Moving To The Pacific Northwest

As of May 1st I have officially become a Seattleite!

I was given an incredible opportunity to do what I love in a new city. My new job is an absolute dream and they moved me to Washington State so that I can be closer to the production team.

I packed up my life in AZ, shipped everything up north and after 5 days and 1,500 miles, I arrived at my new home. I have packed up so many times I’ve lost count but they were never intended to be permanent, this time would be different. I had a lot of help from my parents, getting me the things I needed and helping me pack. Originally, my dad was going to drive a rented truck and I’d follow in my car, but it was just more cost effective to ship 98% of my stuff and anything Uhaul wouldn’t insure, would travel with me in my car. Mom and dad were set to fly out to meet me in Seattle the day after I arrive and stay for 5 days.

I was a little nervous about driving myself, but I was insistent on doing it for a sense of accomplishment. I set it up so that I wouldn’t drive at night and would stay with friends along the way. Naturally, I made a pit stop at the Happiest Place On Earth for a day. It was a beautiful overcast day and since I didn’t plan on spending the entire day at the park, it lasted just long enough for me to ride my favorite ride and eat my favorite foods with some of my favorite people. It was almost like a goodbye party. I’m used to being able to just drive to Anaheim whenever it was convenient for me to do so. While I’ve lived in many different places all over the country, this is the first time I am truly responsible for myself and wellbeing. It’s also the first time I will have lived alone. With this new chapter in my life, it was very fitting to figuratively say ‘goodbye’, and grow up a bit.

It was a strange sensation to not drive back to Phoenix when leaving Anaheim. Almost like the journey didn’t actually start until that morning. I knew that drive so well, but I had never driven to Northern California alone before. 

I drove for 6 hours up to Concord to stay with one of my best friends for just one night, wishing I had more time to spend with her. We watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones at another friend’s apartment before I had a very short nap. The next morning I had to be on the road before 5 in order to get to my hotel in Oregon on time.

The longest driving day was from Concord to Portland, about 10 hours, but it was probably my favorite part of the trip. There were so many trees! I was just in awe the entire time, trying to pay attention to the road instead of the snow capped mountains in the distance. I did stop for a quick bite and to fuel up about two hours away from my destination. As I’m stepping out of my car at an empty gas station, a man in a high-res vest came jogging up to me and grabbed the hose before I had a chance to. I instantly gripped my keys a little tighter and asked how I could help him. Innocently, he explained he was there to help with the pump and I blurted out, “Oh, that’s right. I’m in Oregon.” I had totally forgotten that in the state of Oregon, you don’t pump your own gas. Weird. 

Once I checked into where I was staying and took a nice hot shower, an old friend met me for dinner, drinks, and doughnuts. It was pretty quiet for a Monday night, but we had a great time catching up. He and I worked together on one of my many internships at Disney and it was fun to explain the similarities and differences of Disney theme parks and cruise ships.

The drive to Seattle was only two hours, so I took some time the next morning to myself. Everything was peaceful as I drank my dirty chi alone on the rooftop, listing to some 20’s swing music, embracing the end of my journey. Up until this point, it almost felt like a vacation, but in 24 hours I would be moving my stuff into my new place. As much as I wanted to film the process vlog style, I also wanted to just be present for myself. Really soak in this moment in my life where everything was about to change for the better without the distraction of my camera.

I wasn’t supposed to get my keys until the next day, but I got a call from my property manager while on the road and he didn’t mind letting me in a little early to finally step foot into my new apartment. It was incredibly stressful to rent a place without even being in the same state before signing a year-long lease, but I really lucked out with this place. It’s just the right size and in a great location.

My parents flew in the next afternoon but I had to make an appearance at my new office so I couldn’t pick them up at the airport. By sheer coincidence, our first shoot was scheduled for the two days after my move-in day. So while I was trying to make a good first impression meeting my boss and his boss in person for the first time, my parents cleaned and organized my apartment to the best of their ability.

The days in the studio were an absolute blast. We had such a good time shooting the videos I had spent the last three months writing scripts for. It was really surreal to see my work come to life and I’m sure it’ll be even better once they’re published on YouTube for everyone to see.

I was able to do a little bit of sight seeing over the weekend before my parents left that Sunday. Neither of them had been to Washington Sate before so we did all the touristy shit and it was great. I’m glad they both came out to see my office and apartment because I know they’ll worry about me, mom especially, and if they’re familiar with my surroundings maybe they wont call me 8x a day. (who am I kidding?)

I am very grateful for the circumstances that have to lead me to write this in my underwear, alone in my tiny, beautiful studio apartment on a very steep hill in Seattle.

Thanks for reading and go drink some water
-Ri