Category Archives: Travel

How to Move Across Country

I have moved from the Midwest to Dallas, back to the Midwest, and black to Dallas again. Below I will detail how I did it including mistakes and things I have learned. If you are looking to make a big move, keep reading.

DECIDE:

A decision has to be made. The old saints used to say that to follow Jesus you need a made up mind. I will say to follow your dreams, you need a made up mind. Nothing happens when you waiver. The bible says,

“An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8-9 HCSB

Decide where  and when to move – You need a location. Are you moving with your job or will you be looking for a new one? All of this will factor in with your schedule to move.  I decided to move to Dallas after visiting a friend. It was sunny and warm. Chicago experienced a crazy blizzard that year. I was sick of the cold. Just like that, I decided to move. I was able to transfer with my current job. I gave away my limited furniture, bought a plane ticket, and was out. This was in 2007.

When I moved to back to the Midwest is 2015, I also transferred with my then employer. This time I packed up my car and drove 18 hours. I moved in with a relative until I could find a place.

When I returned to Dallas this year, I started a new job. I had flown out previously to interview and find a place to live. Once I received the job offer, I had a moving window of approximately two weeks. I had started my research into moving options months prior so pulling the trigger on the move was less daunting.

START SAVING:

Create a budget to get concrete numbers on how much you make and what your expenses are. Trim non-essentials like gym memberships, cable, eating out. Place all of that money in an account. You can never save too much. Below I detail some of the costs to expect.

Also, plan your move, if possible, around financial windfalls, such as, bonuses, tax refunds, reimbursements.

HOW TO MOVE YOUR STUFF:

Material trapping can be just that, a trap, if you let them. My prior moves I really just gave much of my stuff away. This last move, I had acquired quality furniture that would cost too much to replace. I conducted a cost comparison of different moving options.

  1. Moving Companies. A moving company will pack, load, and drive your belongings from one location to your destination. The price is a factor of distance and size of home moved (how many rooms/how much furniture). The lowest quote I received for moving a two bedroom apartment was $5,000.
  2. UPS . UPS has a Pack and Ship service in which someone will come to your home, evaluate how much you have to move, and provide a quote. I was given an estimate of $3,000.
  3. PODS. PODS is a company that provides shipping containers. A driver comes to your home and drops off a container. You load it. PODS comes back at a scheduled time to pick up the container and take it to their facility. They transport the container to your destination. You unpack it. At a scheduled time, PODS picks up the empty container. The price depends on the size container and distance transported. A container 8x8x7 from Indiana to Dallas was around $1400.

Other Costs:

  1. Loaders/Movers: If you don’t have friends to help you move, you need to factor in the cost of packers/loaders. The PODS moving referrals were pretty pricey. I was able to find loaders for around $89 bucks and hour.
  2. Living Arrangements: If you are purchasing, you will have to pay for flights to visit homes. If you are renting, you will need a deposit amount and first month’s rent.
  3. Flights, Hotel, and Rental Car: I had to travel to Dallas to interview. I also stayed a few days to view places to live. I caught a deal on a flight,  used my points with the hotel for a free day. Also, had some points with the rental car company.
  4. Incidentals: Once you move in you will need to buy cleaning supplies, produce, etc.

REST:

You will need to rest. Take some vacation time. Packing, moving, and unpacking is TOUGH. You will need some time to recuperate.

Below is a video of my PODS experience.

My 9 Mile Jamaica, Blue Mountains Tour

While standing in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica 3000 feet above sea-level, a Rastafarian looked at me and told me that I was beautiful, like a dream. That is my sentiment toward Jamaica. Yes, I went as a tourist but I have fallen in love. The blue, expansive sky, the brilliant stars at night, the ocean crashing against the shore – I can dig it.  I look back on it and think, it was truly a beautiful, wonderful dream.

Below is a recap of my 9 Mile Tour, the home and resting place of reggae legend Bob Marley.

 

Living In The Moment

 If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I have one. It is a blessing and a curse.

I can time time travel. I do it quite often. I live in the past, remembering what was or  how I did not take advantage of some opportunity. I live in the future, dreaming of a future where my dreams are my reality.

My cryptonite. Living in the here and now.

Time travel

I was watching  a reality show and a stylist was being reprimanded by the owner. She was trying to point out how the stylist could handle conflict better. The stylist swung around in her chair repeatedly stating that, mentally, she was at Disney World. When she came back to earth, the conflict remained unresolved.

There are moments in life that are not pleasant. You can choose to mentally escape or be present. Feel the moment and what it brings – pain, discomfort, fear. It is only when you are fully present can you ascertain the situation. You will do what is necessary to prevent the same issue in the future. People who time travel escape the moment but the circumstances remain.

I was sitting in the sauna and overheard a conversation between a woman (27-ish)  and  man (43-ish). The 27 year old woman recounted many events in which her mom physically and emotionally abused her as a child. The older man tried to offer advice. The woman just voiced how the past would not allow her a future relationship with her mother. They went back in forth. The younger women revisiting her past and the older man remember his own.

I just sat there sweating. I really wanted to relax and not think about anything but I was vicariously time travelling via someone else's memory. I could see it all flashing through my mind. Unforgiveness, you are stuck in the past. Procrastination, anticipation, angst – personality traits of a voyager of time. 

I closed my eyes allowing the heat to purge the toxic sweat from my body.

It is better to be in the moment. In life, it is all we truly possess.

 

The Automobile – Blessing #1234567890

Car_beetleI was over at the Chicago Tribune online, when I came across this story (CTA) about the Chicago Transit Authority’s decision to test seatless El Trains for rush hour traffic. With the price of gas shooting through the roof, there are more passengers. This would pack more folk in for the ride.

For 98% of my adult life the CTA, Chicago Transit Authority has been my nearest and dearest travel buddy. I took two buses to a high school on the North side of Chicago everyday for 4 years. Through rain, sleet or snow, the CTA was a reliable and cheap source of transportation. After undergrad when I returned home, I recommitted myself to the good old CTA. This time, with an apartment on the north side, where parking is nonexistent I commuted by train EVERYWHERE.

As I got older, the fact that I could not drive was becoming a bit of an embarrassment.

Continue reading The Automobile – Blessing #1234567890