Enjoy these Insp”ear”ationals…a collection of The Relocated Tourist family’s stories of how we have inspired them. Have we inspired you? Have a story to share? I believe that inspiration is a huge form of paying it forward, and we could all pay it forward these days. Email me if you would like to share yours to

Enjoy these stories, and a sincere thank you to everyone who was generous with their time to share~ God Bless!

Stumbling on the Blog

What has inspired me about the Petermann family. When I stumbled on the Relocated tourist blog I had had no idea what you would be blogging about, but every week I was so drawn it by the pure feelings and emotions about wanting to move to Fl and the plan was laid out daily, weekly on take 1 step closer to that goal.

For me I lived on every word on seeing if it could be done. Considering I think their are many of us that talk about making that move, but what do we do to really make it happen I also think that with having both the husband & wife in agreement and working daily to make it happen brings reality to that dream, because you both have each other to encourage each other when the days seem blue & every wall & road block seems to be at every turn.

I have been so inspired by your determination and even finding the positive when things go wrong, I remember when you had the problems with transporation and no matter what you looked forward.

Like I had stated above everyday you all took a step forward to that goal and made it happen. Now everyday seeing you living to enjoy the gift of living your dreams gives me more encouragement to follow behind you!

I am so proud of the Petermann family to living their dream!

Hugs! ~Shelley Urick Jones

Digital Disney World

I have been a Walt Disney World enthusiast since I was a young boy.  Like many fans of the mouse, it has been a dream to actually move there someday. I have lived in CT my entire life and have a very tight knit family who all live within 10 miles. This has made it very difficult to take the plunge and relocate. However, earlier this year I decided to become more involved in the Disney community and started my own blog called While doing some research for an article, I accidentally stumbled across “The Relocated Tourist.”

After reading a few articles written by both Amy and Craig, I was immediately hooked. This blog renewed my excitement for potentially moving closer to the magic someday. Although it may still be a few years before a big move, the Petermann’s story has been very motivating. Reading about them making such a huge life change has helped me continue to take small steps towards the bigger goal. I felt that if they could do something so big, I had no excuse for not pursuing my Disney dreams.  In addition to my blog, I have recently become a vacation planner with a focus on Disney, and have become affiliated with a national travel agency.

This past July, I had the pleasure of meeting both Amy and Craig in person at a WDW Radio “Meet of the Month.”  It was so nice to see how genuine they really are.  You never know what people are like when just reading about them, however, the Petermann’s are the real deal.  It was great listening to Craig talk about the moving process and how they were acclimating to life in Central Florida.  This encounter motivated me even more to keep moving forward.  Since that meeting, I have started another Disney World related business called WDW Guided Tours. I actually plan on commuting to Florida to give commando style “one day” tours of all four parks. Spending time with the Petermanns was certainly the inspiration to take this giant leap and move one step closer to relocation.  It is great that The Relocated Tourist now has this section for us to share our “Insp”ear”ational stories.  Amy and Craig are inspirational in so many ways, and its nice to know we have friends in Florida when we finally make the move. ~Dave D.

All the way from the Caribbean

I am a member of a Disney oriented webpage and one day I got a friend request on facebook from The Relocated Tourist. I was hooked on this blog the minute I started reading it. Craig and Amy were planning to do exactly what I want to do someday……. moving to Disney!

What I loved the most was that they were ordinary people just like me. Not some millionaire who can just pick up and leave whenever he pleases. Craig and Amy together with their kids, had to work hard to reach their dream. At times the dream seemed impossible and out of reach, but then things would start to look up again.

Craig and Amy have been my inspiration that if you wish long and hard enough, and are willing to work hard enough you will reach your dream. I am super happy that after all they went through they are finally living their dream, and I hope soon, mine dream will come true too.

 As for now I can’t wait to meet them in December! ~Thadine

Orlando is our Top Choice

I’ll begin with 3 years ago, I had a great business with my husband, a vacation a year at WDW habit, great kids, great life, busy but good. Then the economy tanked. As my business was a restaurant, it didn’t take long for us to feel the effects. My customers didn’t have extra money for eating out anymore so pretty soon, we were struggling.  We liquidated our assets just to keep afloat, hoping that things would turn around. They didn’t. We got involved in a partnership that was a really bad decision, financially. I’ve gotten pretty depressed about the situation. Who would ever have imagined having to start over at this point in life (I’m 47 years old!). Here is where you come in.

I have loved Disney always. I read everything I can find about Disney and dream of living in FL and going to Epcot at the end of my day just to watch Illuminations. Aaaahhh, what a great thing that would be.Then, I discovered your blog, your family doing what I dreamed of. I didn’t really have the courage to just go. Now though, I am in the position of starting over, I no longer see it as only a bad thing. Yes my house is worth less than I paid for it. I may not be able to sell it. I don’t know. But thanks in part to your example, my husband and I have decided to sell everything and start over. A place of our choosing, where we want to be. Orlando is our top choice. We may have to work for other people elsewhere for a while to repay business debts and save a little, but our goal, is to relocate to FL and begin our little business there. Do you know how wonderful it is to have a goal that really motivates you and helps you get through the hard times (of course you do!). I am excited about the new chapter in our life. Yes, our business failed, the economic crash, crushed us too. But I’ve learned that you can get up and find a new dream and not feel like you’ve failed. Thank you for that.

Didn’t mention spirituality in there but, although I keep my beliefs to myself mostly. I can say that I thought when things began going badly for us, and honestly we may still lose our house if we can’t sell. I believed that we had been abandoned by God. But I’ve discovered friends I didn’t even know I had, offering help to me and my family. Wow. That answers to prayers may be different than you would like, but they are still answers. And I’m learning that through our “failure” my dreams of living in FL and for me working at Disney, even as a custodian, can come true. And you have helped with that. Thank you.

