After the doozie of a post we just had, how are you feeling? I gotta admit I am still a little nervous. It was one thing to tell everyone in person, or call family and close friends and let them know the news; this time it’s the internet and Facebook. I’m glad I have such wonderful humans in my life encouraging and cheering us along the way. Big hugs and big thanks to everyone who is reading this, commenting and being awesome at supporting us.
Let’s see, I left off with the big conversation. What I didn’t get to was how prepared and well thought out it was. Gil had obviously thought a lot about this proposal and I’m sure that’s how he ended up with no arguments from me. I remember, when he was done I just looked at him and there was silence. It had been at least 20 minutes of him presenting and explaining everything so I wanted to make sure he was done and I had to let it all soak in. Also, I felt like it was a moment. You know what kind of moment I mean: the life-changing kind.
My response was, “Well, I’m not happy about this, but there’s no arguing this is the most realistic, well thought out plan. Not to mentions a smart financial decision for us. So, I think we should do it.”
The relief was palpable.
Next, he said, “Ok, now I think we should each think about what our priorities are for moving and what cities we like, on our own. Then, we can sit down together to compare, discuss and make a final list.”
While this is a great plan, do you really think I could handle this? I can’t not talk about these kinds of things all the time! It’s just silly that I agreed to it thinking that it would work for us.
In reality, we talked about possibilities constantly. It was exciting, confusing and sad. We discussed things we liked and didn’t like about places. Proposed more cities than we could ever research. Settled on priorities and then changed them. Took cities off the list, then added more from whatever had recently shifted. To say the lease, it’s been a long process.
But let me tell you, my favorite thing about this process has been the spreadsheet of info about all of these cities that Gil created. It is like artwork; I’ve shown a few people this master spreadsheet, we are all in awe, wishing we could be that organized and thorough. It has everything and I mean EVERYTHING about a lot of cities that we could ever want to know about or consider. In short, it has helped put a lot of thoughts and feelings in perspective.
So, here are the things that we have come to terms with:
• warm climate
• low cost of living (housing included)*
• city feel with plenty of outdoor activities, arts and culture
• close proximity to some kind of family (close=realistic driving distance)
The asterisks denotes our main goal and this is important. It’s the most important part of this decision for Gil. That is to get into a single family home with a mortgage that we can easily pay off in 15 years. In the next year we will be 45 and 50 years old (totally shocking, I know). Which means to assume a hefty mortgage that would carry a high monthly payment for the next 30 years is bananas. Who wants to carry that kind of payment until they are—well, I’ll let you do the math—not us, we definitely don’t see that being a sound financial decision for our family.
So, that leads me to tell you our options. Are you ready for this? After considering a great number of cities and states we have narrowed our search down to two areas: San Antonio, Texas and St. Petersburg, Florida.
What do you think? Anyone have info or perspective on these great places?
And yes, I’m still gonna miss San Diego mucho. Along with all my super amazing friends, memories and incomparable weather.