Coming Home

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So there’s something I’ve been hiding from you for eight long months. And I realize what that sounds like, but it’s not what you think. Rather…

We’re moving to Nashville.

Not only are we moving to Nashville, but we’re officially leaving San Francisco in FOUR DAYS.

I know, right? I’m sort of blown away by that, too, and I’ve known for nearly a year! I didn’t tell you not because I don’t trust you guys with our little secret, but because for professional purposes, it was best that I keep that under wraps until it was time to go. Most of our good friends have known about our move for many months—we couldn’t keep it from the people in our everyday lives, as it’s been such a huge weight on everything we’ve done since last fall—and I debated not saying anything until after Semester at Sea. But I couldn’t keep it from you any longer. Did you suspect anything at all?

On July 31—er, on Sunday—we’ll pack up my Altima and drive cross country over the course of eight days, with the final destination being my parents’ house in Tennessee. We’ll stay with them for 11 days, bid farewell to Ella on the 20th (*sob*), then fly to Boston, where my staff training for Semester at Sea starts. Our stuff will be shipped ahead of us via 1-800-PACK-RAT—the pod shows up today and departs California on Friday—and will be stored in one of my dad’s storage units this fall while we’re sailing around the world. Then when we get back, we’ll stay with my parents for a spell while we start looking for a place to live—rent? buy? we have no idea at this point—in Nashville.

We’re ridiculously excited for all the changes in our lives, plus the chance to start fresh in a city we love.

Does our hectic 2011 make a bit more sense now? The ski season pass, the six-week tour of the West, the all-around craziness? We’ve been trying to do all the things that are more accessible to us from California than they are via Tennessee before we leave. Funny enough, our original plan had been to leave on Aug. 15, then Semester at Sea threw us a curveball by hiring me late in the game. I briefly contemplated turning down the opportunity, as we already had our path planned and I thought the timing was poor, then my mom convinced us: “When will you have better timing? You were already leaving town in August. You won’t have a lease, bills, a house to take care. All of your things will already be in storage, and Ella can stay here. If anything, the timing is actually perfect.” (My mom, wise woman she is.)

So why are we leaving? The reason is rather a long, drawn-out, convoluted one and less a cut-and-dry answer. Simply put: This city has become unlivable (to us). If you don’t reside in the Bay Area and have only seen its shiny veneer from the rosy glasses of a tourist, then you probably have no clue what I’m talking about. If you, in fact, live here, as well, then I’m sure you can relate.

The fact is that San Francisco is an excellent place to visit, I won’t deny that fact. It’s one of the prettiest cities in the country, maybe even the world. But being aesthetically pleasing doesn’t mean it’s the best place to make a home, for us. Maybe it is for you. Maybe you’ve won the lottery or are perfectly content living in a 500-square-foot space—and that’s totally fine, to each his/her own—but we have different priorities. We want more out of life than San Francisco (on our budgets and income) allows us. We want a house. We want a place we can put SVV’s creativity and skills to use (the guy has a contractor’s license among many other credentials for God’s sake). We want to live in a stand-alone home where we’re not subject to hearing the dreadful, inconsiderate woman below us—for whom we have less than favorable nicknames—shouting into the phone at all hours of the day, having friends over and blasting her music at all hours of the night.

We want a backyard. We want a spare bedroom (or two…or three) so we can actually host friends who are visiting and show them what we love about the South and all its charming attributes. We want nice weather and seasons and a city where a wool coat is not needed 12 months out of the year. We want to live in a place where leaving our house doesn’t mean an $80 parking ticket every single time, no matter how carefully we follow the rules. (True story, in the past few months I have received two parking tickets in San Francisco when I still had time left on my meter! Two parking tickets on top of dozens of others for other “alleged” violations. That’s how bad it has become. SFMTA rules this city and not in a good way.)

But I really don’t want to write a whole post about what I don’t like about San Francisco, because we’ve had a good go here and part of me will always be here, will always love this city. I just think I will love it much more visiting a couple months out of the year than I do living here full time. It’s SVV’s home. While he was born in Portland, he’s lived in California since he was two. That’s 35 years (minus his four years living in Europe). That’s a long time.

I am excited for so many things: football seasons, fall colors, the ability to drive a couple hours and be in another state (Tennessee is bordered by seven others!), Lady Vols basketball, the proximity to Florida and the Panhandle and butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, weekend trips to see my cousins in Memphis and Birmingham, seeing live music for pennies (or free), and of course, my ongoing quest to becoming best friends with Taylor Swift (stalker that I am, I totally know exactly where her penthouse apartment is located).

So we’re moving on, starting over, beginning with a clean slate. And it just so happens we picked the friendliest city, in the happiest state to do so! You really can’t ask for more than that.

It hasn’t been the easiest decision for my pride, silly as that sounds. I’ve always liked being “a Southerner in Holland/Arizona/Scotland/Denmark/New York/California.” I’m frankly terrified to go back to being average, to being “just another Tennessean in Tennessee.” (Yes, my ego will learn to get over it. Now, instead I can be “that girl who’s married to the really cool and handsome California boy with the curly hair who moved across country for her.”)

I never thought I’d move back home, never thought there would be opportunities there for me. But there are. We have opportunities in spades—to build new(/bigger) careers, finally make (and save) some money, hopefully buy a house one day soon—opportunities that would never fall into our lap were we to stay put in California and just continue to coast along as we’ve been doing this last handful of years.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of things we’ll miss here. At the moment, SVV’s amazing family, our wonderful neighbors, all the great friends we’ve made, the proximity to Tahoe and San Francisco’s amazing food culture are the things that come to mind. The thing is: San Francisco isn’t going anywhere, and I’m still going to keep some of my work out here. If nothing else, that will keep me connected to the city, give me an excuse to return regularly.

I suppose the lesson to be learned is that times change, personalities shift, you grow older (and dare I say, wiser), your priorities are not what they were five years ago.

All in all, I’m elated. I haven’t been just an hour away from my parents in a decade. I haven’t been able to meet my mom for lunch—or, more likely, a Broadway musical—without three months’ notice and one of us taking a cross-country plane ride. I haven’t been in the same town with so many of my college and childhood friends since, well, I was in college (or still a child). I’ll be just an hour-and-a-half direct flight from my better half, Lemon, and all my pals (and editors) in New York. IT WON’T TAKE ME A DAY TO GET TO EUROPE ANYMORE. I can fly back to the UK to see friends for a long weekend. There are just so many benefits to moving my base back eastward and so few for us staying in San Francisco.

And we’ll still continue to travel, have no fear. The day I retire my passport—or at least tuck it away in a drawer for much of the year—is the day you truly need to fear for my sanity.

So bust out some bubbly and raise a glass to us, will ya? We could use some all-around good cheer and merriment as we enter this next chapter of our lives!

COMMENTS
  • July 27, 2011

    WOW! What a huge announcement! Now you will only be about an hour and 45 minutes from me! 🙂

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I like that idea! Actually, even closer (I think–aren’t you in Chattanooga?) as I’ll be staying with my parents for awhile and they live in Coffee County =)

      • July 27, 2011

        I actually live in Huntsville, Alabama. My sister used to go to Vanderbilt so I was up in Nashville all the time. It’s such a great city!

        • July 27, 2011
          Kristin

          Oh sorry, must have gotten my wires crossed! Well, Huntsville is 45 minutes from my parents’ house and I’ve been wanting to take Scott to the space center as soon as we’re back there full time so… =)

          • July 27, 2011

            Oh nice! We will definitely have to get together then!

