Relocation to a new state requires perseverance, determination and courage. When you decide to follow your dream, you are also agreeing to take along your “friends” doubt, discouragement and fear. We have friends who intend to follow in our footsteps and recently asked us about the different range of emotions we have undergone. We gave a brief answer, but after taking time to think about it, we thought it might be appropriate to address it here for all to see.
So what does moving feel like? You can do all the research in the world but nothing can really prepare you for what you will be feeling. When we made the decision to move, we knew that our oldest son would not be coming with us. His life is in Wisconsin, and he had no desire to leave his world behind. As a parent, it is a hard choice to make: by leaving, we knew that essentially he had no home to come back to. Of course he is welcome to come to Florida at any time, but with the separation of 1, 287 miles between us, it does not make it an easy endeavor. But on the opposite side of the equation, how long do we put our own lives on hold? This, of course, is a personal decision dependent on your child’s maturity level and your own comfort zone. We felt our son had the maturity level that would enable him to live on his own and be successful. We want to make it clear that if we felt he was not able to handle it, we would not have moved. Our children have always been, and will always be, our first priority in our lives.
After we crossed the state line and left the Florida Welcome Center, we cranked up The Princess and The Frog soundtrack and we were really on cloud nine. We don’t believe we’ve felt as much joy as a family as those couple of hours driving through the state of Florida. The children were screaming with excitement when they saw the Clermont city limits sign, and again when we reached the apartment complex. After years of dreaming and months of planning, we really were on an emotional high to see our dreams being realized.
At first we felt like we were on vacation, and do we really need to laundry already?! It was also overwhelming to walk into Target that first afternoon–without a list–and try to determine what needs to be bought for the first couple of days. We highly recommend making lists of things you decide not to move, so that you know what it is you will need to buy. Even if the list seems long and you think you will never be able to buy it all back, it will prove invaluable to you those first few days.
We have been blessed by having the opportunity to meet Facebook friends at the Disney Parks, and discover that they are just as wonderful face to face as they are in the internet world. We are looking forward to developing these relationships and meeting more friends as the opportunity arises.
We are slowly learning how to navigate our way around Clermont. It is kind of unsettling moving to a new area and not knowing where anything is, and having to rely on GPS. We find ourselves comparing Clermont to Fond du Lac a lot, and noticing the differences; liking some of them, and not liking others at all. (We suspect there is a hidden sensor in our license plate that alerts all the traffic signals to turn red as we approach).
We have discovered that at first, we liked to spend time at Disney; not only because it was Disney, but because it was familiar, and wonderful, and it provided an escape away from the huge changes our lives were undergoing. It’s part of the reason we went to the Magic Kingdom today– both kids started school on Monday and they needed to experience the magic of Disney, to help ease the transition of summer vacation to a new school year.
Moving to a new city and state requires a huge leap of faith; but if you plan for it and try to anticipate potential roadblocks, it will help the transition to progress smoothly. It’s a huge part of why we started our blog, to help other families in their process of relocation. If we help only one family in achieving their goals and dreams of relocating to Florida, then we consider our blog a success. Its not about attracting a huge readership but helping out those who do find us. We firmly believe that Disney is a huge part of what made it work for us. As much as we dislike Wisconsin winters, we would not have moved on that reason alone. Yes, it’s a very nice perk that we will love come December, but it’s also a huge undertaking to uproot your family, and you really need to have a motivating reason besides weather conditions. For us, (and for many other people, no doubt) Walt Disney World is that reason.