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{VIDEO} Scenes and Lessons Learned from Moving

March 3, 2017

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but I needed it all to sink in before I could formulate my thoughts. When I wrote this post, I was still kind of processing everything we had experienced and wasn’t in any position to be helping or educating anyone else. But as my friend Natasha Adamo sharing in Episode 6 of the podcast, “you don’t need to be cured to help others”.

While I’ve mostly recovered from the craziness that was our cross-country (more like continent, but you know what I mean…) move, I know that the final step in truly processing it all is to share this experience with you. So I’m going to cover a lot of ground in today’s post. Unbeknownst to some of you, we left Toronto in September 2016. We finally landed in our new apartment in San Francisco in January 2017. Clearly a lot happened in between. Thankfully, my iPhone captured it all.

In this video I’m sharing the top lessons learned from moving cross-country and below I’ll be recapping the journey and those moments we didn’t share with you as I needed some space to figure it all out. I still feel a ton of guilt keeping this from you, but I’m hoping you understand why I needed some time to process before talking about it. But more than anything I hope you take something away from my experience and that it can help prepare you (as prepared as you can be at least!) if you’re embarking on a big life-changing move like this one was.

The process was actually split into two because of reasons I won’t get into but we left Toronto in September and landed in Minnesota for about 7 weeks through the Fall.

LEAVING TORONTO

Packing up our life in Toronto was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The emotional toll of it sunk it months later but the physical toll of moving was immediate. Definitely watch the video above to learn what NOT to do. Let’s just say that there were a lot of tears involved and things like this happening…

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!Yes, that’s a box spring wedged into an elevator and it took me 20 mins to get it out. Not fun.

After an exhausting day, I spent the night at my parents and C went back to our place to patch up holes and clear it out. Looking back on these pictures makes me super emotional. This was mine and C’s first home. It was also where we hosted our friends and family, took care of Rhett and eventually brought Bodhi home to. Seeing it empty like that hurts, but I know in time I’ll look back and only see the positive memories that took place there.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!

From Toronto we drove to Minnesota (by way of Chicago) to spend the next couple of weeks living with C’s family. 

ARRIVING IN MINNESOTA

Per usual, our little man was a total champ in the car. I can’t believe how little he was!

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!

Settling into life in Minnesota was like a dream. After all the drama of the move, it was so nice to have the support of C’s family and the beautiful Fall weather in Minnesota. Getting to explore all of the little parks in their neighborhood and local coffee shops, I started to wonder if it was worth leaving or just staying put. I still love it there so much and look forward to visiting again soon.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!

Our stuff arrived pilled on top of each other, but likely most of it survived! Again, we made BIG mistakes when it came to our move so check out the video above if you want to learn more.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!P.S. For you Minnesotan readers, would you guys want to see a round-up of my favorite places there? I’ve been quite a few times over the last 5 years and explored a lot in our time there so I’d love to share if you’re interested!

We left Minnesota in Mid-November and chronicled the entire road trip out West. Catch up on those blog posts here:

Badlands National Park
Road Trip Through Colorado
Moab, Utah + Arches National Park
Capitol Reef National Park + Boulder, Utah
California Road Trip Finale

LANDING IN SAN FRANCISCO

We arrived in California with mixed emotions. I was still dealing with the effects of the crash and had a lot of doubts about leaving Minnesota. I was scared, sad, overwhelmed, excited and relieved all at once. I was happy we had finally made it, but honestly, the biggest challenges were ahead of us and I was not emotionally prepared for them.

But the first week we arrived in SF was pretty special. It was Thanksgiving and we spent a night at the West Point Inn on Mt. Tam and I’m forever grateful for this warm welcome to the Bay.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!We’re fortunate that C’s family took us in in SF too so that’s where we were staying and where almost all of the blog posts from December were written. Between a busy month with the blog and holiday content, we also had to sort out our newfound car situation, credit issue (neither of us had credit in the US!) and began the apartment hunting process. I’ll be totally honest with you guys, health was not at all a priority. Besides the occasional hike with Bodhi and C, I didn’t work out for almost 6 weeks. I also lived off snack bars and dried fruit. I just didn’t have it in me to cook or plan anything. I did a lot of car eating as we drove our rental from one apartment to the next.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!

