Changes, changes, changes!

Wow! It has been WAY too long since I have last posted, my apologies! I guess that’s what happens during the summer months…too busy doing summer things.

To say the last couple months have been crazy would be an understatement. Kile and I had plans almost every weekend this summer (still do – this upcoming weekend is our last “planned” weekend *phew*), not that this is a bad thing by any means…it can just be exhausting and draining.

At the end of July/beginning of August, Kile and I got the news that our landlord would be raising our rent significantly. We knew we were getting a great deal on our rent in such an awesome location so this wasn’t a surprise to us but…still sucked. As you know, we were planning on moving into a smaller place anyway…this just gave us a shove out the door! As we started looking for apartments it became very clear that we were not the only ones looking for apartments within our budget in Portland. It was insane. A Craigslist ad would pop up, the apartment sounded perfect, we’d call about it 5 minutes later only to found out it had already been rented. If you haven’t heard, Portland’s rental market is one of the roughest in the US – people are moving from all over to live here and it’s really obvious. I was getting super frustrated and was willing to move anywhere after about a week and a half of solid looking. I was even willing to rent a place without seeing it at this point.

Luckily! Low and behold a studio apartment became available in NW Portland. NW Portland! I couldn’t believe it. NW is a really hip, trendy neighborhood – lots of young people, bars, restaurants, walking distance to Providence Park (Go Timbers!). It was in our budget (over $200 less than what we were paying at our old place) and when we called the landlord…I almost died of happiness when she said it was still available. So, it’s ours!!

Obviously moving sucks – no matter how you cut it. We were glad because we rented out the new studio at the beginning of August but still had our old place through the month of August. In my head I was thinking “oh yeah, this will be a piece of cake – we’ll just move a little bit every day after work – no stress, super easy.” Yeah, right. We were downsizing from a 2-bedroom to a STUDIO. You really don’t realize how much crap you’ve accumulated until you try and downsize. I couldn’t believe how much “stuff” we owned. BUT, this is exactly what our plan entails – getting rid of crap and “stuff” that we don’t need so that in a year or so from now, we can travel, travel and travel! Now…we live in an adorable little studio in a great location; we’re feeling like this was our first big stride to obtaining our dream goal.

Our tiny living space
Our tiny living space

IMG_1802

Our tiny kitchen
Our tiny kitchen
Our tiny bathroom
Our tiny bathroom

The move was hard – we ended up spending way more money than we were anticipating; move deposit, first month’s rent, new furniture for storage in our tiny place, 4 ridiculous parking tickets because we didn’t learn the parking rules in our neighborhood for the first two weeks – ugh, not good. But we’re finally getting to place where our extra money is starting to build up and we can continue nailing out those student loans and save some dough!

Not only did we move homes, I also moved work locations. I was working up in downtown Vancouver (Washington) and luckily, I was relocated to the downtown Portland office so I can walk to work! How sweet is that?! I can even work from home a few days a week – I truly cannot complain about any of that. I knew I would be moving work locations for a few months now but I wasn’t sure where we’d be living so I was DREADING taking public transportation. Thank god that’s not the case. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had this bizarre aversion or fear of public transportation. Maybe it’s because my parents used to use it as punishment when I was little? “You’re grounded! Give me your car keys and take the bus to school!” This is devastating for a junior/senior in high school who has a car, by the way. Or maybe it’s because Portland is full of crazy meth heads that ride the bus. I don’t know. Regardless, I’m super happy I don’t have to take public transportation.

Kile and I pretty much used the entire month of August to sell stuff, give things away, move, clean, etc. We had to be out of our old place and into our new place by August 27th because the next day we left for our annual trip. This year, we chose to do a big road trip from Portland, up to Vancouver B.C., east through the National Parks, to Calgary, then down through Montana to go back home.

The trip was incredible – we couldn’t get over how gorgeous Glacier, Yoho and Banff National Parks were. The weather wasn’t ideal; pretty cold actually…and rainy…which makes camping slightly miserable but we only camped a couple nights so it was all good. We got to explore Lake Louise, celebrate our anniversary in Calgary and see some friends in Montana. The highlight of the trip would be our hike at Lake Louise. The trail is called Plain of Six Glaciers – it’s about 4ish miles in (fairly steep, slightly to moderately difficult) and the whole time you’re hiking up the back of Lake Louise through these INSANE mountains. And of course, the trail name doesn’t lie; breathtaking views of gigantic glaciers – simply incredible. The best part was the reward at the end of the trail; when you reach the end, you end up at this adorable little teahouse where you can drink a hot cup of tea, eat some soup or a sandwich and hang out a bit before you head back down the trail. Such a rad experience.

Lake Louise
Lake Louise
The teahouse!
The teahouse!
Two Jack Lakeside Campground
Two Jack Lakeside Campground
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Hike in Montana – looking down at Flathead Lake

So here we are! Back in Portland. Still trying to find a sense of normalcy since moving into our new place and coming back from vacation. We’ve found that living in a “cool” neighborhood while trying to save money is much harder than we thought. Why stay in and cook dinner when there’s a really awesome pub 3 blocks away? These are our new “challenges” – not too shabby, right?

We’ll get there! We’re beyond excited to have taken our first “big” step in achieving our traveling goals. It’s even more exciting to anticipate where we’ll be by the end of the year or even 6 months from now. Our goals are feeling more and more obtainable as the days go by!

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