Officially moving to Seattle (well, Bellevue), Washington!

The past two weeks have been crazy. Two weeks ago I was a reluctant yet loyal resident of Tampa, and now I’m officially a resident to-be of Bellevue, Washington. And I owe it all to you guys, because without the encouragement I would’ve probably stayed in Tampa forever purely out of fear of change.

For those of you not up to date on the saga, two weeks ago I made this post about considering moving, and the response was overwhelming. Then a couple of days later I made this post, with my thoughts based on the hundreds of comments and emails I received about my potential move.

I realized that if I ever stood a shot at moving, I’d have to accept a few things:

  • There’s no perfect place to live. If there were, everyone would live there. There’s no doubt that Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Diego (the cities I was originally considering) all have pros and cons. For each city there are people that will say “that’s the greatest place on earth” and others that will say “what a $*&%hole.” Moving across the country from my parents for the first time is a big step, and I realized that I had to accept that any move is a gamble, and I could have no regrets.
  • I’m young and am fortunate to have great flexibility. I might be an old soul (often not in my best interest), but the fact is that I’m young, and the way I’ll get wiser in life is by trying things out and learning from both my good and bad decisions. I’m extremely fortunate to be able to work from home, or from anywhere in the world for that matter, and there’s no reason I shouldn’t take advantage of that. I had to accept the fact that if I move somewhere and end up hating it, at the end of the day it’s only a year of my life, and I can move on from there. I’ll be better off having had the experience than wondering forever how it would have been.
  • I’ve gotta get Washington out of my system. I think this is really the big decision maker for me. I know I like California, and I’m sure I’ll eventually end up living there. Seattle has always been one of my favorite cities as a visitor, though I could never picture myself settling down there forever. So to some degree I was leaning towards Seattle from the beginning. Think of it as a place I want to get off my bucket list. If I end up liking it I could imagine myself staying there forever. If I don’t, I’ll have it out of my system without regrets.

With that in mind I flew to Seattle this past weekend to go apartment hunting. I wasn’t actually planning on making a decision, as I was still hoping to check out places in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Portland.

First of all, the weather in Seattle this weekend was stunning. Come to think of it, the weather was stunning each time I visited this summer. It was in the 60s, the skies were blue and cloudless, and there was a crisp breeze. I mean, that’s what it’s like year around in sunny Seattle, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

I focused my apartment search on three areas — Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Going in I almost had my mind made up on Kirkland, since it has a small town feel yet is so close to Bellevue and Seattle, not to mention it’s by the water. I like the city of Seattle, those I wasn’t actually wanting to live in the city. It’s expensive, there’s crime, and as a general philosophy I prefer living outside a city and taking trips into it rather than living in a city and taking trips out of it. And then there’s Bellevue. Going in I said to myself that it’s nothing but a corporate city, and there’s no way in hell I’d want to live there.

But fast forward to Sunday, and I signed a lease for an apartment in Bellevue. I can’t even express how much the city grew on my in the short 48 hours I was there. It has been ranked as one of the top cities in the US to live in several times now, and I immediately figured out why. In a really twisted way it reminded me of Hong Kong, to the extent that it has a big city feel yet at the same time is incredibly peaceful. Even though it’s a “legitimate” city, I didn’t hear a horn honking the whole weekend.

What I quickly realized is that what I’ve been most deprived of in Tampa is the ability to walk. I go everywhere by car. Hell, there are days where I don’t leave my apartment or car, since I can do everything via drive thrus. But that’s not something I want. I’d love to be able to go outside my apartment and walk to a restaurant, shopping, etc. Admittedly I stayed at the Westin Bellevue which is right in the heart of the city, though I realized just how much walking I did over the weekend to go places, and how much I enjoy that.

But the great thing about Bellevue is that it’s a 10 minute drive to Seattle and Kirkland, so I’m hardly cut off from the rest of the world by living in Bellevue. To sum it all up, Bellevue is safe, has great shopping/restaurants, a really neat big-city feel without the stress, and is close to anywhere I could want to go. I couldn’t be happier with the situation, and hope I still feel that way in winter when it gets dark before 4PM and is freezing outside… I’ll certainly let you guys know! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But why did I sign a lease right away? While the housing market is weak on the buying side, leasing is as popular as ever. There’s an apartment I was eying that was snatched up a day after it was put on the “market.” When I found another unit I liked I couldn’t resist signing. The downside is that I have to move in less than two weeks, so it’s crunch time!

Again, I’m extremely grateful for all the advice you guys gave me. There’s no doubt I wouldn’t have taken the initiative to move if it weren’t for the positive feedback and encouragement.

On that note, there are two last things I’d love some collective wisdom on, as this is the first major move in my life that I’m responsible for:

  • How do I move my car? Between gas, depreciation, wear & tear, etc., I’m leaning towards shipping my car. Any thoughts as to whether that makes sense, and if so, can anyone recommend the best place to find a shipper for it?
  • Should I move my furniture? My apartment in Tampa looks a bit like Ryan Bingham’s in “Up in the Air,” since I’m rarely here, so it’s a bit under-furnished. The only things worth moving (that I can’t take with me on a plane) are my iMac, TV, couch, and W Bed and bedframe. I assume I could ship my iMac and TV via Fedex/UPS, so I’m not too worried about that. I got my couch at Ikea and and my bedframe at Ikea. Any thoughts as to whether it’s worth shipping those items, and if there’s any way to do so economically? I’m almost thinking it’s cheaper to start from scratch with furniture than to ship a bed and couch 3,000 miles away. Anyone know how much it would be, or where I could get an estimate?

Thanks again, guys! Once the move is complete, dinner/drinks are on me for all Seattle/Bellevue residents/visitors. On that note, how many of you guys are Seattle-area (or specifically Bellevue) residents? Would be curious to know!

Filed Under: Travel
  1. don’t give me any credit. Of all the places you could have gone, I certainly didn’t encourage you to move to…..Bellevue.

  2. by the way, just get rid of your crap in Florida. Buy new stuff from the UR mall there, or better yet used stuff. In my view and experience, highly depreciable assets like furnishings are not worth shipping.

  3. Congratulations! I have heaps of friends who love the Seattle area. And good luck with your move — remember, people say (you know, people) that moving is a super-stressful event, but I’ve often found it remarkably freeing. And I’ve moved…wow, maybe 20 times in the last 30 years?

    Anyway, on to your questions: are you sure that packing up the heavy/valuable stuff you’re moving — iMac, TV, even maybe the smaller/heavier parts of the bed/couch — and driving it out there won’t be cheaper than shipping your car and stuff?

    I know U-Haul-type places have “truck plus car trailer” options. Obviously, organising that is a giant pain in the ass when you’re under 25, and you might not feel comfy driving a truck, but perhaps a trusted friend or relative might be up for it, especially if you were to pay for their flight from home to Tampa and Seattle back home.

    Never move IKEA furniture. Seriously. This I have learned after buying the stuff in NYC, London, Beijing and Melbourne. Even if you move it across town, it never really works when you try to reassemble it.

  4. Great to see you moving to the west coast. Congratulations and I think you’ll enjoy it. Not Seattle per say, but I’m just to the north in Vancouver! By the way, the weather in the past has been pretty deceiving: the Northwest has been receiving phenomenal weather in September/October and this is definitely not a typical start to the autumn season: don’t let that fool you.

  5. Enjoy your new life in Greater Seattle area. People are really friendly there & the environment and weather are great too. You will get wet though, get used to it ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I live in Bellevue, hope you enjoy the great summer here. The only “decent” season out of the northwest. But… there’s always reasonable priced flights to FL during the winter seasons! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Is putting all your crap inside your car not an option? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (I admit the bed and couch might not fit)

  8. I love Bellevue. When I go to USA from Singapore for business, rather than staying in Seattle, I stay in Bellevue. It is also easy to go from Bellevue to Seattle by bus. I love Bellevue mall and the food and shops there. I also like the Barnes and noble book store. It is huge ! Good choice !!

