Thursday, March 31, 2011

Moving Day...And Our New Plan

Current Location: Fairview, OR

The last couple of weeks have felt like a little bit of a ticking time bomb. Once the bottom fell out of our summer plans, we felt under pressure to come up with a new plan and quick. The end of our reservations at our current park was coming up quickly and we had already extended twice, once when we thought our California start date was being delayed and once after we found out that we didn't have a California start date. We basically had two options - to extend a third time or move on.

At the same time our California gig was disintegrating, there was an ad in Workamper News for a seasonal position at another RV park in Portland. We half heartedly joked that we should apply, but really didn't think about it too seriously. Over the next several days, we did a lot of soul searching amidst all the pain and disappointment we were feeling. We partly just wanted to hit the road and run away, but we knew that really wouldn't solve anything. So we conjured up our rational sides.

About this same time, Tracy mentioned the Portland workamping job again and asked what I thought about staying in Portland. She had left her contract position on very good terms and thought there might be an opportunity to return. And even if that didn't work out, her recruiter had told her to contact him anytime she returned to Portland because she would be easy to place.

Hmmm, that was an interesting thought. We have fallen in love with Portland and had mentioned multiple times that if we were ever ready to settle down, this would be high on our list, rain and all. And we had been told by multiple people that we were leaving just as the weather was getting good. We survived the worst, why would we want to miss the best? But on the flip side, we had spent the last 6 months in the Northwest. Would we really want to spend another 6? Wasn't this life all about travel and experiencing new places? Were we just taking the easy way out or is this something we really wanted?

Even though we were still torn, I decided to contact the park to get more information about their opening. I mentioned that I was in Portland and would be willing to come in and talk in person. I received an immediate response and we set up an appointment a couple of days later. It's rare in workamping positions that the employer and employee get to meet before hand or that the employee gets a chance to check out the park. In the meantime, Tracy contacted her recruiter to explore her options.

I walked out of my appointment with a job offer, pending a successful background check, which I knew wouldn't be an issue. Tracy had gotten a positive response from her recruiter and a potential plan was starting to take shape. Now we just had to decide if we really wanted it.

Financially, it made sense. Tracy was earning pretty good money and my position would include our site plus a wage for all hours worked. In addition, we wouldn't have any travel expense to speak of and with current gas prices, this was certainly a factor. But it isn't all about the money. If money was our primary motivating factor, then we wouldn't be living this lifestyle. There had to be more reasons to stay.

The winter weather had prevented us from seeing and doing a lot of things. Even on the reasonably nice days, we were pretty limited. Staying the summer would provide the opportunity to accomplish a lot of those things. And if we were really serious about settling down someday, it would be beneficial to get a feel for all 4 seasons.

If I sound like I'm trying to talk us into it, that's probably because it's true. I wouldn't be truthful if I said that we knew without a doubt that this was the best thing for us. We have a few doubts and we've gone back and forth many times. But in the end, the yes's outweighted the no's. And what's the worst that could happen? We come to the conclusion that we made a mistake? It certainly wouldn't be the first time. And it's only for 6 months. I'm sure the time will fly by.

So here we are...still in Portland to stay for a bit longer. It's not exactly how we envisioned this summer to be. I wish I could say that I am as excited about this job as I was about our management position. It will be different and it will provide a view into a different type of park operations. It will certainly be a lot less stress. Unfortunately, our site doesn't even come close to comparing to our site last year. This is definitely city living in a typical RV park. But as much as we wanted to return to California this summer, we just have to face facts that it isn't a possibility. So we will try to focus on the good...and there is a lot of good.

Today was moving day and it was our shortest move yet. A whopping 30 miles! OK, 29.6 to be exact. Once we were hitched up and started rolling, we so wanted to keep going. It felt good to be on the move again. But we will have lots of opportuntities in the future and for now we are meant to be here. We still don't understand it all, but we will trust that we are being guided in the right direction.


  1. It does sound like things kind of fell into place for you guys! :) And I'm sure that the months will fly by, and you will have had a chance to do all the exploring you want in the area! :) (If you want to send some rain our way, that sounds fine to me - but just a FEW days worth!! LOL)

  2. buying a little time in Portland while letting the bank account accumulate will only make the future of staying on the road a little brighter... and afterall being "stuck" in Portland for the summer will be delightful I am sure...

