When this word crosses your informative lips, others respond with excitement, or curiosity. What the true response entails: stress, sweat and struggle. I, recently, picked up my entire life–born, raised and rooted in Nebraska for the last amazing 24 years—and re-settled it in Southern California. The façade of moving some where “exotic” in my mind, quickly faded as the planning process began to take place.
Moving 1500 miles across the country is hard. Upon making the decision, I quickly envisioned a road-trip across the sunny states of this fine country, atlas in hand, glass pop bottles rolling in the backseat, and feel-good music pushing me westward. Truthfully, I had a lot of time building up to this move, therefore, a lot of time to get the “honeymoon thoughts” of moving to California out and let the cold hard facts slap me in the face.
Moving is expensive. Very expensive. And, as much fun and sun I was looking forward to, I had to be realistic. So I spent a few days researching. I, anal-retentively, made a comparison budget. I made a budget of my current spending on everything: gas, beer, insurance, food, car registration, a driver’s license—everything. Then I made the same budget with estimates of my new spending. Google, so graciously, stepped in with blogs, forums, cost-of-living calculators and so many other resources to give me a more accurate account.
The biggest expense was the moving truck. We viewed all options of towing. I even considered selling everything I own. But in the end, we didn’t have much of a choice. The high price of this gas guzzler was a hit to my bank account for sure.
So after the first few days of researching, I had an idea of what it was going to cost to get me there–somewhere around $2000. And it was pretty mortifying when added together, but it helped me make realistic goals and decisions when it came to money. Thankfully, we decided to move right around tax return time. It was such a help having that extra dough.
So when the day finally came for the big journey, tears, laughter and nervousness were taking over. I was leaving the only place I’d really ever known and it was emotionally taxing. I had spent the previous weeks saying goodbye to family and friends, letting them know Hotel Kruse was open in LA for couch crashing. But, there was one detail I seemed to have missed: Nebraska weather.
Go figure. The Midwest weather reared its ugly head at me one last time as a final goodbye. A huge winter storm was hitting the entire middle of the country and our intricately planned route cut right through it. Thankful for technology, and some computer-stationed friends at home, we found an alternate route that surpassed most of the storm and headed out. The drive was long and entertaining and boring and sleepy and scary and pretty much everything in between. And, man, that sunset in the mountains is unreal.
So, after 30 hours of straight driving, we arrived, with a 40 degree temperature change, a kickass setting sun, and only adrenaline keeping us awake. It was beautiful.
I’ve already dug into beaches and water, ready to take full advantage of my new situation. I will miss, so unbearably, my family, friends and, of course, Husker Football season, but I’ve already taken the initiative to force every cheap flight I can onto them.
I still can’t shake the feeling I’m on vacation, even though it’s totally my real life. And I, honestly, hope I never do.