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Old 10-05-2019, 04:33 PM
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Movin' cross country. No local friends, little money, tiny car.


Gonna either be the worst or the best decision of my life. Probably the former, but I'm a touch pessimistic.

My current job (may I keep it despite current troubles) is a WFH gig but the co. only allows workers in certain cities/regions. I absolutely suck at job hunting and would rather lick Satan's asshole, so I'm going with that limitation. Otherwise, the sky's the limit.

Oh, and so is my bank account. I'm not in debt anymore, thanks and praises be, but I have negligible savings.

I've got very few friends locally anymore, and have decided to finally join the flight out of this sun-baked godforsaken hellhole. Not really, the DFW area is lovely .. but there are vast swaths of the city that make me weep, just driving through, because after 6 years of The Other Shoe's death the loss is still a gaping, oozing wound.

Also my parents are in the area, and my parents-in-law, and I'd rather avoid them all. I'm not that antisocial of a bitch, I swear, but my mother is a toxic cunt, and Other Shoe's parents kicked me out of the house we rented from them a month after he died, and I'd just rather not run into them, yanno?

Finally, I hate the climate. It's miserably hot and muggy outside today. First week of October; I have been told other people are wearing long pants, or even sweaters, which sounds crazy. Shoveling snow, I hear tell. But here, the friggin' AC compressor hasn't shut off all day yet.

Only reason I still dragged myself through existence here was my boyfriend. My I.T. Guy. But we've had problems for a while, they're not getting better and in fact are getting worse, and I'm slowly accepting that it's over between us. There's just too much resentment and toxic pettiness, by now. All respect and affection seem irretrievably gone.

So imma gtf outta here. Somehow.

But the only feasible destination within employment boundaries is Portland OR. Which means hauling what's left of my shit, plus my pets, across the Rockies. Alone. I have a tiny Honda Fit, and I love that little thing but it ain't hauling a U-haul trailer.

I dunno why I'm posting. Advice, maybe? Slap across the face about the stupidity of this idea? Anecdotes about success or failure in similar circumstances? I'll take whatever suggestions y'all have.

But - sing it with me! - we gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there's a better life, for me and you...
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:38 PM
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I say DO IT! Purge a ton of crap you don't need and enjoy the adventure.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:40 PM
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Couple things I forgot. I mentioned the no local friends thing to clarify that I don't have a network of buddies to help pack or anything.

If my job wasn't a factor, I've been eyeballing Ann Arbor, MI. Which might be even more expensive than Portland.

I'm looking for a small city or town, where the state has legalized it, north of the Mason-Dixon because I'm tired of being assaulted by the hot, sticky air as soon as I step outside.

I miss gardening. I miss talking walks. I miss the sun, believe it or not. Not this angry fireball that melts my brain through my ears, but the gentle warmth of blessed UV rays on my skin. Did you know SAD (seasonal affective disorder) isn't just a wintertime thing?
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:42 PM
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My wife and I did something similar not to many years ago. To Dallas . Didn't know anyone etc. It was fine. But money wasn't really a problem. I think that makes a huge difference. You are going to need down payments on a rental plus security deposits for utilities, plus a million other things. If possible I would try and save up as much as possible before you leave. Also getting to be winter here in the PNW. Portland isn't especially cold but it sure is wet and dreary in the winter.

Where did you grow up? Are you used to winter? Have you ever been to Portland?

I like Portland but it is very different than DFW.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
Couple things I forgot. I mentioned the no local friends thing to clarify that I don't have a network of buddies to help pack or anything.

If my job wasn't a factor, I've been eyeballing Ann Arbor, MI. Which might be even more expensive than Portland.

I'm looking for a small city or town, where the state has legalized it, north of the Mason-Dixon because I'm tired of being assaulted by the hot, sticky air as soon as I step outside.

I miss gardening. I miss talking walks. I miss the sun, believe it or not. Not this angry fireball that melts my brain through my ears, but the gentle warmth of blessed UV rays on my skin. Did you know SAD (seasonal affective disorder) isn't just a wintertime thing?
Anywhere in far Northern California fit your work requirements?
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:53 PM
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Congratulations. I admire your decision. Portland rocks! You gonna love it. Lots of good people there.

