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.
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