It all became real about a year ago when my husband’s lung functions dropped into the 50s. Texas was no place for a lung patient to live.
As the year progressed we watched our air quality deteriorate. Every few months a new fracking well would light up like a Christmas tree outside our windows. The I-35 construction project (a major north-south Texas freeway that runs through our city) brought a slew of new air particle pollutants, and another attempt at a citywide smoking ban flopped at the polls. According to the American Lung Association’s yearly report card, our town’s air has an F rating. Actually, most of the towns and cities in Texas do.
We have been thinking of relocating for a while. Truth be told we’re terrible Texans. I hate horses. We don’t go to church. We’re not Republicans. We don’t have kids. I can’t handle spicy foods. Almost everything we might have in common with another Texas couple our age is an area we are at odds about. But the idea to move was always shot down because we have roots here – a house, jobs, health insurance, state retirement funds, family, childhood friends. But once the hubby’s lung functions hit 58%, it gave us the push we needed to venture out into the great unknown.
There are two schools of thought in the CF (cystic fibrosis) world for relocating for better air quality. One is to get to a very dry location – the desert will inhibit bacteria that needs moisture to thrive. The other is to move to the coast – the salty sea air will be like continual breathing treatments for the lungs. So that summer we road tripped around the country to find a climate and a culture that would suit us.
Of all the choices the place that fit us best was Oregon. It was the perfect fit for two outdoorsy dog-loving people. We hiked through forests and up mountains and ran on the beaches, and he could keep up sans coughing fit or rescue inhaler! The air quality really is THAT much better up there!
We’ve been working out the logistics of how to move up there ever since we got back. I flew up and interviewed for a full-time position a few weeks ago, but I didn’t get it. We’ve decided if nothing pans out by the second week of July, come Hell or high water, we are moving and we’ll figure it out when we get there. Hopefully something will work out before then.
Our Oregon Trail category from the Home page (on the right hand side) is where I will blog about the bold adventure we are taking to relocate across the country for a better life!