Moving Across the Country

I don’t know how to start this post, so let’s just jump right in. Grab my hand please because this is scary.

Brendan and I are moving away from New Jersey/New York. (I always have to say both. My life is in both places.)

california here we come

To Los Angeles, California.

Brendan got a can’t-refuse job offer with UCLA Football, so we’re packing up and moving allllll the way across the country. This was probably the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make together and we had to make it quickly. I’m talking within a day. After a lot a lot of pros-and-cons-list-making, I told him it was ultimately his job offer, his decision, and that I would support him no matter what. (#FianceOfTheYear, am I right?!) In the end, we decided to go for it, knowing it would be extremely hard to leave the people we love but that the opportunity was so incredible and a similar one might not be on the table ever again.

http://www.freeworldmaps.net/download/united-states.html

Paint skillz. (Photo credit: freeworldmaps.net)

I’m lucky my parents are smack dab in the middle of the US of A, so it will generally still be about the same amount of time for me to get home by plane. That’s a bonus. But I also have family and friends and a life here and I’m extremely sad to leave. It’s been so wonderful having Brendan’s family (well, they are mine now too!) and of course all our amazing friends close by…and now it’ll pretty much just be the two of us. Just the two of us! Building castles in the sky! (Oh, Will Smith. You’re so eloquent.)

I’m really sad but I think once we finish all the hard stuff (packing, apartment searching, FINDING ME A NEW JOB – SCARY, etc) we’ll both feel much more excited.

Ashley actually sent me this video which reminded me of how much I wanted to live in California back when I was obsessed with Laguna Beach (even though I think is the theme song for The OC? Yes?) and would listen to this over and over, sooo listening now makes me a little more enthusiastic.

So what’s next?

We’re going on an impromptu cross-country road trip late this week. Right now the plan is to visit friends/family in Ohio, Chicago, Iowa, Denver, Las Vegas and then on to LA. I’ll stay a week to help find an apartment and then leave him (wahh!) to come back to NJ/NY to finish up at work and pack. I’ll officially be a Los Angelen (Los Angelite??) around the middle of August. For now, we have to figure out how to ship everything we own and can’t fit in Brendan’s car across the entire United States (California is farrrrrr) including one car and Penelope the Bike who I’m pretty concerned about surviving a trip in a bouncing moving truck.

Good news is that we’ll get rid of all the random crap we were hanging onto for no reason whatsoever. Half the things we own aren’t even worth carrying up and down stairs and I need to save room for my 3 foam rollers, you know? Also, I already checked, and they have ClassPass and Barry’s Bootcamp and FlyWheel in LA. And Trader Joe’s. My favorite things! Also, no snow. YESSSSS.

With all that being said, I’ve never been to Los Angeles so I have a lot of initial concerns/thoughts. Well, you know, besides my no-friends-and-no-job concerns. Minor details.

  • Do people wear rain boots in California?
  • Will I need a coat, like, ever?
  • There is currently no NFL team in LA. This is sad.
  • I’m going to have to watch NFL games at 10 AM. Monday Night Football will be at 5 PM. I don’t know if this is bad or good.
  • Will I forever be calling my east coast friends at midnight EST on accident? Sorry in advance.
  • Do I have to start walking slowly again?
  • I’m going to miss the straightforwardness of East Coasters.
  • I’m going to have to up my sunscreen budget.
  • Should I buy a surfboard?
  • I hope I get really good at triathlons.
  • I can train for spring marathons and not have to worry about freezing temperatures.
  • Can I hire someone to teach me how to pronounce the names of all these crazy towns and roads?

To follow up on that last one, I learned a lot from Jack Bauer in 24; I would never know how to pronounce Van Nuys and La Cienega without him. But most of the others I haven’t the slightest idea. If I didn’t hear it in a song or movie, I probably don’t know. Although I’ve been staring at the map a lot and am recognizing a lot of names from songs and therefore currently have all those songs stuck in my head. Santa Monica Boulevard. Rodeo Drive. Pacific Coast Highway. The 405. Ventura Boulevard. Mulholland. (Look at me, knowing stuff.)