  9. Thanks, guys!

    @ Murphy — The only thing that would fit would be the TV and iMac. Not really much else that would fit or that I’d want to take, for that matter.

  10. In that case, I’d either furnish the new apartment from scratch, or rent a U-haul and enjoy a road trip.

  11. I have a friend who used Direct Express Auto Transport, 800-600-3750 or 415-482-2870, to ship her car full of her belongings cross country. A few years ago it was about $600.

  12. I’d say rent a Uhaul and a Trailer tow the car and your stuff and make the drive. It’s always good to see the country.

  13. probably a break-even proposition of shipping the car versus driving it yourself, plus the time factor and safety factor. Just ship the thing and be done with it, or if you are not attached to it, sell it along with all your crap, fly to Portland and buy a car there tax free.

  14. Welcome to the area! Would be glad to meet you and show around ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to ask questions about Bellevue/Seattle.

  15. Congrats on the decision. I just moved to Washington from upstate New York and faced the same decisions as you. After reading many horror stories of having your car transported I ended up deciding to drive my car across country packing it with any belongings I needed (TV,computer) and leaving most my furniture behind. It was a very long and dull drive even with making a few occasional stops to see some sights. It maybe a worthwhile drive once in your life if you have not done it before, but I do not think I would do it again myself.

    So far I have enjoyed my decision moving to the northwest but everyone I meet keeps telling me the current weather is not ‘normal’ for the season so who knows I maybe changing my tune after winter.

  16. Congrats on coming to a decision!

    Unless you have time, desire, and a travel buddy, making the trek by car probably isn’t worth it. I guess you can make some mattress runs out of it though if you’re inclined.

    Shipping large items in general is a bit of a crapshoot because there isn’t a uniform level of quality within the companies, so reviews aren’t indicative of what you’ll actually experience. But as long as everything is replaceable, then it can be insured, so take that into consideration. Definitely shop around online for moving companies and movable storage units like PODS. Everyone has a website, so Google is your friend.

    I’m guessing though that since you have a relatively small amount of stuff, the math will tell you only to ship your car, and buy the rest new. That’s what I concluded when moving from Chicago to LA after grad school.

    For car shippers, Dependable Auto Shippers is worth considering. Keep in mind you’ll be without a car for a bit, and you or a friend will need to be around to receive the vehicle in the delivery window. Sounds like you’ll be able to get around on foot OK, but maybe not so easy to be in full apt setup mode till the car arrives.

    Main things are to leave extra time for everything and to be patient and flexible during the transition. If you are cool with expecting the worst, then a lack thereof will be a bonus.

    Good luck and keep us all posted! And we hope to welcome you as a resident to LA later after you’ve gotten Seattle out of your system. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. I shipped my car from CT to LA in 2009 thru a vendor recommended by Costco, could have been direct express mentioned in comment #14. It was around $600 and took about a week. Best money I’ve spent since there’s no way I was going to drive that all the way cross country. You can pack some heavy stuff in the trunk, they tell you not to put anything in the front cabin so it won’t get stolen.

  18. I used to live in Seattle for about 22 years of my life, give or take. You’re going to love it. I don’t know much about shipping things, but I do know one incredibly important thing…

    If you want to have real, authentic (no burritos on the menu), and amazingly delicious Mexican food, go to Seรฑor Moose in Ballard, in Seattle. It is seriously the best Mexican food I’ve ever had outside of Mexico. Bring a friend or three so you can order some appetizers.

    If you end up staying in/around Ballard for the day (visit the Zoo, the Locks, Golden Gate Park, etc), I recommend going to Thaiku for dinner and having the kao soi. Remember that trip you haven’t made to Chiang Rai yet? Kao Soi is an authentic northern Thai food and there are very few places in the US that have it. Oh, and all the other food at Thaiku is good too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. @Carl – I believe lucky already has a lease for another couple of years. Plus, you can’t register a car purchased elsewhere in WA within last 90 days without paying use tax.

    As others mention, driving versus shipping car is about even money wise – so it’s a question of if you want to see ID/ND/SD/WY/etc that you normally don’t fly to as the fares never make it to the top of your list, versus the hours you’ll spend on the interstates. When I moved from DC to WA (not Bellevue-proper, but nearby) I did drive; however, there are viable reasons to ship (given you have a lease, miles added may or may not be an issue – depending how little you drive elsewhere).

    Furtniture wise, IKEA stuff should be a no-brain to throw-out/sell/etc and get again (or if you want to stay longer, get nicer things).

  20. Congrats on the decision. I hope you keep us up to date every now and then about your experiences of living in a new city! Enjoy!

  21. So you’re addicted to Starbucks and now you’re moving to Seattle. Seems like a dangerous combination!

  22. Longtime eastside (for the uninitiated- that covers the suburbs east of lake Washington in seattle area) resident here. Welcome to the area!

    If u like DTF, you should check out Facing East restaurant which is within a block from the Westin.

  23. Okay, Tampa is not my place either,I lived there for one long year. But I also spent two miserable months in nov and December a few years ago. If you are one of those people who likes to wear a raincoat …good for you. To me, waking up in black skies is soooooo depressing. I agree there is no utopia, that is why I am a vagabond living most of the time in Europe or Israel where I walk every where. Most of me states is a concrete jungle in the cities! I have not owned a car for 10 years now.

  24. Congrats and welcome to WA. I live 20 min away from Bellevue, and I love it.
    If I were you, I would do a road trip and pack things that fit in your car, should be a fun trip.
    If you want to buy Furniture, depending on your preference, Tukwila area has tons of store options including IKEA. Also, Kasala in Bellevue offers contemporary but affordable furniture.
    Looking forward to hear you move story and future flying trip report out of SEA or YVR!

  25. I’ve shipped cars across country and I’ve driven cross country. The shipping thing wasn’t very convenient. I think they kept transferring the car from one shipper to another, and eventually it showed up in Florida. After that, I just drove them x-country myself and dropped them off at the port of Long Beach for the remainder of the trip to the islands.

    What do you want to do? Do you like driving? I had fun driving x-country, made lots of stops, visited family along the way, picked up boiled peanuts and peaches in Georgia, fireworks in KY or was it TN? Visited family in St Louis, etc, etc.

    Anyway it was something I enjoyed doing. If you think you would enjoy it, go for it. If you don’t, then just find a reputable shipper and ship it.


  26. I kinda need to laugh at the idea that it’s an easy 10 minute ride from Bellevue and Seattle. Maybe any time not between 6-10am and 2-7pm. Still love my hometown (Seattle proper).

  27. Uh oh, someone’s gonna hafta learn to do laundry… fast. Congrats and wishing you the best on this new phase in life.

    hard2please, and I believe dyung and Missy are in Bellevue.

  28. Congrats Lucky! I visited Seattle for the second time this summer thanks to the VX travel vouchers and loved it. Met up with a friend of mine that lives in Kirkland and he drove us thru there and Bellevue. Either place looks like a fantastic decision. The waterfront area in Kirkland has great shops and restaurants. Good luck with the move. I’d just start over with the big stuff (im sure you can earn a good number of miles) and bring your old bed to your parents so you have a comfortable bed to sleep in when you transit thru Tampa.

  29. Been there, done that, I can say that now is the time in your life to do what you are doing. Congrats on a brave decision. I was in my early 20’s had just finished school and moved to San Diego from Pa. So glad I did, but after 3 years realized there is more to life than beautiful weather. I moved back to be with family and lifelong friends.

    As for the rest, don’t bother taking stuff with you. You can always get new stuff. Pack up the car and spend a couple weeks seeing THIS country. The last I looked, this was a travel blog, and a very interesting one at that considering my youngest is your age!

    This isn’t a monetary decision. It’s about a preference of do you want to get started tomorrow on the next chapter by flying there, or take an interesting journey on your way? Take a friend and enjoy the road less traveled. You have two weeks to get there.

