Merriam-Webster defines home as one’s place of residence. Yeah…that just doesn’t do it for me. Urban Dictionary hit the nail on the head this time.
home That person against whom you can rest your head and your heart and everything feels safe
Matt and I bought our first home in 2010, 1 month before our daughter was born. Our 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in northeast Florida served us so well for the 8 years that we loved and learned there. But the bigger the kids grew, the smaller the house got. So after we returned from our trip to England we thought it was time to make a move to a bigger home. That conversation brought up soooo many other topics. Matt had been at his job for over 10 years, and while it was a great, steady job….he just wasn’t feeling fulfilled. He was stagnant and had zero opportunity for growth. So all of a sudden, we weren’t just going to be selling our starter home…he would also be looking for another job.
We had decided that Florida just wasn’t the place for us. While all of our friends and family live there…so did the surface of the sun and smothering humidity. We just couldn’t take it anymore. So we decided that we would stay with my mom in North Carolina while we were…you know…figuring out our life. At 36 and 31 years old. With 2 kids. Whatevs….
I have a younger brother that is in the medical field as well. Kevin is unmarried ( for now at least…we all LOVE his girlfriend *hint hint*), kidless and adventurous. So when he graduated school and began looking into career opportunities his travel driven spirit landed him with a company that finds medical professionals 13 week assignments all over the country. We were all super excited to see where he would be going (and vicariously living through him) and promised to visit him wherever he was. His first location was in Montana….in the winter. Yeah no….I wasn’t jumping the gun on that one. I would just check out his frigid pics on Facebook.
His second assignment, however, was far more appealing. He and my hopeful future sister in law scored an assignment in Northern California, smack dab in the middle of the Redwoods…..I guess I could go visit there. It just so happened that my best friend and brunette twin who lives in Portland, Oregon was getting married in September…the same time that Kev would be in NorCal. Crescent City is only a 5 hour drive from Portland….sweeeet. *Actively Starts Searching For Airline Tickets*
We listed our home for sale in early August and accepted an offer a week later. Oh my god, ok, it’s happening! So here it is, the middle of August, hot as hell and 15678% Florida humidity, Matt had already put in his 2 weeks notice at work *breathing into a paper bag at this point* and we were packing to move AND to visit my brother and BFF. The mini-McGinns would be staying with Nana, so we were traveling solo for the first time in our 11 year relationship. Don’t judge.
We flew into Portland ( I didn’t even cry once y’all! Totally kicked fear and anxiety’s bootay. No big deal…) and spent the next few days in full party/wedding mode. We were having so much fun, but we weren’t really able to do any Oregon sightseeing. Bummer, because we heard it was so beautiful.
We could NOT WAIT to go spend a week in the Redwoods. We went on a 3 mile hike to Boy Scout Tree, had a picnic at “Sneaky Beach” overlooking the Pacific Ocean and kayaked down the Smith River. The whole time I’m thinking, “This dude is legit getting paid to live here.”
That visit with my brother really opened our eyes to this whole “Travel Job” thing, as we started to call it. Here he was in the middle of this awesome location, gaining experience in his career, meeting new people and exploring new places….and getting paid for it! C’mon, that’s amazing.
During this entire mini-vacay we were signing documents for the sale of our house and scheduling logistics of our move…but in the back of our minds all we could hear was “Travel Job. Travel Job. Travel Job.”
We got back to Florida, packed up our lives, closed on our house and drove to North Carolina. *Side note…packing was actually pretty easy considering how much we minimized! More on that in a later post!*
We were there for 3 months contemplating life and our next move. We finally decided to just go for it! We knew we wanted to travel, but we also needed an income. Matt filled out an online application here and in less than an hour he got a call from a super friendly radiology recruiter, Chelsea. She walked him through the entire process and gave him a list of things to get in order before she started submitting him for different assignments.
By early December his resume’ had been submitted to several different hospitals around the country. Nebraska, Minnesota…..Oregon. OMG. *Please get Oregon, Please get Oregon*
We flew to Texas to spend Christmas with my dad and Kevin (who just drove in from Crescent City). We were out getting lunch shortly after we landed in Houston when Matt got the call from Providence Hospital in Portland. He stepped outside to take the call and came skipping back inside (ok…not skipping, just smiling…) saying he got the assignment in Portland. CAN YOU SAY, YAAASSS?!We were so excited to be able to really explore the place we had briefly visited just a few months before!
During our Texas trip, the logistics of a cross country trip were in full swing! Finding an apartment, discussing travel routes, Matt was busy working with Kevin to get all of his required physicals and tests done before the assignment (Kevin was simultaneously getting ready for his next assignment in San Diego). Matt’s recruiter with Fusion was so helpful you guys! She was never more than a quick text, email or phone call away! All of this while still making Christmas and New Year’s magical…standing ovation accepted, thank you.
We flew back to Charlotte on January 4th and left for Portland on January 11th. We like to live dangerously.
Moral of this post- follow your heart, y’all. Minimize, donate your stuff, prioritize your life, take the risk, dream big, stay scared of how big those dreams are and let it drive you forward, stay hungry for more out of life, love your family fiercely, laugh out loud, cry out loud, MAKE THE MOVE.
Home is wherever you are with the people you love.
Exciting times ahead!
Keep moving, people!