Today marks one year ago today that we squished into our over stuffed jeep and made the journey over 1,100 miles to our new home here in Florida. The excitement of our arrival was so uplifting and invigorating. We all were filled with thoughts of the unknown but found complete peace, happiness, and faith that what would face us ahead was worth every second.
We took the 19 hour drive straight through only stopping to eat, for gas, and the occasional break. Oh yeah, and my speeding ticket in Virginia, oops! Apparently the state trooper didn’t share the worthiness of my excitement to get here, fast.
In leaving we didn’t have much but we had each other and big support of loved ones cheering us on from miles away. We hadn’t slept, ate unhealthy snack foods and meals the entire way, and were so tired of being cooped up by the time our destination was in sight but a promise is a promise! Because of this promise we took our son out for a beach visit almost immediately.
I still can feel the love and pure joy of that day unpacking the jeep while giggling and exclaiming how good we all felt and how blessed we were. That first dip into the warm gulf waters was magical because it symbolized the choice we made and stamped such a happy memory into our timeline. This was just the beginning of a new lifestyle, a better life.
Moving to Florida we knew we would face many days of hard work to rebuild our lives from basically the ground up. Most of our possessions were sold to lighten the load, we left stable and long term jobs, and our family support behind. But with faith and the 3 of us we faced everything head on with certainty.
Paradise has been both good to us and a complete challenge at times but we always relied on the foundation of our small family to see us through.
During this past year we’ve experienced so many outings, met great people, struggled emotionally on occasion, worked hard and found good jobs, became close to one another, learned to appreciate those we left behind even more, hit bumps in the road and fought hard through them, discovered deeper parts of ourselves, became more active and healthy, and discovered a new love for life.
You may think it’s only a move, just a relocation but what it has given us is much more. There are moments in this year I’d like to hit a reset button on and others I wouldn’t ever trade for anything but overall I’m grateful for the blessings it has built in us.
Looking back I remember the excitement of seeing palm trees as we drove closer and how we all helped one another through that stressful journey. Even today we still have that unbreakable support and yes, still do get a smile and happiness from the beautiful landscapes here.
So much can change in a year. I know the three of us have grown so much and it’s only the beginning.
What’s ahead of us now? Well I can’t completely answer that yet. We’ve been bitten hard by the wanderlust bug so travel will be a big part of the new us. We are constantly striving to better ourselves as individuals, as a family, and financially. I’m excited to see what may come.
This year we’ve explored some, had many firsts like buying a new car (yikes car payment), celebrated our 10th year of marriage, and really built up to exceed our goals. Even through rough times I’m proud of where we are and who we are becoming.
How we celebrated-
Today was like most weekdays and crunched for time. We fought through the late afternoon traffic to visit the same beach, the first beach we saw on arrival here. Indian Rocks Beach is an amazing, quiet little spot to just enjoy the scenery and company you bring. Follow Wild Red on the Gulf for more on this spot (ranked high on our favorites list) coming soon.
Today was very special and as it ended with the sun disappearing into the sea we were greeted with a fun lightning storm off to the East. Sunset to the West, lightning to the East. It was a beautiful and fun end to the day and closure to our first year.
Thank you to all of the amazing comments and followers of our blog here at wild red for joining us on this journey. We’re far from finished so please continue to check back and read.
The Wild Red Family