Monday, May 8, 2017

Real Talk About Dreams and Aspirations

No matter where you are in life, I imagine you have some dreams or goals that you really want to see come to fruition. I'm somewhere smack dab in the middle of adulthood: I've had a few life experiences, enough to not be completely naive anymore, but I'm still young enough that I like to believe my best years are still ahead of me.
I'll be turning 28 this year and as I edge closer to 30 I think more and more about what I'd like my "real adult" life to look like.
If I had to pick the number one thing I desperately want to come to pass, it would be that I want a house. This may seem like the most mundane, pedestrian dream ever; I mean really, it's pretty common in this society to own a home. However, I've literally never lived in an actual house and I've always, always longed to have a decenly sized, comfortable home that I can nestle into, make my own inviting space and make a ton of wonderful memories in. I want a living space I'm proud to entertain in, that's a loving environment for children and pets, and something I can own free and clear someday. I would love to be able to look at my husband and say "We worked so hard for this and now it's ours." Our biggest obstacle to this dream has always been finances, as I've discussed a bit in previous posts, but I think the hubby and I are finally formulating a plan to make a home a happy reality.

My sweet husband is incredibly hard working and has always worked since he was a teenager. He currently has a decently paying full time job as a truck driver and a side job as an Uber driver. Somehow in this day and age, we still have not found it to be an adequate living to afford us our dreams of a house, children and pets. Over the years he has felt a sense of failure and stagnation  that comes from being stuck in unfulfilling careers. However in the last couple of months I have seen the spark of excitement renewed in him because of a career direction he is looking to take that I am happy to share with you all. 
We have been discussing the prospect of him leaving his main job and becoming a full time Uber and Lyft driver. This may sound unusual or even risky, but throughout much discussion and response I have become optimistic and even excited along with him about this profession's prospects to increase our income. I am not sure when this transition will take place; it could be as soon as next month or as late as next year. It depends on when all the research and planning answers our questions satisfactorily and when the pieces fall into place. The general idea is that my husband has a two week paid vacation coming up in a few months. He will either see if he can have that money paid out  and then give notice, or else stay on until after that vacation. Then he will spend the next few months commuting from our home to San Francisco to earn extra money to help us begin to save up. San Francisco is one of the best markets for rideshare companies in the world, so there is a lot of income to be made there, and we we will be wanting it to help finance the next stage of our plan: moving. That's right; these lifelong native Californians are looking to exit. It's not that we don't adore the state; we do. It's an incredibly beautiful place to live and I wouldn't have wanted to grow up anywhere else, but the political climate, cost of living and taxes are such that we've come to the sad conclusion that we can't afford our dreams here. I will be terribly sad and nostalgic to leave my family, friends and familiar stomping grounds behind, but I am also quite excited to embark upon a new adventure with my husband/best friend. This really speaks to the unfulfilled wanderlust in my soul. Of course I am also quite trepidatious about the prospect of setting stakes somewhere unknown and starting completely over, so this begs the question where are we going? 
That part has yet to be determined. I have to say that we are leaning heavily towards the Atlanta, GA area for several reasons. It's about as different from our current home state as I can possibly imagine, but I have visited the area and found it not unpleasant. The main reason is that it is one of the top three locations for high Uber earnings in the United States, plus from our research the cost of housing seems quite low. We could rent a comparable apartment for hundreds less than we could in our area and I literally found dozens of decent house prospects for under 100k; I was blown away by that. We would probably rent at first while we get settled and hubby gets into the swing of Atlanta Ubering, but we are definitely looking forward to house hunting!
Other prospects for cites we could move for Uber include Salt Lake City, Carson City, NV, Las Vegas, and Austin, TX Or Dallas/FT Worth. I do think we may end up somewhere in a quiet suburb of Atlanta though, because it seems like nothing else is competing in terms of earning potential and low cost of living.

Dear readers, I don't want you to think this plan is half cocked! We are not jumping into this blindly; we really are attempting to research important elements such as having to pay for our own health insurance and saving for taxes and retirement.  We also want to have some idea of the place we will end up setting and how much it will affect our earnings. Everything from weather and climate to local laws and regulations to features of the city such as colleges, airports and age demographics can affect Uber earnings. Hubby has been researching the ins and outs of Uber entrepreneurship online and is taking steps to maximize his profit, including working on business cards, a website to refer customers to for information and eventually even a YouTube channel Uber related topics. I have never seen him throw himself into a project so fervently and I'm proud of him. This type of career really seems like a good fit for him; he enjoys it and it utilizes his best skills of driving and customer service that he has honed from previous jobs. He's a real people person and enjoys meeting new people as well as driving (it doesn't appeal to me at all; I could never do it.). Plus since he has many wonderful qualities but the bane of his existence is time management, this career will allow him to be his own boss and make his own schedule. 

He can work as much as he wants while still allowing leisure time and it will be flexible wi whatever I may end up doing in the future. If I get a job outside the home he could drive me and if I end up staying at home, possibly with children, he would be able to be available when needed. 

Overall I am generally optimistic and excited about this idea for the future, but the unknown always leaves me with some anxiety butterflies in my chest as well. Career changes of the past haven't exactly gone swimmingly, and I would hate for this endeavor to not work out as we hope, despite our best laid plans. I am concerned, but I truly feel it's almost time to take this leap. 

Please wish us luck, pray for us, or do whatever else you can think of that may help us on our journey! If you have any information about any of the cities I've mentioned in this post, other cities you think we should consider, or any information about Uber as a career in general, please do share it in the comments below or via message. I want as much information about this process as I can get! 

I will be keeping y'all updated on any developments in this plan, but I can't say how soon that will be. Please stick with me because I have a feeling that my life and this blog are about to get a lot more exciting.

Until then, I'd like to go off on a humorous tangent and say that I will miss so many things about California, but the delicious, authentic Mexican food will be high up on the list.


  1. WOW Amanda!!! How exciting!!! I always marveled at the cost of living in California. Adam's former employer was based out of San Diego and he had to fly there. As he was talking to co-workers who lived there, making about the same income he did, and telling him how much a home of about our size was twice or three times as much as in Florida, I was floored. I will be praying for you guys and hoping all paths are smooth for your life transition! I personally vote for Atlanta. There are so many great little bedroom communities around the area and the climate and landscape are lovely. I had friends in Marietta and it was a cute area. Plus I can come visit you! <3

    Adam and I are pondering a move too, but not nearly as big. We are considering moving to Orlando, which would be a big deal for us since the girls love their school so much and it is one of the few Montessori public schools in the area. They are private in Orlando and we probably couldn't afford them. :-/ But if it is meant to be, it will work out. And if it doesn't, well, we will still have each other right?

  2. I wish you guys all the best. :) Huge life changes are such gigantic leaps of faith, but it's more than doable, especially as you don't (yet) have kids. If it's just the two of you, the sky's kind of the limit - whatever you think you can swing after you've done your research. It's such a nice, freeing feeling, isn't it?

  3. Holy moly scapoli! This is big news. I wish you two good vibes, good direction and so much luck with these major life changes. Moving to a lower cost of living area makes a lot of sense to me.
    Our someday dream is Maine or New Hampshire-woods and trails, cooler weather, larger property. Realistically, we likely won't make it happen until retirement, but it is a vision always held in the back of our minds and hearts. If the signs are pointing to the right time for you, it's great that you are following them. I can't wait to hear about it all!