If you've been on my email list for the past month or so, you definitely know how much I love living in California and how worth it this decision was, despite the uncertainty, fear, and huge leap of faith it required.
This was a huge move for me. It wasn't just quitting my corporate job and moving to California. It was the courage to say YES to a goal I had been working toward for years.
Saying YES to something new.
YES to the unknown.
YES to ditching the standard path in favor of going with my gut feeling.
I wanted to share a few takeaways I've come up with now that the dust has settled from the transition.
If you have a big change coming up, here are some things you may consider:
1. Set a goal and stick to it.
On December 26, 2015, I made a goal to move to California by May 2016.
I didn't move until October 2016.
Did I fail? Absolutely not!
Despite working toward my goal every single day, it took longer than I anticipated for many reasons.
Instead of getting down on yourself for not reaching a goal by a certain time, just keep going.
It will be worth it. You've already come so far.
2. Listen to your gut.
I didn't have a job before I moved...but I listened to my gut. And I survived!
Part of not having a job set up was because I was dealing with major burnout: from my corporate job (our staff was down ~50% so there was a lot of extra work to be done, which was fine, just draining), from keeping up with home maintenance since the house was on the market, from planning a trip to Southeast Asia (which I had to cancel due to pushing back the move date), and from not sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night....
The morning after my last day of work, I drove out to California for the weekend to look for a place and see some friends/family. When I got back that Monday I slept for 12 hours straight and took two naps the following day. Haha! #SoDrained
...but part of it was also this feeling deep down that I did not want to apply for "traditional" jobs, at least not right away.
When people kept bombarding me with questions on my employment situation, I felt that enormous pressure many of us feel to "get a real job." Being well aware of the high cost of living in California added to this too...
Still, reviewing job postings filled me with dread, and I couldn't bring myself to apply to any. Glassdoor reviews for some of these jobs had employees talking about poor company culture or the politics within management - things I wanted - needed - to get away from.
Following my gut feeling brought me to land multiple freelance projects upon moving to California, and I really like where they're heading.
And by doing so, I've opened up more travel opportunities that many traditional jobs would not allow. #win!
Everything happens for a reason. If your intuition is telling you something, listen to it.
3. Live your best life
I'll be honest. After living in Italy, DC, and (briefly) back home in Seattle, I moved to Arizona to get a change and see the sun for once in my life.
My goal was to move to California or DC but I knew I needed to save up a lot of money before that would be possible.
I expected to live there only 6-8 months. I didn't even get Arizona license plates!
However, I got eventually got my dream job (it was my dream job at that time) and decided to stay - I lived there for over two years.
After a while, though, it felt like I was working simply to survive as I was breaking even financially and there was nowhere to move up within the department. The purpose was no longer there and I hit a ceiling in terms of my learning.
Outside of work I spent every hour growing this blog, aiming to reach as many people and help them travel outside of work. I planned my short-term work + travel trips and eagerly looked forward to my summer work + travel opportunity in Europe!
After moving to California, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner. The enormous amount of happiness I feel living in what is currently my dream city is incredibly uplifting.
There hasn't been a day yet where I don't get giddy and excited, thinking I did it! I live here, and I love living here.
How can you live your best life? Would a new city or new travel opportunity contribute to your happiness?
I took some videos, photos, and made some notes during this period, unsure if I'd post them online or create a video.
After adjusting to life in California I decided to put together a vlog of my move: my last day at work, visiting CA for the weekend, and then the official move.
Have a watch and make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel as I plan to post some more vlogs of my travels & life in California!
Comment below or tweet me: What enormous decisions have you made and how have those changed your life?