Keep the Memories, Ditch the Rest

Back in 2011, those who followed us from the beginning know we had an “Epic Garage Sale” which you can read and see here.  https://relocatedtourist.com/2011/05/21/our-epic-garage-sale/

First move, we had decided to get rid of a good 85% of our belongings so we didn’t have to move it all to Florida. Now in hindsight, I will say taking everything we had in just two vehicles was definitely a sense of freedom I had never felt before.  Things tie you down more than you realize, so having little to move was awesome. So that was the good part. The bad part was that when we arrived to our new sunny state home, we had nothing to start with out the gate.  I think we unpacked in under an hour, it was a wall full of bins.  We had to start from scratch, which we had saved for, but the downside was that it was a pain to spend so much time traveling and shopping.  We didn’t know the area at all, so it was a lot of trial and error with different stores. We found a furniture place near the FL Mall that we bought our couches from that TO THIS DAY we think was a con, scam, something shady since they were literally gone the Monday after we had shopped there. So yeah, beware of the “too good to be true” deals. My sofa probably “fell of a truck.”

Second move, back to WI, we tried out “PODS.” Again we cleaned out our home, purged about 50% of our stuff this time so that everything fit into their largest model.  Going back we knew where the furniture stores were and what was available- it wasn’t this question like it was coming to Florida.  I knew I could hit up the garage sales and thrift stores for the smaller stuff and pay much less than to move it. Besides, I like change.

Third move, back to Florida, we purged my apartment and a house full of stuff about 50%. We used “PODS” again (Which I would NEVER USE AGAIN) and packed it full to the point we couldn’t fit our sectional- BUT we got the recliner in.  Mattresses, dining set, bins, clothes, scrapbooks, electronics, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, these were things that went back and forth with us every time.

What I learned is that you have to be reasonable with yourself on what you will NEED the minute you land in your new pad.  You should have a bin filled with toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, cleaning wipes, paper plates, silverware, cups, your coffee maker, one frying pan and sauce pan, garbage bags, scissors, tablecloth, snacks, a plug-in (in case it smells off), and any other essential you can think of. With every move, we were exhausted from the drive.  It is so much easier to open the ONE bin that has the necessary stuff right away so you can take a breath before you unpack than digging into the nightmare that is the car, truck, or POD.

Of course it cost us money to move every time, but I think we broke even with move two and three. If we had rented another unit, it would have cost us more than the price of the sectional. We took our chances and got an affordable couch here which has worked out fine. Trust me, we have gotten really good at moving. We see a move as a chance to clean out our home, get rid of the clutter and noise that we don’t use and just move on.  We may buy it back down the road, we may never again- that’s the beauty of it.

Keep the memories, ditch the rest.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Exit for Photo Fun on Spaceship Earth

After you exit riding “Spaceship Earth” you can see yourself on the big screens above by filling in your pictures and info on the computers provided.  Get your camera ready, it’s a great photo opportunity!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Growing up in WI, getting married and raising my kids for most of our lives there, it was all I ever knew. There wasn’t anything to compare too…until 2011.  When the Petermann family hit the Florida border, a switch was flipped for everything going forward.

I was comfortable raising my kids, working a full-time job, going to church, and attending all of the girl’s school events. It was my norm. Like many of you parents, you fall into a similar routine which takes you through the weekdays, just to have you arriving at the hopefully funner part of life on the weekends.  This was all I knew, so coming to Florida, and the timing of it all, just took my routine and my normal, and dropped it at the first rest stop. I don’t think I was honestly ready for it, but I didn’t have much of a choice once the cars were packed and we were driving away.

See you can’t know what you don’t know…near impossible, until you have LIVED it for yourself.  For months on end in the beginning of our story here I dealt with the neverending thoughts of “But that’s not how it’s done” or “Why would they do it that way?”. It is SO EASY to get consumed with your thoughts when everything is scary and unfamiliar that you forget the exciting parts, the fun parts, and the NEW parts.  I knew they had to exist, otherwise what was the point of flipping my life upside down.

But how do you NOT compare? I tried SO hard to live in the moment, to give it everything I had, but my routine was so messy and hard at that point that all I could do was hold on.  Nope, this wasn’t the same school drop off, the same ice cream place, the same quiet roads home.  It took a long time to open that new chapter for the adventures and joy it would bring, and even harder yet was closing the old one. I think that’s why the move back just didn’t feel right…the story had changed so much that we were pages ahead of everything we had left behind in the first place.

Its ok to look back and compare life with what has passed, but I can tell you it is even healthier to build the new now for a better future.  And I don’t know about you, but when I tend to look back too much, my neck really hurts. Don’t be an Amy….look ahead and you can say I saved your neck!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Vacation or Residence?

I have been actually thinking about writing on this for awhile. One, it’s important to compare the two for those thinking about moving here, and two, it’s just a fun topic to talk about.

