Do you dream of living in the mountains? Would you like to wake up in a cozy cabin, and drink your morning coffee while looking out over a snow-crested peaks from your dining room? Trails and slopes just a short drive from your front door, beauty around every corner, and adventure begging to be taken.
If you aren’t ready (or aren’t sure enough) to pull the trigger, then plan a long vacation that mimics your dream lifestyle. Save up, and plan for a week or more. Schedule during a slow time of year. As an example, don’t plan this type of vacation during a holiday weekend. You aren’t looking for the tourist experience, you’re looking for the resident experience.
Rent a cabin on Airbnb. Pick something out of your fantasy: a-frame with an epic view or ski-in access at the resort. You want to be able to pretend you live there: no hotel rooms, no room service, and no conglomerate cookie cutter style.
Go grocery shopping. It sounds funny, but I really think you can tell a lot about a community by their grocery store. It’s in the details: how do the staff at the deli counter treat you? What kind of foods do they stock? Maybe they don’t carry your favorite coffee, but they have what will become your new favorite.
Drive to the local trailhead and hang out at your car for a bit before heading down the trail. Checkout the vibe, and see what people there are like. You may even make some friends to head out on the trail with.
Craigslist: troll craigslist for local rentals as if you were trying to find a place to live. Get a sense for costs, neighborhoods and availability. Stop by an open house or two just to see whats on the market. Who cares if its beyond your budget, you’re just getting a sense for the area.
Enjoy your leisure time as you would at home, or if this were your home. Read books, stop at coffee shops, and learn what your life feels like within these surroundings.
Look at local job boards and see what type of places are hiring, Are there jobs nearby or companies that would fit in with your background? Call them up and see if someone will spend a few minutes talking to you while you’re in town. We’ve done this a few times before moving with great success. You may even end up with a job offer you can’t refuse!
During your vacation, if you really are considering a move to this town it’s a good idea to reflect. Do you get along with the type of people you are interacting with? Do you find yourself inspired, at ease or happier than normal? Would you be happy to lead this lifestyle on a daily basis? When you get home, you may have some choices to make. Once the decision is made, you may be surprised at how things unfold to move you toward your new town.