The Itch.





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My husband is from the South.  Born and raised in Houston and later living in Florida, he craves warm temperatures and humidity.  He loves live oak trees and sitting out on the screen porch in a rainstorm.  To say he loves a good New England winter would be a gross overstatement, especially after the winter we just had.  And now that spring has sprung, his eyes have swelled up and he's constantly sneezing from something unknown that gives him allergies as soon as things start to green up.  If he leaves New England, as he just did for a business trip to Chicago, the allergies go away, so it's something specific to where we live.  So let's just say Connecticut is not his favorite place and he would love to move back South.

In one part of my mind, I would love to move.  I certainly wouldn't mind not dealing with snow removal; coats, hats, scarves, boots, and more times two small children plus myself; the endless cold through what is becoming a solid six months of winter.  I would love to be able to be out walking the dog year-round, swimming all the time, and wearing sandals, my favorite footwear of choice.  Moreover, I love the idea of change.  I love the idea of starting over in a new space, which is crazy considering how hard we've worked to renovate this one.  I feel that itch to go elsewhere and see what's out there away from the place I've always lived.  Herein lies the problem.

I have always lived in Connecticut.  Always.  I lived in one house my whole life until I got an apartment with my bestie when I started teaching.  My parents mentioned moving once when I was little and I talked them out of it.  Anxiety attacks prevented me from going away to college, so I commuted to a local school.  I was going to take a teaching job in Florida and live with my in-laws for a bit but had such a panic attack on the way down I turned around and came back.  Moving away is not my friend.  For the most part, my whole family is here (and it's a big one) and we see them often.  None of us has ever strayed too far.  I fear not having my support system if we were that far, and my personality type doesn't make me run out to find new friends. So there's this constant push and pull.  I do love the idea of southern living but would anxiety take over again?

Because I am part of the blogging community, I have the advantage of seeing into different towns and cities.  I see people packing up and moving far away with excitement and adventure, and when they get to their destination, they are so happy with their choice and their new home and a fresh start.  I want that.  I want that ability and that adventurous spirit and that get-up-and-go.  I don't want to be worried about what might be, and I don't want to panic about anything.  I am jealous of those who make the journey.

So while we have no plans to go anywhere or do anything, this is what has been on my mind lately.  Do you ever feel that need to make a big change?  Or have you already done it?  Do you have a fear of moving, or are you happy where you are?  (And how awesome are those houses up there??)


21 comments

  1. I currently live in Arizona, but grew up living in many states: Louisiana, Texas, Alaska, California....North Carolina.
    I was used to it, so when I married my husband who was a Marine, the military life wasn't too bad,
    To say you lived in the house you grew up in is so amazing and foreign to me.
    Maybe if you identify what starts the panic attacks, you can prepare for it head-on before it comes. And just think of the fun possibilities the new place can offer...I like change too and am SO over AZ, but its where our job is, so I have to be content. Moving is a TON of work...and costly too.

    The unknown is scary....so I pray;)

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  2. I as you know, have no problems with moving. I have moved a lot in the past 14 years, from IL to CT then from CT to NYC and then from NYC to VA. We'll be moving soon and I'm actually getting anxious to move again. I don't really like staying in one place for very long and I enjoy moving to new places and being a complete stranger and not know anyway. It's very calming to be unknown somewhere. But.. we still have at least 2 more years in C'ville and then 1 more year in VA.


    The south is sort of appealing because of the warm weather but not really. People driving horribly down here, there are little changes in the seasons so its not very pretty, if you have allergies you'll just develop allergies down here too, the incomes are drastically lower down here especially for teachers, Housing is lower but not enough to compensate for the income changes, and then there is the southern mentality that I rather not raise my children with. We've thought about it a lot but I think we'll end up moving back up to the Northeast in the next decade.

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  3. I've made a huge move twice now-- once when I packed up to go to Syracuse, and the other when we moved to Baltimore. There was a lot of anxiety about such big moves. I felt incredibly nervous and anxious about it for quite some time before it was actually time to leave. However, the move to Baltimore was a lot easier because I was doing it with someone else. I think that if you have the support system of your family as part of the move and you're not going by yourself, it's just not nearly as terrifying. In my case, I at least knew that Andrew would always be around if I was having difficulty finding new friends. I wasn't totally alone, and I had someone with me to help navigate a new place.

    I like where we are now, but at the same time I also think about other places that we could live. I think about the difference in cost of living and the things that we could do differently somewhere else where it wasn't as expensive. And I also like the idea of adventure and having a fresh start. I also think it's important that you don't live in the same place for your entire life. Moving somewhere new broadens your world view and exposes you to new things.

