So it all started on Friday, September 30th. It started as a typical day at Paragus and ended with the news that my position was being eliminated. They offered me another position there but it didn’t seem like the right fit for me. On my way home from work, I called Farid, who was in Baltimore for a Startup Champions events, to chat and tell him the news. Before I could say anything, he started telling me how he had a crappy day and that things weren’t working out quite as he had planned with some consulting projects. He said to me something along the lines of, ‘…I’ve been talking to so and so and I think we should move to California…’ Typically, he tosses out these absolutely crazy ideas and I proceed to tell him all of the reasons why it won’t work or isn’t feasible. This time I said, “Cool, let’s go, ‘cause I’m leaving my job.”
And so it began, that night I started researching jobs, looking at houses and rentals and had mentally moved to Tahoe in all of 6 hours.
When Farid got home the next morning, we chatted more about how crazy the idea was but that we totally wanted to do it. In true startup style, we created multiple spreadsheets with financial projections to figure out how long our investment in this adventure would carry us and what we would need to make consulting to make it work. By Sunday night (approximately 48 hours later), we had decided we were definitely going to Tahoe and were going to spend the winter skiing/riding.
From there it simply became a process of working out all of the logistics to make this happen as soon as possible. Originally, we were planning to rent an apartment in Truckee, CA and leave town on October 28th. After much consideration, the date became unfeasible and we decided to stay through the Thanksgiving holiday.
Continuing on with the logistics, it quickly became obvious that apartments, especially dog friendly ones, were outrageously expensive. And that’s when we came up with the idea to buy an RV. The cost of buying an RV and paying to stay at campgrounds was less than half the monthly cost of the apartments we were looking at which weren’t not nearly as nice. Buying an RV would also give us the option to go to the beach and enjoy warm weather whenever we got sick of the snow in Tahoe.
And so it was decided. The next weekend we went RV shopping and by Wednesday afternoon we had put a deposit on a 42ft fifth wheel trailer. We signed the papers that Saturday to buy the RV without actually having a vehicle that could pull it. So the following week, we traded in our Grand Cherokee for a Ram 3500.
The following week our trailer was delivered. We slowly started moving things into it and figuring out exactly what we were going to bring with us.
Now that we had everything set with our new “house,” we had 2 weeks to pack up our entire lives, sell 2 more cars, and figure out how we were going to make this whole consulting thing work. We started chatting that evening about different ideas and eventually came up with the idea for a joint company called Purely LLC that had three different brands: Purely Resources – an outsourced HR services company, Purely Startup – startup consulting and web development and hosting, and Purely Commuting – this fine blog you’re reading.
The next day I got my first meeting with a potential client for Purely Resources – Paragus. Much to my luck, things didn’t work out so well with the temp they brought in to take over some of my HR tasks and they were interested in bringing me on as a remote consultant to be their payroll and benefits administrator. In less than a week, we had started a new company and I had signed my first client.
Now we were about 10 days from our impending departure and Farid still had to learn how to drive trailer. Our sails rep (Mike Bilodeau from Orchard Trailers, who was a fantastic salesman) took us to a big empty parking lot to test it out, having only driven a trailer with 22ft sailboat before, the 42ft, 15,000 lb trailer was a bit bigger. It went extremely well though.
The following week we had lots of work to do both on the business side and on the house side. We slowly started moving things over to the trailer with the plan to officially move into it the following week. In the meantime we were cleaning and prepping our cars for sale. We were able to sell the Tacoma to a dealer at a great price but it was looking less and less hopeful trying to find a buyer for my Acura.
The weekend came and passed and we officially moved into the trailer on Monday, November 22nd. At the eleventh hour, a private buyer came through and purchased my car 18 hours before we were scheduled to leave.
After working tirelessly for several days straight, we had finally managed to sell, pack and clean everything we needed to and get out of our house at 6pm on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. We drove it to Chelmsford, had Thanksgiving with Farid’s family, and officially left MA on Friday.