I’m SO excited to finally be sharing this with all of you, because it was such a huge, life changing experience for me. This past July, my boyfriend Kyle and I (and our two pugs, of course) decided to leave home, and set out on an adventure to move halfway across the country to Dallas, Texas. We were both born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We lived a very comfortable life with steady jobs, and we were surrounded by family and friends, but something felt like it was missing.
From the very start of our relationship 3 years ago, we promised to always have trust in each other and to take leaps, regardless of anyone’s opinion. When the winter of 2015 came around, Kyle was interviewing for a promotion at work that he didn’t end up getting, Pennsylvania was getting hit with massive snow storms, I was working a split shift, and we were left feeling unfulfilled. The new year came around, and at the beginning of 2016, we started to look at other cities and weigh our options. Texas was one of the first places that he mentioned, so we booked a trip and decided to see which city we liked the best: Dallas, Austin, or Houston.
In March of 2016, we hopped on a plane in Philadelphia, and landed 3 hours later in Dallas. This was the very first stop on our tour, and eventually ended up being our final destination. From the minute we stepped off the plane, we just knew. We found a local bar that we fell in love with, and throughout the week, no matter where we went in Texas, we knew our hearts were in Dallas.
When we got home from our trip, our minds were made up, and we were determined to get back to Dallas as soon as possible. After months of applying for jobs, Kyle finally found a job in his field of work, and we had very little time to pack up, find somewhere to live, and get there. Three days before we were ready to leave, we were told that our place would not be ready to move into yet, and we had to find a new place to live. Luckily, our realtor busted his tail, and found us a place in the most picture perfect location.
The week we left was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I was terrified, sad to leave home, and worried that all of this was going to fall apart. I was exhausted from packing up and loading our trailer (until the wee hours of the morning the night before our stuff got whisked away to Texas.) There were so many stressful moments that week, and it was only the beginning.
Wednesday finally came around, and it was our last day in Pennsylvania. We spent the day with family and friends, and soaked up as much time as we had with them. I went to dinner with my family, cried for 90% of it, and barely touched my food. I remember feeling like I was invited to my own funeral. This was going to be my first time away from home. I had never gone away to college, and this was huge for me. My car battery ended up dying after dinner, and my dad had to drive me to Wal-Mart to buy a new one. Mind you, this was the day I was supposed to leave to drive halfway across the country, so you can imagine how well I handled that. After lots of hugging and crying, I kissed my family goodbye and headed back to Kyle and his family. Again, we cherished our final moments with the people that we were leaving behind. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as hard as I did when our 2-year old niece ran into my arms to hug me goodbye. To this day, I still cry every time I think about it.
Around 11 pm, we packed up our belongings, grabbed our puppies, and hit the road. We made one last stop at Wawa for coffee and snacks (yes, I still miss Wawa every single day!) We each drove our own car, so I followed Kyle the whole way, with the dogs in my back seat. It didn’t take us long at all to get out of Pennsylvania, and I’m pretty sure I cried the entire way out of our home state. It was smooth sailing until we hit West Virginia. Our cars came to a stop at about 2am because of a massive truck fire up ahead. We were stuck there for a few hours, and tried our best not to get too sleepy. After that cleared up, we drove until about 9am, when we finally stopped at a hotel for some much needed sleep near the border of Virginia and Tennessee. This was my favorite part of the trip, not only because we finally got to sleep, but because I got to experience my dog’s reaction to riding in an elevator, which was priceless. We slept for about 5 hours, and then hit the road again at about 3pm. We drove all the way to the other side of Tennessee, where we stopped at a rest stop to take a 2 hour snooze around midnight. I remember having a movie playing on my phone just so I could stay awake. Not the safest idea, but it was better than music at this point, because my voice was practically gone from doing “car karaoke” to keep myself entertained. By the time we hit Arkansas, my back bumper was dragging on the highway, (one of the screws was loose when we left Pennsylvania, and the farther we drove, the more it fell off.) We stopped at a gas station, where Kyle duct taped my bumper back on! (In case you were wondering, the duct tape has held up and it’s still on my car 7 months later!)
Finally, after about 30 hours of driving, we pulled up to our apartment complex, exhausted and ready for a nap. We signed our lease papers, and headed into our new apartment. We beat our moving truck, so we sat on the empty floor of our new living room for about 2 hours and napped before we had to wake up and start unloading. The following 48 hours were the most exhausting hours of my life. Just when we thought we couldn’t get more tired, the universe threw 106 degree Texas heat at us, and told us to unload our hot trailer of stuff onto the second floor, by ourselves. Luckily we had a few friends come to our rescue, and they helped us get the majority of our stuff into the apartment.
On Monday, Kyle started his first day of work at his new job. I had an interview that day as well, but didn’t have a job lined up yet. After about 2 weeks, I landed a job, and in the meantime, Kyle realized very quickly that he hated his new job. He was being forced to cut wages, fire good employees, make excuses for the bad employees, work 12 hour days, and it just was not for him. He left that job, and started working for a closet design company, which he ended up hating too. He picked up a job back in the field he was used to, and worked there for about a month, until he decided that wasn’t for him either. After that, he spent about 3 weeks searching for a job that he truly loved. Luckily, he found exactly that. He absolutely fell in love with his current job, and hasn’t looked back since.
Adjusting to our new home, and being away from our families has been difficult, but we are so happy here, and so fortunate to have such an amazing place to live. We live within walking distance of the lake, multiple shopping complexes and restaurants. Anywhere we want to go is typically a $10-$15 Uber ride, and there are an infinite amount of things to do in Dallas. The weather is beautiful, we haven’t had to shovel any snow this year, and we are thrilled with our new lives. I am so unbelievably proud of this huge accomplishment, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am proud to have such a strong, and amazing human being as my partner, and I am so excited to see what new adventures the future holds for us.
I will post some photos below from our big move! Leave me a comment to let me know what big leaps you’ve taken in your life, or what kind of leaps you hope to take in the future.