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29 Jul

real talk: goodbye San Francisco, hello Phoenix

Thank you all so much for sharing in the excitement of our big move announcement! If you missed it, read last week’s post here: surprise…we’re moving!

Before we begin with this in-depth post about our life for the past six months, we just want you all to know that we are grateful every single day that we are able to live our dreams and do what we do. We do not want our words below to come across as whiny or complaining at all, because we know we’ve been given so many amazing opportunities and have such a great life overall! But we are also human, and no one’s life is perfect, especially when compared to what you see on social media. The purpose of this post is to keep it real with you and share with you why we are leaving San Francisco and moving to Arizona. Our followers mean so much to us and we know we wouldn’t be able to do this without you. For that reason, we love sharing our life and being open and vulnerable with you.

We decided to break up this post into two sections: her side and his side. We both have different reasons why we are excited to move and what brought us to this point. Enjoy!

– Sarah & Robbie

Her Side

robbie and i couldn’t be more excited to be moving to Arizona and building a home! thank you all so so much for your love and support since we made the announcement last week. we’ve read every single one of your comments/DMs/emails and feel so loved. we can’t wait to share this journey with you!

now that you know the big news, this blog post is to tell you the why of it all. we wanted to split it up because it’s been a long journey full of ups and downs, and we wanted to keep it real. so here it goes.

first, a lot of people are probably wondering: why are you moving? after our announcement, we got a lot of messages saying it was a total shock that we are leaving San Francisco. “you guys love it there don’t you?!” well, i guess it all started at the end of last year when robbie and i decided 2018 was the year we were going to save to buy a house. we started casually looking at homes in the Bay Area, and quickly realized how insanely expensive it truly is. for me, i always knew SF wasn’t going to be our permanent home, but robbie really wanted to stay in the Bay Area longterm, and said he definitely wasn’t going to move out of California.

so there’s some quick background. now for the emotional aspect of all this…

i’ve been feeling very, very burnt out over the past six months. honestly, i’ve felt burnt out since last year. i’ve told friends and family that i don’t feel like i’ve had an actual chance to relax since we went viral last year. life only seems to speed up and social media anxiety is real. ever since we went viral it’s been go-go-go, stress, anxiety, excitement, opportunities, travel, heartbreak, happiness, and everything in between. we got into this horrible routine of coming home from our insane travel schedule, trying to get some rest so we’re not so exhausted, but then be burnt out from our own home because nothing is easy when you live in a major city. and then we would have to leave for another trip a few days later. not exactly a balanced lifestyle.

and it started wearing on me big time. i felt trapped in this one bedroom apartment: too cooped up with too much to do and yet even the thought of going out was exhausting. i had no space for all my packages and clothes and no time to organize them all, so i just started letting it all pile up. we were both so busy working that the drive in traffic to go grocery shopping seemed impossible. we started eating lots of frozen food because it was all we had time to cook, which in turn made us feel like crap. we didn’t exercise because we are constantly traveling and working non-stop when we were home. i was crying every single day. robbie and i started fighting more. i started to dread photo shoots because driving one hour+ in traffic to three different locations back and forth across the city and trying to change into three outfits in the back of our MINI Cooper while trying to find parking was a literal nightmare. i started to hate my job, i would cry to robbie at night that i didn’t want to blog anymore. i wanted out. this lasted for months.

plus, this may seem like a minor thing but let’s be honest: the weather in SF definitely doesn’t help any. i can only handle so many overcast, foggy, chilly, windy days before i start to crack haha. when people think of California weather, they’re most definitely not thinking of San Francisco. this desert girl needs warmth and sunshine! it’s hard to maintain a positive attitude when it’s nothing but gray skies out your window.

as for robbie, his breaking point finally came when we paid taxes this year. being successfully self-employed sounds cool until your state requires you to give away between 10-14% of your income {on top of working with my agency, donating to our church, etc., those percentages all add up very quickly.} after that, let’s just say robbie was much more passionate about moving out of California haha.

