Interview with Dedrick
The following is a lightly edited transcript of a phone interview conducted by Newsletter Manager, Emma Butterfield, as she sat with a kombucha in hand in her studio apartment in Downtown, Portland OR. What was the experience of being in a travel trailer like? The ups, the downs? Do you have any tips for those who may be confined to small living quarters currently or who intend to spend time living in an RV in the future?
Dedrick: You really need to consider what you’re going to need to keep with you and downsize according to the amount of space you will have. One example of this is downsizing with electronics. In a trailer or other temporarily living establishment, it may not be practical to have a desktop. Acquiring a laptop if you don’t already have one may be a smart move. Do research on what the trailer parks are like in the area that you’re going to be in because some have more amenities than others. What you’re looking for may depend on how long you’re going to be there and if you will be living solo or with other family members. This also may have an effect on what type of trailer park you need. Ideally, you will want to find a trailer park that has reasonable laundry facilities.
Make sure you maintain your water heater well because RV water heaters need more regular maintenance than home water heaters. This includes completing necessary tasks such as flushing out sediment regularly. Another pointer is to make an effort to get to know the other people in the trailer park because chances are you will be away from the most important people in your life.
What are some methods you found to be useful when looking for a job in a new town? Was there anything else in particular that drew you to Bismarck besides your new job?
Dedrick: As a chemical engineer, most of my job hunting included talking with recruiters who saw my information on LinkedIn. I used the BestPlaces website to evaluate whether or not locations where job opportunities existed were going to work out well for my family. I also researched school districts where certain jobs were located to see if those districts would be a good fit for my family. Once I picked a location, I had to think about my wife, who is a special education teacher, finding a job in that location. The idea behind living in a temporary housing situation before moving more permanently was that I could talk to people who lived there to get a feel for whether or not the town would be a good fit for my family and I.
As for what drew me to Bismarck other than my job, I spent four years in Kansas prior to moving and the mindset of residents in general was somewhat similar to Bismarck. They were considerate and interested in each other, which was a major positive point for me. My impression of Bismarck has always been positive ever since visiting for the interview and moving there before my family. I have always just had a feeling that my family would be happy there. This and the fact that I had a very smooth interview led to me feeling deep down that it would be a great place to work and bring my family. From this experience, I learned that it's very important to trust your gut and intuition if it's telling you that a place is or isn't going to be a good fit.