I’ve serenaded Brendan with the Fresh Prince theme song at least 567 times in the past week.

fresh prince of bel air

Californian musicians sure love to sing about local streets. I’m going to be out there all like…have you heard of Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen? Which bridge do I need to take to get outside LA? I know how to drive from New Jersey to Queens to Brooklyn to the Bronx and back over to Long Island without GPS, I bet you don’t. HaHAAAA! I win!

And now every day when I see “Wilshire” I’m going to think “Reg. Bev. Wil.” (Tell me you guys got that reference. If you did, you get 1,000 points. That go toward nothing.)

Anywho, this past week has been really hard emotionally. The Jets had a party for Brendan and not only was it sad for him to leave a great job with great people, but I worked there too (that’s where we met), so I’ve known and loved all those people about as long as Brendan has.

staff

We’re so lucky to have such fantastic friends.

NON-WORKOUT CLOTHES AGAIN.

NON-WORKOUT CLOTHES AGAIN.

I cried for a solid hour there, as well as an hour before and an hour after. On Saturday, we went to Brendan’s “office” one more time and his poor boss was there and got stuck taking photos of us in the Jets locker room. (Sorry Gus!) I’m getting very sentimental now (CAN YOU TELL?) and it was important to me to have photographic evidence of us in the very spot we met almost 6 years ago. 

Let's just consider this our engagement photo.

Let’s just consider this our engagement photo and be done with it.

We then headed to New York to visit Brendan’s family. His parents had a party at their house and all his friends from home came to hang out until the wee hours of the morning. It was SUCH a fun time, but of course I cried saying bye to everyone. And then I cried even more when we had to say goodbye to his family and more close friends on Sunday. I know we’ll be back often, but still super sad.

In between the crying I ate a lot of cake.

In between the crying I ate a lot of cake.

All week people have hilariously been accidentally talking about us in the past tense and I constantly keep reminding them that we’re not in fact dying (KNOCK ON WOOD x10000). My friend Sam, her sister Jackie and I couldn’t stop laughing when Jackie’s husband Steve told me “you were a real nice girl.” HAHAHA. Don’t worry guys, they have the internet in LA (at least I think. I’ve never been. Oh god. I should check on that.) so I’ll still be around. 

Now it’s Monday and to start off my day, I quit my job. Scary. And sad because I work for a great place with a great mission and fabulous, passionate people. I have nothing on the docket sooo…if you know people in LA, hook a sister up. I will thank you by baking you cookies.

To continue on my tangent (in the longest blog post ever) it’s funny how much better everything seems when you’re leaving. I used to constantly complain about my commute, how loud New York City seems on a Monday morning, how much I miss fresh air. But now that I know I’m leaving, I’ve felt a major mental shift. “My commute isn’t that bad!” “New York City is the best city in the world!” (Well, I’ve always thought that. But NYC and I do have a love-hate relationship.) A pair of rose-colored glasses always seem to slide over my eyes when I realize I’m about to lose something, and I stop seeing the negatives I used to complain about constantly. Now that we’re leaving, New Jersey feels like my favorite place in the whole world. That stupid saying “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” (that song about the parking lot is now stuck in my head, dang it) is so freakin’ true. I mean, I’ve loved it for years, but why didn’t I feel this passionate about NJ in my day-to-day? When the threat of leaving wasn’t at my back?

Hanging out with her doesn't make it any easier.

NJ also has Jennie. +1000 for NJ.

Regardless, off we go on a new adventure. I’m excited to bring you all along!

Have you ever moved across the country? Do you live in LA and want to be my friend? (Most importantly…do you get the Reg. Bev. Wil. movie reference?)

I’m a writer currently living in Los Angeles and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!
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37 Comments

  1. June 30, 2014 / 11:30 pm

    Welcome to California! Well…when you get here. And instead of Los Angelite – say Angelino.

