One cool, rainy and foggy day in October 2011, I found myself on the Oregon coast for the first time. I walked onto a beach while a mist of sea water pelted my face and clung to my clothes. Instantly I fell in love with the beauty of this magical place. The smell of the water, the sound of the wind and birds, the vastness of the ocean, sky and sand all seemed peculiarly familiar to me. It was like coming home to something I never knew existed yet had been waiting for me all along. This was the place I was meant to be. The one thing that had been missing my entire life was abruptly found. The emptiness that had been aching in my soul was suddenly filled. An elated sense of peace came over me as each wave came crashing to the shore. I spent just short of one day on the northern Oregon coast and subsequently the next two years cyber-stalking the coast from my home in Madison, Wisconsin.
|Cannon Beach, Oregon|
I was determined to keep my connection to this place that took away the vacant and helpless feeling that had always plagued me. Whenever I wanted, I could check in with one click of my mouse on Northwest Web Cam. I found an abundant source of Facebook pages about everything Oregon from tourism, hiking, food and art. I searched out books by Oregon writers to experience yet another level of Oregon. I kept track of homes for sale and apartments for rent through Craigslist. I digitally collected photos of beaches, rock formations, cliffs and other coastal treasures. I read anything I could find with “Oregon” in the title. Never had I obsessed about anything more intensely than or as long as the Oregon coast. I counted the days until I could return once again and vowed one day to find a way to call this magnificent place home.
Shortly before departing on a much anticipated one week vacation exploring everything coastal, I decided that I was tired of dreaming of this place and that the time had come to make a real plan to make this place my home. I work for an amazing organization, Heartland Farm Sanctuary, that helps both people and farm animals and it has been the one main thing that has held me back from pursing a move earlier. My role with this organization is my dream job and I have no desire to ever do any other work so leaving my job is not an option for me. I work from home and most of what I do is computer based. I asked for a meeting with my boss to discuss the feasibility of doing my job from Oregon and was pleasantly surprised to find her supportive and agreeable of my desire to move west. That was it, I was moving to Oregon!
Having just signed another year lease of my apartment in Madison, being without my own vehicle and $0 in my savings account it was clear that I couldn’t just up and go. So the plan is to stay in Madison until my lease expires in September 2014. While here, my mission is to save up the money needed for a cross country move, car purchase and first month’s rent on a coastal apartment. In the meantime, I will be wrapping up things with friends and my quest to hike every state park in Wisconsin. Let the journey begin!!