Keep us deformed.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:54 PM
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I say DO IT! Purge a ton of crap you don't need and enjoy the adventure.
Seconded. Whatever don't 'fit' you don't need. Have fun! Portland seems cool, except the whole 'gas-pumping' thing.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:57 PM
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Portland's great. Get moved to Oregon, then call a PDX Dopefest!
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:02 PM
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Which means hauling what's left of my shit, plus my pets, across the Rockies. Alone.
Head straight west on 40, you'll cross the divide and not even know it, go thru Vegas and up to Portland. Easy drive. Not a lot of hairy mountains.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:46 PM
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I hear Portland is very expensive, but I'm sure you've checked it out. Maybe instead of trying to haul a trailer with your Fit, rent a U-haul truck and haul the car behind it. Good luck with the move!

StG
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:50 PM
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Head straight west on 40, you'll cross the divide and not even know it, go thru Vegas and up to Portland. Easy drive. Not a lot of hairy mountains.
Now that was some straigh shootin' useful info. Thank you, sincerely.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:53 PM
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Anywhere in far Northern California fit your work requirements?
No. Literally all others on the list are places like Alabama, North Carolina, and Utah. Which are lovely, I'm sure, but don't fit 2 major requirements: not blindingly hot, and legalized stuff.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:56 PM
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Rent a U-Haul truck with a trailer. Tow the Honda behind the U-Haul.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:59 PM
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Dang it, if you were moving a couple of months later, I'd come down and convince you to rent the 26 foot Ryder with a car dolly and help ya pack and load and share (by share I mean I'd hog) the driving duties. Been hankerin for a road trip lately.

As it is, can't take the time off from work just yet.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:18 PM
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Westward ho!!

(Not derogatory 'ho', just ho like go!)

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 10-05-2019 at 06:18 PM. Reason: ZO
  #16  
Old 10-05-2019, 06:24 PM
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Dang it, if you were moving a couple of months later, I'd come down and convince you to rent the 26 foot Ryder with a car dolly and help ya pack and load and share (by share I mean I'd hog) the driving duties. Been hankerin for a road trip lately.

As it is, can't take the time off from work just yet.
This isn't a "right now" thing, mostly because I can't get time off work until after the holidays. (CSR for a major retailer. Our PTO is blacked out between Thanksgiving and New Year's.)

So, uh ... how serious were you?
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:26 PM
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Rent a U-Haul truck with a trailer. Tow the Honda behind the U-Haul.
I've driven a U-Haul but never towed something.

How difficult is that? It's an option I considered, but with zero experience handling that task, and no co-pilot or someone to switch off driving, the idea seems fraught.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:41 PM
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Renting a truck & tow dolly to move halfway cross the country will cost you in the neighborhood of $1,500 plus fuel. Assume 10 mpg. Taking just what your Fit will hold will cost you everything it doesn't fit plus fuel, which will be a much lower cost.

Things to be concerned about towing a car: stay away from drive-thru anything because they mean cars, not trucks. You'll have to stay at motels with enough space way at the back of the parking lot where you can park without having to back up.

Having never done it, assume you will not be able to back up, ever, and pick your path & parking spaces accordingly.

Bottom line: If the stuff you have beyond bare subsistence stuff is worth more to you than $1,500, go for it.

Bare subsistence: Your computer setup. A couple suitcases worth of clothes. Kitchen gear you're particularly fond of. Keepsakes & momentos you can't stand to lose. A minimal, one-box-each, assortment of kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, electronic stuff. Oh, and, pets. Lose at least one item off of the above list for each pet.

Last edited by Ethilrist; 10-05-2019 at 06:43 PM. Reason: I like string
  #19  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:00 PM
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But - sing it with me!
From the thread title I was thinking of "King of the Road":

No local friends, little money, tiny car
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes


Best wishes for a successful new start.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:34 PM
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It sounds cheaper to drive to Portland and let a moving company deliver your stuff.

It would suck starting a new job & life with a back injury. Let someone else carry the furniture.

What about your horses and tack Purplehorseshoe?

I recall you posting about your horses?

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-05-2019 at 07:38 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:42 PM
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When my daughter moved from MD to FL, she used one of those pod-type thingies. They dropped it off, she packed it, they took it to her new location, she unpacked. More expensive than a UHaul but less stressful, and cheaper than hiring movers. But figure out what you really really want to take with you - you might be able to ship it yourself and drive with the rest in your car.

Sounds like an exciting adventure ahead!
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:45 PM
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What do you do? Don't forget Colorado is legal. And we have a very nice climate.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:58 PM
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I'd find living in Portland extremely challenging. I love sunny days and dislike going out in the rain. I start getting depressed after several days of continuous rain.

