It all started with a question.
I’m not even sure where the question came from. It wasn’t something I had been thinking about, well at least not consciously.
My husband has been pretty stressed at work for quite some time now. I know he’d love to retire early, at least from his job of nearly 40 years. So perhaps it was that knowledge that prompted me to ask him one day…
“Would you sell the house and move to another state if it meant you could retire now?”
At first he said it might be tough to leave our home. In the last few years we’ve finally had the chance to do some much needed remodeling. And we finally have everything just the way we like it.
But after a few moments, he said yes, he’d sell and relocate in a heartbeat. We discussed the possibilities briefly, and then went on with our lives.
But the wheels had been set in motion.
The idea kept nagging. And if there’s anything I know about ideas that won’t go away, it’s that they’re inspired and they’re begging to be followed.
So I followed.
A Google search for states with climates similar to California led me to North Carolina.
A conversation with my brother, who lives in San Diego, but who has spent a good amount of time in Charlotte for years, confirmed my online research results.
A few months into the conversation, following one inspired idea at a time, the idea is growing legs.
Inspiration has led to…
Meeting with a local realtor to get a valuation on our home, which we learned can easily finance our relocation plans. It turns out all of our recent remodeling would likely result in our home selling quickly and quite possibly above anything else in our neighborhood.
Being connected, by that San Diego realtor, with a realtor in Western North Carolina who relocated from our very neighborhood, just three years ago.
Connecting with someone who relocated to Western North Carolina a year ago from San Diego, after seeing a friend tagged in a Facebook post about a vacation trip her daughter was on, in you guessed it, Western North Carolina.
Meeting with our financial planner to talk numbers, and learning it is indeed doable, at this time.
And, way too many synchronicities, amazing connections, and ahas to list here!
None of this has been planned.
I didn’t sit down and go into planning mode when this idea came up. We did not create a list of steps to be taken and research to be done. In fact, I told my husband, I couldn’t do that. I needed to do this differently. I needed to let every step be inspired. So he, never the planner in our 40-year relationship, has been doing most of the due diligence. And I have been taking action as I’ve been inspired.
I’m amazed and surprised at how it’s unfolding.
If you’d told me at the beginning of the year we’d be looking at selling our home and moving across the country, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Well, I might have, given the way my life tends to work since I started following inspiration. But I can say for certain, this was never in our plans. We always expected to pay off our house and stay here. It’s what both our parents did. It was just kind of assumed, I guess.
However, as we look back, it makes sense.
We’ve discussed the idea of moving out of state several times in the past. We owned an investment property in Idaho a few years back and toyed with the idea of relocating there. But when we visited we just couldn’t see ourselves living there, so we let that idea go.
When our kids were younger, we took hiking vacations every year. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Glacier National Park in Montana, Yosemite in California, and Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah. We love the mountains and hiking so much, at one point we discussed relocating to Montana. Ultimately we decided against it, opting to stay in the place we’ve always known, with pleasant year-round weather, and where our families reside.
But this time it’s different.
It’s beginning to feel almost like destiny. With an online business, I can work from anywhere. And now that I spend most of my time writing, the thought of doing it in a more peaceful, nurturing place, feels right. In fact, it almost feels like it’s part of my “letting go” process. Moving from the only life I’ve ever known would be the biggest act of letting go ever. Perhaps it’s something I need to experience so I can write about it. After all, I’m crystal clear that encouraging others to let go and Live Inspired is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
Our kids are grown.
One already lives back East. In fact, a move would put us much closer to her, which would be awesome. The other recently started looking at relocating to the Pacific Northwest, something else I never expected, yet his timing is in lock step with ours. So it looks like we’re all going to be in different places anyway.
We’re ready for a new adventure.
Our suburban neighborhood has been a wonderful place to raise our family. We have great neighbors and our small bedroom community has suited us and our lifestyle well. But in many ways, we feel like we’ve outgrown it. As our financial planner shared when we met, when people ask him about selling his big house or prize possession car, his response has always been “I enjoyed it while I had it, and now it’s time for something else.”
That’s how we feel.
It’s a big world out there. We’ve never lived anywhere but San Diego. Yes, it’s a beautiful place. But it’s not the only beautiful place. And we’re ready for a change of scenery. We’re ready to trade in the beaches for the mountains. The big busy city for a smaller, slower paced community. The hot weather for four seasons, albeit mild seasons. My husband’s demanding, stressful job for the chance for him to follow his passions for art and photography. And the opportunity to travel with our dogs, hike, and maybe even do some on-the-road pet therapy… who knows?!
It’s scary thinking about leaving the only place we’ve ever known.
But it’s also exciting. There’s a lot to think about. Many decisions to be made. But we have time. Our daughter is getting married in our backyard next spring, so we can’t move before then. And that’s a good thing. It gives us time to see where things go. To follow what is showing up. To take action and do our due diligence in an inspired way, instead of according to a rigid plan.
It’s also gives us plenty of time to get used to the idea.
Some days I get excited thinking about the possibilities. Other days I’m filled with fear. Some of our conversations are fun and optimistic. Other times we find ourselves falling into an argument, which we eventually realize is rooted in fear.
I’m trying to take it one day at a time.
To not get too attached to it looking a certain way or having a specific outcome. To simply keep following where I’m being led. Trusting what feels right. And following through and taking inspired action.
I have to say I was nervous to share this publicly on my blog. Fears of “what if it doesn’t work out?” had me wanting to keep it quiet. Part of me wanted to be sure it was going to happen before writing about it. But then I realized, there is no way it “won’t work out.” It’s an inspired idea. It will work out one way or another. Maybe we’ll end up relocating to North Carolina. Maybe we won’t. It’s an inspired path and I trust it will lead us wherever we are supposed to be.
After all, walking an inspired path is not about the destination.
It’s about the step-by-step journey. It’s about being present and mindful. It’s about appreciating each and every day, and each and every step. And following in wonder to see where those steps lead.
In the end I realized if I’m truly going to share what it’s like to Live Inspired, I had to share this journey. The ups and downs. The excitement and fears. The twists and turns. And ultimately wherever we end up, even if that’s right where we are.
As one of my friends said when she heard we were considering relocating, “exploration is an exciting adventure in and of itself.” And you know what, it is!
We’re heading to North Carolina in a few months.
I’ve travelled all over the U.S., to Canada, and to Australia, but I’ve never been to North Carolina. For some reason, I’m feeling called there. So, we’re going to go check it out. And, just as happened with our trip to Idaho years ago, I’m confident we’ll know after spending some time there, if it feels right or not. In the meantime, I promise to continue sharing our inspired journey here on the blog.