What an incredible sabbatical this has been. We have been on the road exploring the West for 7 months and our road trip has recently come to an end. I am in mourning. BIG TIME. I have loved this time for us to be free, to explore, to see the most beautiful, varied, breathtaking landscapes that our country has to offer, all on our own time without a schedule, without normal everyday stresses, without any strings attached. It has been a dream – that is the only way to describe it – and it already seems like a dream. Like it didn’t happen. I have to remind myself that it did happen and we were so lucky to have been able to take some time out of real life to explore and satisfy some wanderlust for a while. If you think it has gotten the wanderlusting out of our systems, you are sadly mistaken. It has only whetted our appetites for more travels, more meeting new people, more adventures, more crafting our lives to be what we want them to be. But now it’s time to put down some roots and get back to reality, as much as that pains me. And so we have moved back home to Florida!
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind jetsetting around the country for job interviews in Florida, a wedding in Virginia, a week in San Francisco to wrap everything up with our jobs, organize the moving truck and see all of our friends, and then zipping across the country as quickly as we could to make it in time for Ryan to start his new job. Phew, I am exhausted. And so now we are on to a new adventure – settling down in Florida to be closer to our families.
How am I feeling about that? Pretty unsettled to be completely honest. It’s a mixture of emotions and a mixture of reasons for why I feel unsettled – we don’t have a place to live yet, I haven’t started my new job yet, it feels a little bit like we are just visiting Florida as we have a hundred times over the last decade that we’ve been away. And as I said I am still in mourning over the loss of our amazing adventure. And I will miss so much about our San Francisco life, most of all our friends and colleagues who have become like family to us. On the other hand, we are beyond excited to be reconnecting with our old friends here that we’ve only been able to see intermittently over the years. And of course we are so happy to be spending much more time with our families. We have only been here two weeks and already we’ve been to the first pumpkin patch visit for our nephew, we’ve had dinner with our grandpop who we don’t get to see often enough, and we’ve spent some QT with our nieces at a kickball game. This is why we’ve moved back, and it’s already proving to be worth it.
And so we will look for a home to buy, we will start our jobs and build up the relationships that have suffered while we have been away, and we will begin to explore our hometowns as we never have been able to before. We’ll take weekend trips to the springs and the Everglades, find some awesome camping spots for Gelly, spend more time on the water fishing and boating and will reconnect with the hobbies that we left behind when we moved to the Northeast and then to California. We will try not to melt in this sweltering Florida heat. It is a shock to the system after so many years in the moody and lovely San Francisco weather.
We are settling in St. Petersburg, Florida – the Sunshine City in the Sunshine State, an average of 361 days of sunshine a year. Home of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Dalí Museum, with the largest collection of works by Salvador Dalí outside of Spain.
The Dali Museum
Home of the man who invented the Fig Newton. A city that has somehow managed to transform itself in the last 10 years from a sleepy retirement community into a bustling arts and entrepreneurship hub with craft breweries popping up on every other block, artists’ studios blossoming and young people abounding … still with a side of retirement community of course.
Some of the many murals recently popping up downtown
So let’s see how this goes!
LOCATION St. Petersburg, Florida USA