Our life in LA was pretty set! My husband and I both worked for an amazing company, we had just moved into the cutest loft and we both bought our dream cars. In the little free time we had away from our jobs we spent it hanging out with friends and family. Everything was going amazing but there was always that feeling that something was missing.
Ever since we took our first international trip to Bali we had this urge to go travel. We always thought that full time traveling was out of our budget and something meant for bloggers and the wealthy, but after going to Bali we realized that traveling doesn’t have to be that expensive and that anyone can live this lifestyle with the right planning and preparation.
As we grew more tired of the busy LA lifestyle dealing with expensive housing, traffic, and the lack of nature we started really considering packing everything up and leaving it all behind to travel full time. As crazy and scary as it was to think of leaving our friends and family behind, we decided to give it a try.
We knew we could do it, we just had to downsize our lifestyle and find a cheaper place to live. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Now that we had decided to head out and reset, the hardest decision was choosing a location to call our new home. My husband wanted to move abroad, but I wasn’t ready for that big of a change yet. We settled on moving to another state and we wanted this new place to be young, fun and outdoorsy yet not break the bank.
Three cities met these criteria for us: Portland, Denver, and Austin. We had visited Denver and Austin before and both were great places for young people to live in. Denver offers many outdoor activities and Austin has an amazing music and food scene.
As great as those places are, we wanted to experience something different and live in a region we had never explored. We had heard many great things about the Pacific Northwest from friends and family, and everything we found online seemed to back it up.
A land of beautiful greenery with waterfalls and volcanoes around every corner, a world vastly different from the concrete jungle of LA. Without having ever visited the region and without having a specific city in mind, we decided to head north.
When it was time to let everyone know about our move we kept going back and forth with thoughts like “Are we crazy for doing this?” and “Is this the right decision?” But after long deliberation, we both came to terms that we wanted a change.
We put in a notice with our landlord and a few days later I put in a notice with my work. Everyone was surprised and there were many tears, but as hard as it was, we decided to go through with it. There was no turning back now.
We said our goodbyes, packed the U-Haul and left our sunny California in search of a new adventure.
The days leading up to the move were filled with a lot of uncertainty and doubts, but as we drove out I could feel those doubts disappearing mile after mile and being replaced with a sense of relief and excitement. We had no idea where we were heading but I hadn’t felt this stress-free in a long time.
As soon as we got to Portland, we felt like this was it! Something about it just clicked and without saying a word I knew my husband and I both felt the same.
As we were driving around, I was falling in love with this city. It has green parks, rustic bridges, a cool downtown and mountain views in the distance. This was it! I knew that Portland was going to be our new home.
So we made a few of appointments to view apartments, dropped our stuff off at a hotel and went exploring. Every neighborhood we went to was so different and unique.
Some were artsy and cool with food trucks parked in lawns serving delicious out-of-this-world food. Some reminded me of a mountain skiing city like Mammoth or Big Bear. Some were more suburban with the typical mall stores, chain restaurants, and Starbucks on every corner.
All in all, I knew there was a lot to explore in Portland and I wanted to give it a chance. We spent a couple of days looking for apartments and decided to get one in a hillside community that has many parks and trails nearby to go hiking and running.
The Life After
I couldn’t be happier with our decision to leave our busy LA lives and move to Portland. Yes, we had to make some sacrifices to live here, but it has been well worth it. So far we have already explored long trails that lead to insanely gorgeous waterfalls, vast beaches with humongous rocks scattered all over them, the inland high-desert, volcanic mountains, and the quirky downtown with, did I already mention, delicious food. There is so much more to explore and I cannot wait.
Life is too short to spend every minute in the office and constantly stressing yourself out instead of doing what you love. Sometimes we need to stop ourselves, take a leap of faith, and know that there is something better waiting down the road.