we didn’t really know where to look next. back home to Vegas was an option but we wanted another new adventure together and not to move home just yet. a lot of people suggested Austin to us because it’s so poppin’ right now but Texas was never really a consideration because it’s humid and further from family. then we got busy with life and didn’t have time to deal with the stress of moving so we put it on the backburner.

then the month of April was the kick in the pants we needed.

in April we had six trips back to back, with only a few days at home in total. we would never schedule ourselves like that on purpose but we had obligations and were blessed to have opportunities pop up that we just couldn’t say no to. we started off with a cross-country 24-hour trip to NYC for an important meeting, then went to Miami to visit my brother who had just had his new baby. from there we went to Coachella {never again lol} and while in Palm Springs we received heartbreaking news. robbie’s Grandpa Tripp had passed away, a great man who robbie is named after and was a very difficult loss for our Tripp fam. so from there we flew to Utah for 24-hours to attend the viewing and the funeral. after which we flew home to SF, got in at midnight, unpacked, repacked, went to sleep for a few hours, and then got up at 4am the next morning to fly to Dallas where i was speaking at the rewardStyle conference.

finally, at the end of April, we went to Arizona for our close friend’s wedding. this was obviously during a very stressful time and honestly we were both pretty down. we always try to stay positive on social media and not talk much about how hard it is to be self-employed because we feel very blessed to do what we do. but sometimes it can be very, very exhausting and situations can arise that threaten everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

however, being in Arizona and being able to disconnect for a weekend was exactly what we needed. by the end of weekend we found ourselves driving around Scottsdale looking at a few home listings! and just like that the wheels were turning.

when we decided we wanted to seriously look for a home in Arizona, we went through the pre-approval process to get a home loan and shortly after we were approved. {in another post, we will walk you through what that pre-approval process was like for us a first time home-buyers AND being self-employed.}

we went to Arizona for four full days in May and house hunted in Scottsdale from morning until sundown. we were solely looking in Scottsdale because well, what’s not to love?! the shopping is incredible, it’s close to the Phoenix airport, and of course it’s a little bit boujee, which we love haha! however, the Scottsdale housing market proved to be very tricky in the fact that we were running into some of the same problems we faced in SF: old homes from the 1950’s-60’s with a facelift that were going for wayyy more than they are actually worth, simply because of the hot location. we thought about buying an old, dumpy home and completely remodeling it because robbie’s dad is a contractor, but realized we just don’t have that kind of time with our schedule. it was so stressful, and even more so when we had to fly back home with nothing we had fallen in love with. we went back to our one bedroom in SF and felt as stuck as ever.

after another month of searching Zillow listings every night and seeing nothing exciting, we decided to expand our search outside of Scottsdale. a lot more options landed in our lap and we found a brand new community and loved the virtual tour online.

so when we made our second house-hunting trip a few weeks ago, we went straight to that community first thing Monday morning, and… we fell in love!!! we put down the deposit later that day and then spent the rest of our trip relaxing in the sun.

so i know everyone has been dying to know where we’re building specifically, so time to finally share:

we are building our home in Phoenix and couldn’t be more excited!

next month we have our appointment to go and design all the features of our home, and i am so excited! our home is scheduled to be completed around March of 2019. we will be here in SF until the end of the year, at which time we will move closer to AZ so we can see the finishing touches on our home being completed.

i am very much looking forward to a slower pace of life in Arizona: more room to live, less expensive, more options to shop, eat, and a place we own to call home and expand our family. and after living in SF for so long, i’m so excited to enjoy endless sunshine and desert heat.

we want to share a lot of this process with you because it’s all so new to us! i haven’t done a lot of home decor on SRL, so i’m super excited to dive into a new extension of my style. if any talented AZ home designers are reading this or you have a friend that is, definitely shoot me an email!

thank you all again for your love and support with this big announcement! on a related note, i think a large majority of our followers thought our announcement was that I am pregnant, which made us giggle. just so you know, Baby Tripp is something we both are super excited about for the near future! xx

His Side

We’re leaving San Francisco! And it looks like we’re not the only ones. A recent study interviewed Bay Area residents and showed that 46%–nearly half–said they’ve considered moving because of the sky-high cost of living here that just keeps getting higher. Or how about this recent article that revealed that anyone making under $117,000 in San Francisco county is considered low-income. Yes, you read that correctly, if you make $100,000 a year in SF you are considered poor enough to qualify for low-income housing projects. Sometimes living here is like living in an alternate reality haha.

