Photo of Naples Marina, Florida, taken by seamermate on Photobucket. Our next vacation spot.
Since returning from our year in Belize in 2005, it seems that every vacation turns into a research project on where to relocate.
My friends have quit asking, “Why do you want to move away from southern California? We have the best weather, beaches, mountains, Disneyland and more.” So I ask myself why would I want to move? Perhaps you can help me?
During our first year back, Duke and I researched Albuquerque, New Mexico. Housing looked affordable, but the suburbs were too flat and desert-like for me. Also my gut told me this place is a little depressing.
People rave about the artsy town of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Sedona, Arizona, and there again, it was pretty, but not for me. I felt landlocked.
The following summer, we flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spent a long weekend visiting Daytona Beach and driving along the Atlantic coast. The Atlantic was too cold and gray–yes, I’ve been spoiled by the nice turquoise Caribbean.
With hours, if not days spent on the Internet looking at places like Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Port Townsend, Washington, Austin, Texas and now Matlacha Island, Florida, I could have written a thesis by now.
This time, we’re leaving for Fort Myers, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico side, not the Atlantic side. If you don’t hear from me by September 7th, please check the hurricanes in that area.
I want to thank Tink and Nancy for their numerous e-mails on the Fort Myers and Naples area. They have been very helpful, since one relocated from New York, and the other from San Francisco area. Both love Florida.
Do you want to relocate? If so why and where?
SOME NEWS FOR BLOGGER FRIENDS WHO ARE WRITERS SINCE I WON’T BE HERE FOR A WHILE.
My friend Shirley, who has the marvelous blog 100 memoirs posted some very helpful blogs on reading challenges and blog carnivals, which I think many of you may want to check out.
I met Jerry Simmons at a writers meeting and he’s an expert on the publishing business, having 25 years experience with Random House, and the former Time Warner Book Group. He has a fantastic website for writers, and is more than happy to help all of us. Please visit WriterReaders.
Sorry if I did not respond to your comments on my guest post on Blogging’BoutBoys. Jennifer is on vacation and I haven’t seen all of your comments. I hope to respond when I get them.
I usually come home from vacations with a greater appreciation for where I live now — South Orange County. It's not perfect, but it is beautiful and you can't argue with the weather. Plus, I grew up not far from here and my social connections — people I've known since childhood — could just never be replicated. Now, having said that, Northern California does beckon. Of all the places I've visited: MidWest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Ireland, England, if I had to leave my family and friends, I could be consoled in the Bay Area. Preferably the sunny part. The wine country wouldn't be so bad either. ; ) It has a nice vibe. They've got $2 mochas/lattes up there, too. Pam
Jungle Mom says
Have fun! I grew up near Ft Meyers and still have family there.
You are so right about being spoiled by the Caribbean. We are in a landlocked country now and for a person born in California, raised in Florida and who spent 20 years in the Caribbean, its very unsettling!
Lazy Writer says
Thanks for the link. I'm heading on over now!
Thanks for this post, Sonia. I loved your nice mention of my blog, of course, but I also loved the topic. I have been toying with this one for a long time. I love Michigan three seasons of the year, but in the middle of winter, it can be really depressing. So we take vacations in New Mexico and Florida also. Spent Christmas in Ft. Myers last year, which was fun. I understand you can buy bargain houses in that area now, since the market imploded on over zealous developers. It will be great to hear your report. Do you have a list of criteria for the perfect retirement location?
I love where I live, but water has always had great appeal to me. Having grandkids that are close, at least for now, will probably keep me here. I lived for about 4 years in Fort Walton Beach in the Florida panhandle…..pure white sand and beautiful clear blue water….a little more change of seasons than farther south in Florida. Check it out.
Shannon Lefevre says
I spent a year with my parents in California when I was a kid. I loved it there and vowed to move back when I graduated college. I met my husband who didn't share my same view of California and suggested Florida as an option. We've lived in Naples for 7 years and I LOVE it here! You might check out more about Naples Florida at http://www.ShannonLefevre.com
Miss Footloose says
We've started thinking about where to pitch our tent after we stop wandering the world, and I am ashamed to say it: We can live anywhere we want, in any country that will have us, and I just can't figure it out. Having so many choices is overwhelming.
The real problem for us, I think, is that we don't have a place where we actually belong. We've been away from our places of origin so long (Holland for me, Oregon for my man) that they are not really home anymore. Familiar, yes, but not home.
So where to? We've checked out Costa Rica (already colonized by too many expats), Asheville, NC (way too cute for us), southern Italy, which we love, but the euro does not love us.
So, in an effort to postpone the decision, we may just go live and work overseas again for a few years 😉
Maybe, magically, the answer will come to us.
