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Nearly every time my boyfriend and I have made a spontaneous, radical decision, it has turned out for the better. Not only that, they’re often some of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
Seven years ago, we made a radical decision to move across the country. Approximately 6 months ago, we did it again.
The First Risk…
When we decided to move to Denver, we really had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t know a single soul in the entire state and didn’t know even where to begin to look for apartments. But was my boyfriend’s dream to snowboard every other weekend, and I ready for our next adventure. So, we flew out on my birthday weekend and rented a car, determined to find our new home.
Sadly, many of the places we saw online looked very different in person. Some apartments were much older, others much more expensive, than we envisioned. Still more were in urban areas that just didn’t offer access to the mountains or the walking trails we loved.
In the end, the apartment we landed on…well, we never even saw the inside. Truth be told, when we finally packed up our place in Illinois and hauled our two cats and two cars to Colorado, we only had a vague idea of the place we’d be living in.
To this day, it remains one of our favorite apartments.
…Came With Many Great Rewards
Because the apartment community wasn’t even built yet, we only had some renderings and one “model” apartment to look at. Anyone who’s ever looked at apartments knows how different the “model” can look from the actual room! But it had views of the mountains, was surrounded by hiking trails, with grocery stores and restaurants only a bike ride away.
We followed our hearts and signed our lease on the spot.
What seemed to be a huge risk turned out to be one of the best spontaneous decisions we ever made. Since the apartment community was only in the planning stages, our two-bedroom was hundreds of dollars cheaper per month. This rate was pretty much unheard of in the Denver metro area, and we were locked in without risk of it increasing year after year.
And let’s face it – who doesn’t love the idea that no one has ever showered in your bathroom beside you?
How Moving Affected Our Careers
At the time, both of us were in the beginning phases of our careers. Even though we’d always been dedicated to our work and believed in complete transparency, facing our managers was still scary.
When it the time came to face our fears, we pulled our managers aside for a private discussion. We were honest about our goals and only asked, “what’s the future hold for me here at this company?”
To our surprise, both our companies requested we work from home so as not to lose us. This afforded us a huge advantage – not having to search for a job in a brand new city made the whole transition immensely easier.
Taking a Risk With Texas
A handful of years later, we moved to Texas with the same kind of mentality. Only this time, we were determined to buy a house. Neither of us had ever really visited Texas before. Having never bought a house before, we had no clue where to start. We weren’t married, much less engaged. Truthfully, we didn’t even have a joint account.
With pretty much every logical decision at our backs, we plunged stubbornly forward. With only about 5 months before our lease ended in Colorado, we drove out to Austin, Texas to find our next adventure.
True to form, we stumbled upon our next destination by pure happenstance. We had done extensive research before heading down to Austin, but we found our home by merely setting out one day, intent on exploring.
Following a road lined with rolling hills and lush greenery, our excitement grew as we caught glimpses of a crystal lake flitting through the trees. Winding further into the countryside surrounding Lake Travis, we marveled at lakeside parks we hadn’t even known existed in Central Texas.
After approaching a local park ranger and pleading our case, we were allowed entry to a private beach tucked next to the Colorado River. It was there, sitting at a picnic table overlooking a winding river, boats and jet skis whisking by and our dog lumbering towards the water’s edge, that we decided – this is it.
Only months later, we flew back down to Lago Vista and met up with our real estate agent for the first time at a nearby coffee shop. What ensued was a whirlwind of over 30 potential houses in two days. And what did we land on? A house that wasn’t even finished yet, of course.
It Takes A LOT of Work
The ensuing months before our move to Texas was a whirlwind of stress and yes, a little planning. Ironically, I find great spontaneity comes with great planning. The thing that kept us going when frustrations were high? We’re in this together.
Spontaneity is not necessarily synonymous with easy, so it’s no wonder it can lose its appeal as couples get older. Routines in all their forms offer stability and security. But consider some of the things you’re most proud of – working out, finding the job of your dreams, having children. Oftentimes, the things that are uncomfortable are the most satisfying. Sometimes the more difficult and challenging and stressful an adventure is, only demonstrates how badly you want it.
Having the Tough Conversations
When it comes to adventuring out into the unknown with your partner, be prepared to face the tough conversations. Ask yourselves who you are as individuals, and as a couple. You have to tune into what you really want out of your life (and lives) for it to work.
It’s not to say decisions such as these are easy and without stress. We were forced to admit to each other our greatest fears and our most radical dreams for the future. Finding a balance between what was feasible and what we wanted was a huge challenge – we’re incredibly different people.
Perhaps it was the fact that by the time we purchased a house we had been together for about 9 years. Or that we had moved across the country with each other before. Or maybe we’re both stubborn as all hell. But I like to think what really got us through it was our mutual respect for each other’s differences. Neither of us wanted to change the other. We weren’t even really unhappy in Colorado. We just wanted to keep the adventure going.
Plan To Be Spontaneous
To this day, we still make space in our relationship for spontaneity. Whenever we can, we try to insert a little of unplanned activities into our week, and we love out-of-the-box dates. Glow-in-the-dark paddleboarding anyone? How about an Escape Room with a bunch of strangers? I promise you, you won’t want to leave each other’s sides by the time you get out.
Spontaneity comes with its own risks and rewards. Jumping into something headfirst doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning all fear. It takes a little it of faith..and maybe a little insanity.
Nothing can kick your health and wellness resolutions to the curb like a hefty bought of sinus congestion, chesty coughs and sleepless, fever-filled nights. Thankfully, there’s a ton of natural ways you can treat your cold right in the comfort of your own home.
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