If you’ve been following along for a few months or more, you know that after six years as a Washington, D.C. resident, I put all my belongings into storage this June and left my beloved apartment. Since then, I’ve been traveling without a home base, spending time in the Southeast, the Midwest, New England and Europe with a few trips back to D.C. scattered in there, too.
But while I have been (mostly) loving the nomadic life—there are just a few things I would have tweaked, like the ability to access my fall and winter clothing from the storage unit…—it was never the long-term plan. Jake and I have been working on relocating for several months, and now that he’s found a new job, we’re ready to go!!
WHERE WE’RE GOING
While the process led us to consider several different areas of the U.S., I’m so happy to say that we’re headed to our No. 1 choice. As early as a few years ago, we sat down together and made a list of things we would want in our next city, and this one checked so many of our boxes.
A few of mine:
- Not too hot (weather has definitely been my least favorite part of the D.C. experience)
- Good airport connectivity (specifically for United, which is my go-to as someone who grew up in the Chicagoland area)
- MOUNTAINS nearby! This is a huge one for me. I really wanted the chance to live somewhere with spectacular nature for the first time in my life
- A new area of the U.S. to explore (after a combined 10 years in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, it’s time to say goodbye)
- Strong arts culture (I play the Irish fiddle but there aren’t many opportunities to do it in D.C. proper)
- Strong entrepreneurial culture
- Pro sports (specifically MLB, but we’re gonna settle for NBA)
- BONUS: A light rail (Jake insists that these are not as great as I think they are, but I just love them)
- BONUS: Lower cost of living than D.C. (which is honestly most places)
- BONUS: A food culture that embraces dietary restrictions (I’m vegetarian, egg-free and gluten-free…)
As you might have guessed while reading that list, the winner is… Portland, Oregon!!
ROAD TRIP TIME!
We head out for a cross-country road-trip this weekend, and because I planned it, we’re going totally out of the way. I have envisioned this trip for years, and it always involved hitting our home cities of Chicago and Minneapolis on the way north to Canada, but because of the time of year, we decided (VERY reluctantly, on my part) that it wasn’t a safe option. We’re taking an ’04 Camry, after all.
As a consolation prize, I concocted a 15-day, cross-country road trip itinerary that hits nearly everywhere that’s at the top of my U.S. list right now, which looks something like this:
We’ll be stopping at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and in Columbus, Lexington, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Santa Fe, Sedona, Las Vegas, Park City, Salt Lake City and Boise before reaching Portland, and while I know I’m going to be super sad to leave D.C., I’m very pumped about this cross-country road trip itinerary! Best part: I got every hotel night for free using points, and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the properties I picked out for this trip.
As always, I will be documenting as much as possible on Instagram, and I hope I’ll be able to keep up given the 59 hours of car time I’m going to have. Can’t wait to bring you all along on this adventure!
Have you visited any of these cities on this cross-country road trip itinerary? Any recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments! I’d love to check them out! >>
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