How It All Started
Before 2020 changed everything for us and we left California for New Hampshire, we always enjoyed traveling, seeing new places, and nature - and we still do today.
While my husband, Daniel, was researching our next travel destination about 5-6 years ago, he watched some videos about the Free State Project and shared them with me.
After I started following the FSP's social media, I had some reservations. I saw comments from others that seem harsh and people who are OK with certain rights being taken away or how they're OK with government control.
Don’t let this discourage you. I found that the people who work closely with the Free State Project are amazing and helpful.
With a clear mind, in 2012 or 2013, we decided we were moving to New Hampshire. We fell in love with New Hampshire while we were on vacation. We went to Boston, then decided to drive to Vermont and New Hampshire for fall foliage. After falling in love with New Hampshire, we waited to move until our kids were older - we are a blended family and wanted to be there for some important events of our middle son.
In that moment, we chose to stay in California, along with their horrible politics.
Why California Wasn't Right for Us
In California, we didn't see ourselves relating to any political party, agreeing with some issues and disagreeing with others. However, we do vote more on one party side, mainly because we vote for jobs, less taxes, and to preserve the constitution.
Personally, I realize that no party is perfect, so I just do my best to focus on what the active members are doing, as well as the ones running for office and what they are doing.
With things that have been happening in California over the years, we couldn't wait to be out. We love the weather and our family in California, but in our experience, Californians are not that friendly, crime is high, taxes are high, and traffic is horrific.
For over 10 years, California has been run by one party. This party is in theory the party of "help", but in reality in California, the cost of living is very high and housing prices are bad. This is partly because, if you live in California, you pay so much in taxes and you do not see the effects of where any of that tax money goes.
And those high taxes in California have had a very negative effect on some very real people. In the past, I used to see a few handfuls of homelessness people here and there. Now, there are homeless camps all over the place. In California, the situation is so out of control, there are hundreds of people living on the streets in almost every decent city.
2020 Changed Everything
Then Covid happened. With that, 2020 changed everything for us, including my husband's job. He is a class A driver. After some careful thought, we realized he'd either be laid off or forced to take a pay cut. At that point, he decided that maybe it was the best time to escape from California and move to New Hampshire.
I wasn't ready yet. I wanted to wait another 2-3 years because I wasn't ready to give up my job. Without a college education, I knew that most employers require a degree for what I do. Plus, I have years of experience in my field! So, because I would have to take a pay cut, I wanted more money saved and bills paid off so that we could be debt free when we finally move.
Despite it all, Daniel and I agreed to see if he could get a job transfer. When he found out his transfer request didn't go through, he applied to two jobs in New Hampshire on a Friday. By the following Monday, one company called him back, he flew out that same week for an interview, performed a driving test, and they hired him!
As soon as he came back from New Hampshire, we called a couple of real estate agents, decided who to go with, and put our house up for sale. Within a week of Daniel coming home, our house was up for sale! Within a week of the house being up, it was sold.
My husband had to start his new job at the end of July, so he drove to New Hampshire and lived in a hotel until our California home closed. He looked for a new home for us while he was here, found one, and we were happy to have our offer accepted. It did take a while because homes were getting snatched up before he could even look at them.
The week the house closed in California, Daniel flew home to help us load the POD (a portable storage unit). The day after the POD was picked up, we loaded the cars, kids, and animals, then drove to New Hampshire.
Until our home was finally ready, we had to live in a hotel for two weeks. It was a stressful month and a half and a lot seemed to happen very fast for me. I did apply for jobs while the new house was in escrow, but I didn't get any call backs. That made it more stressful because I am very independent - not having job prospects when we arrived in New Hampshire was difficult to accept.
Fortunately for me, my former employer in California shocked me when they gave me an offer to work from home in New Hampshire! Instantly, I was relieved.
Getting Settled In
Finally, when we got the keys to our new place to call home, we were not able to get the POD delivered here until five days later. So, instead of continuing to pay for a hotel room, we got three inexpensive air mattresses and some blankets, and started to live in our new home.
Also, we had the internet connected that same weekend so I could work. When we finally got our belongings, my husband and I unloaded the POD ourselves. Unfortunately, we didn't know exactly when they would be here, so trying to get help would have been hard last minute, and I wasn't going to continue to wait longer to start getting our belongings out, especially the couch and kitchen table!!
It took us a while to get settled in. Unfortunately, we’ve been having some issues with our home, but we are handling it. We consider ourselves city folks, so we're learning a lot, especially about septic tanks and wells, since we moved to a more rural part of New Hampshire to reduce commute. We love the town we moved to though, and the neighbors have been welcoming.
Just Do It!
I am so happy with our move! We love it here. People have been so nice to us and we feel like we're a part of a community. As a result, I am working on learning how to be more talkative and outgoing because I would like to have more friends here. Now, I can't wait to start adventuring out. We want to start getting involved, but have not been able to just yet. At the moment, we are trying to manage work time with house repairs.
In the end, we recommend that you just do it!
If my husband didn't decide to just look for a job and head out, I myself may have kept pushing it back. We did start saving years prior, but life happens and expenses come up. Because we had wanted to move here since about 2012-2013 we had started saving what we could, for example we got the cars paid off in 2017, which helped by adding more to our savings. For years, we kept doing what we could to make it happen.
For us, 2020 changed everything. Thanks to our careful planning and a little luck, we moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project, and so can you.