I’m so excited to share Tristen and her family with you! She is sharing her journey to Jackson Hole and some amazing photos! If you aren’t already following her on Instagram you need to, her pictures are always breathtaking. Make sure to check out her blog for yummy recipes, all about wellness, and adventure! @honeysucklesweetlife
Our Journey to Jackson Hole
My husband and I were both raised in Southern California and our boys were both born there so our move to Jackson Hole, Wyoming this summer was a pretty big step for us.
Our journey started 8 years ago when we went on a camping trip with my husband Darren’s family to Lake Arrowhead, Ca. We were tent camping with a three year old and a one year old and lets not forget the pack n play. We did this two years in a row. This situation was not ideal for me, however, this is when we realized how much we enjoyed the outdoor life and time out of the city. We had some good friends that had an RV and camped in comfort as I call it. I started looking into travel trailers since we had the car to pull one. I knew the layout I wanted after researching and I had a tight budget. I found a great used trailer that I updated a bit and we set out on our first big adventure to Yosemite with two other families. We had never owned a trailer and yet there we were dry camping in Yosemite for eight days! We had an amazing trip hiking, fishing, campfires and my oldest learned how to ride a bike there. And so began our RV adventure travel.
Over the next couple of years we explored Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Redwoods and most of the California Coast from San Diego to Big Sur. We found ourselves trying to spend as much time as possible out of the city. Our life really changed when I planned a trip to Yellowstone and Jackson during the summer of 2015. We drove to West Yellowstone explored the park for a couple days then drove down to Jackson Hole. As we were driving into town all four of us had this overwhelming feeling we were going to love it. We stayed outside of town at a little ranch called Rockin M Ranch. I had researched all of things we should not miss while and Jackson and we packed it in! The Tetons, Rodeo, Persephone Bakery, hiking, floating on the Snake River, Horseback riding you name it we did it!
Something changed when we got home from that trip and we started talking about moving from California. We looked at Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming. My husband just could not get the Tetons out of his system. We decided to head back to Jackson for Thanksgiving Break that same year. It was the coldest trip I have ever taken. We arrived to negative 9 temps and so much snow. It was 75 when we left So Cal. After that week I was not sure I was feeling Jackson anymore other than for vacation. By the following spring Darren was still all things Jackson Hole. He would wake up and have his coffee to the webcam in Jackson and he had subscribed to all of the online platforms. He was checked out of Southern California. We had taken Colorado and Oregon off of our list at this point so it was down to Jackson and Boise. I felt like I needed to spend more time in Jackson other than just a week here and there to really see if I could live here. That is when I had the idea to spend the summer in Jackson in the trailer. Darren thought I was nuts at first but quickly jumped on board. He works from home so we found a co op office space in the square where he could work, we sold our 24 foot trailer and upgraded to our brand new 32 foot trailer with slide out, found a house sitter for our home in California and hit the road.
We parked the trailer at the Fireside RV resort for the next eight weeks. In the morning the boys and I would drop Darren off in the square to work and we would go play. We would go to the parks in town, ride bikes, and skip rocks. At the end of the day we pick up Darren and grab a pizza or pack a picnic and head into Grand Teton national park for the evening since it does not get dark until 10 pm! I spent the summer watching my boys just be boys and have a freedom they did not have at home. I was sold. I toured schools and made plans. One of the hardest things we had to do that summer was go home. None of us wanted to leave. As we drove into LA my oldest said “ mom look at all of the pollution”! It was crazy after spending so much time in the most beautiful place just how changed we were.
Our plan was to move to Jackson the next summer however that was not the same plan the universe had. Corporate America and mergers and acquisitions derailed us for a year. We spent one more year in California than we had planned while we rebuilt and recovered. Early this year we started working with an agent who would FaceTime us houses to rent and on June 28th this past summer we set off for our new life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We moved into our home July 1st. This was three years in the making.
We have learned that the life you want is worth fighting for and maybe it won’t come easy. We have learned that as long as the four of us are together we are ok. Even though this is the life we craved is it perfect?
For me this journey has been bitter sweet. Yes, I wanted this move but change is hard. Leaving my mom in California and all of my friends has been incredibly hard. I was the President of the parent association, Team mom for sports and very social. I am starting over at 44. The boys wanted this move and they love Jackson but there are so many adjustments in a new school and a new place. We are all finding our way and growing so much. I have discovered a passion for photography and I am more at piece then I may have ever been. We live in the moment rather than never having a moment. We are looking forward to ski and snowboard season and I am going to try to embrace all things winter! We have spring and summer trips planned in the trailer to Moab, Arches, Canyon Lands, Glacier, Banff, Olympic and the Oregon coast. And lets not forget a California Christmas to see family and friends and defrost!
When Colleen asked me to write this article I thought it was important and might help someone else with their journey. Never give up on your goals and dreams!!