What I Learned Living In California

It has been 10 months since my husband and I left the sunny state of California to move back east, and I’ve been reflecting lately on how my brief time living in California impacted my life. I have lived in North Carolina, Vermont, California and now Connecticut and each location has shaped my life in a different way. I am grateful for the fact that I have had the opportunity to live in so many wonderful locations, and really think you learn a lot about yourself when you move to a new place. Moving to a new location forces you out of your comfort zone, and shows you a different style of living. I have had to make new friends everywhere I go, and even find new favorite restaurants. Below are my main takeaways from my time in California.

I’m Not Made For A 9-5 Office Job

Leaving my 9-5 corporate office job was by far the best thing that came out of my move to California. I truly believe that if I had stayed on the east coast I would have never chosen to leave the corporate world. In California, I was surrounded by so many positive, uplifting, motivating individuals who were truly following their passions. They were working extremely hard to do so, but they were doing what they love. This inspired me to do the same.

Money Isn’t Everything

My husband and I were the most broke we’ve ever been when we lived in California, but those were some of our happiest days. This showed us how much less money we needed than we thought we did. It also showed us that we don’t need that many things, and to be grateful for what we do have. Don’t get me wrong, having money can make life easier but it doesn’t necessarily make life better.

I Thrive In Sunshine

The weather really does seem to be always perfect in Southern California – which is probably a reason why 23.8 million people choose to live there. Living there I never even had to check the weather app on my phone because I always knew what the weather was going to be. Being out in nature is my happy place, so the fact that I was able to go for a run or walk, or just be outside all the time was an instant mood booster.

… But I Also Love Having 4 Seasons

When I first moved out west many people told me that I would start missing the seasons, clouds, and rain. This sounded crazy to me, but it turns out they were right. I began taking the good weather for granted. Not much can beat Vermont in the fall, and I found myself missing and craving that. The time we spent in California also felt much shorter than it was, and a big part of this was not having any changes in weather to reference.

I Prefer Living In The Mountains

I really do love the beach, but living at the beach taught me that I prefer living in the mountains. One of the main things I missed while living in Southern California was hiking. The beach, style hiking near us was really nice, but it could not replace the hiking in Vermont. There’s a meditative quality about being at the top of a mountain that I could not replicate in California. Yes I know, California has incredible mountains to hike, but they were not as convenient for us to get to.

I Love Creating Things

I have always considered myself a creative person, but living in California really solidified my love of crafts. I was around so many creative people who made it a priority to create. I learned that making things is one of the best ways I can express myself. It also helped me discover that I really could make some income with the things that I make – once again showing me how you can turn your passions into your career.

I grew as a person and learned more about myself while living in California, but this is the case with every move that I make. I think everyone presented with the opportunity to live somewhere new should try it. The thoughts of “settling down” in one area for an extended period of time kind of terrifies me, but I have always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest so we’ll see where our next move takes us. It does sound nice to set some roots down though, so my next goal is to focus more on and be content where I am in the current moment instead of thinking about the next move.


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