As I talked about in this post, this period was really tough for me. We were encountering a lot of challenges that come with moving, trying to navigate the SF housing craziness and mourning what we left behind in Toronto and Minnesota. My biggest regret in all of this is not being as transparent with you. But I also recognize that I needed time to process everything and even though THM is a reflection of my life, it also doesn’t need to be a negative space for all of you. So I did the best I could. Fortunately things began to turn around.

At the end of December we signed an apartment and things started to slowly calm down. We then headed off on a family trip to Guatemala, which was a great way to destress and prepare for the impending move into our new place.

MOVING IN TO OUR APARTMENT

We moved into our apartment in SF about 6 hours after landing from Guatemala. The first thing I wanted to do was a cook a meal, but of course, we had no stuff! Thankfully C’s sister gave us a “survival guide” and that’s essentially what we lived off of for the first couple of weeks in the apartment.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!Because of the lessons we learned on shipping our stuff to Minnesota, we went about bringing out stuff to SF in a different and slightly less grueling way. It also meant it took about a month for our stuff to get here. C and I basically did all of our work from our one piece of furniture for the first few weeks, our glorious couch. It was our splurge item while we waited for the rest of our stuff to arrive.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!Eventually we got a mattress and this is what I did for the first half hour after receiving it…it was glorious.

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!

It’s been about a month since then and our stuff finally arrived while I was in Israel. It’s been SO nice to have all of my kitchen gear and really start nesting in our home. We still have a long way to go in terms of settling in, but we’re taking our time to make sure we create a space we’re really excited about. Stay tuned for an apartment tour!

It’s been a whirlwind 6 months and even though I reached my lowest of lows, I’m grateful for it all. When we left Toronto, we were seeking an adventure and while I certainly didn’t expect the adventure to be all positive, I’m realizing that sometimes we need some hardships to really test our strength and help us grow. That stagnation I had been feeling is definitely gone and I’m looking forward to growing even more in our new home.

I hope you guys forgive me for keeping you in the dark through this process and that you enjoyed catching up today. For anyone debating whether or not to make a big move, I’ll say this: DO IT. Don’t expect it to be easy, but nothing in life worth doing ever is. Life is about moving forward and expanding the boundaries of your comfort zone. There’s no better way to do this than to flip it all upside-down!

Planning a cross-country move, here are the top lessons learned from moving my life cross-country. You'll need these tips to prepare yourself for this big adventure!

Have you ever done a big move? What lessons did you learn?

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  • Reply
    Kate
    March 3, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Hi, Davida 🙂
    I’ve read (and loved) your blog for a long time now, but have never commented. This morning’s post/video hit home so much for me that I wanted to say thank you. I recently changed jobs, went through a horrific break up, and moved twice…because I still work with my ex, things have remained really difficult, and I’ve made the decision to move again (from Michigan to Seattle) in an attempt to get my life back in order. When I first decided to move, I was excited and ready for the challenge of starting over. Now, as I get closer to actually leaving, I’m starting to panic and have questioned whether or not I’m making the right decision. My friends keep telling me that everything will work out, but it’s hard to believe. I don’t know a soul in Seattle and am fairly shy, so I know I’ll have a hard time finding a friend base like I have now. Ultimately, I do think this move will be good for me…it’s going to challenge me in ways I’ve never experienced, and will hopefully make me a stronger person in the process; it’s just hard to see that now. Today’s post helped reinforce that things will be ok in the long run. I know it was difficult for you to process everything and put yourself out there, but just know that it’s helped at least one person in a very big way. Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Congrats to you on the move, Kate and I promise you that all the doubts you are feeling are normal and will eventually subside. I think we all feel like these big decisions are so permanent. But the reality is that we can change course at any time. The important thing is to try (as corny as that sounds) because it will keep you moving forward instead of getting stuck in your own path. Can’t wait to hear how it all goes! Always here for support xoxo

  • Reply
    Jess B
    March 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Girl!