  30. From a recent experience of a friend, professional movers, and his furnishings: 1000 miles, 3000 lbs, $2000.

  31. Congrats! Be sure to check out Daniel’s Broiler at the Hyatt – one of my all time favorite steakhouses!

  32. Once you find out the cost of moving stuff other than your car, you’ll be getting rid of most of it asap. Move the car; replace the rest.

  33. Congrats on choosing the Seattle area, my hometown. Since you travel half the time, I don’t think the dark winters will be so bad, but buy some candles and get a couple of 100 watt bulbs just in case. It seldom drops below freezing here, but you will notice the cold. Only thing you should increase is how much time you think it takes to get around town and especially to/from the airport. Do you usually drive and to and park at the airport? That cost too is likely a bit higher than Tampa, but then almost everything costs more here anyway. Still, a fun town to be in with lots of outdoor and indoor activities. Look forward to hearing more reports out of SEA…

  34. I suggest driving, if your lease can take the miles. The SE, I’d pass on, but driving through the mountains in the Western states is great. Also, it seems that used ikea furniture has a fixed value on Craigslist. Sell yours in FL, and you can probably break even on buying the same items used in WA.

  35. I agree with Aaron, you should drive. It will be a new experience and give you a chance to see some of those ‘fly-over’ states you have previously, well, flown over. Stop at the Tourist Info center when you hit a new state, pickup a highway map and a lodging guide and stay at a cheap motel every night. A ‘motel’ is like a hotel, but with fewer floors and amenities, in case you were wondering. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Plot out interesting things to see along the way but let yourself meander a bit and maybe find some fun places and things. Also, my wife and I have inherited a travel rule from a friend: always eat in at least one local establishment each day. It will do you good!

  36. Lucky – Do not use Dependable Auto Shippers. While they are the cheapest, they are not dependable. Long story short, car damaged by shipper due to negligence (loading ramp dropped on roof), they didn’t disclose it or pay for the damage. Plenty of other options as others have suggested. If you do choose to ship I have had good experiences with Reindeer Auto Relocation.

    On household goods, unless you are having professional movers disassemble, pack, unpack and reassemble just go to Ikea and buy new stuff when you get there.

  37. Hi Congrats on your big move and Welcome to WA. I live about 10 miles from Bellevue and it is a fantastic, fun filled, livable and safe city. Wish you all happiness in your new endeavor.

    BTW, Check out Dania or Kasala for modern furniture.

    Look forward to meeting you sometime soon. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.


  38. Everyone should do a cross-country road trip at least once. I was forced to do it right after 9/11 (LA to DC) and I’ve never forgotten it. It would certainly make for an interesting blog. As for your stuff, leave behind everything you can easily replace–shipping is very expensive.

  39. Definitely drive the car to Seattle. Doing that drive will make you truly appreciate all the beauty in the country that just doesn’t exist in Florida. And on top of that, it’s really not that expensive, relative to flying. Assuming an average of $3.85/gallon for gas, it would only cost roughly $400 in gas if you get 30mpg; even if you get somewhat crappy mileage (say 20mpg), that’s still only roughly $600 for the trip.

  40. Ummm… What about CHECKING A FEW BAGS?!?! I’m shocked nobody recommended this!!!
    Pack your stuff well, and take whatever you can by check-in. iMac you can take as carry-on (seriously!!) and use your checked bag limit!!!

    PS I’m in YYC…

  41. Congratulations on your decision. I used to go to Bellevue quite often for work and it is a really nice place. It is sort of a mix between a city and a suburb as you can walk places yet it’s easy to drive and everyplace has free parking. You’ll be in great shape because everywhere you walk is uphill. Be sure to check out the David Barton gym. It’s a really nice gym in a nice area. If you need guest passes for it let me know.

  42. Places you will want to eat at:
    Chantanee (Bellevue)
    Dick’s Burgers (multiple locations)
    Red Mill Burgers
    3 Girls Bakery (pike place market)
    Athenian Grill (pike place)
    Piroshky Piroshky (pike place)
    I love sushi (one in bellevue)
    John Howie Steak

  43. BrewerSEA is dead-on, I grew up in Bellevue and while the whole area is beautiful, the traffic is horrendous – Seattle to/from the Eastside, north/south on 405 or I-5, anything on 520, 167, the list goes on. Be thankful you work at home and can avoid most of the hassle. Or just wait another 11+ years, and you will have some type of light rail nearby.

  44. Contras on the move — give your parents the heavenly bed, sell the rest and drive (have you driven thru the Southwest?). You keep extolling the beauty of Berchestgardten yet New Mexico this time of year is amazing! The drive up the coast from LA through Eureka (the most spectacular Redwoods) is something you’ll never forget!

  45. Ben,

    Good luck with your move.

    A google search can lead you to auto transport companies, none of which I have first hand experience. As for household movers, it’s quick and easy to have a representative of a local moving and storage company affiliated with a national mover (ie United, Allied, Mayflower)come to your residence and give you an estimate on moving household goods. They can even put your car on the moving van, as well.

    I cannot comment on the cost, but the estimate will be free and will give you another data point. Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh the cost of transporting the car vs. driving it yourself vs. the value of the car. Then you can decide whether to unload it or take it out West with you.

    That same calculation will apply for whatever furnishings you decide to take.When you determine the cost of moving stuff out there, you can weigh that against just buying new.

    Packing and moving items can be a hassle as well as expensive. You can use this as an oppotunity to decide what you have that is really worth keeping so as to avoid clutter. Rather than just throw out items you choose not to keep, consider donating items that have some value to others to an agency such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.

    Keep in mind that moving is one of life’s more stressful times. Not everything will likely go as planned. Be as prepared as possible and roll with it, much as you do with flight interrruptions, delays, etc.

  46. ROAD TRIP! It’s the American legacy. And no interstates, either!

    Sounds like the only furniture you should consider moving is the W bed. You might want to check with the railroad companies. We have moved furniture across country by rail and I recall it being fairly reasonable. You might just have to be flexible with when it arrives.

  47. Congrats!!! Bellevue is an amazing place to live. If you don’t feel like driving to Seattle, just take the bus…it’s quick and reliable and you don’t have to pay for parking.

    As for the car…I would ship it. I shipped mine from Seattle to DC a few years ago and it was the best decision and worth every penny.

    Hope to be making the same move back to Seattle in a year or two. So until then, I will live vicariously through you.

  48. I’d recommend selling your furniture on Craigslist (you’d be amazed at the prices you can ask for furniture!) and then driving your car out west. When was the last time a miles-and-points blogger wrote about a road trip? Think of the parts of the country you’d be able to see, the hotels you could stay at (and free nights you could earn), and the potential adventures to write about! You’ll be living out here for a while, so there’s no rush to actually GET here. Since light rail from the airport doesn’t go out to Bellevue yet, I’d recommend airport parking at SeaTacPark – really friendly people, great prices, and they have a loyalty program ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Congrats Lucky!

    I live in Seattle, and work at Microsoft just on the border of Bellevue. Drop a line if you’re lookin to meet people once you’re settled.

  50. Congrats and good luck! I’ll be stopping by SEA on a MR sometime in DEc and will make sure to say hello

  51. Ben, I just did a test reservation at Budget Truck Rental (the cheapest I’ve found after 10 moves in the past 15 years) and it’d be about $1100 just to rent a truck (16 foot truck, much larger than you need, but the smallest that will tow a car). Plus the towing harness, plus gas. And they’d expect you to make the trip in 5 days.

    With the items you’ve listed, I believe it’d be cheaper to just pack 3 70lb bags on UA, sell the car, ship the iMac (sell the TV and get a new one) and start over.

    If you can’t sell the car, then pack your car, sell/put at your parents what doesn’t fit, and enjoy the road trip.

    Can you put the W bed at your parents’ place?

    As to shipping the car and packing things in it, I did that once and literally packed it to the ceiling with my stuff. Nothing was stolen. This was from ATL to PHL. Cover the windows on the inside with a tarp so you can’t see what’s in there.

    Best of luck with the move! I know you’re going to enjoy it!