    People only wear rain boots to be ironic.
    You will need a coat so you don’t look like the only person not wearing one when it gets below 75 degrees outside.
    Who walks slowly?
    Definitely don’t buy a surfboard.
    Pronounce all the names like you are butchering the Spanish language.
    Have you contacted the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of LLS or TNT? I know people who work there.
    I don’t live in Los Angeles (I’m in Orange County and yes, it is a world away) but I have a Facebook group full of healthy bloggers who do! Find me, friend me, and I’ll invite you to the group (Tiffany Henness).

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:10 pm

      Hahah you’re the best – thank you so much! Just added you on Facebook :)

  2. Mike Parge
    July 1, 2014 / 12:17 am

    I wish both of you the best of luck…I am sure you both will make out perfectly…Go UCLA (I’m a Bruin basketball fan)….See you on the sidelines!!! Brendan, your a good friend!! Parge

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:11 pm

      Thank you Parge! YOU are a good friend! Although I can’t say I’ll be cheering for UCLA basketball…Kansas all the way! :)

  3. July 1, 2014 / 12:22 am

    Wow girly, this is a HUGE change for you. you guys will be fine though! moving is stressful and hard but once you get there, it’s like an adventure… you’ll find new places to run, new races, new places to shop (but some old favorites). It looks like you had some fun goodbye parties too- take comfort in knowing you have great friends there in NY and you will have them in Cali too.

    And thanks for reminding me of The OC and that song, that was a great song :).

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Amy :)

      So huge! I definitely think we’ll be more excited once we’re actually there and the hard stuff (like the actual moving process) is done.

      Haha I’ve had that song stuck in my head for days now!

  4. July 1, 2014 / 12:24 am

    I live in Los Angeles and I would love to be your friend!! :) I live in WeHo! — And that FB group Tiff is referring to above – Yep, I am the admin on it, so I will def let you in if you request to join! :)

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:15 pm

      YESSSS. Friends! Yay! WeHo=West Hollywood, yes? I feel so smart right now. :) Just sent a request!

  5. July 1, 2014 / 12:30 am

    Noooooooo!! NY is going to miss you SO hard! I am so excited for you though and your new adventure! How exciting. Everything happens for a reason and I’m sure now it seems crazy now but I bet you will LOVE LA and UCLA. So I guess I will be all like J-E-T-S let’s gooooo UCLA when I think of you :)

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:16 pm

      Awww, I’m going to miss NY so much. No more NYC Meet & Tweet for me! So sad. So thankful for Twitter and Instagram though so we can always keep in touch. You still gotta cheer for the Jets of course! :)

  6. July 1, 2014 / 12:32 am

    You will LOVE LA. It is the best, seriously. Best weather, and LA has everything. I love it here, but i’m biased I guess.

    And Tiffany’s right — say Angeleno and definitely don’t buy rain boots.

    No NFL team but we have the Dodgers!!!

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:21 pm

      Thanks! The weather is probably my most favorite part about moving. I’m so excited for no winter…but it’s going to be hard to stop myself from bragging to all my friends out east :)

      I already have expensive rain boots so that’s my problem. Haha!

  7. July 1, 2014 / 12:39 am

    Hey girl! I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Los Angeles last Feb!! It was the scariest, most emotional thing I have ever done… but it’s by far the BEST decision I have EVER made! My entire family is in Ohio.. parents, nephews, brothers, friends.. moving was hard. Very hard. But oh my gosh, I am in love with LA. I never want to leave SoCal.

    I know Hutch said this already, but you’ll now be an Angeleno :) I have ClassPass and there are TONS of studios that take it here! It’s new to LA and really awesome. You will eventually learn how to say the street names and city names, trust me haha. I never took Spanish, but I am learning things now!

    Let me try to answer your questions:
    No, you don’t need rain boots. I don’t even own boots.
    Yes, you’ll need a coat for the “winter” days, but nothing like you need in the Midwest.
    Not having an NFL team is definitely sad, but I just follow Cleveland and San Diego.
    Yes, you’ll probably contact everyone at midnight or later. But they get used to it, and so do you. I’ve found that I now think of time as two times: Pacific AND East coast time. So right now I’m like oh it’s 530 here, but it’s 830 back home. You get used to it!
    You don’t have to walk slowly haha.
    You don’t need a surfboard, but you might want one after being here!
    The running weather is PERFECT. It gets humid along the ocean, but nothing like humidity back East. You’ll love it.
    It doesn’t snow which is amaze balls.

