Two Weeks Notice

Something must be in the personal finance blogger water. Recently, both Jessica of Mo’ Money, Mo’ Houses and Vanessa of Vanessa’s Money have announced that they are moving across the country to cities where they don’t have jobs lined up yet. And now, I’m happy to announce, I am doing the same thing. I put in my two weeks notice and I’m making the move from Cleveland, Ohio to Portland, Oregon in July without a job or an apartment lined up.

Pause for reaction.

Karen what gif

Let’s rewind a little bit.

How It Started

I have wanted to leave Ohio since I was about six. I questioned my parents regularly about why they chose to stay there and why we couldn’t move somewhere better. Ohio has this odd hold on people. Everyone seems to want to leave, but no one actually does. Many people stay in the same small town for their entire lives.

I ended up staying in Ohio for college (which was fortunate, because I met Steve here) and then I started with a public accounting firm in downtown Cleveland in January 2012. Steve and I have talked about leaving since we got married and three years later (November 2012), we still hadn’t done anything about it.

In December, something in me snapped. I was so freaking bored! I couldn’t take it. I was watching my early twenties slip by and I was just complaining about it instead of doing anything about it. I decided it was time to take action. After a bit of research, I became obsessed with the idea of getting a moving quote and moving across the country – specifically, to Portland. The coffee, the books, the wine, the hipsterness, the change – I wanted it all. I presented the idea to Steve – who was equally as bored as I was – and we quickly made the decision to move to Portland as soon as our lease was up.


Admittedly, we still haven’t done much preparation. Steve has looked around at jobs and apartments, but I’ve concentrated most of my limited Internet time on freelancing. However, we did do a few things. The first thing I did when we decided to move was contact Kathleen of Frugal Portland. She is the nicest, most helpful person ever. She gave me some advice about choosing neighborhoods and gave me the lowdown on Portland. She has even offered to show me around when I get there. I can’t wait to meet her!

Second, we started saving money. We saved up enough for the actual move and to hold us over for several months until we get jobs. We will be concentrating more on the job search come July.

Third, we figured out how we are getting ourselves and our stuff to Portland…

The Plan

Our lease is up July 12th. My extended family goes on a long weekend trip to these cabins (similar to Hocking Hills) annually and this year it is July 19th-22nd. So we are moving from our apartment on the 12th into a motel in my hometown for a week to hang out with my family and eat at my favorite restaurants. Then we are going to the cabins for the long weekend. When we get back, we will be road tripping it from Ohio to Oregon – stopping along the way to explore the states in between.

What about our stuff? Well, if it doesn’t fit in the Ford Focus, it’s not coming. So it’s pretty much going to be us, our clothes, the coffee pot, and our file box. Everything else will be sold or donated. As minimalists, this isn’t that difficult for us. We aren’t attached to our stuff and we don’t have much anyways. I can’t imagine letting something as common as “stuff” hold us back from our adventure.

We haven’t planned out much of a route yet. We do want to go to Chicago (Steve’s never been), Colorado Springs, and Zion National Park in Utah. Everything else is pretty much up in the air. Do you guys have any suggestions? We like anywhere with good food.

So basically, we’re just winging it. We are in our mid-twenties with no kids and no property; there isn’t much that we can’t bounce back from.

Two Weeks Notice

If you do math good, you know that it isn’t two weeks from July 12th yet. I was originally going to put in notice on June 28th, but another opportunity arose. My mom called me on June 6th and asked me if I would accompany her on a road trip to North Carolina to stay with her friend for a week – starting on June 21st. My initial reaction was, “Well, I CAN’T do that!” And then I thought, “Well, why can’t I?” I have the money and it is only three weeks of lost employment. After careful consideration and discussing it with Steve, I put in my two weeks notice the next day.

As you know, I have “find another job” on my 25 before 25 list. Let me preface this by saying that I DO NOT work for a bad company. I work for an industry that is absolutely not right for me. I have been unhappy in my position for quite some time and it was instant relief when I handed over my letter of resignation. HR was very understanding and supportive – not sure how my boss feels about it yet because he wasn’t in the office. I hope that he understands. As much as it wasn’t a good fit for me, it is never fun to quit a job that didn’t treat you badly. ESPECIALLY the one that gave you your first job out of college.

After the Two Weeks

Like I said, Mom and I hit the road right after my last day. From what I understand her friend lives in BFE, NC (big surprise!) about an hour away from the Outer Banks. I plan on dragging Mom around as much as possible because while she likes vacations to relax, I like to see lots of new things (and more importantly, eat at new places!). I will get that hermit out of her shell if it kills me.

