If you could live anywhere, where would that be? Would you go back to your childhood house? Pick somewhere you’ve never been? Or stay exactly where you are?
As I’m approaching graduating college next spring (2018), I can’t help but wonder where I’ll end up…will I stay local or adventure to an unfamiliar city? Finding the right job opportunity can make you anxious but wherever you choose becomes your new home. New comfort. New routine.
I grew up in a 1500-square-foot two-story house in Virginia Beach, Virginia about 20 minutes from the beach. Although I was born and raised in Texas the first two years of my life I consider Virginia Beach my home because it’s the only place I remember growing up. A lot of good friendships were built here.
Year round we went to the beach, hot or cold. In the summer I routinely got sun burnt building sand castles, looking for washed up jellyfish, riding my bike on the boardwalk, going to concerts, and living in a swim suit. In the winter we went for monster truck shows, the Polar Plunge, walks on the beach, and good seafood.
We had a nice little thing going. I never realized I lived in a tourist town until I got a bit older and noticed people actually wanted to visit Virginia Beach for its attractions and festivals.
Apparently most people don’t want to live in a tourist town because of how busy it always is with strangers and such, but I didn’t mind as a kid and always liked that there was something going on.
If you aren’t aware, Virginia Beach’s neighbor is Norfolk, Virginia aka the largest naval base in the national and the reason we lived in Virginia in the first place. It’s also the same reason we had to move away from Virginia Beach #GoNavy.
In the seventh grade I had my world turn upside down when I had to leave my childhood home. I didn’t want to leave and change wasn’t something I was a fan of at the time.
Moving from a place of residence you’ve grown up at to unknown lands is heart breaking at 13 years old. Leaving your friends behind, your school with you favorite teacher, your soccer team, and the scenery makes me feel like I left a little of my heart too.
It’s a lot different than traveling and leaving a place after two weeks. You aren’t as emotionally connected to that place as you are to your childhood home of 12 years.
I’ll always remember my childhood house with the red shutters, the trampoline in the back, the two pine trees, and nook for my desk where I drew.
I find myself walking through the halls of that house in my mind every now and again, reminiscing on all the childhood memories stored there. I can’t even tell you how many sleepovers, secrets, play dates, forts, and tea parties happened in that house.
*cue The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert*
I can also still recall the road routes in my head from routine of my mom driving me around, like how to get to the grocery store, my school, soccer practice, the mall and the movies.
It’s the simple things we pick up from our hometown and don’t think twice about until we don’t live there any more.
Since moving, I’ve been able to go back and visit several times. It’s the first place I flew to by myself at 14 years old and the same place I continue to visit to see my middle school best friend.
When you’re a child, your home and where you grow up identifies you. It becomes a part of you whether you like it or not. I guess what I’m saying is, if I could live anywhere it’d be Virginia Beach…if not permanently, then definitely a beach condo or something to visit on occasion.
Ideally, I’ll continuously travel one day and always stop in Virginia Beach. If you get the chance to go, take it, I think you’ll like this little beach town…
If you could live anywhere, where would that be?