June 08, 2022

Living in Grand Forks, North Dakota

The outside of our apartment building

Snow shortly after I arrived

The snow melting a week later and a view of the field across from our apartment

The pretty skies after the sunset

Hey Guys!

Currently I am residing in Grand Forks, North Dakota and I wanted to do a post about living here. I recently moved here in April of 2022 and I will most likely be here until April of 2023. And why Grand Forks, ND you ask? Well my fiancé is stationed here with the Air Force. I probably won't be saying much more than that or be using his name a lot due to the nature of his job and other things but after 3 years of being in the Air Force he was finally able to move off base and after us being in a long distance relationship those entire 3 years we decided that we wanted to be together. To be honest, I really struggled with this a lot! I grew up in a Christian household going to Church every Sunday and living together before marriage was something I never really pictured myself doing. Granted, I pictured myself getting married at 25 and buying a house and having a perfect career, and life just being absolutely magical. I never imagined to fall in love with someone 5 years younger than me, who joined the Air Force and moved away only a year and a half into our relationship. 

I don't really have anything to justify my choice other than it was a choice that I made for myself. Ultimately it came down to I didn't want to be away from my best friend and the love of my life anymore, oh and by the way in case you missed it, we're engaged now (but that will be for another post)! We had been away from each other for 3 years already and even though I thought we were going to get married much sooner into our relationship, you can't make someone get married when they aren't ready. Marriage is kind of big a deal. Both of our parents have been divorced and are on their second marriage. Thankfully these ones have worked out much better for them this time around. We both just want to ensure that this is it and that we want to spend the rest of our lives together which so far the answer is yes we do! 

Anyways, onto my experience of living here so far. I was born and raised in Florida and have lived there my whole life. I had always wanted to move away from Florida because dealing with snowbirds is very tiring! The traffic is just absolutely awful during season and unless you don't really have to leave your house very often it's not fun to deal with. With that being said, I never in a million years would have thought that the place I'd be moving to someday when I pictured myself finally moving somewhere outside of Florida would be North Dakota. I had always planned on it being New York City but if you have read my previous posts then you know I chickened out of moving there after college because I didn't want to move so far away from my family. Well the joke was on me because I moved even farther away from my family, about 2,000 ish miles away from my family. When I was younger I could also picture myself moving to either North Carolina or Tennessee. I absolutely love vacationing in both of those states and I just think that it would be so peaceful to move to one of those states. Also, shortly after my fiancé started dating we talked about moving to Massachusetts because that's where he is originally from. He didn't move to Florida until he was a Sophomore in high school. 

I have been here since about April 9th, 2022 so in total I've been here for a little over a month. I say that because about 2 weeks after getting here I left on a 17 day long roadtrip with my parents who flew up to Minneapolis and we drove around visiting different National Parks for my moms birthday! We also drove back down to Florida to go to Disney for one day, on my moms actual birthday! Yes we are that Disney obsessed! I will do a few posts about that trip as well later on. We visited some very cool places that I will talk about in more detail. Anyways, the only conclusion I have come to is that I'm ready to move back home! My fiancé has a little less than a year left and I am definitely counting down the days. Our #1 goal is to make it back home but we really have no idea where we will end up because it all kind of depends on where my fiancé is able to get a job. The main reason he joined the Air Force was because they pay for all his IT certifications that he needs to get a job once he gets out plus they offer gaining experience as well. 

Thankfully there are IT jobs pretty much everywhere but we also looking at which jobs pay the most and offer the best benefits because we both have this goal of retiring earlier than average person. So we kind of plan on living a somewhat frugal lifestyle to gain a higher savings for retirement. We both want to be able to spend as much time at home with our future children as possible and also be able to travel the world more. Once he gets closer to getting out he will primarily be searching for jobs in the Lee County area and then if nothing is panning out there the goal is to end up somewhere in Florida because at least we would still be in the same state as our families. There are a couple other states that he has been looking at as well but if we end up in one of those states, it will most likely be temporary until he gains enough experience to be able to relocate back to our hometown in Florida. 

As far as where we live, we live in a very nice 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment on the second floor in a very nice area but honestly there is nothing to do here besides drinking and staying indoors. Two things I'm not very good at. Since I don't really have a job, I don't really leave the house much and fiancé leaves the house every day to go to work and on the weekends he struggles with wanting to leave the house. I definitely don't blame him. When I worked full time I loved getting my errands done first thing in the morning only to come back home and spend the rest of the day just relaxing in comfy clothes and watching a movie. We're both very much homebodies but at the same time I grew up in Florida, going or doing something every weekend. I'm not much of beachgoer but the typical Floridian goes to the beach on the weekends. The land here is very flat, I'm pretty sure it's flatter than Florida even and there are barely any trees. It kind of blows my mind and I've been visiting here since 2020. Also the sun does not go down until like 10 pm and it rises at like 5:30 am. It is all very weird and it definitely has been hard to adjust my sleep schedule. I am a morning person but with the sky still very bright I have a hard time getting tired in the evenings and wanting to fall asleep early. 

My fiancé's sister and her boyfriend recently came to stay with us and we had a wonderful time hosting them. Neither of them had ever been to North Dakota so at least they got to cross that off their list. We showed them around town, the base that my fiancé works on, and we went out one night to check out a few of the local bars/breweries. It was a lot of fun and we can't wait to have more visitors. My fiancé's parents are coming in about a week and we are very excited to have them as well. We have a ton of stuff planned to do with them and it should be a lot of fun. One thing for sure is that the trips are never long enough but we definitely enjoy getting to spend any and every second with our loved ones.

I think that pretty much sums up my experience so far but I will definitely keep you guys posted on how things are going! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for stopping by!

XO, Steph


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