It’s amazing how living a different life for a week can change your perspective on things. My family and I took a vacation to the western mountains of North Carolina last July. Since then we’ve been talking about moving there. We are smitten. Change is easy for me. I love it. But my “New England Boy” of a husband is not so easily swayed. After many discussions about relocating there, I was surprised to find out; he was on board.
One year later, we are still just as smitten with WNC but after a few turn of events and (dare I say) the Universe giving us its opinion, we have decided to relocate a little closer to home. Our journey has taken us to a new home within 90 minutes of family. And in most cases that’s a good thing since it won’t be a 15 hour drive around the holidays.
Understanding our motives for moving to a place further than 5 minutes down the road from family is a mystery to some folks. To us, it’s such an awesome thing so I decided to make a list of all the goodness that is relocating.
1. You can have a fresh start.
If your life is stagnant, you know what a fresh start can mean. A fresh start for me is like opening a window in spring after a long stuffy winter. At first, it’s dark and suffocating suddenly a burst of light comes in. The air is lighter and finally you can take a deep breath. New places to explore are everywhere and every turn is loaded with possibility.
2. Real Estate is more affordable.
Given the fact that I have created my job (jobs really), I have flexibility in my work. However, my work isn’t always steady (yet). By choosing to live further away we are essentially choosing our family over working to pay for a home we cannot afford. We refuse to have our children being raised by other people so we can pay for a house we are never in because we are working so much. Opting for a location that’s more affordable is all about saying “no” to a higher mortgage payment and “yes” to memories.
3. The weather is more desirable.
Snow bugs here! Choosing to set our roots 90 minutes north of where we currently live has the added bonus of having almost a 20 degree temperature difference. That degree difference also comes with woods, some mountain views, and snowmobile trails. What more could you ask for?
4. There’s room to breathe.
Living in your hometown, a small one at that, provides comfort for some, but frankly, I’m not into small town gossip and nosey neighbors. Granted they are everywhere, but in new surroundings you can control how close you allow people – based on mutual trust and respect. When you no longer have a lengthy family history with the town you live in it creates a very different dynamic. You are no longer So-and-so’s daughter, sister, or in-law. You are free to be you.
5. You meet new and interesting people.
Growth is sometimes triggered by the people we meet. Getting to know new and different people is an opportunity to learn new things and see things through a different lens. Everyone has their own life experiences and surrounding yourself with new faces can be a chance to see the world through new eyes and grow as an individual.
6. It’s what’s best for my family.
My family has a love for the outdoors. Camping. Hiking. Biking. Kayaking. Swimming. Nature walks. Climbing trees. You name it. If it’s outside, we love it. By taking my family’s interests and activities we enjoy into account, who wouldn’t want to live up the street from miles and miles of hiking trails, bike paths, lakes, and waterfalls?
7. “Starting fresh” is not “starting over.”
We still have the same personalities, we are just in a new location. Moving doesn’t erase family members, holidays, or the things that are important to us. It doesn’t change who we are but it will certainly change our outlook on life and our level of happiness. And that alone is worth traveling for, however far we need to go to achieve it.