  • July 27, 2011
    Jen

    Those mamas…they sure are wise, encouraging, unselfish, and so much more aren’t they? What exciting news to spill finally! When you are all settled and are looking for your next vacation, just hop on 65 South and we will meet you for cocktails on Pensacola Beach!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      My parents used to have a place in Sandestin and are toying with the idea of getting a new one. Regardless, that’s where we vacation as a family–and Scott did his Navy training in Pensacola and hasn’t been back since. So yes, we will DEFINITELY be taking you up on that cocktail offer soon!

  • July 27, 2011
    Bethany

    Wow, congratulations! Best of luck with the move and everything else you have coming up. It sounds like you really made the right decision.

  • July 27, 2011

    Hey now, there’s *nothing* wrong with cat ladies! 😉 Congrats again and welcome back to the South!

    • July 27, 2011
      SVV

      I agree! Some of my favorite people have a posse of kitties.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Sorry, Lori! Less about the Cat Lady, and more about the fact that I can’t be in the room with actual cats without sneezing up a lung and scratching out my eyeballs =)

      • July 27, 2011

        Oh I’m totally not offended 😉 You’ll just never be able to crash on my couch, that’s all 😛

  • July 27, 2011
    Laurel

    Congrats! I have to say I love both the city you’re leaving and the city you’re moving to! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures in Nashvegas!

  • July 27, 2011

    Congratulations!

  • July 27, 2011

    Making my way through you post, but when you said unlivable, I got chills. Growing up in Santa Cruz I realize *exactly* what you mean even before I read it. Okay, I’m back from reading the rest, and yup, I hear ya. On top of that though, you have given me SO MUCH to think on. This entire post is why we stay in Texas, but my heart yearns for California – mostly because my family IS back there. Somehow the other reasons you mentioned (plus some) are enough to keep us away – from living there, any way.

    Congratulations!!! And I’m excited to see all the opportunities waiting for you!!

    xo

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Oh good. I feared Californians might not “get” it, as people are so defensive of this city, then I was out in SF with two of my favorite girls who live here the other night, and they were talking about all the same things that drive me nuts about this place, so I realized while others may be more tolerable of such conditions, at least I’m not alone in my my annoyances =)

      Plus, you live in AUSTIN. One of the best cities in the world! If I had any work or family connections there whatsoever, I would have seriously considered moving there at some point.

  • July 27, 2011

    Yippee…. now you can take us on a whiskey tour when we visit 🙂 Oh, wait, am I supposed to take a moment to be sad about the leaving SF part.

    I totally get it… You’re just getting closer and closer (this time in the physical sense) to exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s how we live our lives in No Vacation Required land. Three cheers for making a move that many would resist because most people hate change.

    Also, I totally get the big city thing. We LOVE cities but can only imagine living in a small handful of them. (Sidenote: That’s why we feel so lucky to have found a perfect fit in our home base, Seattle.).

    Anyhow, rock that Altima across the country as you embark on the next phase of life. We’ll continue this discussion over whiskey in Tennessee one day.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I will gladly take you on the whiskey tour of Tennessee and on the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. Just let me know when you’re coming to see us 😉

      • July 27, 2011
        Samantha

        And I know a great place you can all stay when you come for the Bourbon Trail!!! 🙂

  • July 27, 2011

    Well us NorCal-ers will miss you, but you know I’m always game to a bottle of bubbly, so CHEERS to you and SVV! (And Ella.)

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      And you’re just down the street from my in-laws so something tells me this won’t be the end of our Sarah Summit-ing days 😉

      I still have to meet LG before she’s driving!

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats! I totally understand where you’re coming from. Some cities are harder to live in than others, especially for writers and artists. My husband goes down to SF for his clients and I hope to God that we don’t have to move there. While I love visiting, we just wouldn’t enjoy the same standard of living.

    And Nashville is a great town! Lots of music, good food and friendly people. Best of luck with the move.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Chris! I will always love San Francisco and NYC, but part of me knows I could never live in either for the long haul and be truly happy.

  • July 27, 2011
    pam

    We moved to our house in the Seattle burbs for quite similar reasons. Evil downstairs neighbor, truly evil. Guests in the living room instead of in some kind of guest room space. 500 square feet of total living space for two work at home adults. Etc. amen. I miss the accessible urban of our old ‘hood, but I would not go back to living like that, not for a million dollars. Because also, our ‘hood got so expensive that seriously, a million dollars would not get you what we have now, a garden for BBQ and sprawling, guest space, a garage AND a workshop AND a guest room AND an office with a door that closes AND… nope, you need at least 1.5 in our old ‘hood for that.

    Congrats.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Pam. We were looking at houses to buy last year, and when we realized a complete beater with just two bedrooms and a bath that was in the furthest reaches of SF and would require a couple hundred grand to fix up started at $700,000, then maybe, just maybe, it was time to move somewhere cheaper! Even the ‘burbs out here are unachievable price-wise for us, and, truth be told, I’m looking forward to living in a place that is less claustrophobic.

      Bummed I’ll miss you at BP in a couple weeks, but I’m hoping our paths cross on the road somewhere, sometime (soon).

  • July 27, 2011

    So excited for your next adventure. Cheers!

  • July 27, 2011

    Oooohhh, you sure are good at keeping a secret from the internet. 🙂 Here’s to the next phase in your lives. *raises a flute of magical bubbly*

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      You have no idea how many times I started to Tweet something about the moving process sucking–we started packing everything pre-road trip in May!–then would remember it was still a secret just before I clicked “Tweet” =)

  • July 27, 2011

    Wow, big changes! I think the city is great for the young and single and newly married. It was great for us. SF sounds like Chi-town. Expensive, tough job market, parking ticket racket. I may not like Dallas, but in terms of practical living, it was a great choice. Cheaper, better apartments, good job market, cheap housing market. Since your career revolves around travel, you get the exotic and beautiful, may as well live somewhere that is good for…. living. 🙂

    I’ve only driven through Nashville – maybe your posts on the place will inspire a more thorough exploration. Sometime before we leave the “south” (though Dallas isn’t REALLY southern), I want to drive the Southeast coast.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I would love to be your tour guide if that ever happens =)

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats on the move and on Semester and Sea – sounds like you have a lot of exciting adventures coming up!

    I can totally related to your comment about a great city being unlivable for you. My husband and I are reaching that point with Chicago. I adore this city but I can work from anywhere in the world, and my husband just got a new position that would allow him to do that same, so there’s nothing holding us here anymore and we’re seriously considering leaving next year for someplace smaller, with a lower cost of living (like you, I yearn for a guest bedroom so visitors don’t have to stay in a hotel), and a milder climate.

    So cheers to change!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      That’s exciting, Katie! Being location independent is the best, isn’t it? Maybe you should consider Nashville…that’s all I’m saying… =)

      (Clearly I’m now going to be on a campaign to get all my favorite blog friends to the South!)

  • July 27, 2011

    Exciting! Glad the news is finally out 🙂

    We’ll have to see where I have a better chance of running into you – on the West Coast on one of my trips, or in Italy!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      NYC maybe? Somewhere in between? We’re going to Italy, it looks like, with my parents but that won’t be until summer of 2013 (which sounds lightyears away, doesn’t it?). Hope it doesn’t take that long for us to run into one another again!

      • August 23, 2011

        That does seem forever away! 🙂 I definitely hope it won’t take us that long to meet up again, but I doubt it. Our paths will cross for sure.

  • July 27, 2011

    Oh I’m so excited for you guys!

    Garrett is currently planning his Best Friend’s September Bachelor Party in Nashville and keeps talking about how awesome it seems. Maybe we will come see you one of these days….can you believe I’ve never been ANYWHERE in the South?

