been hubby's first snow-shoveling experience ever), and we are starting to figure out our new life in Ohio!

So far, it has been pretty good! I have seen my family a few times and the weather is finally starting to be more tolerable in Ohio the same time it is about to hit 100 in Phoenix. Making friends is harder the older you get, but we are getting there.

Oh, and we found a house already! Ha! We sure do move fast when we make up our minds!