OMAHA, NE—Craig Gadbois, a 28-year-old Omaha-area carpet salesman, announced Tuesday that he plans to remain in Omaha for at least another year or two.
"I don't want to stay here forever, but I guess I'll probably stick around another couple of years," Gadbois told co-workers at the Pflaum Road CarpetKing where he has worked since 1990. "After that, we'll see."
A lifelong Omaha resident, Gadbois said he is not certain where he'll go when he finally does leave the Nebraska city, though he does have a number of possibilities in mind.
"I was thinking about checking out Texas, like maybe Austin," Gadbois said. "I don't really know what I'd do there, but it's supposed to be cool. Or maybe I'll go to Memphis. We went there once on a band trip in high school, and I had a really good time."
Acquaintances of Gadbois' said they are familiar with his plans to leave Omaha in a year or two.
"Craig's always telling me how he's going to leave," said Raymond Purnell, a bartender at the Stumble Inn, a tavern two blocks from Gadbois' efficiency apartment. "He says Omaha is okay, but he wants to take off and live someplace more exciting."
"I know Craig wants to leave Omaha someday, and when he does we'll be sad to see him go," said Carmen Hagen, Gadbois' shift supervisor at CarpetKing. "It takes a long time to teach new trainees all the three-letter color codes on the inventory sheets."
Not content merely to dream, Gadbois has already taken concrete steps to prepare for his exodus from Omaha. Last year, he checked out a travel video from the local library profiling several cities to which he is considering relocating. He has also set aside a large glass jar to fill with loose change for "moving money." And three years ago, he called a cousin in Tacoma, WA, to inquire about employment possibilities there.
"I don't want to get too settled here in Omaha, because I plan to move pretty soon," Gadbois said. "But I'm going to wait until the time is right."
Though Gadbois said he no longer finds his job rewarding, he plans to stay at CarpetKing at least until next fall to earn enough money to move.
"We're all supposed to get 50-cent raises in November, so I figure, why quit now?" Gadbois said. "Plus, it's going to take a while to get all packed up and ready to move, so I may as well stick around CarpetKing for the time being and rack up some cash."
Gadbois has another incentive to remain at CarpetKing. Next year will mark his 10th year of service at the store, making him eligible for three weeks of paid vacation.
"When I get that vacation time, I might just go on a big trip somewhere, like to scope out some possible cities to move to," Gadbois said. "Then again, maybe I'll just hang around Omaha and use the time off to finally relax for a change."