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      That seems to be a common trend with Californians! Our neighbor just told us last night she hasn’t been either (well only to Mobile, but the South is HUGE). Happy to host a traveling Sarah Summit once we’re settled in the city 😉

      And, of course, I’ll be back in Sac often to see Scott’s parents, so we’ll still have plenty of opportunities for weekend mimosas!

  • July 27, 2011

    oh my god!! I relate sooo much to you! Currently living in a beautiful city, but too expensive! I’ll never get a house, a backyard bigger than the size of a hand and tranquility if we stay here. On the other hand, my hometown can offer these kind of things…We are facing the fact that we’ll have to move away from this beautiful city one day. And I’m quite ready anyway.

    I’m 100% convinced you did the right thing, even if it was a hard decision. Nashville seems very nice!:) Best of luck with the move and congrats!! I hope you’ll be as happy as can be! (altough, I don’t really have doubts 😉 )

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Thank you, Audrey! I’m glad to know other people out there have my exact thoughts and feelings about the place where they live vs. their hometowns =)

  • July 27, 2011

    How exciting!! Congrats on the big move and have a blast on SAS! Hope to run into you around Nashville once you’re back! 🙂

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      If that doesn’t organically happen, then we should arrange something and make it happen =)

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats! We just moved from Denver to Asheville, NC for many of the reasons you mentioned! Granted, Denver is no San Francisco, but it is a city that is a gazillion miles away from my roots.

    I am LOVING being back in the South again!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Awesome! Asheville is so close to where I went to college (Knoxville), and my sister lives in Charlotte now so we’ll no doubt be passing through there from time to time. Would love to meet finally!

  • July 27, 2011

    Congratulations!
    I actually had guessed you were going to do this, but then to be fair you talked about it when we met up in SF so it’s not like I’m a mind reader or anything!
    I hope the move goes well and you, SVV and Ella are very happy in the South once you get back from your sea adventures!
    Plus my Mum and I are planning a trip to Dollywood next year so I will be (politely) tapping you up for some info and hoping for another chance to hang out with my pal Ella soon ! :0)

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      That goes without saying! Though if you’re coming to the state, you can’t just see East TN–promise me? You have to at least come see Nashville, as it truly is the best part =) The Smokies are great, but Pigeon Forge is a bit too kitschy for you to leave the state thinking that’s what we’re all about!

      • July 27, 2011

        Oh absolutely consider it a promise, I’ve always wanted to visit Nashville anyway so that will definitely be on the itinerary!! :0) Happy packing!!!

  • July 27, 2011

    Wow! That is big news. And does explain some of the hectic year thus far! I had always thought that I’d be moving back to San Francisco, right about now. But that hasn’t happened, and it was a pretty rough blow for me. But with plenty of friends still there, it’s a great place to visit. And I can attest to how charming everything is when you’re not paying SF-level rents!

    Best of luck with the move. It’ll be intense and huge, but worth it in the end!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Exactly–I will never not come back to visit, but it was a huge weight off my chest when we decided to move (and realizing that my entire paycheck won’t go to rent every month for the rest of my life)!

  • July 27, 2011

    Thrilled for you guys. Yay for change!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      And a quick and easy $39 trip to O’Hare on Southwest…just saying =)

  • July 27, 2011

    I liked the idea of knowing a Tennessean in SF, but Tennessee is glad to have you back!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      And now we can conquer the Southern media together! =)

  • July 27, 2011
    dina

    I CANNOT WAIT.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Next goal: Getting your J. Crew-clad butt to Nashville, as well!

  • July 27, 2011
    Briel K.

    Exciting news! I totally understand about SF. I’ve never lived there but I know I’d never want to. It’s a fun place to visit for a day or so but that’s it for me! Good luck on your move!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Definitely! I look forward to coming back as a tourist, for sure–I think it’s much easier to enjoy a place when there are no strings attached and you know you’re only there for a set amount of time.

  • July 27, 2011

    YAY!!! I cannot wait to swing over to Nashville. I’m so excited for you two. And Ella. Looking forward to great stories. xx

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Ella and I are very excited to have you come see our new digs, whenever we finally find a place to live, that is =)

  • July 27, 2011

    Wow! Congrats on the move! San Francisco will miss you, but, boy, do I understand the desire to move on.

    J and I will probably follow you East within the next 2 or 3 years, though we’re thinking Maine or New Hampshire, both having spent our formative years split between the Midwest and New England. I love the Bay area (though I’m much more of an Oakland girl than San Francisco), and all the amazing outdoors opportunities we have here. But there’s so much I want out of life that I just can’t have here, realistically. I want to be able to raise my kids in a house in the woods, with apple cider and red trees in the fall, sledding and snow forts in the winter, and balmy days at the lake in the summer. I want to actually be able to BUY a house without spending half my income on a mortgage. I want J to be able to paint for a living, instead of working a job that he doesn’t really love and feeling guilty for stealing time in the studio. Argh! This is making me want to move right now 🙂 Best of luck and congrats again!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Ooh Maine or New Hampshire would be lovely. I’m also looking forward to weekend trips to New England (particularly during fall foliage)–until we went through Maine, Mass and Rhode Island with my parents earlier this month, Scott had never been to that area of the country at all!

      Also, much as I never would have thought it a couple years ago, if we stayed out here, I think we would have migrated to the East Bay, as well. So many of our friends (and now Scott’s sis and her husband) have moved out that way, and it seems far more manageable (though that said, I got TWO tickets in half an hour in Berkeley a couple months back–both for expired reg!).

  • July 27, 2011
    Tara

    I’m sure I’ll see you around town!!!!!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      That would be a delightful encounter! If not, we can always make that happen purposely =)

  • July 27, 2011
    Abi

    Good luck with the move! I actually don’t know San Fran at all – but I can completely relate to wanting more space and trying something new. Enjoy 🙂

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats on the big move. Change is ALWAYS good. I hear you on living in an unlivable city. As a life-long New Yorker I have just become used to homes costing more than $800k in good neighborhoods. My wife and I never, EVER wanted to live in the city because it’s dirty, crowded, loud and oh yeah…really expensive. We live in a beach side community 40-minutes outside Manhattan and have a yard, a large porch, BBQ area and plenty of room for our 15-month-old to run about. Plus I work in the city so I get to enjoy all the dining options during the week and then can be at home in peace and quiet on the weekends.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Andrew! Manhattan is such a great place, but I can see why around the time I left (four years ago), all my friends started moving outward to Brooklyn–or beyond. It’s only so long you can keep up with that pace and those living conditions, and I think once you near your late-20s, you start to value more space, a slower way of life and less claustrophobia. Happy you guys found the best of both worlds, and I’m stoked to be back so ‘close’ (relatively speaking) to NYC…we’ll have to organize a meet-up next time I’m visiting =)

  • July 27, 2011
    Mary

    Congratulations! I totally didn’t see that coming! I’m a Virginia girl myself. Welcome back to the South! 🙂

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      We’re all about the element of surprise over here =)

  • July 27, 2011

    So I can visit YOU and my brother and sister-in-law and their kiddies all in the same trip.
    Thanks for thinking of me 🙂

    xoxo

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Yes, I try to be convenient whenever possible! I’m totally pumped about the idea of seeing you more regularly (and being entertained by that trio of moppets you possess)!

  • July 27, 2011

    You shall be missed but I’m excited about all your big adventures! I agree with your mom. If not now, when? Good for you for going for it!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I remember you and I once discussing whether or not we could return to the South, and I think my take was something like “a quarter to NEVER.” Funny how time changes things, huh? =)

  • July 27, 2011
    MLE

    I’m so excited for you guys! It’s funny that we’ve been trying so hard to move TO the bay area (though we are definitely East Bay people) while you’ve been on your way out – but for me, CA is home and the East Bay is where our biggest support network is. Everything you mention in your post is precisely why we love visiting SF but would never want to live there. Congratulations on your big move, and next time we swing through the south (we did it last year! it could happen!) I’ll keep you posted!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Yep. In retrospect, if we had stayed, I think we would have abandoned the city for the East Bay, as well. Though still not cheap, it seems a much more manageable place to live! Good luck getting back here/there soon! And yes, please do swing through Nashville next time you’re in the South!