  52. If you’re crunched for time, stop reading. But, if you can take a few days to a week to get out there, make a cross country road trip out of it. Pack your stuff in the car (sell what you don’t need and buy new when you arrive) and start driving.

    Last summer, I moved my little brother from Chicago to Phoenix. We scheduled 5 days for the drive stopping in cities where we knew people, stopping in places we wanted to see and made a 2 night stop in Vegas. Not really on the way but, close enough, right?

    Unbelievable experience and you get to see so much of the country and bask in the beauty. Except Kansas: there’s nothing to look at and it just goes on forever.

    Most of us are so used to spending time in the air and, while it’s beautiful up there and looking down on everything provides a unique perspective, you can’t fully appreciate it all unless you’re there. Stopping on I-70 in eastern Utah as the sun sets over the mountains cannot be described.

    I fly because I enjoy the experience of flight but also because of the destination and what I get to see and experience. This opportunity you have is about the journey and the experience you’ll have in getting to your new home. Will you be tired? Certainly. Will you get bored? Absolutely. But, there will be those moments seeing this country that will quite literally take your breath away and it will all be worth it.

    I highly recommend you not pass up this opportunity to see the country in a most unique way. And, if you have a travel buddy, that’ll make the experience that much more enjoyable!

  53. Fall is a beautiful time to drive through fly-over country. Let me know if you come by I-80 — I’ll treat you to lunch/dinner.

  54. Lucky, why don’t you make a game out of it and see if we can find a reader at every at every stop along a road trip to feed you and put you up!

  55. Welcome to Bellevue, Ben. Good to have you as a new neighbor!
    The lease market is tight probably because colleges start in late September and you were competing with a flood of students. It should slow down a bit, although it’s is still tight. Not sure about the rental market, but the average turnover time for a house purchase is about 10 days. So if you see something you really want, you have to act quickly.
    The great Summer weather is going away fast – getting dark earlier and getting cold. Just hope this Winter is not too bad.
    Again welcome to Bellevue/Seattle. Shoot me an email if anything I can help.

  56. If you have a nice car, make sure you get a covered carrier when shipping it. It will be about 50% more expensive but it won’t get damaged by flying rocks, etc.

  57. Ship or take with your your valuable stuff (computers, etc.).
    Sell your furniture and car and buy a new car out there.
    You can usually get a decent price for your car at CarMax if you are crunched for time.

  58. Congrats on an awesome choice! My wife and I live a stone’s throw away in Redmond and have benefited greatly from the advice on your blog.

    Let us know if we can help with any area specific information.

  59. Congratulations! When the weather is nice, Seattle proper is an amazing place. I enjoyed my time living there and although I was happy when I moved, I do love visiting. If you end up at BOI or area, hit me up.

  60. Lucky,

    I’ve moved across the country twice — DC to LA, LA to CVG, and then CVG back to DC. The last move was the easiest — my company paid for my relocation. The first two sucked, as I did them as a broke college kid.

    Moving from DC to LA, all I had was throw away stuff. I packed whatever would fit in my car and threw away the rest. It wasn’t worth paying for a trailer to take care of the rest. In LA, all I had to do was furnish a bedroom, so I didn’t have to worry too much.

    When I moved from LA to CVG for grad school, I knew I had to outfit a one bedroom apartment. I had just enough crap where it was worth putting a hitch on my car and taking a U-Haul trailer.

    It’s hard to move across country and make it a relaxing trip. To me, I just wanted to get there with all of my crap. My dad drove with me for a vast majority of my x-c moves, and I always remember the male bonding. I looked at shipping my car back then, but none of the shippers wanted to ship a car full of crap. “Empty cars only.”

    Contrary to someone’s earlier advice, I did move assembled Ikea furniture 13 miles in the DC suburbs in the back of a UHaul truck and it help up just fine ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Congratulations Lucky. I live in (and love) Seattle. We’ve had an exceptional summer this year. Winter isn’t too bad when you have 3 ski resorts less than 3 hours away. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Yay! Moving is awesome!

    If you aren’t able to transfer/get out of your car lease, then I think you will *definitely* want to ship it. Your lease is only good for x number of base miles right? So how would an extra 3200 miles impact that?

    If you do ship it, I second Ron’s recommendation for Dependable Auto Shippers – I’ve used them twice, both times it was in the neighborhood of $600 for a cross-country move.

    For the rest of your stuff, you are probably right at the cusp of it making sense to move it or sell it. I would probably call a couple local moving companies in TAMPA and get some quotes. DO NOT just do an internet search for “moving company” – you’ll get sketchy people from New Jersey or somewhere. Once you have a ballpark of what your move would cost you can decide what makes more sense.

    If you DO decide to have everything shipped, packing well will save you money and time. There is nearly always someone on Craigslist giving away boxes from their corporate move – you want to get these, because the boxes are designed to stack intelligently in the truck, so your move will go faster. Also, disassemble all your Ikea furniture! It actually moves really well if you take it back to “flat pack”.

    Hope that helps!

  63. Dependable Auto Shippers

    Is very reliable and usually competitive on $. The one downside is they want your car to be empty so you can’t use it as a rolling shipping container.

    I shipped my RAV4 from Los Angeles to Missouri when I moved and I know other who have used them.

  64. I was in Seattle this weekend and yes, weather was great. I hope this didn’t influence your decision, because everyone was pointing out this is not usually the case around this time of year.

  65. I think you should drive. Unless you’re a terrible driver or just can’t stand sitting that long. But I think it would be a great adventure. Take your time and drive in small chunks. Stop at interesting places along the way. Should be a pretty time of year in a lot of places.

  66. I moved from Louisiana-SMF-DFW-XXX-YYY-ZZZ-BOS. Oh Lord.
    I used car shipping few times and the first 2 times I drove from LFT-SMF-DFW etc.
    If you love driving I would do that but it is going to be such a pain all by yourself. I used United Auto Movers (Ask for Joe,
    7274085172). They are very nice and gives you a good quote but the response is little slow. My friends also used his services several times.
    I get a feel that you have a similar situation as mine with regards to your furniture. I would sell the stuff, stuff the car with your luggage and leave it to shipping the car. I did that all the times.
    I would rather carry the valuable stuff with me or fedex them rather than leaving them in the car.

  67. Drive down to IKEA just across Vancouver WA and get your furniture–load it up and pay no sales taxes hehehe… heck, ill even treat ya to an ice cream cone Ben!

  68. I (used to) live in Seattle and my family is still there so we could grab a Starbucks drink sometimes;)
    I moved 3 times in the last 5 years and my policy is everything must fit in 3 checked bags, 70 lbs each (read: UA checked bag allowance), everything else I either donate or garage sale. Dealing with furniture is a pain.
    Seattle has good public transportation system so I doubt you need your car that much. Amazon also has free grocery delivery. I’d recommend getting a bike
    Bellevue is a upper class city so the area is usually safe and people are friendly.

  69. I’m with @Carl, Eastside is like a completely different world. But it works for some people. Just be careful when people ask where you live. You’ll have to stop saying “Seattle” at some point.

    I vote for driving. Enjoy the cross country roadtrip and opportunity to see places you can’t easily fly to. And ditch the furniture you don’t want. I purposefully bought IKEA/Target stuff when I moved here five years ago. I knew about this time I’d be ready to leave, and I’d either toss it or give it all away rather than cart it with me.

  70. congrats! Your post makes me want to move back. I lived therethe first 22 years of my life- now im 24 so if you have any specific questions just ask. Bellevue is a great choice kind of hip and full of young business professionals. If you ever are sun deprived there’s almost always cheap fares to Florida out of SEA in the 200 range.

    I do think you should have a “lucky do” in Seattle at some point

  71. When I moved from Miami to LA, since October/November can be slow months, the moving company actually was able to put my car on the same truck with my furniture. My advice would be to move the furniture so that at least you have the basics from the start. As to choosing a moving company, I’d research the best company in Seattle and deal with them so that, even if they use an affiliated company’s truck for your partial load, you’ll have a local company to deal with if there are any issues.Good luck with the move and welcome to the West Coast.

