We’ve decided to seriously consider “The Move”. Now we need to come up with “The Plan”. As I mentioned in the previous post, we don’t know how this journey will end. So the plan isn’t explicitly about “how do we move to Disney”? The plan is more about “How can we make the decision on whether to stay in Tennessee or move to Disney easier?”

Before that though, it will be useful to know a little backstory on why we decided to consider this move after years of just dreaming about it. We have a daughter about to start her final year of high school. She might be a bigger Disney parks geek than me! She has decided on hospitality as her area of study in college. Earlier this year I started looking for opportunities for her to do something hospitality-related for the summer. That’s when I came across a camp run by the University of Central Florida. It was perfect and we signed her up. After looking more into the university itself we found they have one of the top hospitality schools in the world. And on top of that they’re the only school in the country that offers a specialization in theme parks. It sounded like it was right up her alley. The more I read, the more I was convinced we had to let her go there! So the idea right now is for her to transfer to UCF after completing the first two years of college here in Tennessee.

That’s when the realization struck that maybe moving to Disney sooner rather than later is something we should seriously consider. Our daughter is going there. We want to be there. Why in the world are we staying here again?

So, the plan! We admit we’re not ready to go yet. In our hearts, yes! But realistically, we’re not ready. Our daughter has to finish high school and two years of college. That’s a three year wait right there. After those three years our son will be one year away from finishing high school, so we can’t move him his senior year. That makes a four year wait. And we’re giving ourselves some wiggle room. So the idea we came up with we call “The Five-Year Plan”.

At it’s most basic, our plan is simply this: “Within the next five years we make a final decision on if we’re going to move to Orlando or stay in Tennessee, knowing whichever place we choose will probably be where we spend the rest of our lives”. More broadly, our plan is to spend the next five years making preparations for a potential move that will also be of benefit to us if we don’t move. For example, over the next few years we’re going to get our house in the best condition it has been in since it was built! If we decide to move, the house will be in great shape to sell. If we decide to stay, the house will be ready to keep us happy for many years to come. Another example, we’re going to start preparing monetarily for a potential move. But if we stay we’ll have a nice little nest egg built up. In other words, this plan will make it as easy as possible for us to make a decision when we’re ready. While the plan has “five years” in its name, that’s merely a deadline not a target. We might decide a lot sooner, or we might wait until the end. The main point is that there should be no excuses to put off the decision any longer than five years. And once the choice is made, either way, we’ll be ready to enjoy the rest of our lives knowing we’re truly home.

Responsible things like saving money and renovating the house are part of the plan, yes. But it also includes more fun things like figuring out where we might live in Orlando and what kind of house we can afford. So while the daughter was at summer camp at UCF, we made our first trip to Disney since deciding to consider the move! We’ll talk about that next time!