At this point, my boyfriend had spent nearly every night after work planning for our trip. By no means did we have a set schedule, but we planned to leave sometime in March, hit all the national parks within the U.S., and do so in four months. We would then return to San Diego, catch a flight to Alaska with some friends, and spend a week in Denali.
The tentative plan was to travel for four and a half months, return to our home in San Diego, work through the winter, and do it all over again next year.
It was now late January. We had worked out the housing situation with our other two roommates, Curt and Rick. Myron and I would be packed and ready to leave for Death Valley, our first stop, in early March. The last week of February one of Myron's friends from the East coast was going to drive his car full of his belongings to San Diego and stay in our room.
Myron and I didn't have too much stuff besides furniture, so we would stow away all that we weren't taking along on our trip under the bed, giving his friend full use of our house: he could use our dresser, our bikes, our surfboards, anything he wanted. He would have a room and a private bathroom ready and waiting for him with open arms.
We worked out a fair price for rent, the exact date he was moving in, and everything seemed so settled and falling perfectly into place. However, as with life, things don't always go according to plan.
Somehow the stars aligned the last week of January so that all four of us living in the house were home the same night. No calling in last minute for shift coverages needed. We had a family dinner, I made a cake, we listened to music, it was great fun. It was rare that all of us had the same free time off to share such experiences.
As the night wound to a close, we were all inside munching on cake and sipping on our drinks when suddenly the lighthearted mood turned dark.
"Alright, we need to talk."
A phrase no one particularly wants to hear.
One of my roommates looked very serious. The other looked directly down into the carpet, no longer his usual cheery self.
I automatically assumed that the two of them were upset about our leaving. Perhaps they weren't too keen on having a different roommate stay in the house. Maybe for some other reason I couldn't quite think of at the moment he was unhappy with our plan.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
The one who spoke continued, "I'm sorry to spring this on you guys at the last minute, and we're telling you as soon as we could, we made the decision yesterday, but Curt and I, for different reasons, have decided that we need to move back to our homes, to Western New York."
I was shocked. I did not see this coming (later, my boyfriend says he did have a feeling they were going to leave, but I sure didn't). I knew that Curt struggled financially, but he had a girlfriend in San Diego and he seemed to be truly enjoying living in San Diego. The other roommate, Rick, was another mystery. He had (what I thought) a good paying job that he enjoyed, he loved the San Diego scene, and always seemed to rave about how much he loved living in our neighborhood.
Both roommates were very forthcoming in their reasons for leaving- family issues, financial trouble, and I'm sure some other personal reasons that they didn't need to reveal to myself or Myron.
Myron and I were respectfully understanding. Life gets in the way of plans sometimes. They were supportive of our trip and so we showed equal support of their decisions to move back home.
My boyfriend and I would have to change our living situation, as we could not afford to pay for a three-bedroom house by ourselves. Nor did we have enough time to look for two other roommates, only to have to tell them, "By the way, we're leaving for four and a half months and another guy is taking our room. Hope you're cool with that. Thanks.” I had not quite realized until that moment how much I was relying on Curt and Rick to stay in the house. I had felt so independent in our plan - it was just me and Myron, out on the open road making a life for ourselves. But no. I was strongly dependent on my two roommates and Myron's East coast friend.
The hardest part was having to relay the news to Myron's friend, that no, he was not going to have a place to stay in San Diego in three weeks. His friend took the news rather well, better than I would have taken it I'm sure.
After that, things started moving fast. We informed our land lord of our leaving (luckily, we were on a month to month lease, so no contract was broken), squared away our official move-out date, and settled things with Myron's friend. It was then time to plan. Again. What were we going to do with all our stuff? We had furniture, a comfy bed, cooking supplies, extra clothes, books, craft projects, and other things that made the house our home.
Myron had family in Los Angeles with some room in a garage. I had family in Sacramento also with some storage space. We could schlepp all our belongings across the state of California. That was one option. Or, we could rent a self-storage unit. We chose the latter option.
Want to keep following Michelle's journey? Here's an index of her entire experience (all five blog posts):
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 1
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 2
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 3
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 4
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 5
Michelle is a self-storage enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys traveling the world. An expert at getting the most out of the self-storage experience, please check back regularly for more about Michelle’s adventure and how self-storage helped her dream of travel come true.