When we moved to San Francisco, I was sure this was it for us. I planned to stay in the Bay Area forever. I even wrote an article for HuffPost titled “Why You Can’t Afford NOT To Live in San Francisco.” It was my call to entrepreneurs and creators, explaining that this is where things happen, a hub of innovation and creativity, the perfect place to make your dreams a reality. I’ve always loved living in California, it was where all my dreams were focused growing up, and I always said I would never leave the Golden State. San Francisco was the city of my dreams and that’s why we moved here. The people, the energy, the culture, the diversity, the history, it is all my vibe. I love the street art in the Mission, running along the Marina and underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, playing basketball at Dolores Park, meetings at worldwide headquarters in Silicon Valley, eating at the most unique restaurants downtown, the day trips to Napa, going to Warriors games in Oakland, etc. San Francisco is such an eclectic, thriving city with a personality that is all its own. I loved it from the moment we met years ago.

We have been living that dream for the last couple years, but this past year our lifestyle has definitely changed and a strange little thing called “city life” started creeping in more noticeably. Living here started to become exhausting. For example, one day I spent two hours driving in traffic to four different gas stations just to try and find one that had a working air pump to fill up our car’s flat tire. City life.

One weekend Sarah and I wanted to go visit Sausalito, a cute little bayside town on the other side of the bridge that resembles a quaint Italian village. It’s only 11 miles away from our apartment, but it took an hour and a half to get there from across the city. By the time we arrived, we were irritable and starving, so we ate the first crappy burger we could find and had a mediocre time. City life.

When we need to go shopping at Nordstrom for Sarah to exchange sizes from her last order or buy things for our next trip, we have no other option than to drive all the way downtown and pay $12 each time for the parking garage because there’s no parking downtown. City life.

When we’ve been working for 8 hours straight glued to our laptops because we have a campaign deadline and all I want in life is some quick Chick-Fil-A to refuel, our options are: 1) Drive an hour across the Bay Bridge to Chick-Fil-A because it’s the only one near the city 2) Order Postmates delivery where you pay an arm and a leg for them to deliver to you, so those $5 nuggets just became $20 nuggets. 3) Starve and then settle for a bowl of cereal. City life.

See where I’m going with this?

I hope we don’t sound whiny, because these are just the realities of city life that anyone who lives in a major city goes through. And even with these frustrations, I was fine. I still loved San Francisco with all my heart and never wanted to leave. I even viewed it as a badge of honor, that only tough and ambitious people could handle living in the city. I don’t get bothered easily, and I knew the pros far outweighed the cons. But I could tell it was really weighing on my sweet Sarah.

I could tell it was affecting her happiness and so it affected mine too. There were a lot of days where we would stay at home working on our laptops all day long, from the moment we get up to the moment we went to bed, and wouldn’t even try leaving the house because it was just too damn exhausting. We both dreaded drives to the grocery store because the nearest Target is 20 minutes away and have you ever tried working a 10 hour day and then carrying bags of groceries through a parking garage, five sets of doors, and up a flight of stairs to your apartment? Not fun.

But like I said, I was dealing with it. Until…

Tax season.

Yep, when Uncle Sam came around and reached into our pockets after a highly successful year of hustling our asses off, I was done. If I told you how much money we paid in taxes this past April, you would choke. I won’t get into specifics but just to put it into perspective, we ended up paying what some people make in salary for an entire year, all because of the California tax bracket we fell into. Not cool. Not worth it. I’m out. I can hustle elsewhere.

For an entrepreneurial minded guy like me who has always had two goals: 1) Make my wife the happiest woman in the world and 2) Chase my dreams of building a successful life for my family for generations, it became a no-brainer that living in San Francisco was no longer the right option for my goals. We had officially outgrown it. After seeing what our rent money could do when taken to the great state of Arizona in terms of buying a house, it became even more attractive to leave.

