Two years ago today, my husband and I packed our little hybrid hatchback in our-then home of Austin, Texas, and headed West in search of adventure, dreams and a lifestyle Texas couldn’t offer. Our destination, California.
Little did we know, after six whirlwind weeks later we would be back in ATX packing up our bags for good. The sun, amazing weather, ocean, mountains, sense of endless adventure, and smaller-can-be-better lifestyle had us hooked. We’d caught the West Coast bug.
I could argue, and I will, that I was just coming back to my roots. I was born in Ventura, California, where I lived for the first four years of my life before my family moved to Hawaii so that my dad could pursue his dream of making surfboards. He’s originally from the East Coast, so he’s about as far west as he can get. My mom grew up in Texas and came to California for college, never looking back. Going West is in my blood. It’s where, for me, it all began.
But for my husband Matt, California is a whole new world. A way of life he couldn’t quite fathom existed, much less think he would live. A few months after we moved here he said to me, “This is the first place I’ve lived that actually has nice weather.” He goes surfing before work, commutes riding his bike along the beach path to downtown Santa Monica, can be in Mammoth in five hours, and sees the ocean from his bedroom window. I tell people he’s spoiled. That he will never live anywhere else. But what I really mean is that he is soaking it all in, appreciating every moment.
For us, going West was a means to an end. It was a path to a life we could live outdoors, among people who had similar values and appreciation for adventure, for being healthy, and the environment. It was a path to professional growth, to personal enrichment. It was a path to finally getting a dog. It was a path to being closer to family, ever an increasing essential. It was a path to further growing together as a couple, while pursuing our individual interests. It was a path to becoming truer and better versions of ourselves.
And here we are, two years to the day later, living in a 400-square-foot bungalow in Santa Monica with our 10-month old puppy, Emory, enjoying the sun, the sea breeze, and this very special place we call home.