I have loved every moment living in Colorado.
I started in Manitou Springs – the most adorable town I have ever lived in. It is quaint. It is interesting and diverse. It is colorful and fun and charming in every way. Living there in the winter was one of my favorite things: Cozy coffee shops. Surprise snow falls. Locals who knew one another. Gorgeous scenery. Manitou Springs is just wonderful.
Two years ago I moved to Denver. I like Denver as a city. I like the people I’ve met here. But Denver has also represented a lot of growing pains for me. For a while now I’ve wondered how to move forward in a city in which I made some of the biggest and dumbest decisions of my life. This last year, married life with Phillip has certainly redeemed much of those feelings. But I must confess, I’ve never truly felt like I “belonged” in Denver; I think my past just hangs over my head and keeps me from really feeling like it was my home – my safe place.
If I were single, I would probably move back to Manitou Springs now. But beyond needing a “place to belong”, I feel the intense desire for a fresh start.
Interestingly enough, so does Phil.
It is an incredibly thing to be married, to feel something stirring in your heart, and then you discover that your honey has the same stirring as well. It’s amazing. It’s confirming. I love it. And I love him.
So. We are ready for a fresh start.
Our list of “Pros” were pretty simple. We are out in search of Community. The kind of community that you read about in books, or hear people referring to as “their crew”. That is something we want more than anything else
Then, Phil’s requirement: finding a place with the sun. He struggles in the winter. The cold. The dreariness. Colorado doesn’t have a nice track record for consistent sun (not this winter at least) so that ruled out Manitou Springs. If we were moving to a primarily sunny place, my requirement was to live near a beach. We both have wanted to put our money to good use with buying a place instead of renting, so that added an additional factor.
Friends. Sun. Beach. In that order.
Our first choice was San Diego. Obviously, why wouldn’t it be right? It fit all our requirements, and one of my dearest friends lives there. The only problem was housing. As we started searching for places to live, it became very clear that our housing would be double of that in Denver (which is a high $900 a month). We even looked at shared rooming options, but that would still keep us at $900 a month. For a room. I am in awe of people who afford living there.
At the end of the day, we came nearly close to choosing San Diego, even if we couldn’t afford to buy something. But ultimately, we decided that moving to San Diego would cause us to think about money all the time. That’s not a lifestyle either of us want to have.
These reasons led us to our decision. We are moving to St. Petersburg Florida.
It is somewhat a surprise, I get that. I have always been a west coast girl and never in my life imagined that I would end up in Florida. But we are in a unique position to search out where we want to live. St. Petersburg fits all our pros, and we are so excited to embark on this adventure.
Yes. We know there are also “cons”. Bugs. I hate bugs. I will never be walking in the woods. I will never take a walk at dusk. I also hate humidity. I am sure that I will get used to this, but no doubt I will find that remaining indoors during summer months is a completely acceptable way to pass the time – save for when I’m at the beach. Of course.
One of my dearest friends lives in St. Petersburg. He has told me that without a doubt, he wouldn’t live anywhere in Florida but St. Peters. He has confirmed the research that I’ve put into this city. I’m very happy to give you my list 5 ways to find adventure – and all you have to do is move to Florida with us!
1. Find Sunshine: To to the place with a world record for sun. I’m not even joking. St. Petersburg is called the “Sunshine City”. It actually holds the Guinness World Record for 768 days of sunshine. Don’t ask me if that means days of sun without rain, or days with some sun at all. I have no idea. I’m just giving you the random fact that you can believe or not. I have no problem accepting 768 days of sun. You know what that does for your skin? And I’m fairly certain that will also fix vitamin D deficiencies. Just fyi.
2. Head to the beach. St. Petersburg boasts to have the most beautiful beaches in the country. Who doesn’t love the beach? Well yes, Coloradians, the mountains are beautiful. But in my mind, nothing will ever compare to the sound of the waves on the shore. And then there’s that Psalm that says the Lords thoughts for us are more in number than the grains of sand. I can wind down and relax at the beach unlike any other place in the world. I know it does wonders to the human soul. Oh. And talk about incentive to stay in shape for those swimsuits. There’s a perk! Got to celebrate the small stuff right??
3. Meet successful Entrepreneurs with me! Tampa-St. Petersburg ranked fourteenth on Inc. magazine’s list of “The Top 25 Large Cities for Doing Business in America”. St. Petersburg is home to two Fortune 1000 companies, and nearby Tampa is home to four more. This is a city ripe for business growth. Have a business idea? I’ll help you implement it out there!
4. Enjoy a culinary smorgasbord by hitting a fresh Saturday market. Being more tropical, Florida’s growing season actually runs October through May. So yes, for the enjoyment of my Colorado friends I will be incessantly posting pictures of oranges in February. Strawberries in December. Ok I will stop now. You’ll be tortured enough when I make my posts.
5. Beat the winter “Blues Boredom” by attending even just a few of 1000 Events and Festivals every year in St. Petersburg alone. You have to admit, Denver may have a lot of events, but this city can’t beat that many events during its shorter summer season. Here’s to fun happenings every day of the year!
I know. I probably haven’t convinced any of you to move with us. That’s ok. After taking so much time to weigh out this decision, we are ready to hit the road. All we take is our Mini Cooper, and a trailer big enough for our bed (how could I give that up??). We don’t know what waits us, but we have been praying that the Lord will direct our lives very clearly. Whatever our lives are to be, we hope that He will open those doors in St. Petersburg.
And our door (and couch) will always be open to our friends who want to join us, no matter how short or long the stay.