Relocating stinks, many people would agree. Moving is stressful, expensive and doesn’t always work out.
My family and I have now relocated twice. First from Pennsylvania to Maryland, and then from Maryland to Florida. A work promotion was the basis of our first move. We settled into a small suburban community north of Baltimore and slowly made friends and familiarized ourselves with the area.
After a year, we knew that Maryland wasn’t for us. In fact, the entire Northeast wasn’t for us. Sure, it was convenient having longtime friends and family close by and Maryland is a beautiful state with lots to offer but we felt as though we belonged somewhere else. We decided it was time to relocate just in time for our son to begin Kindergarten.
Heading south to Florida
A few years before, we had visited friends and family in the Sarasota area. After coming home to the cold and snow, my husband and I settled onto the idea of relocating to the Sunshine State. Our families had mixed reactions. Some were excited to have a place to stay near the beach, others were sure we would regret our decision. Regardless, one freezing cold March day, we started our drive south.
We arrived and were greeted by our neighbors immediately. Moving Easter weekend wasn’t ideal but we were immediately invited to our street’s annual Easter egg hunt. We instantly realized how kind and sweet our neighbors are, offering us help with anything and tips for the neighborhood. At the end of the egg hunt, we knew we had definitely made the right decision.
As weeks and months passed, we easily settled into a routine. We spent our weekends exploring the area, using every minute to get out and see just what the Tampa Bay area had to offer. We were not disappointed. With every activity or fun weekend, we would always comment, “People in Florida are so nice!” We met more and more friends through sports, neighborhood activities and soon, Florida really did feel like home.
What makes Florida so special?
I think it is due to the fact that so many people like us have relocated to the area and we ALL want to make friends. We are all out there, exploring, and getting involved in our community and schools. And we all need friends! We have met some great people in the past two years and have never regretted our move for even one minute. So tell your friends who are buried under the latest dump of winter snow up north: Come to Florida! You won’t regret the move for one minute.
Tips I have for moms moving to the area:
- Join every local mom’s group you can find. At least one will be a good fit for you. Even if you work full time, there are weekend and night time activities with most clubs. Who can’t use a great Moms Night Out?
- Get out there! Explore and do what you love. You will run into someone there with the same interests.
- Consider joining a local church. Florida friends are all about their church! There are so many to pick from. One will definitely fit your family’s needs.
- If church isn’t your thing, find a local meet up group online that specializes in your interests. Running, tennis, movies, book clubs — there is something for us all!
- Go outside! The whole point of living in Florida is that we don’t have to hide indoors for the winter months! Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Ride your bikes to the local parks. Potential friends are around every turn.
- Join a gym. Between kids sports and group exercises classes, you will not only feel better about yourself, you will makes some friends along the way.