The Advantage of Great Change

Sometimes changes are a singular thing such as a promotion, moving to a new place, a new job, a pet etc.  When those happen, other changes may follow suit as you adapt your life to the change in routine.  Over the course of ones life, these things will happen often and sometimes it’s a combination of changes that happen in a short amount of time, unconnected, that end up becoming intertwined.  Hence a big or great change happens.

Which has pretty much been this year.

My mom passed away earlier this year.  Her health took a nasty turn in the very beginning of the year.  Around that time, the demands at work increased and my caseload more than doubled.  Between those and little things, I was glad to look forward to the summer months in which my requirements were almost nonexistent.  I could focus on myself.  That is, until I got laid off a week after school let out.  Long story short, I was able to get a new job within two weeks and I’ll start at the end of August, when my school year would’ve started.

My new job has me relocating, although I don’t know where I’ll be until I finish the class/training I’m currently doing.  The good news is the places I’d be relocating to cost less than half of what I’m paying in Northern Virginia, but the bad things is the slight pay cut and the fact I have to move.  Truth be told, the traffic in the area have been eating at me more and more, making me reconsider where I eventually want to be.  The areas I’ll be place are definitely not it, but life throws you a curve ball.  I’m excited about the work I’ll be doing and I can still keep up with my violin lessons, volunteer work, see friends, go to music shows, travel etc.

On a lighter note, I went to New York City this past weekend/last week and had an amazing time!  It may be my favorite city!  This weekend/later this week I’ll do a formal post about it, but for now I wanted to do a quick post and check in.  I’ll be ending my travels for a little while in two weeks (rounding out the summer with a trip to Ontario).  I really need to get a job that requires distant travel or has a remote location option..

Ocean City!

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Shortly after my mom died, one of my close friends of 10 years suggested a road trip and vacation for the two of us.  It culminated into a multi-day trip to Ocean City, Maryland.  I’d never been personally and my friend hadn’t been in several years.  Long story short, we made our 4 hour drive to Ocean City on Tuesday and came back Thursday in better spirits and well rested (and with better tans?)  We’re both fair skinned so it’s burn and tan or stay pale.

Since my friend had to go into work for a brief period, we left in the early part of the afternoon on Tuesday.  Along the way my friend introduced me to the Hamilton soundtrack which I have since bought/downloaded.  We won’t discuss its presence in my head or how often I’ve listened to several songs.

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We stayed at the Sea Bay Hotel and it was definitely a great choice!  We were able to walk to the beach from it and there’s a cafe inside which really came in handy since there was no formal breakfast place.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming too.  Since we got in late and only had a snack for lunch, we went out for dinner at Shenanigans.    We poked around a few shops along the boardwalk and found a nice bookstore and shell themed shop.

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We hit the beach early Wednesday morning and stayed for a long time.  I’m sorry to say I haven’t been to the beach in six years at Perdido Key in Florida.  It was lovely to catch some sun, waves and get in some reading.

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For dinner we went to Ropewalk and it was a fantastic choice.  The salmon I had, along with the rice pilaf and green beans were fantastic.  If/when I go back to Ocean City, I’ll definitely go back.  They also have a gorgeous view of the ocean (see top photo of this post).  Afterwards we went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and explored the Boardwalk.

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Going to a Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum has been on my bucket list since I was a kid. I’ve always had a huge interest in the strange, unusual and paranormal.  Suffice to say, I have a staggering collection of books on the subject.  That said, growing up my parents had NO interest in him and even with friends very few held an interest, so I was ecstatic when my friend said she wanted to go as well.

(A structure made of camel bone and Egyptian relics or relics)

(Vampire killing kit, Captain America made of car parts and an Iron Maiden)

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On our way out Thursday morning, we made a pit stop at Fractured Prune.  My friend snagged some donuts for her husband and we are our strawberry and lemonade donuts too fast to get around to taking pictures (it was 11am and we’d only had coffee and water).

We made one last stop before coming back to Virginia in the town of Berlin, Maryland.  It was named best small town in the United States back in 2014 and I can see why.  The town center is cute and it has a natural charm to it.  It’s population of over 4,000 is the same as my small hometown, but this one has much more to offer.  If given in the chance, it’d be a great town to do a cheap/laid back overnight in.

 

Have you had any trips to the beach this year?

The Process of Moving

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Earlier this year I knew it was highly likely I’d be moving.  The long, draining commute to my teaching job only increased that likelihood as the school year progressed.  So much of my life (2 hours on average!) was lost stuck in traffic.  It sucked.  This August will mark 2 years since I moved into current apartment, but due to commuting and the increasing price of rent (what I pay in NOVA makes me sick and I’m paying on the lower end) confirmed my idea to move.

 

I’ve begun the preliminary process of the move I’ll do when my lease is up at the end of August.  The last time I had a really big move (not counting the transition after getting a job here in NOVA since everything was packed up and I was living with minimal needs for six months) I packed up everything in the span of 2.5 weeks.  I made a huge trip to Goodwill, ate up food, did very little shopping and sold stuff.  Now I have six weeks to pack up.  I can only do so much this month (especially with me in the midst of travels), but I can start.  Therefore my goals for moving preparation this month are;

  1. Going through items and deciding what needs to be sold/not moved (already started)
  2. Eating through frozen meals/freezer/ingredients-most of what I eat are perishable vegetables, but I do have some things I’d rather finish off (saving money) than move with me.
  3. End of month-packing up unneeded items in boxes and putting them in storage
  4. Reading books on my TBR shelf, movies, games and selling the ones I don’t want to keep.
  5. Going through clothes ala my yearly clothing purge.  I do this once a year and wear everything in my closet.  If I can’t justify it, away it goes.
  6. Finally donating that box of stuff I have chilling in my closet.

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With a month and some odd days still to go, there isn’t a ton of stuff I can do, though when I turn in my non-renewal the in a week and a half, I’ll start boxing stuff up.  I have a love hate relationship with moving.  Not counting my moves to college and non-transitional moves less than 2 months, I have moved 5 times as of the age of 28.  The average American has moved 11.4 times.  Being the young nomad that I am, I would be willing to bet money I’ll exceed the average.  Speaking of, I once had a supervisor, who by my age, had moved 10 times (she moved every year, even if within the same city).  My moves have always been for job relocation or to cut down on moves and within state.  However, I would like to live in another state or country someday!

Have you moved in the last year?