in search of… our future digs


For the past few years, we’ve been growing weary of Seattle. Maybe we just haven’t fallen in with the right crowd, and/or maybe by being in our 40’s, our peers are more focused on family and career than we are. We’ve had a rough time finding a long-term social crowd: understandably people come and go in life, but it seems more frequent here, and we’ve experienced more lack of commitment to social gatherings over the past year or two.

Over the past few months, we’ve pursued this more actively, thinking about where we’d want to go. The people we’d want are in a more urban environment. Both of us love the ocean. He likes seasonal extremes more than I do, but that could be a function of MS (or, maybe 30 years of living in California…). I am a foodie and nutrition nerd to the Nth degree… but if you’ve been reading along, you knew that already.

These criteria already limit us, right?

We feel that a lot of Seattle (overpriced) restaurants are rated as “wow! good!” because everyone else says they are. Because of big portions. Because of some exotic ingredient that someone sourced from the outskirts of Siberia and no one else has heard of it. (If it doesn’t taste good… who cares?)

Bottom line, my husband’s a New Yorker and I share many of his straightforward attitudes… and his driving skills. 🙂 So we took some time over the family holiday visit to walk around some neighborhoods with some friends who live in nicer parts of Queens. (We’d considered Brooklyn before, but hearing that it’s now the *second* most expensive area to live in the country, behind Manhattan, it’s certainly a no-go.)

Many nice places to be around the Queens area. Quickly gentrifying, so get in while you can, if you want. If I were looking, it would be on the order of one-bedroom apartment, in terms of cost. Considering my thoughts on minimalist living (vs. “just enough” living) this would certainly be an option.

But when we heard prices, we started thinking about how much we’d have to work. Not only that, but part of the point of living there would be access to the culture of Manhattan… and train costs have gone up so much that I’d have to find additional teaching/freelance work to cover that. Work, work, work. I’d be working, still, 7 days a week, probably more than 8 hours a day, and not be able to enjoy the lifestyle I was seeking.

And that would be too bad.

Because here, I would have made the sacrifice to spend money renting (probably) an apartment that is pushing the limits of my price range, for the lifestyle I want… but in working to cover those costs, I wouldn’t get to enjoy the lifestyle.


Back to square one again, I suppose. The good news is that we have a fine house here just north of Seattle, I have a job(s, most of the time), and we’re doing just well here. I just hate the feeling of remaining stagnant when things feel merely “status quo”.

(Berlin is still on our short list of temporary relocation sites. I just have to build up more freelance work to keep me going…)

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