 ~Cheryl Anraku… Greenville, SC (currently-but trying to get to FL!)

Fighting to Get Better

I have always loved Walt Disney World since I was a child of the 80’s. I’d plan trips, years in advance before going/ My first time going was in 1995, on my Senior trip. While other classmates goofed off and partied, at WDW; I was the one who had my days already planned, on what to see/do, etc. I knew then, in ’95 that I just had to be living here, and I would and will find a way to make that dream come true.

I found Amy’s blog, during a time when I had been in the hospital, at UNC, and was immediately connected with her writing and her dream of moving to Orlando.  I became a huge fan of her blog, and thoroughly enjoyed each blog, and couldn’t wait for the next one to be published.  By reading her blog, during my illness made me fight even more to get better and make my own dream happen to move to Florida. I had once already lived in Florida, for about 4 years, but I was 3 hours aways, and was sick a lot when I went.  So, when I did go to WDW, at times I wound up in the First Aid area, for this or that. I had to leave living in South Florida, for various reasons, but I always knew in my heart that I would be back. This was/is where my heart is.

 As of today, and through the power of prayer, and how Mighty our God is, I am now cured, and healed of a horrible illness; medically documented too, and am currently in the process of planning my move to Orlando. By reading Amy’s blog, keeping up with her on Facebook, I felt so connected to her and her family. I vicariously lived her ‘adventure’ of moving from WI to FL, knowing one day this would be me. Now, that I am completely healed, her blogs and stories on moving have helped me out a lot. The little things she’d write about on “Oh, I need to do this before I move”, stuff like that I wouldn’t have thought of had it not been for the  blog.

 She inspired me, on my recent WDW trip, in Oct to attend Animation Academy. WOW! I went in thinking “this isn’t going to be good”, and my finished drawing had me impressed! I did so well, that I went back and did 3 more classes. This is one place that I will definitely be visiting once I officially move there, and what great souveniers they are. In my case, I will frame them and display them in my new house 🙂 Without reading her blog, i would have never known this was someting I could do. I am in love with this area!

 Thank you Amy, and Petermann family for sharing your journey with us all on living your dream. You have inspired me, and the others in some way or another. You’re a blessing more than you know. I’ve yet to meet Amy and her precious family, but I feel like I already know them. So, thank you for your blogs, you sharing your life with us through the ups and downs.  I am so happy and thrilled that her dream of moving to Orlando came true. I know that soon,  mine will be fulfilled too. Each day is a day closer, and each day brings progress in my move. As, Walt Disney has said himself, “All our dream can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”. That is so true, and also my favorite saying is, “With God all things are possible!”  ~Monica

A Big Life Change

Walt Disney always talked about following your dreams – and in May that’s exactly where I found myself…except that I was SCARED!  My family’s dream has always been to live amongst the palm trees in sunny Florida and escape the snow and gray of Chicago.

In February, we took a step closer when my parents purchased a plot of land in The Villages, FL with the thought that we had a year to build on it. In May we took a giant leap towards our dream when we found out the model of house that we wanted to build was being discontinued!  Luckily, we were going to be in Florida for our annual May Disney trip so we took a day at The Villages, walked through the model that was replacing the one we fell in love with, decided we didn’t like it and spent the next 8 hours picking out tile, counter tops, and paint colors!

When we got back to Chicago I had a BIG decision to make. The plan was for Mom to retire in November and Mom and Dad move to The Villages at least part time.  I could stay in Chicago, for now live in our house and stay at my job OR I could move to Florida with my parents.  I am very lucky in that I get a long very well with my parents and I knew that I was always welcome to come to Florida. In fact, my Dad always says the house we picked was picked with me in mind (Yay for walk in closet and beautiful bathroom “suite”!).  After that, everything happened very fast! In the Villages, they don’t mess around – our house was built and ready to move in on July 20th!

So, after a few days of serious thought and contemplation I decided that I was going to be a true Floridian! I decided that turning 30 in November was the perfect time to make a big life change.  After I made the decision I was SO nervous! I was leaving everything I have ever known – the house we live in at home in Chicago is the house I have lived in since I was 2. My teaching job is the first job I got right after graduating college. Yikes! Needless to say, I had my good days and my bad days.

One summer Wednesday night I logged onto the WDWRadio newscast/chat and discovered that Lou was hanging out at the Polynesian and had two special guests that night – Scott Otis and Amy Falk Petermann! I loved Amy’s awesome smile and outgoing personality and I’m always looking for new friends to talk Disney with so I looked her up on Facebook (ha-ha I’m such a stalker) – only to find out she had a blog called The Relocated Tourist.

After reading a few posts I realized that Amy was in the same boat as me – following her dream to Florida…. and the best part was – she made it!  Amy and her family escaped the snowy Midwest to the sunny skies of Florida! Reading her experiences gave me hope that even though I feel like I have completely turned my life upside down, everything is going to be okay. I love reading each new post at The Relocated Tourist to read about Amy following her dreams and the rest of her family blossoming in their new surroundings!

Besides knowing that every thing is going to be okay, Amy blogging about her family’s journey has taught me a VERY important lesson in this experience – I’m not doing this alone. My whole family is in this together!

I haven’t had the privilege to meet Amy and her family yet but when I do I owe them a BIG thank you! So for now I’ll just end my story with this –

Thank you Amy, Craig, Kyra and Emily for being my Insp”ear”ation to follow my dream!

~Katie McNamara, The Villages, FL


 I came across this blog through a coworker at Disney and as I started to read it, I started to feel like I was going on this adventure as well.