  72. On moving your car – drive it. You spend so much time up in the air – do something totally different. Drive through all those cities worth seeing with no airports worth flying into. Go north: Yellowstone. Bad Lands. Mt Rushmore. or Go by the grand canyon and then drive up the coast on Hwy 1.

    I moved from Chicago to SF a year ago. Driving across the country, and really seeing much of it for the first time was one of the best experiences of my life. It really helps you mentally appreciate the magnitude of the change in direction your life takes by moving across the country. In 20 years you won’t regret the extra couple days you took to really make this a trip. Good Luck.

  73. Very proud of you for making a move (that’s not always easy)!

    Stay well ahead. I’ll be in touch when in SEA.

  74. You mentioned “Bellevue seems so much like Hong Kong”…..could be due to the flood of asian immigrants….and don’t worry certain areas of Bellevue will feel like India also.

    How to ship your car??? Get in the car, load it up with your tv and mac, and get on the road and drive 10 hours a day for several days, stopping in roadside motels.

  75. I’m a Bellevue-area resident. I’m a bit surprised you picked Bellevue instead of Seattle, where there’s more to do and more restaurants, and you would have easy access to light rail to the airport.

    Beware that Seattle’s best weather is July-August-September. I don’t mind the climate which I consider pretty temperate, and there are occasionaly beautiful days sprinkled throughout the year, but beware that there will be a lot of gray damp chilly days.

    I would not bother shipping most of your stuff, and you might even consider selling the car and buying a new one, rather then spending the money to relocate it. Depends on the age of your car. There’s an IKEA in Renton, so you can furnish fairly cheaply if that’s the style you want.

    Feel free to email if you want any other inputs

  76. Since you are waxing poetic about all these great life experiences that you want to get….

    why not drive cross-country? I assume you never had, and I personally think that every American should be required to make the trip at least once! It will give you a much better appreciation for just how BIG this great nation is.

  77. You should do a road trip! Get in contact with the Chase execs and do a Where’s Lucky? promo like TPG is doing. How to best use Ultimate Rewards while road tripping across the country and refurnishing your apt.

  78. First, good luck man! Shocked we never crossed paths at TPA or at any of the blogger meetups in the area… at least now you’ll get to see actual seasons and basements again.

    Ship the car and take the transcon miles if the price is right and you hate being in your car. There’s something to be said for road trips, but I don’t get the sense you’re on a tiny budget here.

    Sell the rest; post for sale on CL and near USF or take a trip down toward MacDill and do the same. Lots of students and servicemen-and-women looking for furniture down this way, and it’ll help fund the move.

  79. Welcome Lucky. I work in Bellevue, and except for the horrid commute on 405 (rush hour), the city is a great place to live.

  80. Get a u haul hitch thingie and drive your own car and crap there! Driving cross country is a blast.

  81. 3 votes in a row for DRIVE!

    It’s refreshing to see that not all your readers are coastal snobs! ๐Ÿ™‚

  82. @Ben, congratulations on the move, and I hope you’ll have a great experience living in Bellevue.

    Just wondering why SFO wasn’t on your list of finalists.

  83. I moved out to Vancouver last year (from PHL) and drove. It was the best decision ever! I made a 10-day road trip out of it… You should do the same! Also, when’s the house-warming? I’ll drive down! Haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  84. I’ve got to second the driving if you can. I drove from Des Moines to LA last year & outside of Nebraska, it was an amazing dive. The Rockies are beutiful & parts of eastern Utah look like they should be the moon.

  85. I grew up in Kirkland have lived all over the US and am now back in Seattle (downtown). As some one who has moved a lot – ditch the furniture, drive or ship the car, and ship all of your moving boxes via Amtrak. It is the cheapest if you are not moving much, but you have to go pick up your stuff at the train station. So make sure your car arrives first!

  86. @ T3pleshot โ€“ Will check it out, thanks!

    @ David K โ€“ If I could help it I wouldnโ€™t drive, especially since the move is coming along really quickly and Iโ€™m not sure how Iโ€™d squeeze in the time. But if itโ€™s a lot more economical Iโ€™d consider it.

    @ David โ€“ I do usually park at the airport for short trips, and for longer trips try to get someone to drive me. Will try to do the same when I move. I realize traffic is pretty bad during peak hours, so Iโ€™ll do my best to book off peak flights (especially redeyes).

    @ Vij โ€“ Will check it out, thanks, and hope to see you around!

  87. A bit of advice from someone who has moved 10 times in the past 15 years and made every possible mistake. As this is your first major move you need to make the whole process as quick and painless a possible. In your case I would ship the car. Put your furniture in storage in Tampa and rent furniture in Bellvue. If you are still loving the place in a year look at buying new stuff and getting rid of the Tampa houselot. The boxes of crap you think you need – we recently moved our boxes via Fed Ex 2 day ground service. Surprisingly cheap and it is a door to door service.

  88. Great choice, Lucky!

    My son bought his first condominium in Bellevue after graduating from college, so I’ve always had warm feelings for the area. We visit every two months or so and rotate our stays between the Hyatt, Westin, and if I need the stay credit, the Sheraton Bellevue.

    Traffic can be problematic at certain times but since we’re coming from the Bay Area, we’re rather used to it.

    I’d be inclined to ship your car – although I would imagine many areas of the country are quite lovely this time of year – just because it’s a very long drive, especially so if you’re doing that alone. As for furnishings, you might be able to go to some resale shops and find some treasures should you decide to leave your own behind.

    How exciting for you to move cross country! Just for the adventure, we moved from California to Hawaii after my husband finished his residency. The intention to stay for one year lasted for 7, and I remember those days fondly. Best of luck to you, and we’ll take you to dinner in Bellevue.

  89. Don’t bother shipping Ikea Furniture. Just sell it on Craigslist and rebuy it on the other end. You’ll lose about 20% in value but will save dramatically on shipping. Plus, Ikea furniture is never the same after is taken apart and reassembled.

  90. I am from the seattle area and lived there my whole live up until 2 years ago when I moved from Seattle to Kansas City to Los Angeles and Now San Diego all for work. I wish you the best in Bellevue. But I again tell you that you should really rethink it.

    You are young and bellevue is NOT for young People. Bellevue is full of Families and retirees. I lived in Bellevue when I was 20 and I spent every weekend driving into the city, dinners were mainly in the cities. Most people you’ll meet will live in the City. Bellevue is only great if your work for Microsoft or Expedia. Not for younger generations. Also Bellevue is NOT 10 minutes from seattle. The bridges back up and it is often 1 hour to the city! The bridges become such a road block!

    You’re going to find yourself spending your free time in Fremont, Eastlake, South Lake Union, and primarily capitol hill. ALL safe neighborhoods with extremely low crime for a city. I’ve lived all over Seattle and Bellevue is a horrible choice! I hope you reconsider and look more in seattle! I would love to share some advice with you or even get you in contact with other people who have lived in both places

  91. @ @ janyyc โ€“ Plan on doing that as much as I can, though doubt thereโ€™s any way Iโ€™m getting my 27โ€ iMac as a carry-on.

    @ thomas โ€“ Iโ€™ll check them all out!

    @ Adam โ€“ Thanks, and will do!

    @ frekwentflier โ€“ Thanks! Main issue is parents donโ€™t really have room for W bed, so the best I could do is replace one of their existing mattresses with it.

    @ gba โ€“ Plan on it!

    @ Despina — To be honest I’m not sure. I really like the city, but for whatever reason couldn’t picture myself living there for the time being. There are some cities I love visiting (New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo, for example) which are among my favorite in the world, but I couldn’t imagine myself living there. Still trying to figure out why.

  92. Sell or give away anything that won’t fit in your car and drive. Done it several times and it’s very liberating. Or sell everything (except your computer) and fly there. Done that too and it’s also an amazing feeling.

