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Seeking New Adventures

We are moving to California in June! It still doesn’t seem quite real, but as we start making plans to move and rent out our house, it’s becoming more and more real. It’s a big move for us, but not unexpected in the eyes of our close family and friends. We’ve been living in the DC area (Northern Virginia to be more specific) since 2009, but we’ve never really embraced the southern culture of Virginia or the work-first mentality of DC. Our obsession with the outdoors has stemmed from our need to find balance in these environments where we don’t quite fit.

With our careers, we know we will be in the DC area until we retire. However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been keeping our eye out for opportunities to temporarily relocate. Sadly, none of those other opportunities really felt right to us, but this time around everything is falling into place and we are jumping feet first into a new adventure. This isn’t the first time we have done this. In fact, the last time we took off on an epic adventure we ended up in DC. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Even after everything I mentioned about our struggles with living here, it really was the right decision for us and we plan on coming back. We’ve found that balancing good careers with as much time in nature and travel as possible, makes for a fulfilling life. 

Reality Sets In

It’s been a whirlwind since we found out late last week that Hubs got the job, but it’s all finally starting to sink in as we begin planning for our move. For me, the biggest reality check for me was when I had to put in my notice at my job earlier this week. I’ve had a job since I was 14 and after May 18th I won’t. Yes, you read that correctly, I won’t be finding a job when we are in California. I’m going to take a professional gap year (I’ll write a separate post about this later) during our time out there to finish my rehab from my ankle surgery and do some volunteering. While it was hard to put in my notice at work, Hubs and I both know I need the time to focus on my health and we are making that a priority. 

I won’t be off work forever, because we will be moving back to DC in a year or two and plan to restart my career at that time. Yes, you read that correctly, we will be moving back to DC in a year or two. The new job is actually being relocated to the DC area and we will move back when it does. I’m sure there are a few readers out there who wonder why we would even take the job when we will end up right where we start. I get it, I really do, but we live our lives in a manner that has us always seeking new adventures and experiences. It keeps us true to our inner compasses, engaged in the world beyond our community, and challenges us both mentally and physically. We love it. 

Our Destination

Yes, we are moving to California. No, we don’t know where specifically – yet. We do know we will be moving to the Central Coast of California and will be in the Santa Barbara area. We don’t have a house yet, but we will be looking to rent one in the coming weeks. Santa Barbara will be a great base for our lifestyle due to its proximity to beaches, mountains, and National Parks. Basically, adventures await down every road. Woot!

The best part about this opportunity is that it gives us a chance to live back out on the West Coast. We miss the vibe out there, the weather, and the culture. We also have a ton of family and friends in Oregon and Las Vegas, which means we will get to “hang out” with folks more often than we do now. It’s a win-win in our book. 

Help Us Plan Our California Adventures!

In the map below, I’ve put together a quick list of places we want to visit and explore while we are in California (like those National Parks I mentioned earlier). For those of you who have been to/live in California, what are we missing? What are your favorite outdoor places (state parks, locations within any public land unit, local parks, hikes, etc.)? What are your favorite restaurants? Where do you like to go to get away from it all? We welcome any suggestions or tips in the comment section below or on social media. 

Thanks in advance for all your guidance! 

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Also, to my #ParkChat friends, I’m also keeping a list of people we need to visit on our travels. So please message me your home parks so I can loop you in when planning our travels. :)