So, if you just started following us, we did something crazy this year. We packed up our life and moved across the country from Columbus, Ohio to Denver, Colorado. When we started to tell people we were moving to Colorado, some of our friends and family were baffled. To some, the announcement came out of nowhere. But in reality, this was one of our dreams, conceived over four years ago, when we sat down and challenged ourselves to establish our ideal vision for our life.
Sooo, you’re probably wondering: WHEN DID THIS START?!
At the time, we were on the verge of our oldest kids starting school, so we were thinking about where we wanted them to go to school, what experiences we wanted them to have, what type of community we wanted to invest in.
This made us think about our dreams, goals, and current state of life. We knew we weren’t where we wanted to be, but needed to establish a destination and create a road map. That’s when we started to list out everything we wanted for ourselves and our family, for the rest of the life we do have.
We went really back and forth on the thought of moving because we both grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Our families are there, a lot of our friends are there. We weren’t sure if we were ready to leave that safety net and the people we loved. So, we talked regularly about what it would look like to move, what would make it easier or harder, and what we were really looking for.
For us, the long, gray winters, and the hot, humid summers in Ohio were really hard, so two of the major, recurring themes were that we wanted better weather and more time outside. Everywhere we visited, including Nashville, Charleston, California, and North Carolina, we discussed, “What would it be like to live here? Would we like it?” We talked regularly about our hopes and dreams, and visualized how we wanted our life to look.
“Follow your envy.”
Something I (Nicole) heard in a podcast, that has deeply resonated with me ever since, is the phrase, “Follow your envy.” I like this quote because it encourages me to go after what I really want. If you’re constantly seeing things that other people are doing and you feel like you’re missing out, or you’re jealous, or you wish you can be doing that too, FOLLOW THAT. Do that thing. Find a way to incorporate it into your life. After you figure out what you really want, you start to ask yourself, “What would it take?” Then, as you look deeper into the logistics of how to make that dream actually work, you can start deciding whether you really want to do what it takes to make that dream a reality.
Of all the places we could have moved across the country to, we chose Colorado for the climate (featuring 300+ sunny days per year), great suburbs with a lot of parks and excellent schools, conveniently located grocery stores, a view that’s inspiring even on a bad day, a large city that provides lots of opportunity, an airport with direct flights to almost anywhere, and an environment that promotes our hobbies and interests.
HOW WE PLANNED
We designated time for kid-free meetings, when we planned our business and personal calendars far in advance, found service and medical providers, and mapped out our businesses for the month before and the month after the move.
To prepare financially for this move, we restructured our businesses to be more remote, and used Ally Bank’s savings buckets to save aggressively. It may sound too expensive to move across the country, but because we saved money intentionally and over a long period of time, we were able to handle the $6,500.00 of moving expenses, with money left over for furnishing and repairs.
When we started digging into answers about what it would take to make this dream a reality, we were able to strategize our assets, debts/liabilities, interest rates, taxes, and income. In order to keep the new mortgage payment a little lower, we put more than 20% down. Also, property taxes are way lower in Colorado than they were in Ohio, and that alone saves us $500.00 per month on our mortgage. So to make this dream a reality, it cost us about $1,500 a month more.
HOW WE STAYED ORGANIZED
To stay organized and somewhat sane, we purged a TON of our belongings. We bought a lot of furniture from our sellers (who have impeccable taste), and sold most of our furniture. When packing, kept related items in boxes and labeled which room they’d go in. We hired movers for a few hours in Columbus and a few hours in Denver, and we organized our belongings as we put them away.
During the travel, Mark took the Uhaul and Jeep alone while I stayed behind with the kids to pack and sort last minute things. There will always be last minute things and that’s something we mentally prepared for so we didn’t feel overwhelmed when the time actually came. Once the Columbus house was empty, it was time for the kids to make their way to their new home. By utilizing our traveling favorites, it went smoother than hoped.
We’re sharing this with the hope of inspiring you to follow your own dreams. Especially on social media, when we see others living big dreams, it can be easy to assume that they’re just lucky. However, it takes a lot of work and planning to get there. As long as you’re willing to put pen to paper and put the work in, you can achieve anything you dream up. When you start asking what it would take, instead of just brushing off the idea, you really can do what it takes to make it possible.