I have recently (in the last 2 months) accepted a new position with a company in South Florida. How I got here is pretty unique. Since early January I had been consulting working a couple large projects, but I was still looking for something more stable. I had considered offered opportunities in Denver, L.A. and Phoenix. I even had a couple of individuals inquire if I was interested in Wisconsin, Philly or Boston. (The Wife said “NO!” to Wisconsin, but the other two we were unsure of). Never had I really considered relocating to Florida. It never was on my radar. Obviously, that has since changed.
Growing up in the west, and living in six states west of the Mississippi before I turned 30, I had intended to settle down and raise my family somewhere in the west. I have extended family laced through every state in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, and we just love the climate and culture that comes with this rich western heritage. The eastern seaboard was so foreign to my wife and I that it might as well be a different country. This actually turned out to be one of the reasons we selected Florida as a place to move to. If we’re going to move, why not try something completely new? Between the two of us, we’ve “been there, done that” to almost every popular destination from Kansas City to the Pacific Ocean. Sure we’ll give up the mountains and dry climate, but we also gain oceans, beaches, moderate climates year round, and what is arguably a better education system for our kids (Nevada’s public schools need a ton of help). I’m a wannabe stormchaser (my years in Tornado Alley were, in a word, awesome), so I actually am excited about living in a hurricane zone. We will evacuate when told, but I’ll still enjoy watching the local weather coverage during hurricane season.
The work is the same. I’ll still be producing websites and driving traffic to them. But the lifestyle is dramatically different. Currently, I work in Florida during the week, and fly home to Vegas on the weekends. My routine travels have taught me a few life lessons:
- Traveling can be a banal task. I used to love flying because it always brought the prospect of going someplace new. I’ve since become very jaded to jetset mindset. Spending 5 hours on a plane can be extremely stressful, and a waste of time. Especially when you are 6’4″ and 270 lbs. Who can read or write at leisure if you can’t even be comfortable? My tray table can’t even lower because my knees are holding it in place.
- Giant airplanes are made for tiny people.
- Red-eye flights are a life suck. Think about it: I leave at 11 pm on Sunday, arrive at 6 am on Monday. Minus the 3 hour time difference, that means I need to squeeze my nightly slumber into less than 4 hours. On a plane. In a seat made for little people. I sleep light and am half-dead the remainder of monday.
- Subway, Target, Costco, and 7-11 are homes away from home. After living in all 4 time zones in the continental United States, I’ve learned this one over time. If I ever start feeling homesick, all I need to do is find a familiar place. With Costco and Target, in particular, my mind gets so wrapped up on how much I hate being in those stores and how fast I can get out of there, that I forget my global location is even relevant.
- As much as I loathe Bank of America, having locations EVERYWHERE has proved helpful during the relocation.
- Seatguru.com is a large man’s best friend. I’m so glad my employer, who’s also fairly tall, gave me that tip.
- Finding new places to eat and trying out some of the local flavor can really be a great way to unwind and build a personal knowledge base of the local setting.
Luckily, my long distance commute will soon be over. I could have chosen to fly home every other week, but leaving a wife at home with a 6 year old commander of chaos and an adventurous 1 year old for a week at a time is cruel enough as it is. When I see her at the airport on Friday’s she collapses in my arms with a sigh of relief. I get daddy time with the kids for two days and she gets the reprieve. The frequent flying is challenging, but well worth the hassle.