Moving across the country, away from familiar conveniences and comfort vices has been one - if not the hardest - journeys I have taken. And it's not just figuring out what new grocery store I am going to visit regularly or what new takeout place creates the perfect blend of tabbouleh and grape leaves (still have yet to find this place). It's all of the events and unanticipated things that have happened along the way that have made it extremely challenging. I can chalk part of this up to the uncanny timing Dustin and I chose when deciding to making the journey out to Seattle and a few defining moments along the way.
The Conversation on Moving - March 17, 2017
- I met with one my closest friends - Hanna - to record my very first (and never since published) podcast episode for my website/blog based out of Grand Rapids - GrabGR. I remember feeling so accomplished and excited about this new venture of the brand I was building.
- I arrived home that night, barely placing my podcasting equipment on the dining room table before Dustin excitedly chimed in, "So, what do you think about moving to Seattle?" #curveball
From the start, Dustin told me we wouldn't have a ton of time to think this over but should consider everything in the small window of time we did have. The next day after work, we grabbed a beer at Horrock's Grocery and Tavern and I told him I supported his decision if this truly was the career opportunity he wanted but we had to be in it, together - 110%. This was the start of our goodbyes to family, friends and familiarity of the past decade.
Hello, Seattle. Nice to Meet You. - April 14, 2017
- Dustin's company moved quickly with the timeline of his transition from their corporate office in Michigan to an Outside Sales career based out of Seattle. We flew out to the Emerald City to find an apartment not quite a month after our initial conversation.
- This trip was my first to Seattle and Dustin's third visit. I teared up as we flew over Sea-Tac airport getting ready to land. I kept thinking - this is my home? This foreign place, this body of water, those mountains, this land I have never set foot on? I knew there was no turning back and sincerely hoped I didn't hate my new city. #holyshitmoment
We stayed downtown at the Kimpton Alexis - exercising comfort with a familiar hotel chain - and made a home base in the city for a couple days while venturing to find a new home. I am used to the splendors of Seattle now but I remember feeling overwhelmed with how much of - everything - is available here. Being the little sister of tech, Seattle makes everything accessible and you don't have to travel far in any neighborhood to experience convenience and locality. This was comforting on a new level for me and sparked wanderlust to experience everything I could on our stay. I officially started my GrabSeattle Instagram our first day in SEA-town.
While we chose an apartment in West Seattle, our own home in GR was being bid on with the help of my friend Hanna (also our GR real estate agent).
Sold! Celebrate with a Honeymoon. - May 26, 2017 to June 14, 2017
- We experienced a boom of offers for our beloved, historic home in the East Hills neighborhood of GR; which boded well for us since our timeline was strict and unforgiving for errors. We officially closed as sellers on our home on May 19, 2017 and packed up the house to be crated in containers for a few weeks while we took our honeymoon.
- Yes, I said honeymoon (uncanny timing, remember?). We had a three week vacation in Europe planned almost a year beforehand. So, we celebrated the sale of our house, my birthday, our one-year anniversary, our friends wedding on the Lake Michigan shore and a temporary farewell to our dog-son, Marius - before boarding a plane to Amsterdam on May 28.
The Journey to the SEA - June 16, 2017
- We left around 5:00am on Friday June 16, 2017 and boy, was I feeling rough. Why did I think many murky, mystery sours from Bell's Brewing combined with world-series level emotions would be a great idea before an 18-hour drive? Oh yea, cause I got caught up in the moment of not seeing best friends for months if not close to a year. #FOMO
- It took a total of 3 days to make it to Seattle: 18 hours the first two days and the last day, a short five hour drive from Spokane to our new apartment in West Seattle.
Travelling across the Snoqualmie Pass and seeing the never-ending sprawl of evergreens encompassing us on both sides - only to be shadowed out by the twisting curves of the road and terrifying altitude - it started to hit me like a brick wall again: this is my new home and I am here for good.
Once we crossed the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Floating Bridge from Mercer Island (where Bill Gates lives - this was the first fact I learned about this famed little island), we descended into our final twenty minutes of our journey to start our new lives.
We left a part of our lives behind that will also be cherished as our Grand Rapids chapter. Thankfully, we have many friends that still live there so we can visit and relish in nostalgia. Creating this change for ourselves has been the most rewarding experience for us in our lives. This past year has taught me many things about myself and what I truly want - to emotionally connect with each other, the world and nature around us in this beautiful city and state we now call home.