So here we are. I feel completely at peace and ready to move on to this next chapter in our lives. I have nothing but fond memories of our time in San Francisco and moving here will always remain the best decision we ever made. We came, we saw, we conquered. That’s how I feel. We moved to SF with a dream and we’re leaving with this awesome reality we created here. We made it happen. We hustled and grew our platforms and made connections and built our business to where it is today. And now it’s time to move on and truly enjoy the good life.

Arizona, we out here.

photos by Audrey Coons at the Desert Botanical Gardens

dusty rose button dress
buckle sandals
rose gold fringe earrings
Patina liquid lipstick

robbie’s cactus button-down
robbie’s white Nike Huarache


  • Pattey Bradick

    How exciting! So happy for you both. Looking forward to watching your story unfold.❤️

    July 29, 2018 at 6:06 pm Reply
  • Linnea

    Congrats! You all were meant to be there! I can’t wait to hear about all the new places you’ll discover, and the home design inspiration! Enjoy your last couple months in San Francisco!

    July 29, 2018 at 7:02 pm Reply
  • Katherine kibbe

    this is EXACTLY how I feel about living in LA. So ready to make my move to TX ?? So happy for you guys and excited for you new adventure! God is doing big things through y’all ❤️

    July 29, 2018 at 7:31 pm Reply
  • Casey Walker

    Happy for y’all! Not near as drastic, but we did the same thing this year… moved from downtown Dallas to suburbia (which I swore I’d never do) to buy a home. It’s hard adulting, let alone doing it in a city that never sleeps. Proud of y’all and excited for your journey! Xox

    July 29, 2018 at 8:15 pm Reply
  • Sara Fox

    This is beyond exciting to hear. My husband and I lived in the Bay Area (San Jose) for a year and a half and are now in Southern California, but have been looking at new housing developments in Arizona as well. I totally feel you guys and what you’re going through! Wishing you the best of luck on this journey!

    July 29, 2018 at 8:29 pm Reply
  • Valerie

    I am so happy for the both of you. There are ups and downs in life but love that you both have patience and understanding for each other.
    Can’t wait to follow your next adventure.

    July 29, 2018 at 8:33 pm Reply
  • Christine Jargick

    Oh, this is why I am so happy I left the South Bay 8 years ago, the traffic is so bad ? Congratulations, home ownership is so exciting! Of course, I can’t wait to see baby Tripp news in due time.

    July 29, 2018 at 8:52 pm Reply
  • Donna Lee

    I live across the bay in Fremont. I get it. The traffic, the taxes, the high cost of housing, etc, etc. I tried to live in Austin. I lasted 9 mos. The humidity. lol, I moved back to California. phoenix is a great choice. Enjoy your new life.

    July 29, 2018 at 9:19 pm Reply
  • Echo.Silently (Nadia N Lee)

    Robbie – You can hustle anywhere. You made that statement and you’re right. You just know that you can do it anywhere. I love the fact that your wife’s happiness is your number 1 priority! Much respect and love for that!

    Sarah – That’s so good! To be in tune with your feelings. Not once in all the pictures did you even look like the stress of life was getting to you. That is the talent of a strong and confident woman. Being able to recognize that means you’re way ahead of the game. Many people would stick it out. As for the home decor, watch HGTV. Watch the DIY channel. Stuff like that will help you recognize some things you like and things you totally don’t. I recommend Candace Olsen from Divine Design or Design Star. Anything that shows Home makeovers. The Property Brothers are good as well.

    Both of you – I’ll be praying for you. Having the mind to keep your relationship first is a thing of beauty. Knowing what’s taking its toll and what’s keeping it thriving is something most people don’t pay attention to and I LOVE it! Congratulations you two! I look forward to watching the evolution of the Tripp Family.

    July 30, 2018 at 1:21 am Reply
  • Nicole Binckley

    So happy for you guys-congrats!!

