And when I say Florida I mean YOUR destination of choice. It may also be Florida, or it may be California for you. Or perhaps somewhere in the mid-west, or maybe the north, or maybe Canada, or another country, or maybe Europe or Asia, or if you are already in Europe or Asia, maybe another country in Europe or Asia, or anywhere your heart desires, anywhere it feels really good to think about. Anywhere that may feel like HOME to you.
Over a year ago, my husband and I were winding down one chilly Sunday night in December, and he told me his friend Pat, who lives in Florida was out on his paddle board, after seeing the same on FB. I couldn’t fathom being out on the water! We used to take our beach vacation the absolutely LAST week of August to guarantee warm water, and sometimes we had warm water, and sometimes not.
At the same time, my daughter, who was just two, wanted to be outside all the time. We used to come home from school, and she would run out to the playground a few feet from our town home. My husband would push her on the swing, and she was so happy, but also so frozen. Her little nose was always running, and her hands were freezing, and finally I would beg her to come home, or just bring her in while she was crying because she wanted to “play more”.
She’s an outdoor baby. She wants to be outside, in the sun, in the warmth, playing like the little wild and adventurous girl she is. How could I deny her this?
Then, shortly after the Florida wheels began turning, it snowed. We shared a walkway with our neighbor. And she shoveled just her side. A normal sidewalk, half shoveled. That was our sign, and we needed to move.
We wanted more space, a slightly bigger home to house our family of five, and more outdoor time. Once you decide, the Universe really does everything in it’s power to make it happen.
Coincidentally, we both started working from home instead in an office, which made moving and getting a mortgage possible and easier. We already upgraded and remodeled and maintained our town home, so putting it on the market involved washing the curtains the day of our open house and quickly handling anything that needed fixed or managed. It sold to the first people that walked through the door!
My husband and I took a trip to Florida in February of that year, to explore, and get familiar with the area (as this was my FIRST TIME EVER IN THIS STATE). We chose to move to north Florida because we already had a connection here with my husband’s friend, and because the school district where we decided to live, is one of the best in the state. We also got very lucky, because we didn’t give ourselves a lot of time or money to explore and research the WHOLE state, and instead decided on north Florida and just made it happen.
On my second trip to Florida, which I took in April, my best friend accompanied me. I flew to Myrtle Beach, and together we drove 5 hours south to Florida. We met with our realtor, and had a plan to see about 27 houses in two days. We drove into a new development and we saw a really beautiful home! But they could not guarantee it was going to be finished and ready for move in by June. The site agent said: “Well, I have a house with a really nice lot, but it has only 4 bedrooms, and a den, and it’s already all finished.”
And then I walked into our dream home. Our current home. Our forever home for a very long time.
It had everything! The right size, the right lot, the right layout, the right school district, the right street, the right neighborhood, the right community and enough palm trees in the neighborhood to make me feel right at home in my new home state.
We put an offer in, it was accepted, and we went into moving mode on high speed!
I won’t bore anyone with the details but moving is a pain. Getting a mortgage is a pain. Moving out of state is a tiny bigger pain, but I viewed everything as something that had to get done, and we just got it done. Once we decided on the house, and we were under contract on both properties, I already saw myself living in FLORIDA!
I saw or imagined nothing else. I used every ounce of positive energy and law of attraction and saw my babies running through the door of our new home, and checking out their bedrooms, almost on the daily. I even booked tickets for an event we were attending later that summer, as if we were already THERE!
My husband is organized and can do those mentally challenging things I can’t do – like get things fixed, and get contractors to the house, and negotiate this and that. We split up all tasks, and kept moving forward. Thinking back, its hard to not tear up, because it really did feel like at times it took an army to get down here. Between both sides of realtors, and my close friends who knew and were always supportive, and so caring and wanted nothing but the best for us, and our work, and families and everyone in between, we made it happen, but not without everyone else. The whole thing was an experience, and the only way to get through something that is unfamiliar and often challenging, is to just keep going.
I moved with my family from Poland to NJ in 91, and then off to college at the University of Pittsburgh, and my husband went to the Army in Alaska, so neither of us were completely foreign to the idea of picking up and starting over, so the unfamiliar felt at times familiar, and exciting and exhilarating, and because we already knew what we wanted in our home, and in a neighborhood, and community and LIFE IN GENERAL, it made it easier. We knew this was going to be our final and forever destination (at least for the next two decades, while the kids are students), and it all just felt right.
I remember the morning of our flight to Florida, I put my two babies in an Uber, and we headed to Newark Airport. They were excited to get on an airplane, and I was excited to start our new adventure, but it almost felt at times, as if I was standing on a cliff, and I wasn’t sure how the jump out was going to turn out!
Would it be difficult, or really fun? Or crazy or just completely weird? I knew I wanted a great view, but was I going to see it and feel it and live it right away?
In these photos, we are in the Uber, and then int he airport in JAX. I am a little bit dying of fear and excitement, but at the same time I had to be super strong for my little people. I wanted them to experience this adventure with happiness, because when they get older, and they have to do hard and awesome things – it should be mostly FUN and little FEAR.
As soon as we landed, I rented a car, and realized we didn’t have our bags did not make it from NJ. We drove to the hotel and checked in, and washed up the best way we could. I realized my son had a massive fever, and we found an urgent care. He had an ear infection, and we had to get antibiotics and thankfully, almost immediately he felt better. We drove back to the airport to pick up our luggage, and back to the hotel. We hung mostly at the hotel pool for those two days, and explored some beaches until Monday morning and our closing.
The pool and hotel was our home for the first two days, and the warmth and water and fun welcomed us in. It breathed LIFE into me, exactly what I needed! Seeing my babies jump in and out of the pool, with the humidity and warmth and weather love surrounding us – I knew we made the right decision. I knew that going with our gut, and doing the work for this move was worth it more than I ever realized.
My husband and bonus baby stayed back so she could finish her freshmen year! My husband stayed back to finish his DJ commitments and to clean our home once the moving truck pulled away and finalize everything at the closing! It was going to be just one week until we saw him again, and I couldn’t wait. I’m also very used to doing everything together, so going to Florida with two of the youngest kiddos, and sans him was a tad bit scary!
The morning of our closing it was pouring rain. Pouring hot rain so hard that once I had the keys in my hands, I could not see the road. I was six miles away and it took me about 20 minutes to get here, but once I arrived, it was pure heaven. My dear father was waiting for us, with everything from NJ in a big truck, and a moving company we hired were patiently waiting, and then it was go time. In pouring rain and flip flops, I got to work. We unloaded that truck, while the kids ran through the home happily screaming and checking out their bedrooms. It was my dream and vision and everything come true.
It felt like when you finally give birth, and the tears can’t stop coming! So much work, and here is the sweet reward!
I will write more about our first year in Florida, which is coming up, in an upcoming post.
Cheers to any and EVERY adventure you can create and execute for yourself and those you love most.