This week marks the 1 year anniversary of our moving back to the pacific northwest from Arizona. As always seems to be the case, that year seems to have flown by.
What many of you probably don’t know is that I grew up in northern Idaho and it was my joining the USAF that took me to Arizona in the first place. I served in the USAF for 10 years before I left active duty. I had always intended to return back to the northwest after leaving the military, but it just never seemed like the right time to do so. I went into business for myself for a number of years and after that took a job that lead to the day job that I have today. It really came as a shock when I looked back on things and realized that I actually spent more time in Arizona while not in the USAF.
Some people love the desert, I never did. Truth be told, I never even liked it. While I never actually liked the desert, there are two things that I do love from my time in Arizona, one is the life long friends that I made there and the other is the Arizona monsoon. I only ever tolerated the heat and even after 20 plus years of living in the desert, it still seems wrong to not be near trees and water.
Back in late 2011 it became very clear that my wife and I were both quite unhappy living in Arizona, it was time for a change so we boldly decided to pick a date and be moved by then. We picked May 1st 2012 as that date. We told our bosses that we were moving and accepted the fact that we both might need to start looking for new jobs once we got to our new home, fortunately both of our companies agreed to let us work from home. Not having the stress of having to look for new jobs, we were able to start a cross country house hunt.
The house hunt was actually quite interesting. We knew that we were going to move to Olympia but we really didn’t know anyone there, we certainly didn’t have any contacts in the real estate business. I started looking at real estate companies in the Olympia area and was immediately drawn to one for a very simple reason, they were using one of my images on their webpage. It is actually the image at the top of this blog post which I captured back in 2007 when I was in Olympia for work and had uploaded it to my iStockPhoto account. I emailed the company and told them that I had been drawn to their site because they had licensed one of my images and that I wanted to do business with them. I ended up getting a canned response from someone in their office who had obviously not read my email as the first thing they asked was if I had ever been to Olympia before. To make an already long story a little shorter, we ended up getting a referral to the agent we ultimately used through a cousin who is an agent in Idaho.
We had never done a long distance house hunt before, it should go without saying that there was a lot of money spent on airfare and hotels to make trips to look at properties as well as tons of hours spent looking through online listings and emails back and forth to our agent. We ultimately did find the property that met almost all of our needs and desires, and we got the ball rolling on the purchase. If you ever do need a real estate agent in Olympia, I couldn’t recommend Casey Jones highly enough.
All that was left was loading everything we owned into a truck and head north, should be easy enough, but it ended up being one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Due to a number of logistical problems I was going to have to make the trip twice, once in a 28’ Uhaul truck and then again in my Toyota Tacoma. In both cases I would have pets along for the ride. I am not going to go into too much detail as to that part of the move, but I did manage to get that 28’ UHaul truck stuck in the mud in Oregon and to this day every time I see a Uhaul on the highway all I can think is “you poor bastard.”
Again, the past year has flown by and we haven’t done nearly the number of things to our new home that we have wanted to do, but as always time and money are always issues. Stay tuned to this blog though, even though I have been neglecting it more than I should, I do want to use it as motivation to start getting some of the little projects I have planned done.