  93. After all of that talk of getting you moved, now how to adapt to the Pacific Northwest lifestyle in Bellevue.

    1. Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar
    Wonderful seafood, prices are a bit high but they have happy hour
    2. Chantanee Thai Restaurant
    I eat here every time I am in Bellevue
    3. Wild Ginger
    Another excellent SE Asian restaurant
    4.Bis on Main
    PNW inspired dishes
    5. Monsoon East
    Great Happy hour prices

    First order of business is to get a good rain jacket. You will be wearing this EVERY SINGLE DAY IT RAINS, so choose wisely. One of the best malls is the Bellevue mall. Eddie Bauer, Nordstrom, and North Face along with other brands are there.

    Fleece will be come you new fashion wardrobe staple. You will try to resist, but it just feels so good. Wool is nice, but you will smell like wet dog and no one really likes that.

    There is a Tesla dealership in the mall. That should solve your car quandary.

    Sell everything, IKEA is around the corner

    That’s about it. I just live down the road (Portland) so if you are looking for a fun Amtrak trip, come on down. PS, there is no sales tax in Oregon and it is nearly 10% in Washington.

  94. Congrats on your move! I have stayed out of this conversation from the beginning as there are already many good suggestions. You wont regret it. Seattle has a lot to offer. When you are settle down let me know, I can introduce you to the Laurelhurst area (near the University district).

  95. As a Seattleite I say welcome to the Northwest! Personally, you couldn’t drag me to live in B’vue; no personality there, lack of energy that makes a city a city, especially for young people. And “crime” in Seattle? Sure there’s some, but we’re hardly Detroit. Quality of life is very good. On the weather front, this was a glorious summer, one for the record books; savior it, cause next year could be a washout. Happy moving.

  96. Congrats and welcome to the adventure!

    As others stated, I also would recommend driving cross-country. You could make it a working trip, visiting fellow Boarding Area bloggers on the way (such as Mommy Points in Houston), visit some aviation museums, airplane graveyards, try out several hotel options you wouldn’t otherwise, interview travel agents in various cities on how the different parts of America view travel, other travel related adventures.

    As for shipping you items, you could use the PODS to get your items to WA, ship stuff like cloths, household goods, TV and computer via UPS/US Mail (like we did in the military), or just buy new.

    Good luck and have fun!

  97. Congrats, welcome to the Eastside (Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, Kirkland, or east of Lake Washington). I grew up in Bellevue so I’ve seen the transformation in the last 30 years, especially downtown Bellevue. Although I’ve move 20 minutes south in Renton (Boeing 737 airplanes are made), I still go to Bellevue weekly mainly to eat and hang out. The Starbucks attached to the Barnes & Noble Bookstore is a good place to squat if you just want to chill.

    Restuarants to consider in Bellevue area if you enjoy Asian cuisine:
    Facing East (Taiwanese), Malay Satay Hut (Malaysian), Din Tai Fung (soup dumplings or xiao lung bao), Regent Bakery & Cafe (Hong Kong style cafe), Top Gun (dim sum),Szechuan Chef

    anyhow, welcome.

  98. Lucky
    If anything, you can see how many people care about your move.
    Decide – see the country once or not
    You are mainly flying OVER it and not seeing it
    I think at a young age, just as you made the move west, you should drive west and enjoy the places along the way.

  99. Add me to the Seattle area resident list. Another point on the move : we were in a big pinch on the last day of our cross country move after filling 3 PODs and having stuff left over. My wife, in a panic, called random national moving companies in the yellow pages and found one that would bring a truck the next day that had left over space in the back that could fit us in. Priced by weight and it came to about 1300 for about half a POD worth of space. For a small amount like you have it makes sense to be a partial load with a major moving line going west. They picked up 2 hrs before we left for our flight! Shipped 2 cars no problem. PODs is awesome but only if you can load/unload and have street space which you wont in Bellevue.

  100. Congrats! I’m from Bellevue, Washington (tho i haven’t lived there in 8 years), and my parents still live there. It’s definitely a great place in some ways, and there are many interesting events and happenings there.

    But here’s some of the bad things, IMO:

    Seems like you already know this is the case, but the winter (or more broadly, just non-summer weather) is not anything like what you’ve seen in the summer ๐Ÿ™‚ I would’ve advised that you spend a winter weekend there, if you haven’t before, but oh well. On the flip side, though, you don’t have to worry about the awful humidity on the east coast anymore.

    Also, Seattle rush hour traffic is terrible. It’s smaller than other cities with awful traffic, but the few (comparatively) freeways that Seattle does have suck to drive on. However, the bus system provides decent accessibility, especially if you’re going to be living in or near downtown Bellevue.

  101. Regarding the car, I moved from San Diego to Washington, D.C. last year, and shipped my car for about $900. From a purely financial standpoint (assuming your car is worth shipping, since you didn’t provide any details about it), it’s absolutely more worthwhile to just ship your car. With the cost of gas as it is, wear and tear, hotel costs (though I guess this isn’t a problem for most of us on here), the only reason I would recommend driving is if you have the time and just wanted to take a cross country road trip. It actually is something that most people would not have much reason or opportunity to do very often.

    I found my shipping company by just going to some search engine and submitting a quote. I would suggest using an email address or filter (+ filter in address), as I got a lot of spam for a while by doing this ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I just got a bunch of quotes, tried to find reviews for the companies online, and just talked to a few that seemed good. I ended up getting a decent price, and my car arrived mostly intact with a ton of personal goods inside. The only issue I had was that some kind of oil or slimy substance had dripped onto my back window, probably from a car above it, but that stuff washed right off.

  102. My husband and I don’t drive long distances but this summer we drove his sister’s car across country and had a blast. As you go through a state we would look up the odd roadside attractions. Here are a few in Iowa for example, Riverside Iowa–future birthplace of James T. Kirk or Ames Iowa, largest concrete lawn gnome or the more familiar “Field of Dreams” in Dyersville Iowa. What a hoot!

  103. Bellevue is nice. I REALLY like Queen Anne though. Go there for walks/sunsets. Beautiful views of the city and sound.

  104. I haven’t read all of the comments, but my recommendation is that you sell everything except the iMac and start fresh in Seattle. Cars,appliances, and furniture are all easy to come by on Craigslist. Also, your move will have more of a “fresh start” feel to it if you completely start from scratch.

  105. Born and raised on the eastside, and live in Seattle now.

    Really interesting to hear your take on Bellevue. I can see your point. It’s a big city in the making; they’ve done a good job planning for growth.

  106. For the move, have you looked into uhaul? They have a service called ubox, they drop it at your soon-to-be old place, you pack your stuff in, then they move it to your destination, and at the destination you schedule the drop to the new apartment. I’ve used them a couple of times and it was convenient.

  107. Btw, I just realized it seems you might only be moving a couple of items, the biggest one being the bed, so probably the ubox will not be very convenient cost-wise.

  108. I thought you were coming here for some business/job opportunities! Otherwise, why Bellevue? You love to travel, SEA is definitely not a major hub. The weather you have seen so far is VERY FAR from the typical North West weather. Look at the cloud coverage stats over the years… if you can live with no sunlight and you enjoy wet outdoor activities, then it’s the place for you.
    And Bellevue is ‘theoretically’ 10 mins from Seattle… it can take up to 45 minutes depending on traffic. (Seattle is one of the worst city in America for car traffic, beside being on the top of “worst dressed people”, but that’s another story).
    You have my email, just in case you want more information from someone who wasn’t born and raised here.

  109. You drive a BMW right, no one in their right mind would drive it across the country.

    Now that you live in Seattle, you’ll be close to Vancouver and can take CX’s YVR to NYC service all the time!

  110. I’m a Seattleite. My comments:

    – Considering that you are likely to still be taking your weekends in Berchtesgaden and Bali, as opposed to staying in the city a lot (grin), Bellevue is an OK choice for a pied-a-terre (it’s not to my taste as it’s too car-centric for me; I think Seattle is better for that, and in terms of crime it’s not really a lot different). It will get better over the next decade as light rail is built, if you make it that far.

    – SEA is not a major hub, but as I pointed out, it’s really well-connected for a second-tier USA city.

