Growing up in the Pacific Northwest is pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Yes, it rains a lot. Yes, the Space Needle exists. Yes, they really do throw fish in the Pike Place Market. Yes, people wear columbia jackets, north face fleece and socks with their birkenstocks. Oh, and yes, that’s where I fell in love with coffee black like my soul. I really did love living there however I also knew nothing else. My husband also grew up in there and we actually graduated from the same high school. He studied psychology at the University of Washington. When I was 24 years old, and with two babies in tow we left the state of our birth for our first grand adventure. Little did we know that living in the 30A area is our dream life come true and grandest adventure at all.
We left the picturesque PNW for the corn fields of Iowa. It was its own kind of beautiful. The sun, oh hello you. Did you know in certain places the sun shines pretty much every day? I remember a day in January very specifically. It was negative 28 actual temperature but the sun was shining. It was then we realized that moving back home would be harder than we had originally anticipated.
Seven years after leaving ‘home’ and another state later, we came to a fork in the road. We were able to finally choose where we were going. We had a job lined up back home and then…we just decided it wasn’t the right path for us to take. Our friends from residency were moving to 30A and encouraged us to to at least interview. We did and when we crossed over the bridge into Destin from Fort Walton Beach I promise you I saw dolphins jumping in the harbor. I looked at my husband and said with actual tears in my eyes, “We have to move here.” So we did and I’m never ever leaving. Living in the 30A area is our dream life come true and there’s no going back.
The panhandle has been the most amazing place to grow our family and plant our roots. It’s been almost five years already and in someways it seems like yesterday that we were packing up the moving truck and heading down to ‘it gets better’ life. We have mama gulf just a quick drive away, the forests and hikes. The sun shines pretty much every day and my kids are thriving. There have been some growing pains of course.