From Full-Time Travel to City Life and Why We’re Embracing It Wholeheartedly

We recently stopped traveling the United States full-time and are settling down in one of our favorite small cities. Going from National Parks and an endless stretch of road to street grids and urban life is a bit of a change, but we are wholeheartedly embracing it.

The big decision: full-time travel to city life

In October 2018, we had to make a big decision. Continue traveling for another 3-6 months (or longer) or make the leap to returning to our old adopted hometown. This was such a hard decision to make! We loved the freedom of travel, the sightseeing and togetherness, and the ability to see family and friends around the United States.

But truthfully, we were quite lonely, and the kids were eager for friends. Kirk and I missed dinner parties and get togethers with good friends, and we were both ready to take the next steps with my business and his music.

Although we knew we would be giving up travel, it seemed we had a lot to gain.

So when a great hospital job opened up for Kirk in the city we wanted to live in, we figured, why not see what happens? He got an interview and then two days later, the job offer. We had already tentatively accepted a next travel rotation in Monterey, CA (my hubs took contract medical work as we moved around the US) and we made a really quick decision to pivot toward city life.

He started work two weeks later!

Now that we’re back “home”, we’re planning for what our future looks like and getting excited about raising a family in the city.

We’ve always swung between craving wild open nature and walkable city life, so it’s natural for us to give this a try. We like to approach life with a “why not?” mentality, and we’re really enjoying seeing how city life can ALSO fit our family’s values of simplicity, togetherness, community, and wellness.

What we’re loving right now about family city life
  • a vibrant, well-developed urban core full of interesting new shops, restaurants, and gorgeous green spaces, museums, and entertainment.

  • a supportive creative community of entrepreneur mamas (for me!) and a happening music scene (for Kirk!)

  • opportunities for alternative and sustainable living for families: great family housing options in the urban core, plenty of public transit options (new streetcar lines and rent-able scooters and bikes), and a growing awareness around sustainability and zero-waste living.

  • plenty of good friends and community in close proximity and other families equally excited about the growth and progress happening in the city.

What do the next few years look like for us?

Honestly, we have no interest in home ownership anymore. Two older homes with all of the usual problems cured us of any romanticism surrounding home ownership. We love living small and purposefully and will do so until we’re ready to take the leap to our next home.

We plan to live tiny for the next 6-12 months and then move into an apartment downtown in 2020. We LOVE the idea of being able to walk to restaurants, to friends’ homes and our church—all within a few blocks! As we get closer to the move, I’ll share more about how we made this decision and why the financial numbers make sense for us.

We’ve always been interested in living in a downtown area of a city, and we’re excited to make that part of our plans for the future.

Would you try city life with your family? Or do you currently live in an urban area? Fill me in, I’d love to hear!

4 thoughts on “From Full-Time Travel to City Life and Why We’re Embracing It Wholeheartedly

  1. Oh Kate this is so exciting! My family also loves nature and being outside but we also love the conveniences of city life! You know when you’re making the right decision for your family, and I believe change is good.
    We moved a year and a half ago from Maine to a much more walkable community right outside of Philadelphia and we love it so much, but of course there are trade offs. We’re farther from the ocean and my husband misses getting on snowmobile trails from the backyard. But the kids are thriving and we absolutely love our community.
    Also, even though I recently started a new career as a real estate agent (because I love helping people find what feels like home to them), I do NOT believe home ownership is for everyone, and it’s definitely not appropriate at all stages of life. We’ve held onto both properties we used to live in and we rent them out but we’re so ready to sell them both and have no ties and responsibilities. We rent in our new community and we are also in no hurry to buy again. It’s so nice to be free!! Love reading about your adventures!

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    1. Hey Liz, it’s so good to hear from you! I had no idea you moved, what a huge transition! It sounds like you made a really good choice and congrats on the career move!
      I’m also so glad to hear your kiddos are thriving and your new community is everything you hoped for. Sounds like you hit the jackpot!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Kate

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  2. Lovely post!We live in the city and seriously love it. You and I are so alike, so many of your posts speak to me. I absolutely love travel, but realised the way I want to travel is slightly different than full time. So, in between travel and fun, the best place to live for now is in the city. I love the noise, small living, and the ease of everything being so close(including restaurants). We live next door to a pizza shop🙈 And nothing frightens me more than owning a home even though I’ve never owned one(but seen lots of friends and family suffer…mowing a lawn or basement flooding are all sufferings to me)Enjoy this new phase!Btw, this is Jawaria (amagicalchaos6)😊

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by here, Jawaria! You’re right, we do have a lot in common! Your love of city living is getting me excited for transitioning to it ourselves. And home ownership is a bit scary, so you have every right to be afraid! 😉
      Cheers!
      Kate

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