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  4. You could move to Baltimore! Southern charm with northern ideals. Plus, Baltimore City teachers make A LOT of money compared to most school systems in the nation.

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  5. The first time I ever moved was when I went to college, and that was barely 1.5 hours from my mom's house. Then after college we got married and started moving ever few years and now I have trouble imagining staying put! It's funny, because I'm not fond of change, I don't make new friends easily, I hate having to find a new vet, a new mechanic, a new favorite lunch spot… but I kind of love changing houses. It makes buying furniture difficult at best (something that fits perfectly in one house is awkward and unwieldy in another home) and our artwork is almost always hung based on space/configuration as opposed to a room's aesthetic or "design" (ha! like that's a stable concept when you're not sure what shape your living room will have in two years!), but we picked our art because we love each piece and it kind of keeps things fresh and new to have them in a new room every few years, I think.
    We also love to faux-househunt and play the "what would we change" game for every house in which we've lived, too. I kind of think not being stable serves us well, since Paul is a very suburban-brick-house same-number-of-garage-spaces-as-cars kind of person and I'm far more of an urban loft or in-town dilapidated historic house that you fix up slowly and lovingly kind of person… but I'm sure we'll figure that out someday, when we're done moving.
    My mom still lives in the same house in which I grew up. My sisters and I have pestered her to move to a condo or something, because she's never home on weekends (always at one of our homes) and the upkeep is just silly at this point, but I doubt she'll ever move. She did move from the Midwest to Atlanta when she was just a 21yo newly wed, though, so she's had a big move in her past. I don't know; it's not for everybody, and it's not the easiest to move a lot… but I never thought I'd leave Atlanta, and while it's still Home and the only place in the South I'd even consider willingly living now, I kind of like our moving adventures. If only we could finagle New England… wanna trade??!

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  6. I don't know about the allergies comment- I grew up in Atlanta and never had a hint of seasonal allergies, but living in Idaho put me on daily drugs and I still stockpiled tissues and eye drops. England didn't bother me a bit, and now that we're back in NC I only have occasional sneezy days- no itchy eyes, no raw nose, etc. So I don't think having allergies is a blanket, everywhere thing. I just think all sagebrush should be burnt ;)

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  7. I will say that knowing you're moving every few years (for a job-dependent purpose) is a curse and a blessing- you live somewhere perfect and amazing that fits you to a T (England) but be heartbroken knowing your time is limited, but you also can hate absolutely everything about an area/town (Idaho) and get through particularly rough days clinging to the knowledge that your time is limited! Sometimes I feel like I'm doing myself a disservice living in the "what's next", but some days thinking that the next place has to be better really does keep me (moderately) sane.

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  8. Paige @ Little NostalgiaMay 19, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    My family moved several times when I was growing up, so I guess I'm pretty used to it by now. I moved back to the Chicago area for college and stayed, and it's about a 4 hour drive from where I went to high school. To me that doesn't seem very far because (for example) my parents moved from San Fran to Iowa right after they got married, but for some people 4 hours can feel like the other side of the world.


    The unknown factor does freak me out, but like Heidi said, it's way easier when you have a partner in crime. If we do end up moving in the near future I feel like I'm at a place where it would be exciting. Aside from figuring out where to live, we don't have a ton to worry about. No kids, no pets, etc. The thought of selling the house and actually getting all of our stuff somewhere else is the most stressful thought. I figure that I'll just continue to be introverted wherever we live, haha.

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  9. Thanks for this! I think the constant moving is why my husband is so ready to just up and go- he also moved several times when he was younger. But when you've never really changed locations, except for around a very small state, it can be overwhelming. I think once I actually got to someplace I would like it, it's just the actual process of getting there that screws things up.

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  10. Like I said above, I think it helps when you've moved more when you were younger! That seems to be one of the key factors. If I could just up an move my family- or at least just my parents- then I'd feel like I had my safety net there. But then, that's not very grown up of me, either!

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  11. Doing it with someone is way better, for sure! Yea, 4 hours can see really far to me- that makes me feel like a big baby. :) But I think once I got there and got used to it it would be okay, and working on a new house would be fun, too.

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  12. Too funny! I think moving more is key, from all these comments!! I guess you just get used to it. I've moved since my parents house three times, but all within an hour's drive of them and all the other family. So I've never been that far away. I like the idea of setting up a new space and I would like to see what other areas of the country have to offer. It's so expensive here and they keep throwing new taxes at us all the time that that aspect of it makes total sense to me, but it's the emotional part that's so so so so tough! And being an only child doesn't help.