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats and huzzah! I can’t wait to see what next, great adventures await you!! (Also, long weekend in the UK? Jealous)

    xox

  • July 27, 2011

    So, the Southern girl is going home. I can’t say I’m *completely* surprised; for all your crazy whirlwind traveling, we both know there’s molasses running through your veins. I’m excited for the both of you, and I can’t wait to hear about all the awesomeness you guys manage to find in your new home!

    Plus, now when I have to go visit my brother and bitch-in-laws in Nashville, I have a kickass excuse to sneak away!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Molasses–and whiskey, too.

      Um, I had NO idea your brother lived in Nashville! How soon can you come see us–er, I mean come see him? 😉

  • July 27, 2011

    aw big move, and i didn’t even get to meet you while you were IN sf. 😉 it’s not a city for everyone, but having grown up here, it’s hard for me to move away. all of my family is here. i’ve been lucky enough to find a place that is still in the city, not a 500 sq foot box, but i also had to make the sacrifice of living in a neighborhood not usually desired.

    i’ve never been to tennessee or nashville, but it sounds like i will have to if they are indeed the friendliest 😉

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Well, we actually have a nice apartment and it’s 1,000 square feet (so 500 each!), but it’s more the other challenges that come with that (parking fees, having loud neighbors below us and a terrible landlord…). I still love this city, I’m just ready for a bit more breathing room. And like I said, Scott is from here so we’ll always come back–maybe we’ll cross paths then 😉

  • July 27, 2011

    I am THRILLED for you and a bit jealous, for years I have wanted to get out of the Bay Area (I did get a nice reprieve when I was in FR and CH, but I am ready again to hit the road and can’t because we have a house and with the economy we can’t sell. The Bay Area (and SF) are great, but it is SO expensive and I am kind of tired of it myself. So I understand all your reasons (even the ego one!) for doing what you are doing and I say BRAVO. You aren’t giving up your blog any time soon and I will continue to enjoy reading it. I love TN and now have an extra excuse to want to go there. We never did get to have that knitting party, so I am going to have to get out to you some other way. Fried chicken and Kristin…it’s on!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I was afraid I might alienate some Bay Area readers with my confessions, but as it turns out, the majority seem to agree with our reasoning for leaving–and many like yourself are itching to get out as well!

      I know, I REALLY do want to meet up with you–whether in Nashville or next time I’m back visiting (I’ll probably be staying in the East Bay most times we’re back, so even easier), we will make that happen!

  • July 27, 2011

    1. YAY! You’re closer to MEEEE! (kind of) And despite having never met you, I love having peeps I read nearby!

    2. Girl, I hear you. Having just moved back to Chicago after living in DC for 5+ years, for both a job opp and to be closer to family is great–but it’s a change, that’s for sure. I’m still getting used to it, both good and bad ways.

    3. I’m thrilled for you both–let the next chapter of your adventure begin!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      That meetup will happen SOON(ish…as in 2012, when we’re actually back for good). Chicago is an hour-long, $39 flight on Southwest and one of the places I want to visit soon after we get back from Semester at Sea. (It’s also why I had signed up for the Chicago Marathon before getting hired for the ship, as I knew it would be a really easy race to travel to.)

  • July 27, 2011

    Home ownership and a backyard rock. I fully understand your decision (also after reading in the recent post about the cost of your rent). ENJOY, enjoy! Look forward to reading about your Semester at Sea adventures!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Kara! I think fellow travel writers especially can relate, for two reasons: 1) It’s not like I’m in a profession with an annual salary increase or am ever going to make six figures and 2) the beauty of being location independent is that you can pick your base to be somewhere you love, rather than somewhere you *need* to be (which is why I landed in NYC many years ago).

      But that backyard is one of the biggest selling points, I’m not going to lie!

  • July 27, 2011

    DISLIKE. I’m going to miss our regular brunches terribly, but I suppose this affords me the opportunity to find some cowboy boots and come to TN. Still, it’s been amazing having you so close and I’m still a little heartbroken that one of my BFF’s will now be SO FAR AWAY. Here’s to stalking T-Swift together when I visit 🙂

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I know =( You are, no doubt, at the tip-top of my Things I Will Miss Most About California list, but I take comfort in knowing that my in-laws live just down the road from you and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (or, ever) and that I will see you every time I’m back to visit–and in Nashville, too!

  • July 27, 2011
    Melissa

    I really like your blog, but I don’t comment very much, so hi! My husband and I are also in the midst of a relocation from the Bay Area (peninsula instead of SF) to the East Coast. Its hard and scary because we have a great network here, grew up on the West Coast, and love the lifestyle, but we got an opportunity that we couldn’t turn down. Not to mention that we will finally be able to afford a house! Good luck to you! I will be looking forward to hearing about all your new adventures on your blog!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Hi back! And happy moving and trails to you too, Melissa! The prospect of owning properties was definitely a big motivator for us, as well.

  • July 27, 2011
    Mister Sister

    hrm hrm.. what about one of the reasons you are coming back being the proximity to your little sis???

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      1) My sister falls under the umbrella of “family.”

      2) Though she’s the one who just insisted on moving farther away from us!

      3) However, I’m pretty stoked for Charlotte getaways when I need a break from living with people again 😉

  • July 27, 2011

    Congratulations on your decision! It sounds like a fabulous one. I can relate to many of your reasons as well as issues (as much I hate to admit it, I understand the ego one!). We toy with the idea of moving home (well, to my home [Louisville], since Jeff and I aren’t from the same place and his Seattle fits into the expensive [and rainy and cold] category) but haven’t made that leap yet. We did, however, do the move from big, expensive, hard-to-live-in city (DC) to smaller southern town (Durham, NC), and it was fabulous for us. Our quality of life here is so wonderful (managed to get a house with yard that’s within walking distance of everything at less than our DC condo rent) that, although there are some things I miss about DC, it’s nothing that a visit doesn’t fix.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      The Triangle area is so lovely! I look forward to exploring more of North Carolina now that I’ll be its(/your) neighbor again. My sister actually just relocated to Charlotte in May and absolutely loves it.

  • July 27, 2011
    Brandy

    Wow, big move! Congrats! I’m sure it’ll be really nice living somewhere with a lower cost of living that’s still in a cool, friendly city that also happens to be close to your family and friends. I’m jealous! I grew up in West Virginia and most of my family (and quite a few of my friends) still live there, but sadly there are no cities within a few hours drive that I would consider moving to, at least not anytime soon.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks! And I totally understand that. One of my best friends from college who then became my roommate in NYC was also from WV, and she had the same conundrum. After she was sick of Manhattan/Brooklyn, she wound up applying for jobs in Nashville, relocated there three years ago and it looks like she’s there permanently (another reason I’m stoked to move!). She’s still about a five-hour drive from her family, but at least it’s now drivable versus a flight like before.

  • July 27, 2011
    Krista J.

    Best wishes on your new adventure! Moving is always a huge deal, no matter where you are going. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and now live in the city itself. Both are expensive places to live though, so I can’t really win no matter where I go. Good luck, and I hope this new phase in your life is as exciting as you want it to be!

  • July 27, 2011
    JeJe

    YYYYAAAAAAAYYYYYY! Wise woman… your mom!

