Oh hey! Guess what? I live in Portland, Oregon now. During my last visit to the City of Roses I decided that I had to live there, and I had to do it as soon as possible or else it was never going to happen. I rationalized this with the fact that I’m still relatively young, and I don’t have anything tying me down. Why live in the ugliest and most crowded state in the country (NJ) and work a job that leaves me in a stagnant pool of unfulfillment? So, Doodlebug (who had the same thoughts as me) and I packed up and headed West. We were completely relocated in less than 60 days after we made our decision. Here is how we did it.
Well, maybe not EVERYTHING. We sold or donated all of our furniture, anything breakable (that wasn’t sentimental) , and anything that had been sitting in storage for over a year. We sold everything on Craigslist, and although it was a lot of work rustling through incoherent emails and dealing with shady characters showing up at the house, we got a pretty penny for most of our stuff. We were left with clothes, books, a dehydrator, juicer, and random other important/sentimental things.
We were lucky enough to have access to some phenomenal bulk shipping rates. So we packed everything up, stuck it on a few pallets, shrink wrapped it and then sent them on their merry way to Portlandtown. We fit our whole entire life onto 3 pallets! It took about 4-5 days for them to arrive, at which point Doodles was already there. Surprisingly enough, nothing arrived damaged!
Sell or Ship the Car
Portland is known for it’s sensational public transit system and bike friendly streets, so a car is really not needed. However there are tons of things to do in Oregon and Washington states, (One of those things is to just drive around with your mouth agape admiring the beautiful landscape.) so if you are into outdoorsy type stuff a car would be needed. I decided to get rid of my car because it was over 8 years old, and also because I am way past my expiration date to be driving around in a bright yellow vehicle. Doodlebug kept his truck although it is kind of impractical for city living. He shipped it for around $1,000. It took about 2 weeks past the initial pick-up date to actually get picked up, and then took 12 days to make it here. But it is here and will soon be traded in for a Subaru Outback (crossing my fingers!).
We pinched and saved every penny we could. On top of my full time job, I started working part time at the restaurant I worked at in college. We put away every cent we made from selling our stuff. All of the saved money is going to new furniture and to supporting our lame asses since we are both unemployed!
Doodlebug went out a week before I did to set up the apartment and get essential things like a mattress and toilet paper. I stayed in Jersey and finished up things at the house. It was a lonely week but it saved time and also insured that if one of us forgot something we would have it covered.
Most people assume that I relocated due to a job, as if that is the only reason people ever move a great distance. Truth is.. I don’t have a job. I don’t even really want a job, at least not one where I sit in a dingy office for 8 hours a day. This is not because I’m lazy or unmotivated. I simply don’t want to live a typical existence. I don’t want to punch the time-clock and count down the days until retirement (or death). I want to go out and explore and be creative and meet new people – and I wasn’t going to do that in Philly. Me and Philadelphia had fun, but we were over each other. I didn’t move to Portland to escape anything. I moved here to FIND something. Sometimes you need a totally fresh environment to get yourself thinking differently and exploring new options. I’ve found, in the short time that I’ve been living here, that I have a better idea of what I really want from life and what kind of person I want to be. Get ready new city, I’m gonna rock your world!