Life Moves – by Emily

When Todd & I lived in California, we knew we wanted to leave our city. We were offered the opportunity to move here – Rochester, Minnesota – and we jumped on it. We knew that if he worked as a surgical tech for a few years at the hospital here, we would have the ability to move anywhere.

Living in Minnesota has been such a great (also way too cold at times) experience, but we  can’t pretend it’s a long-term stay for us.


So here we are, it’s getting close to the 2 year mark – and we’ve decided what’s next. I’m so excited & nervous! I keep getting the chills just thinking about it!

In short, we’re going to temporarily live everywhere for who-knows-how-long.

You’re probably thinking, “uhhhh, what?” – Here’s how its going down:

Todd’s going to pursue a career of being a traveling surgical tech. This means we’ll be living in different places (of choice) for about 3 months at a time. In the meantime, my plan is to work as a substitute teacher during the school year & at other fun, part-time jobs until I figure out what I really want to do (that’s another blog post to come).


Where do we want to go?

As of now, the Pacific Northwest is calling. Or Northern California. Luckily, we get to pretty much choose where we’d like to go. We’ll find out 4-6 weeks in advance and then we’ll head over! Portland, OR is the dream at this point, but we are willing to settle for other NW coastal areas, too.

So what does this mean for me?

This means A LOT for me. I feel like this is opening a lot of doors. I feel like I’ll be able to pursue a lot of more of my hobbies and things I enjoy doing. I can bike, run, create, blog, be outside, challenge myself, etc.. Also, in my last post I explained how I want everything to be changing all the time. To be honest, I feel like this is opening the door for me to finally    B E   M Y S E L F and discover my identity.

How do I feel about it all?

More than anything – I am beyond excited. I’m shaking right now because I’m so ready for this. This is what I want – I know it. And I’m so grateful to be doing this with Todd. I also feel very nervous & scared for multiple reasons. One is that I’m putting my plans out there and telling friends, family, and potentially the whole world. That’s legitimately scary for me because… what if the plans don’t follow through? what if we fail? what will people think? are we making a stupid decision?

I know the answer to all of these questions. It’s “who cares?”, but the doubts still lurk a little & it’s hard to ignore them in these beginning stages.

Seriously though, I don’t actually care what people think. This is what. I. want. – most importantly! And I’m excited!

What are we going to do with all of our stuff? What will we pack & bring with us?

This also makes me nervous + excited. We are debating between two things:

  1. Get rid of some of our stuff (donate + sell)
    • clothes, bulky furniture, books, bedding, kitchen stuff
    • keep our bed, a few tables, most clothes, books, etc.
    • rent a van to lug everything into storage until we live somewhere permanently
  2. Get rid of almost everything.
    • we will travel cross-country with whatever fits in our car. Our bikes will be strapped on the outside and we’ll camp along the way.
    • we’ll sell and get rid of practically everything.
    • we’ll bring keepsakes, laptops, camera, clothes, kitchen items we love, a few books, camping gear, and some other essentials.

We need to plan.

Yeah, we need to plan. We’re going to put up a giant paper across the wall in our living room today and make it into a huge calendar. With daily to-do lists, weekly goals, what we can do during downtime, due dates, etc.

We need to save money.

This means minimal “going out,” frugal grocery shopping, paying off debt, and working as much as possible. I’m going to add dates/goals for this to the wall calendar.

How will it feel to only have temporary housing? What is “home”?

I love our duplex here, it’s so fun and open and bright. It has large bay windows, white walls, a humongous kitchen, hardwood floors, and an arched entryway to the living room. It isn’t our home, though.

Home is just being with each other and having the joy of being outside. It’s being happy to be alive and being able to see excitement and growth in each other. It’s having a lot of people in our lives and being able to pursue activities and hobbies that we love. It’s having a refreshing life inside & outside. Home is transitional for me.

Read what Todd had to say about the big life change here.


So we have a few questions for you guys:

  1. Have you ever had a big move like this? If so, do you have any tips & tricks for us?
  2. Have you ever had a pivotal moment in your life? Tell us about it!
  3. Do you have any tips for moving in general?
  4. Have you ever lived in temporary housing?
  5. Any recommendations for camping anywhere between Minnesota & California? We are thinking about staying at Arches National Park but that’s all we haven mind at this point.

14 thoughts on “Life Moves – by Emily”

  1. I think this is absolutely wonderful! I am so exited for you and can’t wait to see the pictures of your travels.

    If it can be fit into your budget, I would recommend packing everything you want to store into a Pod. When you reach someplace more long term then you can have it picked up and moved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SO EXCITED FOR YOU BOTH!! If you do end up in the Pacific NW, feel free to swing by our place in Eugene and spend the night in our guest room anytime! We would love to have you!


  3. OMG YASSSSS! You won’t fail, and it isn’t a crummy idea, it’s an amazing experience! Get a van and have the best of both worlds. What was said about PODs is perfect for long term storage + transportation, and in the meantime, have a van so you can camp anywhere you please, even in crummy weather. If you have any questions about moving or temporary housing (4 yrs in the military experience with those), or living on the road, etc, I’m happy to help!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My friend has been traveling back and forth across the country for the past 7 years. First time in a van, second time on foot, then on bike, then camper in camper. I will see if she can compile a list of camping places on the way to northern California from Rochester Minnesota.


  5. My daughter lives in Portland, OR. Enjoy!

    My husband and I are in the process of selling our bricks & sticks home after we sell, donate most of our possessions. We already have a truck and 5th wheel to travel full-time. We’re trying to limit what we put into storage. We’re not ready to retire. But we both have jobs that we can do online. Today I’m emptying out the china closet.


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