    – Shipping IKEA furniture? Don’t bother. Sell it on Craigslist, buy on Craiglist when you get here, or buy new.

  111. Knowing that you aren’t fond of driving – I’d say ship the car hopefully with stuff at least in the trunk like the computer (make sure you back it up first though) – and maximize your checked baggage allowance for “stuff”. Furniture – either sell or replace stuff at your parents’ – not worth to move since you only have a small amount.

    Good luck!!!

  112. That’s so exciting! I need to get living in the west coast out of my system too but am not in a place to. I look forward to reading how things work out for you!

    To answer your questions, I’d suggest renting a U-haul with a car towing capability. My friend did this when she moved from ATL to Chicago and it worked out well. Of course, that’s a shorter drive than what you have. Otherwise, ship your car and buy new stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. You’ve already mentioned that you prefer not to drive, so that seems to largely be out as an option unless it saves money. But if it were me…

    If it were me, my car could take it and I had the time, I’d personally drive. It would be a great opportunity to see the country and maybe even make new friends. The ideal for lodging would be to use Priority Club’s pointbreaks, for the most part. But if they didn’t get released by the time I left (there’s a chance PC will just extend the current list rather than release a new list, PLUS I’d probably need to arrive by the 15th, so if that means I’d need to leave on the 7th or so, PC may not even release the new list by then (though PC might release the list during my trip, so I’d be on the lookout)…), then the plan would be to couchsurf with friends (or new friends from or use other hotel points. If I spread this trip across 8 days, I need to drive a tad more than 6 hours a day, which could be feasible. Could also be a memorable trip. The weather likely won’t be that absurdly cold for most of the trip, too.

    Whatever you decide to do, hope it goes well, and good luck with your move!

  114. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest! If you have a friend or family member that can do the cross country drive, it is a lot of fun. I wouldn’t recommend doing it by yourself. Either way, it sounds like selling what you have and getting new when you arrive would be a good way to go. Shipping cars has been mentioned already and I second the recommendations.

    My wife and I live in Oregon and get up to Seattle and Bellevue often. I agree that it would be fun to have a “Welcome to the PNW Meetup.” If not, would be great to grab dinner or a drink when we are in town. Hope everything works out for you and goes smoothly.

  115. Hi Ben. Welcome to the pacific Northwest! I live in Seattle. I’ll add my vote for the PNW meetup. It would be interesting to meet you and your readers in real life.

    I agree with you about getting Washington out of your system. I made my move a couple of years ago because I didn’t want to look back on my life and have regrets about not moving. I didn’t want to wonder about the “what if” scenario.

    Good luck with your move and looking forward to learning more tips and tricks about SEA!

  116. From Washington/Seattle area originally and still miss it every day (I’ve been gone 10 years, in Denver now). You’ll really love it. I also love the idea of the “Seattle Got Lucky” do.

  117. Congrats. I like Seattle, but get ready for the rain ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Personally I prefer city living (with metro’s to the airport) and find living in the burbs a hassle, but you will be fine and enjoy the natural beauty around there.

    Come up to YVR at some point, I’ll show ya round. (2hrs from Kirkland)

    I didn’t know SD made the cut, we are considering there too.

  118. Congrats! The hardest part of any decision is actually making the decision. The rest will be cake. Looking forward to meeting you in Chicago next weekend.

  119. @Lucky – Congrats, man! Moving is always exciting!! You get to re-invent yourself in whatever personality you’ve always wanted to be. Until some old friend from home comes to visit and ruins everything!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy the move and enjoy your new home.

  120. My wife and I unfortunately move cross country often. You can ship your car with other cars for as cheap as 600 as some have mentioned, we shipped hers solo last time for 1200. It arrived on its own trailer to our front door, when the driver promised it would.
    As for moving…it is billed by the weight now-a-days. Companies by and large stopped paying by the box, so movers I’ve dealt with charge by weight. If it is an “old” piece of furniture, you may want to just craigslist it or donate it for charity/tax sake. I wouldn’t recommend driving by yourself – it took me 5 or 6 days, when it took my delivery drivers 3 days. Good luck! I cannot wait until work moves me back to WA.

  121. Congratulations Lucky! Welcome to our state ! (from an Exit 1 , Vancouver, Washington resident) : ) hope to be able to meet you sometime in the future.

  122. I also recommend shipping the car. But the xcountry experience is too much to miss. Try thinking about the train! Bus to Orlando, train to DC to CHI to SEA; or take a small detour and go through SFO. Zephyr and Starlight are the flagship trains.

  123. Congrats! I have moved from Oregon to PA by driving, PA to Cali by shipping, and Cali to Florida by shipping.

    My experience driving was the whole trip in 3 days, not reccomended. gas at the time was around 4.10-4.20 a gallon and I drove a jeep grand cherokee. I think it cost around 600 bucks in just gas, then food and hotel on top of that. I also had my father drive with me and paid for a one way ticket back

    If you decide to drive, you can drive a with a friend and make a cross country trip out of it, and reimburse them with a ticket back?

    The other times I was on a timeline so I opted shipping it, cost me about 1100 each time. My first experience was horrible. 2nd experience was really good, I still have the number of the shipper if you’d like it.

    Remember when searching online for shipping companies, most of them are brokers (middlemen). Very few are the actual carriers, who can give you a real timeline on when your car will be delivered.

    Good luck!

  124. Check with the big movers (United, Van Line) etc and see if they’ve got a truck headed to Seattle in the next few weeks. If they’ve got an almost full truck, you might get a bargain on the remaining space. Won’t solve your car problem, but could cover the rest.

  125. Congratulations and welcome to Bellevue! Good luck on your move and as everyone has reiterated… sell your Ikea furniture and buy new stuff!

    There is a great modern furniture store here called Kasala. You should check it out. It’s around the corner from Whole Foods in Bellevue.

  126. Hi Ben! I just recently started reading your blog after a coworker convinced me I shouldn’t be wasting a lot of potential points and miles.

    Warm welcome to the Northwest from a fellow East Sider! I moved to Seattle a few years ago and came over to Redmond a year or so ago to be closer to work. It’s quite nice over here, and however bad people are saying the traffic is, it’s not as bad a New York – things could be worse ๐Ÿ™‚

    It does rain a lot, but there’s great coffee and plenty of fun stuff to do.


  127. Welcome to Seattle! I’ve lived here for 2 years now (moved from Minneapolis) and I absolutely love it.

    Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:

    1. Everyone talks about how bad the weather is but I actually love it. Temperatures are mild all year-round and the overcast thing isn’t bad if you take a vacation to somewhere sunny. Plus this summer has been fantastic. I’m convinced there is some kind of conspiracy to tell everyone how bad the weather is so no one else moves here.

    2. It’s near impossible to make real friends with native Seattleites. They aren’t unfriendly, but they aren’t very open to new friends either. If you invite them out, they’ll say yes and then not show up time and time again. It can be really frustrating, but keep at it. Also, I’ve had better luck with fellow transplants.

    3. EVERYONE has strongly held opinions about the best neighborhoods and why where they live is the best. BUT virtually no one has lived in more than 1-2 neighborhoods and they rarely even go elsewhere so they are really just making themselves feel better about the decision they made. Trust your gut and make your own way…

    4. AmazonFresh grocery delivery is amazing and roughly the same price as grocery stores.

    5. There are so many incredible restaurants that you will never want to eat at home. My wallet + waistline has yet to recover.

    6. Using BA Avios miles on the regional Horizon flights is an incredible value and makes for some fantastic weekend getaways. Not to mention the Ocean, Mt Rainier, Olympic Mtns, Leavenworth, Lake Chelan, Portland, Vancouver, Whistler, etc are 2-4hrs drive.

    Plenty more to say but that’s a good start…

  128. Congrats on the move. As a former Seattle resident, I’d suggest you go to the Crumpet Shoppe (around 1500 1st Ave, near Pike Place Market) for your celebratory breakfast. Cheap, simple, and you can take it to go and sit near the water. Have one savory scone and one sweet one – I’d recommend the pesto + tomato + sharp cheddar (savory) and raspberry preserves + cream cheese (sweet)

  129. Ha ha ha ha – oh, you are in for some surprises. So incredibly naive.
    As a longtime Seattle resident, I can’t wait to get out.

