About a year ago when I traveled to Denver for work I sent Jonathan a picture of the mountains outside the airport with a text that said, “We should move somewhere with a view like this.”
We’ve always jokingly said things like, “Let’s move to Hawaii” or “Let’s pack up and move to Europe.” This time though, when I mentioned moving somewhere with mountains, I really meant it.
I went back to Colorado a couple more times for work last year, and Jonathan and I also went on a road trip with my dad, stepmother, and grandmother last summer. We went to Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches, Estes Park and had a beautiful drive through Rocky Mountain National Park. We saw so much on that trip and enjoyed some beautiful weather. I think that made both of us serious about considering leaving Illinois.
The problem is: where do we go? And when? What’s involved in moving to another state?
I hate moving. I’m sure nobody really loves it. When I graduated from college I moved five times in three years. Once Jonathan and I moved in together we moved once to a new place and that was three years ago. I’m gearing up for a move in a year or so – whether it is in Illinois or not – because we’re ready for a house instead of a townhouse, but trust me, I’m not excited at the prospect of packing and moving again.
When it comes to where we want to go there are a lot of options. That is exciting, but also daunting. These are a few of our considerations:
- I want to see mountains from my windows. I don’t want to be in a city where I can see them far off in the distance. Or where I’m a six-hour drive from hiking in mountains. I want them right there.
- Cheaper than Illinois. That shouldn’t be hard. Lower property taxes and being able to find a 4 bedroom, 2.5+ bath, fairly new home for maximum $325K would be ideal. (And yes, we do need four bedrooms. Puppy room, Star Wars room, craft room, office, or um…a potential kiddo(s) room…)
- No more Illinois winters. I’m okay with some snow, Jonathan can be convinced. No more feet of snow. No more snow, then sleet, then freezing temperatures, then more sleet, then ice, then rain, all layered on top of each other. I can handle the occasional blizzard, I think fresh snow is pretty, but I’m so over the wind chill causing -20 degree temperatures, feeling the inside of your nose freeze, chilled to the bone Illinois winters. So over it.
- Good community for a young family. We plan on starting a family at some point, so I want to be sure there are other kids in the area and good schools.
- Job opportunities. I suppose this should be higher up on the list – but obviously we’ll both need to work, so we need to find a place that has decent employment. I wouldn’t mind living in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a forest and mountains, but (unfortunately) we need to earn a living.
- Near an airport. Essentially all of family and friends are in Illinois. If we decide to leave, saying goodbye to those that are closest to us will be the hardest part. Hopefully though, they won’t be made at us enough to not visit. And we’ll certainly come home for visits as well. Close proximity to an airport will help with trips back home and visits from family and friends.
Bonus point: No humidity. After being in Idaho for a week it was rough coming back to Illinois and being assaulted by the thick, humid air. I won’t miss that.
Of course, we can find most of these things on our checklist in Illinois, but…mountains…
Jonathan and I are both pretty enamored with the west, so that’s primarily where we’ve discussed moving. We’ve got a lot more to talk about before we actually make any decisions. Either way, next year I think it is house time. These puppies need a yard to run around in. And we can always take vacations to visit the mountains.