It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since our big move – time sure has flown by! One year ago Thomas and I packed up our apartment and our life in California and flew across country to our new home in Charleston, South Carolina. So much has changed for us and we couldn’t be more excited for our future. The year has been full of ups and a downs and I’m happy to say we’ve survived them all.
Back in February, I shared a four month report about living in Charleston. As you’d expect, it was filled with positive, optimistic reviews. Four months is just long enough to get a sense of a new place, but short enough to still be in the “honeymoon phase” where everything still seems fresh and exciting. Now that we’ve lived here for a full year, we can give a proper report. To top it off, as I wrote this, I was flying back to California, so what better time to reflect on our new life in our new state as we make a return to visit our old one.
The good news is that we really love living in Charleston. At this point in our life, I can’t see ourselves being anywhere else. This is despite the fact that we barely survived the summer (saved by the AC and traveling elsewhere). While the weather is nearly perfect for most months, summer, which seems to be May -September, is quite hot and humid. We’ve been threatened by two hurricanes in the past twelve months. A truly eerie experience of knowing something potentially harmful is coming and not being able to do anything to prevent it. We were spared both times, but I can only imagine how devastating it has been for those impacted.
Our favorite months in Charleston so far have been February and March when flowers start to bloom everywhere and the weather is truly perfect. Almost every day we were home we’d make lunch and sit on our front porch steps. When summer rolled around, I often dreamt of these moments when heat and humidity were at their highest.
Our transition to becoming Charlestonians was about as smooth as we could have ever hoped for. While we may be the only people in our neighborhood without children, we’ve been welcomed by the friendliest neighbors. A funny side note: We were actually asked once if our parents were home when a door to door salesman (apparently they still have them) came by. Our favorite moment from the neighborhood was on the day of the Solar Eclipse, which we spent in our neighbor’s backyard party overlooking the water. It was an unforgettable experience. We’ve also been fortunate to meet many great new friends, which we know isn’t always the case for people moving to a new city. Some of our best nights in Charleston have been dinner parties we’ve had with friends, the best ones turning into epic dance parties lasting late into the night.
Another positive benefit of our move has been growing our Gal Meets Glam team since moving to Charleston. It’s proven to be a wonderful city to grow our small team, which is great because it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be expanding even more (make sure to keep an eye out for future announcements). Living in Charleston is definitely a lifestyle choice, as career opportunities may be limited. Because of this, we’ve found that many people we’ve met have moved here because they want to (like us), seeking a more balanced, fulfilling life in a beautiful setting filled with things to do.
We knew going into it that leaving our families behind in California would be the hardest part, and it has been. We live a busy, hectic life and when we lived near family, it was easy to squeeze in a lunch or visit back home for important events. Now we have to rely on scheduled trips to get family time, which can be difficult.
Aside from family and friends, the biggest adjustment has probably been with food. While Charleston is famous for being a great food city, the restaurant scene tends to be more tailored to tourists. Which means less variety, especially in Asian and Hispanic food, which happens to be our favorites. We do love all the fresh seafood options and the many traditional southern dishes, but it’s been challenging to maintain our usual healthy eating habits, especially on busy weeknights since living downtown, far from Whole Foods. We do have a few spots though where we know we can get something healthy, fresh and fast!
Regardless of a few minor inconveniences (flying is a bit longer now, as we usually have to have at least one layover, usually in Atlanta), we’re still so inspired by this city we get to call home. Yes, the newness has worn off a bit, but the feeling of living in a city filled with so much history and charm, beautiful parks, waterways and beaches, not to mention true southern hospitality, is hard to beat. We’re still finding new things to do and places to go. I can go for a walk downtown, in our neighborhood or on the beach and immediately feel refreshed, which I love.
We are anxious for our house to be finished in spring 2018, but progress has definitely been made. Most recently new windows were installed! The extra light they bring in has opened our minds even more to the possibilities of what lies ahead. We feel especially fortunate that we’re able to create the home of our dreams. It’s funny how physically being somewhere, like inside our renovation project, makes it easier to envision what our life will be like one day, which is really motivating.
The good news about our families is that they love Charleston too. My mom plans to move to Charleston in the coming months (!!!!!) and my little sister is already here attending college at The Citadel (PROUD SISTER). Thomas’ parents love it here as well, having visited us a few times, and plan on spending even more time here once we begin having children someday.
Charleston is a wonderful place to call home and moving here has definitely been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we’re looking ahead with smiles on our faces. We thank you for being part of our journey too. Living in Charleston has made a big impact on our lives and our business and we hope this is reflected in a better experience for you in some way.
I hope that you enjoyed this reflection back on our one year anniversary in Charleston – I’d love to hear your questions, whether they are about moving to a new city or Charleston in particular!
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