And that’s not a bad thing. Until you decide it is.
Which I did, somewhere around the second month of driving around local neighborhoods, looking at homes. For some reason, nowhere felt right.
Keith and I are both Cincinnati born and raised, and know our way around the city and it’s suburbs. We already had general feelings about certain communities and neighborhoods and we felt comfortable making our way around town, looking at potential homes. But, it seemed that no matter which direction we went, we were coming up empty-handed and couldn’t get excited about any of the properties that we’d drive by for a peek.
And I couldn’t explain why.
All I knew, was that I had all of these pre-existing feelings about where we lived, and it was hard to envision life being different just by changing neighborhoods. Which is when it dawned on me … we weren’t just looking for a new home, we were looking for a new life. We wanted new adventures, new places to explore, and new possibilities. And staying in the same place was not going to allow that to happen.
Call it an ah-ha moment if you like, but there was such a sense of relief when I finally wrapped my brain around the clarity of wanting to change more than my zip code.
Fortunately, Keith was wanting the same.
And so our conversation changed. It changed to exploring “where to now?”, and that was a tough question to answer. We knew we wanted a home with more space and a yard. But we started adding new criteria to the list as well, mainly; warmer. Keith and I agreed that if we could rid ourselves of some of the cold and snow that kept us inside for most of the winter, we’d feel better. We like being outside as much as possible and access to awesome parks that we could use year round would be fantastic.
Mayhem’s vote was that we move to the beach. And we did, in fact, seriously entertain the idea of moving to a beach. But there were more than a few concerns with that as well … hurricanes, anyone?
Keith’s sister had relocated to the Atlanta area nearly 25 years ago, and his parents followed suit about 6 years ago. It was an eight hour drive (from Cincinnati) we were familiar with making, and we considered that it would be awfully nice to have family near by as well. We were already making trips on the regular to the area (averaging at least every six weeks), so we decided to start exploring neighborhoods during our visits.
I should clarify that Keith’s family doesn’t live in the metro Atlanta area … they’ve actually moved further from the hustle and bustle over the years to find some peace and a little less traffic (read: SANITY!). And knowing us (well!), they suggested the same for us. We kept an open mind and started scouting neighborhoods, while truly knowing nothing about them. It’s one thing to know a city (really) well and be able to form your own opinions, but having to rely on what other people think/feel/say about an area can be confusing to the point of overwhelming.
Eventually, we settled on being close to family. Because we like them 😉 And because Atlanta traffic would prevent us from ever just “swinging by” for dinner if we got very far away. So we zeroed in on a few areas and the search was officially on in a new city.
It was equal parts terrifying and exciting. And that felt right.