Why I Moved to Maine

Earlier this year, I decided that I’d had enough of living in New Jersey. It was loud, busy, and annoying. I couldn’t sleep, and I was becoming more depressed with the way things in my life were turning out. It was becoming clear that I needed a change. The following is from a post dated February 3, 2009 from my old blog, the Inside/Out Reality, in which I announced that I would be leaving New Jersey and moving my entire life to Maine:

Ok, so I announced this yesterday on Twitter, but no one seemed to notice. I had to get my email out to my old school friends first, so they’d know. Now, I’m getting the question I both dreaded and knew would be coming: Why are you moving to Maine?

Problem is, I don’t really have a good answer.


I guess it began back in October 2008. I had already been feeling overstressed and very much out of sorts when I decided I wanted to go camping somwhere. I needed the break. The trip I had planned was already falling apart and likely wouldn’t happen. Then my brother called me from Arizona, saying he was moving back East. We hadn’t seen much of each other over the previous 8 years, so it was a good time for us to get back together. I asked him if he wanted to go camping, and when he asked where, I knew: Acadia National Park in Maine. This place holds a very special spot in both our hearts, and has for many years. I love the area, and enjoy being in Maine. My brother attened the University of Maine at Orono, and loves the state. So it was a no brainer.

After a very long and infuriating drive to Maine, I finally started to relax and enjoy my time up there. We had a great weekend in the outdoors, and I finally felt the tension releasing. I didn’t realize how much tension I had released until I made it back home to Jersey City. The first night back in my bed was one of the worst I can remember. Everything was so loud. I heard every siren, every car and truck, every voice outside my window. My roommates (who many of you know are a bit…rambunctious, to say the least) kept me up late as well. I could feel the tension oozing its way back into my body. It was that night when I realized that I was not meant to be here.

My goal when I first moved to New Jersey was to live there no longer than 5 years. Now, at the 5.5 year mark, it’s time for me to go. So why Maine? First, I’m a New Englander. I love it up there. It’s who I am and where I want to be. Second, Maine is a beautiful state. I’m an outdoorsman, and having access to the outdoors is very important to me. I realized that down here in NJ, I wasn’t getting outside nearly enough. Finally, Portland, by all accounts, is a very cool, culturally rich, and highly accessible city in Southern Maine. It’s on the Maine Coast, and close to New Hampshire and Boston.

No, I don’t have a job. No, there’s no girl. It’s just a decision I needed to make for my own sanity, my own health. I certainly have my share of doubts, but everyone I’ve told about the move has said it’s the right one for me, it’s where I should go. I’m not tied down to anything, and I’m still within a half a day’s travel from everyone I care about (including my online buddies!). I love NYC to be sure, and I’ll be visiting as often as I can.

So in the beginning of March, I’ll be calling Portland, ME home. I’ll be looking for work, whether freelance or full-time (or both). And hopefully, I’ll have a cool local brew in my hand and a smile on my face.

Since the original publishing of this post, I’ve realized that the first indication that I wanted to move actually came in June of 2008, when I visited my brother who was living in Flagstaff, Arizona. During that week, I realized how very beautiful and quiet it was out there, and that I wanted that. I had made the decision: I was leaving.

Chris Cavallari

About Chris Cavallari

Chris is a longtime digital content producer based in Maine. Since 1999, he has been an early adopter and active participant in blogging, podcasting, and social media, and has been guiding small and mid-sized businesses in leveraging video, social media, and digital publishing to the fullest. With an avid love of travel and the outdoors, Chris started PartTimeVagabond.com in 2009 to give him a platform to showcase his outdoors and travel adventures, and to help educate others in doing the same.