When we get back, Steve and I are planning on heading to Toronto for a few days. I’m trying to squeeze in a weekend trip to DC with my friends as well but we are having trouble finding a good weekend for all of our schedules. Then it’s packing up, moving out, and applying to jobs until we go to the cabins – which have absolutely NO cell phone reception, so there is no pressure to do anything even halfway productive. Bliss.

I think that’s everything. If you haven’t figured it out, this was my super secret savings goal and costly move that I’ve been talking about. I just didn’t want to blog about the details until my notice was in. Also if you remember, I talked about NEEDING to buy a new laptop. That’s because I don’t own one, I just use my work laptop. Steve found a Samsung that he loves so I will be checking that out soon.

And that’s all folks! Questions? Comments? Concerns? Happy Monday!

[Image from BuzzFeed]


  1. Good luck with the move! Mr PoP did several moves like that when he was younger, but I’ve always been the kind of person that needed to have my next steps mapped out before picking up and going for it.

  2. Sounds like quite the adventure! Good luck! Like you said, now is the time to do it before you get tied down with kids and their friends and schools! I look forward to reading about your adventures!

  3. So I stumbled upon you from your guest post on Johnny Moneyseed. You’re flipping awesome!

    I’m hooked, and will be a faithful reader…I’ve book marked you yo.

    That is all.

  4. Good for you! I have moved around a ton in my life, and have stayed at jobs that I didn’t care for. I have also quit too fast and moved around a lot. Make sure you find a good place to stay put. Temping is an excellent way to scope out the company culture without having too many jobs on your resume.

    While in Chicago, eat at one of their amazing pizza places. Pizzeria Uno, Pizzeria Due, Pequod’s or Lou Malnotti’s all offer a great pie. Got a craving for an amazing burger? Hackney’s has 5 or so locations. Make sure you go downtown and see the Bean sculpture (I think it is called Cloud Gate or something).

    We are in Colorado and would love to host you for dinner. Send me an email.

    • Oh we will DEFINITELY be eating pizza in Chicago. To be honest, it’s pretty much the reason we are going. We follow food…

      That’s so nice, Mrs. 1500! I will definitely shoot you an email once we get our route planned out. Where are you located in Colorado?

  5. Very exciting! W wants to do something like this as well, but I’m just afraid 🙂

    • Ooo, is there anywhere in particular he wants to go? This is my first move out of the state — so I wanted to go big :). Steve is not from the U.S., so this will only be his SECOND biggest move!

  6. TaraCorinne says

    Congrats on being able to do such a move! Glad to hear you and your husband saved up for a big move… I know many friends who don’t and fail when they try.

    I second the suggestion for temping. At least you have the freelancing to hold you over but since it seems like you have all the computer skills from working in an office (and running a blog) you can easily get something temporarily.

    Also, DON’T GIVE UP when you get there. I live in NYC and have had many friends/family members give up after moving here after a few months. And then they move back home immediately which is kind of disheartening. If Portland doesn’t work, try another place before going home. And try giving it at least a year if you can!

    • Thanks, Tara! The plan is to give it a year and then decide what we want to do from there.

      We probably oversaved, but that’s better than not saving enough! Plus, it allowed me the opportunity to road trip with Mom and leave my job 3 weeks early. I really dig this having money thing, after I pay off my debt I’m NEVER going back to paycheck to paycheck living again.

  7. I have to say, WAY TO Go! How exciting!!!!

    I’ve never been one to do this sort of thing but I’ve been envious of those who do. I’m a planner and stability is a big issue for me. My great job keeps me grounded. I did, almost move to Florida once and I would have moved to Wyoming had I not just purchased my condo…things that bind….

    wow! I can’t wait to hear more!

    • Thanks, CJ!

      While I haven’t moved out of the state yet, I moved around a lot as a child. This has allowed me to be very adaptable and welcome to change. It also helps that we saved up the money as an extra buffer if it takes us a few months to secure jobs.

      • I was actually passed around as a child a lot (my mom was quite young) and I was raised by family and friends.

        As I got older, staying in the same place has been a comfort, honestly.

  8. I moved around quite a bit in my younger days, and don’t regret it a bit. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and now Phoenix, not to mention all of the traveling in between. Portland is nice although I preferred Seattle. Now the nice thing is I have friends in all of those places and a place to crash if need be on vacations. If you like donuts, I’m sure Kathleen will get you over to VooDoo. Can’t live there without having one. Good luck and enjoy your road trip cross country.

