Life Update: We’re Moving!

That’s right! We are moving! After 11 years in Texas, we are going to be calling another state our home next month!

The past few months have been a real rollercoaster for us, so let me just try to share the “short” version of what’s been going on in our lives…

Matthew and I made the decision to move away from Houston and started applying for jobs in May of this year. We’ve been unhappy for Houston for a while. We moved here knowing that it wasn’t long-term and told ourselves we would stay for five years and then make the move to the next place. But we found ourselves unhappy at work as well as with our location around the start of our second year living here. We found ourselves craving so much more than what Houston has to offer us. We missed  culture, greenspaces, and access to the great outdoors, neither of which we felt our area has much to offer. After a lot of thought and reflection, we made the decision to start looking for our next step.

At first, we were set on moving to Washington DC and applied to quite a few positions there over the next two months. In July, I was referred by an acquaintance to a position in Denver, Colorado, so I applied. And because I had applied for a job in Denver, Matt also started applying, so I started applying for more in the area. In mid-July, the interviews started rolling in for both of us. In total, Matt interviewed for four positions in the Denver area, and I interviewed for two in Denver and one in DC. It started to get a little stressful being pulled in two directions, but we knew we had time to figure it out. But circumstances changed at the end of July and put us into a higher stress situation with an actual deadline by which we needed to figure our lives out.

 

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I don’t have any photos of North Carolina because I’ve never been there, so bear with me and allow me to take you down a Texas-themed memory lane! This is a photo from our roadtrip across the Southwest in 2015, we were so excited to take a photo with the Texas state sign on our way home!

 

Because of this change in our situation, Matt started applying for jobs in North Carolina. He had a former colleague who offered to connect him with and refer him for positions at a prestigious uni there.

I was not thrilled about this, at all.

Washington DC is the #1 place I want to live in the US, so I was really excited about the possibility of us making the move there. Denver is a very close second. They both appealed to us for very different reasons. DC is the best place for me careerwise and we love all the museums, culture, and history in the area. And Colorado, need I say more? Hiking galore, National Parks, mountains, everything. While I have never been to Colorado, I knew I would absolutely love it. North Carolina, on the other hand, I have never been to or really considered moving to. Matt grew up on the Georgia-South Carolina border and would go camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting in North Carolina for Boy Scouts. We stood on opposite sides of the opinion spectrum regarding the possibility of moving to North Carolina.

Matt and I didn’t get any of the positions in Denver or Boulder. But Matt started getting interviews in North Carolina and at his request, I started applying for jobs in North Carolina as well.  I was still interviewing for a position with my dream organization in DC, but with no bites for Matt we knew the possibility of us moving there was slim to none. I quickly received an interview with an environmental nonprofit in North Carolina, but that didn’t pan out.

 

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Visiting Matt in Fort Worth in 2014. We were doing long distance while he was in grad school there and I was in grad school in San Marcos.

 

At the beginning of September, our circumstances changed once more when I had to leave my job. I was heartbroken, but this just made it even more obvious that we were not meant to be in Houston, not at this time of our lives or ever. It became certain that we needed to leave.

So here we were, split between Colorado and North Carolina, both of us leaning in opposite directions and having frequent arguments about the situation. It felt like our best opportunities were in different places and one of us would have to make a sacrifice. Frankly, it sucked. I cried several times a day, my anxiety was at an all-time high, and it could feel the toll it was taking on my body. I was resisting North Carolina so hard. I refused to research it and was so discouraged because there were no job opportunities in my field in the area where we were looking. Matt received a job offer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina one day,  so I finally decided to do my homework on North Carolina.

 

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We adopted Gracie from Texas GSP Rescue in 2016, shortly after we moved to Houston-Galveston area. She completed us and made us a family!

 

I searched on Pinterest for any travel blogs about things to do in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Looked at the Instagram geotags. Watched YouTube videos. Researched farmer’s markets and zero waste store options. Admired many a rental home. Drooled over the fall foliage and realized that North Carolina has actual seasons. SEASONS Y’ALL. I haven’t experienced real seasons (other than while traveling obviously) in over a decade! I realized there would be so many cool trips we could do in a three-hour radius, from the Outerbanks to the Appalachians, even up to DC! Plus it would put us much closer to Matt’s brothers, their families, and our nieces and nephew. Very quickly the pros starting stacking up.

After more debating, we decided to make a great leap of faith and yesterday Matt accepted the job offer in Chapel Hill. We will be flying out very soon to visit the area for the first time and look for a place to live. I’m also going to applying for lots of jobs in the area, so here’s hoping I can find something that’s a good fit for me soon.

We are so excited to start fresh in a new state and for this opportunity for new adventures!

 

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Obligatory car selfie after we picked up our marriage license at the county courthouse in 2016.

 

We’ll definitely miss Texas. We moved here a little over 11 years ago, him from Georgia and me from Germany. We graduated from high school, college, and grad school here in Texas. We got engaged and married here. Bought our first home and started our careers here. We’ll miss H-E-B, Whataburger, being close-ish to our parents (we thought a 4-hour drive to them was bad when we lived in Houston, we really took that for granted…), the Texan state spirit, and so much more. But I can’t wait to experience a new place!

A sincere thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and kept us in your thoughts during this process. It has not been easy on my mental health or our relationship, but we’ve been thankful for the support and kindness of our friends and families throughout the past few months.

See ya soon North Carolina!

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