The cooler temps in Portland are a plus.
https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/oregon/portland
Quote:
On average, there are 144 sunny days per year in Portland. The US average is 205 sunny days.

Portland gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 156 days per year.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-05-2019 at 08:01 PM.
  #24  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:02 PM
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Colorado was actually my number one tippy-top choice for ages. Still would be, really. If I disappeared yesterday everyone would tell the cops to start by checking the Denver area.

But I'd have to get a new job, to move there.
It's still definitely a consideration.

But Portland has two key advantages: my current job is portable to that location, and I have two (2!!) friends there.

One of whom I helped move, from Dallas, a year or so ago when she was in a similar spot. I can lean on her, once I'm there. Hell, she's been trying to convince me to move there since she did. Bitch owes me a favor or three.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:08 PM
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Now that was some straigh shootin' useful info. Thank you, sincerely.
You are very welcome. You'll go right past my house. If the timing is right, I'll put you up for the night. Keep us posted and we'll see how it goes.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:09 PM
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I'd find living in Portland extremely challenging. I love sunny days and dislike going out in the rain. I start getting depressed after several days of continuous rain.

The cooler temps in Portland are a plus.
https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/oregon/portland
That is a serious consideration. Part of the reason I want to gtfo of Dallas is that - despite the constant lack of rain, and the relentlessly sunny days - I don't go outside much, because stepping outdoors is literally an assault on my senses.

Moving somewhere that's constantly foggy or rainy might be out of the frying pan & into the fire, so to speak, as far as the SAD symptoms are concerned.

Still. I'm about to turn forty, and I've lived in Texas for thirty fucking years. It's past time for a change.

Later, I'll regret leaving behind decent barbecue and Mexican food, I'm sure.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:15 PM
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Penske is better than U-haul.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:30 PM
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Have the stuff shipped if it doesn't fit in your fit.

I love Portland, but I don't mind drizzle. It's pricey, but there's great food, great recreation (gorgeous hikes are an easy day trip from the city) and just a nice atmosphere. And as cities goes, it smells good. (obviously, it smells different depending on where you are, but the underlying scent of the local air is nice.)
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:38 PM
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Penske is better than U-haul.
I said Ryder, meant penske,
Still, better than uhaul isn't a high bar to clear. Sometimes their maintenance is scary
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:00 PM
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Sit down in your digs now and look around. What stuff do you HAVE to take? Would it be easier AND cheaper in the long run to turf all your stuff here, then scour the local second-hand shops/Craiglist or FB Buy Swap and Sell pages and buy over there?

We moved cross country 3 months ago (from the cold to the OMG IT'S HOT, hot), and downsized dramatically. Still had too much stuff when we got here, and I really wish we'd just brought our computers, books and personal papers.

Pile what you absolutely cannot live without into the back of your car and just GO. Life is too short not to take some chances. Yeah, it might not work, but what's the worst that can happen? And what if it DOES work for you?
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:15 PM
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You are moving into one of the most beautiful areas of the country. If you do not like DFW weather, boy to we have a change for you! There are really only two seasons here, the dry and the wet. The wet season just started and will last until late may, maybe June. The dry lasts from July through September. The summers are wonderful, the winters can be gloomy if you don't find something to do that you like.

If you find a place to live and work near Portland you will have Eden at your disposal. In an hour or two you can be on some very beautiful beaches, all 400 miles of Oregon coastline is public property. In the other direction you have the high desert, in the middle you have the Cascade Mountains, great hiking, camping. I hope you like the outdoors, if not you should consider that as a new hobby.

Keep your car, public transportation exists only within the very urban areas, much like Texas. Leave your umbrella at home, you just get used to doing things in the rain and using an umbrella labels you as a newbie. The wet season is the time for indoor activities and doing things while you are damp.

Portland can be very expensive to live in, the state taxes are among the highest in all the states. But if you can make it here, you will never look back at Texas.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:32 PM
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You can put a limited amount of stuff in a cartop carrier.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:32 PM
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I drove from Edmonton, Alberta to Ottawa, Canada with two dogs, a cat, a teenager and a bunch of stuff in my two door Wrangler and your would be SHOCKED how much you can fit if you play a little baggage Tetris.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:54 PM
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1. I adore Portland. If I could afford to, I'd have a primary home on the Georgia coast, and a sweet little getaway in Portland. Or vice versa.

2. Keep what's irreplaceable, and just buy new/thrift furniture when you get to your destination. Or have your larger items shipped. Or even pack the car, arrange delivery by train, and fly to PDX, if the drive is worrisome.