  • July 27, 2011

    Best of luck! I can relate a bit, but going the opposite direction. I’m a CA girl who left for a career opportunities and a lower cost of living (although not much) in Northern Virginia. We really miss being near our family and really want to get back to CA, but to OC where we grew up, not the SF area. We lived in the Bay Area for 9 years and haven’t even been back to visit. It’s a great place in some ways, but the cost of living, traffic, etc don’t make up for it. If you have the opportunity to get back to your family, you are smart to take it. Now that we have a mortgage, it’s much harder to quit our jobs and move back given the state of the economy. Do we get a post about your favorite SF moments???

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I’ve actually avoided writing too many SF posts since I’ve been here, primarily because that’s what I do all day for my professional writing and I like to keep the blog what I want to write about; however, so many people have written me over the last year or so saying they go to my site to look for SF specifics for their own trips that I’m going to do a bit more California writing, just spaced out. I’m actually going to do a big dining post on my Last Suppers (all 12 of them, ha–we’ve been dining out every night for two weeks!) and some others throughout the fall and winter. I’m not done with SF, not by a long shot, but just as a permanent resident =)

      And Scott and I both sort of agreed that if we found our way back to the state eventually, we’d probably like it to be in Southern California simply because the weather is far better suited for us than SF!

  • July 27, 2011
    sbc

    Congrats! The south will be glad to have you back! Sometimes I get a little wistful of friends living it up in bigger cities, but then I remind myself I have got a house, yard, large beast of a dog, family 10 minutes away, decent savings, funds to travel & mild winters to boot! That said I do envy a good public transit system…

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      That’s one thing I miss about NYC, the public transit, but something San Francisco is severely lacking so while Nashville has little (if any) of it, I’m used to spending hours each day in my car as it is!

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats! So excited for you guys!!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      We’re still driving through OKC sometime next week, so I’ll drop you a line and see if you’re free for breakfast or coffee when I figure out what day that will be!

      • July 28, 2011

        Yes! Let me know for sure. We should be around all week. Leave for Denver on Friday. Highs around 106 next week 🙁

      • July 28, 2011

        I was just talking to RBB. If you guys can swing by in the early evening or late afternoon, we love to take you to lunch or dinner at Cattleman’s in the stockyards. It is next to the flagship Langston’s store. just a thought. If it works out…great. If not, totally understand.

        • July 28, 2011
          Kristin

          I think we might actually miss you =( We’re leaving New Mexico next Friday morning, so it seems we’ll probably get to OKC after you’ve left for Denver. BUMMER.

          • July 28, 2011

            Oh no! If you still stop in OKC and want to see the store or anything. Let me know. Brian will be here and he said he’d love to meet you. He’s not coming with to Denver.

  • July 27, 2011

    i’m the same way – pull me out of the south and i’m a ridiculously proud southener, making sure everyone i meet knows i’m from tennessee. but when i actually lived there, both knoxville and nashville seemed a little less cool. so fickle. but i’m super excited for you guys. enjoy some baja burrito (on thompson lane) for all the former tennessans who are now acattered about the country and dream of their delicious tacos. i’m hoping at some point my husband and i will get the opportunity to move back as well – we miss cracker barrel’s chickin’ and dumplin’s and wearing shorts in july too much to stay out west for long.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Someone who knows EXACTLY what I’m feeling. THIS. This is how I feel! I’m hoping, however, that seven years outside of the South in other cities will make me realize just how good we have it once we’re back. Plus, being away had made me appreciate and cherish the South’s quirks even more (though I’m already dreading the “so when are you two having kids?” question around every turn, which just seems inevitable).

      But UT football and Lady Vols basketball is a huge incentive! My sister has one more year in her grad program in Knoxville before permanently relocating to Charlotte, so you better believe I’m going to log some mad Pat Summitt time this winter when I’m back from sailing.

  • July 27, 2011

    Wow, I just found your blog, and you are moving here to good ole Nashville. Welcome home! There are lots of people here who have relocated from larger cities for the same reasons you mentioned. Enjoy your new yard. there’s something really satisfying about stepping onto your little plot of the earth and drinking a cold beer and thinking “this is mine.”

    P.S. i’m a dentist so if you need someone in Nashville to take care of your teeth, look us up http://www.MusicCitySmiles.com

  • July 27, 2011

    Excited for you guys! Sad that it means that I WON’T finally meet you in San Diego next week, but still happy for you. 🙂 xoxo

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      But soon! Maybe Blissdom in Nashville one year? Or BlogHer next? IT WILL HAPPEN.

  • July 27, 2011
    Sarah

    I read often, comment rarely…but I just wanted to say congratulations!
    Wishing you all the very best things….

    🙂

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Thank you so much, Sarah! And thank you for taking the time to chime in and let me know you’re out there =)

  • July 27, 2011

    Happy for you guys! And hope this means more frequent travels to Florida. 🙂

    • July 27, 2011
      SVV

      #$%^ YES!!

      • July 28, 2011
        Kristin

        If you’d ever actually plan to be IN Florida, then yes, we can arrange that =)

        Or weekend getaways elsewhere with the dudes? That could also be fun!

  • July 27, 2011
    k

    Yay! Congrats, very exciting!

    Just this weekend when I was helping old roommates move into a new house, I was thinking about how jealous I was of them to own their own place. Now owning a house anywhere on a grad student salary really isn’t possible – but thinking about the future, I know how much I value that.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Three years ago, I never thought I’d be this girl, the one who needed a house, breathing room, a backyard, a city that moved at a slower pace of life. Yet here I am; I have totally become that girl.

  • July 27, 2011

    Congrats on the big move. I lived in San Francisco for 15 years before coming to New York last year. As much as I loved it, it started to wear on me a bit so best to leave before I resented it. Nashville is a great town, lots of terrific music and great food. Good luck!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I did the reverse–NYC to SF. Wow, we really know how to pick the “cheap places” to live, eh? Funny, I actually had a substantial savings account after leaving Manhattan (I worked two full-time jobs, essentially) but it’s since been drained after moving here (no doubt SFMTA is to blame for that!).

  • July 27, 2011
    Allison

    Congrats, Kristin! I’m a regular reader but have never commented before. I’ve lived in SF for 8 years and I COMPLETELY agree with everything you said. As a matter of fact, I’m moving to Chicago (where I’m from) for many of the same reasons! Anyway, all the best!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Well, hello regular reader who has never commented before! I’m so glad you came to say hi =)

      I’m happy I have some kindred spirits out there! I thought people were going to be offended that I just wasn’t feeling San Francisco as a permanent home–people who live here seem very protective of this city like no other place I’ve ever lived–and that I want more out of life than an apartment in a foggy neighborhood with a downstairs neighbor who sends me into hysterics on a near-daily basis.

      Good luck with your move, too, my friend!

  • July 27, 2011

    I am going to miss you so so much! Sunday brunch will never be the same. But I love Memphis, a lot, and now I have one more very good reason for going back. But still, even though I am so happy for you guys, I am sad. But yeah, I get the SF thing, I totally get it.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I know, I will miss my blogging buds the most =/ But like I told Amy, the in-laws aren’t going anywhere so we’ll still be back semi-regularly and raring for some Sarah Summits!

  • July 27, 2011
    Carla Vowell

    Welcome back to Tennessee!! Nashville is a great place to be as you are already aware. Megan will be so pleased!! Scott will find many treasures that you will get to show him of your home state.
    Congrats on the change…

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      First up: Martin, Tennessee for some award-winning turtle soup! And then back to Nashville for dessert by Tennessee’s finest pastry maker at Capitol Grille =)

  • July 27, 2011
    Caitlin

    Closer to Europe, farther from Australia. Oh well, I guess you can’t have it all!

