Next Stage of My Life

Good Morning,
My life is changing in a big way. I live in Maryland and the hubby and I have decided to sell the house and move to Texas. The move is for a variety of reasons, health, happiness, living on less money, and weather. We have been boxing up items, dejunking, giving away furniture, paintings, getting the outside landscaped and getting movers into do the big items. We are also painting the interior, sanding the floors, and new rugs are being laid. (this is being done by professionals, not us!) We hope to actually have the house on the market in late April or May. I am hoping the house will sell quickly and that we are able to move this summer. We will be driving two cars to Texas, I will have the cat, the husband will have the dog. The trip should run us about four days. There is no house in Texas yet, the game plan is to stay at a hotel/motel while we search for our “forever home.” To say we are stressed is putting it mildly. I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. It makes sense on so many levels for us.

What I am looking for are tips, suggestions about living out of a suitcase for a period of time, health eating options, how to keep things in perspective, think positive, maintain balance (if there is such a thing!) moving cross country, anything and everything you can provide, suggest, would be very helpful. I keep thinking others must have done this before but I am not sure how to phrase this on the internet.

The place we hope to really land is in Llano Texas, perhaps San Saba, we are looking at a very small ranch or farmette. A bit of land and small house. Under 1700 square feet. Good internet, and good library.

We did go out last July to scope out various areas of Texas and we both fell in love with this area.

Lastly, I am a person who needs people. I like to hear their stories, see their knitting, and I think it will be a somewhat forced retirement on my part. I don’t know if anyone will hire a 57 year old woman who likes to archive digital materials, who knows! I am thinking of volunteering and would like to know for those that have retired and are now volunteering what they are doing, and how they thought about which place to volunteer with.

Thanks for reading this, and thanks for any of your suggestions.


I moved cross country, from South Dakota to Texas, in 1999, and I can’t think of a more welcoming new-home environment. Texans are hospitable and funny and they love introducing themselves (to overgeneralize a bit). I missed my family a lot, cried every morning for a while, and then had a great decade right away.

I was there before the new knitting zeitgeist began, but there must be a lot of knitters in Texas.

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BTW, I lived in College Station and then Temple, so pretty close to where you are looking!

I’m afraid I don’t have any advice but want to tell you how brave you are! Hope all goes well!

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I would suggest Air BnB instead of hotels, both to give you better eating options and to really check out live able neighborhoods!


First of all, this is very exciting stuff and I admire your bravery.

Second, for living out of a suitcase, two words: Space Bags.

They are these ziplock bag things. Depending on what kind you get you either pack them and then attach a vacuum to a one way valve and suck the air out, compressing everything down and making it much easier to fit a lot of stuff in a little bag. They also make bags with one way valves that you can pack and then roll to get the excess air out of them. Those might work better for you. I once took two kids on a week-long vacation and all three of us packed in one small duffel bag thanks to space bags. They are miraculous.

Good luck, happy trails and tell us everything. I am excited for you.

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What an adventure! I spent several months living out of my two suitcases. (In my case, my husband and I left Japan, where we had met and lived for six years, then traveled to his home in England so he could pack up his books and things left there, and then on to America. We left Japan at the end of May, and our boxes didn’t arrive until August. I was so sick of all my clothes by that point!)

On the practical side, I can’t think of anything particularly useful. But as far as thinking positively and maintaining perspective, it’s okay if it’s hard. My cousin said it took her six months to feel settled after she returned Stateside from living abroad. It was lovely to realize that what I was feeling was normal, and it would pass. I also found it helpful to have a few small things that I could set up and arrange to make a space my own. For me, it was my alarm clock, hair stuff, lotion, deodorant, that sort of thing. Being able to put things how I liked, wherever I was staying for that day, made it feel homey and familiar.

Good luck!

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My folks moved from Spokane to South Dakota last year, & they started with a rental & are now getting ready to buy, so that’s another possibility. (Actually, they started with an RV, but the rental came pretty quickly, & I’d think a more stable base while looking to buy might be nice.)

And I would definitely suggest looking into volunteer work around digital archives; I work in the same department as the archives for my city, and they have a robust volunteer program. As a former volunteer manager (in a different field) I’d say the volunteers I most appreciated had a clear understanding of what they could do and liked to do, and they were there to support our mission and take on the projects that were most helpful. A “how can I help?” approach vs “I want to do this thing.”

Congratulations on your big move! I lived in San Antonio for 23 years and absolutely loved it - I left for career reasons, but will go back there for retirement. I’ve never been to San Saba, but Llano is lovely - I think I remember eating good barbecue there, but that could have been Marble Falls… I have no advice for living out of a suitcase, but you will find knitters! I know quite a few in the Austin/San Antonio area. And as someone else said, Texans are the friendliest people I’ve ever met. People in the state I live now talk about how ‘nice’ everyone is here, but there is a huge difference between nice (or polite) and friendly. When I visit San Antonio (which I do frequently, since my sister, brother, niece, and mom all followed me there), I spend the first couple days being amazed at the conversations that are struck up in grocery store lines, at the smiles from strangers, at the general friendliness all around.

