Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thoughts on Moving to Orange County, California

Now that we have settled into a little groove here in our new location I wanted to share some of the thoughts we have had during this process. If you would have asked us seven months ago what part of the country we thought we would be living in we would have told you, “We are willing to go anywhere but are trying to go back to the Pacific Northwest.” And we got half of that, we still live on the Pacific Coast, but a little farther south than we ever imagined.

When came across this job posting it was perfect, exactly what Brett wanted to do, but we had no idea where San Clemente, California even was. After we looked it up and saw that it was the southernmost city in Orange County and right on the ocean we laughed, joking about how funny it would be. That there is no way the universe would align to have us move to Southern California when we had both been so drawn to the Northwest. But just like everyone does when they are graduating and looking for a job, Brett applied anyway. And here we are. The entire process was surprisingly easy, a whirlwind of change for sure, but everything went forward so smoothly and with such perfect timing that we had to acknowledge that we were meant to come here.

Even though we knew what we were doing, after hours and hours, turning into days and weeks of research, prayer, fasting, and talking it out, it was funny to see the reactions of those around us who were hearing the news for the first time. The most common reaction we got when people found out where we were moving was, “Um, you know it's expensive to live there, right?” To which we would laugh and say we did. Other times we would come back with “You know that we will be paying California bills with a California salary, not California bills with a Utah salary, right? And that the cost of living is more complicated that just how much gas is?” But that was only if we were feeling really sassy.

The next one we got was how terrible it would be to live in a city. The great thing about this part of California is that it's not really. We are right in the heart of the suburbs. Neighborhoods of subdivisions, schools, and parks in all directions. A suburb is where we would have ended up in the Northwest anyway in Seattle or Portland, so to us, a suburb is a suburb. My favorite part about our location is actually the variety of urban development we have access to. From our house we can get to the beach in 10 minutes, the “city” in 30, the airport in 30, expansive wilderness areas in 10, and the mountains in 30. We have so many options. We can still be the outdoorsy people we always have been, but we can also go to a MLB game, or NBA game, or a mall, or a play, or a movie, other things we love. We have found the perfect middle ground between urban and rural living, at least in my opinion. And honestly, I rarely get on the freeway here. Its not like I have to go to the heart of LA to buy groceries, it's still right down the street.

I guess what it comes down to is attitude. We are in a new place. A place that was previously foreign to us. A place where we didn’t know a soul. A place that was so different from anything we had ever encountered. And yet, with planning, research and an attitude of excitement we are crossing all these worries off our list. And while we explore we are falling in love with Orange County. This is our new home.

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