In this interview I spoke with Carrie Catalano about their families move to Florida.
The Catalano Family Took the Plunge
Scott: Who took the plunge? Carrie: Myself, my husband Anthony and our 9-year-old son, Jonathan.
Scott: When did you take the plunge? Carrie: We moved here this Summer, the Summer of 2013.
Scott: Where did you move from? Carrie: We moved from Las Vegas. While there were certain things we liked about Las Vegas, we hated that there wasn’t much for kids or families to do. We were spending tons of money and time traveling down to Southern California just to have family stuff to do. We loved so much about the Orlando area, including the fact that there was plenty to do as a family. After a lot of research and soul searching, we decided that we were going to take the plunge and move. We couldn’t wait to be near beaches, explore the many state parks, go to sporting events, and of course, be able to go to Disney whenever we wanted.
Scott: What area of Florida did you move to? Carrie: We moved to Davenport, FL. We live in the Four Corners area, right where Lake County, Orange County, Polk County and Osceola County meet.
Scott: Why did you choose that area? Carrie: We wanted to be close to Disney, as well as restaurants and shops. This is not a great area for everyone though, as it is in the heart of the tourist area. The grocery stores are always crowded and there is a lot of traffic in the area, especially when the parks close. But, it works for us.
Scott: Did you choose to buy or rent when you took the plunge and why? Carrie: We decided to rent, as we wanted to really learn the area before we decided to buy, and that is something we just couldn’t do living so far away. We’re still learning all the different areas around Orlando, and hope to buy in the next year or two.
Scott: Did you have any problem finding a job when you relocated to Davenport? Carrie: This was not a concern for us, as I work from home with my job. Because of this, we didn’t have to time our move around finding a job or a job starting date. Instead, we planned our move around our son’s school schedule.
Scott: What advice would you offer to anyone considering “Taking the Florida Plunge”? Carrie: If I had to give advice to someone thinking about taking the plunge, I would offer these tips. 1. Start De-cluttering and Packing Early – We had a year to de-clutter and we started packing what we could when we could (ie, we packed winter clothes when it got warm enough to, instead of waiting until the last minute.) Even with all of that, I still found myself rushed and stressed finishing up packing when it was time to move. 2. Budget for More Moving Money Than You Think You Will Need – We had what I thought was a very healthy moving budget and I even threw in a little extra to include things I forgot or things that ended up being a bit more than we budgeted for. By the time everything was said and done, I had gone over our budgeted amount by about 15 percent. There are so many things that pop up or that you forget to budget for. It may seem like $20 here or $50 there, but it adds up quickly. Make sure you have a healthy moving budget and a stocked savings account, because there will be things that you forgot to budget for or end up being more than you budgeted for. 3. Make Time for Yourself During the Move – The last tip I would have is to make sure that you leave some time for yourself prior to the move. I was a bundle of emotions before the move. I was stressed, I was panicked, I was excited and I was overwhelmed. It was a lot and there were times that I wish I could have gone out for drinks with friends or even to get a massage for myself. But, between working, making sure my son could see everyone he wanted to see and say good bye, and all the other things that go on in a move, there just wasn’t time. In hindsight, I really think that taking an hour or two away for myself would have helped me with my emotions and taken away some of the stress I was feeling. I also regret not being able to go out with close friends one last time. I know it is a busy time, but I would recommend everyone make sure to take some time for yourself.
Scott: Now that you have taken the plunge, what are your 3 favorite things about living in Florida? Carrie: I love that I always having something to do with my family. I love how friendly people are here in comparison to Las Vegas and I love being able to do things that we have never been able to do. I am so excited to see Disney World dressed up for Halloween and then Christmas, my son is counting down the days until he goes to his first NFL game this fall, and my husband is looking forward to spring training and all the baseball games that will go along with that.
Scott: What is your families FAVORITE Disney Park? Carrie: Our favorite Disney Park is DISNEYLAND!
Scott: What is your families FAVORITE Disney attraction? Carrie: Our favorite Disney attraction is Disneyland’s It’s a Small World with the Christmas Overlay, but Tiki Room comes in a very close second.
Scott: What is your families FAVORITE Disney restaurant? Carrie: Our families favorite is Ohana at the Disney Polynesian Resort.
Scott: Who is your families FAVORITE Disney character? Carrie: Our favorite Disney character has to be Eyeore!
Scott: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Carrie: Our road to get here wasn’t easy at times. We really had to tighten our belts and stick to a stringent budget in order to save the money to move here and we had to put a lot of time and energy into de-cluttering, packing and preparing for the move. There were times where we were all wondering if we should put the move off for another year to save more money instead of sticking to such a tight budget, and there were times where the prospect of such a long distance move seemed so overwhelming that we had to wonder if we were doing the right thing. But, for us, it was all worth it in the end. We have had an amazing summer and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for us as we continue our journey in Florida.
Scott: Thanks so much Carrie and my family and I look forward to seeing you, Anthony and Jonathan in the parks!