    A few years ago, my boyfriend and I were tired of living in our boring little town in upstate NY so we began searching for ways to bring a little adventure to our lives. He landed a job in Texas and we decided to leave our current jobs, families and friends and move to a new state where neither of us knew a soul. Before leaving, we sold all our furniture and crammed whatever we could into our two little cars and took off across the country. Since I didn’t have a job yet, we were on a budget for new furniture and decided to settle on an air mattress and some cheap lawn chairs to hold us over. We actually slept in the living room for a while since the mattress was proving to be more comfortable than the chairs. The stress of me not working for a while definitely took a toll on our relationship, but looking back now and thinking of these simple, carefree moments makes me smile. It was exciting and a chance for us to reinvent our lives and really challenge our relationship. We’ve since moved back to NY to be closer to family, and this time, returned with a full moving truck and dog. Despite any hardships we faced, we had the best time living in Dallas and I’m SO happy that we did that together. I’m actually putting the pressure on for another move to Denver- cross your fingers for me 🙂

    Good luck with everything and I hope down the road you can look back and smile when you think about these challenging, but exciting moments!

    Jess-
    Thecinnamoneffect.com

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Girlllll I feel ya! When things were tough, everyone kept saying “you’ll look back on those moments fondly one day” and while I’m not 100% there yet, there is some charm in eating all of our meals on the floor and laughing our pants off at how ridiculous some of these SF apartments are (aka insanely expensive for a closet!). Getting there slowly and I’m looking forward to feeling that same sense of settled before we plan whatever life’s next big adventure will hold! xo

  • Reply
    Sarah | Broma Bakery
    March 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    OK Minnesotta looks like a dream. And love that you shared this, girlfriend. <3
    Sarah | Broma Bakery recently posted…Beer Brownies

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 4, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Um it’s actually not real life there! Still wondering if we ever should have left haha. Luckily it isn’t going anywhere!

  • Reply
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life
    March 4, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Moving can definitely be a challenge but also exciting. Growing up I moved once but only like 3 miles from our first home. Going off to college 600 miles from home was one of my first tests of “moving away”. I cried a few of those first nights wondering why I chose the furtherest school from home that I had applied to. Well it ended up being one of the best decisions I have made because I became more independent and I eventually met people. Meeting people in college is usually pretty easy when you live in the dorms. Then I moved back home and it was honestly hard to live with my parents. I went to the gym more and more mostly to stay out of the house when I wasn’t at my job. When I lost that job, I decided to move closer to my fiance as we were long distance and moved 800 miles from home this time, not knowing a soul and being unemployed in Philadelphia. The first thing I tend to do in any new city is join a gym and find a yoga studio. I researched those more than jobs to start. I found the best yoga studio that felt like home immediately and eventually found a job and made friends within my apartment complex. Then last year I left my job, sold most of my stuff, spent the holidays at home and then have since been traveling around Australia and New Zealand with my fiance. Traveling (without a real plan) has certainly brought up challenges along the way but so far we have gotten through them and most of our experience has been positive which I am very grateful for. When we go back to the states, we have no idea where we are living yet and I will need to find a new job and probably a new city to settle in. It’s scary and exciting having that opportunity and I am sure there will be ups and downs along the way, but I am hopeful I will find a new routine and hopefully some new friends where ever we settle. After moving a few times and taking this adventure, I have definitively learned a few things along the way that have prepared me a little more for each move and I am just excited to have the opportunity to explore the world a bit now.
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life recently posted…Uluru and The Climb

