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…
From personal experience, I’d say the question these days should be why would anyone choose California as home? I lived there for decades and after my last visit over two years ago, I doubt you could pay me big money to move back…for all of the reasons you cited, plus one or two more. During that last visit we drove from San Diego to San Francisco (and back) and the traffic congestion and smog was unbelievable the entire way. And that was just part of the overall experience. I say congratulations on finding a far better lifestyle and real contentment.
Thank you for joining me here and for your comment Ardith. California has certainly changed a lot. I’m grateful we were able to make the lifestyle change when we could, though I do miss the beauty of the state. We have found a tremendous amount of contentment in farm life and country living. I’m excited to share more about our journey with you!
Loved reading your story! looking forward to more!
I’m so happy you love the story, Kim! I look forward to sharing more of it with you. Xx
Sounds like a fun read. I was born and raised in NY and here I am living in a small town in Texas. Green Acres is our theme song because it took some getting use to for me! We built this house in 2016 but only have a little over an acre. Hubby wants what you guys have animals and acreage. We are much older than you but he still wants it!
Can’t wait to read more!
Thank you for joining me here, Bobbi! I am so happy you enjoyed Part 1. Sounds like you had some similar adjustments when it came to country living. The animals have been one of my favorite part of this lifestyle change. They’ve not only given me joy, but the entire family. I look forward to sharing more of our journey with you!
Meeghan I am so glad I discovered your IG! You are AMAZING! I LOVE every single thing you’ve done!!! I lived in the California bay area for 29 years, and just moved to the foothills out of Sacramento! I can totally relate to the slower pace of life, the acreage, creek running through the backyard, birds singing, deer ect! You have inspired me to keep going with my projects, I guess that’s one positive thing through this whole pandemic ….Thanks again can’t wait to see what’s next!!
Hi Pam! I’m so happy you discovered my IG and visited me here on the blog too! What a wonderful compliment, I’m so glad you love everything I’ve done. I’m humbled by your kind words. It definitely sounds like you can relate to my story. I’m so happy you found a slower pace of life that you’re also enjoying. I’m honored to have inspired you to keep going with your projects. There’s no time like the present! I look forward to sharing more with you. Thank you for your comment. I loved hearing from you!
I had to come over here from Instagram, and read your story! So glad I did. What an amazing change. So happy for you!
Hi Kim! Thank you for joining me here. I’m so happy you enjoyed Part One! It was definitely a change and an amazing one at that. I appreciate your kind comment!
[…] Farm Life is the Best Life, for Me (Part One) […]