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One year later: What I've learned from leaving home

May 26, 2015

It is surreal to realize that as I'm writing this blog post in our new DC apartment (goodbye Northern Virginia) this time last year we were in the midst of selling our Orlando house and saying our farewells to family and friends. To say that this past year was an emotional roller coaster would be the best way to describe our moving experience.

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. " - Alan Alda

I've learned that you are not really sure what you are made of until you step out of your comfort zone.   A 713 square ft. apartment is way too small for a married couple and their dog. I'm becomingly more convinced that most of our tension came from transitioning from a 3 bedroom house to that tiny apartment. We now have an 800 sq. apartment and the difference is amazing. If you ever want to see what your marriage is made of just move away from your support system and see what happens.

I've learned that your phone's GPS navigation is a lifesaver and necessity. Back in Orlando I knew those roads since I grew up there. If there was traffic on the highway, I already knew the alternate routes to get where I needed to go. Now I have to look everything up until I have driven to a place a few times.

I've learned the beauty that is public transportation. You have to own a car to get around in Orlando. The local bus system there is unreliable at best. I first felt the love for public transit when I lived outside of Boston and rode the commuter rail into the city. Now that I live in the city I love that I can ride the Metro to most parts of the city and avoid the stress of city driving. Now I just need to learn to parallel park one day.

I've learned you are never too old to miss having your parents close by. I am pretty close to my parents and lived 20 minutes away from them back in Florida.  I regularly spent time with my mom and dad on the weekends and not having them near by has been the hardest part of moving away. They just came up this month and it was nice to spend time with them in my new city.

I've learned that living in suburbia is not where I want to be right now. In Florida we lived in a house in a residential neighborhood 10 minutes south of downtown and honestly I found it boring. Most of the people in the neighborhood had kids and I didn't, I found Northern Virginia to be the same way. I haven't been in the city long and I already love the difference in urban living.

I've learned that winter sucks but is just part of the deal of living in a place with four seasons. Driving in the snow still makes this Florida girl nervous.

I've learned that there is something about being in a new city that makes you motivated to explore it in a way you don't do in your hometown. In just one year of living here I have explored Harpers Ferry West VA, Charlottesville, various Civil War battlefields in Virginia and Baltimore, MD.

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