Thomas and I have been keeping a secret and it’s been killing me not to share! Obviously I wanted to tell you guys right away, but there were a lot of moving parts that had to happen before we felt comfortable announcing the news, but…..we’re moving! Whoah, what?! Yup, you heard me right. We’re leaving California, and the West Coast in general, and heading for Charleston, South Carolina. Oh, and we bought our first house! You probably think we’re crazy right? Well, let us share a bit more as to why…
We have been so incredibly fortunate to travel to so many amazing places over the past few years. As someone who didn’t get to travel that much growing up, it’s been a life changing experience. It really opened my eyes to understanding that life is best if not spent in a bubble and that there are experiences all over just waiting for us. Thomas and I have both lived in California our whole lives (well, mine since I was 3), and after these past few years of traveling, we’ve been itching to try something new. We’ve been wanting to take on an adventure somewhere different! We’re in such a unique position in that we work for ourselves and can virtually live anywhere. We both realized how special this is and that not many people have the luxury to just pick up and move. Everywhere we’ve traveled, we always asked ourselves “Could we live here”? We did that when we were in Paris, when we were in New York, London, Hawaii and just about everywhere we’ve been. All of them seemed to have their ups and downs, as any places would, but nothing felt “right”, so we decided to stay put in San Francisco.
We LOVE San Francisco. It’s been our home since we graduated college and we’ve never looked back. It’s an incredible city, with so much to offer, filled with amazing people, fantastic restaurants, lots of opportunity and surrounded by at least a dozen places to visit just a short drive away. It wasn’t even a question once we graduated whether or not we were going to move to SF. It was happening! Luckily, I found a job in the city while Thomas finished grad school, and shortly after, he found one as well. We sub-let (from a friend of a friend) our first apartment for 6 months, before we found our first place in the Marina (another rental, but this one felt like “ours”). It was small but we couldn’t believe we got it, and we still couldn’t believe that we were actually living in San Francisco. It was what we’d always talked about while we were still in school and it was finally real. Fast forward four and half years, and we’re still in the Marina, just in a much larger apartment (still renting) that we absolutely love. Out of the three places we’ve lived in, this one felt like our actual home. We finally had enough space to have friends and family over comfortably (we hosted our first Thanksgiving with my whole family last year!) and set up an at-home office. It honestly has been exactly what we’ve needed for the past year and half.
But, over this past year and a half, we’ve been questioning where we really want to be and where we want to settle down. While San Francisco has been our home, it still always felt temporary. Living in a big city has definitely been a wonderful experience, but it taught the both of us that it was not where we ultimately wanted to end up. We started searching for our “first house” in the city, only to realize that it definitely wasn’t the type of lifestyle that we envisioned for ourselves and our future family (no babies yet, we just like to think ahead). The more we thought about it, the more we started yearning for a place outside of the city, with our own backyard, maybe even some land; a home that we could grow into. We had so many conversations about this, going back and forth, talking with our families, talking with our friends and just trying to figure out what was “right”. We eventually agreed that when something felt “right” we would just know, and in the meantime, we would be content with our current place.
Fast forward to our visit to Charleston this past summer. On our first day there, Thomas and I turned to each other and said “we should move here!”. It seemed like a hyperbole at the time, as we’ve done this many times while traveling, but as it started to sink in over the next couple of days, we both felt really strongly about it. A few weeks later, we started taking the conversation more seriously. What would this mean for our business? How would our families feel? We’ve never lived on the East Coast. We’ll miss our friendly greatly! Could this really be an option? We made a list of people to talk to (our business managers, our accountant and lawyers and our families and friends) to get some more answers. As we started to gather information, everything just kept coming back positive. I talked with my girlfriend and a few of her friends that live in Charleston who were so helpful in giving us answers to questions that only people who live there could.
Everything was feeling “right”, so we booked a return trip back to Charleston. Thanks to our friend, we were connected with a great realtor that helped us navigate this new-to-us market. We saw 14 houses in a variety of locations in just 2 days. At the next to last house, we instantly fell in love, which was unexpected because we almost left it off of our list. We scheduled a return visit to the house the next day and made an offer right on the spot. About an hour later, we received the good news that our offer was accepted! For those that have experienced the same thing, when you find a house that you make an offer on, it’s very easy (and totally natural) to get emotionally attached to it. If you end up not getting the house, you feel crushed. After losing out on a couple of places in SF, I experienced that terrible heartbreak, so when our offer was accepted, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t believe we were home owners (well, almost)! We called our families and shared the good news and went out for drinks to celebrate!
Now we are gearing up to move at the end of September (ah! It’s coming so fast!) and my mind is already racing with ideas for the new place (some of you may have noticed I created some new Pinterest boards, which I accidentally made public). We are going to be doing some big home renovations and really making the space our own. Thomas is super excited to create his dream kitchen, I’m very excited for a walk in closet and master bathroom, but I think we are both equally excited to have more than one teeny-tiny bathroom and one sink (no more bumping shoulders while we brush our teeth).
Our move to Charleston should also bring some more exciting changes to Gal Meets Glam. In addition to covering more about our home, I’ll be continuing these discussion posts, which I’m sure will bring lots of new topics as our life rapidly changes. And we will be growing our team too, so wait to hear more on that front.
While we will be sad to leave San Francisco, we are extremely thrilled for our new life in Charleston. We will miss our friends and family, but we’re already filling up our calendar quickly as everyone is planning trips out to visit us. We’re basically just giving them our calendar and having them pencil in trips on the dates that we’re home. And luckily, we have enough space to host everyone! It’s a new adventure and, although it’s a bit stressful thinking of all the logistics and issues we have to deal with moving cross-country, we’re absolutely giddy with excitement. It feels so good to finally be able to share this new adventure with you all!
Julia & Thomas