I’ve wanted to move across the country (or anywhere really) since I was teeny tiny. It’s not that I have any real problems with Iowa, I just love adventure and change and excitement. Oh, and I’m not fond of snow and humidity.
When I turned 23 and moved out of my college town, I promised myself that within 2 years I’d live among mountains. Somewhere I could hike whenever I wanted. Somewhere warm. Somewhere with plenty of sunshine and good food. I wasn’t entirely sure where, though I had a plethora of ideas, I just knew my perfect place existed.
Fast-forward to 24 and one of my best childhood friends gives me a call one afternoon to inform me she’s moving to Arizona. I’d been to Arizona before, but it wasn’t on my list of “possible homes.” But in true Kaili fashion, I committed on the spot.
Next thing you know I’m packing my life into UHaul boxes and researching apartments in a state 1,000 miles away. You think apartment shopping is tough and tiresome, try doing it completely virtually…photography has really improved I tell you what. They can make anything look like a luxury condo with a few filters and natural light.
Anyway, there I was, all packed up, apartment paid for, car maintenance done, goodbyes said, and ready to head off into the desert.
Did I mention I was taking my fur baby with me on this 24-hour drive? A certain cat that doesn’t like cars nor being in a cage. Let’s just say he was quite the chatty catty for the entire haul. But I have to say–he only pooped in the car once so I consider it a win.
Our first stretch took us down to Amarillo–where there wasn’t much going on. We stayed the night in a nice hotel and filled our bellies with BBQ, because for some reason we didn’t stop for food along the way. #Amateurs
Bright and early the next morning, we headed to Arizona. We had about 12 hours left and they honestly felt like 1200. New Mexico, though I’m glad I finally made it to see you, you’re boring to drive through–please add some excitement to your highways.
Upon arrival, we unpacked all my gear, threw it in the apartment (which turned out to be absolutely stunning), and headed to a delicious authentic Mexican restaurant. Because once again, we hadn’t eaten all day. #StillAmateurs
That was two weeks ago. Now I’m sitting here, sun-soaked and happy as heck, ready to take on the Arizona desert. This life really is a dream.
5 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE Moving Across the Country:
- Stopping for true meals on the road is key. Don’t starve. Don’t live on snacks.
- It’s smart to scope out apartments in-person well in advance of moving. Don’t just trust pictures. Though mine turned out great!
- It takes a while to truly find your groove/new normal. Don’t rush it. Relax. Have some fun. And let life shake out naturally.
- Moving WILL change things between you and your friends. Your relationships will shift. That’s OK. The Universe is making room for the good stuff.
- JUST DO IT ALREADY. What are you waiting for?