    I never found SF unliveable and I missed the city enormously when we moved to Silicon Valley. But then, I was only there a year, I didn’t run a car, we had a sweet freestanding cottage in Noe and the income to pay the rent and we liked do lots of walking. We had also just moved from London so we had more space, the cost of living was less, and so on. But, as you say, times and people change. I have no idea how I would find it now with twins. And I’m so with you on the weather (though that was better in Silicon Valley).

    I also really understand the tug of home. I’m so glad we moved back to Australia.

    Congrats on the move. I feel privileged to be one of the few who knew already.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I know, right? And I HAVE been to Australia twice since living here, too…though not to Asia as much as I would have liked/hoped.

      The first two years I was out here, I was absolutely enchanted by all the wondrous new things to do and foods to eat. In year three, I became more disgruntled. By year four, I need to escape. I honestly think it’s because I moved here just a year before the recession hit, and as California is in such a state of budget deficit, it has affected a lot of people’s attitude and morale (and the meter maids’ tendency to ticket even those who abide by the laws!).

      Having come from NYC, I didn’t find SF anymore expensive, but rather the last seven years of my life have been in pricey cities so I’m ready to move somewhere where my money goes farther. And while I loved the weather on the Peninsula (we were there for two years), living there also meant I had to drive to the city daily so there was always that payoff–warmth or go crazy because no one I know lives in San Mateo County? =)

      And I started following Rebecca after she guest-blogged for you! I need to meet some local blogging friends =)

  • July 27, 2011
    Caitlin

    PS You should look up Rebecca Crump of Ezra Pound Cake. She lives in Nashville.

  • July 27, 2011

    That is awesome!! Any chance you’ll be in Nashville August 10 -15th? 🙂 Maybe we could meet up for a drink somewhere… Bob and I are visiting his family for a week and we’ll be around Nashville, Franklin and Brentwood areas. So excited for you!!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I always forget his family lives there! Yes actually–we’ll be in Nashville on Aug. 11 for a doctor’s appointment and dinner with friends. Maybe we could meet up for coffee midday if you guys are free? I happen to know Taylor Swift’s favorite cafes (of course I do) 😉

  • July 27, 2011
    Sar

    Wow, how exciting! Two years ago my husband and I made the same decision (to leave SF) after living there for two years in an overpriced, cramped basement apartment. It was a fun city and I will always love it, but SO expensive! I always thought I was alone in feeling that way about such a lovely city, but it seems I am not alone after reading your post (and the many commenters agreeing). Thank you!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I did, too! I was a bit nervous to reveal that while I love San Francisco as a city, I’ve been far from content living here–I was afraid I was setting myself up to get burned at the stake, but it seems there are more lovely people like yourself than not who are in agreement! =)

  • July 27, 2011

    Cheers!! What exciting news. Good for you guys! I hope the packing goes smoothly and that you enjoy the drive. One of my sisters, her husband, and my only niece live in southern Indiana, so we’ve passed though Nashville a few times en route to visit them. I’ve always had a good time. 😉

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      And now we can have doggy meet-ups when next that happens!

  • July 27, 2011
    Ris

    Oh that’s so exciting! Congratulations! We’ll be moving on the same day, each eastward. I’ll cross my fingers that you guys have good luck and happy travels!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Oooh we are? That must mean extra good moving luck for the both of us!

  • July 27, 2011

    although this does give me the sads, since we JUST moved to the city…I’m really happy for you guys 🙂 Can’t wait to read all about it!

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      Who knows, maybe Elvis will bring you back to my lovely state sooner rather than later… 😉

  • July 27, 2011

    Congratlations, Kristin. I’m glad we got to know each other in San Francisco. Maybe we can go horseback riding together in Nashville?

    What a trip.

    • July 27, 2011
      Kristin

      I have heard that Tennessee has a few horses milling about here and there =)

      Yes, I would love that! Look me up. If I don’t see you back in the Bay Area before then…I’ll still be doing my Frommer’s work and other random assignments, so I’ll be here a couple months out of the year!

  • July 27, 2011

    I’m so happy for both of you. This is an exciting move and new chapter. Not like you don’t usually have a little excitement in your life. I agree about SF being one of the prettiest cities I’ve seen, but it also has it’s downfalls. I tried living south of the bay and even with two jobs couldn’t afford that either. Glad you did some more of the western US things on your bucket list. I love how you follow your dreams with passion. Sure hope you’ll be posting while at sea.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Yes, definitely! Staff has free Internet, so as long as I can long on, I still hope to keep up a two- to three-times-a-week schedule.

      And thank you for all the nice words; you truly are one of the kindest souls the Internet has introduced me to (and one of the most fun to follow, as well–I love your nomadic lifestyle!).

  • July 27, 2011
    quyen huynh

    congratulations. at some point when time permits, i take the kids to nashville to visit my huge family and visit a place that was home for 3 years. best childhood memory ever!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      And you better let me know when you do! I’d love to take you guys around and see those darling kids of yours again. Love following their stories and photos on your blog–spunkiest kids ever!

  • July 28, 2011
    Sid

    Wow. I had no idea that San Fran was cold. I always had this picture in my head of it being this perfect place – sunshine, good food etc. Had no idea it was expensive.

    Good luck with your new home.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I think a lot of international travelers don’t realize that, because they show up in July (one of our coldest months) in shorts and Tees and then quickly run to some overpriced tourist shop to buy a fleece. The weather here is very much what I experienced in Cape Town last April–it can be warm-ish and sunny and then cold and foggy in a matter of minutes. And it’s the wind here that always has it feeling much damper. Average temperature year-round is around 60 degrees F, which is fine in the winter but not very cool (or rather, too cool!) in the summer.

  • July 28, 2011

    I’m so happy for you, Kristin. Nashville is also so much closer to Texas now, and I’ve never been. Coincidence? I think not!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I was actually looking for a way to make Dallas on our drive home just so I could see your clan, but alas, it was too far out of the way…this time. But Texas is up there on my radar for when I’m back in the US and ready to do some weekend getaways!

  • July 28, 2011

    This is going to be an amazing move for you guys! I can’t wait to come visit in one of those spare bedrooms =)

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      And–need I state the obvious–make more trips to Orlando for BUTTERBEER??

  • July 28, 2011

    Awesome. As a native from Boston, let me know if you want any recommendations for good eats.

    have an amazing move

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I’m not even sure I’ll be getting off the ship this time! But I was in Boston a few weeks ago and had dinner with our mutual pals Sues (We Are Not Martha) and Susan (Transient Travels) at 94 Mass =)

  • July 28, 2011

    Very exciting! Enjoy your upcoming adventures before you settle into your new home.

  • July 28, 2011
    Knoxville Girl

    Kristin,
    Congratulations on your exciting move! Nashville is such a vibrant – and affordable- city.
    I came to East TN as a young woman randomly following the job market and fell in love with the place – still here & happy about it decades later. TN has made a great home base for my own travel addictions. (Yes, Australia took some planning – but you know that anything is feasible with planning!)
    Caution: if I happen to see you in the stands at a Lady Vols game this season, I might come and introduce myself, but I’m really not an Internet stalker, just a fan of your blog.
    Best of luck to you, SVV and Ella. I’ve enjoyed your blog and look forward to your next posts.
    KG

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      If you ever see me in the stands, you better come say hi! =) My sister is in Knoxville for one last year doing her master’s, so I hope to get up to Thompson Boling for as many home games as possible once we’re back in December. I worked for Pat during college–I used to be on the “Fun Patrol” (marketing team) who did the Chic-Fil-A drops, the T-shirt launches, the music and the games during time-outs–and there are few things in life I love more than Lady Vols basketball!

