How to Relocate for Fracking Jobs

Posted in Boom Town Life

How to Relocate for Fracking Jobs

Are you in a financial, social, or professional “rut”? The booming fracking industry might be beckoning you. However, to take advantage of fracking job growth, a change in geography might be in order. This writer has been there, done that – multiple times. I have deep attachments with two very different parts of the United States: the Southwest and the Midwest. I have actually moved between the two regions – sometimes spending years at a time in one or the other – on five separate occasions. There are obviously pros and cons to this sort of “back and forth” involving two distinct geographic regions: you’ll experience life with an expanded lens that few people will ever know. So if you’re thinking about a change of scene, read on to find out how to relocate for fracking jobs…

You need less car than you think. Four of my cross-country moves took place with the vehicles pictured in this post. As you can see, I didn’t use a late-model Lexus, tricked-out Escalade, or a jacked-up F250 – ever. Every vehicle also doubled as a bed, en route, at least once. (Truck stops are best as crash spots – better security and fewer shady characters than what you’ll find at interstate rest stops). I favor smaller pickups with four-cylinder engines. Side note: Don’t forget to latch down the hood of your Ford Escort after checking the oil. The hood will fly up and slam against your windshield with incredible force, at 60 mph, somewhere in Wyoming. Yep, I’ve been there.

Get rid of everything big. Furniture and appliances are worth a hell of a lot less than you think. If you can’t sell them, then give away your biggest pieces of furniture. If any part of it consists of particle board – trust me, it has near zero value. Lugging any sizable sofa, recliner, fridge, or what have you across several states is foolish. We live in the land of plenty. This fact, coupled with the Internet, means that you have access to either free or dirt cheap furniture anywhere you go. You already know where to look online for a gently used sofa when you get to your destination. In addition, you can check out garage and yard sales, estate sales, Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores – the list goes on. There is a kind of karma effect involved with those who move around: as you depart your current residence and leave your five-year-old coffee table behind, you’ll much more easily find its three-year-old replacement near your new address. Try it!

Get rid of some small things, too. I’m guessing that you have a number of items that have very low resale value and questionable sentimental value. Be ruthless. That plastic paperweight you received as a going away gift from your Acme Amalgamated Products co-workers in 1995 probably tugs less at your heartstrings than you might care to admit. It’s time to chuck it. Americans are getting a little too good at maintaining excess body mass and excess material clutter. If you have to rent a self-storage unit, you have too much stuff. Donate it.

Buy a utility trailer. If you absolutely must take something sizable with you, then tow a trailer (of course, this only works if you have a pickup truck, SUV, or larger car). You could rent a trailer, but why not consider buying one? It may end up costing you less in the long run. Once you arrive at your destination, trailers tend to be easier to sell than cars. There are fewer of them, for one thing; and folks in the market for used trailers usually need them for work purposes, and quickly.

Ship it. Take your prized momentos, framed photos, pint glass collection – and ship ’em. I’ve actually shipped items like these, using the same packaging (because I never opened them up from one address to the other) back to the same state where they were first wrapped up. (I guess I should practice what I preach – and donate more stuff). Head down to the local office supply store to get packing materials, then visit your nearby post office. The Postal Service provides Priority Mail boxes free of charge.

Upload it. All the photos you have that aren’t in frames? Scan them (scanners are pretty cheap these days), then upload them to the many free places online (Google’s Picasa, Flikr, Snapfish, etc.) where they can be stored. Bonus: whenever anyone requests a print of any picture you have stored online, you can deliver with ease. I regularly send photos to friends and family in Ohio by way of Walgreen’s. Rather than have my pics printed out at a store near me and sticking them in the mail, I simply have them printed out at the store two blocks from my folks. Cheap and convenient. Another bonus: when a disaster strikes a town, what are the usual things that people try to rescue on their way out the door? Pets, valuables, and – photos, right? Since you were smart and stored your photos online, you have one less thing to worry about in the event of an emergency.

My best piece of advice for any move: always take the long way to your new home. We all know people who brag about how fast they can get from point A to point B – the braggadocio tends to involve covering 1,000+ miles in just under three hours, or some similar type of asininity. I never understood this – I guess it’s some dumbass macho thing. There are beautiful national parks and monuments, scenic wonders, cool small towns, and great roadside restaurants in every single state. Stop and savor the journey. Why do you need to get from Syracuse to Sedona in a day? Hell, take four days. It’s a big country. Couple your move with some sightseeing – you’ll never regret it. No one really gives a hoot that you can get from NYC to LA at light-speed, and I don’t believe you anyway (even though I’ll act like I do because I don’t want to argue with you about it). Read “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat Moon or “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac for inspiration.