A few weeks back, when I decided to spill my heart and soul out on to the great wide web, I mentioned one of the other reasons I had been so mia on the blog/social media/life was something personal that I would share soon. And by soon, I meant once my new site launched. And since that happened earlier this week, I guess it's time for me to (officially) spill the beans....
trading in NYC....for LA!!!!
After lives spent mostly on the East Coast, and 7 years in New York City, we decided it was time to shake things up a bit and give the left (best) coast a try. Both Mr. RC and I have moved around a lot our whole lives (me within the US, him both the US and internationally), so it makes sense that we're itching for a move. In fact, he always jokes that I'm really a gypsy at heart because too long in one spot and I start to get a little crazy.
New York City will always be a very special place to us. I've learned so much living here, so many tough lessons I never would have learned anywhere else. This city has torn me down and built me up. I've cried on subways after long days and laughed on rooftops after long nights. I've had experiences I'll never forget and made memories I'll cherish forever. It's where I built my business and married the love of my life. It's where I gained incredible friends, but lost so many others. I'd like to think it's made me a stronger, better, wiser person than I would have been if I hadn't lived here, and for that, I'll forever be grateful.
But all that has come at a price, a price I no longer want to pay.
Sure, movies and shows (I'm looking at you "Sex & the City") make New York look like a glamorous and magical stream of events, fashion, eating out, partying and living in perfect brownstones. Of course, if you're just coming for a visit, you'll probably even get to experience a bit of that magic. But living here, is a different reality. It's dirty, it's stressful, it's exhausting, it's expensive. At one point, the ability to live in one of the greatest cities ever far outweighed those other things. But somewhere along the line, the tables turned and the balance shifted. The things that never bothered me started keeping me up at night. Tasks that were once simple (i.e. going to the grocery store) started sending me into a tizzy because I had come to learn that nothing here is ever simple (i.e. going to said grocery store meant long lines, crazy amounts of people, etc). I started sleeping less and having panic attacks more. I've had pains in my chest, acne on my face and migraines in my head. I wanted to stay in more than I wanted to go out (and I felt guilty for feeling this way because, as I would say to Dave, "Do you know how many people dream of living here? And here we are and we don't even care!!"). I wanted to travel more, but when I did, I didn't want to come back. Returning to NYC used to make me feel alive, but now it just leaves me with a sinking feeling inside.
To me, to us, New York had lost its magic.
We've felt this way for a few years, but we were never quite sure where to move. I mean, where do you go after living in a city that has it all? Suddenly something silly you take for granted (like being able to order sushi at 2am) becomes something you freak out about not having (even if you really don't need it to survive). We talked about Charleston, Paris, Nashville, Maine, Newport, but, as much as we loved all those places, none of them felt exactly right. Until LA.
Dave and I had both visited LA when we were younger, but hadn't given it much of a thought since then. Whenever LA came up in discussions of moving, we quickly dismissed it as being full of fake people and crazy health nuts (stereotypical assumptions, I know). But when my best friend and I went on a whim for her birthday earlier this year, I was like "Oh. Ok. Hi, mountains I can see from the beach. Hi, amazing weather in the middle of winter. Oh hey fresh food that doesn't cost me an entire paycheck (and then some)." I came back to New York and immediately told Dave that we had to check it out together.
The next trip back, landing in LA felt like landing at home. I really don't know how to explain it, other than it just felt right, it felt like it was where we needed to be. We both felt happier, healthier, more relaxed and more importantly, alive. So, we returned to New York and immediately started making plans for our great migration (Ha!).
It's wild how many people have questioned our decision, told us we were wrong for moving, informed us of how "terrible" LA really is and that nothing could be better than living in New York. I mean, when did everyone start thinking it was ok to have opinions on people they barely even know?! Sorry, but unless you're paying my bills, you can keep it to yourself.
We're very well aware that LA isn't perfect (but then again, no place is). There's smog and traffic (but hey, news flash, there's just as much traffic in New York. Trust me...we have a car and drive quite frequently around the city, so we know.). I'm sure there's plenty of fake people, just like there's plenty of fake people here in New York (just keepin' it real). But there's mountains for hiking, and beaches for enjoying and warm weather and palm trees and fresh food and a slower pace of life (at least, compared to NYC), but still the accessibility of so much culture, good food and a massive international airport (#priorities), so, for us, it's just what we need. At least for now.
Somedays, I forget we're actually moving. Somedays, I can't possibly imagine leaving New York. Somedays, I think we've lost our minds and could never live in LA. But most days, I couldn't be more excited.
I never like to say goodbye. Instead I prefer "See you later!" And that could not be more true for New York. I have so many friends, work relationships, clients, favorite things, an NYC tab on my Wander page just waiting to be filled with more content, a giant bucket list of items I've never crossed off in the city, that I know without a doubt we will be back frequently. Heck, one day we may even decide to move back here. But for now, it's onwards and upwards.
We'll be packing our bags at the end of this month and heading out on a two week road trip (currently planning to stop in D.C., Charleston, Savannah, Nashville, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Santa Fe, among other spots) and ending as official residents of LA in the middle of October. It's going to be a bit of a wild ride over the next month and half, but we couldn't be more thrilled.
We have tons of fun and exciting things planned to share with y'all along the way, but if there's anything specific you want to see or know about planning a cross-country move or drive, etc, let us know. We're ready to share! And if you have any advice for us, please share that, too! We're all ears.
Now, it's time to get packing....adventure awaits!