“North to the Future.”
Okay, so what does that even mean? Are we going back to Ohio? Well, only to visit family and friends. Ohio will always be our home and it’s so nice that my husband and I are from the same town, but we won’t be moving back.
As most of you are aware, we set out on our plans to travel last year. We sold our home. We sold our business. And now, we finally have something in the works; something big and definitely an adventure.
Let’s backtrack a little.
Our idea to travel the country (and maybe even the world) has not died but for the past year, the only way to keep the idea alive was to talk about it. That’s true for any dream one has. The more you make something known and present the more you breathe life into it. It’s easy to say, “Someday” or “What if.” I’m not one to just talk but am crazy enough to follow through.
But let’s be real … traveling is expensive. Plain and simple. We want to be smart about our travels. We need money, especially since we like to do things when visiting different areas. We have two growing boys and our oldest has the same appetite for food as a grown man. It’s not going to be cheap and we understand this.
After much consideration, we determined that we needed to set up a physical home that we can always come back to. We are in a lot of Facebook RV groups and found that some people struggle to find a campsite … and the idea of parking in a Wal-Mart just doesn’t appeal to me. If you know me, you know my undying hate for Wal-Mart (but that’s another story).
We needed to shift our plans and looked into buying a small house on a 5-acre plot here in South Carolina. We made a reasonable offer on the property, signed the contract, went through an inspection, and had the property appraised all before the week of closing. Then we got the call. For reasons unknown the seller backed out. It was heartbreaking. We spent late nights sketching ideas of how we were going to create a farm on this beautiful space – a space to not only call our own but to use as a base for out travel plans.
After prayer and a clear mind, we realized this happened for a reason. And that reason came in the form of a job offer the following week.
A job that was a possible match for my teaching background.
An opportunity to teach … in Alaska.
I looked it over and thought, “Yeah, right. There is no way my husband would want to move to Alaska.” I held onto the job details and ran the idea by Andrew. He didn’t seem so enthused and told me to try to sell him on the idea.
So that’s what I set out to do.
I dug deep inside my nerdy self and created a PowerPoint slide for the ages. After researching the job, the area, our expenses, and pros/cons, I put together the production. Once the boys went to bed I gave one of the best presentations of my life (if I do say so myself.) There were graphs, videos, music throughout, and my personal favorite – slide transitions! You had to be there to see for yourself. Andrew sat back in awe as I went on for over an hour, answering every one of his million questions.
It worked! He was sold and with that, I applied for the job. The next day, I was called by the HR department from Fairbanks, Alaska. After talking to the wonderful HR representative, I had an interview set-up and, soon after, was speaking via video with two Principals from schools in the “Bush.” The Bush? Villages that are fly-in only. There are no main roads to these villages as they are extremely remote.
I felt the interview went well. It lasted for almost an hour and was question after question. Each principal took turns and I felt strangely at ease. Never second guessing myself. All of my years in the education field had brought me to this moment. A few short hours later and I was being proposed a job offer. I gladly accepted and signed a letter of intent.
It’s been a whirlwind ride so far and life is going to be very different as we transition to living in remote Alaska. We will be living in a tiny village with a population of about 80 people. Even buying groceries will be different. No more quick trips to pick up milk. Everything has to be shipped in but all that means is I have to plan. I plan ahead of time with everything and well…planning is what I do. I’m that crazy lady who already has her funeral planned down to the music. Doesn’t everyone do that? Haha (nervous laughter) Don’t judge…anyways…
“North to the Future” is Alaska’s state motto and that is where we are headed, in every sense of the phrase.
Did I mention that since I was a little girl, one of my dreams was seeing the Northern Lights? Now, the Northern Lights will literally be in my backyard.
To say we are excited is an understatement.
As for traveling and how this all fits in? We will be able to live in Alaska, save money (through various ways that we cannot here in South Carolina), and because we will be on a teacher schedule, that now frees up our summers to travel, travel, travel!
Like I said, everything happens for a reason. Wish us luck and we will keep you posted with new details!