Miss Footloose, spoiled with too many choices
Everytime we visit a place that we like we talk about moving/retiring there. In the end, I think we could be happy almost anywhere, everyplace has its pros and cons and in the end, its the people who live there who make it wonderful/awful.
But thats just my opinion 🙂
Midwest Mommy says
Wow, that photo makes me want to relocate!
Patricia Stoltey says
Sonia, please stop by my blog on Tuesday at http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com. I am passing on the Kreativ Blogger Award to seven blogs I enjoy when I go blog-hopping.
Midlife Jobhunter says
I hate to think of relocating because I don't want to make new friends at this time in my life. I like my current network.
Thanks for the site suggestion. I'll look into it.
What a fantastic picture!
I'd love to re-locate to somewhere like Thailand or Spain – where the weather is warm and the people friendly…
You're so lucky to have lived in all those awesome places! I like my life in Belgium, but I would love to have just a little more sun. France or Italy would be options for me. I always wanted to learn Italian, but I'm too lazy to take classes. I could learn much faster if I lived there! LOL!
Have a fun, warm and sunny vacation!!
Where we live is good, and we've already retired here.
Had I the choice, I'd live elsewhere — a couple of places from my past come to mind. But it would be impractical to be in either of those. Hence we are where we are.
To me it is all about putting in roots.I don't want to move to much. I moved once from Romania, and it completely shattered my life to break away from all my friends and family. I would like to just stay in one place until I feel like a part of it.
Miss Footloose says
Lori, you mentioned putting down roots, and that is exactly what I always think about when considering relocating to a more permanent place.
First of all, it is not easy to grow roots in a new community. It's easy (for me) to make friends, have fun, get settled in a new way of life, but real roots take a long time. Getting truly close with people and become part of their families and have a real support network does not happen overnight. It's more difficult in foreign countries, no matter how wonderful the people, the culture, the climate, the food. After all, the locals already have their roots and they don't "need" you to be a part of their life.
I was always so happy with my wings, and now I miss having roots!
Tales of the Globetrotting Life
Lauri Kubuitsile says
I've never lived by the ocean but I love it. We've spoke about moving to Namibia, one of my favourite places. I, unlike you, love, love the desert and the wild crazy, icy cold Atlantic. There is something about that scorching hot bare Namib behind me and the expanse of the Atlantic in front of me the clears my head.
I think it makes a big difference if you were born and raised in one area and have all your family close by. I don't. I've moved around the world, never actually belonging 100% to anywhere, but everywhere at the same time.
I can see your point. Do you think living by a lake makes a difference?
Hope you enjoy the links.
Actually I'm not sure. I think I might be one of those people that likes one place for one thing, and another for a change. I do like change or adventure.
Yes, I shall look at the map and see where Fort Walton Beach is. thanks.
Kelli Nørgaard says
Now that I have my own little Viking on the way, I cannot imagine moving from DK, but for 38 years, I said I could not imagine leaving Texas! Who knows where retirement will find me!
You found me. Thanks for your contact info.
I feel like you. I don't belong in any one place, which is both good and bad.
Yes, the people count more than so much else, in feeling good about where you live.
Rick & Monique Elgersma says
When I learn to be content here, I'll enjoy somewhere else more! But I've got a few places I'd go to.
Hit 40 says
Have a nice break!! I will check out your guests.
Keep us posted on great retirement spots. I am already plotting for retirement too.
CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) says
I ALWAYS toy with the idea of relocating. I have lived in China and Laos and I'm always looking for the next adventure!
In the US, I looked at Savannah, GA and Lancaster County, PA. I love old historic homes. And Savannah has a beach. Lancaster County is clean and beautiful and near to Hershey. 🙂
Probably in about 3 more years we will be relocating. My husband wants to head to Europe but I heard of some interesting opportunities in Hanoi, Vietnam recently.
We were in San Jose Village, Belize, near Punta Gorda, for about 12 weeks in 2002. That was what got me interested in your blog!
Return to Norway says
Don't want to move for a long time – not until the kids have left home anyway. But if I had to really consider it then Brisbane, Australia (surfer's paradise/gold coast area)!
But for now I'm happy to stay in good old Norway. Tired of moving…..
Phivos Nicolaides says
You are lucky enough to have so many experienses in different places!
I don't know where I've been, but I somehow have missed your site for a week or two.
Thanks for all of the links. I can't wait to visit them.
Born and raised in Orange County, I could never think of living anywhere else. The last 14 years have been spent in the midwest, and although I miss the Pacific Ocean, I am content living here. My kids have flourished here and we all have made some great friends. I think of trying out other places once the kids are out on their own, but that will be some time from now.
Love your posts!
Mad Bush Farm says
Anyone would think I've been off the planet lately.LOL Great post. I'm still enjoying my country life right now but retiring elsewhere is still an option. Florida..not with the hurricanes even though it looks like a great place.
Hope you are well and have had a great holiday