    July 30, 2018 at 6:07 am Reply
  • Rachel Kisker

    I can’t wait to see what happens in this new adventure. It’s amazing to see your hard work pay off and the fact that you’re sharing these parts of your journey is so informative. People don’t see that harder side of working for yourself and hustling through social media and it’s great to see you two succeed. I hope you love Phoenix and I cannot wait to see how your home turns out.

    July 30, 2018 at 2:30 pm Reply
  • Jordan

    Congrats y’all! I’m from Texas but I lived in Newport Beach for a few years after college- and I totally understand certain things weighing on you after a while, but the COST OF LIVING AND TAXES! Man! That’s what finally did me in too. I had a nice condo in Austin before I left for CA, and I had to move into a tiny apartment with a roommate to survive. No fun. I live in Dallas now and I love everything about it. I think AZ suits y’all perfectly and I think there will be a whole new world opening up to you. Moving is stressful- but it’ll be worth it. Bless y’all on this new chapter together! ❤️

    July 30, 2018 at 4:23 pm Reply
  • Lili Sulastri Zainal Abidin

    So looking forward to your new adventures guys. Great albeit a difficult decision. Always good to try new pastures.

    July 30, 2018 at 6:37 pm Reply
  • Rachael Clemmons

    I’m so happy for you guys! You guys have worked so hard to get all the money and success you deserve! Most people will never understand what it takes to get the things you guys have. You truly are a success story of not having things given to you because of who you are or what you look like, but using whatever you have and demanding success. A lot of lesser people would fail where you haven’t. Keep teaching the world that beauty isn’t weighing 90 lbs, having perfect skin, or being a Victoria’s Secret “model.” You have defined beauty! Your confidence, fearlessness, drive is what real beauty is. Take note, world! And Robbie, you continue to stunt on everyone that thinks being the “nice guy”, all humble and afraid to show their emotions, will win in the end. They might, but you beat them all the by 40 years. You guys are an inspiration! Carpe diem! Take what you want in this world! Enjoy life! Live to the fullest in spite of the haters! San Fran is losing out, but Phoenix is not! You guys rock! Keep showing this world how to kill it even though you weren’t born with it. I love you guys so much! Ta ta for now.

    July 30, 2018 at 11:06 pm Reply
  • Heather

    Happy for you both. I’m looking forward to following along in the next chapter of your journey. Be the bold people you are and conquer your new world! Carpe diem indeed

    July 31, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply
  • Alex Miller

    I love this, thank you for being real- and congrats!! Moving will be bittersweet. I love following you one insta. I own a small biz, working for myself full time and I totally understand. It’s hard. So worth it thought! Much love to you guys in your new adventure!

    August 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm Reply
  • Andrea Boswell

    You will love Phoenix! Great City

    September 3, 2018 at 6:35 am Reply
  • Anne

    Growing up in the bay, SF was never an inexpensive place to live, but now it seems exorbitantly inaccessible to most hardworking folks. That said, congrats! Loved seeing all your posts around my hometown. Excited to see more cactus in my feed ;) PS SF needs a Chick fil a!!!!

    September 10, 2018 at 11:49 am Reply
  • Whitney

    We lived in the Biltmore/Squaw Peak area of Phoenix for years and LOVED ir. Can I pleae give you my list of restaurants to go to? So many good ones. Flower Child is top of my list.
    P.S. HIGHLY recommend Dr. Lythgoe whenever baby Tripp happens. He’s literally the best.

    December 1, 2018 at 10:36 pm Reply
  • Justin Hartley

    Thank you for this wonderful and inspiring article! Seattle did me in after 5 years, similar story! I don’t miss anything but the mountains :)

    Best wishes,

    February 26, 2019 at 11:06 am Reply
  • Paula C Hopkins

    Dear Robbie & Sarah,
    Welcome to AZ!
    My husband and I moved here 2 yrs ago and we are in love with our new life! We found our home that we have decorated with all the details that remind us of what we enjoy every day. I know you will find happiness in Phoenix! Maybe we will run into you! If you need help decorating, email me and I can give you some great ideas!?

    Best Wishes in your new life,

    May 26, 2019 at 9:05 am Reply

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