I wish you could see people’s faces when we tell them that moving from San Diego, California to Wilmington, North Carolina was an intentional choice. With a befuddled and confused look, they always ask, “Why?”
Good question. The quick and easy answer is, “A lifestyle change.”
I spent virtually my whole life in Southern California. At almost forty-years-old, I began to realize that as beautiful as California was, it no longer felt like home. It was quickly becoming a place that, as a family, we no longer felt represented who we were or what was important to us in life.We often found ourselves talking about how the everyday rat-race, debilitating traffic, overcrowded classrooms, high taxes, and expensive cost of living in California was depleting from the joy of living there. We started to discuss how wonderful it would be to just slow down, have more land, and more time to enjoy being a family with less chaos and stress.
After fifteen years of running our own business and running ourselves ragged, an opportunity presented itself. Someone had offered to buy our company. This opportunity became the catalyst to a serious family discussion that lead to our decision to move.
At that time, our oldest was four years from going to college and our youngest was heading into middle school. Time was quickly getting away from us in terms of everyone being under one roof. With the business being sold, if there was ever going to be a perfect time to make this lifestyle change, the time was now.
So how did we decide on coastal North Carolina? Thank you for asking…
After extensive research and family discussion, we decided that moving to the south was the perfect option for us. The slower-paced lifestyle, friendliness of the people, and lower cost of living were just what we were looking for. Add in the beautiful coastline, the majestic mountains, and gorgeous countryside and it was a match made in heaven.When the kids were young, we had taken many summer trips to Coastal North Carolina to visit our closest family friends. Each year, on our way back home to California we would talk about how much the south felt like home to us. Thinking back to those days, we never imagined then that we’d end up having the opportunity to make something we thought was a dream into a reality. Yet, in 2015 we were able to do just that.
We sold just about everything we owned in California and bought a five-acre property in Coastal North Carolina zoned for livestock. Gone were the suits, the high heels, and the designer handbag. They were traded in for jeans and t-shirts, rubber work boots, and a feed bucket.Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to rush the kids to school and beat the morning California traffic, we now find ourselves getting up at the crack of dawn to feed animals, gather eggs, and watch the kids walk through the woods to go to school.
The farmhouse we bought needed some renovation. I managed the work while caring for the family and the animals. I finally had my dream job!
We transformed an old workshop on the property into my husband’s office. Now instead of fighting traffic on California’s 5 Freeway, his biggest commute issue is watching out for horses or chickens crossing his path each morning and evening as he walks to and from his office.
To say that life has slowed down would be a colossal understatement. Back in California, it was hard to imagine that our family time would transform so much. Now instead of rushing frantically from one thing to the next, our time is spent building fences for animals, constructing chicken coops, and dragging the horse arena.
Oh, that’s another thing! Five years ago, before the move, if you would have told me that we’d be outnumbered by animals four-to-one, I’d have laughed! I would have laughed even harder if you would have told me about all the things that lead up to our life with these animals. Including but not limited to; the raccoon that got into the chicken coop on our first North Carolina Christmas Eve, a mini horse that we brought home to the farm in the back of the Jeep, how we learned that Frank (our California-born Pug) was terrified of thunderstorms (that one got MESSY), and putting our goats in coats for the first snow… and that’s just to name a few. These are all stories I will share with you in the upcoming weeks.
Have your coffee, wine, or beverage of choice ready and find a comfy seat. It’s storytime…