Trying to wrap your head around leaving an area you've been around for 36 years for a destination and job 2,400 miles away is one of the single most bizarre things that I've encountered in my life. The time between my arrival in Seattle to interview at Microsoft (I was in town for just 27 hours) to my start date is going to be about six and a half weeks, or a month and a half. I'm not sure if that's making good time or not, and I'd love to hear stories from other current Microfolk who have relocated. The only unknown variable left is the move scheduling.
We're downsizing a bit, because we simply can't buy a house. The housing market here around Cleveland has been a brutal disaster, and between my wife's unsold house of 18 months, which we'll take a bath on eventually, and my own which may sell quickly but erase most of the equity, this move is very much like starting over. We're not angry or bitter about it, but it isn't the most cheery subject. Lots of nice apartments and townhouses around the Seattle metro, and we look forward to waking up to much better scenery every day.
It's weird how you can end up in a particular place for much longer than you expected. A great many life changes have affected me the last five years or so, which led me to one of the big "I'm a grown up" discoveries: That I can move if I want. Between visiting my new family out in Snoqualmie and frequent trips to Orlando to support my theme park habit, I was done with Midwest winters. Then I lost my job, twice in the span of a year, and I started to realize how awful the job market here was. Duh, good time to move.
I've only had a few other "I'm a grown up" moments. The earliest one was that I could buy a season pass to Cedar Point and go as much as I wanted to. It makes me a little sad to break the streak of 11 straight seasons of passholderness. Another moment was they day I realized I could buy a house to live in. The most recent one was about two years ago, when I had a lot of bonus cash in hand and decided I could buy a completely non-essential expensive item: a hot tub.
But the moving on to a new place and new job bit is the best moment of all for me. I've been a fan (and critic) of Microsoft for a very long time. I got caught up in the excitement of product development when I was writing my book, privy to early builds and roadmaps under NDA, and wondered what it might be like on the inside. Then the Mix conferences (I've been to three of the four) gave me warm fuzzies about how the Server & Tools division as a whole was coming along. Now I get to work with smart people who are very rapidly changing the way the customers of those products are interacting with the company. Very exciting times, indeed.