I’m often asked how I adapted to the transition… “city girl” to mountain woman. I have to go back to the “beginning of my time” to adequately explain. You may be asking yourself about now…. “who cares”, “why does this matter”. I’ll explain, hopefully, without this blog turning into my autobiography.
Our lives all started…. somewhere. Through the years many of us moved from one location to the other whether it was our parents choice, related to employment, maybe better weather, or a wide range of other reasons. I think sometimes we still connect to our roots….where we came from, even though through the years we’ve taken different paths.
My life began in a small town in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. My family resided in the small town limits, and then in the country. I spent weekends at the family farm consisting of 100 acres. My aunt would take me for walks in the woods… where I was told the Indians were (except they really weren’t), in later years as a young adult returning to NY for a few years I wandered into the same woods. But, now I was looking for old bottles which were often buried by home owners. I experienced the small town lifestyle until I was about 10. My family then moved to Miami, where it was a completely different lifestyle (even 45 years ago). We had the in-ground pool where we sometimes could swim on Christmas day, and send photos to envious friends in New York. In junior high I walked to school, unlike riding the bus in NY.
Upon becoming a young adult I started my career in Miami, married, and also began to raise my own family there. Our young family began to make summer trips to the mountains of North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee. We’d stay in cabins, fish, horseback ride, tube a river, etc. The small town atmospheres were my diversion to a fast paced, often stressful life in Florida.
I began a search to buy land in the mountains, and eventually did buy small acreage in a remote setting complimented by waterfalls. The plan was when I retired… that would be “home”, away from “everything”. Over the next few years “life happened”, and ultimately plans were modified. But, in 2009 I did relocate to the same area… permanently.
This brings me to answer the question…”how did you make the transition”. In part, I have felt my life has come “full circle”, back to those small town roots from my early childhood. Additionally, making the transition was easy for me because I literally “craved” living in the mountains. I think it all comes down to what’s important to you. For me, the simpler lifestyle, the beautiful scenery, people lacking “bad attitudes, were big attractions tor me.
For a single, independent woman it hasn’t been difficult. I’ve also had several single female clients searching for the same lifestyle. It can be done, but bear in mind… the lifestyle is not for everyone. There are sacrifices such as accessibility to daily creature comforts, such as fast food restaurants, shopping, etc. But, with a little pre-planning it’s not hard to adapt. Often a once a week trip to “town” as in Waynesville, for example, accomplishes what you need to do. Grocery shopping, fueling up the car, etc. can be done all at the same time, while getting there to do this was a scenic drive through the mountains with a lack of traffic, and agitated drivers! Since I no longer have to report to a job at a specific time, I often find the morning has passed before I’m dressed, unless I have a scheduled appointment, or reason to be somewhere. I have a client who has purchased a home here, and has found herself in the same morning routine! It’s almost natural to adapt to a slower paced lifestyle. No one is in a hurry here… and that’s a good thing!
If the things that I’ve described strike a nerve with you, bring back memories of a different time in your life that you miss… consider the mountains as you destination for retirement, or even pre-retirement for a place to establish your own vacation getaway. I think you’ll find it’s good for you. Let’s face it… time doesn’t go backwards, the fast paced lifestyle will only get faster in the city. Slow time down, put your feet up on a deck railing, breathe fresh mountain air, start counting the stars in the sky, or the blinking fireflies at night. I can almost guarantee that you’ll be glad that you did!