  3. I don't want to sound cliche', but I am a firm believer in "all things happen for a reason". You may not know what they are right now, but eventually, it will come to you. There is a reason you are in Portland and not California. I'll bet the summer is going to be spectacular!

  4. I'm with Gail and Rick I think things happen for a purpose and sometimes the fun is in finding out what that purpose is. I have family in the NW and they say spring and summer are the best so be at peace and enjoy that beautiful part of the country in season! Always wishing you the best.

  5. Sounds like you were just meant to be in Portland for a while longer. That's not so bad, especially with summer coming soon.

  6. As you said, what is the worst that can happen if this decision IS a mistake? That you learn a lesson? That you get itchy to move on? Your bank account can grow as you learn from this decision - good or bad - and you'll be able to leave Portland's winter weather behind when the time comes. Meantime, there are lots of state parks to explore, the beautiful hikes in the Columbia River Gorge await you, Mt. Hood and it's blueberries, the lavender and cherry farms of Hood River, trips over to the coast... Hmmmm... sounds like where we want to be! The decision is made, breathe deep, let it go - and enjoy.

  7. Connie,
    We are glad to hear that you will be in Portland a bit longer. Now you can experience the beautiful (hopefully) Spring and Summer months. We get up to Gresham often to see our son and his family. Your park isn't in Fairview, by chance?

    There are so many nice things to see in Oregon, that you will not have time to do it all. The great thing about it is, you are close to the coast, the rivers, the mountains, the desert, the high desert, the mountain lakes and they all have wonderful things to offer.

    Having been born in Portland, raised in Klamath Falls, and living now in Eugene, I may be a bit biased. I've never found anywhere I'd rather live than Oregon! I love to travel and see other places, but for just the overall experiences, Oregon is The Best!

    I know you will enjoy your time. We plan to see a lot of things in Oregon this year that we haven't had the opportunity to see much of before. Glad to share some ideas with you, anytime.

    Hope to see you sometime this year.

  8. Everything happens for a REASON!!!! build up your checking account and then you'll be able to travel again. I bet you can do a LOT of exploring in the Portland area while your there. Keep us posted on the neat places you find there.

    Travel Safe
    Dawn and Denise

  9. Welcome to the beautiful Pacific Northwest Summer (well, it's not here quite yet but it's coming). If you are at the park I am thinking of, you are just a few miles from our son. We have explored that park before we got our RV and decided it is somewhere we can park when we come up to visit our family in the Portland area.

    I get SO tired of the rain about this time every year but the summers are so great it (almost!) makes it worthwhile. So very much to see and do in this area when the weather is nice.

    I hope your doubts fade away and you can relax and enjoy your time here in what I feel is one of the best places to spend a summer (and fall). Welcome!

  10. Sometimes we plan and then life happens! Sounds like things have worked out for you guys and things DO have a tendency to work out for the best. Six months is not that long and you will be able to enjoy a spectacular area and gain more experiences. Along with that the bank account grows....sounds like a win-win to me.
    You guys enjoy!

  11. A Summer in Portland sounds kinda nice to me. There's something to be said for Fate, I guess. Keep your head up and it'll be grand.

  12. If you're going to be "stuck " anywhere Oregon is the place.We will be in McMinnville June 1st for our second summer.Good luck.

  13. A beautiful summer in Portland, WITH a job, not just one, but two, is quite a treasure. The road will still be there when you are ready to move on. So much to see and do in the mean time. Portland is close, maybe you will ramble down toward Klamath sometime!

  14. Sounds like you made the right decision. I'm sure it will work out well and that you will be glad you did what you are doing. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  15. Things will work out for the best. I can think fo many worse places to spend the summer in than Portland. ;c)

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. What's the worst that could happen, pull up stakes and hit the road again? I'm sure you have Plan "B" ready, just in case. Best of luck!

  16. Hi Connie and Tracy,
    I hear your struggle. Travel or stay and work in a known place? Work vs. adventure. I experience that struggle lots. We're in an RV so we should be moving about more is what I find myself saying to myself sometimes. I'd love to be traveling freely but I know that we are not at the place yet where we can forget about earning money. So...we make the best of it too. And life is surely good in every way. But it is stressful not being fully rooted in a place but not freely traveling about either. I need a vacation! My camera helps me feel on vacation and appreciative of my environment. Take care. I look forward to hearing how it works out.

  17. How is it going this week Connie and Tracy?