    Good luck with your 10-minute drive to Seattle. Wait until the spandex nazis find out about your plans. Have fun.

  130. Welcome to the area from another young miles guy. The wife and I live on the Kitsap peninsula across the sound. We moved here from Georgia about three years ago right after getting married. Let me know if ya need anything.

  131. I live in the Seattle are and love Bellevue. It’s kind of known as the snobby area of town, but who cares. I’d be happy to give suggestions for restaurants, hikes, etc. My favorite happy hours are John Howie Steak, Daniel’s Broiler, Palomino and McCormick and Schmick’s. Also, definitely check out Din Tai Fung – best dim sum anywhere. Only 1 of 2 locations in the US.

    Hope you enjoy it here!

  132. One more vote for the cross-country road-trip!
    Sure it’s a departure from your comfort zone of flying overhead and seeing the landscape from above. But, as you said, you’re young and flexible! There’s tons of stuff to do/see in this country that you’ll never get to experience flying in F on a transcon. Use this as an opportunity! I did it once and am itching to do it again!
    Though definitely do it with friend(s).

  133. I just moved out here in June from Chicago so am interested to see how the upcoming winter compares. I’m in West Seattle right by Alki and love it! Summer has been wonderful and fall is looking great so far.

  134. Welcome to the area! When I first moved to Seattle I lived in Bellevue downtown and loved it. I still live in the Eastside. Good luck with the move and enjoy the last few weeks of sunshine:)

  135. I don’t live in the Seattle area, but I just had lunch in Bellevue and currently am typing this from Shoreline (north suburb of Seattle).

  136. I know of someone who shipped their car cross-country, and a few days after it arrived it got broken into, except nothing was stolen, only the door panels were removed. Police claimed this is a known method for moving drugs long-distance — the risk of getting caught is on the unsuspecting car owner.

  137. Of course… Seattle isn’t Paris but I’m really impressed how easy and quick it was to find and get an apartment !
    Moving to Paris, it would take a minimum of a week to ten days if you’re lucky enough to get approval from the owner and the rental can’t be more than one fourth of your monthly income…
    Lucky you… Would love to leave in SEA !!!

  138. Welcome to Bellevue, Ben. Seattle area is a great place to live for a few years before you decide where to settle down. Plus, we “One Mile At A Time” fans in the area would be thrilled to have you here, maybe even bump into each other at Bellevue Square ๐Ÿ™‚ Once again, welcome! enjoy the last bit of summer while you can LOL

  139. You may not even get this far down the line to read this comment, but I vote for driving cross country. As you say, you are young… but you may never have the opportunity to drive across country again. Something EVERYONE in their twenties should do.

  140. Lucky, welcome to Bellevue. Wait until you have a sunny day in winter with Mt. Rainier floating before you (yes, it does happen). As close to heaven as you can get (well, maybe Alaska is closer).

  141. Awesome, thanks SO much for all the suggestions, guys! Will take advantage of every single one once I move, and hope to meet up with all of you eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚

  142. I just moved back to Seattle from Florid so I have real worl experience on the situation. My car cost 1700 to ship. I could have paid 1400 if I was willing to wait an additional month. When they finally did pick it up, about two weeks after I placed the order it took about 14 more days to make the trip. As far as stuff, I paid about a dollar a pound. Moving companies have a minimum fee and then it’s all based on weight from there. A lot of car shippers only allow one or two boxes in the car and charge you for additional stuff. Shop around, do comparison shopping. I looked at the pods but ther cost as much as a moving truck, gas and hotels in the end analysis. But timing if you Uhaul is tricky. Not fun driving through the Rockies when the snows hit. And having originally driven to Florida, it is a damned long drive, 84 hours by car, much slower by Uhaul. Hope this helps but I love being back here. Absolutely no regrets.

  143. I moved to Seattle from Michigan last month.
    Great Place. Don’t use United Road to move your car, they double bill, huge mess with them. And don’t prepay any rent deposits and really don’t sign an online lease, scams running here.(Sherwood Apts, not like the picture) Its more expensive in Seattle, but so much to do. Good Luck

  144. I’ve lived in NW Bellevue for 10 years. I can typically be in downtown Seattle in 10-15 minutes, and I can usually get there faster than Seattle residents. Must try (fine dining) restaurants in the area are Tosoni’s in Bellevue and Bin on the Lake in Kirkland. I think both have the edge over Bis on Main, but Bis and Monsoon East are my easy-to-walk-to choices.

  145. Hey just posted on twitter about how long you are in Bellevue for lol

    Welcome. Some incorrect posts in the above comments. Lots of young people here. Poorer parts too (near Crossroads, Factoria etc…).

    Considering how many people want to buy you a drink or take you out for a meal, I think we won’t ever meet!

    Hope you don’t take too many of our vanilla’s out here ๐Ÿ™‚

  146. @ Shannon — It’s something I’d like to do later in life, but not at this stage given that all my direct family is in the US.

  147. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. Make sure you check out Sea Fair. It’s the first week of August. I know you are renting in Bellevue. Let me know when you may be interested in buying a place. I am a residential real estate broker. I work with several relocation clients. In fact my last clients bought a home via. skype. I also live in Bellevue. You will love living there.

  148. I just found your post and it has helped me a lot. I live in Hell, aka Houston, TX and I have been to Seattle before and loved it. I’m on disability but I am saving every penny in plans to move to Seattle. I, too, have been focused on the three areas you were interested in, but I’m not sure I can afford those areas but I’m so miserable here, I want out. I’m half packed and keep looking for a place. Everything here sucks and I think Seattle will be awesome. Plus, I will not have any family near me and that’s good because I come from the most &*&ked up family that couldn’t care one way or the other about me and I’m sick of always doing for them.

    I hope, I too, find a great place.

    BTW, I’ve also lived in Florida, MI, IN and GA then here and I despise every second of it.

    Let me know if you can think of any tidbits that might help me in making a easier, safer and over-all more pleasant move.

  149. Hope you are having a great time in Bellevue!!;) I’m moving there in less than 2 weeks and need to find a place now before I get there… please let me know if you know anyone who has a rental ๐Ÿ˜‰ would love to meet up when i get there! Cheers!

  150. @ Amy – I’ve lived in multiple states and currently reside in Houston so I humbly disagree with your position. It’s a very nice city with bustling economy and, relatively speaking, affordable housing (although, prices have been spiking up and houses are flying off the market because so many people are moving from out of town).

    Now, aforesaid is only applicable if you have a car. If you don’t have a car, Houston is not a city for you because public transportation isn’t very good. I speak from experience as someone who had to use it (incl. in the summer heat) quite a bit when we settled here.

  151. I found this page and it may be a bit old, but I was thinking of moving from San Diego, CA to Kirkland, WA. I have a friend up there who is willing to let me live with him for $200 a month (i don’t have to worry about rent until i get myself stable enough to pay rent). How much would you recommend me saving up before moving.

  152. Hi Lucky –

    I too would like to know what you think since you have moved there?
    I am contemplating the exact move this summer.

  153. I would use ABF U-Pack Moving – We Drive. You Save I used them before from Miami to Nashville terminal to terminal.
    I was going to move up last month, it may happens one day. I love Bellevue and the Renton area.

  154. We are contemplating the opposite move. Bellevue area to Tampa or maybe St Petersburg. Do you have any advice? We like St Pete but the schools are better in South Tampa.Online we like Palma Ceia and Virginia Park. Are we crazy?

  155. Do you still live in Bellevue? We moved to Bellevue in 2002 and bought a house when they were still somewhat affordable. I grew up in the Midwest and the Navy moved me out to Washington State in 1993. I used to vacation on Treasure Island, FL in the 80’s, so I’m familiar with the Tampa area. Every winter I dream of retiring to Florida. Am I crazy?

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