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Going Galt - The Steps We Use to Get Out of Dodge

Going Galt Series - Steps to Getting Out of Dodge

Part 1

There are lots of steps to plan when relocating to the American Redoubt. One of the first steps is to determine where you are going to live and how to get there.

That can be a BIG challenge.

Quick summary for those challenged for time (deeper dive afterward):

  1. Determine your final homestead location. We recommend Joel Skousen's Strategic Relocation.
  2. Determine how you will sustain yourself (and family) at this location.
  3. Plan how you will physically get your family and assets there.
  4. Get rid of excess stuff and minimalize your assets at your current location.
  5. Locate a temporary residence in the chosen location.
  6. Sell your house (if you own one) organize your belongings for the move.
  7. Activate your plan to move to location when the house sells or Plan B (rent, foreclose, etc.)
  8. Move-in and start getting to know your new location, neighbors, town, etc. 
Now, this may sound much easier than it really is. There is a LOT of planning that goes into each step. There are also many sub-steps in between these major steps.

That quick summary was just for folks who only had time to skim this post and move on or decide to come back later (don't forget to bookmark our site.)

Quick ask: Please share our Zillow Listing of our current home, if you don't mind. The more people that see it, the better our chances of selling it quickly.

The Step-by-Step Explanation

Each one of those steps will take some 'splaining to do. This process has been ongoing for our family since 1997. That was the year we got married and started our family.

Not included in the moving aspect is getting yourself financially stable. That is a whole different topic and we can certainly touch on that if you want. 

I have written many times about my career in healthcare and all the wonderful things it has provided for my family and me. I even have a YouTube video if you want to know a little about the world of Radiology and all it can do for your career. 

You may say "But healthcare isn't for me Ron." Just make sure, if you ARE looking for a career, that you fully understand all of the jobs that fall under the giant umbrella of "healthcare."

It isn't just doctors and nurses. There's a whole ecosystem of careers in any given hospital. Heck, the hospital itself is its own ecosystem: cafeteria, gift shop, sleep rooms, showers, breakrooms, coffee shops, and even a private chapel. 

But we'll save that for another discussion. If you want to see a post on the healthcare "ecosystem" and all the different jobs you can get there, leave a comment below. Or visit my dedicated radiology blog. 

Step One: Determine where you want to homestead

This is a biggie in the decision-making process. It affects every single aspect of your life going forward.

Since every person is different in what they like and don't like, I will only list the items we were looking for in a self-sustaining homestead.

I mentioned Joel Skousen's Strategic Relocation book. For a very modest price, it gives you a VERY detailed breakdown of every state in America.

There is a high-level video overview on YouTube. 

Going Galt - The General Process We Used to Get Out of Dodge

With Joel's book, we picked Idaho as one of our final homestead choices. We also liked parts of Montana, Wyoming, eastern Washington, and eastern Oregon.

Our main reasons were:
  • sparse populations, 
  • abundant wildlife and natural resources, 
  • like-minded people (in general), 
  • low cost of living, 
  • reasonable housing costs, 
  • low pollution, and 
  • great schools (good academics with low teacher/student ratios)
Your reasons will vary for what criteria make up your dream homesteading location. You can easily use Google to look all of these things up as well. 

You can also ask your friends and family what they know about different parts of the country where they have traveled. 

Having narrowed our choices to these four states, we were thrilled as destiny moved us to southern Idaho.

The Mystery Headhunter

While living in Flagstaff, the town that saw us through our house fire, I received an unusual phone call one day.

It was a staffing service representative that I lovingly call a "Headhunter." Headhunters spend their days looking for people who they think would be a perfect fit for a job somewhere other than where they currently live.

They earn "finders' fees" when they can help companies hire new employees.

This particular headhunter called me and straight away asked:

"Have you ever thought of working in Idaho?"

Now, that was fate right there.

Going Galt - The General Process We Used to Get Out of Dodge

We were devastated by our house fire. Even though I liked my healthcare job in Flagstaff, there was nothing I could ever do to convince my family that we could enjoy our lives in that town after that event. 

They understandably attached anything and everything there to the biggest trauma of their lives. 

Not to mention we were in the local newspaper three times over the whole ordeal.

My reply to the guy on the other end of the line was:

 "Actually, yes. We are quite interested in that area."

After a brief conversation regarding the job and details, I told the nice man I would consult with my family and give him a return call.

The conversation with my family about Idaho was a short one since we didn't have a house to sell and the family wanted out of Flagstaff, like PRONTO.

