Change

So, yeah. Change.

Here we are. Most of you know that we are undergoing some major life changes in our little family. Here’s the deal.

After years of the Knight telling me that ‘there is life outside the DC area’ and that ‘the rest of the country doesn’t plan their trips to Trader Joe’s around rush hour,’ I relented.

I grew up in the NY suburbs (Long Island). I have pretty much lived there and here (Northern VA). I don’t really know any different. Honestly, I love it here. We have a great life, wonderful friends, a comfortable home, and good jobs.

However, what is missing is balance. Frankly, I can never get enough time with Max, or Oli for that matter. I am proud of being a working mom. But for the past 2.5 years I have longed for something different.

We had talked about moving to Charleston for several years. We went down a couple of times and we like it but we weren’t wowed enough to make the move.

Along came Greenville. Oli is from what they call Upstate South Carolina. He grew up about 45 minutes to an hour from Greenville. His brother and sister-in-law live there. Coincidentally, back in 1999, I had a work assignment that took me to Greenville for an extended period of time. It was fine, but nothing to write home about.

So each time we visited Oli’s brother we would stick around the house. This past September we stayed longer and explored the area. The area has completely changed. There has been an amazing amount of development thanks to several large corporations moving to the city – BMW, Michelin, etc. Clemson has a satellite campus there. George Hincapie even moved there and opened a training center. 
So our tour went well, dtarting with the amazing four-story Children’s Museum. We were sold. Oli was shocked when I told him I could see us living there. The downtown area is amazing. For my DC friends, imagine a cross between Old Town and Bethesda, and throw in a river with water falls and beautiful parks and trails. The downtown has a wonderful mix of restaurants, shops, artist studios and green space. There are theaters, museums and a very nice library. There is even a minor league baseball park.

greenville map

Greenville is located in the northwest part of SC. They area is called the “upstate.” It is near the mountains.


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A view of the downtown from Falls Park. The pedestrian suspension bridge is even more striking in person.


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The heart of downtown

 

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Greenville skyline

Then I started researching home prices. Helllo!?! We can buy a house within walking distance of downtown for what you would buy a one-bedroom condo for here.

 

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Main Street (I don’t know how they got a picture with no cars or people)

 

It took us a while to get to the point of admitting that it was what we wanted to do. It was an extremely difficult decision for many reasons. However, knowing that we could have a fresh start and get out of the DC rat race was just too tempting to resist.

We are optimistic that once we get settled we will wonder why we waited so long. Greenville is a great little city with so much to offer. Our house is still on the market but we decided it is time to leave my job and start enjoying life. I’ve been very surprised by the mixed emotions I have been feeling this week. As much as I didn’t totally love my job, there are parts that I really like. My coworkers are all fantastic and I am really going to miss them. I did well in my 11+ years as a government lawyer but it is time to try something new.

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Liberty Bridge at night

What will that be? I don’t know exactly. And I kind of like that. I can do anything. The idea is to buy a house that we can afford without either of us working (we will live on the Knight’s retirement income). We are hoping to find a nice little home within walking distance of the thriving downtown area. Walkability is our priority, so we will have to resist looking at the houses that are farther out. As you might expect, you can get a lot more for your money when you go just a few miles away from downtown. We will see what we find.
Oli will continue his consulting gigs and when I am ready I will find something new to do. I am only half joking when I sai I want a job at Trader Joe’s. I think that would be great fun. More realistically, I am hoping to pursue my passions for running and healthy eating by helping others get fit and healthy. I recently became a certified running coach and I am going to explore some formal nutrition education to get some certifications in that arena.

On the way in to work I saw a powerball advertisement on the sign of the bus. I realized that every time I fantastize about winning (which isn’t going to happen since I never play) the first thing I think of is quitting my job. Well, here we are. I’m not going to lie. It feels really good to be released from the constant pressure of this job.

There are a million other things to say, but those are the basics. We are super happy to be able to do this.