3. I have a very cool aunt and two cousins in Portland. If you need local information, I can draw on their knowledge, if that helps.

4. Unless it has changed recently, Oregon has no sales tax, and Washington has no property tax, so a lot of folks find it financially convenient to work and shop in Portland and live across the Columbia River in Vancouver and environs.

5. You got this. Big ((((hugs)))) to you.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:21 PM
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Sorry Purple, missed your reply. When the time gets close enough to start being definitive, give me a range of dates, preferably a few weeks in advance, errrm lets see, thinking about this, proooobbbabblllly mid jan to late feb would work easiest for me depending on project scheduling at work.

If you want to go really hardcore inexpensive, pack
A) your clothes
B) medications, prescriptions and personal hygiene items
C) vital and important papers
D) work related equipment, as pared down to minimal as you can get it without hampering yourself at your job
E) an electric skillet, a sauce pan, a kitchen knife of some sort that can be multipurpose, a spatula, a large spoon for cooking and stirring hot stuff, plate, bowl, cup, glass, and a single set of knife fork spoon

Thats your basic moving survival kit, with a little juggling and adjusting these things can be packed into most cars and still leave room for the driver to safely operate it. Everyone is right in that renting a truck is sorta costly and uhaul are frigging highway men depending on origin and destination (yeah rates are determined in large part by where your leaving and where your going as I learned once)
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:27 PM
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ETA that list is in order of importance from a mover's pov

if you have any books or decor that you don't want to leave behind or a particular peice of furniture or something like that, it might be less expensive, or more cost effective to have a moving company pick it up and ship it as a part of a bigger load. Most companies can even store it for you, but I couldn't tell you rates vs a storage unit.
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Last edited by DorkVader; 10-05-2019 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:28 PM
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If I had lived 3/4 of my life in Texas and wasn't used to snow and cold, I'd opt for Portland over Ann Arbor. Michigan can be beautiful, but it can also be brutal. You've got a couple of friends in Portland, that'd be my preference. Best wishes.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:32 PM
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There's an IKEA in Portland.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:38 PM
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4. Unless it has changed recently, Oregon has no sales tax, and Washington has no property tax, so a lot of folks find it financially convenient to work and shop in Portland and live across the Columbia River in Vancouver and environs.
You mean Washington has no state income tax. It most definitely has property tax.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:47 PM
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I've driven a U-Haul but never towed something.

How difficult is that? It's an option I considered, but with zero experience handling that task, and no co-pilot or someone to switch off driving, the idea seems fraught.
The driving part is not difficult at all, and U-Haul will hook everything up for you. Just make sure to get the full sized trailer. They offer a smaller trailer option that cannot be backed up!
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:02 AM
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You mean Washington has no state income tax. It most definitely has property tax.
Oops! Saturday night two drink rule! Do I get a Mulligan?

(Income tax is what I meant. But now that I'm an hour past the second beer, I realize that I have no idea whether WA or OR tax laws are in effect if your paycheck is signed in Oregon and you live in Washington. Ignore that bit of advice!)
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:06 AM
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I've moved cross-sea with no money (ok, I had 300USD to my name and the first month of rent paid for) and I've moved cross-small-continent with a tiny car multiple times (Yaris hatchback, CitroŽn C1).

Your papers should be in a specific, easy-to-reach container: mine are in the computer backpack I use as a handbag (it also contains jammies, spoon and fork and several changes of underwear; eventually it contains a bag with the used underwear).

If your new place isn't furnished, prioritize. Something to sleep on is much more urgent than something to sit on. Actually, you can always sit on whatever you sleep on! Compare IKEA, whatever-Mart, etc and secondhand stores, but do it after you've got at least a decent bed. Tired and hurting isn't the best time to do price comparisons.

This is a fabulous chance to chop down your wardrobe. Anything you haven't used in a year and which isn't warm clothing, throw away, give away... just get rid of it. Warm clothing, be more selective on, but still pare it down. Bedclothes may actually be a good thing to bring (one or two sets); among other things, they make for good protection for any delicate items or for cutlery. Kitchen items: mainly don't bother, but those good cooking knives aren't what's going to kill your car (unless you've got enough of them to open a store, that is). Furniture, hell no.

Last edited by Nava; 10-06-2019 at 12:10 AM.
  #43  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:12 AM
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I moved to Seattle about 10 years ago after a few decades in Asia.

