My Cross-Country Remote Work Move

Jul 12, 2021

My Cross-Country Remote Work Move

By MakeMyMove Staff

A cross-country remote work move during a global pandemic. It wasn’t something I expected to do, and yet, that was exactly what happened in September, 2020 when my husband, Patrick, and I moved from Indianapolis, IN to Denver, CO.

And we’re certainly not the only ones who decided to move over the past year. Many people have found themselves with remote jobs that suddenly allow them to live elsewhere; you might even be in that position now.

Below, I break down our moving story, and it might be helpful for you if:

  • You’re considering taking a remote position

  • You’re looking to start your own ‘location agnostic’ business

  • You want to know more about remote work and moving

  • You just want to hear one instance of how sometimes taking an opportunity now can help you in the future.

If you’re a remote worker and are planning your move, we also share a few key tips that helped the process go smoothly!

Visiting Canyonlands National Park one year after starting Elevate Online.

Remote Work Pre-2020

When I started my digital marketing business in 2016, I designed it to be remote-first. At the time, I’d recently graduated from college and wanted to be able to travel freely without disrupting my work or losing clients. And, I was able to do that, visiting seven National Parks in one year while building a successful business.

Little did I know that my intentional remote-first design for my business would allow me and Patrick to move across the country five years later with no disruption in my work and no loss of clients.

A lot of moving pieces (literally) had to come together for this adventure to happen, but at every step of the way, things fell into place, starting with the way we both were working in 2020.

Our dog, Mackey, was happy to have both of us working from home.

A Shift in Our Work

At the start of 2020, Patrick and I were living just north of Indianapolis, Indiana. While we loved Indy, as two people born, raised, and educated in Indiana, we decided we wanted to experience living somewhere else. We just weren’t exactly sure what that looked like — yet.

Then came March. I was working from home (as usual) and Patrick was commuting downtown to his job at a CPA firm. As we were starting to explore options for places to live, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Within a week of hearing about the rumblings of COVID, Patrick’s entire company began to work remotely.

And just like that, we were both working from home.

A picture from 2020 when we went to CO to rental hunt.

Finding Our Future Home

As Patrick and I navigated the first months of the pandemic, a location for our future move grew clear in our minds — Denver, Colorado.

We’d visited Denver together in 2019 and loved the active, outdoor lifestyle. Plus, I grew up visiting family in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and there’s something about that John Muir quote —  the mountains are calling and I must go — that rang true. We felt as if Denver was the place we were supposed to be, but we needed to figure out where we’d live and how to get there.

Rather than continue with his current company, Patrick decided to search for a job in the Denver area and found a job offer from a CPA firm that was also offering remote work. In May, he accepted the firm’s offer, and we were given his start date in September. We decided we would move to Colorado a few weeks before his job started, which left us three full months to plan our cross-country move.

In June of 2021, we took a trip to tour the Denver area and found a hot market. I wish MakeMyMove had been around at the time to help us find some neat relocation offers, but we ended up choosing a great suburb southwest of the city.

With our rental secured, our place decided, and a new job approaching, it was time to plan and execute our cross-country move.

With the Penske loaded, the move was officially happening.

Preparing to Move While Working Remotely

Instead of using a moving company, Patrick and I decided we’d haul our items across the country ourselves. That meant we had some serious planning and packing to do.

Ahead of the move, here are a few of the best decisions we made:

Patrick stopped working about ten days before the move. While I continued to serve my clients remotely, he was able to focus on getting us packed and ready to go.

I alerted clients that I would be mostly out of contact for the week surrounding the move. Even though I could have technically kept working during the move, this gave me the space to focus on making sure everything was set for us to leave and ready for us to arrive.

We created a solid plan for moving our cars. Figuring out how you’ll get your car to your new location is an interesting part of a cross-country move. You do have the option to tow your car, but here’s how we did it. Patrick drove the Penske. I drove my car. My parents helped us move by renting an RV that we stayed in overnight on the way to Denver. Patrick’s sister and her husband drove Patrick’s car out a few days later.

Two days before the move, we hired a team of two people to help us unload once we got to Denver. This might have been THE best decision we made. Having help made unloading so much easier, especially after a 16 hour+ drive and arriving from Indiana to the high altitude of our new home.

If you’re looking to make a cross-country or remote move, MakeMyMove has additional tips for moving here.

Arriving at our new home.

Making the Move: IND > DEN

On August 30th, we loaded our goods in our trusty yellow Penske and spent a night at my parent’s house. The next morning, our caravan began the cross-country trip from Indiana to Denver.

The move could not have gone smoother. We stopped for the night at a Nebraska KOA and slept in my parent’s RV. The next day, we continued on the road. Upon arriving, our two-person moving team helped us unload the Penske, and then, we started unpacking.

With my parent’s help, we were completely unpacked within days and were even able to paint some of the rental’s walls a day after moving in. A few days later, my parents departed, and Patrick’s sister and brother-in-law arrived with Patrick’s car.

At that point, our house was pretty settled, so we decided to dive into life in our new state. Less than a week after we moved, we climbed Mt. Bierstadt, one of Colorado’s 14ers.

At the top of Mr. Bierstadt!

Life Since The Move

Reflecting on the past year, I sometimes wonder what our move would have looked like without the COVID-19 pandemic happening — though I think it’s easy to wonder about that for every area of our lives. The first months of 2020 switched the way Patrick worked, highlighted the benefits of how my business already functioned, and showed us we were ready to experience somewhere new.

Now, we’re able to fully enjoy our new home! Here are a few of the reasons why we’re so happy we moved:

  • Every weekend (no exaggeration) we get to hike and explore the mountains — which is good for both our physical health and our mental health too.

  • Friends and family have come to visit us, and we’ve made countless new memories of our mountain adventures.

  • If we hadn’t moved, we would have always wondered — what if we had tried it?

Though we aren't sure whether we’ll continue to live here or try someone else (maybe we’ll seek out a MakeMyMove offer next), I am extremely grateful this is the choice we made.

I know not everyone has the ability to make a move like this, but if you have the opportunity to live somewhere new and the flexibility of a remote job to make it happen, I encourage you to explore that option!

If you’re ready to experience living somewhere else, MakeMyMove has many resources for you — such as a robust Remote Work Job List so you can work from anywhere, and relocation offers to help you find your future home.

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