    I live in Los Angeles (Palms/Culver City to be exact), and like I said I have ClassPass, and I am currently training for 2 half marathons (SF Nike Women’s Half is my first one), and I am also a blogger! So we should definitely become friends hahah. You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/lyndsay.marvin :)

    I know it’s scary, but you will grow SO much! I’ve never been to New York, so I can’t speak to that, but living in LA has been life-changing. Best of luck!! :)

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:31 pm

      Ahhh we are the same! I’m so glad to find someone who understands my turmoil, haha. And that you love LA after making such a big move!

      Also:
      -Let’s take ClassPass classes together?! I’m addicted.
      -I’ve already started thinking about the two time zones! I guess I’ll forever be doing “math”, haha.
      -I will find you on Facebook now!

  8. July 1, 2014 / 1:25 am

    Welcome to California…early but know that you’re welcome here! I am from NY myself, though I moved here in my teens. Last year, I moved back to Cali after a three-year *FOREVER*-long hiatus. Biggest mistake ever to have left but like you said, rose-colored glasses and all… California’s amazing and you’ll have a blast. I’m here in the Inland Empire, about an hour outside of LA in decent traffic..40 minutes in my Charger and 2+ hours in peak traffic. I work in LA sometimes, I’m a social media manager, and I love the city. Enjoy your move! (I did it twice in three years…craziness…but fun!)

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:34 pm

      Thank you, Donna! It’s great to hear from someone who moved all the way out to CA from the east coast. I’m really not looking forward to this traffic everyone is mentioning, haha. But ohhhh well! Hope to meet you soon!

  9. July 1, 2014 / 9:18 am

    Kara!!! I am SO excited for you – this is great news! I have no advice about California but can tell you that my decision to move across the country to Denver was the best one I’ve ever made. Speaking of, make sure you tell me when you’re going to be in Denver!

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:37 pm

      Laura! Hi! I’m so glad to hear you’re happy with your decision to move. I was so sad to lose you here in NYC! I just couldn’t stay away from you I guess so now I’m moving closer :) haha! Hope to see you soooooon! PS I tweeted you about the day I’ll be in Denver!

  10. Alex @ therunwithin
    July 1, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    I bet this is super scary but I am so excited for you! Congrats to both of you, I can only imagine how amazing CA will be!!

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:38 pm

      Extremely! But everyone is so supportive which makes it much easier. Thank you so much, Alex!

  11. July 1, 2014 / 5:50 pm

    Hey girl! I moved to LA from the east coast (NH/NY) about 2.5 years ago, so I totally understand your trepidation.

    To answer your questions…
    Do people wear rain boots in California? – I have a pair for the 1 time of year it rains… but that’s because I went to college in Miami
    Will I need a coat, like, ever? – yes, nighttime in the desert gets surprisingly cold. Not northeast winter cold, but chilly.
    There is currently no NFL team in LA. This is sad. – SO sad; but there are some great bars to watch at and you will always find transplant fans.
    I’m going to have to watch NFL games at 10 AM. Monday Night Football will be at 5 PM. I don’t know if this is bad or good. – 5PM games are AWESOME because you don’t want to kill yourself the next morning; 10AM games suck and you feel almost guilty for drinking that early. Almost.
    Will I forever be calling my east coast friends at midnight EST on accident? Sorry in advance. – For roughly the first 3 months or so you will; and then you’ll try to schedule phone call times and want to rip your hair out.
    Do I have to start walking slowly again? – NO! NEVER GIVE IN! PUSH THESE WEST-COASTERS OUT OF THE WAY AND MAKE THEM WALK!
    I’m going to miss the straightforwardness of East Coasters. – Yes, yes you will.
    I’m going to have to up my sunscreen budget. – depends on where you’re living; if you’re actually by the beach, yes. Otherwise, you’re going to be in your car a lot.
    Should I buy a surfboard? – again, depends on where you’re living; I’ve sadly yet to try surfing.
    I hope I get really good at triathlons. – There’s SO many great tri-teams out here. The run specialty store I work for partners with CalTri, Paramount Tri and Disney Tri.
    I can train for spring marathons and not have to worry about freezing temperatures. – yup, but training for fall marathons BLOWS because the summer heat is nearly unbearable.
    Can I hire someone to teach me how to pronounce the names of all these crazy towns and roads? – yes! let’s be friends :-)