My dream for Disney started after I completed my first College Program in 2007. I went back “home” to PA to finish my degree, which now had changed to Hotel and Resort Management. I had a date in mind to be back in Florida and to continue my dream of working for Disney! I moved back in August of 2009 and was on my second College Program. When that came to an end I ran into a wall, Disney wasn’t hiring any part or full time positions and I needed something with health benefits.

I ended up going and working at Universal for a while, it is a great company and I have met some great people along the way, but it wasn’t Disney… It didn’t have the same magic and feel. And at this time, I had about given up on that dream… Until I went back and started to catch up on the relocated tourist, they had gotten rid of a lot of their stuff and the countdown was days, instead of months. The words dream and goals kept appearing and that is when I realized that I needed to follow my dreams again. I applied online the beginning of May and by the end of May I was working Part time at Disney. Now almost 6 months later, I am a full time cast member at Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge doing housekeeping. And my dreams are still being followed, because the best thing about dreams , is that they can change and evolve into things you have never imagined!

What this blog has done for me, is make me realize that no matter what obstacle is in your way, you are the ultimate person to make your dreams and hopes and wishes a reality!

~Heather McClay, Orlando, FL

A Story from the United Kingdom

 ‘I first discovered ‘TheRelocated Tourist’ in December last year when I received a Facebook friend request from Amy. The Relocated Tourist blog intrigued me and although I was joining the ‘Relocated family’ a little later than other readers I couldn’t wait to follow the Petermanns and their Florida adventure. I soon found myself caught up in the highs and lows of Amy’s adventure and looked forward to leaving comments for each new post.

 I should explain that I have been a Disney fan since childhood and in recent years discovered the on-line Disney community. For a year or so I had been thinking about starting my own blog, written from the perspective of a Disney fan living in the UK and not able to ‘pop’ over to WDW whenever I wanted. But I was scared of taking that first step, would I be able to write interesting articles and would anyone read them?!

 And this is where my insp”ear”ation from Amy comes in. This summer I suggested to Amy that I was thinking of starting my own blog. I had been inspired by Amy’s writing style, using the blog as almost like a diary, sharing day to day events and observations. Amy reassured me that this was a great idea and explained how to go about setting up the software I needed. After lots of planning and a number of ‘concerned’ messages to Amy my blog was launched in July this year.

 I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Amy for her support and insp”ear”ation. I look forward to publishing my weekly blog posts and the number of visitors to my site continues to grow. I might not have relocated quite like the Petermanns but thanks to Amy I’ve taken a small step closer to the magic.

 ~Emma Godbold from the East of England, United Kingdom.

 Long Hours

 January of 2011 was to start off with a inner mountain for me to climb. The first 6 months were hard ones and I prayed hour after hour while driving at night. I missed being at home in Florida and I missed our trips over to Disney which had been the biggest reason we had moved to Lakeland,Fl. Those every time we’re home trips to enjoy the magic. Those trips kept me going and suddenly we had to take those times to deal with matters I found hard to face. Amy and her sweet family moved to Florida and WAM suddenly everyday I had my Disney. Everyday reading her along with my wake up coffee I started being able to focus on what had been important to me all along not my mountain and to laugh while enjoying Disney through her daily updates. It kept nagging at me that if they could leave home and jobs and move their family to Florida to be close to the Disney Magic that I could climb my mountain and in the process change jobs that would help me get off the road and home where I want to be. I have been among the fortunate  who have meet Amy and Craig. My gift to myself for changing the trucking companies Bill and I drive for. Everyday I am so thankful to have their blog  and Amy’s words in my life. They will never know how sharing their family and their lives with their readers has been a daily insp”ear”ation  to me. Along the way I have found a good friend who I am enjoying getting to know and that is truly the greatest blessing.

~Lorie Cruickshank … Lakeland,Florida

Hope to Relocate

Amy, Craig, Kyra, and Emily-wow. Although we have not met face to face (yet!) this dear family has touched me and inspired me so much. To follow my heart, and to go after all of my hopes and dreams. I have been following their blog and talking with Amy on Facebook for awhile now and everyday I look forward to hearing about another one of their adventures. I also hope one day to relocate to Florida and this amazing family has shown me that it is completely within my reach. I look forward to the day when I can walk thru those wonderfully magic gates at Disney and look up and see this family smiling at me saying “welcome home”. I want to say thank you Petermann family-thank you for being such an incredibly magical family. You have truly blessed me and I look forward to having a long friendship with you.  ~Sherry Jackson

Handling Relocation Emotionally

In May 2011, I landed a great job where I get to work from home 100%
and travel occasionally. My first thought was that now I could live
anywhere and I immediately thought of Orlando because of my love of
Disney. With my fiance on board, we started to plan our move. But, we
didn’t know where to begin or what to do so I used my good old Google
search to find information. I came across The Relocated Tourist and
the information was so good I ended up reading a year’s worth of posts
over a weekend! I loved hearing the story of relocating from a real
family’s point of view. It’s not just logistic or financial
information, it’s also about handling relocation emotionally which is
exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for all your
efforts, you really inspired us to make our dream a reality!
~Shelley Benhoff, soon to be Orlando, FL

  True Inspiration

I just wanted to tell you what a true insperation you are to all of us! The one of us that have wanted to move. We have been wanting to move to Florida for years now. We have finally made the decision to finally make that move. Reading your blog and watching your family on their move has made me want to move that much more. So God willing we will be making the big move this fall! Thanks for all the tips about when you move to a new city. That is a big help all on it’s own.

So I do hope to see you in the fall and get to hang out with you and your family. God bless to you and your family for being such a true inspiration to all!