The interview was completed in a matter of weeks and I accepted a job offer in Twin Falls. The hospital paid for relocation.

We skipped through steps 1-8 rather quickly on this one. All the points were satisfied and all we had to do was move.

Here is a very happy post reporting in from our new south Idaho homestead titled "Off to a Terrific Start."

Fast Forward Five Years

Many wonderful friends were made and my family continued to learn many self-sufficiency skills. Most centered around being involved in the local 4H club for the kids. I focused on dialing in my Glock and AK, among other things.

We grew many different vegetables and our fruit trees started to produce.

Through 4H, my girls learned about swine, chickens, guinea pigs, sewing, and many other activities.

I won't forget when a neighbor showed them how to make ice cream using nitrogen:

Seeing them smile with their little fair ribbons after competitions were priceless. I have oodles of pictures that I'll be happy to share with you of the girls with their pigs.

Through the 4H program, you raise a pig from May to September. Then you show them at the county fair and sell them at auction the last day.

$1000 for a pig!

That's what our pigs brought at auction. Can you believe that? You want to motivate your kids to join 4H? Tell them they can raise $1000 in four months with swine.

The secret is that these high bids were made by local business owners that were:
  1. Happy to contribute to the local 4H clubs and the kids that belonged to them
  2. Happy to get the big, fat business write-off from their donation to 4H

After deducting the costs of raising the pigs, each daughter still pocketed a good $650-ish.

We always raised one extra pig each year for ourselves to butcher too.

I should mention that one swine alone was able to put enough pork into our deep freezer to last us six months. Definitely worth the effort. Another good reason to have your own acreage outside of city limits.

Please consider getting involved with 4H if you have children under the age of 18. Once in high school, you should also consider FFA (Future Farmers of America.)

The benefits are too numerous to list here but we can file that in our mental Rolodex for a future post.

But nothing lasts forever.

The downside of working for someone else is the chance you will someday lose your job. Which I did. TWICE with the same hospital AND in a 12 month period (both times at Christmas!)

Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.

Time to move on and learn that lesson.  So we're back to the Going Galt list.

For the past year, I've been working on a home-based business but again, that's for another post. I'll just mention that I'm "niche blogging" and you can see the websites in the tabs at the top of this page.

The Current Move to St. Maries, Idaho

Now we didn't have to start from step one this time because we already knew where we wanted to live.

Step 2 includes determining how you will earn a living in your chosen location. This time, I gave a little nudge to the headhunters of the world and utilized my LinkedIn profile.

If you'd like to connect on linked in, I'm happy to connect with you. Just click the link above and send me a note.

I'm a self-proclaimed expert at using LinkedIn so if you need help setting it up or churchin' up your profile, let me know. I'm happy to help.

But I digress...

I flipped on a digital switch at LinkedIn that told staffing agencies (headhunters) that I was available for hire and relocation. Then I let them come to me with job offers.

I realize it isn't that easy for some people. I have several college degrees in my field and have licensed out the wazoo that makes me valuable in the world of radiology.

The trick was finding a headhunter with a job offer in my chosen homestead region.

Reminds me of the old tv show Northern Exposure. 

I have an article written on how to reverse-engineer this whole process. It is interesting looking back at this article that I had written for Survival Blog in 2013.

Interesting because I name Idaho as a homestead location before we ever had the opportunity to move there. I'm telling you... there's fate in this whole plan.

Has anyone ever told you that if you focus on a goal in your mind, it will come true someday?

How about "you can't hit a target that you don't aim for?"

Figure out what you want to do and get a picture of it in your mind. Talk about it with your friends and family or journal it in...a blog :-)

Anyway, if interested, you can read my article titled "How to Decide on a Homestead Location and Get There" published on Survival Blog on June 28, 2013.

I share lots of little tips and tricks for those of you who know where you want to go but have to figure out how to find a job there.

Yes Another Fateful Headhunter

Sure enough, a young lady who lived and worked in California gave me a call in January (last month.)  She told me about the job in St. Maries and asked if I might be interested.

It fits the bill of everything we've been looking for in a homesteading town. A few calls back and forth and I had an interview set up which included taking my wife and kids along for the ride.

The interviews were set up on a Monday from 9 am to Noon-ish. So we drove up on a Saturday after basketball games were completed (won all three games!)

The ten-hour drive north was a bit straining but not too bad. I made sure to stop when needed as I had a van full of girls.

