Following Inspiration for 3 Months, 6 States, and 2600 Miles

On June 22nd, my husband, our two golden retrievers, and I left the only place we’ve ever called home and drove cross-country to a new life. We did not have a home. What we had was a dream; an inspired idea to relocate from Southern California to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

Three months later we couldn’t feel more at home.

Despite leaving everything and everyone we knew, just three months later we’re settling happily into our dream house in-the-making: a fixer upper on a mountaintop, just a 10-minute walk from the place that seemed to call me every time we visited this place. We found and purchased this home just seven days after arriving to the area, after shopping for homes online for over a year, and in person on two separate trips.

This home, or any home like it, never showed up during all that searching.

In fact, I had pretty much given up on the idea that we would find everything we desired in one home. While I still knew this was where we were supposed to be, I figured we’d have to make some sacrifices when it came to our home wish list. And, I was OK with that.

So, to have the perfect home (albeit a major fixer upper!) show up the first week we were here, on the very first day we went house hunting with our realtor, was a true blessing.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

In my experience, when you let go and trust, and follow inspiration, that kind of magic happens all the time. And even though it does happen all the time, it still never ceases to amaze me. It’s also what keeps me following inspired ideas, no matter how unconventional or scary they may be.

There were a lot of people who I’m sure thought we were crazy to sell our home in San Diego and move all the way across the country, to a place we had no history, friends (well, I had one friend!), or family. Yet we were clear it was a move we needed to make.

And so, our adventure began.

We sold our home in San Diego before it even hit the market, put all of our belongings in PODs to be shipped cross-country, loaded up our two cars, and hit the road for our 10-day adventure across the United States. We took time to stop and see the sights along the way, knowing full well we’d probably never make a destination out of most of the places we were passing.

We hit the Grand Canyon; Winslow, Arizona with its famous tribute to The Eagles; Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Magnolia Silos (the establishment of Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame) in Waco, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee where we visited Graceland and Beale Street; and Nashville, Tennessee before finally arriving in Asheville, North Carolina on July 1st.

A cross-country road trip was never on my bucket list, but it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and I’d highly recommend it. We met so many interesting people (having two golden retrievers with us helped!) and saw so many cool sights. It was also a wonderful way to gradually ease into our move to the opposite side of the country. We slowly made our way through states, changing topography, and time zones.

At home in The Treehouse.

After two months living in temporary housing, we moved into our new house (we’ve named it The Treehouse), and it immediately felt like home. We’ve been working hard renovating the entire house and it’s starting to look and feel more like our home every day. Without a mortgage we now have more freedom to enjoy life. My husband was able to retire about 10 years early and while he may go back to work, it will not be to a stressful job like he left. I will continue to work in my business, do volunteer pet therapy, and hopefully find the time and inspiration to finally write the book that’s been inside me for the past few years.

We love our new neighborhood in the mountains. We’re surrounded by trees and wildlife. While it couldn’t be more different from where we left, it feels exactly right. Even my dogs seem happier here.

Settling in.

We’re making friends (everyone here is so friendly and welcoming) and hope to start settling into our new normal very soon.

In closing, I just wanted to share what I posted on Instagram and Facebook a few weeks ago. I believe it sums up perfectly my emotions, thoughts, and feelings about this inspired move. I also hope it inspires you to follow inspiration in your life, because you never know where it may lead you.

“After more than two months traveling cross country, staying in hotels, renting temporary homes, and renovating The Treehouse from top to bottom, we are almost all moved into our new home. We’re still putting together furniture, unpacking boxes, installing lighting and other fixtures, and painting baseboards. We’re still without a kitchen, and haven’t hung any artwork yet, BUT, it feels like HOME. It’s been a long journey and in many ways it feels like the journey is just beginning. However, it was definitely worth all the agonizing over the decision to sell our home in San Diego and move to WNC, and the effort and emotions involved in uprooting our entire lives to move to a brand new state far away from friends and family. It’s hard to explain how or why but we both feel like we are home: in this state, in this city, in our little town, and in our Treehouse on top of Echo Mountain. It’s also pretty damn amazing how all of the furniture we brought fit perfectly in this house (like it was meant to be here) and the things we chose to leave behind wouldn’t have fit or gone with the style of the home. We still have a lot of work to do but we know we are where we’re supposed to be. We can’t wait to begin the next chapter of our lives in this beautiful and inspiring place. If I may share something I’ve learned through this entire experience it would be to listen to your heart, your gut, that little voice inside, your higher self, God, the Universe, or whatever you choose to call it, and follow even if it’s scary or seems crazy. It just may lead you exactly where you’re meant to be.”

6 thoughts on “Following Inspiration for 3 Months, 6 States, and 2600 Miles”

  1. Welcome to NC! I’ve been here since last week in May, doing a similar jump as you did. I really have not regretted it. My sweet pot bull and I did the cross country drive as well. I’m in Durham and the hurricane was suppose to hit me directly. But then the miracle, the “cone” shifted and all I’ve had is rain. It’s a beautiful state and I’m still getting settled, but have zero regrets with this change.

    1. Thanks Jami! It is a beautiful state. My husband and I can’t get over it and honestly I don’t think we will ever get tired of the beauty. We do not miss CA at all. We love it here. Our dogs love it here. And like you, all we got from Florence was rain. Typically we will be protected from hurricanes up here in the mountains. From everyone we talked to, the fact that it almost came here was highly unusual. Happy to be “neighbors!” 🙂

  2. Meme Carroll-Ratliff

    Debbie,
    I have been so inspired by you and Louie and your fur babies adventure , of leaving the only place that you had called home for so many years, to uproot and leave loved ones and life long friends to embark, on your next chapter of your life.
    I want to thank you, after reading all your post of your journey to your new life has inspired me to have an open mind and for Tim and I to start thinking about our next chapter of our lives to see where our long cabin or (treehouse) might be!
    Big Hugs, my friend,
    Meme

    1. Thanks Meme 🙂 I’m glad you’re inspired. Can’t wait to see where you and Tim end up. Regardless you’ll have to come visit us at The Treehouse someday! Hugs back to you my friend.

  3. I understand the “adventure” of uprooting and moving to another state. We just moved back to Kansas in a different area just a year ago in this house and 4 1/2 years in another town in Kansas. This move is #33 since I was 16 and to 8 states where we have moved back to two of them – Kansas being one of them. So yes moving is not so much a joy of the “stuff” that has to go with you BUT the adventure and starting over each time fresh has been worth it. The hard part is leaving friends and knowing where everything is but the best part is finding new friends and exploring to find everything. It seems now that after we do that I get the “itch” to move again. It happens around November when the weather turns to cool – something says “its time to get out of here.” BUT here I sit at my age with no friend development and it is very very lonely. Dale goes off to work and I am deciding if I want to keep coaching after 2 years of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue taking its tole. So just a chat around my “adventures.” I am totally thrilled for you Debbie!

    1. Yes I agree the hardest part is leaving friends and family. While we can’t replace them, our hope is to maintain the relationships long distance as best we can (Facetime has been great so far!) and we’re already making new friends here. I will also say this… over the past 4 years, one of my greatest joys (and also the way I am starting to meet people here) is the volunteer work I’ve done. I’m looking forward to establishing Love on a Leash here in WNC and getting back into sharing my dogs with others. It brings me such great joy, and it’s a great way to feel part of a community. Maybe there is some kind of volunteer work you could do??? Just something to chew on 😉

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