As someone who grew up in the same house, in the same town for the first 21 years of my life, home seemed really well defined. Life changes though and people spread apart. The reasons vary, careers, education, cost of living, or just dreams of living somewhere else. For myself, New England was always home…and still is, sort of. Why write this post then, if I know what home is?
Home quite literally was New Milford, CT. When I went to college, home was still New Milford. When I moved into my first house, it was more of a change, rather than a true resetting of what is home. Changes kept happening, but New Milford was home and I always had that feeling of, yah it’s not perfect, but it’s got my back.
Time went on and on subsequent trips back to New Milford, it felt less and less like home, and more like being a visitor. I had experienced quite a bit in the other places I had visited and lived. Furthermore, I had met people in these other places who understood me, understood what I toiled endlessly to craft as my profession and made me feel accepted and connected. It wasn’t a fight. I readily admit that feeling of having to fight at this point comes as baggage from going through a school system that was supportive by selective teachers and a persistent frustration from others. Love and pride in my childhood school system are not emotions I have.
Here I am in my late-thirties and trying to answer that question, what is home? Over the past six months I’ve had an opportunity to be forced to review what my criteria are for “home”. My mother is 7/8 of the way across the country living out her dream being in the southwest. The majority of Craig’s family is back in Connecticut. Our clients spread along the eastern seaboard.
As we left the east coast, it was amazing to see just how well tech was doing, west of the Mississippi. There is an entrepreneurial spirit in the west and a sense of hope and optimism, you just don’t find back east. But is that enough to set up roots with?
The culmination of my thoughts has been to define a few things for myself. I don’t know if I would have been able to answer these as clearly, without the travels across the country. The place I want to live must have:
- Mountains within driving distance
- Ocean within driving distance
- Four seasons with snow (yes I’m one of those crazy people who loves snow)
- An active and supportive tech community
- Multiple forms of transportation access (Planes, Trains and Automobiles)
- Driving or short flight distance to a large portion of family
- Ample variety of restaurants
- Walking / Bike Paths
- Views that inspire us
I’ve been able to meet some of these in Arizona, but the areas where I lack are items that are true to my core. I love snow and gray days, I know for all my friends who shiver at the first days of 50ºF and dread the lack of sun, I relish in those days as they are a change, a change from the sun pounding through the windows and heating the earth.
Home is a place that meets my needs, inspires me, and supports me both personally and professionally. A place where we look forward to returning to after our travels.
Here’s to exploring our future.