• Melissa Shannon

Scheduling Dreams Followup: Excitement & Logistics Within

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

It. Is. Time…… to provide a lengthy but informative follow up for all of you curious ones out there. (In case you’re reading this post first, here is the reason for needing part two: “Scheduling Dreams“.)

It’s been four months since my husband, Shane, and I made the 2k mile move from Florida to Oregon for a lifestyle change. Yes, a lifestyle. No friends. No family. No home. No job. We moved because after visiting Oregon last September, the connection was powerful. Oregon was the place to be able to do activities before and after work hours that we longed to have available everyday. The big activity being hiking!

From previous visits to the PNW region, I anticipated the overcast sky primarily all year. Upon talking with many folks here, that is a correct expectation for the fall and winter months. The summer though has another personality. With our decision to move in June, the transition was not difficult partially because we had some friggin’ unexpected amazing weather.


Personally, I am intrigued by the moodiness we are about to receive as we head deeper into autumn but, having the sun helped ease us from those all too well-known sunny beach days from home. We have seen more waterfalls in this quarter of the year than I have in my 30 years of life. The forest is without a doubt THE inspiration of fairies, centaurs, elves, and the lore of other magical creatures.


Now, let’s talk logistics. Again, we moved here with an optimistic dream of lifestyle but had no job and no place to live before quitting our previous jobs and heading out of our Florida driveway. So how did we make this happen?

  1. Finances – what helped to truly make this all possible was the fact that we sold our first house in the summer of 2017. From the profit we earned, we chose to pay off a huge portion of our debt (including the rest of the my student loan which was the biggest). There were few remaining debts we chose to keep but they had smaller interest rates (like my car loan at 1.99%). With heavy budgeting throughout the year after the sale but before the move, it was a definite advantage to not go into using that money. When I say “heavy”, I mean that I have spreadsheets broken down into categories of bills, groceries, gas, dining out, and shopping (excess spending). Throughout the month, I update the spreadsheet to see how our spending is going. If it’s more than what we are bringing in, we discuss it and reel everything in accordingly.The rest of the profit aided greatly not only to get us here but by also continuing to budget, it left us a small savings. This is crucial to lean on in case we had trouble getting a job or in an emergency. We now consistently make sure that we have funds set aside even to fly home if necessary.  Funds: check

  2. The house – We were staying in Airbnb’s for about 2 weeks before signing a lease. We were not in the market to buy as we couldn’t prove income without having jobs so yes, we are renting. We hunted through Zillow, Trulia, and (the scariest of all) Craigslist. Upon tiresome research, we concluded that most places to rent from Trulia and Zillow were through an agency. Now, agencies have discouraging lists of what they do not allow and we were tied to two big ones: income and no pets. If we didn’t have pets, the rental search potentially could have been far easier. However, we have a 10 year old, 85 pound cutie that does not look well on paper due to his size. But look at his face:


Another component was we had a good friend (also from Florida) moving in with us and she has a cat. With these two elements of our soon-to-be combined family,  it caused huge limitations for us. The agencies would not act upon exception even with recommendation letters from previous landlords. I understand their concerns but that cemented our challenge greatly. This meant we turned to Craigslist. Through hesitation and severe skepticism, we did not respond to every listing. We found two open houses to attend hosted by real estate agencies within that first week. Unfortunately, I found those to be overwhelming with how many people showed up. It felt as if we didn’t have a chance to standout.

A couple days later, a listing was posted for a house in a fantastic neighborhood by private owners. I submitted a formal and descriptive (which means lengthy) email. The next day we went to the showing to meet the couple in person. We provided our recommendation letter and even brought our fur child to solidify that his size was only a size. Thankfully, they were receptive and intrigued with our candidacy. The next morning, we were informed that we were selected. We signed a lease agreement later that afternoon and we had a place to live. House: check.

  1. The job- I had been emailing a coffee shop since February letting them know of my arrival. I had an interview lined up by not an actual job offer. That was my only lead. Simultaneously as we were house hunting, we were job hunting. Shane landed a full-time job to the first place he applied just a few days before we signed the lease. After we signed the lease, I had my interview at the coffee shop. I landed the job as a part time barista and their new Social Media Account Manager and Content Creator. Job: check.

  2. The roommate- I have a very close friend who housesat for us while we were visiting last year. She made a comment about moving with us and we offered the opportunity for her to literally come too. Since we sacrificed living by ourselves to having a roommate, our bills being split into thirds helps tremendously. This became a great advantage now making our cost of living cheaper in Oregon when initially on paper, living and staying back home would’ve be cheaper but not exactly our dream. Roommate: check.

  3. Moving in- It was time to transfer information over within the first 30 days. I made a list on “Notes” on my phone to stay on track. The list included:

  4. Submit change of address

  5. Turn on utilities i.e. water, sewer, trash, electricity, and internet.

  6. Update new address with bank, credit card, and cell phone company.

  7. New Driver’s License (Once I had a formal bill with my name and address on it)

  8. Register Car Becoming a resident: check

So, that’s our story. That’s how we made this work. Is everything perfect? No. I work part-time because that’s all that’s offered. So, my income doesn’t provide nearly as much financial freedom as we could have. However, I am in the market to do social media for more businesses and I have this platform to be seen. The growth and response has been very encouraging that I am not awful at this. We will see if any other opportunities arise. Regardless, we earn enough to pay our bills. There’s still work to do to continue growing our savings. From working part-time, it gives me the chance to still be able to work on my blog as a hobby and to become acclimated with moments by myself in our new city.

We now live where we vacation. All of the factors mentioned above helped make it possible. Every Sunday, we go on a Family Hike to explore the state and man oh man, do we get some killer photos as well as introspective and intimate conversations about what we each are experiencing day to day. Life is being lived!

Thank you for reading. If you have any other questions, please don’t be afraid to email me. Best of luck with scheduling your dreams. Focus, sacrifice some, take a risk, and come see how it feels.

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