Well, after a ton of hard thinking and deliberation on where the next stop will be, we’ve landed on….
That’s right, I’m going to have to dust off my cowgirl hat and boots (yes, I have them) and start saying “y’all” because this Midwesterner-turned-Californian is going to be raising her toddler in the lonestar state!
First off, I’m ridiculously excited. Oh, and terrified, because the logistics of doing a cross-country move as a single parent with a toddler is just too complicated to even talk about. I’m playing it off by just pretending that this isn’t happening in just over a month because that thought is panic attack inducing. Instead, I’m focusing on my rental home search (which is proving difficult because I’m trying to find a single family home that allows a large dog, since I intend to get one ASAP) and moving quotes. Turns out that it’s pretty expensive to move from San Diego to Austin, so that’s not going as swimmingly as I expected.
So, why Austin?
- I’ve visited Austin 4 (or was it 5?) times, and each time I’ve fallen more in love. It’s a quirky, fun, beautiful city filled with interesting people and my kind of things to do. It has felt like home each time I’ve been there, rather than just a vacation.
- It’s a game industry hub, and even though I just got a brand new awesome job that isn’t in videogames, I’d like for Henry’s dad to be able to move here and get a job if he so desires. That was a huge selling point.
- The cost of living is a lot cheaper than San Diego, but it’s still a really fun city.
- There’s no snow. That’s part of the reason I didn’t choose the Twin Cities, because I really don’t want to have to deal with snow again.
- There’s a probability that my parents will retire in TX, so they’ll be closer (probably South Padre Island, but that’s closer than MN!)
- I love the vibe of the city. I’m a big nature/outdoors person, and there’s so many hikes, nature trails, swimming holes, lakes, creeks, waterfalls, and beautiful scenery to explore. I love the independent stores, the wealth of parks, and the seemingly endless list of things to do outdoors.
- It’s *so* dog friendly. There are amazing dog parks with bars/restaurants attached.
- It’s a great place to raise a child. The school districts are so much better than here, and there’s amazing STEM and Waldorf charters schools if we opt to go for something less public.
- The food. Oh gosh, the food. BBQ & Tex Mex are my jam.
- I’m a closet classic country music fan. Don’t tell anyone.
- Horses! It’s Texas, so naturally it will be easy to get my horse fix.
- I love the proximity to the quaint San Antonio, and I can go to Waco to hang out at the Silos (um, I’ve mentioned I’m a huge HGTV fan right?!?!)
I’ve enrolled my son in the most wonderful Waldorf-inspired nature/farm preschool in Leander, so my home search is focused on the Cedar Park/Avery Ranch/Milwood area. I’m so lucky that my best friend is going to be moving there too, and I have some acquaintances from the game industry as well who hopefully will make the transition to a new city easier.
I’m going to be sad to leave San Diego, where I’ve spent almost a decade of time. But it just feels right. It feels like the right time for a new “season” to my life. I’d like to leave some of the memories behind, start fresh in a brand new place without the baggage of my past. It’s an opportunity to find a whole new friend circle, seek happiness, and plant my roots somewhere where they’ll blossom without the tremendous burden of a crazy expensive cost of living. Owning a home in the Austin area on my own is a very real possibility. It feels like I can build a life for me and Henry without the weight of the city on my shoulders, which feels freeing.
I’m going to be exploring so much when I get there, and I expect this blog will turn into a little bit of an Austin travel guide as I narrate my experiences and find my favorite activities and places.