I Moved From a City of 1.6 Million to a Town of 2,800
Not that long ago, the idea of living in a log cabin in the woods in a mountain town with no Target would have been absurd to me. After all, I am a fourth-generation native Phoenician, I don’t like the cold, and I thought driving in traffic was just part of life.
Well, the joke’s on me! Here I am.
I live in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona. Population: not much. There’s no Target, no Starbucks, not even a stoplight in town. But there are pine trees, visible stars at night, and classic old-fashioned American love of home.
It all started last year when I found myself thinking abundantly about how I viewed myself, my role in the world, and the kind of life I wanted to create. My now-fiancé, Vince, and I also started discussing the home and life we wanted for our future children. Individually and as a pair, we decided that the lifestyle we were living—corporate jobs with office politics, constantly feeling rushed around, materialism—did not feel authentic anymore. Certainly we were over the daily combative NASCAR-style traffic on the roads to get anywhere. Suddenly Heber, where Vince grew up, wasn’t looking so small after all.
When we decided that we were ready to move on, we opened ourselves up to receiving—and it came fast. I was already working from home, but soon Vince got a job and we had a day to pack up the essentials, drive up north, and bunk down with family until we found a home. I found the listing for the house on a whim and we toured it that afternoon. Ladies, when I walked in the door and saw high ceilings, high countertops, and a showerhead I can stand under, I literally could not believe my eyes. We were home!
We got to set up our house and life exactly as we had dreamed. We live in a beautiful neighborhood in a much better home than we’d ever be able to afford in Phoenix. We see National Forest from the porch. We got rid of lots of extra stuff we’d been taking from apartment to apartment. I whittled my wardrobe down to three feet of closet space. I learned some wholesome new recipes in the kitchen to cook for Vince and his family when they visit from up the road. I took up yoga and haven’t stepped in a gym in five months. I’ve implemented a daily meditation and prayer practice. Vince is much happier to be back in a job where he can work with his hands instead of sit at a desk. He likes to talk about how our children will get to do the things he did here as a kid.
Life certainly isn’t picture perfect, but we treasure each moment. Each night before bed, we each tell one another three things we’re grateful for that day. We feel more authentically ourselves than we ever have.
I may have thought the small-town life wasn’t for me before, but now I can’t imagine any other place I’d rather be.