Have you ever uprooted your family and moved across the country, or even a few hours away? I’m convinced a family move, no matter how big or small, is stressful. New grocery stores, new neighbors, sometimes even new climates, can take time before they feel like your new normal. Not to mention — now it’s time to start making new mom friends!
Since we are hitting our one year anniversary for moving from Tampa, Florida to New Albany, Ohio (specifically), I wanted to reflect back on our move and share what we have learned along the way. Clint and I tell each other all the time how positive this move was for our family. We find that while we loved Tampa very much, Columbus has lots more for young families, our specific community is incredible and being closer to family is even better than we thought. I’m sharing the good, bad and in-between since I know I’ve met so many families in this same boat, either facing moving or considering moving. If you are considering a relocation to the Columbus area, feel free to email me at jwborm at bormandco dot com and I’d be happy to pass along helpful info!
Q: What brought you to Columbus?
A: Clint got a new job with a new company that was based in Columbus. At the time we were evaluating a few different cities and opportunities and this one seemed right. I was from Ohio, Clint had extended family from Ohio and we are both big Ohio State football fans. Plus after some more research we saw what great schools there were and how much the city was growing.
Q: What do you do for work or are you a SAHM?
A: When we moved here I wanted to have the flexibility to help our family adjust to a new city, make friends and get our house in order (it still isn’t!) I left my full-time job with a PR firm in Tampa and started to do freelance public relations/social media projects while the boys were napping, and I’d hire babysitters if I got a lengthy assignment. I wanted to keep my foot in the door so when I was ready to get back into the job market I had started building local relationships. I love being able to spend more time with the boys by freelancing but definitely miss collaboration with co-workers that an office setting can provide. I’m keeping my options open for the future and doing my best to trust God will lead me where I belong.
Q: Was it stressful owning two homes?
A: Yes, it definitely was. We left Florida Sept. 1 and our home in Florida sold end of December. That meant two mortgages, two utility bills, two HOAs and two water bills. You get it. Thankfully we mentally and financially prepared for that possibility, but when I think about where that money could have gone, it stinks we had both homes as long as we did.
Q: What made you pick New Albany (suburb in Columbus area)?
A: I had friends all over Columbus already and I get this question a lot. We looked at many different sections of Columbus and there were so many great options. For families considering Columbus, I recommend looking at Worthington, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, Clintonville, German Village, Powell, Dublin and Westerville. That list doesn’t even include them all. Each suburb has its own culture and features that make it special. I won’t lie, New Albany has a reputation as being snobby, cookie-cutter and stuffy. I want to tell anyone thinking about moving to Columbus we have found that to be the furthest from the truth. In fact, it has received so many awards, one from Business Insider naming it the Best Suburb in America! We used to live outside of Westchase (Tampa suburb) and once we saw New Albany, we felt like it was really similar. But better. There are so many young families, walking trails everywhere, tons of parks, golf courses (important for Clint) and lots of housing options. People will say the taxes are high, which is very true, but the school systems are some of the best in the country and the landscaping and community itself are beyond beautiful. As a young family that doesn’t venture outside of our suburb except for date nights and special attractions, it was important for us to be in a place we wanted to stay throughout a weekend.
Q: What was the hardest part about the move?
A: I’m a creature of habit, so I always found it hard to adjust to the small things like a new grocery store, new church (we ended up at Five14!), finding a hair salon, pediatrician, favorite coffee shop. When you start picking out your “favorites” it can start to feel like home sooner. It also took awhile for our home to feel like a home since we wanted to do quite a few renovations and updates, and living through those wasn’t easy.
Q: What activities do your kids like to do?
A: Since Shep is now 3 and Beau is 1, activity options are mostly exploring our awesome parks (love this list from WhatShouldWeDoTodayColumbus.com), heading to COSI, storytime at one of our libraries or the zoo. But I’ve found that my boys love swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School, and Shep has gone from scared and hesitant to full-on swimmer in about six months. Shep is starting soccer this fall with Soccer Shots and Beau is going to do WeJoySing for the first time (he’s always been more inclined toward music!) We have also done Buckeye Gymnastics, Wendy’s Gymnastics and Gymboree. I have found a lot of the options really start opening up once they are four years old. My friends with girls love the New Albany Ballet Company and pictures of their daughters in little tutus may be the most precious thing ever.
Q: What advice would you give a young family considering a big move?
A: Moving as a family is physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. Is it the right thing? Will we see our friends and neighbors again? Will the kids adjust okay? It’s hard not to question everything when you are considering a big risk like moving across the country, or even a new neighborhood. But as I wrote about in the post 5 Big Leaps of Faith that Were Worth It, moving has been one of the best choices I think our family made. We grew together. We realized areas we needed to strengthen in our marriage and family life. Considering there were weeks we were living out of boxes and sleeping on the floor, we came to appreciate the intangibles more — time together, faith, good meals, family. Things that you think matter like furniture, dieting, fashion, vacations, quickly look much less important in the scheme of things. When we laid our head down at night, it felt good growing together. While we really do miss parts about living in Tampa, moving brought us closer together and has allowed us to experience a new city together.
Q: What’s your favorite part of living in Columbus?
A: Hands-down, the seasons. I grew up outside of Toledo Ohio and Clint grew up in Memphis, so we both experienced seasons growing up. But I went to ASU for college, and since then hadn’t lived anywhere with cooler temps for over a decade. When I made it back to Columbus I was so surprised by how much I missed them. We get excited about the beginnings of each new season and the holidays and festivities they each bring. Even the coldness of winter brings coziness, peace and a slowness I have come to love (yes, even in February!)
Are you considering a move to Columbus, or somewhere else? Or – has your family moved recently? What has been the best part about your move?
On to the linkup!