Look out, Tampa!
I can finally share the news that Nicole and I are moving to Tampa, Florida! We are super excited for the adventures ahead and although I love Michigan, I must admit… if I never see snow again, that would be just fine by me.
Picking where we wanted to live was a journey by itself.
I have heard throughout my adult life about the freedom and flexibility of being single. “If we didn’t have kids,” so many conversations started, “We would just pack up and go wherever we wanted!”
It turns out that is a lot harder than it sounds, even for single people.
We started with a big list of potential places and whittled it down one name at a time, looking at all the information we could find. Was it vegan-friendly? Is it close to the water? What is the average temperature year round? How bad is the crime? What about cost-of-living compared to Grand Rapids and our current lifestyle? Taxes? …And a few other factors as well.
Eventually, we narrowed it down to 3: Tampa, Austin, San Diego. Tampa quickly became the favorite. It is not the most vegan-friendly city (tough to beat Austin there). Tampa has beautiful beaches but San Diego takes the cake on scenery. When you factor those in with cost-of-living, crime, and everything else, though, Tampa appears to offer the best of everything (for us, anyway). Tony Robbins called Tampa “the best kept secret in the United States” and I have only visited there but I might have to agree. Beautiful city walkways, beaches, amazing creatures coming from the ocean or sky permeate the city, vibrant nightlife, and of course, the best winters in America bar none.
Once we made our choice, we planned incessantly. For months, Tampa dominated our conversations at home. We knew right away it was not going to be easy, and it was going to be expensive. We actually had 4 plans in place to ensure success. We are on plan 3! We needed a back-up plan for our back-up plan, and we have a back-up plan for this one (but luckily, we won’t need to go to that plan).
I will share more about how we did it in the future, for those of you interested in making a big move (to Tampa or elsewhere–it takes a lot of work to uproot your life and set yourself up for success in your new surroundings). For now, I’ll just say what you already know: success often looks like inspired spontaneous combustion but is usually proceeded by a lot of unseen planning and a slow burn.
Today’s lesson: Nothing worthwhile comes too easily. If it did, then it probably was not worthwhile.