~Byron Fawley 6.6.2012

Dreaming on Dreams…..Wishing on Wishes

My very first trip to Disneyworld seems like yesterday but it was 30 years ago. A local priest took 7 bus loads of high school students down to Florida for spring break over the Easter vacation. So after a 22 hour bus ride we arrived in Florida. Disney here I come. I remember the excitement of driving onto Disney property and seeing the signs for the first time. I could barely contain myself. I remember running up to the transportation center to hurry and get up to the monorail and hear those ever so popular words for the first time “Please stand clear of the doors…. Por favor, mantenganse alejado de las puertas!!!! That was it I was hooked !!!! Stepping through the main gates of Magic Kingdom sent chills down my spine…and yes I still get those exact same feelings every time I walk through those gates! I saved up all my babysitting money and paper route money every year in high school to go on this trip. Disney instantly became my Home away from Home.

 Fast forward a few married with kids it was time for our 1st family trip to Disney!  My in-laws met us down there and I will never forget meeting them on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, we were all so excited we were actually in tears!! Since that first family trip, we have made countless trips to our “home”!! My in-laws built a house 40 mins from Disney, we are annual passholders and we now take 3-4 trips down there a year! Luckily we have a place to stay!! I was also lucky enough to be a cast member when the Disney stores were still here in the area, my dream….to become a cast member again!!!

Thanks to Facebook, I was able to meet other Disney “aholics” that share in my in my true love of Disney. I stumbled upon the Relocated Tourist blog and was hooked reading all of Amy’s adventures. I truly enjoy reading all her blog or following her dreams.  I was amazed and awe struck seeing her take that leap of faith and move her entire world down to Florida, reading all her ups and downs, problems and successes. Right now I am living vicariously through her! You see, as many of you, my Dream is to move down to Florida and work for Disney….I don’t care if it’s selling popcorn on main street… I WILL WORK AGAIN for DISNEY!!!!  My “grown-up” job is in healthcare doing Ultrasounds and X-rays!!  I am a licensed X-Ray Tech and I am currently studying for my Ultrasound License which will help me secure a job anywhere I choose. Where do I choose you ask??? Why Florida of course!!!!   My mom is elderly and I cannot leave her at the present time, but I am hoping within in the next few years we will be taking our own leap of faith, and follow our own dreams and move near the House of the Mouse…my second home…MY DREAM!!!

Thanks To Amy….it gives us hope that we too can make our dreams come true!! Thanks to Amy and all the other Relocated families we now have great tips of what to do and what not to do. We can go back and read all the blogs !!!  We are all truly blessed to have Amy who put her entire life in the spot light for all of us to see. Thank you Amy for all you do and for keeping hopes alive in those of us who aren’t quite lucky enough to be Floridians just yet.. But because of you we have hope that our dreams and wishes will come true!!!!

Maggie Crocker….Alden, NY….Soon to be a true Floridian!!!!!!!!!!

Its A Small World

Family is very important to me, and in August 2007 my family went from 3 to 2 with the passing of my grandma. She took me on my first trip to Disney World in April 1984 and 6 trips since then. Its A Small World was our ride. So when I meet Amy through one of the Wednesday WDW Radio chats, I was very suprised that she lived not only in Wisconsin but just down the road from me. I finally got to meet Amy during the HUGE rummage sale she was having before the big move. Shortly before the big move we meet at a local Dairy Queen and talked and talked and talked. Hearing about her and her families journey, not only about the move but every step that lead them to where they were at that point in their lives was inspiring to say the least. We may both share the love of Disney but it was the stories of motherhood and family that made me want to be a better mom and to teach my daughters to be the best women and sisters they could be. I only wish that I could have meet Amy and family sooner. God Bless! ~ Shanna Chynoweth

Finding the blog

 I’ll be honest I’m not sure how I found the blog.  I think it was when I joined FB and wanted to find people who love Disney and Florida as much as me and my family . How I found Amy’s page ,  I think I stalked her for a couple months.

Reading Amy’s blog is a big part of my day. I think I’ve been with Amy since shes started the blog.    I remember the girls first day of school.  The car wreck ,the death of your Grandma. Oldest daughters graduation ,  when she got her job at Disney  the list goes on.  I’ve laughed with you and cried with you too ! Like many others who read the blog.

My family lives in Pennsylvania .  Both of our boys are older now .  I’m actively looking for a job in Florida as we too would love to move down closer to the magic. When God says its time I’ll be in Florida .  ~Dee Yeager

Following a Family

I have to first admit, I cannot for the life of me remember,  just how I came across Amy’s blog to begin with. I just remember reading the part where they were counting down the days and all that had to be done to prepare for this Magical move.  Reading all the hopes and wishes, were enough of an inspiration to begin with but then,  i knew I had to start at the beginning.. I decided I had to go back and read where this all started, and who this family was. It was then that I learned, this was not just a family taking on a huge endeavor  for their future and being closer to Disney World, but a family that had already been through so much in their past. There is nothing in this world that can prepare a mother and father for news of there precious child being ill.  Reading all that their beautiful little Emily had to go through in her young life, and the choices that had to be made, made me see this was not just a blog about a family moving to Florida, but  about a loving and caring and committed couple. A couple  blessed with the responsibility, of caring for two precious  girls, and truly blessed to have their angels.  If that wasn’t inspiration  enough to want to read where this courageous family would follow their dream too, nothing would ever be. I have always been a lover of Disney, and I have been lucky to live close enough to Walt Disney World to be able to enjoy it many times a year. Reading about someone else’s dream of living close enough to enjoy it as often as possible, was an easy thing to do. I was hooked in about five minutes. I wanted to know everything that was going on with the move the new house the visits to the parks etc.  I just loved the fact that Amy doesn’t hold back on anything..she seems to write from her heart . When she was happy we knew it,  when she was upset we knew. She has shared  her smile and her tears at times. In all her many  blogs I can say I do not remember one unkind word even being said about anyone.  I remember, last year  when Amy was thinking about maybe not doing the blog any longer. I was not to happy with that because, I had followed her through  a lot, even if only on the blog.  I did understand though, that when you work your heart out and put all your feelings into what you do, then  think your efforts are appreciated,  you may feel it is time to end what you stared. I am just so happy that her “friends” who have always enjoyed what she had to say, convinced her that we wanted her to continue, that  The Relocated Tourist blog did, and still does make a difference.   Amy, there are way to many things you have shared with us along the way to mention,  but you keep writing, we will keep reading..God Bless you and your beautiful family,  ~Linda Raymond