Take vitamin D every day. Seriously. Most people in most places don't get enough vitamin D. Maybe even a happy lamp. I discovered that snowboarding/skiing really helps the winter blahs as the resorts are very bright and something to celebrate in the winter.

book a trip to a sunny place sometime in Feb or Mar. Cabo is a couple of hours away and Maui more like 6. You'll really think it is great by then.

Summers are freaking glorious (from July thru August and maybe September).

Otherwise, the people, the food, the beer, the beaches, the mountains, the weed are all killer. OK , the traffic can suck especially until you figure out your situation, and the gloom can really suck 6 months in, but otherwise Mrs Lincoln how was the play?
  #44  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
Head straight west on 40, you'll cross the divide and not even know it, go thru Vegas and up to Portland. Easy drive. Not a lot of hairy mountains.
Except for that exit on the 40 with the big sign that says "Continental Divide". You'll probably notice that. Beautiful area, but yeah, no hairy mountains there.
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  #45  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lacunae Matata View Post
Oops! Saturday night two drink rule! Do I get a Mulligan?

(Income tax is what I meant. But now that I'm an hour past the second beer, I realize that I have no idea whether WA or OR tax laws are in effect if your paycheck is signed in Oregon and you live in Washington. Ignore that bit of advice!)
Well, I can address the opposite: I live on the Oregon side, and taught at the community college in Vancouver for several years. They would not withhold money specifically for Oregon income tax. I had them take extra from each paycheck towards federal income tax, so that my fed return would be be enough to cover my Oregon tax (and then some, hopefully).

I really have no idea how it would work for someone living in Washington and working in Oregon. Would taxes be taken, but then the entire amount returned come April? It would seem strange to be set up that way, but then again, this is the government we're talking about.

As far as the rain, and the quote above: "Portland gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 156 days per year," some kind of precipitation does not equal constant rain. It seems like some people think the PNW has a 24/7 deluge going on. It's not like that at all. Sometimes, yes, it rains for the entire day. But more commonly, a rainy day means light rains on and off, rarely for more than 30 or 60 minutes at a time.

If the gloom would bother you, though... we can go for months only seeing the sun a handful of times. But to me, that's a feature, not a bug.
  #46  
Old 10-06-2019, 01:16 AM
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I really have no idea how it would work for someone living in Washington and working in Oregon. Would taxes be taken, but then the entire amount returned come April?
No, taxes would be taken and the entire amount (less any small overage) would be kept by Oregon.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 10-06-2019 at 01:16 AM.
  #47  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:42 AM
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Gonna add another vote to the 'do ittt' chorus, despite never having been to any of the places mentioned

It doesn't sound like you have a lot to lose, but you do have a lot to possibly gain. It's so easy to carry on doing the same old stuff in the same old place, and even if it doesn't work out quite like you planned, well, you're not stuck there either.

I moved a few years ago from the area I'd been living in for a decade, to somewhere I didn't know anyone that I'd only ever visited once before. I was utterly sick of the whole job hunt cycle in my old place, but in the new area, I've found myself falling into new jobs that I'd never even considered before. My dress sense has even changed since moving.
  #48  
Old 10-06-2019, 07:49 AM
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But the only feasible destination within employment boundaries is Portland OR. Which means hauling what's left of my shit, plus my pets, across the Rockies. Alone. I have a tiny Honda Fit, and I love that little thing but it ain't hauling a U-haul trailer.
Here's what I did the last time I was in a similar situation (moving a long distance alone, with way more stuff that would fit in my car):

1) I rented a U-Haul truck big enough to get everything in.
2) Also from U-Haul, I rented one of those trailers that you can drive your car up on.

(You can get car trailers where 2 wheels of the car you're towing are off the ground, and the other 2 are rolling on the road, but I felt more comfortable with all 4 wheels of my car off the ground, and in 1988 at least, the price difference wasn't all that big.)

They even hitched the trailer to their rental truck for me. So other than loading the truck with all my stuff, all I had to do was drive my car on and off the trailer.
  #49  
Old 10-06-2019, 08:03 AM
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You mention NC. Whereabouts in NC? It's not blindingly hot here...really. It just depends on which area you move to. Around the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, we get significant snow most years and four (count 'em) actual seasons. It's nothing like (much of) TX or FL.

As far as stuff being illegal...can't help much there, though many areas (like Asheville) are much more lenient than you might think.
  #50  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:57 PM
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^ Smoky Mountain High?

(In Carolina)
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