Have I told you I’m moving to Salt Lake City, Utah yet?
Yes, you read that right. This November I’m packing up all my stuff and hitting the road.
Lately, I’ve been giving this whole shpiel to lots of people, so I figure I might as well write about it here too.
The TL/DR of this post is: Moving to Utah to be a ski bum has been a lifelong dream of mine and is one of the main reasons I started my own business.
Regardless of how well you know me, you probably have some questions.
Like, why would someone with an awesome set up (I can work from wherever I want and live in a studio by myself in Manhattan) move to Utah of all places?
First of all, it’s not permanent. As of writing this post, the plan is to move for six months — one full ski season.
- I’m OBSESSED with snowboarding & the west
- I’ve always wanted to be a ski bum
- It’s cheaper than Colorado and has better snow than Vermont
- I’ve lived in the Tri-state area for my whole 24-year-long life and crave a change of scenery
I mean, haven’t you ever been somewhere where you feel like you just belong?
Fact about me: I live for the 15 days a year I get to snowboard.
2017 will mark my 16th year snowboarding. Yeah — I’m really good at it!
Are you surprised that it’s a huge part of my identity? I don’t remember a time when my family didn’t take ski trips in the winter.
My dad, who learned how to ski at age 25 when he moved to the US from Israel, put me on skis when I was 4 years-old. I switched to a snowboard at age nine. Family ski trips were basically the highlight of my year growing up.
Yes, winter is easily my favorite season.
What we enjoyed as kids stay with us through adulthood. We try to incorporate those memories and traditions in our lives some way. Whether it’s cooking every weekend, getting really into watching sports, having HUGE family gatherings… the traditions stay with us.
The ski trips stayed with me.
I love snowboarding, but my first true love was the challenge of learning how to do it.
I draw so many connections between how I approach riding and how I approach life. I truly believe that snowboarding made me a confident, playful, fearless and determined person who loves the challenge of learning a new skill.
Snowboarding is hard to learn but easy to get good at.
When you’re learning how to ride, you’re on your ass 85% of the time, but you have no choice but to get back up and keep going.
I stayed with it because I’m a stubbornly determined person who happens to think face planting is hilarious.
To this day, when I fall, I laugh out loud.
On the slopes I ride with caution and control, but I take risks often. I put myself on terrain that makes me uncomfortable. I’m driven to do what scares me. Every season I try to improve a little bit. I force myself to embrace the fear of the unknown.
When I’m standing at the top of a steep, narrow, gnarly looking trail, this is what I tell myself: I can get down this and it’s okay if it’s not pretty.
Done is better than perfect.
The best part? Looking over my shoulder back at a run that scared me and feeling accomplished. The fear vanishes.
Could I live my ski bum fantasy on the “ice coast” in Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine? Of course.
But I think it’s either go big… or stay home.
Utah (and the west) has always had a special place in my heart.
Unless you’ve actually seen the National Parks there, when I say “Utah” you probably think “Mormons” first.
If you’re someone who loves nature and you haven’t been to Utah, you should put it at the top of your list.
Utah has the most National Parks out of any state in America. I’ve been to a handful of them, some more than once.
My mom and I have taken three trips there just to hike and camp in the parks. This is a shot from our last trip in 2015 on the Boulder Mail Trail in Zion National Park.
I want to be near all of that.
Again, it’s either go exactly where I want to be… or stay home. There’s no half-assing this.
Why this decision is everything to me:
If I didn’t have this goal, I probably wouldn’t have started my business after getting let go from Elite Daily. Instead, I would have tried to just score another job.
Truthfully, I don’t have much of a career direction at the moment. I’m just doing what feels right. Moving to Utah this year (instead of “waiting for the right time”) feels right.
Turns out, the challenge of learning how to make it on my own is better than any office job I’ve ever had — and I’m learning so much more too.
Freelancing is HARD. It’s risky. I could face plant pretty badly, but it’s worth it.
Every day, especially when it gets tough, I remind myself that I’m getting closer to experiencing something I’ve always wanted: the life of a ski bum with a sweet remote business!
After I attended a personal development conference in October, I started to rethink my direction. Am I just supposed to stay in NYC and do the same thing every day for years and years? No. Way.
After checking my brief relocation to Utah off the list, I’m going to start working on the next goal, which is snowboarding on every single continent (before I get too old and frail to do it, of course).
I remember calling my mom in tears a few days after the conference, asking her for advice.
I wanted so badly to move out west, but couldn’t seem to fit it into my life without making some big sacrifices and taking huge risks. These decisions are never easy to make.
Would it be worth it?
Is it wrong to just drop everything and leave?
Is it even possible?
Talking to her made me realize that it’s a completely tangible goal. (Most goals are)
I’m going to get real with you.
When you choose to be who you really are, you also choose to let go of pieces of yourself that don’t fit.
That’s how growth and change works – letting go of the old to make room for the new.
For me, it means letting go of what I thought I was going to be, which is someone who climbs the corporate ladder and sits behind a desk all day. Because that dream never fit with my other dream to have a flexible work schedule and ability to travel whenever and wherever I wanted.
Even though my decision is liberating, it comes with sacrifice.
The decision to move away from my home will put a significant strain on my relationships.
One of the first questions people ask me when I bring up this move is, “what about your boyfriend?”
My partner and I haven’t decided how we’ll handle it yet because I’m not moving for another 10 months. But… I can’t say I don’t think about it. It comes up sometimes.
Luckily, he’s one of the most supportive people in my life. He knows I’ve had this dream long before we met each other a year and a half ago. We value each other’s life goals and even in the early stages of our relationship we agreed we’d never get in each other’s way.
In general, my close friends and my family are all incredibly supportive — and I’m lucky. They’re all for me chasing what makes me happy. They also know there’s no getting between me and what I’m after.
At the end of the day, this is my dream. It’s something that makes me, me. It’s one of those things where if I didn’t do it, “future me” would always regret it.
The risks and challenges excite me — just like when I’m on the slopes.
I might not make enough money to afford a move this year.
I might move and hate it there.
I might love it so much I decide to go west for 6 months every year.
Regardless, I’m going to figure it out like I always do: done is better than perfect. I just need to focus on getting through it the best way I can — it’s that simple.
What about you?
What’s the one thing that if you didn’t do it, “future you” would regret it?
Let me know below, or reach out at taliasarakoren[at]gmail[dot]com.