AndyI learned about the Free State Project a few years ago when I was living in California working a good job with a government agency. I planned to fly to New Hampshire to attend PorcFest 2016 and to check out the area, but I came down with a health issue that forced me to cancel my plans. It became increasingly difficult for me to work, and in early 2017 I ended up taking early retirement. At that time, I knew I could no longer live in high-taxed and overpriced California on my pension income, so I looked at more affordable places in the country and decided to try going to PorcFest again. I made the long drive from California to Lancaster in June 2017 and attended the festival.

At PorcFest, I met other free state movers and met realtors from Porcupine Real Estate. I drove around New Hampshire after the festival to see which areas would be a good fit for me and my budget. I liked Keene because there seemed to be a lot of people interested in cryptocurrencies, and I liked the walk-ability of the city.

I drove back to California and thought things through, and a couple months later I flew back to New Hampshire to meet with Constance of Porcupine Real Estate. She showed me a lot of properties, but it was challenging getting my offers accepted by sellers. I thought the move to Keene wasn’t going to happen and left the area to visit friends in New York. Soon a listing opened up for a house within walking distance of downtown Keene and under budget, so I drove back to Keene and met with Constance and put in an offer $10,000 under their asking price. The seller accepted my offer, and I was relieved to be finally in contract.

I flew back to California and informed my brother in New York about the move. He was very discouraging and said that I would hate it because of the weather being different than Southern California. I thought about his concerns but kept moving forward with the home inspection on the house. I was very stressed between Labor Day weekend and when I was to move in October, but everything came together, and I had my stuff shipped in a relocation cube and drove across the country in mid-October 2017. I closed on the house in late October and have now been in Keene for about three months.

It’s been a challenging winter for me so far, but I’m getting used to it. At least I don’t have to endure all the Southern California gridlock traffic, smoke-filled skies and high rents. I can go days now without even having to get in my car, and I’ve made a few connections with some of the liberty-minded people in Keene, but it’s going to take awhile before I fully understand all the workings of cryptocurrencies. I’d like to build a life focused on getting more connected with the Free State Project, to be completely debt free, and to focus on my health and wellness.

The only advice I have to give is to weigh the costs of making the move. It’s a big decision, but it’s worth it for me to be more free than I was in a high-tax state like California. I would advise anyone considering a move to attend PorcFest like I did and then take some time and drive around to the different regions and see if one stands out.