Over the last couple years, Bryan and I have been auditioning cities, that’s been part of the reason for our travels. Unfortunately, we keep coming up dry, aside from having some great vacations under our belt. But what makes a great vacation doesn’t always make the ideal living situation. We’ve been to many places we love but there is always something that is majorly unfit for us to remain for any amount of time – very often that reason is the cost of living. Also, with Seasonal Affective Disorder, climate is very important as I’ve decided that living 6 months out of the year struggling against nature doesn’t make sense, especially in a city where the anger already just hangs in the air weighing on you like a wet blanket. I’m not a tree or inanimate object, I am able to move somewhere that will provide a better quality of life with purpose. While under the black cloud of Baltimore, I’m in constant self-care mode that doesn’t leave much else.
Cost of living and climate has ruled out our initial top places, California, Portland, Austin, the Hudson Valley. Florida is reasonably affordable and has all sun the I could want but intense humidity and scary predators like alligators and republicans. I’m only partially kidding, I’m sure alligators are easy to avoid. For whatever reason, we are currently drawn to an area of Nevada that we’ve not yet experienced. It feels like it’s calling us but how can that be when we’ve never even been? We’ve been to Vegas many times, always a favorite destination but we are coveting the land beyond the lights for Nevada’s almost year round ideal climate, cost of living, the access to many other desirable destinations in the west that would make perfect weekend escapes, plus all that vegan food in Las Vegas. Knowing we aren’t too far from vegan normalcy puts me at ease. We aren’t in a vegan meca currently, our offerings are pretty subpar, relatively speaking, but they are there and improving all the time. My struggle is wanting to, and feeling like we should be, giving up our current life style while simultaneously being scared to. Those what-if’s are real. We want land, not a lot but definitely some that would allow us greater ability to figure out how to live off of it in a more sustainable way, even that harsh dessert land, and take in animals in need. This means we would have to be a great distance from where everything is and that land, the animals would become our life. But the thought of not living in a city, potentially a great distance from a city, has me wondering if I can do it. The thought of land separating us from the masses is SO desirable but I worry that 3 months in, not being able to just run to the store in a pinch and going out to eat being a major event reserved for a special occasion (because let’s be honest, we’re vegan spoiled and I doubt any country setting will satisfy us in the food department) has me wondering how I’ll fare. Typical suburbs are absolutely out of the question as I rather claw my eyes out. I understand why schools and living expenses drive people out of the cities, especially families, but I find them truly soul and mind numbing. Cities are great, rural can be used for great, but the suburbs are for someone other than me.
What we want is a Saugerties, NY type of place, where we can have a small farm, but one that is only a short drive from the action, without the New York weather and with southern US pricing without the racism. Does this place exist? Can we adapt from crime ridden, angry, dirty, yet easily accessible and creative DIY, grass-roots Baltimore to desert country life? And if we can, can Julian? That’s a lot to ask of a teen who has anywhere from 3 – 10 friends over at a time. We always thought we would move right to the heart of another city, one that is vegan and pedestrian friendly where our reliance on cars would become obsolete. But that means no space for taking in animals in need. That means greater access to the frustrations of humans and it means not the simple, but hard working life, we envision. It’s very weird to feel like you are meant for one life that is currently so foreign to you – how do I know if it’s really right for us? Or what if it’s right for me but not the whole family? For now we are still auditioning but eyeing hard Henderson and surrounding areas of Nevada, just outside of Vegas – all the Vegas convenience without the Vegas life. A friend who made the move there from Boston has me sold on it but for the life we want to live, we need a bigger change to live our true purpose. We need farmland or we need to be smack dab in the middle of the action. And we need to keep moving until we find that place, while it’s still a somewhat “free” country. It’ll come, because it really just means giving up what is familiar and therefor comfortable and truly embracing change, trusting that we are able to listen to our hearts and know our true selves. I’ve never been afraid to take chances before, this isn’t the time to start being scared.