So when we were planning a vacation here, we would do everything I am sure you all have. First we would watch every Disney movie on the planet, get out the family calendar, pick the dates, ask off for work, and then the real fun and planning began. Back then, sites were just starting up so we would enjoy watching ride videos on YouTube and basically if a site had “Disney” in it, we were hooked. When to go, what to book, where to eat….the planning was the BEST PART!!

Then came the anticipation. The build-up as we plunked down change into the water cooler, took a piece of the countdown chain down every day, and our lingo was always about the trip to come. Outfits to wear, what luggage to bring, how to pack efficiently, and of course, leaving a bag empty for those Disney souvenirs. The day would come, you could hardly contain the excitement!! Whether you were driving or flying, bags were packed, kids had gone to the bathroom, and you were ready for that amazing adventure in Florida.  I bet even now I have someone excited to plan their next trip.

But when you live here, that changes. First, for us, the build-up was gone.  The anticipation was slightly there like “Hey I’m going to Magic Kingdom tomorrow” kind of stuff but not that crazy, fun, excited feeling we used to get.  On vacation, the Parks are fresh. There is always something new, something you didn’t see before, some type of food or drink to try and of course the merch always changes. So with every trip, it was different.  Having gone in multiple times to the Parks in the same week, yes, it can get old. I used to come around the corner on Main Street with tears welled up in my eyes, the magic growing inside me with each step I took, my kids hands in mine, my husband glowing with happiness…  it’s just not the same now. It’s still special, it just changed.

I traded the excitement and newness for date nights, hang outs with friends, and the occasional exclusive popcorn bucket.  Doesn’t sound to bad does it? It really isn’t. I have loved and cherished each moment and experience in the Parks. It as been nice to go to different concerts, get my AP magnet, and enjoy people watching as a sport. But that being said, once you have seen a lot of the concerts, eaten all types of  food, bought tons of the merch, the “what’s next” factor gets kind of fuzzy. I for one am personally in the camp of “Did it once, bonus points if I get to do it again, but I will live if I don’t.”  You learn fast that vacation money and daily life money are two VERY different things.  I have the normal life budget that I can on occasion splurge on a shirt or cup, but who can afford to eat and drink in the Parks on a weekly basis without going broke? I bring in my own waters and soda, granola bars and snacks.  I grab a cup of ice from a counter service and enjoy my drink while i stroll the Park.  Trust me, it actually gets hard sometimes to know you can’t just eat or buy whatever you’d like. It’s a magical world of mouse temptations.

Let’s just say that I look forward to planning my vacations again in the future.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

The Reality of Living Near the Fantasy…Part Eight

The Cost of Living.

I think the scariest thing when you first graduate High School and College is getting your first place. My first place I got a roommate in which I think I kicked in $200 for my share of the rent in an upper apartment, affordable right? Craig and I marry and we rent our first place which was around $350 for a 2 bedroom lower floor apartment.  As time grew, as well as our family, we would bounce to duplexes and then land on buying our first home. One income, one baby, and we were able to afford out first 3 bedroom home for around $80,000 which came to be like a $750 house payment including our taxes.  THAT is Wisconsin prices for you… allowing many to have the dream of having a home at all.

Now as the years have piled up, we sold, we rented again and have just kept renting because we enjoy changing it up. When we headed to Florida in 2011, our first home rental was for $1175 which was 3 bedrooms with a pool and fairly decent yard- no utilities or lawn/pool care included.  It was affordable for our start here.  We would move to a nicer suburb where our rent jumped another $700 for an additional bedroom and more square footage.  The extra space was great, but with more space, comes more too cool.  Our electric bill was ungodly during the summer months- we found ourselves with more rent, electric bills that were out of control, and a water bill that we had to make peace with since we now ran a hot tub that came with our pool. Yes, we barely run the heat here, but it does happen on occasion.  Even with budget billing, we were on the high end. It’s stuff you don’t really think about until you get the bill.

Just some numbers….the cost of living in Central Florida is 112% of the National average, cost of housing is 122%, cost of transportation is 128% and utilities is 102%.  (According to bestplaces.net)

I honestly don’t know how the younger ones can afford a life here. I know for a fact that my kids can’t afford to live on their own, and even if they did together, they would probably need at least 2 more roommates.  There aren’t a huge amount of apartments here that are in the affordable range- the oldest ones are usually taken or in a really rough area, which means you are left with the brand news ones being built. Brand new 2 bedroom apartments out by me will cost you $1500 and higher.  People are flocking to live here, so they don’t need to keep the prices cheap.

Several of my kid’s friends have two or more jobs to just afford their bills. Can you imagine? To live in this area filled with non-stop fun and action just to work yourself to the bone and be teased by things you can never do?   Jobs don’t pay high here, the median income in most areas is around $40,000 for each household.  So keep that in mind if you want to come here, then find work, then a home, and so on and still be able to afford the extras of park passes and merchandise, festivals and fairs, concerts, gas to get too all the fun stuff, and so on. It CAN be done, it’s just not cheap.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00