My Love for Disney

     A few years ago my husband created a facebook page for himself.  He was looking for  school friends from the past  and friends from him old neighborhood in New York.  This is where it all started. I began to look at facebook myself and quickly realized there was a world of Disney fans out there in computer land.  After becoming “friends” with a select few that shared in my love for Disney someone asked if I had ever heard of The Relocated Tourist.  Well no, I had not.  I was curious, of course, and researched the blog as well as the facebook page.

There was an instant connection for me.  Amy, a.k.a Ellie, wrote the words I had been feeling for so long and she did it with sincerity and truth.  She also shared many stories about her family, their hopes, dreams and struggles with finances  and health.   They are real people with real feelings and dreams just like you and me.  Every day I read Amy’s facebook page she inspires me to be the best I can be.  She always tries to look on the bright side of life even when things are not going as planned.   She lifts you up instead of putting you down.  She enjoys meeting her fans while they are visiting Walt Disney World and sharing “tips” for helping you with your visit.  We have met up twice (by accident). Once she was with her family but that didn’t stop her from having a quick chat with me and my family.  The next time was in Epcot while  she was having a girls night out with Wendy and Shelley.  I feel so blessed to have the Peterman’s in my life.  I am always excite to see Amy and/or her family.   My dream is to one day move closer to Walt Disney World (and hang out with the girls).

Thanks for being you and sharing Walt Disney World with all of us! ~Lori from PA

Finding a Dream

 I first started reading Amy’s blog when she was going by an alias, Ellie . Its was the adventures of Carl and Ellie. It caught my attention because I love UP and I had recently been reacquainted with my love of Disney! I had a few rough years and had been knocked down a few notches by life. It had taken away my dreams but I took an unexpected trip out to Disneyland in California was reminded of how much I loved Disney.

My husband and I had went to California to look at possible places to retire to. After our trip to Disneyland, my son wanted to visit Florida and see Disney World. I hadn’t been there since 1974 and had no idea what we were in store for. The following year we ventured to Orlando for our first visit as a family and wow, everything changed.

For the first time in many years, I found a dream, to someday live in Florida. I found myself searching  Facebook and soaking up anything Disney I could find. I loved listening to the podcasts of WDW Radio and I found myself drawn to Carl and Ellies adventures loving all the wonderful tips and stories. Reading of their thoughts on moving to Florida somehow helped me feel like it was a reachable dream. Then Amy revealed her true identity and the fact that their moving date had been changed! It was all very exciting, going  through all the changes and things they needed to do to make the move possible.

From the new adventures they went through from packing and moving to a new school, driver’s licenses etcc, have all been so much help, for those of us still trying to plan our own moving day.

I can’t ever explain how much help Amy and her blog have been for me! She was like a pioneer for us who are still in the planning stages and the fact that she shared openly and honestly with us the up and downs have been a wonderful blessing.

I am truly thankful for her and her family’s willingness to share of their adventures because it gives me hope. Even though we are miles away, the Peterman family feels like an extended family to me and it makes me smile each day when I look on my computer or phone and see Amy’s post of good morning!

I hope that she knows how much their family has touched so many lives and given encouragement to so many! Most of all I am thankful to call her my friend! Thank you Amy for encouraging us to find our dream!!  ~Terri Dobbins

Before the Move is just as Important

I don’t realize how much Amy and her Relocated family has inspired me until the subject comes up in my house about moving. And it comes up more than once a week. But for a few reasons, we have to wait. But I always seem to bring up Amy’s name when we discuss it. It’s always, Amy did this or Amy said that or Amy posted about… and so on.

I started reading about Amy and her family before they made the big move. And I’m glad I did because the pre move is also so important. There are so many decisions to make before uprooting your family. I watched as the move finally took place. Seeing the pictures they posted as they took the long trip to Florida, was truly inspirational. I couldn’t help but smile as they were being posted. We were a part of this families adventure. I kept thinking, I better take pictures too when I make that move.

One of our main reasons to want to move to the Orlando area is of course to be closer to our beloved WDW.  Reading the many, many posts Amy puts out there, she answers so many questions one might have when moving to another state. Much of the advice can be used for almost any location one happens to move to. But since she’s in the Orlando area, she covers many places, not just WDW. Orlando has a ton of things to do.

Amy hasn’t sugar coated anything. It’s hard to do what she has done. And then to write a blog about it, is a large task. Although we are a few years away from moving, I feel that I have a friend who has done it. Someone I can turn to if I have a question. Someone I can turn to when I’m actually down there. Maybe we won’t feel so alone when we finally relocate. Thank you Relocated Tourist Family.