  • July 28, 2011

    Wow! Congratulations!! And I know just where you are, mentally, I was in the same place when I left New York and came back to Knoxville. I’ve never been happier. Maybe one day we can meet up for a cocktail, perhaps before a home football game? 🙂

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I would love that! I’ll be in Knoxville often, I have a feeling–first, this winter/spring as it’s my sister’s last year in Knoxville (she’s doing her master’s) and after that for football games and to visit all my college pals who have since moved back. So consider it a date!

  • July 28, 2011

    Change is always good! This sounds fantastic, and I’m only mildly jealous – we’ve been trying to get out of SoCal for years now (we’d love to move East Coast, like Boston), but my husband hasn’t been able to find a job, and the house market stinks (we own, well more like the bank, our home). Enjoy the new beginnings – and your post makes me want to visit Tennessee! Who knew all it had to offer (although, I can’t IMAGINE living somewhere without a access to a beach, even a cold one!)

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      That seems the story of everyone I know out here, SVV’s family included. It stinks, being stuck in a place because of a house, but I’m sure you’ll find a way out. And the beach thing was an issue for us at first, but you know what? We live a straight, two-mile shot from Ocean Beach and have been *maybe* twice in 18 months. It’s just too cold! But everyone in Tennessee vacations in the Destin area, as it’s so warm, the beaches are really great and it’s a 5.5-hour drive. So really, we’ll be able to go there quicker for long weekends than were we to drive to Santa Barbara or LA–and the water is actually warm!

  • July 28, 2011
    A

    Long-time lurker, first time commenter. Congrats and good luck on the move. I’ll be eagerly reading your Semester at Sea chronicles so I hope you update often. Also, I totally feel you on everything you said about California (including the endless endless undeserved citations to get every last penny…except I paid every one of them because my job was too time consuming for me to protest) although I spent 5 years in Southern California. I loved so many aspects of it and will visit regularly, but I can’t live there anymore.

    Tennessee is so beautiful…I’m sure you’ll be very happy there. I’ve lived all over the US and have a special place in my heart for the Midwest, especially Michigan, but I’ll probably be back somewhere between Boston-Charlotte after my graduate program is over since my family lives in New England and I’m no longer willing to be any more than an hour away from them flying time. It’s hard though, because I really love tech and wouldn’t mind working in it again but I am completely unwilling to move back to CA since it drained me of money the first time around.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      New England is just spectacular. We were back in Boston and then went to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Providence with my family at the beginning of July, and I wondered why I had never lived in the area at all. (Answer: I don’t do winters well.) But that’s one of the regions I’m really looking forward to exploring more–especially Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire during fall foliage–now that it will be a cheap and easy flight for us and we can do weekend trips here and there.

      And my sister just moved to Charlotte, so I’m even more excited to spend some time in NC with her!

  • July 28, 2011

    Wow, what a change! I live in a large city in the super affordable Midwest (and love it!), and have always wondered how long I would be able to put up with the high cost of living/tiny living space/other irks of living in an expensive place. Good for your for making the big decision to change your location/lifestyle. Yay, seasons!

  • July 28, 2011

    That’s awesome!! My husband and I currently reside in Chattanooga, TN, but we’re relocating to NYC in about three weeks. We’re also living our dog with my parents for a bit, which will subsequently break my heart, but we will get her up to the big city ASAP. 🙂 Yay for new adventures!!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Aww we’re just missing each other! Have a fun time in NYC–I look forward to getting back there much more frequently since it’s an easy trip from Nashville–and best of luck with your own move!

  • July 28, 2011

    Cheers to you guys, and to your next chapter! I’m returning to Tennessee this weekend for the first time in almost a decade (just for a visit), so this post was oddly poetic for me. 🙂 Can’t wait to follow along on your adventures from a new home base. Congratulations!

  • July 28, 2011

    Congrats! While I love California and will always be a Californian, I can definitely relate to how you feel about SF … I swear I never knew how darn cold/foggy/expensive this place is until I moved here (growing up a bit north in a small town you are sort of insulated to it)! And there’s something to be said for going home — and making one there. I know I will be moving out of the city in not-too-long-myself — I need the sun!

    Best of luck to you both on the continuing adventures! Oh and — you, my dear, will never be ‘average’ … 🙂

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      That is the nicest compliment anyone has ever given me! And yes, I can imagine growing up in Marin is far different than in SF–it’s why I love Marin so much; it’s such a nice and welcome (and sunny!) change from the city! Best of luck with your wedding…I can’t wait to see the photos!

  • July 28, 2011

    I’m so happy and excited for you! New moves, new adventures! This sounds like a great plan—also, since i never seem to catch you, maybe I can catch you in Nashville- I’ve never been and have wanted to since I became obsessed with (and started writing) country music 😉 Here’s to a smooth trip and new beginnings, CHEERS!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Um, I would LOVE THAT. You can totally have our spare room…uh, when we have an apartment (or HOUSE), that is, once again =)

      Also, love love love country, and mark my words, Taylor and I WILL be best friends by the year 2015.

  • July 28, 2011

    Raise a glass of bubbly for your move? Done and DONE.

    Congrats, that really sounds like an exciting change! I totally get what you mean about livability. Is Santiago my absolute number one choice of the best city in the world? No. But in terms of what we get for our money here, I’d say yes. So I feel you. No matter how much you love a city (ahem, if I were a millionaire, I’d move to Barcelona in a heartbeat) that doesn’t mean it works for your day to day life.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I had no idea Santiago was so affordable! I guess I just assume that all country capitals are ungodly expensive. But yes, Barcelona is an enchantress, that she is. By far my favorite Spanish city (though San Sebastian might tie for first place). I think if money and accessibility weren’t a concern, we would both want to live on the coast in Portugal!

      • July 28, 2011

        Oh it’s not affordable compared to a lot of places. Michigan for example. However, it’s affordable comparatively to other big cities, NYC, San Francisco, Miami, etc. I don’t think we could live as well and still be able to be in a big city.

  • July 28, 2011

    CRAP. I am so sad I never got the chance to meet up with you when I was in town!

    i am so excited that you are going to be happier in your day to day though.

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Well, Nashville is probably closer to Texas than San Francisco is…just saying. =)

  • July 28, 2011

    I am so happy for you! After living away for many years after college, I returned home to Tampa. I can’t imagine not being around my family now that we have the dude!

  • July 28, 2011

    So exciting that you’ve announced this news!!! I’m delighted you’re returning back to the South! I can’t wait for you to come and visit Charlotte. I’m busting out the champagne!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Summer 2012–it’s on! (Sis has to go back and do her master’s this fall, so she’ll return to the firm full-time next July.)

  • July 28, 2011
    Auntie Joy

    I totally understand about how expensive it is to live in SF. As SVV’s mom and I both say — we live in economic exile from our hometown. We would TOTALLY love to move back to The City we were born in, grew up in — but it has simply become too outrageously expensive. The good news is that we are close enough to SF that we can visit often. The bad news — well heck, not only are you and SVV leaving us — you’re taking ELLA!!!

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      I guess that just means then that you HAVE to come visit–no ifs, ands or buts about it! Just think of my mom: She would be personally offended if you didn’t let her show a bit of that Southern hospitality and you wouldn’t want to bear that burden, now would you? =)

  • July 28, 2011

    Great news! Sounds like the move will be a good one for you and SVV!

  • July 28, 2011
    Michelle

    Wow congrats on the move! Such exciting news! Nashville is where I lived when I was in the US 10 years ago and I absolutely loved it! I managed it to make it back in 2005 and will hopefully be getting back there again in the next year or 2. I look forward to reading about you and SVV settling in there! 🙂

    • July 28, 2011
      Kristin

      Thank you! Let us know next time you’re back visiting, and we’ll take you out for a beer…and maybe some biscuits and gravy while we’re at it =) I love that you lived there before!

