It is hard to say when the idea of leaving California started to form. Was it when I was in my early teens visiting Northern California, Washington and Oregon with my grandparents? I remember how green Oregon and Washington were; seeing waterfalls and the rain. I also remember wanting to leave California before the big one (Earth Quake). That is before I learned about the pacific ring of fire and about volcanoes in the cascade mountain range; I was in my early teens in the 80’s without the internet.
Flash forward to the summer of 2004, when we go on a family vacation to Oregon. Visiting Carter Lake, Bend, Three Sisters, and Florence. Exploring Central Oregon to the coast, I knew that this state was where we might want to live. So my hubby and I made the statement when the kids graduate from school we will move north or maybe east as far as Utah. So we spent the next 12 years taking vacations, reading and learning about different places to move. At 40 I subscribed to Where to Retire Magazine,
not that our move would mean retirement but it could be our forever town. We also read books:
The criteria for us for picking our new state or town: Lower cost of living, Airport within an 1 drive, no humidity, less traffic than we have in the SF Bay Area, jobs available for IT skills, not too hot, drive able to visit family and to go camping for the annual family reunion in Northern California. We narrowed our search to Washington State and Oregon. Portland, Oregon area seemed to hit our criteria the best. We liked the diverse landscape, how it would be easy to drive to the coast or the mountains. It reminded us of the things we liked the best about living in the SF bay area and all the outdoor options that were close by.
After several visits and lots of dreaming and planning we made the decision to make this change. I created a spreadsheet several years ago before we made our final location choice on what we needed to save and pay off in order to make this dream happen. The target time frame was 2016/2017 depending on where our kids where in their college journey’s.
In late December after our most recent visit to Portland, we asked ourselves what was keeping us from taking this leap. Fear of the unknown, would we find new jobs, home, would we be okay with all the rain, would we be get home sick for our CA family and friends. Taking a deep breath, with lots of research, dreaming, planning we have taken the plunge to pursue our dream of moving to Oregon.
Have you ever pursued a dream that was fearful? How did it turn out?