Key West Mile Marker 0

Moving On: The End To Our Florida Chapter

Key West Mile Marker 0

Pulling out of the parking lot, I smiled to myself. I had been expecting to shed a tear, but perhaps I had been too weepy the weeks prior to feel any more sad emotions at this point.

We were moving back home to Minnesota.

It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to be heading home; being closer to family, friends and a city we love is a major excitement. The sadness stems from the fact that we left a place that I have loved almost my entire life. Florida and I have a deep connection, and it was one I wasn’t necessarily ready to abandon, even though I knew it was time.

I had wanted to live in Florida since the first time I visited—it was, in fact, my first big trip, and also the trip that instilled in me a life-long wanderlust. When I was 5, my family went on the first of what would be our almost yearly trip to Florida; from Disneyworld to South Florida where my aunt and uncle lived, I was instantly hooked. I remember walking around Epcot and each time we happened upon a new “country” I thought to myself, “I need to go here one day!”, and I’m happy to say, I am slowly making good on those wishes made by my 5 year old little self. Florida was also the first trip that Micah and I ever took together. He came along on one of our family trips when we were in high school, and he loved it almost as much as I did.

With each passing year, and each additional visit to what I thought of as paradise, we decided that after I finished college, we would move to Florida. Well, things didn’t work out quite as we had planned, but 3 years later, Micah and I finally made the move.

We have called Florida our home for the past 4 years, and during that time we made more amazing memories than we could ever begin to count. Every time I think back on our “Florida Chapter”, I think about the wonderful life-long friends we made, the always fun quality time with our Florida relatives, the abundance of weekend road trips, and even the job I had with some amazing coworkers. Sure, not every day was perfect, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything in the world. Micah and I both learned so much about ourselves and the direction we want to head in life, and we are so excited for a new chapter to start even though we are saddened to leave the last one behind.

Wander the Map in the Florida Keys

So what does that mean for us now? Once we find an apartment, we are going to be living back in the Twin Cities, or Minneapolis/St. Paul for all you non-Minnesotans. We have greatly missed living in a city and are beside ourselves with all the culture, art and architecture to explore. We are also excited to venture out into all the beautiful nature throughout the rest of the state. Since we are both officially self-employed going forward (scary!), we will have more time to focus on the aspects of life that matter to us most. And yes, that means we are planning on traveling more, too! Lots more in fact. Even though our plans for the summer are still largely up in the air, we will be taking some road trips out west and across the border up north, before heading to Greece this fall. We can’t wait, and even though we have no idea what the next year has in store for us, we are beyond excited to find out.

I now realize that the smile I had as we drove off was not only a smile from the great little life we made for ourselves, but one for the journey that lies ahead. Now, as the tears well up once again, I look back on the memories with fondness. Despite what many people say, there are so many enticing stops throughout the state of Florida, and, you can bet we will be back to explore even more.

Florida, don’t worry—we will be back for a visit soon, and we have many stories to share about you in the meantime.