  9. Wow, seems like everyone one is on that train nowadays. I hope it works out well for you. Good luck!

  10. Sounds like an adventure! It seems like A LOT of PF bloggers live in Portland! I might be making my way there one day! There’s a bunch of caves in Missouri that I’ve never been to but look amazing. If you find yourself in Arkansas, my mom and I camped at Lake Ouachita, just outside of Hot Springs (hit up the bath houses there, nice!) on our road trip. Don’t miss out on Zion National Park! There’s also Bryce Canyon National Park. Have you seen the Grand Canyon? I went on a road trip out that way, drove through the Mojave Desert and went to Yosemite National Park. Be sure to check out the sequoias! If you go through California there’s always the Golden Gate Bridge and be sure to drive the coastal highway up to Oregon! You should also check out Heart2Heart farm in Sherwood, just outside of Portland. They’re all about sustainable living and stuff. One of my best friends and her husband own it/run it. I’ve never been, but I will one day!

  11. Congrats on this huge step in your life! I’m sure everything will work out perfectly (job and apartment wise) but in the mean time, relax and enjoy the upheaval!

  12. Whoa. People gave me SO much crap when I quit my job a year ago (before going back). What a contrast.

    • I appreciate everyone’s support, I did expect a few naysayers. It’s all good though! If someone doesn’t think you’ll succeed you just have to prove them wrong :).

  13. Wow, that’s so gutsy and I admire you for that. Best wishes and please take lots of pics on your adventures!

  14. Zion National Park is beautiful! Good choice!! And I’m excited for you to visit Toronto too, wish we could have been there at the same time.

    I don’t know WHAT is in the water with PF bloggers up and quitting their jobs and moving places! I was just thinking about how nuts you all are but then I realized it’s about time I write my “I’m-quitting-my-job-and-moving” post 😉

    So excited for you!!

    • I can’t wait! Yes, such a bummer that we missed each other :(.

      Thanks, Bridget. I can’t wait to read your post in the future :). Maybe you’ll move to Toronto!

  15. Well, you should visit us here in NH which is right on the way to Oregon. Assuming you are going the long way around.

    you are going the long way around right? Right??

  16. Wow, this all sounds so exciting Erin! Best wishes to you and your hubby! I can’t wait to read about all your future adventures. The west coast is the best coast 😉

  17. Wow. Congratulations on having the courage to take such a big step and good luck in your travels and at your final destination 🙂

  18. I grew up in Colorado Springs and there are some interesting places to visit there. I would check out the typical ones like Garden of the Gods and the Cog Railroad to the top of PIkes Peak. Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City can be fun too. If you are cutting through the mountains there are several interesting places like Idaho Springs (go to Beau Joe’s Pizza), Glenwood Springs (go on Hanging Lake hike), and Crested Butte. There is also a great drive from Estes Park through Rocky Mountain National Forrest to Granby. It’s a beautiful drive. Hope some of that may help. Have fun on your road trip!

  19. I am soooo excited for you!!!! You are a badass! I hope the move is awesome, and I’m sure jealous you get to meet Kathleen!

  20. I grew up in Ohio and can completely relate to what you are saying about small town life. Where I lived (Darke Co.), there wasn’t much to do within a 30 minute drive in any direction. Sometimes I miss it but couldn’t imagine moving back. Love the South and Atlanta too much now. Hope the journey goes well for you!

  21. Great update, lady! You didn’t miss a beat. Except, unless I missed it, are you guys going to try and find a place in Portland before you get there? If not, what are you going to do?

    • Thanks, Cait!

      I have been largely uninvolved in the apartment search, but Steve has been looking around. We are undecided as to whether we want to sign paperwork to secure a place before actually seeing it though. If we don’t have a place lined up when we go, we’ll just stay in a motel temporarily.

  22. Congrats! I’m considering doing the same thing but hoping to do it with a job lined up. (And ironically, one of the places on my list to move to is Ohio :))

  23. Your description of Ohio made me giggle. My boyfriend is from Cincinnati and he left after college for Florida and now lives with me in Texas. Whenever I visit Ohio I’m always shocked by the amount of people who have lived in the same towns (with brief stints at Ohio State for college). I will say it’s a beautiful place in the summer/fall. I also went to Cleveland in January and nearly had a heart attack over lake effect snow. Give me a Hurricane over that ANY TIME. I find Portland appealing too, but Sam and I are still trying to get a handle on our debt before making a move like that! Have fun!

  24. From a guy who grew on Long Island, then went to college and law school here too – I am jealous that you are actually making that big of a move!!! Good Luck

    Let me know if Kathleen is as nice in real life (just DM it to me if she turns out to be a total bitch LOL)

  25. I can show you around too! I can confirm Kathleen is the nicest and we can all hang at the blogger happy hour 🙂

  26. just found your blog and went back through the archives to read about your move– THIS IS SO COOL! I just put in my 2 weeks (well, 3 weeks) and am going to move 6 hours north with my BF! I don’t have a job lined up either and am going to attempt to do my own kinda self-employment thing for awhile. so glad to hear that you did the same thing- can’t wait to catch up on your posts since this one to hear how you’re doing it! WOOO for big life changes!

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