    But seriously, if you have any questions or just want a friend to watch football with, let me know! Find me on Facebook (Sam Bangs) or shoot me an email lifeisbangin@gmail.com

    Best of luck with the move!

    (P.S. – I’m not some kind of weird stalked; I’m part of the blog group Healthy L.A.-dy Bloggers and was sent your way)

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:45 pm

      Hi Sam! Thanks so much for all the advice. Love it! I have a nice pair of rain boots and I’m more sad that the money I spent was kind of a waste now, haha.

      And I will totally push those west-coasters out of the way, hahaha! Only kidding. Sort of :)

      We can go surfing together! I’ve only been twice but I’ll teach you EVERTHING I know :)

      • July 1, 2014 / 6:50 pm

        ha! I hear you; I love my wellies.

        Yessss; I’ve been dying to surf. The water here is just so much colder than the beaches in Miami I got used to!

        And to alleviate your worry about traffic… I’ve been without my own car for almost 2 years now. My bf has a truck that I use when I need it, but I’m a pro at public transit (WAY more user friendly than most Angelinos will lead you to believe [they can get pretty snobby about it]) and taking my bike.

  12. July 1, 2014 / 6:23 pm

    Kara this is amazing! I’m so happy for you two. And yup – you will have year-round awesome weather to train in!!! All the best to you. XO

    • July 1, 2014 / 6:46 pm

      Awww Maggie! My Ironman buddy! Thank you so much. Feel free to come out to CA and train with me :)

  13. Ashley H
    July 1, 2014 / 9:08 pm

    Dont wear rain boots! If it rains it will be clear within a few hours so when you’re stuck in rain boots at 4 pm and its beautiful outside people will laugh (not that it happened to me…)
    10 am football is also kinda nice because you still have the entire afternoon to get sunday things taken care of plus no one judges you for drinking beer before noon on a sunday as long as its football season.

    • July 23, 2014 / 9:58 pm

      Haha that happens to me in NYC all the time! I can guarantee a sunny afternoon just by wearing rain boots :)

      I like your style! Can we drink beer together at 10AM someday?!

  14. July 1, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    I moved last summer from Georgia to LA (home) – so the feeling is all too familiar! Welcome to LA!

    I moved everything via a POD (seriously, worth it). I’ll be a new running friend out here when you’re ready! :)

    • July 23, 2014 / 9:59 pm

      YAY for new friends! I can’t wait!

  15. July 2, 2014 / 3:52 am

    What exciting news!!! If you don’t like it you can always move back! :) I would love to move across the country or just somewhere different! I moved from Vegas to AZ to Oregon!
    I love the “California” video. Yes that was totally OC. Loved that show!!!
    Congrats!! it is going to be great!!! It is warm there!! Huge plus!!! :)

    • July 23, 2014 / 9:59 pm

      We’ll be closer! Maybe we can meet in the middle for a tri?! And you can train me to be as awesome as you?!

    • July 23, 2014 / 9:57 pm

      I sure hope so! eeeek!

  16. July 4, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    BUT WAIT. This ruins my secret plan for you to train with me for my 70.3. Although I do not generally support the idea of people leaving NYC, this sounds like an awesome move and one more person to visit in LA! :)

    • July 23, 2014 / 9:57 pm

      I will train with you virtually?! Also, you should keep going and sign up for the Oceanside 70.3 in March (I’m debating) and we can race together! Or just come visit and we can lay on the beach. Either/or :)

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