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  13. It's definitely the before and during move thing that causes the anxiety. I know once I got somewhere I think I would be (relatively) fine and it would be interesting to explore, etc. There's just such an emotional tie for me here that it makes it a huge huge deal and I just wish it were easier for me to be a little more free and easygoing!

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  14. I grew up in a nomad family that finally settled on California's Central Coast. Other than that brief settlement, I've been moving every year or two ever since I graduated college {which is WAY longer ago than I care to admit!}. So all that has me coming at the idea from the opposite direction - I don't know what I'll do if/when we're ever faced with the prospect of settling down in our forever home. Live one place? ForEVer? Having those great neighbor-friends on our left but being stuck with the cranky old couple who yell at me from the front porch on the right when we come home too late and accidentally shine our lights in their window? Eek!


    Okay, I really AM looking forward to someday putting an end to our nomadic lifestyle, and making a place where we have a favorite restaurant where we can become regulars, and streets where we pretty much know the names of the folks who own the neighboring houses, and having a place to keep exploring instead of a place where we just feel like long-term tourists. And those GORGEOUS Southern porches would be a great piece of forever. I did enough growing up in Louisiana and Florida for that to look and feel like home.

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  15. That is a tough decision. Imagine yourself as an elder with your great-grandchildren asking you about your life. Do you want to tell them about the long list of "I should have's" or do you want to tell them about how you experienced life by following your dreams? Today, families are only an email or a phone call away (even easier with cell phones). It is certainly easy to travel and visit them or for them to visit you.

    I married and moved away from home in Washington State to Texas then to California when I was eighteen. My husband was active duty Air Force. Two years later, he had orders for the Philippines(PI). He had the choice of a remote eighteen month tour without family or two years with family. I did not want to go. I wanted to move back home and wait for him. Why? I was scared to go halfway around the world away from my family with a 9 month-old baby. In 1978, phone calls had to be made by appointment with an AF operator listening in our conversations and the calls were limited to 15 mins unless we wanted to pay the long distance cost. I won't get started on snail mail during that time.

    Hubby took the two year tour and we went with him. When we arrived, I thought we had landed on another planet. It was such a culture shock! In the end, I have no regrets of our time spent there. I learned so many new things, tried different foods, and made life-long friends. We both needed to be away from our families to grow, to make our own decisions, and to become who we are today. We overcame many challenges without the help of our family. Often the help we received came from our new friends. We are still in contact with many of our friends from the PI.

    My only regret is that we were not able to explore more overseas countries during my husband's career. We explored Europe when we lived in Germany and Turkey, but never got our chance to be stationed in Japan or Alaska(considered an overseas tour). Today, we are house-less and full-time in our motorhome. We visit our families, but the best part is our travels around the US for the last five years. Our country is so beautiful and there is so much to see. Everywhere we go, the people we meet are friendly and willing to suggest places to see.

    I feel our moves made our children stronger too. My son recently quit his job in NM, moved to Seattle, WA, and found his dream job with no help from us. My daughter is a single mom of two and she is now an undergraduate. As soon as she gets her degree, she plans to move out of Oklahoma.

    I'm so glad my husband turned this dreamer into a doer! All the best to you!

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  16. Family keeps me close to home as well, I think. Matt and I have talked about just up and moving to California or somewhere else .... but in the end the job market and wanting to be close to family keep us here. For now. Though we have been talking more and more about planning a year long road trip someday .

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  17. I would love, some day in the future, to take a road trip and see all the places there are to see out there. I think it would be fun and really interesting. But just up and moving scares the crap out of me, even though I really think it would be an adventure.

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  18. I would LOVE a porch like that! I don't mind where we live but I have this urge to see what else is out there, and try something new. It's nice to be settled into a place, but we're not even that outgoing to get overly friendly with our neighbors. I can't imagine being a nomad, but I guess if that's all you know then it's no big deal.

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  19. Thank you so much for this! I would have been so terrified to go to another country with such a small child!! But I'm glad that you were able to make the most of it and enjoy all your travels and moves. My husband has been around the world and back again from his previous job. He loves to travel and probably would live somewhere overseas if it wasn't for the fact that he's married! I would love my kids to feel comfortable with following their own path when they get older without fear of being stuck. I just wish I had a little more get-up-and-go than I do anxiety!

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  20. For some people, they are very comfortable with living in one place. As long as you are happy with your decision then you should have no regrets. You never know what your children will do as an adult. My mom did not like to travel and yet two of her three kids became world travelers. All the best to you and your family.

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  21. Thank you, Sandy! That is wonderful advice. Your family is lucky to have you. :)

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