  • July 29, 2011

    Congrats!

  • July 29, 2011
    Estrella

    Congratulations on everything new and exciting in your life. One of my favorite quotes (and guidelines for life) is “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” Sounds as though this is happening for you- yay! 🙂

  • July 29, 2011

    Wow, what big news. Something about this post made me a little homesick and even a teeny bit envious (okay, it was the part about fall colors!) Someday I hope to have the means to travel and come home within the same year 🙂 For now, its big doses of each at once.

    • July 29, 2011
      Kristin

      I know what you mean. When I lived abroad, I didn’t come home for holidays even as I just couldn’t justify the cost of that round-trip ticket for a week or two.

  • July 29, 2011
    CJ

    Congrats! It wasn’t mentioned, but I can’t help think that an ulterior motive in selecting Nashville was to “bump” into Taylor Swift and start your new best friendship. If this happens, is there any way I can get in on backstage passes??? PS. I hear she does her food shopping at the Whole Foods in Nashville 🙂 Good luck with the move!

    • July 29, 2011
      Kristin

      HA! You see right through my attempts at other reasoning. It is true: I plan to be BFF with Taylor by 2015 (if not much sooner). And I’m going to sound like a total stalker for saying this, but I’m just going to admit: I’ve totally looked at real estate in her building for the last year to see if anything opens up in our price range (it hasn’t, of course). I know all of her favorite coffee shops, but didn’t know she was a Whole Foods fan–that’s convenient as Scott is already mourning the loss of all the fresh, organic produce we have in San Francisco and has said we’ll have to become Whole Foods converts when we move! =)

      (I will totally share Taylor and give you a backstage pass when that time comes.)

  • July 29, 2011
    Amy

    New chapters are exciting. My fiance and I are moving in a couple weeks from the condo we’ve lived in for three years close to downtown Chicago to a WHOLE HOUSE a little further out of the city. And the idea of having all that space makes me positively giddy. Cheers to you and your new beginnings! I hope Nashville treats you very well.

    • July 29, 2011
      Kristin

      Seems like so many people are moving this month, too! I guess summer is moving season, which seems counter-intuitive given how hot it is in Chicago and Tennessee and everywhere else that’s not San Francisco right now! Best of luck to you, as well =)

  • July 29, 2011

    Congrats! I’m from Nashville and still travel there every week for work (from Huntsville) – love it!!

  • July 29, 2011

    Oh, and I lived in Nashville for 5½ years before. Definitely considered returning.

  • July 29, 2011

    I wrote a post about leaving NYC for Denver for the same reasons you’re leaving SF:

    Closer to the Sky:
    http://keninthecity.blogspot.com/

  • July 29, 2011

    Congrats Kristin and Scott! No matter what – it’s great to make a change and follow your heart. Funny thing is, I’m in Chicago and LOVE it, but may soon be moving back to NYC TO follow my heart. I’ll be in an even smaller (and more expensive) apt than I am now, but it will be worth it.

    Although, as a freelancer/work from home gal (like you), one thing I need is to be able to meet up with people at a moment’s notice so as not to go stir crazy. I do worry about one day being in a suburb (possibly NJ where that ‘follow my heart’ “thing” will probably lead me) and working from home and just going nuts. I’m not ready to give up all a city offers me right outside my door.

    Congrats and definitely let me know when you’ll be in Chicago so we can finally meet f2f! 🙂
    Lisa

    • July 31, 2011
      Kristin

      TOTALLY. Luckily, my cousin owns his own graphic design business and I have a couple other friends who have “alternate work schedules,” so I still hope to have that in Nashville…PLUS, I do know all the coffee shops where Taylor Swift hangs out, so should I need company, you better believe you’ll find me at the Frothy Monkey or Fido’s waiting for my ultimate girl crush to appear 😉

      See you in Chicago!

  • July 31, 2011

    Congratulations on such a new and exciting adventure that lays before you! I imagine living in SF is much like living in Paris in terms of expense and while there is always something to do or someplace new to eat, those who want legitimate homes ultimately end up moving to the suburbs or somewhere else in France altogether (if not back home to the US, for American expats).

    Best of luck to you – can’t wait to read about your Semester at Sea! Your travels always have me in awe!

    • July 31, 2011
      Kristin

      Even the suburbs of San Francisco (Palo Alto, the East Bay, etc.) are completely unmanageable price-wise! And yes, you hit the nail on the head: I *suppose* we could have saved more money while out here, but there are just so many new restaurants to try, how is that even possible?!?

  • July 31, 2011
    TraciJ

    Hi Kristin!

    Congratulations! I read your blog religously while I was unemployed, I found a job in January and life got busy! I was on Twitter earlier and saw your tweet about In-N-Out, so I had to go to the blog immediately and check to see what was up! Good for you guys! My story is similar…..Lived in San Ramon (East Bay) for 13 years with my hubby who is from CA as well. I moved to TN for a job that fell through in Chattanooga and we find ourselves in Nashville!!! My job is in Brentwood and we live in the Bellevue area until my hubby graduates in January (he went back to school) – Then we will buy our next home. I have a lot of great memories of SF, but like you said there is life to be lived to the fullest. We were lucky enough to purchase 3 homes in the Bay Area, but it is way too expensive unless you have been living there as an adult since the early 80’s which was not our story…….My hubby’s family also lives there, so we are still connected too! We want some space and TN is beautiful (except for this hot/humid summer we are experiencing, LOL!) Take care – So happy for you!!

    • July 31, 2011
      Kristin

      Ahhhh that’s so cool! We have absolutely no idea where we’ll be living post-Semester at Sea–it depends on if we buy or if we rent–but we might consider Franklin or Brentwood, though I really love the Berry Hill, Belmont, Vanderbilt and West End areas. (Confession: We’ve been online Nashville condo and apartment shopping, just for fun, for the past year!)

      I think San Francisco would be an awesome city to live in if you owned a home in Seacliff or Pac Heights, and thus, had the superfluous income not to worry about silly things like parking tickets and rent and the price of groceries, but sadly, in our professions, I doubt it will ever come to that, ha (a girl can dream, right?). Glad to hear you guys are loving Tennessee life; we’re so excited to be there soon, too! Maybe we’ll run into each other once we’re back from Semester at Sea =)

      (Congrats on that new(ish) job!)

  • August 1, 2011
    Rebecca (Bearca)

    I know I’m late to the game here, but I had no internet access all last week because of our move. Just wanted to say California’s loss is Tennessee’s gain! We’ll miss you guys, but of course, I’ll be keeping up with all your adventures. 🙂

    Also, I have family in Nashville, so if I’m ever there I’m calling you!!

    • August 1, 2011
      Kristin

      PLEASE DO. I’d be offended if I heard you were milling about Nashville with no direction, no place to go, and had not called me to take you out for a Bloody Mary…or, erm, since we’d be in Nashville, an early morning Jack Daniels drink =)

      Also, I’ll be back in Southern California from time to time!

  • August 5, 2011

    Oh boy. What a big decision, but from the looks of it, it was a good one. I truly hope that all will turn out as you wish! Good luck in Tennessee!!!

    (And now that you are closer to the Old World, whenever you are back in Austria. PLEASE LET US KNOW. IN ADVANCE. I’ll make cake.)

    • August 6, 2011
      Kristin

      Gladly! I never turn down free offers of CAKE =)

  • August 17, 2011

    welcome (back) to Nashville! if you want to be inundated with a gazillion food recommendations in town, I’m your girl.

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