It’s been 3 months since moving from our first house in a rural lake neighborhood to a one bedroom apartment in the city.
Like most transitions, it’s been messy, overwhelming, and not easy.
Of course, we could’ve made it easier on ourselves. We didn’t need to have the new Moon Lodge renters move in the same day we were moving out. Or schedule an afternoon flight to Texas for a week-long vacation the same day. Definitely didn’t need to do ALL OF THAT at once, ha. But we did do it that way and survived with minor injury.
I want to share with you why we moved, how we prepared for it, and what’s next for us.
Why did we move?
We moved from our cozy cottage to a bustling city to see if we could do it, quite simply. I considered moving to Chicago after college. Joel’s often entertained the idea of city living. After we got married last fall, I thought it might mean we’d be settling in to one kind of life and I didn’t like the feeling we’d never try something we’ve always wanted to (why I attached that to marriage, I don’t know. Always been a thing). Joel responded to my concern with a, “Let’s do it” and so here we are in Grand Rapids. Hallelujah. 🙂
Of course it wasn’t that simple. We prepared for a year to transition to this new lifestyle. Everything didn’t go the way we thought it would. We learned a lot about faith, hope, and flexibility because of it though.
How did we prepare?
We started by listening to each other’s differing concerns. We lived in a small lake town for 4 years before moving so there was a lot to dig through. I was most concerned with how our fur babies, Tiger and Belle, might handle the transition with a smaller place and no yard. Joel was concerned with the long-term financial aspect of moving to an expensive city and the challenges that might bring.
Our concerns led us to solutions; We’ll walk Tiger each morning and night and stop by during lunch. We’ll be able to keep a closer eye on Belle with her age-related health issues. I set up our budget with the Everydollar app so we can track our expenses and “move” our money into new pockets easily. We knew the gas & oil budget would decrease and the restaurants & entertainment budget would increase in the city. I honestly enjoy this kind of organization, haha, and it allowed us to see this just might work.
Asking ourselves these kind of questions let us see this move could be a reality.
From there, we started looking for a place to live. We found a brand new, 700 sq. ft., one-bedroom apartment in the city and chose our move-in date (this is where faith and gratitude came in!). We set it for a couple months later and got to work finding renters.
Renters we trusted were found soon after (more faith and gratitude!) and we became landlords as well as renters in the city within the same month. I thought renting out the Moon Lodge would make it so we had one less thing to worry about. I quickly discovered it’s another responsibility altogether. However, we’re good with it. It’s allowing the lodge to be a new experience for our renters as we have a new experience with apartment-living. Win win.
I had to become unattached to things in order to go from an 1,000 sq. ft. cottage with a basement and yard to a 700 sq. ft. apartment with 2 closets and a balcony. We donated most unused items to Goodwill, gave some away to family and friends, and sold valuable items we couldn’t take with us. There was a clarity and freedom to all the purging and one of my favorite results from the move.
We have 8 drinking glasses, 6 coffee mugs, and 4 bowls now. Joel has 112 clothing items and I have 120, including bags, shoes, and accessories. I haven’t felt the need for more since we’ve been here. 🙂
What’s next for us?
It’s difficult to say. Both of us have never felt more uncertain in our lives and I think that’s the hardest part. Not that the move prompted all this uncertainty. We were uncertain already. Moving to the city is a way we’re trying to find the answer.
One of our favorite ways to discover things about ourselves and the world is traveling. I like to think of our new city life as a little pit stop on our travels. We essentially are in an AirBnB for one year, now what will we make of it?
We’ve walked at least a 100 times already to a beautiful park around the corner from us. Tiger’s practically a celebrity there.
Joel has a favorite running route around a nearby lake and brewery. He continues to discover new corners of this city for us to explore.
We do this thing where we drink wine and watch Netflix almost every night as the sun sets. Not our lake routine, but a routine in togetherness I enjoy for the time being.
I’ve opened the digital doors to Brave Girl Designs, my shop with courage-based art prints for purchase. I would’ve never had the courage to sell prints had we not moved here. Being immersed in an inspiring creative community with kind people has made all the difference. There’s an openness to collaborate instead of compete that’s hard to find on the outskirts.
I don’t know if we’ll be here forever, but we are here for now. For that, I’m grateful.
Answer one of these questions in the comments below:
- Do you have any tips for living in the city with pets?
- If you could move anywhere, where would it be?
- What’s your dream vacation?
Our couple photos courtesy of Ashley of Sincerely Ashley blog.