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My husband and I drove through 18 states in 4 days with our 2-year-old to relocate from California to Maine — we came into contact with just 10 people and spent $852

Business Insider Logo By insider@insider.com (Mary Kearl) of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 15: Mary Kearl is a professional writer and digital marketer who spends time traveling the world with her husband and young child.In mid June, Kearl and her husband decided to leave California and set out for her parent's house in Maine to be together to wait out the coronavirus pandemic.Over four days, they drove 3,190 miles across 18 different states, only stopping for gas, food, and hotels, and were careful to stay safe and avoid close contact with strangers.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Like nearly everyone else on the planet, I wasn't prepared for the current global health crisis. At the start of the pandemic, I was so busy trying to absorb what was happening that I couldn't imagine relocating in the midst of so much uncertainty. And yet, 91 days after sheltering in place, that's exactly what I, my husband, and our toddler set out to do — traveling 3,190 miles and 48 hours across the country.The fact was, my family's circumstances, like millions of others, changed dramatically between the start of the year and the spring.My dad lost his job, and, with hiring freezes across the board, another one wasn't likely to be in sight for some time. Up until losing his job, he was planning to help us be able to buy our first home by cosigning for our mortgage, since we as freelancers otherwise would otherwise have to show two years of income to apply for bank financing — and we only have one year to show. Instead, after losing his job, my parents ended up seeking relief for their own house payments and are now in mortgage deferment — with their monthly mortgage payments delayed until the fall. While we never intended to move during the middle of a pandemic, that's ultimately what we ended up doing — putting our plans of buying a home in southern California on hold to wait out the uncertainty with my parents — and help them with some of their living expenses as they too wait out their own uncertainty. Since I hadn't ventured outside our neighborhood, let alone the state of California, since mid-March and had only been inside another building other than where we lived a total of five times over those three months — possible thanks to being a full-time freelancer — I had no idea what to expect.Would the roads be crowded? Would we be able keep a safe distance from others? Would people wear masks? What would it be like staying in a hotel again?With the community we were leaving, Kern County, California, having reported 3,281 known cases and 53 deaths as of the day we left, and several states across the country experiencing rises in cases, we were very mindful of the risk of potentially unknowingly spreading or catching the virus. We took every precaution to avoid exposing anyone or getting exposed.We planned everything so our toddler would never come into contact with anyone but ourselves the whole trip, something my husband and I were successful in pulling off by taking turns going to the bathroom at rest stops, only one of us picking up food from restaurants, and only one of us checking in at the hotel lobby. (Of course this was possible to do since our child is not yet potty trained, and we handled diaper changes in the back seat of our car.)Here's what we experienced while driving through 18 states — or 36% of the country — and the breakdown of the roughly $852 we spent on this road-trip-meets-move over the course of four days. Total trip costs: $852.07*Pre-travel expenses: $100 on snacks, toilet paper (just in case), and cleaning suppliesTravel expenses: $752.07Hotels: $329.04 (three nights)Food: $131.36 (dinner each day, over four days)Gas: $229.78Tolls: $13.50*Because we had already been living as digital nomads, traveling through South America and throughout the US in 2019 as I launched my freelance career, we didn't have any typical moving expenses. Since we had already donated or gifted our furniture and friends and family were already kindly storing some of our personal items (like our bikes, photos, and other keepsakes), all we had to do was transport ourselves, our car, and the suitcases we'd been living out of for over a year and a half.Read the original article on Business Insider

My husband and I drove through 18 states in 4 days with our 2-year-old to relocate from California to Maine — we came into contact with just 10 people and spent $852

  • Mary Kearl is a professional writer and digital marketer who spends time traveling the world with her husband and young child.
  • In mid June, Kearl and her husband decided to leave California and set out for her parent's house in Maine to be together to wait out the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Over four days, they drove 3,190 miles across 18 different states, only stopping for gas, food, and hotels, and were careful to stay safe and avoid close contact with strangers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Like nearly everyone else on the planet, I wasn't prepared for the current global health crisis. At the start of the pandemic, I was so busy trying to absorb what was happening that I couldn't imagine relocating in the midst of so much uncertainty. 

And yet, 91 days after sheltering in place, that's exactly what I, my husband, and our toddler set out to do — traveling 3,190 miles and 48 hours across the country.

The fact was, my family's circumstances, like millions of others, changed dramatically between the start of the year and the spring.

My dad lost his job, and, with hiring freezes across the board, another one wasn't likely to be in sight for some time. Up until losing his job, he was planning to help us be able to buy our first home by cosigning for our mortgage, since we as freelancers otherwise would otherwise have to show two years of income to apply for bank financing — and we only have one year to show. Instead, after losing his job, my parents ended up seeking relief for their own house payments and are now in mortgage deferment — with their monthly mortgage payments delayed until the fall. 

While we never intended to move during the middle of a pandemic, that's ultimately what we ended up doing — putting our plans of buying a home in southern California on hold to wait out the uncertainty with my parents — and help them with some of their living expenses as they too wait out their own uncertainty. 

Since I hadn't ventured outside our neighborhood, let alone the state of California, since mid-March and had only been inside another building other than where we lived a total of five times over those three months — possible thanks to being a full-time freelancer — I had no idea what to expect.

Would the roads be crowded? Would we be able keep a safe distance from others? Would people wear masks? What would it be like staying in a hotel again?

With the community we were leaving, Kern County, California, having reported 3,281 known cases and 53 deaths as of the day we left, and several states across the country experiencing rises in cases, we were very mindful of the risk of potentially unknowingly spreading or catching the virus. We took every precaution to avoid exposing anyone or getting exposed.

We planned everything so our toddler would never come into contact with anyone but ourselves the whole trip, something my husband and I were successful in pulling off by taking turns going to the bathroom at rest stops, only one of us picking up food from restaurants, and only one of us checking in at the hotel lobby. (Of course this was possible to do since our child is not yet potty trained, and we handled diaper changes in the back seat of our car.)

Here's what we experienced while driving through 18 states — or 36% of the country — and the breakdown of the roughly $852 we spent on this road-trip-meets-move over the course of four days. 

Total trip costs: $852.07*

  • Pre-travel expenses: $100 on snacks, toilet paper (just in case), and cleaning supplies
  • Travel expenses: $752.07
  • Hotels: $329.04 (three nights)
  • Food: $131.36 (dinner each day, over four days)
  • Gas: $229.78
  • Tolls: $13.50

*Because we had already been living as digital nomads, traveling through South America and throughout the US in 2019 as I launched my freelance career, we didn't have any typical moving expenses. Since we had already donated or gifted our furniture and friends and family were already kindly storing some of our personal items (like our bikes, photos, and other keepsakes), all we had to do was transport ourselves, our car, and the suitcases we'd been living out of for over a year and a half.

Read the original article on Business Insider
© Mary Kearl

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