Loving Where You Live

Where you decide to live absolutely has an impact on you. Mentally, physically and emotionally. 


I mean duh Abby, so what? 


Really think about the places that you have been in which you feel the best. I hope most, if not all of you are thinking about the place you have decided to plant roots. 


The place that you decide to spend the majority of your time should be a place that you absolutely love. It provides you with the lifestyle you are looking to have, either slow or fast paced. It has the recreational activities you enjoy, sitting on the beach or hiking in the mountains, maybe even both! The people and culture align with who you are and who you are aspiring to be. 


Now, it's likely that you won’t be able to find a place that checks off all of your tick boxes. There will typically always be something that would be considered a con, however, the pros should certainly outweigh the few things that seem to not be in alignment with you. 


I have had numerous conversations with my therapist about this topic because while I am traveling to travel, I am also traveling with the intention of finding the place I would like to start my next chapter of life in. 


She has encouraged me to keep track of the places I have been in which I feel my absolute best. It’s easy for me to look back at the last 15 months of travel and say that I could live and love every single one of my stops. But, there are certainly places in which I have felt arguably the best I have ever felt. 


One of the first memories I have where I can pinpoint feeling like this was shortly after arriving in Savannah and heading to the ocean for the first time. I couldn’t believe that I could wrap up my work day, get in the car and drive 15 minutes to the ocean?! 


Pinch me. 


While it was a mid-60 degree weather day, one that most locals wouldn’t consider a beach day, I couldn’t have been happier than to be in my shorts and sweatshirt walking on the shoreline in awe of my new “home”.


People really live like this. 


Now I am sure that the newness wears off, and you don’t take the time to do all of the things you love in the city you live in. Like visiting the beach in Ludington, it easily becomes something that you grow accustomed to and the excitement dissipates some. 


However, in that single moment, I had experienced a sense of peace and calming that I hadn’t in a long time. 

I’d like to think that this feeling that I felt was more than just coincidental. 


Put on your tinfoil hats and bear with me for a minute, the ocean has proven to have certain therapeutic effects on those that visit it.


The ocean has an unparalleled ability to alleviate stress. The sounds of the waves, the ebbing and flowing of the water as well as the expansive horizon play a role together in providing a naturally calming environment. This allows our parasympathetic nervous system to kick in to combat things such as high blood pressure and high cortisol levels. 


You don’t have to take my word for it, there are published scientific articles that explain this phenomenon. 


However, if you are a little apprehensive to believe this, that’s okay too. We have also been conditioned to associate going to the beach with rest and relaxation. So it could very well be a placebo effect, too. 


Makes you kind of think twice when looking at all of the floating pod spas that have recently popped up over the past few years. Are people looking for the “blue effect”? 


I’ll let you be the judge of that. 


That same feeling of peace and tranquility followed me to the gulf shores in Florida. Having the ability to unplug, unwind and slow down to match the pace of the people around me was something so very different to me. 


It certainly helps that I absolutely love the water and all that comes along with it, but again, I don’t find it coincidental that I have felt my best near the ocean. 


Another location in which I have felt absolutely drawn to is Salt Lake City. A destination that I truly wasn’t expecting to like as much as I did but I ended up loving it. Even with its lack of ocean frontage. 


That is the beauty of the journey that I am on. 


I have the ability to try on, for lack of better terms, all of these versions of myself to see which one I like best.  


My dad likes to joke with me that I have “loved” every place that I have been and I will have a terrible time deciding on where to settle down. He isn’t wrong but there are certainly places that have made their mark on my heart and will make it a lot easier to decide when that time comes. 


It has been incredible to be able to experience and really get to know and understand my likes and dislikes. The things that bring me peace and happiness in ways I didn’t know existed prior to this. 


Knowing that the next place in which I decide to make my home, will be one that is the absolute best fit for me. 


Now, if only I could take up residence in more than one location. 


That gives me an idea…


Maybe not today, or in the next five years, but the world and possibilities are actually endless.

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Again, well written.
It is wonderful to follow your pathway.
Your eyes have truly been opened and that is a great thing to watch.

Susan Greenslait

Love this!

Michelle Roepke

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