 ~Jim Orehosky

Dreams Can Come True

Never would I dream that I’d happen upon a blog like the Petermann’s.  Here we were, a year after my husband and I turned down jobs in Florida.  We were knee deep in regret wondering what could have been had we taken that leap of faith and moved to my husband’s home state of FL.  We had both realized that we had missed an opportunity but put faith in the good Lord that if it was meant to happen, a new opportunity would come along to get us to FL.  That was when we stumbled upon The Relocated Tourist blog.  We immersed ourselves in the blog posts back to the beginning of the Petermann’s journey.  Every day I couldn’t wait get home from work and read up on what they were up to next.  I found Craig’s persistence, Amy’s passion and drive, Kyra’s positivity, and Emily’s courage so inspiring.  They seemed like the folks next door and were so real and honest about everything they encountered in their new home state.  We love all the tips and resources the blog provides.  We even made some wonderful friends through blog.  Just this past May, I got to meet Amy for the first time after conversing with her for some time.  It was almost like meeting a caring and encouraging friend that I had known for years.  I got a chance to thank her for the unique and inspiring view inside her family’s life as new Floridians and for re-igniting that fire to want to move to FL again.  I can never thank you enough, Amy and family for putting it all out there so honestly and courageously.  I am blessed that we have become friends and for your invitation to be able to give back to the blog by being a part of the TRT writing team!  You are proof that dreams can come true if you believe in them with all your heart.  We can’t wait to live out our dreams as Floridians when we plan to make the move in the next couple years.  When we get our Disney Florida resident passes, we will definitely have to hit the parks with you guys again!

~Laura D.

                                                                                                   A “Walking Dead” Friendship
A long time ago, I found a link to a blog of a family planning to move to Florida.  Way back then, they were Carl and Ellie, and I was hooked on following along.  As time went by, and they revealed themselves, I still checked in regularly so I could see how things were progressing.  I was so impressed at how they were so committed to this move, selling off just about everything they owned so they didn’t have to pay to move it to Florida.  I loved their faith that this move was going to be a great thing for their family.  They had bumps along the way, but they handled them with extreme grace!  I know it hasn’t been easy, but I love seeing how the entire Petermann family is thriving in Florida!I can’t remember how we connected on Facebook, but the next thing I knew, I was making plans to meet up with Amy at Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio meet in October 2012.  My husband and I had gotten up really early that day to drive from GA to FL to start our vacation having lunch with a group of friends at Les Chefs.  Lou’s meet was at 3, and it was hotter than it should be for October!  I was a sweaty mess!  Amy was a sweaty mess, but she gave me the biggest hug and made me feel so welcome.  I didn’t know a soul there with it being my first WDW Radio meet.  I got to meet Craig and the girls, and we chatted for a bit.  After that, Amy, a friend of hers and I went off to another meet, the Diva Meet, at the Beach Club.  The air conditioning felt great!! Ha!  I got to say a quick hi to Amy the next day a the EPCOT 30th event, but I didn’t get to see her the rest of my trip.

As time went by, she and I chatted more online and discovered our mutual love of The Walking Dead!  I sent Amy some pictures of “Woodbury,” which is only about 15 minutes from where I live.  I had messaged with Amy that I was going to be in WDW in early December, but the day I arrived at WDW, my life took an unexpected turn.  My husband called me as I was driving to FL to let me know he had been downsized and let go from his company.  This was a huge shock.  We had annual passes, and I had a room, so I told him to hop a plane on his points and join me.  We spent the next couple of days in a fog.  I texted Amy and told her that I really wasn’t up to meeting up this time around, but in reality I probably could have used a big old Amy hug to make me feel better!  I just didn’t want to bring anyone down during the holiday season at Disney!

The next thing I know, I have a trip on deck for April 2013, and Amy and I messaged about meeting up.  We met up in DHS and rode the Great Movie Ride and spent the entire ride catching up!  The next day Amy planned her “4 Parks, 1 Day” adventure, so I ran into her a couple of times at Animal Kingdom!  And to make things even better, I ran into her either that night or the next night at EPCOT when they announced the Monstrous Summer All Nighter, and of course we had to grab a picture in front of the giant Mike Wazowski projection on Spaceship Earth.  I was there 4 nights, and I got to see Amy three of those days!  Oh, and I also got to meet Shelley, and we expanded our Walking Dead circle!!  Hi to Wendy, too!! =)

My daughter decided she needed a WDW trip, so we went back in June.  This time I came bearing gifts to Amy and Shelley!  I hit up the local Walking Dead store and brought them some goodies!  Amy and I just got a few minutes in DHS, but it was still great to chat with her and grab a picture!

Now I look forward to my trips to FL and meeting up with Amy and her wonderful family and friends!  Amy is such a positive person, even when things are getting her down.  She always tries to find the bright side of things!  Craig is a quiet guy, but you can see how much he loves his family!  I cannot believe how much Kyra and Emily have grown since they moved down there.  Kyra has graduated high school and is in college and working for Disney!  Emily has gone from a little girl to a young lady, and she has finally found a great school!  Amy has finally found her church family, and that makes me so happy!  I know how important that is to her.

You’ve done it, Petermann Family!  You are living your dreams, and you are such great role models for anyone that hopes to do the same!!  Thank you for that first hug and opening yourself up to me and everyone else.  I’m so happy  you are part of my life!  ~Christa Ryan

The Mid-West Connection

I first discovered Amy and Craig shortly after their relocation to Florida.  I was watching a live broadcast of LouMongello and the WDW Radio Show. He was broadcasting live from the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian.  Drinks were flowing, even the Backscratcher!  This was one of the first live broadcasts that I had watched, and from then on I was hooked.

What I was most intrigued with, was this cute, bubbly lady who I found out in the conversation had just relocated from Wisconsin!  I could see that down to earth Midwestern attitude about her and even though I was watching across a computer screen, I could feel this was a person I wanted to know.  She talked about her blog page, and I wrote it down so I could go check it out.  Not that I am a stalker or anything……..but the entire concept of the blog page subject totally had me interested.

