Once upon a time, I imagined I would live on a rustic ranch in Montana. Time passed. I added new dreams. Ones that changed often and drastically. They flowed to and fro between archaeology, writing, traveling, music, New York, Israel, Spain... None included a boy. They all included a job and a place. But then I fell in love with this really incredibly fantastic guy. We went to college, got married, and made plans. And then the economy crashed, and we were thankful to have steady jobs while so many of our friends and family had lost theirs.
But as time passed, our thankfulness for these jobs was getting harder and harder to hold onto. Because doing something we didn't want to do, while sitting in 2+ hours of traffic per day, spending over $1,000/ month on gas & toll fees, while being on almost complete opposite schedules was starting to take it's toll. I dreamed of living somewhere and doing something else. After a while, I started bringing my ideas up to Danny. At first they were little "insights" here or there on the awesomeness of other lifestyles/ places/ jobs- but after a while, they became full blown power point presentations... without the actual power point of course.
I wanted to move. I wanted to experience a different place. I just had the overwhelming feeling I was not where I was supposed to be. It's very important that I mention that I never felt trapped in my life with Danny. He was the one of the very few things I LOVED about my life.
While I had wanted to move since I was a little girl, Danny had never had the desire to do so. He loved to travel and experience new places, but being near his family and friends was very important to him. Plus, he loves the ocean. Leaving a place where he could surf and see his family and friends whenever he wanted wasn't a priority on his list. But luckily for me, I have a husband who was willing to hear me out. I never would take Danny from a place he felt destined to be at. And he would never make me stay in a place I didn't want to be. So... we just started talking.
Our conversations on the topic of moving involved a lot of "what ifs" in the beginning. What if we moved here? What would we do? Would we be happy? This stage lasted a while because not only could we think of a place where we both would want to live (he wanted the ocean, I wanted the mountains), but they all still didn't include any family or friends- and we hadn't been to any of the places we were suggesting. It seemed like our tastes were in complete opposite directions.
After a lot of Googling, talking, researching, and realtor.com searching, we decided that we both might like an area in North Carolina... that go figure wasn't by the ocean or in the mountains... but was somewhat near each. So we planned out our itinerary, requested our vacation time off work, and then- right before I went to book our tickets- we decided to opt out. Both of our work schedules had been crazy. And since we barely saw each other as it was- we decided this needed to be a low key vacation where we were away from our phones, computers, email, etc... and were just with each- other.
So we drove up to the Yosemite area for a nice week long vacation of camping, fishing, and reading. It was wonderful and relaxing- and honestly one of the best vacations I have ever been on. When there were only a few days left, I asked Danny if he was up for spontaneous change in plans. We'd talked over the campfire the night before about things we wanted to do in life- a bucket list of sorts. I spilled that I want to check each National Park off my list. He told me about Yellowstone. I'd never been. I asked if we could go. It took a while to convince him I wasn't joking (the drive was over 13 hours away (I also ended up taking us on an accidental detour which made our total drive over 16 hours!) He eventually agreed to sleep on it... but when he woke up in the morning- I had everything packed up besides him and the tent... because he was in the tent. So my super wonderful and kind husband hopped in the truck with me- and we headed out for a 3 day vacation in Wyoming... a trip that changed our lives forever- and gave us a quick glimpse into what our future would be like only 1 year later.
You can read about the trip from this point forward here:
1) The Trip That Changed It All: First Stop: Eastern Sierras
2) The Trip That Changed It All: Relaxing Getaway Become Spontaneous Road Trip
3) The Trip That Changed It All: The Road to Wyoming is an Obstacle Course
4) The Trip That Changed It All: The Grand Tetons & Bears
5) The Trip That Changed It All: Yellowstone
6) The Trip That Changed It All: Changed Us
(I've received requests from a few a you over time to recant how and why we moved. This is the first post of several that will appear off and on over the next couple of months-detailing the logistics behind what steps we took, and how if you're interested, you can make a move like this too. Please let me know if there are any specific questions/ topics you want addressed- I've gotten a few from some of you already)