Listening to her gut led to...
A life-changing move
Susan Daffron, 43, Sandpoint, ID
"Fourteen years ago, my husband, James, and I took one of our get-outta-town trips to escape our cramped condo in San Diego. We were taking a walk through Idyllwild, CA, a quaint community in the San Bernadino National Forest, when I noticed some really nice houses there. Idyllwild has little industry other than tiny tourist shops, and we knew that real estate in the area was extremely expensive. I asked James, 'What do these people do that makes it possible for them to live here?' Then it dawned on us: telecommuting. They probably all worked from home.
"It immediately struck me that if we ran our own business, we could live anywhere we wanted. It was such a freeing thought, and I just couldn't get it out of my head after we returned home. I was working at a dismal job writing technical manuals, and James had a so-so position as a programmer. A nagging feeling was telling me that it was time to make a change, and it just wouldn't stop.
"I don't know why we thought we could do it we just did but within six months, we'd quit our jobs and started our own tech-writing and software company, even though neither of us had ever thought we'd be self-employed! Next, I wrote to the chambers of commerce in outdoorsy places like Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana since we love being out in nature asking for their marketing materials. When I saw Sandpoint, ID, in one of the destination guides, it seemed like a possibility. Sandpoint is green and forested, just what we love. We got on a plane to check it out, and as we flew into the airport over the mountains, James said, 'That looks like home, doesn't it?' I felt it too, and the hunch got stronger as we explored the area. I looked for red flags but couldn't find any every cell in my body was telling me that this was it. We went back to San Diego and put our condo up for sale!
"We've been here 12 years and live in a beautiful log home on 40 acres of forest, where we run our businesses remotely from among the trees. Life's changed, to say the least: I got the four dogs I couldn't have in a condo and started my organic garden. Instead of getting in a car to commute, James rides a tractor on our land. We no longer feel that anxious need to get away we're right where we want to be!"