I am not a southerner. This is not a new revelation; I’ve known it since I was 8 years old. Lately I have been struggling with continuing to live here in the south. When my husband got out of the military, we were literally so excited to move to Raleigh. Our families are here, we are familiar with the area, the schools are great and the homes come stacked with stainless steel and large yards. Hooray! Insert plot twist. I just don’t know if this is where I want to spend the rest of my adult life. I’m not vibing here the way I envisioned and honestly, it’s stressing me out. All we ever talked about the entire two years we were in South Carolina sweating our backsides off was moving back “home.” There are aspects of living here that are wonderful; for the first time since we became parents we have a litany of help with the kids. We both get to see our parents whenever we want and I live six seconds from my sister which is quite literally, e v e r y t h i n g. But I still don’t feel at home. I still feel like I’m in cruise control mode. I am approaching 30 and I feel like I want to finally live somewhere that feels like me, somewhere that I can vibe with. I want the kids to experience a diverse community. Here, it’s pretty much black and white. The better schools are almost exclusively white. The more desirable neighborhoods wouldn’t know how to spell diverse if it was branded on every street sign. Racial tensions here are high and not all that subtle if I’m being honest. A friend of mines mother found a KKK flyer on her doorstep inviting her to join the white knights. Heavy sigh and a deep eye roll.
A few months ago, my husband and I were in deep talks about relocating to Brooklyn. I desperately want to live in a city. I want to leave out of my home and have my hit feet the pavement and never have to get in car. I wanna pop into a corner store or stumble upon a street festival. I wanna ride the subway and roam around the city. I want our children to see people of all colors, all backgrounds. I want them to develop distinctive accents. Sorry, but there’s nothing like a BK accent. We searched high and low, we looked at prices, we looked at our finances and threw around some numbers. Was 12 inches of living space worth it for the experience? In the end, Will couldn’t find a single job in his field and those that were available would have called for an undoable commute. I closed the door on my Brooklyn dreams…and it wasn’t an easy door to close. To me, there is no better place to raise a child. The independence and life skills they acquire are unparalleled. Even Will, who is content to live on 100 acres of greenery in the middle of no man’s land with only bears for company, agreed that the kids would benefit. But 2400 for rent? Why? Sigh. Our lifestyle would be drastically diminished and who wants that?
Lately, we have been discussing moving abroad. To London specifically. To our delight, there are jobs for him there. Aside from the experience of living abroad, the travel opportunities are amazing. Two hours to Italy? A train ride to Paris? Sign me up! And I am one of those weirdos that love rainy days and I have never minded cold weather. The logistics of moving abroad sound extremely difficult though. At the moment, the plan is in an infancy stage, but we have already begun proactively working on things like visas and researching absolutely everything available to us. Nothing is definite but I will say that if we can make it happen, we definitely will. I think the experience for the kids would be beyond incredible…. and maybe I will catch a glimpse of Sam Smith at a local pub. If you haven’t heard, he IS my Beyonce.
Have any of you moved abroad? Any tips? Warnings? Love it? Hate it? Think I’m nuts? Let me know!
Until next time, keep smiling.
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