I have made a big decision! After my lease is up at the beginning of August, I am going to pack my bags and move to Bend, Oregon! I have grown up in Boulder and stayed here far longer than I expected, and the time has finally come when I do not have any obligations here. I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to take the gigantic step and move away from my hometown. It has been a long time coming! It was great to live in Chile for six months and experience something different, but this is a whole new level. I do not expect to move back to Boulder, despite how much I love it. It has been truly great growing up here, going to college, being around my friends, and having my family close by. However, I want to experience something new and outside my comfort zone. I do not know anyone in Bend or have anything in particular waiting for me there—it’s an entirely fresh start that is long overdue.
I don’t have a job in Bend, though I am certainly going to try to find one before I move there. I am, of course, going to do my best and get a job in public relations—ideally, I would love to work in the public relations department of a brewery in Bend. I have become a beer geek in the short amount of time I’ve worked at my current job, and I think a brewery would be a straight-up awesome place to work. There is also the option of getting an internship and picking up a full-time job within the service industry to financially support myself; however, I admit working in the service industry is a last resort. It just sucks you in with the easy money!
Almost everyone I’ve told has asked me why I’m moving to Bend. No job, not even an acquaintance lives there. It has been a long process, to say the least, but I feel confident that this is the right choice for me.
I create “dream place” lists when I have a big decision to make and I don’t know which direction to go in. They help me zone in on one area that accommodates my absolute ideal situation. I made a list when I started researching for spring break vacation spots my senior year of high school. I formed a list of what I was looking for in a college, although I knew in my heart University of Oregon was the only school I wanted to go to. Unfortunately, my financial circumstances restricted me to Colorado schools, and since the only other school I even applied to was University of Colorado, I really only had one option. But that’s a different story. The biggest list that stood out to me and truly had a large impact on my decision-making process was the one that led me to Chile. I wrote down about fifty things that would cumulate into the perfect study abroad home because I honestly had no idea where in the world I wanted to go for the once-in–a-lifetime experience, and it was a stressful choice I just didn’t know where to begin. So, I brought my list into CU’s study abroad office and handed it to the administrator, who inputted as much on my list as possible into the program search engine. The only result? Valparaiso, Chile.
To wrap up what has now become a rant, I made a similar “dream place” list for where I want to live after my lease ends in August. Originally, I planned on Portland, Oregon—there were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I’ve been drawn to Portland since I was twelve years old, after visiting my dear friend who moved there. I fell in love with the city all over again when my mom and I toured colleges in the area, and I’ve been wishing to live in Oregon ever since. Before I made the final decision to move to Portland, I took a step back and asked myself if this was really what I wanted to do. That’s when I started questioning myself, and right then and there I knew Portland wasn’t the best place for me at this point in my life. Definitely someday, just not now. Well, this realization turned everything upside down. If not Portland, where? I had no idea. So, I began thinking about what I’ve always said I want to do in life. Traveling is at the top of my list, although I’m simply not in a financial position to consider taking months off work to travel. Not to mention, I can’t leave Ollie behind. I’ve thought about how cool it would be to live in a mountain town for a year or so, where I can chill and snowboard. Skibum? Not quite—I don’t think I’d be capable of “bumming” it, but my own version of the term. It dawned on me that if I want to live in a mountain town, now is the time to do it. As soon as I realized that, the decision was final: I wanted to move to a mountain town. That’s when I made this list:
- No big colleges, not looking for a college town
- Active young urban lifestyle
- Worthwhile ski resort nearby
- Located in Pacific Northwest (preferably Oregon)
- Affordable housing (1 bedroom apartment no more than $700 a month)
- Small town feel, but isn’t too small where those familiar brands aren’t around
- Mountain town with qualities like you’d find in Breckenridge (downtown area), Silverthorn (variety of stores, restaurants, etc.), and Vail (but not as pricy)
- Dog friendly with great dog parks
- Public relation job opportunities
- Population between 10,000 and 50,000
- Friendly locals that make me feel welcome
- Four-season weather
There is more on the list, but you get the idea. Bend was one of the Oregon mountain towns on my radar, though I looked further into it after a conversation I had with a coworker who used to live there. She had nothing but great things to say about Bend, and she described many qualities about the town that were on my list. The more I researched Bend and asked people who have lived in Oregon about the area, the more I felt confident it suited me. Finally, I made the final decision. While it won’t be set in stone until I get a job or apartment, it is still a direction I know I’m heading in, so now I can focus on aspects such as finding a place to rent and getting job interviews.
It’s hard to believe this will be my last summer in Boulder! Time to make the best of it!