- Q. When are you moving? How are you getting there?
- A. I'm flying to Portland on October 15th. However, I'm moving out of my current apartment by September 30th, because that's when my lease ends. From the 1st through the 15th, I will most likely be crashing at Maya leadsynth and Mike mrr's place.
- Q. You're flying? How's your stuff going to get there?
- A. Yeah. I originally was going to rent a truck and make the whole thing into a Big Road Trip Adventure starring Maya, Mike, and me. But I don't own enough stuff to justify renting a truck, even a smallish one, and once it turned out that Mike couldn't get off work to go, and that Maya would have to put herself under some serious pre-trip pressure at work in order to be able to go, I realized that maybe it just wasn't the best idea for anyone. I've decided to go with these folks. They provide a container that I pack up and that they then ship to Portland and store until I'm ready for it to be delivered. I'm a little skeptical, but less skeptical than I am of my own ability to drive a huge truck across mountains.
- Q. What's the address? What's the place like?
- A. The address is 4928 SE 74th. It's a house share -- the top floor of the house (about 750 square feet; two rooms and a bathroom) will be mine. There are a few housemates: Amanda, Bill, and possibly one or two others at some point in the future. Amanda owns the house and has been doing a lot of DIY repair work on it. From the way she talks about the house, I can tell she's very proud of it. They just finished sheetrocking and painting the upstairs, so I'll essentially have brand-new walls in my part of the house. I had requested that she paint it something other than the standard, boring off-white, but hadn't asked for anything specific. Five days ago, she wrote me with, "We have some orange going on in your front room, the stairs leading up are yellow/gold. It looks really vibrant and very Portland. The painting will continue this week; this weekend we will treat and paint your floor and install your doors." Yay! Exciting.
- Q. Do you have any friends out there?
- A. A few. Ariel arielgodwin, Roy royhuggins (and soon Electra eliciel), Joe karzon, Brian Smith, Jim jwithington, and Matt and Jenn are all there. I might have forgotten to list someone. (Also, my good friends Tanny, Daniel, and Shelly will be a two-, three-, and four-hour drive away, respectively. I probably won't get to see them a whole lot, but I'll get to see them a whole lot more than if I were to stay here.)
- Q. What about work?
- A. I'll still be a web designer/developer for the company I'm with now. I'll be working for them remotely. I think I'm going to make one of the upstairs rooms into an office. The house is all set with wireless and all that. It's pretty sweet.
- Q. Why are you moving?
- A. For one thing, I really wanted to get the working-remotely arrangement, because I think I'll be happier, healthier, and more productive working from home, plus it frees me up to live anywhere I want in the future, supposing Portland doesn't work out, or if I just get the urge to move, or if I inherit a palace in Denmark or something (hey, you never know). I couldn't very well ask to start working remotely without, well, needing to, so I basically had to go somewhere far enough away that it would be impossible for me to physically come into the office.
- Q. Yeah, okay, fine, but why Portland?
A. Well, it first came on the radar about a year ago, when Jim told me how he was really interested in moving there. Around the same time, my co-worker Matt (and his fiancee Jenn, although I didn't know her at the time) made the move, and that made me start to wonder if I couldn't do the same thing. Much later, after Jim and I started dating, he lent me a book about Portland that I found fascinating. At the same time, I was starting to get weary of Chicago and ready for a change of scenery in my life. In April, the two of us went on a week-long trip out there which was basically the high point of my whole year. I caught up with old friends, met new ones, saw beautiful mountains and forests, and generally had an amazing time. I'm the sort of person who usually really likes coming home, and I've loved Chicago for a long time, but upon arriving back home from this trip, my gut reaction was basically, "Ew, yuck. Can I go back to Portland now?" (Granted, I was in a parking lot outside of Midway airport, so that probably wasn't exactly a fair assessment of Chicago, but.)
It was becoming more and more likely that Jim would move, and we were getting more couple-y, so that provided a lot of the impetus for my decision, but I also made sure that I really wanted to go for my own reasons, in case the whole relationship thing didn't work out, as ended up happening. Another big factor was the fact that I hadn't been able to get a band started in Chicago, which I consider to be my biggest failure of the past year or so, and everyone I talked to told me that it would be easier to do that in Portland for a lot of reasons -- lower start-up costs, a friendlier and more tightly knit music scene, and so on. Then there were my friends and relatives who had been there or lived there, all of whom were telling me that I was well suited for Portland. And then I found out that I could keep my job and move, so that pretty much sealed the deal.
And I keep getting little assurances that I'm doing the right thing. For instance, I just found out that my old friend Ariel lives there now and loves it. Ariel, I couldn't be happier for you, and I can't wait to see you again. Woohoo!