At a Christmas party last weekend I was talking to a neighbor about our trip. When she was in her 30s she visited a friend in Utah, fell in love with the skiing and moved out there for a few years. She eventually came back east broke but with great memories and stories easily recalled two decades later. A friend of my brother’s had a similar experience. In his 20s he went to a wedding in Boulder, loved the area and, within a few weeks, had moved there. He still lives there. I have always been fascinated and a little envious when I hear stories like these of a big and seemingly impulsive move glossing over the fact that both of these people had friends where they went and were young with, I’m assuming, little responsibilities.
I have had ideas of moving across the country, moving somewhere south and even moving to Europe (and marrying a Scottish acquaintance so I could get a work visa). The reality is that I have never lived more than 30 minutes from where I was raised. Could this be the reason for my wanderlust?
Whenever I dreamed about moving to another part of the country I always came back to the same place – Colorado. For years I thought I would like to live there but, strangely, had never visited. I’m not sure where the idea came from but the attraction was strong and it didn’t wane. About 5 years ago I finally took someone’s advise and spent a week in Boulder and Denver. I lined up three or four interviews and met with my brother’s friend to pick his brain. I ran, hiked, ate good food and took a tour of each city. I loved it! I could see myself living in either city but preferred Boulder and its college town feel.
The timing was off; all of the interviews were courtesy, companies were laying off or had hiring freezes. I had a house I would need to sell in a down market to fund my move. I wasn’t a twenty or thirty year old with no responsibilities. Besides my brother’s friend who had a family I knew no one. Excuses? Maybe. But, while the idea of leaving my friends and family for the adventure of moving across the country by myself was seductive the reality, for me, was that I couldn’t go anywhere without selling my house and having a full time job with benefits. The reality for me was that the idea of moving sounded better than the actual move. So, while I can be impulsive and spontaneous and take off on an adventure for an afternoon, a day or even a weekend I am too practical to throw caution to the wind and just go. And I have never regretted staying.