11.17.2016

San Diego (or, Moving 2500 miles and Nearly Collapsing Due to Exhaustion)

Yet another attempted "brief pause" in writing has resulted in nearly six months of inactivity.  It's very easy to understand when I have explained the excitement of the past several months.  Let's rewind to the beginning of this year, shall we?

Dinner at Slater's 50/50 with the family
It's January, approximately, and my wife and I are stricken with wanderlust and have been searching for the cure for these past six years on and off.  While working with my previous job I had the opportunity to leave town a few times to visit family in Seoul but not much beyond that.  We began searching the web for affordable places to visit which would also satisfy our cravings.  We vacillated between Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Chile, the Bahamas, places in Asia, such as Taiwan or Thailand, and also our dear friends in Hawai'i had tempted us for many months as well.  We crossed them all off eventually.  It cost almost as much to visit Mexico as it did Portugal ($700 USD to Mexico City at the time, about $1000 USD to visit Portugal).  When reviewing pricing for housing it became obvious that the difference was really not as much as we had hoped.  We went to Europe.  We were there about three months and planned to wait out the time before my company, Brax, would move us out to San Diego, CA.  We had waited a while in Wilmington and were growing impatient so we made our move.

Outside my office, San Diego
After our three months in Europe we returned to Wilmington, NC, for one month, to visit with my family, say goodbye to everyone, and make final preparations to divest of our cars, and any unwanted possessions, and ship the rest.  On August 22nd, we left for San Diego.  We used airbnb until we were able to secure an apartment, and then purchased a car, and tried to settle in as quickly as possible.  It was far more difficult to find an apartment than we had anticipated due to the time of the year, the price, the lack of availability and quick disappearance of properties, and many other factors.  Ultimately we found a lovely place in Hillcrest, located just a couple of miles North of my office, which allows me to take the bus and only have one car.

At Petco Park, watching the Padres play
Our belongings arrived nearly one month after our initial move to San Diego and it made for a most interesting three weeks at the apartment.  We had next to nothing and it was quite freeing.  With the arrival of our belongings we became quite overwhelmed for a few weeks, spending night and day unpacking, sorting, recycling, selling, throwing away, and breaking down boxes.  We had to establish residency, change health insurance providers, update bank accounts, get car loans, wire money to new banks, get new drivers licenses, and I still needed to work.  All the while, there was a bit of drama with the insurance and the moving company.  It all worked out in the end, so I will spare the messy details.  Needless to say, it was far more complicated moving to San Diego than leaving it all behind and heading to Europe.  There's something about leaving your home and knowing you will be coming back that makes it easier--it must be psychological.  We put everything into boxes, but it was still our home.  We were gone three months, but it was still home.  Taking bags and moving away while leaving it all behind--that's easy--I've done that several times already.  Moving 2,500 miles with a wife and child?  That was stressful.

Outside of Hotel del Coronado
Fast forward three months--we've had our first guests from out of town, our boxes are now mostly in closets, the furniture is assembled, pictures have been hung on the walls, and it's starting to feel more like home.  I've been working a lot trying to get acclimated and make myself more efficient at work.  It has taken more time than I had anticipated.  Working remotely has given me the false impression that I knew what I was doing.  I'm still new, despite the fact that I've been with the same company for a little over a year.  I'm still the odd one out at the office, hailing from North Carolina, and having that ever-nagging desire to leave it all for a bit of adventure.  For now we're in sunny San Diego, enjoying the views of the beach, Balboa Park, and getting used to a different way of living.  We are happy to have been given this opportunity and hope to make great memories as a family.

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