I found the blog page and started reading it.  The bravery of this family in picking up and leaving all you know and love to follow a dream is much to be admired.

The blog page, and Amy herself have been insp”ear”ational to my and my husband as we are planning to relocate from the “burbs” of Chicago to Tennessee in about three years.  Not only there, but we are planning on “wintering” in Florida, buying something small.  This is so exciting that not only do I have the prospect of never seeing another snowflake as long as I live, but being able to spend a few months a year very near to my “happy place!”

Not only did I start communicating with Amy, but I consider her a dear friend.  I am so happy I was allowed to meet both of her daughters, and was honored to do so.  They are wonderfully charming young ladies.  I have been able to see Amy on two different trip to Orlando.  The only Petermann clan member who I had not had the pleasure to meet yet, is Craig.  Hopefully on the next trip!

Amy is a “real” person.  She was so supportive to me and always showing concern when my husband was fighting a tough battle against cancer.  I almost lost him.  I know that she prayed for him, along with many of my friends near and far……….and that is why he is still here today.  I am happy to report that Paul is now 2.5 years into being cancer free!  Having the support of friends like Amy, (even though she had never met us in person) was very special to me!

The information from the blog has been helpful with Disney tips, helpful in things to think of in planning a move.  The are much appreciated!

Even though I had my own blog page before I started reading The Relocated Tourist, is was a very inactive page.  She inspired my a great deal to really dive in a devote time and effort to it, and I love doing it!

Thank you dear Amy……….my friend.  –Kris Banas

Making Other Families Believe

This Inspiration quote came from  Walt Disney ” All our dreams can come true, If we have the courage to pursue them”. Everyone has dreams that can come true and want to pursue them. That’s what i did on August 21, 2009. After being laid off from a great job i had, i said to myself its time to start over. My dream was to relocate to Florida with my kids. I went through too much in Connecticut from losing my husband in January 2005 to losing my job. I called my dad and i told him i needed a change. So he came and got me and my kids. After saying goodbye to friends and family, we were on the road where my kids and i were beginning our journey to a new state. My other dream was to work at the happiest place on earth, Disney. That dream came true. I believe i can get the job there and i got it 🙂
I have been following Amy’s blog for a while and all her stories were amazing.  I sent her a friends request on Facebook and when she accepted me as a friend. I was happy. Her stories from the day she moved from her home state to Florida reminded me the time i moved from Connecticut.  There were some stories on her blog that made me laugh and made me cry.
When i met her for the 1st time at Shelley’s home, i was happy. She is one of the nicest people i ever met.
To Amy and your family,  I am so thankful and blessed to meet you. your friendship means alot to me.You believed in magic and you made it happened for your family. Please continue the magic cause you will make other families believe and to make their “dreams come true” to relocate.
Marisol Perozziello
Polk City, Fl
A Disney True-Life Adventure
To the best of my recollection, I think I first stumbled upon The Relocated Tourist right before the big move.  I was instantly attracted to this blog, due to the very fact that I too would love to relocate to Florida.I loved following along as the time drew shorter and the move finally happened.  Once in place in Florida, Amy opened up and started having these small weekly-ish online video chats.  It was great to see these real live people that were doing the very thing that I hope to do in the (hopefully near) future.  These chats were often full of random topics that were just fun to be involved with. Here were these brave people, putting their life on the internet.  I visit Disney World a couple of times a year, usually, I was very hopeful that I would finally be able to meet in person.Then the site went dark.  As things happen, I thought that we had seen the very end of The Relocated Tourist.  I had not had the opportunity to meet in person and I was very sad that I wouldn’t be able to let them know that I really appreciated them sharing their real life adventure with me.

My next trip to Disney world was for my 2nd Disney World Marathon Weekend.  I participated in the half-marathon on Saturday and was cheering on my Disney running group on in the full marathon on Sunday.  The Marathon was winding down and I was ready to eat lunch.  We were cheering right outside of Hollywood Studios, so I went on in to grab a bite to eat at Backlot Express.  I just received my trey when I see Amy and her daughter standing in line. I was very torn at this point on whether or not I should say anything.  The site was dark and maybe she wouldn’t take to kindly to someone she had never met coming up to them.  I finally decided that I would at least go up and say “hi” and let her know who I was.

I’m very glad that I did.  We wound up sitting together for lunch and had a very great conversation.  We ended up chatting for quite sometime before Amy had to be off on another errand.

I was sore from my activities during that weekend, but I left with a warm heart.


It’s Possible To Follow Your Dreams

For the longest time, the thought of moving to Orlando seemed like something that was an unattainable dream. At least, it seemed that way to us. My wife and I would talk about it, but it just never seemed like a realistic thing to do. After all, I’ve lived in Memphis for nearly 30 years, and my wife was born and raised here. Our discussions would usually end with, “Well, that’s just not realistic. This is where we belong.”Yet every time I go to Walt Disney World and Orlando, my thoughts are– “No, this is our place. This is where we really belong.” Like many other WDW fans, we are always to sad to leave and return back home. We knew we wanted to get closer to the place we love. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a road map of how to get there.

Along comes The Relocated Tourist– the saga of a real family who thought exactly the opposite of us and said, “Yes we can!” Over the last few years I’ve enjoyed reading about all the ins, outs, ups, and downs of Amy, Craig, Kyra, and Emily’s grand adventure to move to Florida. The thing that I’ve appreciated more than anything else is the “tell it like it is” attitude. Amy is not shy about sharing the “not so great” aspects of moving to Florida– hearing about these helps ground everything in reality. But hearing about the pure joy and excitement coming from the Petermanns at each new experience is what’s so inspirational.