Now don't get me wrong, at 48 years young, I don't pass a restroom without saying to myself

"I might as well go while I'm here..."

Unfortunately, we weren't able to see much because a dense fog had settled in the town. Add to that a decent snowfall and we couldn't see across the St Joe's river which was right outside of our hotel.

The Lumberjack is a long-standing icon in St. Maries. 

We made it to church the next morning which was a pre-run on Going Galt step # 8. It allowed us to see the size of the congregation and meet a handful of local folks.

All were very friendly and inquisitive about the new family at church.

We then drove up to Coeur D'Alene to see what their next-biggest-city was like. It seemed pretty similar to Twin Falls to me. That's our current next-biggest-city.

The biggest difference, which Lisa pointed out, was that Twin Falls is only ten minutes away from Filer. CDA was almost an hour from St. Maries. We would have to plan our errands a little better to prevent long return trips for missed grocery items.

Dinner at the Rural Revolution Homestead

Help spread the word about their homestead for sale too. They are empty nesters and looking to start all over again just like us.

The infamous Rural Revolution Homestead is For Sale!

Sunday night we were graciously hosted by Don and Patrice Lewis. We have known each other through the blogosphere for about ten years at this point...

and never met in person.

When I emailed to tell her we were coming up for an interview, she was more than happy to invite us over. This is exactly the type of good-neighbor attitude I enjoy about Idahoans.

Very friendly and welcoming. 

We enjoyed what must have been four hours of good, nonstop conversation. After which we headed back to our hotel in St. Maries. 

I had several interviews Monday and met a lot of people who worked at the local hospital. I'm still not sure how a town so small got such a big hospital!

At the end of the last interview, a paper was presented to me on the table. I was shocked to see it was a job offer. 

Do you remember in Ready Player One where the main character turned on his "emotion-suppressing software?"

Oh, I wish I had that software when I realized there was an offer sitting in my hands.

I'm not even sure what I said but it was something forcibly cool like:

I'll have to discuss this with my family first.

We gathered at the hotel after the interview and began the ten-hour road trip back home.

That's a BIG 10-4!

So I have accepted the position after a brief deliberation over final details with the hospital administration. We are VERY excited about the prospects of living in a mountainous area of Idaho teeming with rivers and lakes everywhere.

I have heard so much about the fly fishing, kayaking, jet boat racing, and hunting that I am really looking forward to seeing this town in the summertime.

Our current location is referred to as the "high desert" and believe it or not, isn't much different from the flatlands in the Arizona desert. We even have tumbleweeds here in Filer.

But the agriculture and dairy farms dot the flat landscape with lots of greenery. I admit, having the Snake River Gorge ten minutes away has been a kayaker's dream.

Lisa and I kayaking the Snake River - Perrine Bridge in the distance.

If kayaking is your thing, check out my blog Kayak-101 for a terrific gallery of photographs I have taken over the past few years.

Initiate Step 3 - Getting to Your Homestead property

Old electronic keyboard donated to Deseret. 

So here we are, towards the end of February 2020, and we are in the throws of the following:
  • getting rid of the junk that has been sitting in the garage since our last move
  • giving away things of value to friends, the rest to Desert Industries and Goodwill
  • boxing up what is left and start organizing for an easy (easier) moving day
  • considering organizing a garage sale to see what that could bring us
  • staging our current house, getting it up for sale, begging everyone to share it on social media
The house is listed on Zillow and MLS. We are getting a high volume of "views" on Zillow. Our first "showing" to a potential buyer is tomorrow.

I'm posting a different upgrade that we have done on our house every day on my Facebook page. Friends and family have been kind enough to share it on their Facebook page.

The more exposure we get, the better our chances of selling soon. If you want to help, you can share this link or on the Zillow page, there's a Share button on the top right corner.


I hope your Valentine's holiday this month was enjoyable. We enjoyed a good family evening at home. The food Lisa made was incredible. My steaks were equally as delish.

Deviled eggs for an appetizer. Sauteed mushrooms on thick, juicy steaks and some pan-fried shrimp.

I'll end this post here and report back with some footage on how we staged our home and put it up for sale in a way that gets us a maximum return on our investment.

I'll also discuss the plan to physically move everything and the different ways it can be done.

Once again we are blessed. Blessed in the way that we are selling our home in the peak of a prosperous economic market.

Blessed that there is a job waiting for me in St. Maries.

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aka The Orange Jeep Dad

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