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      hank you so much for sharing, Alicia! I honestly think that moving and travelling makes us better people. We just get so much more perspective and relearn the always challenging lesson that so much of life will always be out of our control, so we may as well just ride the wave! Super exciting to have so many possibilities in your future. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    March 6, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Ah I’m glad to hear you’re settling into your new home! It’s a LOT to process. I moved from Vancouver to London (UK) after university. Not only did I move 8 time zones, it was my first time living on my own – actually basically doing everything on my own! This was in the very early days of the internet and I remember taking the train out to my Aunt’s house in Surrey on the weekends to check my email because I didn’t have a computer (nobody had laptops!) – we weren’t texting yet either and we didn’t even have email at work (oh – I did find a fun job though – in a chemist’s shop in Chelsea where we had a lot of celebrity customers – even a few junior members of the royal family! I used to serve Dame Maggie Smith whenever she came in and she always chatted to me about Vancouver and how I was getting used to London!) It was really lonely at first – I’m shy and I didn’t know a soul and I had an accent and while Londoners weren’t unfriendly, they were reserved. I think about how it would be now when I have so many food and photography blogger friends in the UK and Europe and and how much easier it would have been to find a friend base today.
    But… I wouldn’t change the experience for a million dollars. I learned so much about myself, how resilient I can be and it made me appreciate how lucky and sometimes spoiled we are living in North America – we have so much wealth and so much SPACE here. I really think everyone should have to live abroad at some point in their lives – it is a huge growth experience!
    Melissa recently posted…28 Days of Creating Heart Art with #OpusDailyPractice

  • Reply
    Liz
    March 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    You’ve put so many things I’m learning through my move into the perfect words. So much head nodding to your video and your post.

    – Life as seasons. YES. I agree so much with that. Preach it, sister! I also dive into things I know will be really challenging even if they’re going to suck because I *know* they will pass and I *know* I’ll get through it and eventually find more happiness on the other side. Even when I unexpectedly fall into crappy times, I execute this line of thinking and it totally gets me through.

    – And I don’t know if it’s an adult thing or what, but I also agree so much on the spending more money to save yourself a lot of time and grief. Time IS money to me these days; not having to stress myself with something I could get someone else to do quicker – and better – is so worth it.

    – I’m still in the finishing stages of moving in with my boyfriend. I’ve purged SO much over that time and it’s so amazing. Granted, I think the hardest thing is definitely merging our kitchen things, haha. We only have so much space and between us we have so many fun kitchen appliances and accoutrements.

    – I’m really slowly setting up my life in what is now “my house” – still so weird to say…hence the quotes haha. Going slow definitely has helped keep me sane and helped not overwhelm either my boyfriend or myself. Going slower has led to things falling into place so perfectly. I’m always surprised what a little bit of patience on my part can do for so much else.

    Such a great video and great post. Thank you so much for sharing <3 And I can totally understand why this took time to put together. Totally worth the wait. =)

  • Reply
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health
    March 6, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    i have moved quite a bit (6 cities in 5 years) and lots of lessons learned. you and C are incredibly amazing and strong to make such a huge move with the pup…i know it will be all worth it. i dont even want to know the housing prices in SF.
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

  • Reply
    Lauren
    March 8, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Davida, I can totally relate to all of this. Cross country/continent/PLANET moves are not easy and they really present their challenges. I really feel what you have been through. But like you said “Life is about moving forward and expanding the boundaries of your comfort zone”. There may be many tears and hurdles, but it is so so so worth it 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you are into a home now and I hope you are settling into SF well. Me and the J man need to find jobs and house, so we are still in that phase of sorting stuff, just casual stuff…ha. But I only got back on Sunday so I think that is totes ok… Anyway. Sending you BIG LOVE x

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 11, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      oh you know…just a few things to sort out 😉 But I feel ya sista. So many hurdles, but so so worth it!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    March 16, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Hi, Davida!

    Oh, My what a life! I am not from SF, but I would LOVE to visit. My move was a BIG one! I moved from South America (Paraguay) to the U.S. about 8 years ago… Now that I am married and looking back, I would have to agree with you: traveling changes you. Moving from one part of the continent to another has taught me sooo much; although, I never planned any of these to happen, I am learning to love my daily experiences day be day. I am beyond grateful for where I am and what I am right now and I am always eager to learn more, to explore more, to know more.
    I became more aware of different people, different cultures, the food, my surroundings, just everything and I am still learning… Thanks for sharing and good luck with the rest=)

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