Thanks to The Relocated Tourist, we now know that it’s possible to follow your dreams and have them work out. While we don’t have any concrete plans at the moment to move to Central Florida, we have set long and short term goals with an eventual possiblity of getting there. Even if it takes us 5, 10, or 15 years, we know that if we’re meant to make it there, we will

My wife Nikkie and I were fortunate enough to meet Amy and Craig back in June when a group of us watched Wishes on the Polynesian beach. We also spent a few hours this month hanging out with Amy at the Food and Wine Festival. After talking to Amy on two different occasions– I know one thing– Amy is exactly who she says she is. Her openness and willingness to take us along with her on every step of the journey is so generous. I am so glad to know that when we do make our home in Orlando (whenever that is), we’ll already have friends there waiting for us!

— Garrett Dunnewold and Nikkie Parker-Dunnewold

A Friendship Made from Magictrips

Amy and I have known each other a long time, about 12 years if my math is correct, having met, where else?  On a Disney discussion board known back then as Magictrips.  Amy’s life was not without struggles, but for me she was like sunshine.   Things might get dark at night, but you always knew the sun would rise again tomorrow.  She found her Prince Charming, had 2 beautiful daughters, the horrible happened yet she survived.  We found we had much in common besides Disney, as we both loved to scrapbook, and enjoyed Renaissance Festivals.  We managed to meet up twice in WDW before she moved down there, which is quite a feat!  Clearly we were meant to be friends.  But then Magictrips went under and we lost touch for a bit, which was sad.  One day my cell phone rings and Amy had found my number while cleaning her basement for her move to Florida.  What?  She is actually going to do it?  Off I go to read her blog, which is full of emotion. I laughed, I cried, I was anxious.  Wow, what a journey!  We’ve had about 5 meet ups since then, with I am sure many more to come.  I am always surprised by her ability to take chances by putting her life on display and her ability to wear her heart on her sleeve.  I know her positive attitude has helped many on their journey to be closer to the House that Walt built.  While that journey is not for me at this time, she brings a little touch of magic into my days.  Thank you Amy for taking the risks, sharing the journey and being my friend. Welcome to your Happily Ever After!

~Bethany in Canada

Someday a Snow Bird

I am one of the readers, who isn’t thinking about moving to Orlando, mainly because I live in Canada, but someday I may be a snow bird.  I first found the relocated tourist, just as they were getting ready to move. In fact it was the week of their giant garage sale.  I was in awe, of how they were selling so much and moving their life to the other end of the country.  I followed them as they drove to Florida, my hubby and I would chat about my Facebook friend who was moving there.

The honesty of these blogs kept me coming back, to hear how the move affected them as a family. The emotion and honesty on these pages had me in awe.

The annual videos, of all the people she has met that year, is so inspiring to me most of all.  Amy takes the time to meet all of us who want to, including me.  She spent an afternoon with me while her girls were in school.  Can you imagine in your life, in your city meeting with so many people?  I know I couldn’t do it with my family.  My afternoons while my kids are in school are filled with errands, and other things I can’t do with the family around.  You will notice she is genuinely happy to meet us all and share her time with us.

~Saundra Schmidt Brook

InspEARed and Motivated by the Petermanns

 I first “met” Amy in the Passporter community.  Then Carl and Ellie appeared on Facebook as an anonymous family desiring to relocate.  I was so excited to see if this family could make their dreams come true as they are the same as mine…wanting to relocate to Florida!

As we all now know, they did it!  Seeing their transition to a new community, seeing their good experiences and bad, puts it all in perspective.  I have three children so it has helped me to see how Kyra and Emily have settled in too.  I want my kids to be happy when we relocate and seeing the Petermann girls thriving in their new home has helped me to feel better about the move.

Amy has invaluable information on her blog and will make moving easier for those of us who are planning relocation.  Most recently I messaged Amy for advice on areas to look for homes with good school districts and I also mentioned that we needed a good church.  She quickly responded with all the information I needed.

I have always been inspEARed by Amy and her family, but now I am MOTIVATED!  I can not wait until we can make our dreams of relocation come true!  Goodbye yucky winters, hello palm trees!  Look out Central Florida; we are headed your way in 2015!

~Thank you Petermanns for sharing your dreams and your lives with all of us~

~Alison C.

Missing Florida

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you so much for starting this blog and sharing your family’s journey.  My story begins in late 2011.  While studying for an exam for a course I wasn’t enjoying, to advance at work in a job I didn’t like, my husband made a proposal – if we save our money, and fix up our house over the next few years to sell it, we could retire and move to Florida in 8 years to live near Disney.  I thought he was crazy.  I thought there was no way I could pick up everything we owned, leave all our family and friends, quit my very comfortable, secure job and pull our son out of elementary school to move to Disney!  What would people think? They’d think it was just crazy talk.  I thought about it, and said maybe, but never really entertained the idea until a trip to Disney in October 2012.  I had forgotten how much I missed Florida – the weather, the smells, and, of course, Disney.  I kept asking him “what if?” questions about our son’s education, his future, our expenses, where we would live, leaving our family, etc.  He didn’t have a lot of answers.  Then I found your blog!!  I spent an entire week reading it from beginning to end.  You answered all the questions I had, and some I didn’t even think to ask.  It has been so enlightening to read about your journey – the struggles, the tears and the ultimate happiness you and your family have found.  I have cried with you, laughed with you, and felt your heart in every post you have written.  I thank you for being so open and honest with your life, and for sharing it with those of us who are thinking about pursuing the same dream.  Someday, Amy, I hope to thank you in person – perhaps over one of those fruity beverages at the Polynesian – but, for now, I will thank you with this email. You are an inspiration, and I hope to one day call you “neighbour”!

~Alisa Cole


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