Moving away from friends is hard

 In Travel Tales

<<< While the summer sun has been beating down, I found this post I wrote a few months after our big move. It’s not necessarily all about travel, but it does show the impact major life changes, even travel, can have on our lives. It probably also shows why I’ll never be a nomad. >>>

Snow is coming down outside my window like glitter. Yes, white glitter being shaken down from the heavens. My husband calls it movie snow. It’s not big and chunky flakes. It is little specks of white that glisten on our front walk as the sidewalk disappears.

There is something about snow that is so lonely. There are millions of flakes, but it gets so quiet, especially when it snows at night. People hole up in their houses and almost hibernate as they prepare for spring to come and make the world a warmer place again. Winter as a whole is a lonely place to be.

As I sit here, lamenting on the shoveling we will have to do tomorrow and the fact that the boys will want to go outside to play in the snow (Ty crying the second a flake hits his face and declaring it is too cold), I’m struck that I too am lonely and it isn’t just the snow.

Ever since our move in October 2014 from Seattle to just outside of Washington, D.C. in Maryland I’ve been aggressively rebuilding our lives. I say aggressively because almost daily there is something else I need to take care of—new doctors to find, a pediatric dentist for the kids, a kind and loving dentist for me who won’t freak out when I have a panic attack in the chair, a hair dresser, restaurants for date nights, preschools, kindergarten registrations. Don’t even get me started on the marathon of paperwork, inspections and DMV visits it took to get our licenses and cars switched over. I was busy, but I wasn’t enjoying most of it.

We lived in Seattle for over 8 years. In that time I had jobs, made babies and had built a network of friends who helped me through both pregnancies and some of those toddler years I just wasn’t sure I would make it through (and let’s be honest, I’m still not sure I’ll make it through with Ty). In Seattle I was sad that my family wasn’t around, but many of our friends didn’t have family close either, or their parents adopted us and made us feel like long lost cousins over holidays. I had a great group of girlfriends I could call anytime to catch up with, grab a coffee or even have a girls’ weekend away. It was comforting. These people knew me.

Now that we are on the east coast we have family as close as 40 minutes away. My sister is just a two hour drive up to Philadelphia if I want to see her, instead of a six hour plane ride away. All of the grandparents are close enough to help with the boys if I have to go out of town, or to just pop down for the weekend for a few tickle matches and massive train building endeavors.

Having family closer has been magnificent. I even have cousins who live 15 minutes away. What I lack is that tight knit group of girlfriends to call on when I just need a boost. The ones who will go shopping with me and be honest that I really don’t need any more stripes in my closet; someone to get a pedicure with when my toes really could use a makeover or share a bottle of wine and cupcakes while watching a dumb movie. These may seem like trivial things, but these things are comforting. When you go from having your support group with you all the time to having none, it is hard.

I do have a few friends in the area, including my best friend from undergrad who is just south of DC in Virginia, but she has had her own life here for years and works long hours. We have a few other friends scattered around, but it takes planning to get together as all of our lives are in different places (kids, no kids, spouses, girlfriends, etc.) It isn’t easy. It isn’t simple.

Moving to Maryland was the right decision for our family, but I can still be sad about what we left behind in Seattle. There are so many things I miss about Seattle, but moving closer to family and getting my husband into a company that he loves and enjoys working at was well worth the sacrifices we made by leaving our friends behind. It’s time to make new friends and new memories as we start our lives here. Either that or Seattle may have to move 3000 miles closer to the east coast. Not sure anyone would be happy with the cataclysmic event that would cause that to happen, but at least I’d have my friends back. Call me selfish. I’m OK with that. Life goes on. 

UPDATE: I wrote this a few months after our move from Seattle to DC. We have now been on the east coast for almost 9 months. Happily a friend and her family in Seattle quickly followed us out to Maryland so her husband could work with my husband. After the snow began to thaw we met a few neighbors, found babysitters and have been slowly exploring the city, and we even had a few date nights. It’s not perfect and I still miss my friends, but we are slowly growing roots. School starts in a month and with it more friends will come for the boys and I’ll continue to build more relationships. It’s not perfect, but life isn’t perfect either. Oh, and I’ve found that having three major international airports all within 30 minutes of my house (one of which is on the metro line) really comes in handy when planning our next trip. Who am I to complain when I have more flight options?

Photo credit: the featured image is a photo of my friend Gen that I took while on a girls getaway weekend in Portland, OR. I’ve always wanted to show off this shot and now I have the perfect excuse. She is one of the many ladies I left behind in Seattle and I will always miss having her just a short drive away from me. 

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Showing 4 comments
  • Emily
    Reply

    I can relate to this entire post. As we’re getting ready to head back east ourselves, I’m anxious to be so much closer to our family and friends, but I’m also so sad to leave behind everything we’ve built here. It’s just so hard. We leave a little piece of our heart everywhere we go.

  • Marc
    Reply

    I can relate this post. I know how hard it is to move from place to place with kids. We have been traveling with my two babies since they are weeks old and done over 15 states so far and keep traveling. It was hard in the beginning from being away from friends but after 5 years of traveling, all friends and family become Facebook friends. We never plan on not traveling and contrary to you. we travel to each place a city 3 months at a time and live like locals and move on. keep up the great work and once in a while, we will check your site and see what you are up to 🙂

  • Jennifer
    Reply

    Beautiful post! I have been on both sides of the coin & I understand the joy & loneliness that comes with both. Family can be our friends and friends can be our family, I guess we’re lucky to have either & especially blessed to have both!

  • Jennifer
    Reply

    Beautiful post! I have been on both sides of the coin & I understand the joy & loneliness that comes with both. Family can be our friends and friends can be our family, I guess we’re lucky to have either & especially blessed to have both!

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Victoria BC