Enjoy your adventure and keep us posted!

We made a move from Seattle to Scottsdale 12 years ago in a similar way. Kind of crazy, exciting but no regrets. Don’t forget important things like insurance and take your time before settling. One of my first places to visit was my local yarn store and I’m still going there. Also a library close by. How could you go wrong with those two things. I wish you lots of fun and luck ahead.

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I think one of the most important things that’s helped me through times of uncertainty has been remembering that the world gives you what you’re looking for. If you’re expecting to have bad neighbors and a bad time and no fun and no house and on and on and etc., then you’ll find bad neighbors and on and on and etc. and it won’t be any good. My best suggestion is to stay positive and try to look for good things - good people, good signs, because I find having a positive outlook has a positive effect … but also remember it’s okay to be scared and it’s okay to be afraid.

My only other suggestion, if I may, is that if you feel truly overwhelmed or very upset or unstable (makes sense, moving cross country without a specific destination!!) - seeking help from someone trained to help shouldn’t be a last resort. If you need someone to talk through your issues or feelings with, someone to suggest coping mechanisms or just an impartial third party, a therapist can be immensely helpful. I know there’s a lot of stigma surrounding this, and I don’t mean to offend or demean in any way. I merely mean to suggest something that might not come immediately to mind and could potentially be helpful :slight_smile:


There is no stigma with me seeking professional help. I just need to set up alternative mechanicisms to help me deal with stress, the unknown, and the instability that makes me nervous. Eat lots of veggies!!

I am very positive about this next phase of my life. I see so many options for me to be helpful, and give back that I am looking for was to this next step.



About 9 years ago we moved and ended up spending 6 weeks in a hotel (we only expected 2). My suggestion there would be to find a room with a kitchenette. Whether that is an AirBnB or a regular hotel. We stayed at a Residence Inn and they had the kitchenette. They also provided breakfast and a “snack” every evening and allowed pets. Most nights the “snack” was enough for dinner if you liked what it was. Having the kitchenette allowed us to fix meals or snacks when we wanted, so we ended up being able to pack our lunches everyday (both of us were working) just like we had before the move which helped make things feel more normal.

We had a dog at the time too, but we ended up kenneling him and visiting on Saturdays. That was because we knew we would both be working and thought it was unfair to him to leave him in the hotel room by himself all day.

The other thing we did was to get a PO box so we had a place for bills to be sent. This was before we had very many online statements. It did mean we had to change the address twice but it was worth it.

I agree with the person above that mentioned their own alarm clock and things. Having the things you are used to for your morning routine is very nice.

Where we moved we couldn’t get a library card until we had an address and paperwork to prove it. However, I would suggest checking out the library. They may be able to help you if you ask. We had friends where we moved to and I ended up reading my way through their personal library those 6 weeks.

I would also agree with the person who suggested find your local yarn shop quickly. But I assume that is something that most knitters do automatically without being told. Going to the local knit night could help with finding the right place for you also:-)

Good Luck!


We won’t have to board the cat or dog because husband is retiring. It means someone will be around for our four footed children.I like the idea of familiar objects, coffee maker, crock pot, and I am already planning a go bag not just of clothing, shampoo, but also of necessities. Husband in full agreement.

I am very much on the same wavelength of a small kitchenette. I am hoping that we find something quick but also believe that it could take a while. I also have scoped out the yarn stores along with the knit nights.

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I am a full believer that knit nights / yarn stores are good for the soul! :slight_smile:

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This may not fit in with your plans or schedule but . . . Years ago friends wanted to do something similar what you hope - change location without committing right away. They spent some of what they got from selling their house on a used, small RV and spent a year wandering around their target area (NM and AZ). They had a place to “live” and their important stuff with them and didn’t have to settle for something right away. Once they found a home they sold the RV.

One of the things they loved was that they were often able to stay for free at remote state parks by signing on as sort of custodian - managers - being on call for emergencies, doing some cleaning, etc. They had to commit to a month or two but that way had a chance to really get to know the area.

I’ve always wished I could do the same (hubby doesn’t like to wander). Good luck.


I did suggest this as well. Unfortunately a no go with hubby. We are also a two car couple and granted one could drive the rv with a tow of the honda fit. Other person would drive the element. I think he needs a base to work from and the RV is not enough of a base for him.

That sounds too familiar to me. Your adventure sounds exciting nonetheless!

Don’t know where you are heading but I grew up in Dallas and have family in Southlake (Lake Grapevine area, newly developed and very nice) and in Dallas proper. If either are where you are headed, I have a realtor contact (my former sister-in-law). Also I visit frequently and I like to stay at the DFW area Hilton - its older and lovely. Trees and birds in the lobby. Great food. Good luck on your new adventure!

We hope to move to Llano Texas. I believe it is close or in the Marble Falla area. I also think it Is NE of Austin. I could be wrong.

Such a big move!